Monday, July 29, 2013

Cumulus Media Dropping Limbaugh and Hannity

Politico reports that Cumulus Media is planning to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from their stations by the end of the year. According to Politico, the reason is that Cumulus wants Limbaugh and Hannity to take a pay cut.

Cumulus declined to comment for this story: "Cumulus is not in a position to comment about negotiations with talent under contract, no matter what the rumor of the day might be," a spokesperson told POLITICO.

But 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, industry sources said. 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.

The way radio ratings is being calculated is changing. Advertisers now realize that there isn't a big market for AM talk radio. The Daily Beast broke down the numbers and it isn't pretty.

A look at radio’s PPM ratings for the largest talk radio market in the nation bears this out. An apples-to-apples comparison of ratings between November ’09 and November ’10 in the New York area shows that Rush Limbaugh’s ratings on WABC declined from 5.4 to 5.0—despite the crescendo of a GOP election year landslide. Likewise, year-end to year-end comparisons of the crucial 24 to 55 demographic show that Rush declined from 3.7 to 2.6—while his packaged follow-up acts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin narrowly declined and flat-lined, respectively. And Hannity was dropped from his Philadelphia radio station along with Beck last month after being dropped from his syndicator in Salt Lake City (!) last year before finding a new home in the area.

I say good riddance.

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