Someone passed me their used copy of radio industry analyst Holland Cooke's September 2012 newsletter which tells a fascinating story, not just of Rush Limbaugh in a slow free-fall, but also of his syndicator Premiere Networks being knocked off its pedestal because of Rush.
Holland Cooke sells his newsletter to pay the bills. I won't quote everything Cooke says about Rush because I want to respect his ability to pay those bills (as we all must). Snippets, folks.
Under a headline, "NOW IT BEGINS: LESS LIMBAUGH CLOUT = WEAKER BECK CRAM-DOWN", Cooke points out that Limbaugh is damaged, and therefore Rush syndicator Premiere Networks' Glenn Beck is weaker as well. Geraldo Rivera replaced Glenn Beck on a dozen stations last month. Cooke asks, "Imagine that happening even a year ago?" Cooke explains the weakening of Premiere Networks by reminding us, "Rush de-valued his franchise in the 'slut'/'prostitute'/'sex video' episode."
Premiere is so weakened, Cooke speculates, that Cumulus may soon challenge Sean Hannity, another top level conservative Premiere Networks talker, by scheduling a big name on their own stations in his time period. Cooke also notes industry speculation that "Cumulus will swap-in its Mike Huckabee Show when Limbaugh contracts expire, beginning in 2013".
In case you missed that, we're talking about the very real possibility that Rush Limbaugh will begin to lose stations as early as next year.
Addressing a Rush Limbaugh move from one station to another in Boston, Cooke observed that "Premiere raised eyebrows shoring-up another top 10 Limbaugh [station] last month… Is Limbaugh there because he’s good? Or good-because-he’s-there? If Rush couldn't draw flies at the lesser stick he’s leaving, does he need WRKO's 50KW signal?"
("Stick", referring specifically to the radio broadcast tower, is also common radio jargon for a radio station.)
Cooke continues, the "station he’s leaving fired its local morning and afternoon hosts and program director. The station went all-comedy. Witness the danger of hitching-your-wagon-to any one star. And note: The-same-company-owning-the-show-AND-the-station is no longer a lock...when the show is 'too big to fail.' "
The one "too big to fail" star is, of course, Rush.
Cooke covered the same information about Dial Global's Rush-related losses that I explored here. But he also mentioned in his September newsletter that "more recently, eBay, Sam's Club, and the Gap have reportedly pulled out of Limbaugh’s show."
We had previously announced eBay and Sam's Club. The Gap was one of those companies that I had declined to identify when they first informed us, simply because they seemed concerned about possible right wing blow-back of the sort endured by Arby's. When Arby's announced publicly that it was dropping Rush, it was alone in the news cycle, and became the focus of ditto-head ire for a period of time.
That Gap dropped Rush never really was a secret. I had noted it here in an update, without mentioning the name. I just thought better than to trumpet it, when the news was still fresh (and likely to get a lot of publicity). Well, now with acknowledgement in Holland Cooke's newsletter, the Gap "cat" is fully out of the bag.
Note that Sears also recently affirmed their drop, and I note that SarahCare is reported as having dropped a while back — a story which I had missed.
Of course we continue to have local companies drop their ads from the Limbaugh program most every day. Too many to report, and generally we won't report them anyway for their protection.
Oh, I'd like to share one more Holland Cooke headline from a past issue:
"RADIO’S EMBARASSMENT-OF-THE-YEAR: RUSH LIMBAUGH — LONG-TERM FALLOUT, EVEN FOR NON-AFFILIATES"
I missed that issue, sorry to say. But I'll bet it was a good one.
Perhaps the greatest indication that Rush is losing support within the industry, however, comes from the National Association of Broadcasters' wing-ding last week, at which a number of panelists supported the argument that Rush Limbaugh's career is, or should be, finished.
Of course, not everyone sees it that way.
|The greatest threat to Rush Limbaugh's continued propagandizing is the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech by joining Flush Rush on Facebook, and other groups that use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing. Please consider joining.|