A few days ago, many of Tennessee’s Radio Talk Show hosts were honored when Talkers, the Bible of Talk Radio and New Talk Media released their annual rankings of talk show hosts from across the country.

Their ranking of The Heavy Hundred lists the 100 “most important radio talk show hosts in America” from all genres except Sports Talk, which has its own list this year due to the popularity and proliferation of that genre of talk radio. Nashville’s talkers did well on the list as did at least one former Tennessee host. The criteria for consideration for inclusion on the list are, in alphabetical order, “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.” Talkers freely admits the process is subjective and that differences of opinion are expected.

We had one talker in the top 10. WTN’s Dave Ramsey who hosts his show, Financial Peace, weekdays from 1PM-4PM ranked #6 for the nation. The entire top 10 is as follows: #1 – Rush Limbaugh; #2 – Sean Hannity; #3 – Michael Savage; #4 – Ed Shultz; #5 – Laura Ingraham; #6 – Dave Ramsey; #7 – Mark Levin; #8 – Thom Hartmann; #9 – Glenn Beck; #10 – Joe Madison.

Following Dave Ramsey, other Tennessee talkers did well with Phil Valentine coming in at #42 and Steve Gill at #76. Rankings from 101-250 were displayed in alphabetical order for ease of locating them. Other talkers with Tennessee ties on this portion of the list include WTN’s Michael DelGiorno; Mark Skoda out of Memphis on WMPS, Mike Slater, former Jackson, TN host and now morning drive talker in San Diego, CA and Knoxville’s Hallerin Hilton Hill on WOKI.

That Tennessee has this caliber of talker across the breadth of the state speaks well of our activism, our passion and our value to the rest of the nation as a leading voice in the national political discourse. Congratulations to all those who made the list. Congratulations, too, to the next tier of talkers who will, no doubt, be on the list next year. I cannot explain the omission of WTN’s Ralph Bristol. This is going to be one of the claims of subjectivism that I’ll raise. When it comes to the criteria involved, few hosts I know meet them better than Ralph. Even if Talkers doesn’t see his value and worth to our city and state, those of us here are well aware.

Other political talkers you might recognize are Neil Boortz at #13, Alan Colmes at #15, Dennis Miller at #21, Bill Bennett at #23, Roger Hedgecock at #32, Mike Huckabee at #58, G. Gordon Liddy at #65, Geraldo Rivera at #75, Alex Jones at #85, Dana Loesch at #89 and Joyce Kaufmann at #100.

Stay tuned for the 2013 rankings …