This began with Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluka “a slut” in March 2012.
Mediaite’s own sources confirm that the ad troubles in connection with Limbaugh’s show are, indeed, severe. In fact, one source within the radio advertising world with direct knowledge of the ad buys on Limbaugh’s show confirms the extent of the problem: “The vast majority of national advertisers now refuse to air their ads during Rush Limbaugh’s show,” our source tells us.
Limbaugh is reportedly considering a departure from Cumulus (or vice versa) after Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey‘s public comments that the Fluke incident is “still causing problems” with potential ad buyers. Limbaugh currently hosts the number-one most-listened-to radio show in the United States, and his departure would present a huge shake-up for the radio business.
The next earnings call for Cumulus is tomorrow and Dickey will undoubtedly be asked by Wall Street analysts how Limbaugh’s performing on the 40 Cumulus stations that carry the show. Despite Limbaugh’s immense value, Dickey has previously claimed that Cumulus’s top three stations had lost $5.5 million as a result of the anti-Limbaugh backlash.
Since Cumulus has been developing its own roster of talk hosts, such as Mike Huckabee and Geraldo Rivera, and since Clear Channel, Limbaugh’s syndicator’s parent company, owns WOR in New York and other top properties, it was always presumed that a switch would be made when Limbaugh’s contract with Cumulus is up at the end of the year.