Howard Stern, Most Popular Talk Radio Personality with Web Users

Top 20 Most Popular Talk Radio Hosts of 2006, Based on Web Search Activity

By (BI) Susanna Daniel

WALTHAM, Mass. -- LYCOS, Inc. announced its sixth annual list of the most popular talk radio personalities with web users, based on The LYCOS 50. The LYCOS 50 is an authoritative weekly list of the most popular people, places and things web users search for everyday.

For the sixth year in a row, Howard Stern continues his reign as the most-searched talk radio personality with web users, generating 232 percent more online interest than Adam Corolla, who holds the number two spot this year.

In Jan. 2006, Stern left his top-rated morning show at Infinity Radio for Sirius Satellite. Stern's move to satellite radio was a huge factor in bringing awareness to satellite networks, Sirius and XM. In fact, due in part to Stern's move, search activity for Sirius Satellite Radio increased 1,300 percent in 2005 and another 128 percent in 2006.

Oprah Winfrey, while not making this year's list, also received a bump in online interest over the past few weeks since the debut of her recent entrance to XM Satellite, with her Oprah and Friends radio show.

A recent New York Post article reported that Stern's popularity was declining, and rumors began circulating that Stern planned to return to the free airwaves.

Both Stern and a spokesperson from Sirius denied the story, and certainly, Web users would seem to agree that Stern's popularity remains strong, although not as strong as in 2005.

Since his move to Sirius in Jan., Stern's online interest has dipped only 15 percent.

Newcomer Adam Carolla of Infinity's "The Adam Carolla Show" is the biggest gainer this year, landing at number two with web users. Carolla's search activity did not even register as a blip on the radar last year.

His massive surge in popularity is most likely due to the fact that he began his morning radio show in January 2006, replacing Stern in several markets. Don Imus of "Imus in the Morning" also barely registered last year and takes number five in 2006; presumably, his rise is also due to Stern's departure.

Some favorites from past years saw notable drops in 2006, the biggest being Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly is 92 percent less popular than he was in 2005, falling completely out of the top 20 this year.

Dr. Laura also drops off this year's list, dipping 81 percent, while Bob and Tom drop 83, but still manage to remain in the top 20. Michael Savage also drops 74 percent, falling from number five last year.

The most interesting trend this year is the large number of newcomers generating online interest. Of the top 20 talk radio personalities of 2006, six are making first-ever appearances, including Wendy Williams, Emma B, Jim Cramer, Chris Evans, Sara Cox and Carolla.

In addition to O'Reilly, other notables falling out of the top 20 in 2006 include David Lee Roth, Larry King, Dr. Laura, Kim Komando, Mancow, Laura Ingraham and Paul Harvey.

The Top 20 Most-Searched Talk Radio Personalities of 2006 (numbers in parentheses reflect last year's rank):

1) Howard Stern (1)
2) Adam Carolla (-)
3) Tavis Smiley (29)
4) Don Imus (-)
5) Rush Limbaugh (2)
6) Tom Joyner (-)
7) Lionel (-)
8) Wendy Williams (-)
9) Al Franken (-)
10) Art Bell (7)
11) Jim Cramer (-)
12) Opie and Anthony (10)
13) Tom Leykis (17)
14) Emma B (-)
15) Sean Hannity (11)
16) Michael Savage (5)
17) Chris Evans (-)
18) Don and Mike (15)
19) Bob and Tom (9)
20) Sara Cox (-)

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