A few days ago, I posted about emerging indications that American society might be coming to its senses. One of those signs was the diminishing reach of Rush Limbaugh and the hate-filled rhetoric he spawned on the nation’s airwaves.
There’s continuing good news on that front. Evidently, WRKO-AM, a longtime distributor of right-wing content in Massachusetts, has decided to drop Limbaugh’s radio show after carrying it for nearly two decades.
Limbaugh, of course, has never recovered from the advertiser backlash following his 2012 rhetorical assault on Sandra Fluke. As former iHeartMedia executive Darryl Parks noted earlier this year, Limbaugh has essentially killed his own industry:
Today’s talk radio, as we know it, is fast fading into the sunset because of a format stuck with 1990’s rhetoric, each day addressing topics few care about. A constant right-wing political drumbeat that no longer resonates. A format where its practitioners can’t define the word entertainment. A format attracting fewer people, men or women, under 65.
Probably the most important problem for rabid rightwing media is that the audience–not just for Limbaugh and his clones, but also for Faux News, and other propaganda outlets– is increasingly aging. As Parks put it,
All was good until the world changed and the aging, pissed off Baby Boomers (I’m one of those too – Baby Boomer – not pissed off) were no longer relevant. Extreme political ideas no longer resonated with listeners as generational power shifted from Boomers to Gen X’ers and now Millennials, groups that have a more centrist belief in regards to many social issues. They’re mostly OK with Hispanics, lesbians, smoking pot and women using birth control. Many are even OK with the first African American President.
A relative of mine in the radio business once told me that the primary audience for talk radio was over-50 white guys who wanted to hear their resentments and prejudices validated.
That audience, thankfully, is shrinking.