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Rush Limbaugh Signs New Deal With iHeartMedia

Rush Limbaugh iHeartMedia Premiere Radio Networks Contract ExtensionWith his previous contract expiring at the end of July, Conservative Talker Rush Limbaugh has come to terms on a new contract to remain in syndication with iHeartMedia and their Premiere Radio Networks.

Limbaugh told listeners this afternoon that the new contract is for four years, half the length of his previous 8 year/$400 million deal that expired last month. No financial terms were announced other than it is a long-term multi-platform agreement to keep Limbaugh in place for his 12-3pm eastern syndicated program. He celebrated the start of his 29th year in syndication on Monday.

iHeartMedia, the leading media company in America with a greater reach in the U.S. than any other radio or television outlet, announced today it has renewed and extended its partnership with Rush Limbaugh, the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America. Specific terms were not announced, but the long-term, multi-platform agreement reflects The Rush Limbaugh Show’s status as the top program in Premiere Networks’ industry-leading talk lineup of nationally-syndicated properties, including continuous growth and strong performance in both revenue and OIBDAN. 
 
Limbaugh will continue to host The Rush Limbaugh Show, which broadcasts weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. ET on more than 600 affiliates and reaches millions of listeners nationwide. In 2016, the top-rated program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth with Persons 12+ (+27%), Adults 25-54 (+18%), Adults 18-34 (+27%) and Women 25-54 (+27%), and average quarter hour audience levels are up double and triple digits in many markets, including New York (+155%), Chicago (+76%), San Francisco (+63%), Houston (+33%), Atlanta (+40%) and Miami (+50%) (Source: Nielsen Audio, JAN-JUN Avg 2016 vs 2015, PPM, Exact Times, AQH). Ad revenue for The Rush Limbaugh Show has also increased by 20% over last year, and the show continues to be the number one program in Talk radio.
 
“After 28 fulfilling years, I seriously considered moving on to something else, but Rich and Bob were very persuasive,” said Limbaugh. “I’m thrilled to be continuing. And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary’s emails.” 
 
“As Rush celebrates his 28th anniversary in national syndication, his commitment to broadcasting excellence has never been more evident,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “The Rush Limbaugh Show is stronger than ever, experiencing continued ad sales growth and its highest audience levels of the past decade.” 
 
“Rush continues to deliver impressive results for affiliates and a wide range of advertisers by providing an unmatched connection to millions of loyal fans, along with valuable and unique content,” said Rich Bressler, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.  “We’re proud to continue our partnership with Rush, and look forward to sharing many more years of success.”

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

5 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    This is a deal in which I can’t wait to see the financial terms and details. At the rate AM radio, conservative talk radio and iHeartMedia are all broaching either insolvency or total irrelevance simultaneously, a repeat of his ludicrous 2008 deal would be simply astounding.

  2. Profile photo of charles57


    Inside Music Media said Limbaugh’s new contract is a revenue-sharing deal worth much, much less than $400 million.
    As well, his stations will continue to pay cash on the barrel to carry his show. That’s been the M.O. ever since Limbaugh went national in the late 1980s.

    • Profile photo of Mark


      And run national spots on top of that.

      The results of the upcoming election will probably have a big bearing on Limbaugh’s future–and Premiere and iHeart, for that matter.

  3. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    The new deal will keep Rush on the air through the 2020 Presidential election.

    Isn’t Rush 65 years of age?

    If he is, he’d be 69 or so when this deal expires and might be ready to retire.

    Also: Isn’t Rush the only syndicated show on commercial radio where stations have to pay money (as opposed to barter)??

  4. Profile photo of radioperson


    “The terms of the new deal were not made public”
    Unlike the last deal, where the figures were gleefully thrown around.
    Rush took a haircut and there are probably a bunch of new, escape clauses for iHeart as well based on his ratings and behavior.

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