Rush Limbaugh’s influence and career are circling the drain. As more stations drop Limbaugh’s program, fewer are willing to pick it up, reported Media Matters.
Limbaugh’s downward spiral began when large-market affiliates in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston gave the obnoxious radio host the boot. Limbaugh is now featured on mostly second or third-tier radio stations in those markets, but he will likely completely slip from those areas soon.
Limbaugh’s crumbling career is a perfect storm of departing advertisers, low ratings, and an over-priced, $50 million-a-year syndication fee. Media companies no longer view Limbaugh as a viable investment. Media Matters noted that Limbaugh’s professional woes began in 2012 when he insulted Sandra Fluke, the grad student who appeared before Congress and spoke about contraception.
“What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex?” said Limbaugh. “What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
A few days later, after a media backlash against Limbaugh, he publicly apologized for his “personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” The incident marked the beginning of the end for Limbaugh.
Cumulus Media carried Limbaugh for several years. Recently, the company publicly announced that it would not be continuing business with Limbaugh in major markets. Although Limbaugh wasn’t completely cut out of Cumulus, the company made it known that Limbaugh wasn’t “untouchable” anymore.
Limbaugh is also getting old and admitted that he longer identifies with his previous demographic. “Now that I’ve outgrown the 25-54 demographic, I’m no longer confident that the way I see the world is the way everybody else does.”
Other stations that have added Limbaugh to their programming do so reluctantly with the intent of merely filling in airtime.
“There’s no way iHeartMedia would’ve placed Limbaugh on an owned sports station if the company had any other affiliation options in the market,” said radio-industry reporter RadioInsight. “But when everyone one else says no and you need to save face, options become limited.”
Rush Limbaugh is on the way out, and it can’t happen any sooner. He’s becoming a prehistoric relic, much like his party.