Christmas may just have come early.
Cumulus Media has reportedly decided not to renew their contracts with conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity when they expire at the end of this year. Cumulus is the country's second largest radio network, and without their distribution deal, Limbaugh and Hannity could both stand to lose millions of listeners.
Limbaugh and Hannity currently host the two most popular radio shows in the U.S.. This change could bump NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered up into the top two spots. (NPR nerds for the win!)
The decision reportedly comes after negotiations broke down between Cumulus and Premiere networks, a division of Clear Channel. Premiere was apparently unwilling to lower the cost of the distribution rights for the two shows to a level considered acceptable to Cumulus. The controversial commentators, Cumulus may have decided, are simply not worth the hassle. This might just have something to do with Rush Limbaugh's statements in 2012 about Sandra Fluke, which lost Cumulus a massive amount of revenue last year. In case you've managed to block that one out of your memory, here's a refresher:
"What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her?" he said on his show, "It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex."
Advertisers began boycotting Limbaugh's talk show immediately after these inflammatory comments. When Hannity came to Limbaugh's defense, many advertisers pulled out of his show as well.
Apparently, Limbaugh isn't worried, and is claiming that "everything's cool."