Cumulus Media drop Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh over costs
No one is indispensable in talk radio as two titans fall
According to Politico, Cumulus Media, the nation's second biggest broadcaster, is planning to drop the two conservative titans from its stations at the end of the year.
Cumulus has decided not to renew its contracts with either, removing the two biggest conservative talk show hosts from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets.
Negotiations between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity's shows, reportedly broke down due to disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights.
Cumulus and Clear Channel have been down this path before concerning contract negotiations, but both sides blinked. This time Clear Channel was reportedly unwilling to reduce the cost for distribution rights to a level that would satisfy Cumulus.
It seems to be all over. In recent weeks, Cumulus has been scouting new radio talent agents for new local and regional station hosts to fill some of the airtime that will be left vacant by the suddenly canned Limbaugh and Hannity.
Cumulus is also expected to reposition some of its current conservative stable, which includes Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage, into one of the vacant slots.
A spokesperson for Limbaugh was not immediately available for comment to Politico. Hannity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some say the curse of Sandra Fluke keeps adding to Limbaugh's woes.
In May, a source close to Limbaugh reportedly told Politico that the portly pundit was considering ending his affiliation agreement with Cumulus because its CEO Lew Dickey was blaming the company's advertising losses on Limbaugh's controversial remarks about Fluke, the Georgetown law student who cost Limbaugh millions in lost revenue after he referred to her as a 'slut' and a 'prostitute' on his program.
Dickey reported a $2.4 million first-quarter decline in revenue related to talk programming, which he attributed, indirectly, to Limbaugh's remarks about Fluke.
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