One of the biggest names in talk radio may soon be flapping his gums at a new station. Ad revenues have dropped at WABC in New York and some of the higher-ups at the station are blaming the decrease on the controversial comments of Rush Limbaugh.
The outspoken talk host says that it’s not his fault, but it has been speculated that he might soon be working at rival station WOR. Limbaugh’s contract is up at the end of the year.
Lew Dickey, the CEO of WABC parent company Cumulus, called the ad sales slump at the station a “residual hangover.” A source close to Limbaugh reportedly said: “Lew needs someone to blame.”
The problems began when Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” for pressuring Washington lawmakers to require insurance providers to cover birth control.
After that incident many sponsors pulled their advertising. Sears, Geico, John Deere, Netflix, Capitol One and the New York Lottery all stopped promoting themselves via Limbaugh’s show.
Dickey claims that incident cost Cumulus “a couple of million” in the first quarter of 2012 and “a couple of million” in the second quarter. He said that Cumulus was “hit pretty hard by this,” when talking about the Fluke incident, The New York Daily News reported.
“It’s a very serious discussion, because Dickey keeps blaming Rush for his own revenue problems," said a source close to the show. "Dickey’s talk stations underperform talk stations owned by other operators in generating revenue by a substantial margin. It’s not a single show issue... it’s a failure of the entire station. And trying to blame Rush for that is not much of a business partnership."