By Elaine Magliaro
Over at Salon, Eric Boehlert has an article about Rush Limbaugh–the porcine, cigar-smoking, right-wing talk show host–being dropped by yet another radio station. Boehlert said that the bad news for the bloated bloviator is that things continue to get worse for him.
Boehlert explained. He noted that in April news broke that Limbaugh “was being dropped by WIBC in Indianapolis, a booming talk powerhouse that played home to Limbaugh’s radio show for more than two decades.” Boehlert said the news this week is that Limbaugh’s “new address on the Indianapolis dial is going to be WNDE, a ratings doormat AM sports station that has so few listeners it trails the commercial-free classical music outlet in town.”
The humbling, red-state tumble is just the latest setback for the conservative talker who has seen his once-golden career suffer a steady series of losses recently.
Divorced from successful, longtime affiliates in places like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Indianapolis, Limbaugh’s professional trajectory is heading downward. That’s confirmed by the second and third-tier stations he now calls home in those important media markets, and the fact that when his show became available, general managers up and down the dial passed on it. Apparently turned off by the show’s hefty price tag, sagging ratings, and disappearing advertisers, Limbaugh continues to be a very hard sell.
It’s a precipitous fall from the glory days when the host posted huge ratings numbers, had affiliates clamoring to join his network, and dictated Republican politics. All of that seems increasingly distant now. With his comically inflated, $50 million-a-year syndication deal set to expire next year, Limbaugh’s future seems uncertain. “Who would even want someone whose audience is aging and is considered toxic to many advertisers,” asked RadioInsight last month.
Boehlert said that Limbaugh’s troubles were precipitated “by key events from 2012 and 2013.” The first incident that “sparked an unprecedented advertiser exodus” was the bloviator’s tirade about Sandra Fluke, the graduate student who testified before Congress about health care and women’s access to contraceptives. You may remember Limbaugh calling the articulate young woman a “slut” and saying that she should post videos of herself having sex on the Internet.
This video will help to refresh your memory:
Rush Limbaugh Calls a Female Georgetown Student, Sandra Fluke, a ‘Slut’
Jason Easley (Politicususa) also noted that things were not going so well for the portly spouter of right-wing rhetoric. Easley said, “Things have gone from bad to worse for Rush Limbaugh. Not only are radio stations looking to dump him, but his show is being forced to move to smaller lower-rated stations in an attempt to prevent a mass exodus of stations that carry his show.”
Indianapolis Business Journal:
The Rush Limbaugh Show—set to be dropped by WIBC-FM 93.1 next month—will continue to be heard on Indianapolis radio airwaves without interruption after being picked up by iHeartMedia Inc.
iHeartMedia Indianapolis announced Wednesday that it will begin airing Limbaugh live on weekdays on a new local station, 97.5 FM, beginning Monday, July 6, from noon to 3 p.m. It will air the same time on iHeartMedia’s WNDE-AM 1260.
Easley said that means that Limbaugh will be going “from being on a top ten station in the city to a station in the bottom three.” Easley added that it has been “widely rumored that Limbaugh is about to get the boot off of his station in Chicago after his ratings have fallen to 24th place in the city with an audience of 121,000 listeners.” He continued by saying that radio stations “don’t want Limbaugh’s show because of the combination of low ratings, poor advertising revenue, and declining audience.”
Things have gotten so bad that Cumulus had to scramble shove Limbaugh’s show on to a low rated Indianapolis sports station because they feared a mass exodus of affiliates. According to RadioInsight, “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. You can bet iHeart’s local management would much rather utilize their new translator for something other than a mish-mosh of Sports and Limbaugh. But when everyone…else says no and you need to save face, options become limited. This way iHeart can spin it that they were able to find a strong affiliate for Limbaugh in Indianapolis to potentially keep other affiliates from bailing.”
Easley said Limbaugh’s talk program “is being dropped from stations that he has been on for decades because his show is a big money loser for the stations who carry it.” He added, “More stations would love to dump Limbaugh, but Premiere and Clear Channel are shoving him down the throats of the stations that they own, and the former cash cow of conservative talk radio is being demoted to second and third tier stations in an attempt to stop the bleeding.”
According to radio consultant and self-identified Republican Darryl Parks, conservative talk radio is a “format fewer advertisers are interested in buying because of its aging audience.” Parks said, “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.”
That disconnect may be fueling Limbaugh’s waning political influence. Once a mighty player whose ring was constantly kissed by Republicans, this campaign season seems to be unfolding with Limbaugh on the sidelines, his clout and his ability to drive the conversation seemingly surpassed by other conservative media players.
Oh, say it ain’t so! Poor, poor Rush. Whatever will he do? Wherever will he go? My heart bleeds for him!
Here are three “Limbaughrhymes” that I wrote several years ago:
A Couplet about Rush Limbaugh
A pompous, porcine bag of gas.
I tell myself—this, too, shall pass.
Why Don’t Women Like Rush Limbaugh?: A Rhyming Response
Limbaugh, Limbaugh, cookies and cream,
Rush kissed the girls and made them scream.
He asked them if they’d like to play
But the feminazis ran away.
Limbaugh, Limbaugh, pudding and pie,
Ole clueless Rush couldn’t figure why
He didn’t rate with the “weaker” sex.
Maybe it’s ’cause he has three necks!
Maybe it’s ’cause he’s full of bile
And sports a snide satanic smile
And calls us babes—and things much worse.
Here’s your answer, Rush, in this little verse.
Winnie the Pooh-Bah and the Hundred Acre Wood
(With apologies to A. A. Milne)
He lives in the forest
But he can’t see the trees.
He suffers from
Far-right optical disease.
He looks at things his way—
And not as they are.
This Winnie Pooh-Bah reigns
As GOP Czar.
He sits on his wooden throne,
An old oak stump…
And talks into his microphone.
He likes to harrumph
About the feminazis,
Liberals and their kin.
And for one Know-Nothing?
He can make an awful din.
He blathers and he blusters
And he bloviates.
He’s the pope of the radio.
He’s the GOP prophet,
Its spokesperson divine.
Its senators and congressman
Must toe his party line.
They all must pledge allegiance.
They must grovel at his feet…
And like a flock of dittoheads
Must follow him and bleat.
The Tiggers and the Piglets
And all the little Roos
Consider this plump Pooh-Bah
Their one official Muse.
The heffalumps and jagulars,
The foxes, deer, and pheasant
Have all left the forest
’Cause they find his noise unpleasant.
He spouts and he sputters
In the Hundred Acre Wood—
This lord who wears a crown beneath
His snowy white hood.
Limbaugh show lands at new iHeartMedia station (Indianapolis Business Journal)