Cumulus Media has leaked a statement to the media that proves the impact of the advertiser boycott, as 48 of their top 50 advertisers have asked that they not be included on Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s shows.
Cumulus Media pushed back against Rush Limbaugh’s claim that he is not responsible for the decline in advertising revenue by leaking an anonymous statement to Radio Ink,
Forty-eight of the top 50 network advertisers have “excluded Rush and Hannity” orders. Every major national ad agency has the same dictate.” That’s a stat Premiere Radio flat out denied. “That statement is completely inaccurate. A number of the top spenders in the medium use talk radio to promote their brands and sell product, and many of them use The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show as the driving force of their marketing efforts.
Limbaugh is in total denial. He is completely responsible for at least part of the decline in ad revenue. His statements about Sandra Fluke have triggered an ongoing boycott that has cost Cumulus and Limbaugh millions of dollars. When 48 of a network’s top 50 advertisers don’t want their ads on his show, Limbaugh is losing money.
The speculation is that Clear Channel is waiting to dive in and scoop up Rush after his Cumulus contract expires, but they would wise to look at the situation carefully before they paid Limbaugh the kind of money that he will certainly demand. Clear Channel will not only be buying Limbaugh, but also all of his baggage, and the boycott too.
A positive unintended consequence of the Limbaugh boycott is that it is hitting Sean Hannity too. The goal of these advertiser boycotts has always been to hold them accountable for where they choose to spend their ad dollars. The Limbaugh boycott is sending a message to all of right wing talk radio that there will be financial consequences for their extremist speech.
Hannity and Limbaugh have a right to say whatever they want, but consumers also have a right to take their spending elsewhere if advertisers insist on bankrolling hate speech.
The boycotters are winning, and the boycott is going to follow Rush Limbaugh everywhere he goes. Limbaugh is now damaged goods, and I suspect that anyone foolish enough to give him the kind of payday that he wants is throwing their money away.