Ahead of Cumulus's Tuesday Q1 earnings (or perhaps more accurately, "losses") report by CEO Lew Dickey, Limbaugh's camp spoke to the media in an effort to throw off blame for continued difficulty in ad sales:
"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."
The fact of the matter is, although the trend away from Limbaugh's trademark brand of fiery, offensive rhetoric aimed at minority groups began before March 2012, the Sandra Fluke attack served as a major tipping point. Although the media companies are taking their sweet time to acknowledge--of course they want to be sure their cash cow is really dead before abandoning it--the American public has largely moved on.
Here's one anecdotal example of the gap between Limbaugh and the public:
Last month Limbaugh, incredibly, claimed that 96% of the American public "don't care" about gun control--using a misleading interpretation of poll results to substantiate his claim.Mainstream America has departed Rush's delusional universe, and advertisers are following suit in a continual stream. Rush Limbaugh's own mouth opened those floodgates last year, and they ain't closing. Limbaugh has already lost 2,600 advertisers to pressure from activists such as the Flush Rush Facebook community, and new volunteers are flocking in to StopRush every day.
But a CNN poll from the same week found that nearly 90% favored changes in gun laws. Who's out of touch, Limbaugh or the American people?
But do those claims pass the smell test?As for the first part, it's sort of true that advertisers were replaced. But what were they replaced with? StopRush monitors across the nation listen to many stations every day, and every ad break is dominated by non-paying PSAs, a sprinkling of local ads, a handful of die-hard nationals, and a whole lot of ads for suspect land deals, gold, and pills that do everything from making the pounds drop off to helping your sergeant stand at attention.
As for the claim of a "minimal impact" on ad revenue, that data is a closely guarded secret, but does anyone honestly think that pecker pill companies are paying what Sears and Sony used to before they jumped ship?
There is no question that Limbaugh's ad sales have dropped precipitously. Clear Channel may not want to acknowledge that fact, but Cumulus's CEO has been more open about it--admitting 5.5 million in losses due to Limbaugh's antics with analysts predicting another 2.9% loss in revenue to be announced tomorrow.
At some point, Cumulus and, yes, even Clear Channel are going to follow the mainstream and the advertisers out the door.
It may be sooner than later.
Rush, just admit it. You're the problem.
Find out how you can help StopRush after the jump.
Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio. StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more. Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable. It is our collective voice that makes us strong.
Want to do something hold Limbaugh accountable?
Join StopRush! We can use your help in the following ways:
Join: The Flush Rush Facebook community
Visit: The StopRush sponsor database
Tweet: #stoprush Twitter campaign
Fact Check: Limbaugh Lie Debunking Site
Install: ThinkContext StopRush browser extension--notifies you as you browse which companies advertise on Rush