Relax folks – beloved conservative talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity aren’t going off the air completely despite what liberals have touted otherwise.
Many progressive pundits were all too happy Monday to rejoice in the news that Cumulus Media, one of the nation’s largest radio syndicators, was planning to drop the two highest-ranked talk radio hosts in the nation from their airwaves by the end of the year.
“This is a defeat for Limbaugh, it’s a victory for progressives in the sense that it’s a victory for everyone who believes in civil discourse,” David Brock, founder of the progressive group Media Matters for America said on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” with the Rev. Al Sharpton Monday.
Sharpton even added that the news was a boon to President Obama.
“It’s the talk that pollutes the political conversation and undermines the president’s agenda, but the president might be closer to winning the fight for ideas in this country,” the Reverend said.
The truth, however, is that Limbaugh and Hannity are just being dropped from certain stations owned by Cumulus Media after financial negotiations between Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks – which owns the syndication rights to the two shows – and Cumulus fell through. Not only is it very likely that the shows could be picked up by other stations in the same markets, including those owned by Clear Channel, but the Politico report that broke the story actually says that this transition is expected should the negotiations fail, but it seems that little detail was overlooked.
“You are gonna be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it’s on now, and what you’re being treated to is just a public business negotiation,” Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday.
Hannity also attempted to dispel any worries his audience may have after hearing the news, even hinting that better things were on the horizon.
“Business has never been better thanks to all of you out there,” Hannity said on Monday’s show. “But let not your heart be troubled. There are forces at work here that I will explain in due course, I promise. I just can’t really explain it now. I’m not trying to be mysterious here but it’s something that is unfolding and I am frankly excited about it all and we’ll keep you up to speed as soon as I can, I promise.”
Red State editor Erick Erikson said on his website that the drama over the conservative talk show hosts’ contracts is simply comparable to “CBS and Time Warner fighting over subscriber fees.” The cable distributor temporarily removed the broadcast network from its airwaves Monday night as financial negotiations between the two companies fell through.
“Only the liberals in the press, who don’t understand their own business, let alone radio, have decided to spin a yarn instead of just trying to understand what’s actually happening,” he wrote.
So hold your horses, liberals, ’cause Hannity and Limbaugh aren’t signing off quite yet.