Forgive me if I brag a bit, but I’m beginning to feel a bit like a prophet on the subject of Rush Limbaugh’s decline.
In a post Saturday, I asked, When will Rush Limbaugh announce his upcoming sojourn? And I speculated that he would have to, just to take some heat off his fleeing advertisers. Well, Rush took a day off Monday with no advance notice, the very next day he was slated to be on the air. Supposedly he’ll be back on the air Tuesday.
Much more troubling for Limbaugh, however, was the announcement from Premiere Radio Networks that it was immediately suspending national “barter ads” advertising for the next two weeks.
Here’s why: The syndicator provides the show to local radio stations for free, but in return, they must run “barter ads” that Premiere sells. They won’t be selling any for the next two weeks. In other words, they’re pissing away about 4 percent of their barter ad revenue for the year. The story was broken Monday night by Radio-Info.com. The radio stations are supposed to fill the dead air with local spots or ads for gold-seller Lear Capital or identity-protector LifeLock, which is trying to rehabilitate its image after paying $12 million in fines for deceptive advertising.
This is a highly unusual move, and it cannot be an insignificant amount of money, although the suspension does not apply to in-program commercials. Appearing on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on MSNBC last night (the clip is below), Tom Taylor, editor of Radio-Info.com, said the last time this happened was 5 years ago, after Don Imus called the Rutger’s women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hoes.”
And you know what happened after that: CBS fired Imus.
Rush reportedly played a round of golf Monday, and Taylor ended his segment on the show last by noting his headline tomorrow is “A Rush to Chill.”
“Rush Limbaugh and Premier want to cool things down for awhile and and let things quiet down,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Rush Limbaugh gets in some more golf.”
(h/t to Cold n P)