Updated on 3/30
It's been exactly one month since radio host Rush Limbaugh made controversial comments about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke . The Washington Post reports that the network that carries Limbaugh's program has begun making discounted offers to previous advertisers who left in the wake of Limbaugh's comments:
On Monday, the 600 or so radio stations that air Limbaugh's program were told by his syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, to resume running "barter" ads during his program. Stations are required to run these ads in exchange for paying discounted fees to Premiere to air Limbaugh's show.
Limbaugh's advertising losses may have been less than media accounts suggested. While more than 100 advertisers told Premiere that they didn't want to be associated with "controversial" radio programs of any kind in the wake of the flap, some of these companies weren't regular Limbaugh sponsors in the first place.
Premiere, which is owned by radio giant Clear Channel Communications, had suspended the "barter" requirement for two weeks in a move widely seen as a way to give advertisers a chance to lie low while Limbaugh was in the news.
Limbaugh has only lost one advertiser in the past two weeks, the plumbing fixture company Kohler. The "barter" ad move indicates a level confidence for Premiere to comfortably believe the Limbaugh controversy may be dying down. Even Media Matters' Angelo Carusone admitted the "intensity is gone."
Carusone responded to the Washington Post
report citing some of the return sponsors: "We were able to identify 9 'long-term sponsors.' Six of these dropped Rush Limbaugh: Carbonite, Legal Zoom, ProFlowers, Sleep Number, Citrix, and AOL. Premiere has offered no evidence to suggest that any of these 6 have returned."
Media Matters also contests the number of businesses to have left Limbaugh here