Not only are hundreds of advertisers leaving Rush Limbaugh, but the radio stations who carry his show are losing money every time his program airs.
Video from MSNBC:
Eric Boehlert: Who will carry the shows, we have been monitoring WABC, Rush Limbaugh’s flagship station in New York, they have aired over the last three, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 200 unpaid ads during his program. They are losing money every day they put him on the radio period.
Ed Schultz: Well, the heart association didn’t want their PSA’s.
Boehlert: They’ve got charities that don’t want to be on his show.
Holland Cooke: They can’t give it away.
Schultz: That has to be a first to have the American Heart Association say we won’t take the freebee.
Cooke: They can’t give it away. This is the canary in the coal mine.
If Limbaugh’s flagship station is losing money, then it is a pretty safe bet that his network is losing money. Earlier in the segment Holland Cooke pointed out that the station owners in Limbaugh’s network are nervous, and some are thinking about dropping him in favor the new Mike Huckabee show.
The modus operandi for the right is always the same in these situations. First, they deny that the boycott is having any impact at all. Then word starts to drift out that the stations or network in Glenn Beck’s case is losing money by carrying the program. Once the financial losses become too great, the station stops carrying that host. The current Rush Limbaugh scenario is looking like an exact duplicate of Glenn Beck’s demise on Fox News.
The big difference is that Beck hung around for months, while Limbaugh is declining by the day. If the boycott continues to gain steam, Limbaugh’s future will be Beck’s present. Glenn Beck went from being a mainstream media golden boy to being an afterthought on radio with a fledgling Internet TV show. Beck is still around, but nobody cares or talks much about him anymore. I can’t see Limbaugh being totally off of radio, but this boycott may mark the end of his days as a Republican power player and national voice.
Premiere Networks put out a memo telling traffic managers that they are suspending national advertising on Limbaugh’s show for two weeks. Premiere is trying to downplay the suspension of the national “barter ads,” but this move looks like damage control. I suspect that Premiere and Limbaugh are hoping that this storm blows over in two weeks. Fox News tried a similar strategy with Glenn Beck, and it accomplished nothing. The boycott continued to grow, with the result being less than a year later Beck was no longer on Fox News.
If the radio stations who carry him are losing money, Rush Limbaugh’s future is in jeopardy. Limbaugh commands some of the highest rights fees in the industry. If radio stations can’t make that money back, it won’t take long for them to switch to a program that they can make money.
Rush Limbaugh may never be gone, but he is certainly well on his way towards being forgotten.