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Joe Walsh’s run for president has seemingly already cost him a plum distribution deal with the quietly powerful Salem Radio Network, which on Tuesday announced that the national version of his show has been cancelled.
Without giving a reason for the cancellation, the company said that “it is exercising its right to cancel national distribution of the Joe Walsh program effective in 30 days, with the last day of SRN distribution September 26th. Walsh affiliates will continue to receive the Joe Walsh program from SRN during this 30 day period, and will be given the opportunity to continue the Joe Walsh program from a different syndicator, to be selected by Joe Walsh, at the end of the 30 day period. SRN may also offer a replacement for the Walsh program to begin after the 30 day period expires to any affiliates who choose not to continue with the Walsh program.”
Walsh on Sunday announcedthat he plans to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2020. Salem, a conservative media company, has been accused in the past of pushing out a radio show host for criticizing the president.
In interviews with The Hollywood Reporter in April, Salem executives said that serving listeners — who largely support the president — informs the company’s programming decisions. “They’re expecting us to deliver that information through the lens of conservative politics,” said president Dave Santrella. “And, our experience has always been that any time we deviate from that, we lose listeners and we lose advertisers.”
The company’s statement on Tuesday, however, suggests the issue could be one of political balance, now that Walsh is a declared candidate. “SRN will work with any affiliates who want to discontinue airing the Walsh program during the 30 day period due to concerns about FCC political regulations in light of Walsh’s announcement of his candidacy for President of the United States,” the company said.
Walsh’s show will continue to air locally in Chicago.
Salem was effusive in praising Walsh when it signed a national deal with him in February 2017. “Joe is a courageous and fearless warrior on the conservative side, who encourages his audience to take a strong stand for what is right,” Salem senior vp Phil Boyce said in a statement at the time.
A spokesperson for Walsh’s campaign has not yet commented on the Salem cancellation.
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