Where Will Rush Limbaugh’s Advertisers Go?

We’re hearing reports that companies with large advertising budgets are pulling their advertising from conservative talk shows. Here’s the problem as I see it: Where are they going to go? Liberal talk shows don’t have an audience.

Rush Limbaugh’s syndicator, Premiere Networks, is losing advertisers for conservative talkers like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin. Radio-Info, the self-proclaimed broadcast industry’s leading source for news, views and information, says the list of advertisers include “carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway).”

Rush Limbaugh is the highest rated radio show with Sean Hannity in second place. Three PBS programs come in third, fourth, and sixth. In fourth place is Michael Savage followed by Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin. The Neal Boortz Show is ranked 11th with The Laura Ingraham Show 12th. Seven of the top 12 shows have conservative audiences with three of the 12 being non-advertising PBS shows.

Here’s part of a memo that Premiere Networks sent out in response to the Rush Limbaugh controversy:

“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis. Like advertisers that purchase commercials on your radio station from your sales staff, our sponsors communicate specific rotations, daypart preferences and advertising environments they prefer… They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”

These advertisers are cutting off their nose to spite their face.

One of Premier’s properties is The Randi Rhodes Show. Will the advertisers from the conservative talkers start advertising with the not-so-funny Leftist talker Rhodes who spews hateful and denigrating speech in every show? Here’s some of the milder stuff she says:

“Mitt Romney would light his hair on fire if it meant he could win the presidency, okay. He would light his hair on fire, set fire to his opponents’ hair, the hair of his followers, he would set Ann’s hair on fire, his boys’ hair on fire. . . . He would fly a penis-shaped NASCAR over the Grand Canyon with his hair on fire and his dog strapped to the roof if it meant he could win the presidency.”

Back in September 2001, Rhodes said that Rush Limbaugh reminded her of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Every time I look at him now I see John Wayne Gacy! You know — because he’s got a webcam — that, you know whenever they uh show what he said on the radio, they are able to show the video. Every time I look at him now he looks like John Wayne Gacy in a polo shirt!

It remains to be seen where these advertisers are going to spend their advertising dollars. Let’s check back in a few months to see how well these companies are doing. Let’s also keep track on how many go over to the dark side and begin to advertise on the few remaining leftist talk shows.