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Rush Limbaugh to switch Triangle radio stations

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One of the first radio stations to broadcast Rush Limbaugh's talk show, WPTF AM-680, will be losing the conservative media icon after 21 years on the air.

Limbaugh's trademark in-your-face talk show will be moving to a competitor, WRDU FM-106.1, a country music station owned by media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications. Starting January 1, WRDU will switch to an all-talk format and feature a 9-hour non-stop marathon of conservative talk by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

Curtis Media, the Raleigh-based company that owns WPTF, will fill the three hours vacated by Limbaugh with political talk that's more centrist and moderate, said president and chief operating officer Phil Zachary. Still, losing Limbaugh is a big deal, he said.

"We were there from the beginning, which makes this more painful," Zachary said. "We were there before Rush was arguably Rush."

Premier Radio Networks, the syndicator that owns Limbaugh's program, will also pull the program from a Curtis Media station that broadcasts in Winston-Salem and Greensboro and sell the broadcast rights to Clear Channel.

Clear Channel negotiated for months with Premier to win the rights to Limbaugh, said Dick Harlow, Clear Channel's vice president and market manager for Raleigh.

"We sent a signal to Premier that we would love to have those products," Harlow said.

Curtis Media will continue broadcasting Limbaugh on radio stations in Boone and Goldsboro.

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Democrats will love this

Democrats will love this, certainly in NC. It will be interesting to see where the "centrist" talk shows will come from, whatever that means. Anyway, it will give Rush more exposure and even higher ratings than before. Maybe they can try a liberal talk show, it has been tried many times and has never worked. Maybe the "Mike Easley" show since he seems to like the hot seat.

it's Sean Hannity, not Shawn!

... obviously you've never watched the show on Fox, the network liberal journalists love to hate.

How can you hate it so much, when you never watch it?

I know - I'm assuming a lot - but betcha I'm right ...

Format change and sports...

So will 106.1 continue to carry Tar Heel sports in the new all-talk format? Or will the games shift to a different Clear Channel affiliate?

Premier = Clear Channel = Rush

Premier is OWNED BY Clear Channel so this is actually an in-house move. FM Radio is hurting from the effects of MP3 and Ipods and needs the same audience boost that Rush gave AM Radio 20 years ago. Clear Channel is simply consolidating its assets.    

 

Similar moves have taken place in several other metro markets. Rush's audience has followed him in every instance. Triangle listeners will do likewise. Thank you Don Curtis for 20 years as Rush's local "home".    

 

"Rush-haters" who have predicted his demise "every 90 days for the past 20 years" will do so again (DUH !) but the reality is that his ratings are stronger than ever across his 600+ station EIB Network. Just reprogram your channel sets Triangle listeners. The beat goes on.

Need a show about NC politics and CORRUPTION therein!

You need a show about NC politics and the CORRUPTION therein!

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About the blogger

John Murawski has been a full-time newspaper reporter since 1991, with stints at Legal Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy (both in Washington, DC), The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Palm Beach Post (in South Florida) before arriving at the N&O in December 2004. At the N&O he covers energy (nuclear, coal, renewable, efficiency), hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), public utilities and health care. His beat includes PSNC Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy Progress, PowerSecure International, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Biogen Idec and others. He has also contributed more than 30 book reviews on topics spanning botany, history, science and religion. You can reach him at 919-829-8932 or e-mail him.
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