Bob Pittman, who runs Clear Channel, is a lifelong major donor to Democratic candidates. He would like few things more than being the guy who “got” Rush Limbaugh off the air – if he can convince the investment bankers who effectively own the company to go along.
For a while, one strategy could have been to spin off Premiere as a separate company and launch an IPO and use the cash to pay down the debt, but the window for that has come and gone. Hannity has left the Cumulus stations, Glenn Beck would benefit financially from ending his radio show (getting listeners instead to pay to subscribe to The Blaze via Internet or cable). The 6-9 PM ET period still doesn’t have a permanent host since Andy Dean left. Rush is publicly ranting about the effort to push him off the air and the lack of support from Premiere.
Jerry Del Colliano’s newsletter contains a rumor that WOR-AM is going to drop news/talk and Pittman wants to exit the talk business. While he offers no specific information (in the tease to get subscribers) and has a long standing hatred of Clear Channel, the rumor seems entirely plausible. The WABC audience has not followed to WOR, which Clear Channel bought specifically to carry the Premiere lineup.