Rushbo-dammerung

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entertainment and popular culture, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

OK, so there are primaries in Alabama and Mississippi today. Nate says it’s very tight. I don’t care who wins.

Ed Schulz had a segment on Rush and the talk radio business, and there was a fellow from the radio business named Holland Cook who had a lot of illuminating things to say.

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The problem for Rush isn’t just a loss of advertising revenue. As Cook explains, the way the business works is that syndicated shows usually offer free or low-cost content to radio stations, and the stations and the syndicator split the ad revenue. But Rush has been collecting high licensing fees from the stations for the privilege of running his program, and Cook says that stations are not going to put up with that for long if the advertising dries up. It’s actually less expensive for the stations to hire someone to create their own content than to air Rush.

Rush’s syndicate has told the stations it is “suspending” national ads for two weeks. I believe this means the stations run their own ads and keep all the revenue. This may be a measure to keep more stations from dropping Rush.

There is also talk that a lot of stations might drop Rush in favor of a new syndicated program by Mike Huckabee, which begins April 2. It’s to run in Rush’s noon-to-3 time. That program was in the works before the Fluke meltdown, which suggests that Huckabee’s syndicator, Cumulus Media, already thought Rush was vulnerable.

Getting back to this David Frum article — Frum says something I speculated about a few days ago. The speed at which so many advertisers suddenly dumped Rush suggests that many of them had been questioning their ad buys on Rush’s show before Fluke.

This background may explain why so many of Limbaugh’s advertisers bolted for the exits when the Fluke rampage went wrong for Limbaugh. It wasn’t social conscience: Limbaugh has said offensive things before. It wasn’t social media: Facebook and Twitter existed back in 2009, when Limbaugh explained how the Obama presidency had emboldened black schoolkids to beat up whites on schoolbuses.

The difference this time is that Limbaugh’s advertisers and his stations had already begun to feel ripped off.

On top of that, Rush’s audience is, um old.

And make no mistake: Limbaugh’s audience is very old. One station manager quipped to me, “The median age of Limbaugh’s audience? Deceased.”

This is not to say that Rush is going to disappear tomorrow. However, I think it’s unlikely that his business model is going to bounce back to what it had been before Fluke. It’s nearly certain that he will lose some stations and a lot of revenue; his syndicator might have to reduce or waive licensing fees to keep Rush’s show marketable, for example.

What I hope for, though, is that Rush’s position as the feared grand high exalted poo-bah and unelected leader of movement conservatism may be coming to an end. This would be a good thing.

Oh, and let’s get Rush booted from Armed Forces Radio.

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9 Comments

8 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 13, 2012 @9:23 am

    So, Rush may not face a ‘rush to judegement,’ but the death of ‘a thousand’ cuts.

    Well, I’m ok with either one – though I’m kind of rooting for the latter. It’s the one that’s the most slow and painful.

    Oh, to watch that pompous Hindenberg of hate explode might be fun.
    But to watch him slowly whither down to the size of balloon that you can make into animals for the kiddies, might be even more fun.

    Watching his ego deflate along side with his influence will hurt him far more.

    It’s easier to say you became a martyr for a cause when you’re crucified (fired), than when you were slowly eroded from power by a lack of commercial sponsors.

    And no stigmata…

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 13, 2012 @9:37 am

    But I suppose no matter what happens, Rush will cry that the Liberal MSM was too cowardly to crucify him on a cross, and instead, worked to get his sponsors to double-cross him and his loyal, ditto-head, listeners – and to keep them from hearing the truth, as only Rust can tell it.

    And, if there’s an angle, this fat, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, closeted pederast, and hypocritical drug addict, will find a way to exploit it he always has.
    The American people are endlessly stupid and gullible.

  3. maha  •  Mar 13, 2012 @9:43 am

    Well, yeah, if Rush is half the sociopath I think he is, he’ll never acknowledge to himself that he did anything wrong. And the dittoheads will follow him off a cliff. But true dittoheads are a fringe group.

  4. Felicity  •  Mar 13, 2012 @12:52 pm

    If the true dittoheads are a fringe/gringe group, can we safely say that the present Republican slate for president is also a fringe/gringe group since they seem to be loathe to criticize the Rush.

    Actually, I’m beginning to believe that no one in his right mind would run for president these days because no one in his right mind is running for president these days. (When will we wake up to the fact that our present system of government, the presidential system, is an utter failure and must be changed.)

  5. maha  •  Mar 13, 2012 @12:56 pm

    Actually, I’m beginning to believe that no one in his right mind would run for president these days because no one in his right mind is running for president these days.

    I can’t argue with that. :-)

  6. Swami  •  Mar 13, 2012 @1:09 pm

    Rush can always fill that empty advertising air space by playing his ingenious little song Barack the Magic Negro.. Some easy listening to calm the fears of his dittoheads.

  7. khughes1963  •  Mar 13, 2012 @6:41 pm

    Perhaps Rush is facing the comeuppance he has richly deserved all of these years. In other words, karma works.

  8. Swami  •  Mar 13, 2012 @8:26 pm

    Well, Rushbo…I can charm a women into excepting being called a feminazi as a term of endearment. So maybe it wasn’t your poor choice of words. It was your poor choice of spirit.

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