Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:04 pm

Hitting Rush where it hurts, cont.: local stations, local advertisers

In the past 72 hours, while I’ve struggled with work, school, my kids’ schedules and a migraine, a great exodus has taken place among Rush Limbaugh’s national advertisers after his abuse of law student Sandra Fluke for trying to stand up for basic health-care rights for women. I won’t rehash the merits of the issue, which by now are pretty well settled among those with ears to hear. (I’ve tweeted about it a bit if you want to go look.)

The question now is: What else can we do to put pressure on Rush and his parent corporations? One thing we can do is pressure the local advertisers on the stations that carry his show. Commenter “Jager” at Balloon Juice provides instructions on how to go about this [I’ve added a few clarifications in brackets], and as a former radio guy I can say he’s more or less on the money:

Go after the local advertisers on his show. There are very few local advertising [slots] on Rush’s show and they sell at a premium. Monitor the Rush station, make a list of the local advertisers and do the following:

1. Call the advertiser; be polite.
2. Write a letter to the advertiser; be polite.
3. Copy the station and the Federal Communications Commission with the advertiser letter.
4. Politely call the General Manager of the station, tell the GM what you are doing and why, tell them you have contacted the advertiser and copied the FCC.
5. If the local advertiser uses an agency, contact the agency, as well. Just ask the local business [whether] they use an agency.

[It’s not clear to me why the commenter thinks calling the agency will help, unless you’re also threatening to boycott any of the agency’s other advertisers, or any other stations with which the agency places advertising, or in some other way putting pressure on the agency’s revenue stream. — Lex]

It won’t take many letters and phone calls to get their attention and remind the station that the letters need to be placed in the station’s public file. (the public file is an FCC requirement)

Local stations don’t get many local [advertising slots] in Rush’s show and many [stations] pay a huge fee to Premiere [Radio Networks, the Bain Capital/Clear Channel Communications subsidiary that syndicates the show] to run the show. If they start losing business because of that [expletive], they will raise hell with Premiere.

Although I don’t think there’s any guarantee of that because I think 27% of Americans would be happy if Rush killed infants and ate their entrails live from noon to 3 weekdays, I do think the commenter’s suggestions are about the likeliest approach of any to get results. So if you want to apply financial pressure to Rush to at least start behaving like a civilized member of society, target the local advertisers on your local Rush station. I’ll update this post when I’ve had the time to even figure out who that is in this market — that’s how out of it I’ve been lately.

UPDATE: Well, duh, it’s Rush Radio — WPTI (94.5 FM).

Mailing Address
2-B PAI Park
Greensboro, NC 27409

Phone number – 336-822-2000
Program Director – Angie Vuyst –
Sales Manager – Tom Hennessey –


  1. If the agency does the advertiser’s media buy, the agency may make suggestions to a client about a media buy. Ultimately it’s the client’s decision, but it’s something that would be part of managing the account – letting the client know of potential pitfalls in brand perception.

    Comment by Jennifer Kronstain — Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:32 pm @ 10:32 pm

  2. In other words, advertisers – in the public’s mind – could be seen as sympathizers.

    Comment by Jennifer Kronstain — Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:39 pm @ 10:39 pm

  3. Well, that’s what I figured. But this guy didn’t quite close the loop in his comment. Thanks, Jen, and I hope you’re well.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:41 pm @ 10:41 pm

  4. Likewise! AOL pulled out today, as well.

    Comment by Jennifer Kronstain — Monday, March 5, 2012 4:50 pm @ 4:50 pm

  5. While Laura Ingraham waits for an encouraging call from the president to compensate for MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calling her a “slut,” “reproductive justice” activist Sandra Fluke rejects Rush Limbaugh’s sincere expression of regret for calling her the same

    “Folks have made the argument that Rush’s “personal attack” was somehow different than similar name-calling directed to the likes of Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. The argument typically goes something like this: Sarah Palin et. al. are public figures, while Sandra Fluke is a private citizen. But, in this instance, Fluke isn’t exactly a “private citizen.” She’s a seasoned activist who introduced the subject of Georgetown law students’ sex lives to the national debate about the Obama administration’s religious-liberty-violating contraception mandate.
    Indeed, her unwillingness to accept Rush’s apology
    underscores that she’s far from a naive private individual who unexpectedly found herself at the center of a national controversy; she made it clear by her remarks on The View that she’s prepared to stoke this controversy as long as she derives a benefit from it. As long as advertisers continue to withdraw support for Limbaugh and the left continues to rally around Ms. Fluke, she’ll milk his remarks for all they’re worth.
    The answer: Let’s stop giving Fluke the benefit of this controversy. Let’s keep the focus where it belongs and patiently continue to correct the misimpression (a.k.a. lie) that conservatives want to ban contraception. Nobody wants to ban contraception, but the Obama administration does want to force religious employers who object to contraception on religious grounds to pay for employee health insurance that includes coverage for contraception. It’s to that mandate that conservatives are politically opposed. Some conservatives are also personally opposed to contraception and to sexual promiscuity — but they’re not seeking to change the culture through the government. It’s progressives who prescribe government solutions to cultural ills and, in the process, jeopardize important freedoms.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, March 5, 2012 5:45 pm @ 5:45 pm

  6. It’s wrong either way. The difference is that while Schultz apologized and was suspended for a week, Rush Limbaugh is such a big deal in the GOP that elected officials are afraid to call him out and Premiere Radio Networks is publicly defending him.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, March 5, 2012 6:05 pm @ 6:05 pm

  7. […] you do contact your local radio stations, please be polite. Here are some suggestions from a former advertising […]

    Pingback by Who’s Advertising On The Rush Limbaugh Show? | The Moderate Voice — Tuesday, March 6, 2012 4:03 am @ 4:03 am

  8. Ah, for the good old days when you could call an ignorant slut…er, well, an ignorant slut, without all this mindless vituperation

    ( don’t ask me what’s with the rose colored glasses )

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:47 pm @ 12:47 pm

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