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Talk Radio Watch
See other Talk Radio Watch Articles

Title: ‘Talkers’ magazine publisher: Limbaugh likely ‘has the biggest audience he’s had in years’
Source: DailyCaller
URL Source: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/14/t ... est-audience-hes-had-in-years/
Published: Mar 14, 2012
Author: Caroline May
Post Date: 2012-03-14 23:36:11 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 6039
Comments: 11

‘Talkers’ magazine publisher: Limbaugh likely ‘has the biggest audience he’s had in years’

In the wake of uproar following conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s characterization of 30-year-old contraception activist and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke last month as a “slut,” Limbaugh has seen advertisers flee and entire campaigns waged to get him off the air.

But the big question remains: Just how have Limbaugh’s ratings been affected?

There has been no measure of his listenership since the Fluke flap. But nonpartisan radio expert Michael Harrison told The Daily Caller that Limbaugh’s numbers likely are going nowhere but up — despite the anti-Limbaugh push.

Harrison is founder and publisher of Talkers magazine, the industry’s leading trade journal.

According to Harrison, even if all the publicity is negative, it is a “good bet that Rush is enjoying pretty high ratings” last week and going into this week.

“The irony is that he probably right now has the biggest audience he’s had in years, and the double irony of all this is sponsors that are fleeing, they’re missing out on the best advertising buy in radio,” Harrison told TheDC in an interview, explaining that Limbaugh incites passion on all fronts.

Limbaugh’s fans, said Harrison, will galvanize around him, not abandon him. Many of his detractors are listening because they feel vindicated, he explained, and still others are tuning in to hear what the fuss is about.

“[T]he whole thing is so full of irony, and so full of misinformation that it’s almost laughable,” he said.

Harrison, who touts his support for all broadcasting — progressive, conservative, and everything in between — said that while many advertisers have left Limbaugh’s program, those attacking him are unknowingly inflating the number of defectors since they do not understand how radio advertising works, specifically “no-buy” dictates from radio networks.

“First of all, certainly a lot of advertisers have canceled because they’re frightened to be in a place that’s dangerous or controversial. They don’t want their product attached to controversy too much,” he said. While some controversy can be good for advertising, Harrison added, too much can be a turn-off for potential ad clients.

According to Harrison, the “no-buy” list is just an advertising strategy — not a boycott of any specific program.

“It has nothing to do with fleeing, boycotting [or] censoring,” he said. “It’s just that certain advertisers have certain shows on a list that they don’t want to be on because they don’t want to be on controversial programming, and this has gone on for years.”

“There’s nothing new about this,” Harrison cautioned, “and what’s happening now is I’m starting to see a number of the sponsors that have been on this list for many, many years, suddenly being touted by the forces that are trying to bring Limbaugh down. They’re sort of putting their names out there as if they’re piling on to this list of advertisers that are fleeing. And that’s where this thing has become very murky.”

“Talk radio has always dealt with the ‘no-buy’ list, and it’s not that it’s a repudiation against talk radio. It’s just that not every advertiser is for every kind of show. And for every advertiser that doesn’t want to be in controversy, there are advertisers who do.”

The 45-year radio veteran added that it is likely that some of the advertisers that legitimately chose to leave Limbaugh will return.

“I think that some of them are truly outraged to know what’s going on and don’t like Rush Limbaugh and don’t want to be there,” he said. “I think some of them love being there but feel like, ‘maybe we should just, you know, duck for cover for a while and when the smoke clears, when the dust settles, we’ll come back.’”

Harrison noted that while people get angry when he says nice or supportive things about Limbaugh, he’s only interested in promoting broadcasting — both liberal and conservative.

“The fact is, there’s a whole other perspective on this and it’s called broadcasting. It’s an industry, it’s a business, and you know, these guys are not politicians. One of the craziest questions I get asked all the time is, ‘do you think Rush is losing his influence as a political force in this country?’ and I say, ‘I don’t know, who cares? What does it matter?’ I mean, that’s not what he’s paid to do. He’s an entertainer.”

A spokesman for Premiere Radio Networks, Limbaugh’s syndicator, told TheDC that Arbitron’s “Portable People Meter” ratings data for March won’t be in until April, and their nationwide ratings won’t be available until the fall. Arbitron is the leading consumer research company that delivers broadcast radio ratings.

