×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cumulus Deal Doesn’t Cloud Outlook for Limbaugh, Hannity

Even if the parties don't reach agreement, the radio stars won't be hurting for offers

Politico dubbed its latest report on the prospect of radio owner Cumulus dropping mega-hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity a “major shakeup for the radio industry,” but it’s hard to see how, at least in any way that consumers will notice.

More like rearranging the furniture, or shuffling the deck chairs aboard the S.S. Incredibly Rich Guy.

Read the story a little closer, and this is a dispute over the cost of the programs, pure and simple. And while Cumulus does have a strong portfolio of stations, it’s not like rivals wouldn’t be eager to snap up the two highest-rated hosts in conservative talk, even if that includes enduring the occasional advertiser boycott directed at Limbaugh for saying the kind of outrageous things that ensure his listeners keep showing up.

On Monday’s program, Limbaugh — who isn’t always known for his staunch fidelity to accuracy — got it about right when he reassured self-proclaimed Ditto-heads not to worry about the Politico story, saying, “You are gonna be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it’s on now, and what you’re being treated to is just a public business negotiation.”

Whatever you think of his politics, Rush Limbaugh (and to a slightly lesser degree, Hannity) have demonstrated one thing: There’s almost no more cost-efficient form of programming in the history of media than a Republican firebrand and a microphone. Moreover, the marketing genius underlying the formula hinges on the belief among like-minded consumers that because the mainstream media heavily tilts left, only those voices are to be trusted — a perception that has only been strengthened during the Obama administration.

So even if Cumulus and Limbaugh/Hannity distributor Premiere Radio Networks do wind up parting ways, the forecast is anything but cloudy. In fact, it will be as simple as resetting those AM car buttons from 640 to 790.

Because this much is pretty clear: Rush Limbaugh will be hosting a radio program as long as his voice and interest in doing one hold out.

More Biz

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

  • Grammy Awards60th Annual Grammy Awards, Press

    Grammy Eligibility Year to Close One Month Early for 2020 Awards

    The eligibility year for the 2020 Grammy Awards will close on Aug. 31, one month earlier than usual, the Recording Academy announced today in a letter to members. The change is due to next year’s telecast taking place on Jan. 26, around two weeks earlier than usual (although the 2018 awards took place on Jan. [...]

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

  • Jon Platt Martin Bandier

    Read Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida's Memo Thanking Martin Bandier, Welcoming Jon Platt

    As outgoing Sony/ATV chief Martin Bandier (pictured above, right) finishes up his final week on the job, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida thanked him for his 12 years of service and welcomed incoming publishing CEO Jon Platt (above, left) who joins from Warner/Chappell. The letter, obtained by Variety and under the subject line “Warm wishes to [...]

  • iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia today announced a multi-year agreement with LiveXLive, a digital media company focused on live entertainment. According to the announcement, the deal combines content, production, distribution and promotion. The newly expanded partnership gives LiveXLive exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17 iHeartRadio marquee events this year, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content