Stern plummets in talk-radio importance

February 26, 2007|By David Hinckley | David Hinckley,McClatchy-Tribune

A year into his new gig at Sirius Satellite Radio, Howard Stern has a lot more money, a fiancee and what he says is far greater peace of mind.

What he doesn't have, according to trade magazine Talkers, is his former stature as the most important talk radio host in America.

Talkers' annual "Heavy Hundred" list drops Stern from the No. 1 spot last year to No. 12.

"He's still doing very well," says Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers. "But this list is about what's hot - and you just don't hear about Stern the way you did before he went to satellite. People don't talk about what he said the way they used to.

"A year ago, he had put satellite on the map. He was a liberal talk voice, even though that's not how people defined him, who got huge ratings. He pioneered a style of FM talk.

"He absolutely deserved to be No. 1. But that was then and this is now. We had to ask what talk hosts are most important in the radio industry now."

THE LIST:

1. Rush Limbaugh

2. Sean Hannity

3. Michael Savage

4. Dr. Laura Schlessinger

5. Ed Schultz

6. Opie & Anthony

7. Laura Ingraham

8. Mike Gallagher

9. Neal Boortz

10. Glenn Beck

11. Mancow

12. Howard Stern

13. Randi Rhodes

14. Don Imus

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