Where Will Rush, Sean and Huck Wind Up in NY?
The Clear Channel pickup of WOR in New York adds a little drama to the talk radio battle that's heating up between Clear Channel (Premiere Radio Networks) and Cumulus (Cumulus Media Networks). Especially, the Noon to 3PM slot still dominated by Rush Limbaugh. It certainly adds to this weird relationship Cumulus and Clear Channel now have where they love each other when it comes to iHeartRadio and SweetJack yet they are fiercely competing with one another with their syndicated products. New York will certainly become a Talk Radio battleground.
Cumulus is 100% behind the belief that their syndicated talent, Mike Huckabee, is going to eventually beat Rush Limbaugh. They promote Huck as the person who is "changing the course of conservative talk." Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey stated just last week that he's very pleased with the Huckabee launch. Cumulus has also launched Geraldo in a time slot they are hoping will compete with some of Clear Channel's conservative talkers. What makes the New York story fun to watch is the fact that Rush is under contract with Cumulus to air on WABC in New York for another year and a half. If Rush does well in the Big Apple, Cumulus will benefit with higher revenue. Sean Hannity, another Premiere product, is also heard on WABC.
Huckabee, a Cumulus Media Network product, now airs on WOR-AM, although it's tape delayed and runs from 8PM to 10PM. In the Noon to 3PM slot on WOR-AM right now is Joan Hamburg for two hours and Dave Ramsey for one. Is there any chance something happens soon that allows Rush and Sean to move to WOR and Huckabee to WABC? Or will all the contracts play out until the end before the shuffle begins.
WOR-AM will bring the Clear Channel cluster in New York City to six. They also own 5 music FM's (WLTW, WKTU, WAXQ, WHTZ, WWPR). Clear Channel says the WOR format will continue as News Talk. "We are big believers in the News Talk format and have been very successful with this format at stations all across the country. Our success is the result of the unbeatable experience and expertise we have at Clear Channel – which you can see in our news talk programming at stations including KFI, KTRH, KOA, WLW, KFYI WIOD and WFLA. We're extremely excited to add WOR to our lineup; the station has a terrific brand and a long history of excellence, and we respect and admire what they have done."
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