Things have gone from bad to worse for Rush Limbaugh. Not only are radio stations looking to dump him, but his show is being forced to move to smaller lower-rated stations in an attempt to prevent a mass exodus of stations that carry his show.
Indianapolis Business Journal reported on Limbaugh getting demoted way down the (ratings) dial:
The Rush Limbaugh Show—set to be dropped by WIBC-FM 93.1 next month—will continue to be heard on Indianapolis radio airwaves without interruption after being picked up by iHeartMedia Inc.
iHeartMedia Indianapolis announced Wednesday that it will begin airing Limbaugh live on weekdays on a new local station, 97.5 FM, beginning Monday, July 6, from noon to 3 p.m. It will air the same time on iHeartMedia’s WNDE-AM 1260.
Limbaugh is going from being on a top ten station in the city to a station in the bottom three.
It is widely rumored that Limbaugh is about to get the boot off of his station in Chicago after his ratings have fallen to 24th place in the city with an audience of 121,000 listeners. Limbaugh has already lost his stations in major markets Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. Radio stations don’t want Limbaugh’s show because of the combination of low ratings, poor advertising revenue, and declining audience.
Things have gotten so bad that Cumulus had to scramble shove Limbaugh’s show on to a low rated Indianapolis sports station because they feared a mass exodus of affiliates. According to RadioInsight, “There’s no way iHeartMedia would’ve placed Limbaugh on an owned Sports station if the company had any other affiliation options in the market. You can bet iHeart’s local management would much rather utilize their new translator for something other than a mish-mosh of Sports and Limbaugh. But when everyone one else says no and you need to save face, options become limited. This way iHeart can spin it that they were able to find a strong affiliate for Limbaugh in Indianapolis to potentially keep other affiliates from bailing.”
Rush Limbaugh is being dropped from stations that he has been on for decades because his show is a big money loser for the stations who carry it. More stations would love to dump Limbaugh, but Premiere and Clear Channel are shoving him down the throats of the stations that they own, and the former cash cow of conservative talk radio is being demoted to second and third tier stations in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters argued that Limbaugh’s political influence has declined, but that is a potential chicken and egg argument. Did Limbaugh’s political decline lead to his show’s decline, or did the advertising boycott cause his empire to crumble and his political influence to wither?
The timeline of events suggests that the advertiser boycott and the negative publicity from the Sandra Fluke scandal made Limbaugh toxic. Rush Limbaugh is slowly fading into obscurity. Conservative talk radio is going extinct, and its biggest dinosaur is vanishing.