Limbaugh has apologized for his comments about Sandra Fluke.

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#1. To: TooConservative (#0)

"likely ‘has "....seriously

LOL

Never swear "allegiance" to anything other than the 'right to change your mind'!

Brian S  posted on  2012-03-15   0:22:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Brian S (#1)

“There’s nothing new about this,” Harrison cautioned, “and what’s happening now is I’m starting to see a number of the sponsors that have been on this list for many, many years, suddenly being touted by the forces that are trying to bring Limbaugh down. They’re sort of putting their names out there as if they’re piling on to this list of advertisers that are fleeing. And that’s where this thing has become very murky.”

“Talk radio has always dealt with the ‘no-buy’ list, and it’s not that it’s a repudiation against talk radio. It’s just that not every advertiser is for every kind of show. And for every advertiser that doesn’t want to be in controversy, there are advertisers who do.”

He's saying quite a few of those sponsors were on the no-buy list but still came forward to say they are boycotting Limbaugh. But they have already boycotted him for years already.

Apparently, they're trying to curry favor with the libs this way.

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-15   7:01:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: TooConservative (#2)

Apparently, they're trying to curry favor with the libs this way.

There are no lib outlets with an audience of any size..it makes you wonder why they'd go to the effort.

Thunderbird  posted on  2012-03-15   7:09:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Thunderbird (#3)

I would guess it's just so they can pander to the libs on Facebook.

Everyone is looking to monetize their Facebook presence, find ways to keep their names before the public without spending on direct mail or radio/TV.

So these companies are probably succeeding. Whether it helps them close a sale with any customer is probably harder to measure over the short term.

But we can see what is happening to Carbonite who is losing a lot of subscribers who like Rush much more than they like Carbonite. Their entire relationship with their subscribers revolved around Rush. Prior to running lots of ads on Rush (including the most expensive ones that Rush read himself), Carbonite was making very little headway in the market.

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-15   7:22:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: TooConservative (#4)

I would guess it's just so they can pander to the libs on Facebook.

Makes sense...I don't use Facebook myself and I find the whole business model behind it creepy.

Thunderbird  posted on  2012-03-15   7:46:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Thunderbird (#5)

Makes sense...I don't use Facebook myself and I find the whole business model behind it creepy.

Me either. And creepy is the perfect word for it.

Now employers and colleges are demanding not only your Facebook ID but also your account password.

I tried to warn the idiots I know not to Facebook. It (and the Google services) are just another way to assemble dossiers on everything you do or write or post about or where you travel (GPS and Google Maps).

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-15   7:51:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Brian S (#1)

sounds to me like an admission that they really have no way to track the size of his audience with any level of confidence... which in turn would mean the regular claims of 20 million or so were pulled out of someone's ass

thoughtomator  posted on  2012-03-15   7:52:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Thunderbird (#3)

Apparently, they're trying to curry favor with the libs this way.

There are no lib outlets with an audience of any size..it makes you wonder why they'd go to the effort.

You answered your own query.

You're looking at Total Meltdown of USSAMSM credibility.

NExt phase where the GOP says that yes, we have been proposing solutions to climate change, women's health issues, fiancial fraud and torture.

You! just haven't been listening.

....;}

mcgowanjm  posted on  2012-03-15   9:43:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: thoughtomator (#7)

sounds to me like an admission that they really have no way to track the size of his audience with any level of confidence... which in turn would mean the regular claims of 20 million or so were pulled out of someone's ass

They do have measures of listeners though. Otherwise, there is no way they can set advertising rates, maximize the profits on their "product".

Rush claims the industy estimates his audience in the range of 20M-30M. That's probably about right.

When no scandals are going on, it probably dips to 20M or below. After a big political scandal (or Rush's slut scandal) the numbers probably go to 30M or more for a period of time.

You see the same thing with the shock jocks like Imus and Stern. If controversy was so fatal to radio shows, they would have been off the air years ago.

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-15   10:19:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: TooConservative (#9)

They do have measures of listeners though. Otherwise, there is no way they can set advertising rates, maximize the profits on their "product".

Do a little research on how they measure radio listeners. It is a wild guess wrapped in an ass-pull, and that's being generous.

thoughtomator  posted on  2012-03-15   12:44:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: thoughtomator (#10)

Even so. They do have some accepted system of metrics by which they assign advertising rates.

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-15   13:54:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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