Rush Limbaugh Deflects Blame for WABC Ad Sales Slump (Report)

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?

The controversial radio host could leave the network when his contract runs up at year's end.

Rush Limbaugh is on the defense after receiving blame from the parent company of his radio station WABC for declining ad sales, the New York Daily News reports.

The company, Cumulus Media, lost millions in the aftermath of Limbaugh's Sandra Fluke remarks, CEO Lew Dickey has said, and in response, Limbaugh -- according to the Daily News -- might leave WABC at the end of his contract later this year if Dickey continues to single him out as the catalyst for the slump.

"Lew needs someone to blame, (so) he’s pointing fingers instead of fixing his own sales problem," a Limbaugh source is quoted as telling the newspaper.

Early in 2012, Limbaugh sparked outrage -- and an advertiser exodus -- after attacking Fluke, a social justice activist, as a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating insurance coverage of contraceptives. But a Daily News source close to Limbaugh's show said revenue was "very minimally impacted in the short term."

If Limbaugh, whose talk-radio program remains No. 1, takes his polarizing persona elsewhere, 40 of Cumulus' radio stations would lose rights to the show, says Politico. In March, Dickey said in an earnings call that talk radio at the company was "challenged ... due to some issues that happened a year ago"; in a call months earlier, he observed that advertisers' boycott of Limbaugh was part of the reason for $5.5 million in losses for the most popular Cumulus-owned programs. Another earnings call is slated for Tuesday.