Radio Group Cumulus May Not Extend Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity Show Deals (Report)

1:24 AM PST 07/29/2013 by George Szalai
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Rush Limbaugh.

The company has featured the conservative talk stars on more than 40 stations under deals with an arm of Clear Channel, which runs through year's end.

Radio station group Cumulus Media is planning not to renew deals to carry the shows of conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, which expire at year's end, Politico reported late Sunday, citing an industry source.

Radio giant Clear Channel's Premiere Networks unit distributes both shows. Limbaugh and Hannity are the country's most highly rated conservative talk hosts.

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Politico said negotiations between Premiere and Cumulus, the second-largest U.S. radio station owner, over a contract extension have broken down over price.

It wasn't immediately clear if and when the talks could resume.

Politico said Cumulus would look to replace Hannity and Limbaugh on its stations with other conservative talk hosts such as Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin and Michael Savage.

Earlier this year, Limbaugh was said to be considering leaving Cumulus after comments from Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey that partly blamed advertising challenges on the host's controversial comments about Sandra Fluke.

Limbaugh had called the law student at Georgetown University, who pushed for health insurance plans to cover the cost of contraceptives, a "slut."

"Cumulus is not in a position to comment about negotiations with talent under contract," the company told Politico. It said none of the other parties were available for comment.

In May though, Dickey on an earnings call touted improvements at radio stations featuring Limbaugh.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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