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While station managers and syndicators often dictate which radio hosts can be heard in your car, the Internet allows listeners the freedom to pick any program, any host at almost any time of the day.

So who are Americans choosing as the top radio talkers on the Internet?

A list of the “Top 100 Talk Shows of 2012″ just released by Talk Stream Live – which ranks the nation’s leading streaming talk shows – placed Rush Limbaugh at the top, with Michael Savage No. 2 and Glenn Beck No. 3.

Laura Ingraham came in fourth, followed by Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Tammy Bruce, Dennis Miller, Bill Bennett and George Noory rounding out the top 10.

Most surprising were the strong performances of Savage and Ingraham, both of whom were at least temporarily off the air following contractual disputes with their syndicators and moved to new providers of their shows to stations around the country.

Other rankings, especially where the online audience differs from the on-air “Heavy Hundred” ranking produced by Talkers magazine, show a stark difference between what audiences choose online and what they’re given on the radio.

For example, Talkers magazine ranks Ed Schultz No. 4, with over 3 million in his radio audience, but Talk Stream Live ranks the progressive talker’s online audience at No. 61.

WND senior reporter Aaron Klein, however, soared up the charts. His weekly “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio came in at No. 30 on the Talk Stream Live ranking, far ahead of even many daily shows, including noteworthy conservative Mike Huckabee, progressive Randi Rhodes and Schultz. The ranking is doubly surprising, considering Klein’s show isn’t even nationally syndicated.

Klein points out that his program has hit No. 1 in its AM time slot in the coveted New York City market, but credits his success – both on air and online – to his unique content.

“I think my ratings, both online and terrestrially, demonstrate the craving for independence in talk radio as opposed to partisan talking points,” Klein told WND. “The show is unique in that it combines investigative journalism with the concept of talk radio, essentially creating a new genre that no one else is doing. The audience also knows they’ll get the information and investigations only on my program, since, with few exceptions, there is no real news media remaining in America today.:

Talk Stream Live notes its rankings, based on a sample of 2.75 million listener sessions, “tracks talk radio show metrics gathered on the Internet and collected through our cloud based server via TalkStreamLive.com’s website, gadgets, iPhone app and ‘click2listen’ links on social networks. We only rank the talk show hosts that are listed at TalkStreamLive.com. The TSL Top 100 report includes the big personalities talk show fans would expect as well as some new media rising stars. The conclusions are our own and not guaranteed to be accurate.”

The full list can be seen below:

1 Rush Limbaugh
2 Michael Savage
3 Glenn Beck
4 Laura Ingraham
5 Mark Levin
6 Sean Hannity
7 Tammy Bruce
8 Dennis Miller
9 Bill Bennett
10 George Noory
11 Michael Medved
12 John Batchelor
13 Neal Boortz
14 Hugh Hewitt
15 Alex Jones
16 Red Eye Radio
17 Dennis Prager
18 Monica Crowley
19 IMUS
20 Quinn and Rose
21 The Dana Show
22 Larry Kudlow
23 Mike Gallagher
24 Kim Komando
25 Bill Cunningham
26 Dave Ramsey
27 Jerry Doyle
28 John Gibson
29 Rusty Humphries
30 Aaron Klein
31 Howie Carr
32 Tom Donahue
33 MANCOW
34 Phil Hendrie
35 Roger Hedgecock
36 Lars Larson
37 The Power Hour
38 Clark Howard
39 Curtis Sliwa
40 Chris Plante
41 Larry Elder
42 Jack Blood
43 Bill Handel
44 Mike Huckabee
45 Peter Schiff
46 Black Listed News
47 Bob Brinker
48 Art Bell
49 BUBBA the Love Sponge
50 Jesse Lee Peterson
51 Randi Rhodes
52 Robert Scott Bell
53 Bob & Tom
54 Gun Talk
55 Jim Bohannon
56 Dr. Joy Browne
57 Barbara Simpson
58 Clyde Lewis
59 Geraldo
60 Texas Overnight
61 Ed Schultz
62 Dr. Daliah
63 G. Gordon Liddy
64 Jeff Rense
65 Strange Universe
66 John Stokes
67 Free Talk Live
68 Walton & Johnson
69 Mark Simone
70 Leo Laporte
71 Michael Smerconish
72 Don Wade & Roma
73 Bo Gritz
74 Al Sharpton
75 Brian Sussman
76 Armed American
77 Mike Francesa
78 Rick & Bubba
79 Boomer & Carton
80 Bob Tuskin
81 The Right Perspective
82 Joe Pags
83 Bob Grant
84 Thom Hartmann
85 Andy Dean
86 John Gambling
87 Jason Lewis
88 Tony Katz
89 Down the Rabbit Hole
90 National Intel Report
91 Alan Colmes
92 Robbi Student
93 Ric Edelman
94 Jeff Kuhner
95 Heidi Harris
96 Truth Out Radio
97 Chris Stigall
98 Todd Schnitt
99 Phil Valentine
100 Danny Bonaduce

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