Thursday, July 3, 2008

Racism Rewarded? Rush Limbaugh Gets a New Contract



Recovering Drug Addict Rush Limbaugh gets a new $20M contract.

Talk was never cheap for Rush Limbaugh, but now it is getting a lot more expensive.


The radio host will be paid about $400 million to continue serving up his daily dose of conservative patter through 2016. His $50 million a year paycheck represents a raise of about $14.4 million a year over his current contract, which was paying him $285 million over eight years and was set to expire in 2009.


The deal — struck a month short of the 20th anniversary of "The Rush Limbaugh Show" — is thought to be the most expensive in radio since Howard Stern moved to Sirius Satellite Radio for a reported $500 million in2004.


"I'm not retiring until every American agrees with me," Limbaugh, 57, said on his radio programWednesday.


The deal amounts to a major bet by Clear Channel Communications and its syndication subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, that Limbaugh's brand of conservative talk will prosper well into the next decade. The company announced the contract renewal on Wednesday, though the financial details were supplied by Limbaugh in an interview with The New York Times Magazine for an article that was posted online at on Wednesday and will appear in print onSunday.


Limbaugh's windfall comes at an acutely tough time for the radio industry, which has been troubled by technologies like iPods and a sluggish advertising climate. The total time spent listening to radio has fallen 16 percent in the last decade, according to data compiled by Arbitron, the measurementfirm.


Advertisers have taken note: Nielsen Monitor-Plus, an advertising information service, measured a 3.6 percent decline in national radio spending lastyear.


"Frankly, since 2001, we've had a number of things going against us," said Jeff Haley, the chief executive of the Radio AdvertisingBureau.


In April, the bureau, a trade group, helped introduce "Radio Heard Here," a marketing campaign that is meant to reiterate the medium's relevance and emphasize that it reaches 235 million listeners a week. "Rush represents the reach of radio," Haleysaid.

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