'Rush Limbaugh Show' Broadcasts Five Minutes of Dead Air as Sponsors Continue to Flee

DOWN: Rush Limbaugh
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The radio host prompts a mass exodus of sponsors and stations by calling a law student advocating insurance coverage for contraception a "slut" and a "prostitute." Will his apology for "insulting word choices" stem the backlash?

Of the 86 ads aired during Thursday's New York broadcast, 77 were public service announcements and seven were from companies seeking to pull ads from the talk radio program.

The fallout over Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments about a Georgetown University law student continues. After dozens of sponsors said they would no longer advertise on The Rush Limbaugh Show, Thursday’s New York broadcast included five minutes of silence and an advertising lineup consisting almost entirely of public service announcements.

The dead airtime was spread out over four instances during the three-hour broadcast. WABC 770 AM in New York was silent for two and a half minutes before the show, save for one ad, then again near the end of the show’s first hour. Hours two and three each contained one minute of silence each, reports Think Progress.

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A station representative did not specify whether the silence was due to lost advertisers or a technical problem.

Of the 86 ads that were aired, 77 were unpaid public service announcements from the Ad Council, and seven were from sponsors which were in the process of removing support from the show. Only two ads were from sponsors which have not indicated they would leave, reports Media Matters.

The same day, one of the first companies to pull support from the show, the mattress company Sleep Train, asked to come back. Limbaugh refused.

Limbaugh, who says his show reaches 20 million listeners, apologized last week for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke “a prostitute” and “a slut” after she testified before House members for the need of insurance coverage for contraception.