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WIBC Indianapolis To Drop Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh Emmis 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis Premiere Radio NetworksEmmis News/Talk 93.1 WIBC has ended its partnership with Premiere Radio Networks and drop Rush Limbaugh on July 3.

No replacement has yet to be named nor has a potential new affiliate for Limbaugh in the market. WIBC currently ranks third in the market with 6.6 share as the only commercial Talk station that covers the entire market.

Emmis Communications and Premiere Networks announced today a decision to end their partnership in Indianapolis. As a result, WIBC 93.1 FM, Indianapolis’ News/Talk station, will not renew its contract to air The Rush Limbaugh Show.

“Premiere has been a great partner, and Rush has been an iconic part of WIBC’s heritage and success,” said Charlie Morgan, SVP/Market Manager for Emmis-Indianapolis. “WIBC has a strong line-up of live and local personalities delivering great radio, and we will continue to be Indianapolis’ home for listeners with a passion for conservative values and principles.”

“We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Emmis for many years, including a long history of ratings success for The Rush Limbaugh Show in Indianapolis,” stated Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks.

Limbaugh’s show currently airs from 12-3 pm weekdays on WIBC, and the program’s last day on the station will be July 3. No replacement was immediately named.

WIBC is home to conservative, local talent Tony Katz, Greg Garrison, Chicks on the Right and Abdul at Large as well as syndicated talk host Dana Loesch.

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.

15 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    Wow. How long now until Rush either retires or moves his show to a subscription-based internet platform? As if his affiliate defections in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh (his adopted hometown) and the rumored loss of WLS in Chicago weren’t bad enough…

    Think about it. This is Indianapolis we’re talking about! INDIANAPOLIS!

    And no, I highly doubt that iHeart will blow up any of their FMs – even the Radio Disney FMer that they are supposedly going to acquire – to install a news/talk format. It will not happen in any sense of the word.

    • Profile photo of mikefromindiana


      Are you so sure about that.

      Lets see Rush is either gonna land on Freedom 950/95.9 or it will end up on an Iheart Station

      i could easily see Iheart moving WNDE over to 103.3 and putting Alt on 98.3 and putting Beck, Rush and Taking hannity away from Freedom. and making station out of 1260 that would be like KEIB out of LA.

      I really dont see Iheart letting rush not air in indy on some station

      you got think Iheart is gonna want rush in as powerful signal as WIBC is.

      that i cant see happening with Freedom 95 (WXLW 950 and WFDM 95.9)

      from the looks of it. WNDE now has an FM Translator in 97.5 FM that covers a majority of the indy Metro

      I could easily see IHeart placing the current WNDE format on 103.3. with 103.3 moving to 98.3 if Iheart buys 98.3 like is rumored.

      1260 then flips to news Talk as 97.5 the Patriot with Beck, rush and the stealing of Hannity from Freedom at the first chance Iheart can steal Hannity from them

      • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


        KEIB is a ratings disaster. It only exists because iHeart can eat the costs of running that 50kW transmitter thanks to the billing behemoth that is KIIS-FM. KFI and KOST hold their own in ratings and revenue with their respective formats.

        It would be criminally insane for iHeart to flip WNDE or any of their other signals to conservatalk. The ROI is not there, and WIBC will crush them decisively.

        Bottom line is, Freedom 95 will cut a deal to carry Rush, and iHeart/Premiere will cut their losses.

        • Profile photo of mikefromindiana


          Even if Rush isnt a money pull anymore.

          Premire/IHeart will not let Rush not air in indianapolis

          Limbaugh will air in indianapolis some where

          Be it 1260/97.5, 98.3, or 103.3

          I dont think there is one market that has rush booted off his station. that Rush isnt on the air in

          Rush is still the #1 conservative talker.

          I cant see IHeart not having him on in the #40 market

          • Profile photo of mikefromindiana


            i mean look at the TV news Channels.

            If Rush says something., it gets played on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC all the time

            Do you think that rush isnt gonna have a home in Indianapolis. your way crazier than Whacked out Donald Trump

  2. Profile photo of Autodyne


    Sigh.

    Mention washed up fluff talk hosts like Mancow and Brandmeier and that’s “the future of talk radio.” Say ‘Limbaugh’ and out come Rain Man and Forrest Gump.

