At the New Media Seminar held last week in Los Angeles, Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, had some harsh words for conservative talk radio hosts nationwide:
Those who do not adapt will be swallowed up.
The cause for such a dire remark? The continuing fleeing of national advertisers from the right-wing radio spectrum. And he said this in front of a large crowd including notable conservative hosts.
What has happened without the major backers having realized it is that the new era of social media has rendered the marketing advantage of these right-wing hosts moot. Now advertisers can no longer sit securely thinking that only the hosts audience would pay attention to what was being said, and to which companies were advertising with them. Now a host says something out of line, the advertisers take a direct hit. And the strength of social media is only growing.
Now if someone such as Rush Limbaugh calls a law student a “slut,” instead of it now only being carried to this limited audience, now it is repeated through the social media echo chamber. Along with any offensive comments reflecting on Rush, so, too, are the advertisers associated with him coupled with his comments. Companies have been leaving him en masse, and this is being repeated throughout the right-wing radio sphere.
It was not that long ago that right-wing darling Glenn Beck had his own TV show on Fox. Now he has been forced off of the airwaves, and he attempts to save some dignity by having his own internet video channel. More and more, the right-wing pundits are finding out that business as usual is a sure fire way to the poorhouse.
With the current advertiser exodus, the right-wing radio host market can no longer support the number of hosts it currently has. Expect the smaller, weaker hosts to jump ship, change their mantra, or disappear from the airwaves.
Meanwhile left-wing radio hosts are having a huge jump in popularity, averaging far more audience per station than their right-wing counterparts. Unlike right-wing hosts, the left-wing commentators are not gaffe-machines, spewing hate-filled rhetoric that no company wants to be associated with.
Hosts like Rush Limbaugh are soon to be on the endangered species list: like the dinosaurs of old, they must either adapt, or die out.