Friday, May 2, 2014

Report: Rush Limbaugh 'A Ratings Disaster'

There's only one radio station in America that takes its name from Rush Limbaugh's radio empire and that's KEIB in Los Angeles -- the EIB mirrors Limbaugh's "Excellence in Broadcasting" motto. Clear Channel, which syndicates Limbaugh's program nationally, owns the station and flipped the call letters to KEIB 1150 AM in honor of him when the company announced he was leaving his longtime Los Angeles radio home, KFI 640 AM, and moving to KEIB as of January 1.

The Huffington Post is calling the move a ratings disaster, coming in 37th place in the second largest radio market in America with a .5 rating share (6+) in March, according to Nielsen ratings.

How small is KEIB's audience? So small that 11 non-English radio stations have larger audiences in Los Angeles, according to HuffPo.  As for KFI, the station Limbaugh left and which switched to an all-local news and talk format, its ratings remain healthy in the talker's absence. A top-10 station, KFI boasts an audience six times larger than KEIB's.

The ratings news is almost as bad up the California coast in San Francisco. There, as in Los Angeles, Clear Channel moved Limbaugh on the AM dial, from KKSF 910 AM to KNEW 960 AM, and branded the station "The Patriot."

So far however, Limbaugh's arrival at KNEW hasn't budged the minuscule ratings, according to Nielsen: January: .8, February: .8, and March: .7. (6+)

In New York, the nation's largest radio market and where Rush once reigned supreme, the talker recently exited his longtime AM home, WABC 770 AM, and moved to Clear Channel's WOR 710 AM. With Limbaugh as the main draw, the station now ranks 22nd in the market and trails four non-English stations as well as a commercial-free classical music outletm according to the HuffPo story.

"It's a far cry from the heyday when Rush "made" a station, and was on so many number ones," talk radio consultant Holland Cooke noted to Media Matters.

Limbaugh's major market ratings woes arrive in the wake of the 2012 Sandra Fluke scandal, where he castigated and insulted the graduate student for three days on his program, calling her a "slut".

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