John Avalon in The Daily Beast writes that the advertisers are not merely avoiding Limbaugh, they are avoiding all 'controversial' content. He cites as evidence, this memo obtained by Tom Taylor from Premiere Radio Networks, the distributors of the Rush Limbaugh show and many other hate radio programs:
“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis. Like advertisers that purchase commercials on your radio station from your sales staff, our sponsors communicate specific rotations, daypart preferences and advertising environments they prefer… They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”While Premiere distributes many right wing radio shows, they also distribute Randi Rhodes and Jessie Jackson, neither of whom are mentioned in the memo. While it is likely that some advertisers have decided to avoid all political advertising, the memo suggests that most are avoiding hate radio in general and not just Limbaugh.
From a business perspective, this makes perfect sense. Advertisers are worried about the next stupid and hateful outburst from a hate radio jock, not just Limbaugh or this particular incident.
It has taken long enough. Hate radio grew because the shows attracted more advertisers than non-partisan or progressive shows, not because there was more demand. And the hate radio shock jocks used the voice provided by their advertisers to drive countless liberals out of public life.
What is coming apart here is not just Rush Limbaugh's career, it is the right wing conspiracy machine.