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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Political Radio


It seems a fitting topic for the first weekend after the general election...

WILK had bumper stickers promoting its noon to 3 pm Rush Limbaugh Show.

I don't have the time frame for the above sticker, but we can get some clues from the WILK schedule printed on the back.  WILK had "The Big News" in the early morning, and Fred Williams in the late mornings.  G. Gordon Liddy followed Limbaugh, and Tom Leykis had the evening slot.

Also note, this was probably one of the first promotions featuring WILK's second frequency, WGBI AM 910, now WBZU, in Scranton.

Even if you don't agree with Limbaugh's politics, you have to respect his talent and his ability to draw a crowd.  WARD AM 1540 (and later AM 1550) was the first Limbaugh station in town.  I always thought my old station,  WARM,  should have jumped on the show while it was white hot, in the early 80's.  For some reason, it never happened, and I bet those managers regretted the decision for years.

Several stations around the country have dropped Limbaugh in recent years.  It wasn't due to ratings.  It was because of money.  Rush is expensive, and if you can't make all the money back via advertising, you have to move in another direction.  Those Rush-less stations might have lower ratings now, but their expenses have also dropped.

Limbaugh went national in 1988.  He broadcasts on 600 stations.  Limbaugh likely will go down in history as the most successful radio talk show host of all time.