Politico: Cumulus To Drop Limbaugh, Hannity In Rift With Premiere Over Prices
July 29, 2013 at 3:56 PM (PT)
POLITICO's DYLAN BYERS is reporting that the long-simmering break between CUMULUS MEDIA and PREMIERE NETWORKS over RUSH LIMBAUGH and SEAN HANNITY has come to a head and that its sources tell the website that CUMULUS has decided to drop LIMBAUGH and HANNITY at the end of the year with the expiration of the company's contracts to carry the show.
BYERS says that the disagreement came down to "disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights."
BYERS also notes that the companies "have come to the brink before during contract negotiations only to resume talks" but that PREMIERE is "unlikely to reduce the cost for distribution rights to a level that would satisfy CUMULUS."
"CUMULUS is not in a position to comment about negotiations with talent under contract, no matter what the rumor of the day might be," a spokesperson for CUMULUS told BYERS. PREMIERE did not respond to BYERS' request for comment.
CUMULUS' LEW DICKEY has publicly blamed the LIMBAUGH-SANDRA FLUKE controversy for revenue problems at his company's talk stations, and a move in the NEW YORK market of LIMBAUGH and HANNITY's shows from CUMULUS Talk WABC-A to crosstown CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOR-A has been widely assumed to be coming at the end of the year.
On his show TODAY, LIMBAUGH said of the POLITICO story, "nothing is gonna happen that you will notice. Nothing is going to change. 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. Negotiations have been taken public by one side of this. I thought it was done. I thought it was over with. And, folks, I would love... I mean, I love inside baseball stuff, and I would love to pass this on, but I must use proper business restraint here. But I just want to assure you, everything's cool, and, as always, what's on the table for this program is growth."