The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 November 2006

Rush Limbaugh, 2006 Election Results, Talk Radio Industry


Industry Insiders Rewrite History

From deep within the radio industry, the effort to undermine Rush Limbaugh's political legacy continues. For the reasons why, keep reading.

Last week, we mentioned a Boston Herald piece featuring Talkers Magazine's Michael Harrison, where the oft- quoted trade publisher went out of his way to dismiss Rush's past accomplishments:

“Talk radio only has a slice of the general public listening to it,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of the Springfield-based Talkers Magazine. “Rush Limbaugh beat up Bill Clinton for eight years and Clinton got elected twice.”

Harrison said it’s not the role of talk radio yakkers to get people elected - or unelected. “It’s the role of talk radio to have listeners and to make money,” he said. “Healey might lose by less than she would have. Can talk radio turn an election? Only if it’s close.”

Harrison said there’s a “tremendous conservative element in current news talk radio. . . . but you cannot make the public change its mind if the public is set on something.”

Our point was that effective, entertaining and ratings- generating talk radio can in fact change minds, with Rush Limbaugh's role in the 1994 Republican Revolution as Exhibit "A". But now, there's a concerted industry effort to pretend that never happened.

Why? Because Air America couldn't do it for the left! As a result, Rush Limbaugh's past success must now be undermined.

Coming now from longtime talk radio programming consultant Holland Cooke, here's another shot at Rush, via an interview in yesterday's Inside Radio:

Talk radio is unquestionably a useful place for dialogue but Cooke maintains, “Rush Limbaugh is overestimating the extent to which he is influencing public policy. I applaud what he’s done, taking his music radio skill-set to Talk radio.

The problem is once you start reading your own [press-clippings], you change. This high school graduate has lunch with Clarence Thomas a few times and thinks he’s influencing public policy.

Zealots who seem to be running [liberal Air America] into the ground have a political agenda – as does Rush. What they don’t have that Rush does is the know-how about the way radio works. They have some talented on-air people but [the network] seems to be [established] to run like a rant rather than a business. As long as someone is willing to shovel money into it, [Air America] will be there but it hasn’t taken on a life of its own as Rush Limbaugh has.”

But wait, you say, aren't these guys also attacking Air America's liberal talk fiasco? Sure, now they are, but only because it would look foolish to do otherwise. For almost three years, industry insiders were defending Air America at every turn.

With libtalk going down the drain, it's obviously time to poison the well by pretending Rush never made a difference.

Keep in mind that even after all of these years, many behind the scenes are still seething at El Rushbo's success, with additional ongoing railings against the "Rush clones" featured on local talk stations. Cooke, for one, recently convinced a traditionally- conservative Providence station to go liberal in mid- mornings, despite the spectacular failure of "progressive" talk on its crosstown rival.

And despite the huge ratings he was generating for that particular station, your Radio Equalizer once knew a programmer who openly dismissed Limbaugh as "just a jock" (as in disc jockey).

As the new Democrat Party Congress gears up for their takeover, watch for more of these slams against a person who has without a doubt been more influential than just about anyone else in recent political history.

At the same time, as stations continue to drop their programming, we find the real truth: if radio execs thought libtalk had a future, they would stick with it for the long haul.

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  • Where is your evidence regarding Rush's role in the 1994 elections?

    Why refute comments made by lib talkers on the basis they do not provide proof for their claims, but then regurgitate unproven anecdotal statements made with repect to Limbaugh's role in 1994?

    Speaking of hard data, has the RadioEqualizer seen any growth in the past year in readership even with the bread crumbs Malkin throws it?

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 14 November, 2006 11:25  

  • They can write whatever they want. The media is general has a credibility problem that has grown and metasticized in the last several years. Denying that Rush played a role, does not make it fact. Let them to scribble on. Their readership is dwindling and soon there will not be enough advertising revenue to keep many of them employed. They are firing themselves.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 14 November, 2006 13:11  

  • Air America Latest To Receive White-Powder Scare Mail

    By Blogger Jordy, at 14 November, 2006 15:13  

  • Cons have no credibilty left. They are insane, and if you think the media is "liberal" as seriously does, you might be a white poweder mailing Malkin and Coulter fan.

    They are now irrelevant
    They are INSANE
    Many of them are TERRORISTS

    and with the whole main stream media kissing their ass, they lost the election

    lib media
    shriek it all you want
    only a white powder Islamocoulterist buys it
    Refer to them for now on Islamicoulterists
    They are the TERRORISTS

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 14 November, 2006 15:32  

  • It is reasonable to say that Limbaugh had a significant role in 94 and that liberal radio played a negligible role in 2006. However it is beyond stupid for Maloney to take issue with a lib talker for not providing hard proof when any argument for or against is anecdotal.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 14 November, 2006 15:40  

  • Dear Mr Maloney,

    WHile I read your article about the attacks on RUSH and company,....I'd like to let you know about THE most recent, here in our local area, Sacramento CA.

    First? They canned Radio Conserve talker Mark Williams show, and replaced him with some nittwit I aptly named, bruce hyman.
    Tho, he'll say he's bruce maimen.
    Reasons cited? Mark was too costly and the ratings sucked.

    Then, they dumped one eric hogue on another local radio station. While I doubt the man's conserve views/standings? At least he wasn't 100% lib.

    Now, our local channel 1530 AM kfbk, has dumped the LIMBAUGH REPLAY from 10pm till 1 AM. Reasons? Lack of ratings and too costly. They've replaced him with a ' magazine quacker ', er talker, from what I've been told.

    On your blog site, and too the effected people I"ve asked:
    What is happenening to CONSERVE radio? Why, AT THIS TIME, are the hosts being ejected for a BS reason of RATINGS?!?!!? Come on, ALL conserve talkers suck and have crappy ratings?? Pfffft.....highly unlikely, given air america's performance.

    WHile this might be small news to you, it DOES make one wonder, are there any other Radio Right talkers who are getting axed?
    Funny, how BEFORE the 2008 elections, the airwaves are being expunged of conserve talkers AND that RUSH's replay show is being cancelled??


    By Blogger LNaranjoiv, at 14 November, 2006 18:56  

  • LNaranjoiv,

    And Clear Channel is dumping overnight D.J's all over NY, the #1 radio market in the business. Remember the old Republican motto "let the market dictate it". Big business radio is into the bottom line, getting paranoid? No one is taking away your propaganda. You live by the free market, you deal with the loss of a Limbaugh replay, boooo hooooooooooooo.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 14 November, 2006 20:55  

  • Mr Maloney

    Any truth to the rumor Clear Channel is DUMPING kfbk?!?!?
    Or that the station is removing itself from the radio business??
    How about that the Clear Channel folks are being BOUGHT OUT!?!??!

    This was sent to me from ' inside ' the market, so to speak:

    " ATTENTION!!!

    " Mel called it.... KFBK is for sale. The entire company is for that matter. A winning bid for Clear Channel is supposed to be announced today. The blood in Clear Channel stations around the country is hip deep from New York down to the smallest markets. They are slashing every outbound penny without regard to impact to make the bottom line show better and thus boost the price. The company has lost SIXTY-PERCENT of its value since its peak in 2000 and is bailing entirely out of terrestrial radio. "

    What's happening now?!?!?!

    By Blogger LNaranjoiv, at 15 November, 2006 19:48  

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