Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-radio host who lost advertisers after calling a student a "slut," is recovering quite well, his distributor says.
Limbaugh used the term in 2012 after Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke testified before a congressional steering committee on why she believed the Catholic university should be forced to offer birth control under its insurance plan. After a public outcry, many of his advertisers fled.
The slump continued into early 2013, but advertising on the program has picked back up in the second quarter, Premiere Radio senior vice president and director of talk-radio sales Dan Metter said at the Talkers New York 2013 conference.
Metter said Premier, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Media, rose to the "challenge" by focusing on entrepreneurial companies that don't work with major ad agencies, Politico reports
"They’re not buying an ideology, they’re buying an audience," Metter told the gathering. Many of the advertisers are buying ads "with our progressive radio hosts and our conservative radio hosts and everything in the middle."
The companies are not buying Limbaugh's conservative ideology or fellow talk-show host Randi Rhodes' liberal ideology, Metter said.
"They’re buying them because their audience buys tractors, their audience drinks soda, and their audience needs data backup. And that’s the place to get those types of customers. So we’re doing very, very well."
Endorsements by the talk-show hosts boost sales for such companies, Metter said.
Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey earlier this year blamed Limbaugh's comments on Fluke for hurting his company's advertising. Forty of Cumulus' stations air "The Rush Limbaugh Show." Limbaugh has threatened not to renew the contract over Dickey's accusations, which he insists untrue.
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