On the bright side, it gave one of those pundits something to talk about today. Rush Limbaugh announced today on his syndicated radio show that CBS has “declared war on the heartland of America” by hiring Colbert. (Watch his rant below.)
Rush Limbaugh made sure today to goose those media reports that suggested his longtime radio partnership with Cumulus Media was over when he announced on his radio show that he had re-upped with the company in a new three-year deal. Reports first surfaced in July that the broadcaster was planning to not renew deals with Limbaugh and fellow host Sean Hannity following negotiation breakdowns with Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, which distributes both shows. That came after Limbaugh reportedly mulled leaving Cumulus in May after receiving blame for advertiser decline in the wake of his controversial Sandra Fluke comments. The Rush Limbaugh Show currently airs weekdays on 40 Cumulus stations. Said Limbaugh today: “On either Wednesday night or Thursday, we completed our negotiations with Cumulus Media, and there will not be any changes. I will continue to be on their radio stations for the next three years. It was really never in doubt…” The only change going forward for the show will be in New York, where the show is leaving WABC and moving to WOR beginning January 1. “My syndication partner is Clear Channel Communications, and they own WOR, and so we’re gonna go to our own radio station in New York”, Limbaugh said today on-air.
UPDATE, 10:40 AM: “Suffice it to say, nothing is going to happen that you will notice,” Rush Limbaugh said today in response to a Politico story that says Cumulus plans to drop his syndicated show, as well as one from Sean Hannity. Limbaugh assured listeners that “you will be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more radio stations down the road than it is on now.” He says he “must use proper business restraint” in discussing his talks even though “negotiations have been taken public by one side.” One day “I am looking forward to detailing all of this for you,” he says. But however things play out, he told fans, “I want to assure you: everything’s cool.”
With his contract up at the end of the year, Rush Limbaugh is thinking of pulling his radio show off Cumulus Media stations. More than a year after he called law student and activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” the host is sick of being blamed by company CEO Lew Dickey for the Cumulus’ declining ad revenue, says Politico. On 40 Cumulus stations across the country, Limbaugh believes the real reason ad revenue is down is underperformance by the company’s outlets. The possible talk radio shift comes just ahead of a quarterly earning call tomorrow with Dickey. Last August, Dickey said Limbaugh’s February 2012 remarks calling Georgetown law student Fluke a “slut” cost the company’s top trio of stations about $5.5 million in ad revenue. This March, he referred to the company as revenue “challenged” by the fallout from Limbaugh’s remarks. Year to date, Cumulus’ stock is up 38.6% and up 14.6% over the past 12 months. Read More »
It’s not clear how the conservative talk show host affected Dial Global — the radio programming company that merged last year with Westwood One. (Limbaugh is syndicated by Clear Channel.) But Dial says in an SEC filing that “advertisers’ response to controversial statements by a certain nationally syndicated talk radio personality in March 2012″ contributed to financial woes that raise “substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The March date coincides with an advertiser boycott of Limbaugh following his attacks on Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, who urged Congress to require employer health insurance plans to cover contraception.
But Limbaugh appears to be the least of Dial’s problems: Its stock is down nearly 77% today, to about 47 cents, after it said that it may not be able to meet its debt covenants and will voluntarily leave NASDAQ to just trade over the counter. The company reported a Q3 net loss Read More »
John Cusack is attached to a film about talk radio host Rush Limbaugh but it is very early yet, according to his production company. “New Crime Productions and John Cusack are currently considering a project about the larger-than-life radio personality, Rush Limbaugh. Betty Thomas, who covered similar terrain in her portrait of Howard Stern, is interested in directing. The script would explore the rise and reinvention of American Talk Radio, and Limbaugh’s continued influence and impact over the last three decades in that world,” said True Crimes Productions today. Cusack would play Limbaugh in the proposed movie. Thomas directed the 1997 Stern biopic Private Parts. The Rush film would not be a liberal take on the conservative Clear Channel radio host but take a non-partisan approach, an individual close to Cusack’s production company tells Deadline. A constant critic of George W. Bush’s administration, Cusack has never made any secret of his politically liberal POV. This whole thing first bubbled up late last week when director and former Hill Street Blues actress Thomas told the Associated Press a Rush project just required some “finishing touches” and would go into production next year. Thomas exaggerated how far along the Rush film actually is, says a source. “It is very early days and I don’t even think there is a finished script and even then it … Read More »
The Clear Channel radio personality said in today’s broadcast that the makers of Warner Bros‘ The Dark Knight Risesare surreptitiously trying to brainwash audiences by naming the film’s villain “Bane.” You know, like Mitt Romney’s former employer: Bain Capital. Rush Limbaugh says that moviegoers — especially “a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd” – are “gonna hear Bane in the movie and they’re gonna associate Bain. The thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie… There are some people who think it’ll work. Others think you’re really underestimating the American people to think that will work.” Limbaugh adds: “You may think it’s ridiculous, I’m just telling you this is the kind of stuff the Obama team is lining up. The kind of people who would draw this comparison are the kind of people that they are campaigning to. These are the kind of people that they are attempting to appeal to.”
Batman comics introduced Bane in 1993. Actor Robert Swenson played the villain in the 1997 film Batman & Robin that starred George Clooney.
