- Reuters/Micah Walter
Rush Limbaugh has said the blame for suffering ad revenue at the WABC radio station does not lie with him, according to reports this week.
CEO of WABC parent company Cumulus, Lew Dickey, has firmly laid the blame with Limbaugh for the decline in ad revenue, saying that some controversial comments by the conservative radio host over the past year had put off some advertisers.
However, Limbaugh has refused to accept the blame, saying to the Daily News at the weekend: "Lew needs someone to blame, (so) he's pointing fingers instead of fixing his own sales problem."
The root of the dispute seems to go back to February 2012 when Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" after she urged lawmakers to mandate insurance coverage of birth control.
Media Matters and a number of groups called for advertisers to stop advertising on Limbaugh's show after that incident, and some fell in line with those requests, including Sears, Netflix, Capitol One and the New York Lottery.
However, despite the drop-outs Limbaugh has claimed that the revenue brought in by those lost advertisers was quickly replaced, and a source close to the show also admitted that the revenue was not impacted that greatly in the short term, according to the NY Daily News.
However, Dickey has claimed that the incident cost Cumulus a "couple of million" in the first quarter of 2012 as well as the same in the second quarter.
Other analysts have highlighted that talk radio advertising in general has suffered a slump since way back in 2008 when the recession started to hit. But Dickey has estimated that 1 percent of the 3.5 percent drop in company revenue was down to Limbaugh.
Meanwhile, Limbaugh's contract with WABC expires at the end of the year.