Rush Limbaugh Losing Cumulus. Will Clear Channel Wake Up?

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Cumulus Media is reportedly dropping both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from their talk show lineup at the end of the year. On one level, this is about the overall decline of conservative political rhetoric. But it also represents victory for the StopRush campaign, which Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey credited in May with a steep decline in advertiser revenue. The StopRush campaign has been so successful that volunteers are down to stripping away the Public Service Announcements (PSAs). We are close to the day that Rush Limbaugh only ever breaks to a few minutes of dead air — but you would not know that from the behavior of Clear Channel. POLITICO:

The decision comes after negotiations between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity’s shows, broke down due to disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights, the source said. Cumulus is known to drive a hard bargain on costs, and Clear Channel is known to seek top dollar for big names.

As industry insiders caution, Cumulus and Clear Channel have come to the brink before during contract negotiations only to resume talks. But the source told POLITICO that Clear Channel was unlikely to reduce the cost for distribution rights to a level that would satisfy Cumulus.

Back in May, Limbaugh was threatening to leave Cumulus if they didn’t meet his asking price. It doesn’t seem as if Clear Channel has enjoyed any more success in that negotiation than Limbaugh did. They are asking Cumulus to accept a high price while bleeding advertiser revenue with every commercial break.

Perhaps Clear Channel imagines that StopRush will be unable to find Limbaugh on the radio if they change networks? If so, the company ought to understand that it will not be that easy. Whoever picks up Limbaugh, they will surely bleed cash, too. StopRush will make sure of it. As I said nearly eighteen months ago, we are a social movement dedicated to deflating the artificial monetary value of Rush Limbaugh. We are succeeding. The sooner Clear Channel accepts that, the better for their business and their bottom line.

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ProgLegs keeps a great Daily Kos diary for StopRush.

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