There is no mistake that the number one listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. In 2012 he enjoyed reaching 15 million pairs of ears per week. Being such a big name also comes with a big price. In 2006 Limbaugh signed a 10 year contract worth $400 million with Clear Channel. But at what cost to Clear Channel?
Over at DailyKos, ProgLegs notices a little piece of news that was well hidden about Rush’s employer:
Buried on the business page of mysanantonio.com today, so brief you could easily have missed it, was the news that Clear Channel Media Holdings just reported losses for the last quarter of 2012 of $191 million, and $424 million for all of 2012.
Clear Channel has been in trouble for a long time for a variety of reasons, but one factor that contributed to their losses in 2012 was the death spiral of their golden boy radio host Rush Limbaugh.
So the nation’s biggest radio giant lost almost half a billion last year. And let’s consider what Rush’s impact is on this. Remember Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student Rush went after for speaking out about the need for contraceptives? His little tirade against this woman ended up costing Clear Channel tons of advertisers. It was to the point Rush’s show would have dead space during commercial breaks because no one wanted to be associated with him. Despite that, Clear Channel continues to carry such a toxic name.
That means the only motivation for Clear Channel has to be propaganda. If they are willing to take such big losses in order to keep the word of Rush alive, the typical motivation in a capitalistic system of profit is now null and void. This is really troubling considering that Clear Channel’s sole existence depends upon the use of our public airwaves.
Given the size of Clear Channel and the importance of radio remaining a viable form of free communication, perhaps it’s time for Clear Channel to either be split up or taken over. We need to retake our airwaves and get rid of the vile that is Rush Limbaugh. We need to return to real radio programming in this nation.
Or perhaps Clear Channel will continue their death spiral and just hope that the taxpayers will bail them out down the road.