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Cumulus Planning to Drop Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told Politico on Sunday. Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets. New York Daily News New York radio observers have been expecting for the past year that Limbaugh and probably Hannity would leave WABC, which is owned by Cumulus, for rival WOR. Speculation about possible replacements at WABC for Limbaugh’s noon-3 p.m. show and Hannity’s 3-6 p.m. show has focused on Mike Huckabee and WABC evening hosts Mark Levin and Michael Savage, who signed with Cumulus last year. Deadline Hollywood In May, Limbaugh reportedly mulled leaving Cumulus after receiving blame for advertiser decline in the wake of his controversial Sandra Fluke comments. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey told Bloomberg TV at the time that “we have the premier talk distribution platform in the business and if you want to be on a big stage in this game, you need to be on our stations in the largest markets. They’re the biggest signals, the heritage brands and everybody knows that.”
Posts Tagged ‘Sean Hannity’
In the italicized intro to the July/August Playboy interview with Fox News and radio host Sean Hannity, contributing editor David Hochman ends with his thoughts on the question everyone wants answered:
“The ultimate question everyone has about Hannity,” Hochman says, “is, Does he really believe what he says, or is it all just an act? After spending hours with the guy [at Fox New York headquarters] and really getting into his head, I can say with utmost confidence, what you see with Hannity is what you get.”
FishbowlNY caught up with Colmes at the recent reunion for WHN, a station that he was part of in the 1970s.
Although his radio show is available live online, including New York, where Colmes remains sidelined. Colmes says rejoining the top market is always a goal, but not something on his radar these days.
By now you know that Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to plead for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. The head of News Corp. asked in a tweet, “when will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?” Then Murdoch followed that up by saying that President Obama’s speech to the Newtown residents was “nice,” but asked for “bold leadership action.”
It was all sort of surprising coming from Murdoch. It almost — almost! — made us applaud him. But according to insiders, while Murdoch was saying the right thing, the execs at Fox News were telling staffers to keep their mouths shut. New York quotes several sources that claim David Clark, executive producer for Fox News, was telling staffers not to address gun control policies on air. “This network is not going there,” Clark allegedly told one producer. Another source inside Fox News added, “We were expressly forbidden from discussing gun control.”
After last week’s head-spinning scene where real-life democrats took campaign advice from fictional politicians (Chris Noth, you’ve got my vote), I thought I’d pretty much covered the landscape of presidential politics among the Wednesday Michael’s crowd. Nothing doing. Before I could settle in for my lunch with PR maven Leslie Stevens and cosmetics entrepreneur Patti Pao, CNBC’s Joe Kernen called me over to meet Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who was on the air with Joe earlier today deconstructing last night’s debates (We suggest a whip and a chair for the moderator of next week’s match-up) and is scheduled to appear on Sean Hannity‘s broadcast on Fox this evening.
The guys told me they were looking for “equal time,” since last week’s column was all about the democratic point of view. I’m always happy to chat with Joe whose fabulously smart 12-year-old daughter, Blake Kernen is one of my favorite young writers. Not surprisingly, Senator Johnson told me he thought Mitt Romney won the debate hands down. “He shattered the caricature (the Obama campaign) has been pushing. It’s hard to paint that picture when (Romney) came out so strong and showed such a command of the issues. He offered the specifics that Obama did not. Last night did nothing to stop the momentum (Romney) has been gathering.” He also called out the president for being “purposely misleading” on Libya. While the senator admitted the president was “a little more energetic” he concluded, “He’s got nothing.”
Senator Johnson, who predicts it’s going to be a ”close election,” says Vice President Joe Biden‘s “rude” performance during his debate with Representative Paul Ryan had a lingering negative effect on the president’s favorable ratings and pointed to CNN’s recent poll which showed most viewers gave last night’s segment on the economy to Romney as an indication that the republican challenger is winning on the issue voters care most about. “In both debates, Romney showed that he can work with the other side. Americans have to ask themselves, ‘Do we want four more years of gridlock and a president who doesn’t know how to lead?”
Things lightened up considerably when I joined Leslie and Patti at our table to talk about the launch of Patti’s new skincare line Restorsea, which debuted at Bergdorf Goodman on Monday. Smart, savvy and absolutely passionate about skincare, Patti has built an impressive track record in the beauty business with stints at Avon and Elizabeth Arden. The Harvard Business School graduate introduced glycolic acid to the beauty industry and made Avon’s Anew the industry standard that is today.
She has continued to search out the latest innovations for the luxury market in her own consulting firm Pao Principle which she launched in 2005. Utilizing her deep ties to China, Patti created a survey asking 353 billionaires in the country (yes, you read that right) questions relating to handbags and fine jewelry. Doing so created a much sought after database when the survey findings made The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Forbes and Fortune. That stroke of marketing genius branded her LVMH’s luxury expert, and she picked up three clients in Norway which turned out to be a fateful turn of events.
The Daily Beast has published a list of the highest paid TV anchors, and it’s massively depressing. It’s sad because some of the people featured in the list don’t do much at all. Like Kelly Ripa.
According to a “highest paid TV star” list from TV Guide, Ripa makes $20 million a year just for acting ditzy on a morning show. Of course Bill O’Reilly gets paid $20 million a year to spread hatred and ignorance, so maybe we shouldn’t be so upset about Ripa’s salary.
- TVNewser: Sean Hannity has secured the first interview with George Zimmerman. If you watch, try your best not to throw something at your TV.
- GalleyCat: Please note that fans of comic book films are extremely passionate. In a “We’re f*cking crazy” kind of way.
- FishbowlDC: Mark Ruffalo will show the world the truth.
New York based-Zeta Interactive has once again compiled its annual Most Buzzed Report of the media personalities who generate the intense online traffic. Using keywords and phrases online and on social media sites, FishbowlNY has learned exclusively that Anderson Cooper is number one. Cooper, already an established prime time star at CNN, started a daytime syndicated talk show in September.
The additional workload may be a major reason why Cooper saw huge gains in this year’s Zeta report, up from ninth place in 2010.
The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart is as steady as ever, holding at number two for the second straight year.
Zeta Interactive CEO Al DiGuido says his company uses a specific algorithm to create the report.
“It basically kind of jogs the most often used word,” DiGuido says.
- eBookNewser: Jonathan Franzen, who says he doesn’t use an e-reader, endorses the Nook. Reps for Barnes & Noble commented, “Thanks?”
- FishbowlDC: Deborah Needleman likes houses to be “whimsy.” All Williamsburg residents nod in agreement.
- TVNewser: Sean Hannity sticks his foot in his mouth, then only bothers removing a couple toes.
Last month, Cumulus officially completed its acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting. That led to the other shoe dropping yesterday with several layoffs at New York’s Cumulus stations 77 WABC and WPLJ.
All Access reports that as many as 15 staffers combined from the two stations were let go Friday.
Among the notables, WPLJ longtime overnight DJ Dave Stewart, who not only ends an era at WPLJ (22 years), but he was one of the last remaining live overnight jocks in New York.
Stewart will now concentrate on his syndicated show Retrostars.
FishbowlNY attempted to reach Stewart for a comment.
Over at WABC, Sunday host Mancow Muller did not survive the cuts, although he still has a weekday job as morning host on the Chicago-based Talk Radio Network. Muller was hired by WABC program director Laurie Cantillo in September 2010.