Rush Limbaugh says blame for ad revenue singing at his flagship WABC radio station doesn’t lie with him.
The conservative radio host has heaped bad press on WABC in the past year, including remarks in February 2012 when he called college student Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she testified before Congress in favor of a mandate to cover birth control under health insurance. The flap led WABC CEO Lew Dickey to blame Rush Limbaugh when the station’s ad revenue declined.
There would seem to be some truth to Dickey’s belief that Rush Limbaugh is to blame. After the remarks about Fluke, activists organized a boycott campaign of Limbaugh’s show. The actions led several hundred advertisers, including Sears, Geico, John Deere, Netflix, Capitol One, and the New York Lottery, to leave the show, though many returned quietly in the time since then.
Lew Dickey said the slump Limbaugh caused has created a “residual hangover” for WABC, costing millions of dollars in the past few quarters.
The disagreement went public this week, with Limbaugh shooting back at Dickey’s comments.
“Lew needs someone to blame, (so) he’s pointing fingers instead of fixing his own sales problem,” Limbaugh said.
Some analysts think Dickey is using Limbaugh as a scapegoat for the station’s poor performance in the last year.
“It’s a very serious discussion, because Dickey keeps blaming Rush for his own revenue problems,” the source told Politico. “Trying to blame Rush for [revenues loss] is not much of a business partnership.”
If Rush Limbaugh continues to take the blame, the radio host could jump to WOR after his WABC contract expires at the end of the year. It would be seen as quite a shakeup, as WOR has only about half the audience of WABC, and Limbaugh could shift those numbers significantly.
Do you think Rush Limbaugh is to blame for the sinking ad revenue at WABC?