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Top Radio Advertisers Said to Be Excluding Limbaugh and Hannity

Posted on May 8, 2013

An advertising boycott enacted in the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s controversial “slut” comment about Sandra Fluke last year appears to be working. In the midst of a battle between Limbaugh and Cumulus Radio, the media company that carries Limbaugh’s popular program on dozens of its stations, a new article details just how bad the conservative commentator’s advertising troubles are. But more than that, it also shows for the first time that the movement is extending beyond Limbaugh to another influential conservative radio show talker—Sean Hannity. 

According to Radio Ink magazine, “Forty-eight of the top 50 network advertisers have excluded Rush and Hannity orders. Every major national ad agency has the same dictate.”

Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Network, the distributor for both shows, has flat out denied the claim, calling the figure “completely inaccurate.” However, Cumulus Radio’s CEO stated this week that his company has lost “a couple million” dollars worth of advertising revenue in the first quarter and “a couple million” more in the second one because of the boycott.


While its unclear how many advertised with the shows in the past, this revelation is significant because it is the first time Limbaugh’s #2 competitor Sean Hannity has been brought into this conversation about advertiser aversion; and because, if true, a 48 out of 50 (96%) rate of top advertisers wanting nothing to do with the shows represents a rather striking figure.

Limbaugh’s camp has made it clear in recent days that they are unhappy with Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey‘s blaming of any revenue shortfalls on his show; and, again, it’s unclear how many of these 48 companies advertised with Limbaugh and Hannity in the past. But these industry sources seem to indicate that perhaps Dickey’s accusations are credible.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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