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View Diary: The Rush Limbaugh advertiser backlash is knocking down the radio networks (154 comments)

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  •  Rush has little to do with Cumulus (10+ / 0-)

    Cumulus is carrying a lot of debt, partly from buying out the former ABC Radio, partly from buying out the bankrupt Citadel Broadcasting chain.

    Cumulus isn't Rush; at best, his show accounts for three hours a day on some of their AM stations. The money these days -- what money there is, any way -- is in FM music radio. The AM's need to reinvent themselves, and that requires investment which Cumulus and its ilk seem to have trouble making.

    Most broadcasting companies are deeply in debt; this is because they overpaid greatly for stations they bought during the wave of speculation that followed Clinton's 1996 deregulation bill, which removed all obstacles to speculation in broadcast licenses and led to people paying more for radio stations than they can make back in a lifetime. Some companies, like Nassau Broadcasting, once the largest broadcaster in New England, have gone bankrupt.

    The traditional audience for talk radio is aging; the industry has begun to shift away from political talk and toward sports talk. Whether Limbaugh is boycotted or not, his best days are behind him unless he re-invents himself as a sports-talker. He needs to reach a younger audience, and the young won't listen to what he has to say.

    •  The traditional audience for hate talk is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mashed potatoes, eru, elwior, mightymouse


      Otherwise, talk is increasingly viable over 35.  

      Separating those two is important.  

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***

      by potatohead on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:00:04 AM PST

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      •  I hope you're right (6+ / 0-)

        I worry that new converts are still being added, whether to Limbaugh-type radio or to similar messaging on other venues

        But I do agree that the older folks who already have the hate radio habit are aging out of the population

        Anecdotally -- the one person in my extended family who has listened for decades to Limbaugh, and would constantly-- arghh! -- quote him in general conversation, won't be actually going to his grave for some years yet probably,

        but he is aging out of the "politically relevant" part of the population --- he's gone from being an Angry Middleaged Guy to an Angry Old Man to merely a somewhat cheerfully irritable one ---

        he recently said "I give up"

        what a great improvement for table talk over the upcoming holidays for me!

        •  Oh, they are. (1+ / 0-)
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          Count on it.

          IMHO, the numbers are lower, but what Limbaugh does is a sure thing.  Always some of us willing to go there and get our character issues validated instead of doing the work to get along with the other kids.

          The biggest positive I see out of this effort is a very shining example of where the boundaries are better placed.  If Limbaugh goes down, make no mistake!  There are 10 others groomed right now to fill slots.  None of them will have the impact he does, and part of that will be due to us tainting it, but they will be there and see some success.

          I'm hoping that opens the door a crack for progressive talkers.  They are needed.  That ecosystem is great for building national talent of all kinds.

          ***Be Excellent To One Another***

          by potatohead on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 12:13:59 PM PST

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    •  A lot of companies want out of AM (1+ / 0-)
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      They want to leave FM behind and leave that to smaller players. Radio has simply become a cheap advertising medium.

      FM music radio - because of LDR type systems that now automate music director duties - seeks to become Pandora lite. FM music stations want to be your local iPod that tells you the time and weather.

      •  They will fail (7+ / 0-)

        You can't compete with Pandora or an iPod for the people who want to hear their favorite songs. You need to get back into the entertainment business, and that means investing in talent. That goes for AM as well as FM.

        I've been in radio for more than thirty years; I remember what it used to be like, when people tuned in to hear their favorite jocks. That's largely gone now, no one tunes in to hear a computer unless they have no better alternative.

        •  I'd love for you to diary on this. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, llywrch, elwior, mightymouse

          I'm working on starting a LPFM station in my rural town. I think that while LPFMs will never become the force nationally that the Internet became, it can only do good for those towns and urban populations that have been underserved by the big radio conglomerates.

          "The truth will set you free...but first it'll piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

          by Sharoney on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 02:06:40 PM PST

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        •  I would expect the loss of local "favorite jocks" (1+ / 0-)
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          and near automation of radio is the reason for a piece of one of the quotes in this piece:

          The company operates 314 stations in 59 markets, primarily in small to midsize cities. Through its private-equity partnership, the company operates an additional 33 stations in larger cities such as Atlanta and San Francisco.
          I can still recognize local voices, even in local talk radio, in my metro area. Some have been around for decades. I don't get the impression that holds for most of the smaller cities, towns and rural areas that make up red state heartland. They are almost entirely on automated repeater broadcast from these networks. Is that correct?

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:45:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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