Lew Dickey Discusses Limbaugh's Effect On Cumulus Revenue
May 10, 2013
In a short interview on Bloomberg TV's In The Loop, Cumulus Chairman/President/CEO Lew Dickey discussed Rush Limbaugh's effect on his company's bottom line. Speaking with host Betty Liu, Dickey said that Cumulus lost "millions of dollars" due to the backlash against Limbaugh after last year's controversial comments about Sandra Fluke. He added that News/Talk makes up approximately 10 percent of Cumulus' business and it "took a hit because of those events." Liu noted that Cumulus had attributed $5.5 million in lost ad revenue to boycotts of Limbaugh in 2012. Dickey says that since then, ad revenue has been on the rise once again for Cumulus and some of the advertisers that had left have now returned.
When asked about Limbaugh's complaints over being publicly singled out for Cumulus' losses, Dickey said, "Sometimes contracts can get negotiated in public. We prefer not to do that. ... We have the premier talk distribution platform in the U.S. and if you want to be on a big stage in this game, you need to be on our radio stations in the largest markets. They're the biggest signals, the heritage brands, and everybody knows that."
Dickey confirmed that Limbaugh's contract with Cumulus expires at the end of 2013 but did not want to comment on any contract negotiations. Liu also asked if right wing Talk radio "don't have as big of a place on radio as they once did" given the politics in America today, to which Dickey replied, "I think everything has to evolve...and we see that the general public is evolving, society is evolving, but I think we have to make sure these radio stations do a wonderful job of reflecting the local communities in which they compete."