The ratings have gotten so bad for Rush Limbaugh that radio stations no longer want to carry his show.
The advertiser boycott of Rush Limbaugh brought public attention to the sewer that conservative talk radio has become, but as Republican Daryl Parks wrote when rumors of Limbaugh getting moved to a smaller station in Chicago surfaced, radio station executives don’t want Limbaugh, but literally can’t give him away, “The Chicago rumors come as no surprise to me, as three different Cumulus executives have told me on different occasions they wish they could get rid of Limbaugh’s show and they can’t sell it.”
Parks also explained why these stations are stuck with Limbaugh, “Premiere Networks and its owner Clear Channel Media + Entertainment iHeart Media has crammed down Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on its talk stations, not allowing local stations to make needed changes to their programming, changes that could provide some hope of staying relevant. It was a great business model…in the 20th century! In business speak it’s called “vertical integration.” The company produces the product and then uses its distribution arm, its radio stations, to broadcast the shows. Guaranteed clearance, plus in Limbaugh’s case and some of Hannity’s stations, the local stations have to pay a “rights fee” in addition to the barter commercial inventory they broadcast from the network. There was no negotiation whether to broadcast the show or what fee was to be paid. Here’s the number you pay was the only conversation during the budget process. This, as you can imagine, affected cash flow and coupled with the increasing demands for talk stations to generate more profit, it forced local stations to lay-off other talk hosts, producers and gut news departments. Talented people left the radio business and the death spiral for talk radio began. It began years ago.”
The radio stations don’t get a choice. They are being forced to carry Limbaugh while paying for the privilege of giving three hours of airtime to a host whose audience is even older than those who watch Fox News.
Radio stations in big markets have seen their ratings plummet thanks to Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. The reality is that sports talk radio passed conservative talk radio in popularity years ago.
Younger people across the political spectrum don’t listen to talk radio. Stations that carry Limbaugh are losing both listeners and money. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t care about any of this. You’ll notice that Limbaugh still gets paid no matter what station he is on.
Limbaugh’s ratings data is guarded like a state secret, but it was revealed that his show is drawing fewer listeners than Spanish language stations in New York and Los Angeles. The biggest sign that Rush Limbaugh is on the decline is that he has fallen off of the political map. Limbaugh was at the center of the Republican Party during the early days of President Obama’s first term, but the Sandra Fluke scandal and advertiser boycott that followed has cost him dearly.
Many will never admit it, but the left played a key role in helping America move forward by tuning out Rush Limbaugh.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association