Giving it away!
Bill Mann reports in HuffPost: “Did Rush accrue hundreds of local radio affiliates across the country because his political views are mainstream? That’s obviously not it. OK, so why IS his show so “popular?” Why do hundreds of stations around the country carry his show, the most widely syndicated talkfest in the country? Glad you asked.
The real story is not generally well-known. The only reason I know is through my covering the business of radio for years for several major daily newspapers and also, for industry trade magazines like Radio World.
It’s because — ready for this? — Rush’s show was, and presumably still is, GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE to many local radio stations.
This shocker is because of a little-known practice in broadcast syndication called a “barter deal… Major-market right-wing talk stations, like San Francisco’s KSFO-AM (“Reichstag Radio”) have to pay actual money, of course, to carry Boss Limbaugh’s daily proclamation-a-thon. (Note: KSFO, which I referred to as “Sieg Heil on Your Dial” in my column when it first switched to righty talk, is the same station that gave hatemonger Michael Savage his first radio megaphone).
Radio sources say that small- and medium-market stations STILL GET Limbaugh’s show for free, or pay only a token amount of cash for it….So, when you hear Rush bellowing as you’re passing through Birdseed Junction, Beanblossom, or Pyrite, just remember: The radio station’s getting what it paid for. Or, more accurately, DIDN’T pay for.”
(SOME EMPHASIS MINE).