Rush Limbaugh Woes Worry Fans, Please Foes: Huge Decline In Ratings Signals The End Of An Era
Earlier this year, Rush Limbaugh was claiming that he caused MSNBC’s ratings woes, now the roles have been reversed, and it seems that there is no bouncing back. According to reports, Limbaugh more or less self-destructed after insulting Sandra Fluke in 2012, the ensuing controversy prompted WRKO-AM to fire him.
Just weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh was bragging about the fact that he was behind MSNBC’s decline in ratings. The conservative radio host said:
“They had a much higher audience when I was playing sound bites from that insane asylum every day on this program… so I banned ’em.”
Now, Rush Limbaugh is the one battling ratings woes that most say are self-inflicted. According to Media Matters, it all began in 2012 when Limbaugh took the airwaves to publicly shame Sandra Fluke, a college student, who testified before Congress in favor of contraception mandates for health care insurance. He had the following to say about the law student:
“What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
Since those controversial comments and seismic-size backlash, the conservative talk show host has been demoted so many times that it is hard to keep track. First, large-market affiliates in Los Angeles and New York dropped him because no company wanted to advertise on his show.
Boston and Indiana then announced they were no longer airing Limbaugh’s talk fest. This development forced Limbaugh’s syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, which pays him $50 million a year, to dump him on second or third-tier radio stations. The experts broke it down like this:
So with no takers in Boston, iHeartMedia turned to its lowly WKOX station, scrubbed its Spanish language format, and will flip it to “Talk 1430” on June 29, where listeners will hear a hodgepodge of far-right talk mixed Fox Sports Radio programming. “With the lack of options for gaining syndication revenue from another broadcaster, dumping the extraneous 1430 format becomes the only clear option for the company,” noted RadioInsight. And don’t expect Limbaugh to turn things around for WKOX. His show struggled on WRKO, which boasts a 50,000-watt signal. In contrast, WKOX broadcasts from a tiny 5,000-watt signal, which doesn’t even cover the entire Boston metropolitan area.
Along with advertisers fleeing, Rush Limbaugh’s downfall is caused by young people. Limbaugh just does not connect with the Facebook generation.
What are your thoughts on Rush Limbaugh’s ratings woes?