    One more time for the riders of the radio short bus (everyone else sing the chorus with me), iChannel took Limbaugh to WOR, no defection in New York. Same in San Fran (and Cumulus willing welcomed him back given the opportunity), ClearHeart programs him in LA on the less-than-optimal signaled KEIB, and he hasn’t gone anywhere yet in Chicago.

    If it escaped some peoples’ notice, talk draws older demos and being on FM didn’t change that. Hence talkers aren’t being minted on FM these days (Pittsburgh) and in Indy, they’re stuck with WIBC on FM unless they resurrect an AM, so younging (aka ‘dumbing’) down the talk is their first option for the FM (and despite heritage local hosts, good luck based on the track record everywhere else).

    What with Indy being overradioed, they aren’t likely going to country format #4 right away.

    So stop with the selfies in front of the Limbaugh statue and move along. Still nothing to see here.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      WLS actually wants to drop Rush for the same reasons WIBC just did. The punitive nature of the standard affiliation contract (especially among non-iHeart stations) isn’t worth it.

      That WLS wants to replace their flailing conservatalk lineup with thrice-recycled WLUP shock jocks (nothing new, Chicago radio is a pioneer in recycling air talent) says a lot. It’s much cheaper for an operator like Cumulus. And WLS’s ratings have plummeted so badly that they have just cause.

      • Profile photo of StogieGuy


        WLS should hang on to Limbaugh like grim death. Their attempts to go with the likes of Dahl and now Brandmeier have hit with a resounding thud. If anything, it’s Limbaugh that keeps them above a 1.0 rating average. That having been said…..

        Rush Limbaugh has had a remarkable career and is an iconic figure. I respect his body of work and defy anyone to match his success. But, he’s also jumped the shark in recent years. His show doesn’t have the “spark” that it once had and is not as entertaining as it used to be. Yes, it’s still a big show and it still pulls in an audience that almost every other talker would kill for. But it is a pale version of its past self.

        That’s the real issue here – no boycott threats from a group of what turned out to be about 10 people on computers in their mother’s basements. You can get away with a hell of a lot, if you’re entertaining enough to keep growing an audience.

        Talk radio needs new talent and I am not seeing it emerging as yet. Hard to do when you slaughter your prospective farm team with voice tracking, syndication and cut after cut, as Cumulus and iHearMedia have done.

        • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


          ^^ THIS.

        • Profile photo of charles57


          “You can get away with a hell of a lot”? Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke woke ordinary people up. Over 140 major advertisers want nothing to do with right-wing radio — because of the bigotry, name-calling and character assassination.

          Emmis has turned WIBC right-wing, yet the company wants to cut its losses.

          • Profile photo of Autodyne


            Keep dreaming, Charles. The Sandra Fluke Astroturf operation (the mentally disordered David Brock’s Media Mutters) is ancient, debunked history.

            Advertisers have always wanted to avoid ‘controversy,’ but if all that’s available to replace it is low-rated pablum, that’s no help to all parties involved.

            Limbaugh’s Fluke jokes weren’t controversial to his audience nor to most of his advertisers. You’d have to actually listen to understand that.

      • Profile photo of mikefromindiana


        IF WLS does drop Rush. It will end up on WIND or Iheart will flip 1690 to Talk.

        Rush will not be without any station in any top 100 market no matter if its on Station #1 or Station #67

  3. Profile photo of charles57


    Like it or not, Limbaugh has been a loss leader for his stations. Emmis turned WIBC right-wing and was able to prop it up with profits from the rest of the market’s cluster. Now Emmis wants to cut and run.

    And that advertiser boycott of Right-Wing Radio is not ancient history. Ask Geico or any other major advertiser.

    • Profile photo of Autodyne


      Geico? What about ‘Progressive?’ Ha ha!

      Their radio advertising policies never changed. Reference reliable news sources, not the ‘stopthinkdream’ ideological astroturfers that feed you only what you can bear to hear.

    • Profile photo of WeNeverKnew


      Sconnix owned 1070 WIBC was extreme right wing long before the 1994 sale to Emmis. The vitriol of one time WIBC right winger Stan Solomon makes Limbaugh and today’s 93.1 WIBC look downright Daily Kos-esque. Solomon was the first person fired with the Emmis takeover.

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