According to a story on Politico, Rush Limbaugh is considering ending his marriage with Cumulus Media at the end of this year.
Cumulus airs the Rush Limbaugh Show on 40 stations across the country--many of them monitored by the Flush Rush Facebook community--including WABC in New York City.
The report came from "a source close to the show," who claims that 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."
The source continued
"It’s a very serious discussion, because Dickey keeps blaming Rush for his own revenue problems. Dickey’s talk stations underperform talk stations owned by other operators in generating revenue by a substantial margin. It’s not a single show issue... it’s a failure of the entire station. And trying to blame Rush for that is not much of a business partnership."Dickey has been refreshingly forthright about the challenges his company has faced in retaining advertisers since Limbaugh spent 3 days calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and demanding she put videos of herself having sex online. In March he admitted that a full year after the attack Cumulus was still feeling the effects:
"Clearly, it's been well documented that the talk side has been challenged. Most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago and so there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there.Neither Cumulus nor Clear Channel Media (the latter of whom airs the Rush Limbaugh Show on nearly 600 stations) had any comment about Limbaugh's potential departure.
Clearly that's had an impact not only on our network business [at Cumulus Media Networks], but it's had an impact on some of the news talk stations that we own."
The truth of the matter is, Rush Limbaugh's schtick has become toxic for talk radio, and he's simply trying to blame everyone around him for the failure of his once successful business model. It's his fault.
It's also worth noting that Cumulus has scheduled a conference call for Tuesday to announce its first quarter earnings. Could Limbaugh's team be trying to get out ahead of a potential decision by Cumulus to cut their losses and flush Rush?
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