The Rush Limbaugh woes are still adding up a month after being notified he was getting dumped by his Boston talk radio host station. While Limbaugh is on another AM radio station in the city, the station currently boasts a 0.6 rating, and trails four non-commercial stations in the market, according to Examiner.
The station, WKOX, is the type of “bottom-rung” affiliate that Rush Limbaugh was rarely associated with during his halcyon days as the king of talk radio. But those days seem to be dwindling as the Boston fall from grace has previously played out for Rush in places like Los Angeles and Indianapolis. In each instance, Limbaugh exited a prosperous, longtime radio home and was forced to settle for an also-ran outlet with miniscule ratings.
Rush Limbaugh’s woes can be traced to his 2012 on-air meltdown over Sandra Fluke, where he castigated and insulted the graduate student for three days on his program, calling her a “slut” and suggesting she post videos of herself having sex on the Internet. (Fluke’s sin in the eyes of Limbaugh was testifying before Congress in favor of contraception mandates for health care insurance.)
Rush Limbaugh woes are still adding up as the radio host loses more marketshare
The astonishing monologues by the radio announcer sparked an unprecedented advertiser exodus, which means selling his show has become a major lift for the affiliate stations that pay a hefty fee for the right to carry his program. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the millions of dollars in advertising revenue that his host stations lose because of the station’s stigma on Madison Avenue.
The still-unfolding repercussions? Some key stations want out of their Rush Limbaugh deals as it continues to be on a ratings slide. And when those deals are up, nobody else is stepping forward to ink new contracts with the radio host.
Here’s what happened in Boston, and it’s becoming a trend. In May, WRKO announced it wasn’t renewing the syndicated talk-radio program, which meant the host would have to find a new home on the dial. No problem, right?
Hopping around to another affiliate isn’t that unusual in the world of syndicated radio. What was unusual, at least for Limbaugh, was that not one other Boston station moved to pick up his show. Years ago, general managers lined up for the chance to broadcast Rush’s ratings heavyweight show and jumped whenever it became available in the market.
But no more. With ratings declining in recent years and selling the show to advertisers becoming increasingly difficult, stations seem reluctant to pay a steep price for the radio announcer’s program. As Rush Limbaugh’s woes continue, the syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, is still stuck paying the $50 million a year fee.
Image Credit: https://img.etimg.com/