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Put WABC Radio on Your Deathwatch Clock

It’s just a matter of time. The handwriting is on the wall:

Rush Limbaugh insists it’s not his fault that ad revenue has dropped at his flagship WABC radio station — and if his boss keeps saying it is, Rush just may pack up his megadittoes and leave.

In New York, that would very likely take him to WOR, which would create the biggest shakeup in city talk radio since WOR scooped up Bob Grant after WABC fired him in 1995.

Limbaugh’s contract with WABC expires at the end of the year.

Lew Dickey, the CEO of WABC parent company Cumulus, has said Limbaugh’s controversial comments have diminished ad revenue for the past year — and the slump remains a “residual hangover” for the station.

Whoever dropped the story (Bo Snerdley?) on the Daily News’s doorstep seems to have also dropped it at Politico, though my gut tells me Politico’s hack merely pulled a “rip and read” of David Hinckley’s piece. Hinckley is a veteran reporter of the NYC radio beat, while Politico is… well, Politico. Limbaugh’s camp reaching out to that outfit makes no kind of sense, public relations-wise, and this is all PR….

Team Limbaugh would be nuts turning to Politico to get their story out. I’ll bet a slander lawsuit that Dylan Beyers is just making shit up to seem he knows a beat he has no history covering.

Cumulus is trying to blame the supposed “backlash” against Limbaugh after he called out Sandra Fluke as “a slut” back in early 2012 for their current advertising revenue woes. It’s ridiculous for the aptly named Dickey to be using that incident as an excuse. It is Cumulus’s own stupidity in operating WABC that is the cause of their problems.


Actually, you could go back to when then-owner Citadel jettisoned the better performing (ratings-wise) Curtis and Kuby morning show and brought Imus back from his “nappy-headed hos” exile. They fired John Gambling–a hereditary NYC radio icon–and replaced him with Curtis Sliwa, then subsequently dumped Curtis Sliwa, who was so ubiquitous at the station that the call letters could have meant “We’re Always Broadcasting Curtis,” in favor of John Batchelor, as WABC’s first steps on the road to perdition.

Cumulus just accelerated the inevitable WABC trainwreck when they decided to buy Citadel’s stable of stations. In the aftermath of the Fluke fiasco, they signed Mike Huckabee as counter-programming against Limbaugh in markets where they didn’t carry El Rushbo’s show, and a hoped-for solution to the situation they currently find themselves when deciding whether to renew their contract with El Rushbo. Limbaugh kicks Huckabee’s ass eight ways from Sunday, and remains the top rated talk radio host in the country, while Huckabee’s initial ratings made the defunct Air America Idiot’s numbers look respectable in comparison, and haven’t improved much since.

At WABC, for some godforsaken reason, they brought in Geraldo Rivera, and are trying to roll him out nationally. They cut Batchelor’s 9PM-1AM timeslot by two hours to stick Michael Savage into their lineup behind Mark Levin’s 6-9PM show, even though the two hosts have a long and widely reported acrimonious history, and Savage never mattered much in the NYC talk radio universe. Then WABC’s “super sub” and Saturday stalwart Mark Simone jumped ship to WOR.

It’s like their plan is to piss off every listener demographic, one timeslot at a time.

I was once a “loyal listener,” and had all the radios in my house set to WABC. Now I barely listen to the station at all. If I wanted to, I wouldn’t listen to Imus when I can watch Imus on FOX Business each morning. I couldn’t stand him before, but Geraldo can go piss up a rope now that WOR has Simone in the same timeslot. I stream Limbaugh via I♡Radio to avoid all the dick pill and ‘get rich quick’ adverts WABC regularly runs. Sean Hannity’s schtick lost me years ago, and since it’s baseball season, my attention in the evenings is drawn elsewhere.

If El Rushbo goes to WOR, it’s over for WABC, because his departure will be a ratings catastrophe for Hannity (and probably Mark Levin). Their entire afternoon/evening lineup is completely dependent on Limbaugh’s 12-3PM audience sticking around….

Without the Dittoheads, WABC is toast.


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