May 6, 2013

"The Rush Limbaugh Program is considering ending its affiliation agreement with Cumulus Media at the end of this year..."

"... a move that would bring about one of the biggest shakeups in talk radio history, a source close to the show tells POLITICO."
Should the move take place, 40 Cumulus-owned radio stations would lose the rights to the most popular talk radio program in the country. In addition, the show might be picked up by competing regional radio stations in Washington, New York, Chicago, Dallas and other major markets.

According to the source, Limbaugh is considering the move because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company's advertising losses on Limbaugh's controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student. In Feb. 2012, Limbaugh referred to Fluke as "a slut" because she had called on congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control. The subsequent controversy over those remarks resulted in a significant advertising boycott.
This seems pretty obviously to be a move in a big negotiation. Isn't Cumulus in bigger trouble without Rush than Rush is without Cumulus? I'm guessing Rush is having great fun with this, tormenting Dickey, who disrespected him. What source do you think talked to Politico? Cumulus, we're told, reports its earnings on Tuesday, and Rush doesn't like hearing its financial problems blamed on him. How would you people do without me?

29 comments:

Jack Wayne said...

That people would be boy-cotting the radio network over Fluke is laughable.

kentuckyliz said...

Because Rush had so many listeners who are women sympathetic with lefty causes and tactics. Lose that audience and you're in trouble.

/snark

Ann Althouse said...

I think the boycott was of the products that were advertised on the show. People who didn't listen were motivated not to buy the products, with advertisers withdrawing to please those people.

That's not laughable. It could work. Those who don't listen to the show want to drive the show off the air, so those who want to listen will be deprived of the mental nourishment the boycotters think is toxic.

bpm4532 said...

It was political pressure by the left on the advertisers of the show. Political pressure like this is likely to override sound business decision if the advertiser's products performed poorly after leaving the Limbaugh Show.

Saint Croix said...

In Feb. 2012, Limbaugh referred to Fluke as "a slut" because she had called on congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control.

It's so annoying how the press reports this story. The vibe you get is that Limbaugh is a social conservative who is uptight about sex and is calling a girl a "slut" like we're in junior high again.

But that's not what he was doing. He was making a joke that she wants the government to pay for her sex life. "And we're the pimps!"

It was in bad taste, I guess (my sense of decorum is questionable, to say the least), but it was a LOL funny show. I heard it, I was in stitches.

Needless to say, liberal comedians do this sort of comedy all the time. And comedy can veer over into misogyny, or some other no-no, but that's what makes funny, funny. You skate up to the edge and say things that other people don't say.

The attacks on Limbaugh are done by people who don't listen to his show, who don't get his humor, and are always, always trying to drive him off the air.

Jeff Teal said...

Talk radio without Rush?maybe those cumulus stations can see how they'll do with three hours a day of Bizbash.

CEO-MMP said...

That's not laughable. It could work. Those who don't listen to the show want to drive the show off the air, so those who want to listen will be deprived of the mental nourishment the boycotters think is toxic.

yeah, sure. Do a little research into what happened to the value of Carbonite stock, and where there earnings went, and what the CEO had to say about how being a dick to Rush impacted the company.

Further, do some research into the other companies that begged to be allowed back--actual companies that actually bought time with Rush, not all the companies that just had their ads run during the noon-3PM time block like JC Penney (and where are they btw? LOL) etc.

Even the companies like Shari's Berries are still using the "RushBerries dot com" site and honoring the Rush discount code--and I don't think it's cuz they love a certain Canadian band.

Honestly--tempest, teapot, coupled with people who have a flawed understanding of how things work.

I will never understand how tolerant lefties go so batshit crazy when people don't march in lockstep with their groupthink though. Don't conform? Must be destroyed.

Saint Croix said...

Here's an interesting article about how corporations respond to controversy in talk radio. They cut their budgets across the board. Corporations don't want to offend anybody.

Obviously the only solution to this is to put Rush on NPR and have our tax dollars pay for him.

edutcher said...

Saint, you have an evil mind.

El Rushbo on NPR.

Well, they'd never need to do a begathon ever again.

Ann Althouse said...

"Further, do some research..."

I'm familiar with all that. I'm just correcting the point about how the boycott was supposed to work by appealing to non-listeners.

Ann Althouse said...

And you need to distinguish the advertisers at the national level like Carbonite, whose brand was closely linked to Rush, with the local advertisers that bought spots at the local level, like in NYC and Chicago. These businesses were not closely branded to Rush and some of them did cave to the pressure. Geico, for example. That had some effect in those markets. I don't know how much, how easily they were replaced.

Astro said...

Ask Carbonite.com about that boycott. Dumbest move they could have made?

This Limbaugh news, on the heels of the Savage decision, could mean a really dramatic change in talk radio over the coming year.

Astro said...

Michael Savage decision

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

"There is a word for those who want other people to pay so they can have sex. They're called sluts".

That is the essence of what Rush said, and I think he should have doubled down on it. It's not the greatest joke. It's a little forced. But it's still funny.

Fluke does have a bit of slut-ness in her, of the media-whore type if nothing else.

rhhardin said...

