Cumulus Media to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity after contract negotiations

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Talk radio is undergoing some serious changes as Cumulus Media, the second-largest American radio broadcaster, decides to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from the airwaves at the end of the year.

According to a Politico report, Cumulus does not plan to renew the contracts of their of their biggest conservative radio hosts.

Both hosts have caused more than a number of controversies with their commentary, but the severance from Cumulus Media came down to simple contract negotiations. Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity’s shows, disagreed with the media company over the cost of distribution rights.

A source told Politico that Clear channel was unlikely to lower their price to a level that worked for Cumulus, and thus the separation is likely.

Although Limbaugh and Hannity’s often controversial comments did not cause them to lose their contracts, it has cost them something in the long run.

In addition to low nationwide approval ratings, both talk show hosts have lost a large number of advertisers over their provocative statements, especially in regard to minorities and women.

Think Progress reports that Limbaugh lost 140 advertisers after his “sexist attacks” on Sandra Fluke, a women’s health advocate.

The Georgetown student testified in a hearing to support healthcare that could get her birth control covered by her plan, and Limbaugh responded by calling her a “slut” and “prostitute” who was “having so much sex she couldn’t afford contraception”.

Limbaugh has also openly made extremely negative comments about the Obamas, Rachel Jeantel (a prosecution witness in the George Zimmerman case), and others, which have exposed his insensitivity to issues of race and gender.

Sean Hannity, a conservative radio host and Fox News anchor, has been criticized for similar remarks of his own, and has received rebukes from some advertisers.

The move from Cumulus will remove the hosts from over 40 stations that currently broadcast their shows, including WABC New York which is the largest market in the nation.