The talk radio world was semi-rocked this week when it was reported that the second-largest broadcaster in the business was considering dropping conservative hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
A couple analytical pieces published since then provide some clarity on what exactly it would mean if it happened.
From Entertainment Weekly:
... Cumulus’ hard-ball tactics could backfire. “[Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey] is playing with real fire here, because if Rush and Sean go off of Cumulus stations, then the value of their radio stations goes down because they bought them as conservative-talk stations,” says Jerry Del Colliano, an industry analyst who runs the subscription media site, Inside Music Media. “Plus, they don’t have anybody to put on the air in an era where talk radio is really dying. Who do you have to replace them? Huckabee? Michael Savage? Cumulus does not have any real options.”
And from Variety:
... [T]his is a dispute over the cost of the programs, pure and simple. And while Cumulus does have a strong portfolio of stations, it’s not like rivals wouldn’t be eager to snap up the two highest-rated hosts in conservative talk, even if that includes enduring the occasional advertiser boycott directed at Limbaugh for saying the kind of outrageous things that ensure his listeners keep showing up.