After 32 years on the radio, and a one year battle with stage 4 lung cancer, radio superstar Rush Limbaugh has passed away. The news was delivered by his wife Kathryn Wednesday at the opening of his radio show. Rush was 70 years old.
In addition to being called credited with spreading the Conservatism movement across the country, Rush is known for saving AM Radio and inventing talk radio.
Industry reaction so far….
Rush Limbaugh epitomized excellence in all he did, on and off the air. It’s been an honor to work with him and the EIB Network team all of these years, and witness the audience relationship he cherished.
“Rush Limbaugh was a trailblazer on broadcast radio who brought a vast listenership to radio in general and to the AM band in particular. NAB extends condolences to his family, friends and the millions of listeners who will miss his unique presence on radio.”
CEO Gordon Smith
“No one in the 100 year history of radio had reached the levels of loyal listenership Rush accomplished, and I suspect no one ever will. Rush had an innate ability to read his audience, and perform in a way they embraced, which was the key to his massive success. Whether or not you agree with his content, he made radio history and continued on a ride for decades with audiences unparalleled by anyone. He was a force to be reckoned with, and it was he who saved AM radio at a time when listening was falling off, and he who, with the help of the removal of the Fairness Doctrine, reinvented talk radio, which has followed his lead. He was clearly the most powerful person on the air, and once held the title on the Radio Ink Most powerful people in radio list. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the many friends he had in this industry, which will miss him dearly.
Radio Ink Chairman
America and Radio lost a great man and a good friend today. Rush’s humor, intellect, and passion catapulted him to become an American icon. You had to love him or hate him, he didn’t give you a choice…I loved him. Few people can be credited with literally starting an industry, but Rush was the Elvis of Talk Radio, he invented it. There will be attempts to fill his shoes, but none of us can. RIP my friend, you will be missed.
Dave Ramsey, Talk Host
Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo put together a tribute video of Rush. Check it out HERE.
We’re deeply saddened by our dear friend Rush’s passing and share our deepest condolences with his wife Kathryn and the entire family. Over the past year, Rush bravely shared his cancer battle with his listeners, inspiring and encouraging anyone suffering from illness. With ‘talent on loan from God,’ Rush led the talk radio format for more than 30 years – a feat no other could have accomplished – and he set the standard for all those who followed. He was beloved by millions of fans across the country and we share the loss of their fearless leader.”
iHeart COO Rich Bressler
“Rush has had an incredible impact on my life and on the lives of all of our listeners. Over the many years we worked together Rush was a wonderful and inspiring colleague, and he will surely be missed.”
Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks.
“Rush Limbaugh was a very generous contributor to the Broadcasters Foundation of America which raises money for broadcasters – past and present – all over the country who have fallen on hard times. When I heard the news a few hours ago of his passing … I re-visited some correspondence with Rush that culminated in spectacular Gifts to our Foundation for half a million dollars. As a result, he became – and remains – our greatest benefactor.”
“Rush was a master of the radio medium and uniquely skilled at crafting arguments to advance his ideological interests and business objectives. And, whatever your view on that ideology or those business goals, its inarguable that Rush was a giant in our industry who inspired both fierce loyalty and sharp reaction. I also know he generously supported broadcasters in need through his charitable efforts and that he never forgot his radio colleagues who helped him build his legendary career.”
“I’d worked with Rush in Kansas City in the early 80’s…and knew how talented he was, so we added him on WLS (his first Top 10 Market at that time), figuring we’d get big ratings because Chicago Democrats would tune-in in big numbers just because they’d be angered by his conservative views. Instead, he just sat there for almost two years like the movie Flatliners. But once he kicked in, Rush rocketed WLS to #1 in his daypart among talk stations and never looked back. His death is a deep, personal loss and a blow to the talkradio industry…which literally would not exist today if Rush Hudson Limbaugh hadn’t turned the moribund AM band around and electrified American conservatives from coast-to-coast.
V.P./News & Talk Programming
SALEM Radio Network
“I worked with Rush Limbaugh years ago when I programmed WABC radio. Rush was a unique individual. Perhaps his powerful talent as a communicator really was “on loan from God…?” I knew him and worked with him at a time way before the polarization and just plain snarky meanness. Rush was first and foremost, an entertainer. The Rush I worked with was a gentleman, brilliant storyteller and kind and generous man. I will try to remember him that way.”
“Rush was a once in a generation kind of talent. He was fired 7 times as rock jock on AM rock stations that just wanted him to play the hits and stop talking. We know that was impossible. When somebody wise discovered him (Ed McClaughlin) and put him on a talk station, the magic began.When they removed the fairness doctrine, he electrified the nation with his wit, wisdom, entertainment sense, and knowledge. You simply could not turn him off. Nobody will replace him, but he leaves a lasting legacy called Talkradio that will stand the test of time, even long after his passing. RIP Rush.”
Senior VP/Spoken Word Format
Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network
“A proud son of Missouri, Rush Limbaugh was a voice for the voiceless. He changed talk radio, but more importantly, Rush changed the conversation to speak up for the forgotten, and challenge the establishment. He lived the First Amendment and told hard truths that made the elite uncomfortable, but made sure working men and women had a seat at the table. Erin and I are praying for the Limbaugh family.”
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri