Rush Limbaugh Blame: Show Might Get Yanked From 40 Stations Thanks to "Slut" Comments

Rush Limbaugh is a giant who overshadows all competitors in the arena of talk radio. Any move that he makes could have reverberations throughout the entire industry. And in what perhaps could be the biggest shakeup in recent talk radio history, rumors are starting to fly that the right-wing talk show superstar may end his agreement with Cumulus Media.

Limbaugh leaving Cumulus would be huge, as 40 radio stations would instantly lose access to the talk show host, the most popular United States. Rival stations could pick his show and get an instant ratings boost up. The source of all of this conflict comes from comments that Limbaugh made about Sandra Fluke; comments that he claimed would cost him nothing but may have cost him his relationship with Cumulus in the end.

In the wake of Limbaugh’s controversial comments, there was a campaign to pressure sponsors to drop from the show or be subject to a boycott. There were reports of over 100 advertisers fleeing the program. Lew Dickey, the CEO of Cumulus Radio, claims that the boycott cost the company "millions" in 2012. In 2013 he doubled down on the claim that the comments hurt his revenue.

Limbaugh insists that the boycott and the advertisement loss did not affect him and that advertisers clamored to come back after the furor had died down. He dismissed the whole affair as a tempest in a teapot and claimed that he was doing better then ever in wake of the controversy.

However while it may not have affected him personally, it may have affected his relationship with Dickey and Cumulus. Sources told the NY Daily News that Limbaugh's side thought that Dickey was finding excuses for his own mismanagement of his business and that "Lew needs someone to blame, (so) he’s pointing fingers instead of fixing his own sales problem."

Limbaugh's current contract with Cumulus Media runs until the end of 2013 so there may be time to sooth over hurt feelings. But Cumulus has another earnings call on Tuesday. Dickey's is expected to bring up the Fluke controversy's effect on advertising again during the meeting when discussing lower earnings. It could rile an already strained relationship.

Whether it is a fault of advertisers leaving Limbaugh due to his comments about Sandra Fluke or mismanagement on the part of Dickey, its clear that the Fluke comments have worsened Limbaugh's relationship with Cumulus. It seems as though the tempest in a teapot may be spilling over into Limbaugh's lap.

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Gabriel Rodriguez

Gabriel Rodriguez is currently studying for a Masters in Applied Economics at Georgetown. He is a graduate of New College of Florida with a degree in Economics. He is interested in econometrics, statistical analysis, behavioral economics, and developmental economics.

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