Cumulus Takes Advantage of Limbaugh Controversy

Cumulus Media Networks reports that some 140 stations have already signed on for Mike Huckabee’s new daily syndicated radio talk show that debuts on April 9th. Earlier this week, The company ent out an email blast to fellow radio station owners with a photoshopped picture of former U.S. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, promoting him as the conservative talk radio host of the future. Using the slogan “more conversation, less confrontation,” Cumulus has been pitching the new show to advertisers as a less combative alternative to Limbaugh. “They are going after Rush’s affiliates,” said one radio company executive who received Cumulus’ email and spoke on condition of anonymity. “They are positioning Huckabee as the safe, non-dangerous alternative to Rush and saying to station owners, ‘If you are looking for conservative content, we want you to consider our guy instead of theirs.'”

Cumulus clears the Limbaugh program on 40 of its stations, including WABC in New York, and the big question is how soon the company will replace the show, produced by competitor Premiere Radio Networks (owned by Clear Channel) for the Huckabee program.  Cumulus Co-COO John Dickey Dickey said he would “honor” existing contracts with the Limbaugh show, including at WABC. But he didn’t rule out a switch to Huckabee in the future. “We are in favor of eating our own cooking.”


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