Saturday, May 23, 2015

WRKO and Rush Limbaugh part ways for good

Rush Limbaugh, who’s been a fixture on WRKO 680 for 19 out of last 21 years, is about to get the bum’s rush from Entercom-owned news/talk station.

A statement released by country's largest radio program supplier, Premiere Networks, earlier this week stated that the network and WRKO 680 have been “unable to reach terms” on a renewal deal for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue airing on the "Boston's Talk Station" past the current three-year deal that will end this summer. Premiere also indicated that it will be announcing Rush's new Boston outlet very shortly. It's widely expected that WMEX 1510 will become his next stop on Boston dial. Here is the official Premiere statement :

"We were unable to reach agreeable terms for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue on WRKO. A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future .. we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”

A polarizing national figure, Limbaugh, has been on Boston airwaves since May 1, 1991 when his nationally syndicated show debut on WHDH 850(now ESPN 850). In August 1994, when WHDH was acquired by WRKO's former owner American Radio System,  the two talk stations were merged and Rush found himself on WRKO. 

In March 2010, Clear Channel(now IheartMedia) attempted to launch a local talk competitor WXKS/Talk 1200. Rush's syndicator, Clear Channel/IheartMedia-owned Premiere moved the show from WRKO to WXKS to anchor the new Talk 1200 line-up which also included local personalities Jeff Katz and Jay Severin(BRW 3/2/10). However, after two and a half years of dismal ratings and limited signal range Clear Channel dumped Talk 1200 and Rush landed back on WRKO on August 21, 2012. 

Entercom has not made an official statement on Rush's situation but a number of sources familiar with the situation tell BRW that with the decision to part with Rush was based on the show’s diminished ratings and failure to generate advertising revenue for the station. WRKO is planning to re-organize its line-up as the result of Rush's imminent departure. A new morning news-driven show anchored by veteran Boston media personality Kim Carrigan is being planned and will debut in early June. The move will shift current morning agitator Jeff Kuhner to Noon slot replacing Limbaugh.

BRW Notebook :

Names and voices : Youtube personality Joe "The Guy From Boston" Ligotti has
been named the new morning host at 1510 WMEX which will relaunch its year-old talk format on Tuesday, June 2nd. Ligotti was last heard on now-defunct WTKK 96.9 every Saturday from May 2008 to December 2012 and will now be hosting 6am-10am weekday show on 1510. Boston Herald's "Morning Meeting" will continue from 10am to Noon. The station which is now under new management is expected to announce another local personality in its afternoon drive. Earlier this spring there were whispers that former WRKO/WTKK personality Michele McPhee may also be headed to 1510 to launch a new show. Stay tuned.

Dennis returns : John Dennis, of "The Dennis And Callahan Show" on WEEI 93.7, returned to the show Monday morning(5/18) following 35-days of rehab. Upon his return he said that while he was usually the one to start each day's discussion, for the first time he really didn't know what to say. "I enjoy setting the table I enjoy sort of setting up what we are going to attempt to discuss the next hours and may be always to the broadcast day hoping that what I offer may be a bit relevant ... Today I gotta be honest with you for the first time in seventeen and every eighteen years I'm not exactly sure what to say."


Anonymous said...

Methinks you got this backwards: Rush is being dropped by 'RKO because they need to put Kuhner in his slot once the new morning show debuts.

Anonymous said...

They don't "have to" put Kuhner anywhere....they could have just let him go.

Anonymous said...

Would this be viewed as a demotion for Kuhner? I would think Carrigan would be more suited for the midday slot since she's as controversial/exciting as a glass of milk.