Peter Brown Memorial Rankings (2022)
This is the annual rankings of the sports talkers in the Cleveland Market.
1. Les Levine - 92.3 The Fan
For the past 5 years, Les Levine has been in the Top 5 of Sports Talkers in the Cleveland market. Sadly he passed away early in 2021. He was a good man who was still on top of his broadcasting game when he died. You cannot replace what Les Levine brought to the table.
My favorite Les Levine quote, which makes me laugh every time I read it, is: "so I went to the grocery store, shopped, then went to the 10 items or less lane. I started to unload the groceries at the checkout and the clerk snapped at me 'the sign says 10 items or less.'
I replied to her, 'it's okay, I'm Les'."
I know my limitations and cannot write as good of a eulogy as one of the best sports writers in America: Terry Pluto on Les Levine
2. Ken Carmen - 92.3 The Fan
On Saturday afternoons, you can listen Ken's weekend national show on CBS Sports Radio. Ken has a hard decision to make, be the future of Cleveland Radio, as legends continue to pass on, or move to the national stage full time. Just last month Carmen announced an expanded role at Fox8 Cleveland. [That's a good sign.]
3. Dustin Fox - 92.3 The Fan
Steady, steady Dustin Fox.
4. Adam the Bull - 92.3 The Fan
An agitated Bull is good listening.
5. Jeff Thomas - 92.3 The Fan
I'm glad that Jeff Thomas is here and noted a-hole Keith Williams is in Wisconsin.
6a. Tony Grossi - 850 WKNR
6b. Jim Donovan - 850 WKNR / 92.3 The Fan
Both are consummate professionals when covering the Browns. 8. Garrett Bush - 92.3 The Fan
I shouldn't like Bush as much as I do, but he's so, so smooth. 9. Je’Rod Cherry - 850 WKNR
No matter what I think of Cherry, or what you think of Cherry, he's by far the best athlete on this list.
Je'Rod also has an important decision to make. The owner ESPN Cleveland also purchased ESPN Los Angeles and ESPN New York. If I was the owner, I would want Je'Rod as an anchor in one of the two biggest markets in the United States.
10. Emmit Golden - 850 WKNR
Emmit, on the other hand, bleeds Cleveland. Would he follow Cherry to a major market? 11. Chico Bormann - 92.3 The Fan
The closest thing you're going to get to the legend of Pete Franklin in the evenings, in this market, in 2021. I have heard some say Bormann is prickly. Uh, that's what you want from your evening sports guy. 12, Nathan Zegura 92.3 The Fan
The better the Browns, the better Zegura sounds. It is that simple. 13. Greg Brinda - 1100 WTAM
Hall of Famer now in the (semi) regular nighttime rotation. 14. Andre Knott - 1100 WTAM
Sporadic, yet essential, contributor. 15. Andy Baskins – 92.3 The Fan
15b. Jeff Phelps – 92.3 The Fan Yes, they're on the list.
17. Chris Fedor – 92.3 The Fan / Cleveland.com A great sub looking for the right supporting role.
18 Nick Camino - 1100 WTAM
Still kind of hard to rate, vacillates between forgettable and adequate. 19. Dennis Manoloff - 1100 WTAM Another talent that needs a specific time slot instead of a rotation. 20. Anthony Lima – 92.3 The Fan
If you listen to the Ken Carmen Saturday Show, using a sports analogy, you'll realize Lima is "just a guy." 21. Matt Fontana - 850 WKNR
"Just a guy" but has his own show. 22. Beau Bishop - 850 WKNR
Notice there's a lot of KNR guys down here at the bottom of the rankings?
23. Tony Rizzo - 850 WKNR
Rizzo, I am the ghost of Talk Show Host's futures. The path you are on is more Mike Trivisonno than Les Levine. 24. Mike Trivisonno – 1100 WTAM
The Covid Pandemic turned the late-Mike Trivisonno into a paranoid jerk, which was a sad bookend to a storied career. The Mike Trivisonno Show was must listen radio with Kim Mihalik, Marty Allen, Paul Raddo, and Triv around the year 2000. It's been over a decade since WTAM stripped his remaining all-star supporting staff away from the show as Trivisonno, the "champion of the people," stayed silent. The last 2 or three years have been particularly hard to listen to, as Triv augmented most of his repeated rants with out of touch rants. Many peers thanked Triv for giving them their start as interns, that's because WTAM was loathe to put money into the show except for the name on the show.
This photo was 20 years ago.
Terry Pluto on Mike Trivisonno Notice how Pluto danced around Trivisonno's last 25 years on the air? Triv died more like Gary Dee than Pete Franklin.
25. Aaron Goldhammer – 850 WKNR So bad, we may have to flat out ban him from the list. He is the Bad Take Atom Bomb... For the 6th year in a row!!!
Unlike Je'Rod, who deserves a bigger audience, maybe Goldhammer can return to New York and be a (silent) producer on an ESPN New York overnight show. That would be a win-win for everyone.
There promises to be a lot more juggling of empty slots next year.