Rush Limbaugh’s advertising exodus is deep into its second week, and despite the radio host’s claim that the impact of 50 companies pulling their business has been negligible, listeners in the nation’s largest media market were treated to over five minutes of radio silence where Limbaugh’s advertisers once stood today.
There were four separate instances during this afternoon’s broadcast on WABC 770 AM in New York City where the network fell silent. During the lead in to the show, two and a half minutes of silence was broken up by a single, solitary ad before Limbaugh hit the air. Then, towards the end of the first hour of Limbaugh’s three hour program, a public service announcement was followed by an additional minute of silence before Limbaugh returned. Another minute of dead air came in hour two, and a fifth minute in hour three followed that. A spokesperson for WABC wouldn’t say whether the silence was caused due to a technical glitch or Limbaugh’s fleeing sponsors.
As Media Matters reports, of the 86 ads that made it on the air today, 77 of them were free public service announcements donated by the Ad Council. An additional seven ads were from companies that are in the process of pulling their spots from the show, leaving just two ads during the entire three hour broadcast that were purposefully paid to appear during the program.