You can find the transcript on Limbaugh’s website. Here’s the audio, captured by Media Matters, a progressive watchdog group: Read More »
Rush Limbaugh‘s supporters and critics both claim victory a month after the radio talk-show host made incendiary comments about law student Sandra Fluke. Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks — which syndicates The Rush Limbaugh Show — says that advertisers are coming back. “Contrary to the wishful thinking of the professional special interest groups, reports of sponsors fleeing The Rush Limbaugh Show are grossly exaggerated,” the company says. “In fact, the program retains virtually all of its long-term sponsors who continue to have great success with The Rush Limbaugh Show.” Several advertisers wanted off after February 29: Many people said that Limbaugh crossed the line from acceptable commentary to unacceptable hate speech when he called Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” following her testimony at a congressional meeting in favor of employer health plan coverage of contraceptives. He apologized for using the inflammatory words. Still, sponsors considered him so radioactive that Premiere ordered about 600 stations that carry his show to suspend national barter spots for two weeks. That period ended on Monday. Limbaugh’s defamatory comments about Fluke were “part of the normal day-to-day of talk radio,” Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman told the Associated Press this week.
Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry introduced a measure last night that calls on media companies to keep their on-air hosts from using and promoting “racist and sexist slurs” on radio and other broadcasts. Her legislation follows KFI talk radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou’s suspension for describing Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” three days after her February death. Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmember Bernard Parks endorse the resolution, along with members of Black Media Alliance, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Korean-American Bar Association, and American Indians in Film and Television. The proposal cites previous examples of KFI hosts making “racially offensive comments as well as deplorable sexist remarks, particularly towards women and Black, Latino, and Asian communities.” It calls on KFI’s parent company Clear Channel Communications and other broadcasters to hire a more diverse workforce. Perry’s resolution also cited Rush Limbaugh’s repeated reference to Sandra Fluke as a “prostitute” and a “slut” for her testimony before Congress earlier this month in support of women having access to contraception.
Bill Maher’s profane characterizations of women including Sarah Palin are “not excusable in any way,” President Obama’s chief election strategist David Axelrod says a day after word spread that he backed out of of an appearance on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. But he adds in an interview running tonight on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront that Rush Limbaugh’s blasts at Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke were worse: “He’s the de facto boss of the (Republican) party.” Although Limbaugh apologized for calling Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute,” Axelrod says the attacks were part of “a perverse soliloquy.” Here’s the clip:
Here’s the latest indication many sponsors consider him to radioactive: Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, which syndicates Rush Limbaugh, told stations yesterday that it has suspended its national ads on his show for two weeks, according to industry trade site Radio-Info.com. ”Please replace/re-traffic any Premiere barter spots immediately,” the memo says. “Contractual requirements to run barter spots are being suspended for these two weeks only. Replace them with Lifelock and Lear Financial or a local spot of your choice.” About 140 advertisers have publicly said that they don’t want to be on Limbaugh’s show according to a tally being kept by the politically progressive group Think Progress. The latest directive, which Radio-Info characterizes as “unusual,” follows the company’s circulation last week of another memo telling stations that 98 major advertisers asked to be kept off of shows such as Limbaugh’s that are “likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.” The controversy began Read More »
The environment is becoming chilly for commentators who traffic in incivility. Clear Channel’s syndication unit Premiere Networks gave its sales force a list of 98 companies — including major auto makers, insurance companies, and restaurant chains — that want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public,” according to a memo obtained by Radio-Info.com, a trade news site. And lest there be any doubt, the order says: “They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).” Companies asking to avoid those shows included Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm, McDonald’s, and Subway. Read More »
The exodus from Rush Limbaugh‘s syndicated radio show didn’t seem to slow today following his apology for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He made the comments last week after she urged Congress to require employer health insurance plans to cover contraception. The number of advertisers who’ve said that they’re withdrawing their support for the show rose to 35 according to a count by the politically progressive Web site Think Progress. The list now includes AccuQuote Life Insurance, Service Magic, PolyCom, Hadeed Carpet, Thompson Creek, and St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut. In addition, two radio stations have dropped Limbaugh: KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii and WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass. WBEC said that it would stop carrying the show beginning March 15 because ”Rush’s defamatory and disparaging remarks about Ms. Fluke clearly violated the standards we have set for our stations.” Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh, said that ”in an attempt at absurdist humor to illustrate his political point, Mr. Limbaugh used words that unfortunately distracted from the message he was trying to convey.” It added that he “did the right thing” by offering “his sincere and heartfelt apology to Ms. Fluke.” Bloomberg commentator Michael Kinsley says though, that ”the self-righteous parade out the door by Limbaugh’s advertisers is hard to stomach. Had they never listened to Rush before, in all the years they had been paying for commercials on his show? His … Read More »
The Internet content company said on its Facebook page that “one of our core values is that we act with integrity” – and acted to protest Limbaugh’s characterization last week of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute.” The influential radio host attacked Fluke after she told a congressional hearing that the government should require employer health care plans, including Georgetown’s, to pay for contraception. AOL said it decided to ”suspend advertising” on Limbaugh’s show because his “comments are not in line with our values.” Other companies that have backed away from the broadcast include Carbonite, Citrix, LegalZoom, ProFlowers, Quicken Loans, and mattress companies Sleep Train and Sleep Number. Limbaugh has apologized for his comments. He said on today’s broadcast that his comments about Fluke were “inappropriate” and “uncalled for,” adding, “I do not think she is either of those two words.” With his attacks, he said, ”I acted too much like the leftists who despise me.” Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks syndicates Limbaugh’s show.