Jerry Del Colliano, a prominent radio industry analyst, is predicting the possibility of multiple bankruptcies in the radio industry. Colliano was recently quoted in a news story about stealth layoffs at Clear Channel, and in a Politico article which was also about those layoffs. The Clear Channel layoffs were executed quietly to avoid negative publicity for Mitt Romney, whose former private equity firm Bain Capital owns Clear Channel.
The networks tried to leverage debt into outsized growth. Deep in the red, they had not counted on the industry disaster that I have started calling the Rush Limbaugh Effect.
There are several reasons major radio industry corporations find themselves in danger of crashing to earth, but one of particular interest is the activism of many thousands of outraged consumers in the aftermath of the Limbaugh attack on student Sandra Fluke.
While it would be easy to attribute to activists more responsibility for the dire state of the radio industry than is called for, the fact remains: groups such as Stop Rush and Flush Rush have a tremendous amount of leverage in the current situation.
Please help the cause by signing and supporting this Rush Limbaugh petition.
Progressive talk radio also losing ground?
Meanwhile, the drumbeat continues on progressive talk stations being dropped since the election. Clear Channel is removing progressive radio from KPOJ in Portland.
Mid-West Family Broadcasting has laid off Madison's John "Sly" Sylvester of radio station WTDY, who resisted political labels but stood with workers when they were under the gun from Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker. Sly had been on the air in Madison for more than 25 years.
And now, a station owned by author Stephen King is switching from progressive talk to Christmas music. It is one of two co-owned stations in the area; the other will retain a progressive talk format. According to Talkers,
Stephen King-Owned WZLO and WZON, Bangor Progressive Talk Simulcast Splits. “The Pulse” website states the stations have split their simulcast of progressive talk and are featuring Christmas music on the FM signal with a “BIG surprise” the station will reveal after Christmas. The stations have been a simulcast for the past 2 ½ years – first as a sports talk station, then as the progressive talk outlet. The FM side had been playing a triple A format prior to the simulcast. WZON at 620 AM continues to air a progressive talk format featuring a local morning show with Don Cookson, WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Premiere Networks’ Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Cox Media’s Clark Howard and Leslie Marshall.Some have suspected a conspiracy, possibly as revenge for the movement against Limbaugh. However, the four stations in question all have different owners, with both local ownership and conglomerate ownership making the decision to move away from progressive talk in these disparate markets. That doesn't make the apparent trend any more palatable for progressives, of course.
The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
|Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.
Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.