WRKO Boston To Drop Rush Limbaugh

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    It looks like the stations are not willing to pay for his program anymore. Or maybe the political talk radio format is dying a slow death. I don’t think the younger generation listens to that stuff.

    WRKO Boston To Drop Rush Limbaugh

    Rush Limbaugh is once again to be on the outside looking in at Entercom Talk 680 WRKO Boston. After losing Rush in 2010 to Clear Channels ill-fated “Rush Radio 1200” WXKS, Limbaugh returned to WRKO in August of 2012 following the demise of the competing Conservative Talker. With the three-year syndication agreement coming to a close Premiere Radio Networks and Entercom failed to come to terms on a contract renewal. Premiere released the following statement today regarding the inability to come to terms:

    We were unable to reach agreeable terms for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue on WRKO. A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future. Rush Limbaugh airs daily in every measured media market in America, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.

    WRKO is the second major Conservative Talker to announce plans to drop Limbaugh. Emmis’ 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis announced in April it will stop airing the program as of July 3. The options for a new Boston affiliate for Limbaugh are slim. Blackstrap Broadcasting’s Brokered “Talk 1510” WMEX is the likeliest station to pick up the program.

    Read More At: http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/92996/wrko-boston-to-drop-rush-limbaugh/

    Andy Brown

    The commercial viability of Rush Limbaugh’s show has suffered since 2012, when advertisers began fleeing the program in the wake of Limbaugh’s prolonged attack on then-law student Sandra Fluke. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the millions of dollars in advertising revenue stations who carry Limbaugh’s show lose, as well as the industry-wide damage resulting from Limbaugh’s toxicity to advertisers. Notably, according to the report, the exodus of national advertisers has played a significant part in reducing talk radio advertising rates to about half of what it costs to run ads on music stations, even though the two formats have “comparable audience metrics.”

    WRKO dropping Limbaugh from its lineup is just the latest reminder that Rush Limbaugh is bad for business.

    Advertisers continue to leave and stay away thanks to a dedicated group of independent organizers in the Flush Rush and #StopRush communities. Their participation matters and is having a big effect.




    Rush has found a new radio home in Boston. Radio Disney has recently sold WMKI AM. To Pennsylvania Media Associates, a division of Salem Media Group.

    Andy Brown

    “Rush has found a new radio home”

    Home? More like going from a mansion to an efficiency apartment.

    5 kW at 1260 is a far, far cry from 50 kW at 680.


    Clearly the talent on loan from God isn’t paying much these days. Rush should look to Creflo Dollar for money making tips.


    Yes, those people using “the Spocko method” to get advertisers to think hard about where their brand is being represented is way more effective than I thought it would be.

    (I’ve linked Spocko method here before)

    What I find very, very interesting is the idea of “political talk” being “too controversial” or just not profitable overall, without actually looking at it in more detail. AD buyers tend to want to just do it easy by setting the “no controversial” flag in their buy, which rules out most political talk, but not all. Second and third tier talkers still do very well with local sponsors, or national ones, depending on their show reach.

    Most of the leftie talk moved to podcast after the election. And it was there anyway as it all never did get much traction, largely due to a majority of great signals being dominated by long established conservatives.

    When will that be reevaluated? To be frank, I’ve moved off my favorite format, which is talk radio. Nothing has changed in my opinion of how potent the format can be, nor it’s timeless nature. Talk really doesn’t have to go anywhere, but some new talk needs to happen at some point.

    Once I setup the old moto phone as “the car radio”, it worked. Many shows I enjoyed were tape delay anyway, and I don’t call the programs. Podcasts either cost a little tiny bit of money, or one consumes the free version, or hears the occasional AD here and there. It’s a much better deal overall, pay or not. The AM talk / AD schedule is brutal, but very tolerable to more listeners more consistently than I would expect.

    Now that transition has largely completed and there are a TON of great programs out there, many of which would not take much at all to be aired and broadcast compliant in terms of content, profanity, etc…

    Enough to fill an AM dial nicely.

