The second-biggest broadcaster in the nation is planning to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from their stations, including Chicago’s WLS 890, Politico reports.
Cumulus Media will not be renewing either hosts’ contract after disagreement over the cost of distribution rights with Clear Channel. It’s a major shakeup that could also affect markets in Dallas, Detroit and Washington D.C., all cities where Clear Channel does not currently operate a talk radio station.
It isn’t likely to be a drastic, permanent change. Limbaugh and Hannity are the two highest ranked radio shows in the nation, with weekly audiences of 14 million and 13.25 million respectively. Chicago, Dallas and Washington D.C. are three of the top seven radio markets in the nation, with Detroit not far behind.
Rush Limbaugh responded to the claims on his show Monday, telling listeners they, “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.”
This news comes a few months after Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey indirectly tied a decline in revenue to Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “a prostitute” in February 2012.