WFAN afternoon radio host Mike Francesa at the beginning of...

WFAN afternoon radio host Mike Francesa at the beginning of his show. (June 19, 2012) Credit: Craig Ruttle

Keith Olbermann has been doing verbal battle via Twitter and ESPN with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason, putting the FAN’s morning and afternoon shows on the same side of an argument for once.

One, big happy family? Um, no. But it’s been good, clean fun watching media egos mix it up for our amusement, with Olbermann playing his familiar role as button-pusher.

Among his zings have been reminders that WFAN’s stars are mere local radio figures, which technically is true. But if you believe Talkers Magazine that notion sells them far short.

The publication's most recent “Sports Talk Heavy Hundred’’ compilation of the “most important’’ hosts in America ranks Francesa No. 1 and Carton and Esiason No. 2, ahead of national figures Jim Rome and Dan Patrick at 3 and 4.

The magazine said ratings and revenue are the most important criteria, but it also considers “courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.’’

Other New York shows on the list: WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts at No. 39, ESPN’s Michael Kay and Don La Greca at 55, WFAN’s Steve Somers at 56 and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco at 57.

Sirius XM’s Chris Russo, Francesa’s former partner, ranked 29th.

More sports media

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access