Radio Network Set to Drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

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hannityPolitico reports that America’s No. 2 radio network is dropping Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. But there may well be more to this story.

Rush Limbaugh and Cumulus Media, the company that distributes the influential conservative’s talk-radio show in some 40 major markets, are headed for divorce, says Dylan Byers at Politico.

Citing “an industry source,” Byers says that Cumulus – the No. 2 radio network in the U.S., behind Clear Channel – won’t renew either the contract of Limbaugh or fellow conservative talker Sean Hannity at the end of the year. This is “a major shakeup for the radio industry,” Byers adds, and it’s hard to argue with that. Limbaugh and Hannity have the biggest and second-biggest talk radio shows, respectively, in the country. By a lot.

That also makes Limbaugh and Hannity very expensive, and this reported move by Cumulus to dump the two stars is about money. The two radio talkers are represented by Premiere Networks, a Clear Channel division, and Premiere reportedly wants more money than Cumulus thinks Limbaugh and Hannity are worth. Cumulus declined to comment on the rumors.

Limbaugh and Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey have been effectively negotiating in public since May, when Limbaugh threatened to leave Cumulus because Dickey had blamed Limbaugh’s 2012 on-air insults of Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke for driving advertisers away and costing Cumulus millions of dollars. Now, Limbaugh critics are calling this apparent breakdown in negotiations a win for the post-Fluke boycott.

“The boycotters did it,” agrees Jason Easley at Politicus USA. They got Cumulus to dump not only Limbaugh, but also Hannity. “Without the public pressure, bad publicity, and shame that the boycott brought on to his advertisers, Rush Limbaugh and Cumulus would probably still have a happy marriage.”

If Politico‘s report is true, “Limbaugh’s contentious and seemingly inevitable divorce from Cumulus Media and WABC has moved another step closer to reality,” says David Hinckley at the New York Daily News. But that doesn’t mean that Cumulus is dumping Limbaugh. “New York radio observers have been expecting for the past year that Limbaugh and probably Hannity would leave WABC, which is owned by Cumulus, for rival WOR,” recently purchased by Clear Channel.

That’s an important distinction, says Hinckley. And if Limbaugh goes to Clear Channel, it’s not like he’ll be off the airwaves. His legions of fans would just have to change the presets on their radios.

And Cumulus wouldn’t drop conservative talk radio altogether – it would just switch personalities, says Byers. In recent weeks, “Cumulus has been quietly reaching out to radio talent agents and political insiders about new local and regional station hosts to fill some of the airtime that will be left vacant by Limbaugh and Hannity,” he says. “Cumulus is also expected to move some of its existing talent – which includes Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage – into one of the slots.”

“Cumulus has already tried to position Huckabee as a ‘safe’ alternative to Limbaugh,” says Adam Martin at New York. Huckabee doesn’t have a huge following, according to Talkers magazine’s most recent analysis, but Savage and Levin do.

Readers should take Politico‘s entire report with a healthy grain of salt, says Radio Ink. “A story like this always seems to pop up around the quarterly earnings call,” and it’s most likely a negotiating tactic as Cumulus and Premier haggle over a price. For what it’s worth, “a source tells Radio Ink nothing has been decided and a deal could even be worked out in the next month or so.”

Read more at Yahoo’s The Week.

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  1. There’s a point when entertainers–who rake it in at our expense– become outright dangerous. We stopped listening to these characters many years ago.

  2. ATT #3: I would guess that you voted for obama like he is a god or something.
    We have ‘ONE G-D’
    Comparisons as your is not done or even thought of.
    The radio personalities give an opinion…as you just did. You dont like their opinion change the station, you dont like mine go to the next comment…

    You call yourself a loser?
    only if you think of yourself as a loser.

    Knowledge and opinion is called arrogant?
    Yes I get that same comment when I defend TORAH AND ISRAEL becAUSE I CONFRONT THE HATERS WITH HISTORICAL FACTS and not emotions.

    Dont be angry at others.
    No one was promised wealth and success but we have equal opportunities.

    Do your best and look up to HASHEM ONCE IN AWHILE.TRY A LITTLE PRAY at least with the prayers you know you will get reward at least up iin the next world.

    life is tough ,,,B’H, YOURE ALIVE TO FACE IT.

  3. How stupid can Cumulus be?! Hush & Vannity are the biggest money makers! Isn’t that what its all about? MONEY MONEY MONEY! Why would a Corporation dump their 2 biggest money makers because of a few Liberals who don’t listen to talk radio anyway?!

  4. Interesting comments all. But, the fact is that their message is conservative (albeit a little more self important than I like). And the reason you folks want them gone is because you want one line of news, the liberal/socialist line.

    They may be arrogant, but most of thier commentary is on point – as are their guests commentaries.

    It isn’t facist to be conservative. And they both support Israel – which is in direct opposition to the liberal/social cast that rule the country at the moment.

    They will be back on the radio, and they will absolutely destroy the competition – just like they have for years now.

    Nothing will change.

  5. They are not arrogant, especially compared to the Administration. We should be careful not to diss public supporters of Israel, which Limbaugh and Hannity are. The national Democrats gladly take our votes every year and turn on Israel at every opportunity.

  6. “Hush & Vannity are the biggest money makers!”

    Not any more. They are toxic to advertisers, who’ve been placing ads through other venues. Had they still been making money this would not have happened.

  7. How strange – I find ‘religious’ responders here side with liberalism instead of conservatism. Boggles the mind.

  8. They are pro Israel! If not for anything else they stick up for us Jews and put down the Muslims. Who will voice their opinion now?


    If you tell me that you studied those laws then you know the reasons and you would not ask as a non religious questioner

  10. These are not ‘religious’ responders here side with liberalism instead of conservatism. They are paid to comment wherever they can.

    Its obvious they are the best in their field by their audience numbers. This whole scheme is a cover up of the mismanagement of funds by Cumulus. See if they do better without these personalities.


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