This is the annual ranking of the sports talkers in the Cleveland Market.
Last Year there was one must-listen option, this year there are two.
1. Ken Carmen (-) 92.3 The Fan
Straddling the line between despair and professionalism, Ken Carmen continues to sparkle as Cleveland's shining star.
2. Tony Rizzo (-) 850 WKNR
With the Browns at historically bad levels, no one captures the angst of the Cleveland Fans better than Rizzo.
3. Adam the Bull (-) 92.3 The Fan
When everyone else in the city was talking football, at least Adam was talking Indians. You think with the Browns being at historically bad levels and the Indians being really good, more talkers would have taken his lead.
4. Dustin Fox (+2) 92.3 The Fan
If you listen close, Fox has stepped his game up. His clever comebacks and subtle jabs at Adam the Bull make the Bull and the Fox a nicely orchestrated dance and the city's best talk team.
5. Les Levine (-1) 92.3 The Fan / Spectrum Sports
Still has the zeal for the game as men half his age. (Or a quarter of his age.)
6. Greg Brinda - 850 WKNR
Cleveland Broadcast Hall-of-Famer. I found out that he had left WKNR on the date of this posting. Landing spot TBD.
7. Jeff Thomas - 92.3 The Fan
Best supporting cast member on any show in the city.
8. Tony Grossi - 850 WKNR
An encyclopedia of Browns history and I think his radio show is getting better.
9. Jim Donovan - 850 WKNR
Voice of the Browns who seems to be popping up more and more on all stations. We love Jim Donovan.
10. Je’Rod Cherry - 850 WKNR
Keepin' it real.
11. Nick Wilson – 92.3 The Fan
Wilson is really capturing the late night magic better than anyone since Carmen.
12. Brian Windhorst - 850 WKNR
I like that Windhorst has gotten more surly. I may be in the minority.
13, Anthony Lima – 92.3 The Fan
Steady improvement. Not intolerable anymore.
14. Emmit Golden - 850 WKNR
I was listening to Golden over Christmas break and he said something that warmed my heart. "When you hate your job, you despise working the holidays. When you love your job, working the holidays ain't so bad."
15. Mike Trivisonno – 1100 WTAM
Living in a world he doesn't understand, Trivisonno has evolved into the Anti-Golden and has continued to slip from his prime as a must-listen option. When was that Art Modell interview? 8,10 years ago? Maybe WTAM shouldn't have gotten rid of Marty Allen after all, huh?
16. Mike Snyder - 1100 WTAM
Still workman-like after all these years
17. Andy Baskins – 92.3 The Fan
Focusing on talk radio and the family.
18. Jeff Phelps – 92.3 The Fan
19. Dave Skoczen - 850 WKNR
20. Kenny Roda – 1480 WHBC
Road-Man/ Drivin' in the Road-Van
21. Nick Camino - 1100 WTAM
More of an Incomplete grade than a bad grade. I haven't put in enough effort to judge Camino.
22. Chris Fedor – 92.3 The Fan / Cleveland.com
I like to listen to Fedor. He gets points off because I don't like reading Fedor.
23. Nathan Zegura – 850 WKNR
I really do love his voice. He is super-knowledgable as the Fantasy Expert, but he just rubs me the wrong way.
24. Matt Wilhelm – 850 WKNR
His concussion take was spot on and he got spanked for it. Otherwise? Bleh.
25. Aaron Goldhammer – 850 WKNR
I started this article in November of 2017. Goldhammer was livid with the Browns and said everyone needed to be fired because they are horrible at their jobs.
You already know what I have to say. If the same criteria was applied to Talk Show Hosts, guess who's the first one in all of Cleveland to go?
I'lll use Goldhammer's own logic against him. I'm sure he's a good guy, and I'm sure he tries really hard and puts in a ton of hours. But when I listen to him, I want to bang my head on the wall and have to change the station. The gift of Goldhammer is to drive away listeners and holding down the fort to prevent WKNR from broadcasting dead air.
(Think I'm being a jerk? During the Browns Bye week, WKNR let Rizzo off the week before, then Goldhammer off the week after. Despite breaking news the day after the Vikings game, I had to turn off Hammer within 10 minutes. Totally unlistenable. The next week, Rizzo was on his game and it took 3 days to realize Hammer was on vacation.)