Caution: This blog may offend some of my conservative friends. Sorry ‘bout that
In 1993 I began transforming WHAS from full service Adult Contemporary to News Talk. It took about two years and the first component was Rush Limbaugh.
When the news was announced that Limbaugh was going to be on the venerable WHAS there was an expected backlash from a lot of people. The Louisville Courier Journal was uncomplimentary. There was mostly a negative response from the staff. Milton Metz was very concerned. He told me “I think you’re making a mistake..Limbaugh is a demagogue”. He was at least 50% right. I had no political agenda. I could care less if Limbaugh was left, right, crooked, or straight. I only cared, as do most programmers, that show would get ratings. And the gamble paid off. The Rush Limbaugh show drew huge ratings and it put WHAS on firm Tierra Firma. BUT!!!! It changed the fabric of the station forever.
So what is it about Limbaugh? The main appeal of Limbaugh, like most right wing talk show hosts is that they appeal to mostly paranoid people who like to gather around their radios and hear someone confirm their fears that their way of life is under attack. Of course every demagogue needs a villain. Limbaugh used (and still does) the Clintons as the enemy of the people.
As Limbaugh continued to grow his audience I was besieged by other syndicated hosts to add their shows to the line up. But they all lacked any entertainment value. Rush Limbaugh used his experience and skills as a rather talented disc jockey and included impressions and parody’s into his show. To this day nobody can match him.