    The general trend toward getting away from talk overall, “scorched earth” style seems expensive! If Limbaugh can’t play, than talk is dead kind of expensive.

    But is that really true?

    I still consistently see people using talk radio in the usual ways. The only thing that has changed much is the hosts they listen to.

    When Limbaugh finally bags out, or maybe just gets relegated to some minor league status, it will be interesting to see if talk is reconsidered. The move to plug sports in sort of works, and there are a lot of games to cover, so it works on both axis there too.

    It doesn’t have to be “bring back leftie talk”, though I very clearly wouldn’t mind that at all. It really should be the idea of picking up some great shows to reinvigorate AM talk in general. Since we’ve got the sticks hot, why not actually do something that keeps it all going?

    Limbaugh did this to himself and his industry peers too. Early on, he could have owned it in the Letterman style and moved past the majority of the pain, but he didn’t. Now, his own audio is used regularly to ask the question, “does this make sense for your brand values?” and the answer is very consistently, “no.”

    He’s entrenched obviously, and he’s not really used to being called out in this kind of way. Question is whether or not that takes all of talk out, or not.

    Hoping not. Maybe I’ll have some good reasons to turn a radio on again someday in the future.


    I think that we’re seeing a return to what talk radio was like circa 1989. Back then, many stations that were experimenting with going in a talk direction were doing so with sports-themed programs. Limbaugh was not yet a major player. Howard Stern, shock jocks and what would later be termed “FM Talk” were known only to listeners in a few major markets.

    Today, more sports talk is going on the air, Limbaugh’s influence is declining, Stern has been off terrestrial radio for years, and FM Talk has largely been gone as a format for several years.

    1980s talk radio was, unfortunately, fairly dry listening. I think that Limbaugh’s antics, before he started taking himself too seriously, were responsible for brining many younger listeners to the format. The shock jocks also contributed, reaching listeners who had no interest in politics and/or had an aversion to listening to the radio stations that they associated with mom and dad (AM).

    Today, the up-and-coming consumers (Millennials) largely do not subscribe to the cynicism offered by conservative talk shows. The shock jocks are gone. It will be interesting to see how the broadcast industry revamps the talk format in the coming years. Or, will talk radio go the way of beautiful music and full service?


    Something has to save AM radio and right now the only thing the band has going for it is a handful of All News outlets in the top markets that have been there for decades. The News/Talk stations are slowly fading into obscurity and everything else is a niche’.


    That is the question for sure.

    I wonder about that too. NPR seems to be surviving as millenials adopt the format and follow their parents, who likely made NPR a part of their lives long enough for it to be relevant.

    We may find them start up talk programs that aren’t structured the same as the ones we have today, or we may find some issues they center on worth the format.

    Or maybe, they don’t care about radio enough for it to be meaningful and their version of talk is a Google Hangout (arguably damn cool way to do it), or some other thing.


    Re: AM

    I’ve said it before. Brand it “the wild west”, relax the decency rules, and let the stations pick through the many fine podcasts out there to make programs out of.

    Real talk is too cool for FM, kind of thing.

    The lower quality is balanced by the idea that one never knows what they will find on the dial, particularly at night, and when they do find it, they get something real, compelling, etc…

    AM is an awesome medium for talk type programs. It’s time to put real talk on the dial.


    Rush Limbaugh is moving in Boston to a station once
    Occupied by Air America. It’s only a 5Kw station during the day and 1KW at night.



    Andy Brown

    It’s not that it’s just 5 kW, it’s 5 kW at 1260. 5 kW in the lower half of the AM dial is not all that bad, but in the upper half it’s not all that great. As you can see from the approximate coverage map, you have about 12 to 14 miles of interference free coverage. In a big metro like Boston, that’s pretty poor. I doubt Rush would be on at night, so the even more limited signal at night doesn’t really play into it.

    Compared to what the fat racist misogynist pig used to have (30 miles westward and 50+ miles north and south), it’s like I said in my first post – going from a mansion to an efficiency apartment.


    With all the noise, you can probably figure coverage to about Cambridge.

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