Premiere Radio Networks host Rush Limbaugh returned to his daily radio show today, his first full show since suffering his well-publicized health emergency in Hawaii over the New Year’s weekend. Launching right into the show Limbaugh quipped, “So, have you noticed what happened on my first day back? How many Democrats quit? Five or six have said, ‘no mas, no mas!” Following a lengthy monologue recounting the episode in which he suffered severe chest pains — including details on a spinal epidural that he’d received while in Hawaii for back pain — Limbaugh reiterated the incident was not heart-related. Although he underwent extensive medical testing Limbaugh said, “Even as we speak today the medical community at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu have no clue what happened and there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again. The point is, I was extremely lucky, but I found out that my health is actually in pretty good shape. In many ways it’s in excellent shape, according to the markers that we in society use to measure health.” You can read a full transcript of Limbaugh’s opening statement from today’s radio show HERE.
Dial-Global syndicated radio talker and MSNBC host Ed Schultz could follow in the footsteps of comedian and former Air America host Al Franken and become the next Talk media personality to join the U.S. Senate. In a conversation with Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein, Schultz says North Dakota Democratic leaders have asked him to consider running for the Senate in his home state in the wake of incumbent Senator Byron Dorgan’s (D-ND) announcement that he will not seek re-election. Schultz confirmed he’d been given an “official ask” by state Democratic party leaders, adding that he was “flattered” and “honored.” Whether or not Schultz would be willing to forego his lucrative multi-media career for a shot at Capitol Hill is unknown, but you can bet it’s a topic that will come up tonight when Dorgan appears on MSNBC’s The Ed Show at 6pm.
The front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune and virtually every local TV station in ‘America’s Finest City’ have been buzzing all week over the firing of no less than three high-profile/heavy personality morning radio shows in recent weeks (The Jeff & Jer Showgram, The Mikey Show and Dave, Shelley and Chainsaw). It’s a trend certainly not limited to San Diego as radio operators adjust to falling ad revenues and the new realities of a changing media landscape. “It’s rare for super-premium morning shows to be kicked to the curb,” writes San Diego-based media researcher and analyst Mark Ramsey in a post to his Hear 2.0 blog. “It’s much more common for those shows to turn up their nose at a reduced offer and kick themselves to the curb.” Noting that falling ad rates have made some of radio’s high-priced shows worth less Ramsey adds, “Does radio need talent of this caliber? You bet it does. But, for better or worse, that talent will be worth exactly what radio is willing to pay for it and not a penny more. And that’s true whether your name is ‘Chainsaw’ or ‘Rush.’” Read more of Ramsey’s remarks HERE.
Chicago Tribune reporter Melissa Harris says that WLW/Cincinnati conservative talker Bill Cunningham and former Cincinnati mayor, TV talk host and one-time Air America Radio talker Jerry Springer, will co-host a new TV show that Tribune SVP/Programming Sean Compton describes as “a political-talk version of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption.” Read more HERE … Ad sales and marketing veteran Annie Begg joins NYC-based Media Management Group as Director of Advertising Sales reporting to EVP/Sales Warren Banholzer … Former WXYT/Detroit morning host Jay Towers is tapped by Clear Channel Radio as a national morning show consultant for the company, reporting to CC SVP Tom Poleman … The New York Post says comedian Kathy Griffin (pictured) won’t be making any future New Year’s Eve appearances alongside CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after dropping an “F-bomb” during last week’s live broadcast from Times Square. However, TVGuide.com says a CNN rep has denied the reports, saying they are “incorrect.” CNN has previously issued an apology saying the network “regrets that profanity was used” … R.I.P. Rory Markas: The Los Angeles Angels broadcaster has died at age 54. Read yesterday’s post to our NTS MediaOnline website HERE.
The 24/7 sports television and radio giant announced today that it will launch ESPN 3D in June with a World Cup soccer match as its debut show. The new channel plans to cover at least 85 other sporting events during its first year including the Summer X Games, NBA contests and a number of college basketball and football games. ESPN, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, has been developing its 3D initiative for the past couple of years, including producing last fall’s USC vs. Ohio State football game which was broadcast on the USC campus and in selected theaters around the country. To view the new channel you’ll need to buy a new 3D-compatible television and, as with 3D theatrical releases, you’ll also need to wear those fashionable special glasses to view the programming in 3D. ESPN is not alone in entering the 3D marketplace this year as several companies have also announced plans to offer 3D channels including Discovery Communications and DirecTV.
McVay Media News/Talk Specialist Holland Cooke takes a break from cruising the exhibit hall at this week’s “massive, mind-boggling” Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With more than 110,000 attendees on hand in Sin City for the annual event Cooke says, “You bet I packed hand sanitizer!”