The Clout of Rush

Having just looked at the entire list, here is a stunning factoid about Rush Limbaugh.

Of the 161 affiliates Rush has that stream – that I know of as of today – every single one of them streams his show live.  [Corrction: there are 6 stations that carry the show delayed by up to 2 hours]

One station carries only the 1st hour, one station preempts his show for a minor league baseball team, but no radio station that streams carries Rush on a delayed basis.

I strongly suspect this amazing fact is contractual – Rush offers his own 24/7 subscriptiong based streaming feed – so if you miss the show from Noon to 3pm (Eastern), there is no other station in the entire country that streams his show later in the day.   It really doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t a contract issue – it demonstrates just how much radio stations are willing to do to have Rush.

WRNO in New Orleans “stunted” (did a special radio thing to get attention) running Rush 24 hrs a day for the first week after they “stole” Rush away from WWL  A lot of people spotted the non-live broadcasts here and listened at odd hours.  But it turned out to only be a first week stunt.  I was hoping it was true.  As silly as it might seem, a 24 hr/day All Rush radio station would be a huge success, or perhaps an HD2 channel running Rush all the time.

I have long believed that Rush Limbaugh has a “Plan B” for the fairness doctrine issue.   Should government regulation get too oppressive, Rush has the mechanisms in place to go “all internet”.  That would destroy what’s left of AM radio.    AM radio would either become almost all Spanish language stations or people would turn in their FCC licenses.

In the good old days before the Internet, broadcasters facing government suppression (usually over some position like “income taxes are Unconstitutional”) would park a boat out in International waters off the coast and broadcast on shortwave – but that was largely ineffective.  Most normal people in the United States don’t even own a shortwave radio.   With the Internet, you don’t need to go to that trouble.   Let’s hope it doesn’t ever get to that point.

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