In this week’s issue… What next for Rush affiliates? (And what’s happening at Buffalo’s?) – Entercom completes Philly consolidation – New PDs in Erie, NJ – Morning duo reunites – Perry launches new Brockton station

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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*He didn’t come from NERW-land originally, but Rush Limbaugh’s career intersected two markets here at critical points: when “Jeff Christie” got his initial big-market breaks at WIXZ and KQV in Pittsburgh in the early 1970s, and then (after detours to the Kansas City Royals and KFBK in Sacramento) when New York’s WABC became his initial home base for his rise to national syndication 30 years ago.

So even before he received the Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union address, the news of Limbaugh’s lung cancer diagnosis last week already had significant NERW-land implications.

(photo: rushlimbaugh.com)

While Limbaugh himself long ago left New York for Florida (and isn’t even on WABC anymore, having been moved over to WOR once that station was sold to iHeart, parent company of Limbaugh’s syndicator), his midday show has remained the anchor of talk radio lineups across our region and across the country. Whatever you might think of the man or his politics (and there are plenty of places to discuss that that aren’t this column), there’s no question that whenever his health eventually takes him off the airwaves, it’s going to be a big deal for the radio industry.

Do we have thoughts about what happens next, and what the talk format should be doing? We do – keep reading!

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You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. In York, PA, Cumulus dropped Rush Limbaugh from WSBA (910/93.9) in January; Fox Across America now airs from noon to 3pm. Further, Brian Kilmeade from FOX & Friends had some months earlier replaced Sean Hannity from 9am to noon.

  2. In a way I believe the rise of Rush Limbaugh contributed to the rise of NPR and other public radio. The listeners who were displaced from other talk formats needed a place to go. And that also IMO contributed to many of these stations becoming more news and talk, and less music.

  3. Scott, your comments on the evolution of Rush from “Top 40 Talk Jock” to becoming a “power seat in his own right” are the most accurate I’ve ever read. He’s also the poster-child for “personality” and consistency on radio. The stations he’s appeared on for decades have enjoyed those 3 hours as a beacon of predictable unpredictability. His health issues have all of us concerned and if Premiere Radio was smart they’d be seeking out his replacement today. There’s not another Paul Harvey. Even his son couldn’t fill the void. Howard is Howard. One of a kind. There just might be a podcaster out there (or another broadcaster) who will pique the interest of his/her audience and be thrust into the national spotlight. It will be hard to find but it’s should be a priority right now.

    Thanks for your service.

    Dave

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