Clear Channel owns a piece of Rush through some venture and would be happy to pick him up from his legacy competitor stations. WOR would be the obvious choice.

The lead-in on WABC is what's his name, a lefty. Geraldo Rivera.

It might play okay in NYC but there'd have to be a huge audience shirt at noon, just guessing how it works against the numbers.

WABC also carries Imus, a lefty drama queen these days. There's quite a wall of Rush haters before noon.

rhhardin said...

There's been a vast personnel shift from WABC to WOR, on-air and support staff alike, in the last few months.

Clouds on the Cumulus.

rhhardin said...

Rush makes money with direct response advertising - they're paid by how many phone calls the advertiser gets, which is why you mention Rush's name to get a discount.

The affiliate has to run Rush's ads, and can add their own in their own time.

I think Rush is free to the affiliates, as is Imus for that matter, under that arrangement.

Darrell said...

When Sandra Fluke was first introduced by Democrats at that phony press conference that they labeled a Congressional hearing, she was 23 years of age. A few months later she was 30. I don't think that trend bodes well for her.

ed said...

"Geraldo Rivera."

Yeah I avoid him like the plague. If he's on the radio I turn it off or change stations. If he's on tv I turn it off or change channels.

ricpic said...

Dickey sounds like the typical executive who panics over the possible loss of a tiny sliver of the target demographic. My 2 cents even though kentuckyliz said it better. ;^)

Darrell said...

I thought that Clear Channel is the principal syndicator (outlet) for Rush's show--Cumulus only comes in where CC did not have a station operating at the time the contract was signed (like in NYC where Cumulus hosts at WABC). Cumulus spent $Millions during the Fluke controversy to lure advertisers and stations to products of their own , like The Mike Huckabee Show).
Limbaugh has every incentive to keep Cumulus away from his show.

crosspatch said...

I am willing to bet that the replacement of John Batchelor with Michael Savage has more to do with their ad drop than Rush Limbaugh.

Batchelor is the best show on radio and now I have to listen by podcast since Cumulus put Savage on instead.

Skeptical Voter said...

Kind of interesting on "payback" over Ms. Fluke. The Carbonite data backup program was a big advertiser on Limbaugh. Then the Carbonite CEO went wussy when the Ms. Fluke controversy came up. Lots of fans of El Rushbo cancelled or threatened to cancel their Carbonite subscriptions--me being one of them. So Carbonite lightened up a bit. But I see that Limbaugh is now promoting an "I Drive" something company as a data backup program. Well my subscription year for Carbonite is up in June--and I think I'm going to make a switch.

And yes Limbaugh is a blowhard--but he's a sometimes entertaining blowhard. And self righteous wussified CEO's waving in the politically correct breeze are never entertaining. So adios to Carbonite.

Methadras said...

Sleep Train was a major advertiser with Limbaugh when they left over the Fluke bullshit. After 2 weeks, they were begging to come back because they realized the error of their ways and frankly watched their sales and value plummet because they more or less turned their back on one of their major advertisers over calling a slut, a slut. Begging. Limbaugh told them to go pound sand and they have been ever since. This goes for every other advertiser on his show. The left think they can use the tactics of public shaming as a function of disrupting the flow of capital towards someone they hate. Isn't that great that they can sabotage someones livelihood because they don't agree with them? This is just another glaring example of the sickness that infests leftist ideology and the foundational hypocrisy it operates from. I hope Limbaugh gives a big, "Fuck you" to them and makes more money than he ever has. I suspect he will.

When you shit on your golden goose, this is what you will get. No loyalty, no respect. I would do the same thing.

Sam L. said...

Ann Althouse said...

I think the boycott was of the products that were advertised on the show. People who didn't listen were motivated not to buy the products, with advertisers withdrawing to please those people.

That's not laughable. It could work. Those who don't listen to the show want to drive the show off the air, so those who want to listen will be deprived of the mental nourishment the boycotters think is toxic.

5/6/13, 6:12 AM

They've been trying that for years. W/o success. Definition of insanity, and all that.

Truckee Man said...

Cumulus does a terrible job running radio stations. They have severely damaged the SF stations they own. Seems Lew Dickey can't pass up an opportunity to hurt his own business by being on the wrong side of Rush.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene said...

If Sandra Fluke will pay for my penis extenders, I'll help pay for her (apparent) daily need for birth control.

geokstr said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
"There is a word for those who want other people to pay so they can have sex. They're called sluts".

That is the essence of what Rush said, and I think he should have doubled down on it. It's not the greatest joke. It's a little forced. But it's still funny.


I was listening to his show when he said that. It was not simply a joke about her because she wanted free birth control.

She lied in her fake "testimony" to the Democratic members of the committee who called their press conference a "committee hearing", She claimed that it cost $2,000 a year for female students at her university to buy their own birth control.

So Rush bantered about that insane cost estimate, calculating that condoms can be had free at any Planned Parenthood and elsewhere and that even if she had to pay for them, she would be needing to have sex 3-5 times a day to eat up that $2,000.

Then he asked what you call a woman who's not married but having sex 3-5 times a day and expecting somebody else to pick up the cost of her birth control. He then answered his own question - a "slut".