Fox News host Sean Hannity just appeared on “Life, Liberty & Levin” Sunday night to discuss the impact of conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh, noting, “No one can replace Rush Limbaugh.”
The 70-year old Limbaugh passed away on February 17 following complications from lung cancer. He had served as a broadcaster, bestselling author, and speaker for more than 30 years.
Considered a trailblazer of conservative talk radio, Limbaugh single-handedly rescued dying AM stations with a dynamic interactive news format. Taking on the issues and callers alike, he held strong views popularized during the Reagan era that led to an enormous spotlight.
Phil Boyce, Senior VP/Spoken Word Format at Salem Media Group, first heard Limbaugh in 1988. “I was instantly mesmerized,” Boyce recalls. “He had this unique ability to relate to what the normal listener was thinking.”
Many note his popularity was propelled by President Ronald Reagan’s repeal of the Fairness Act in 1987. Launched in 1988 on 56 stations, his audience quickly grew to hundreds of locations and millions of daily listeners.
By 2008, Limbaugh’s status led to a $50 million, eight-year contract, with programs extending until 2020, a full 32 years of syndication.
Of course, Limbaugh’s legacy has been panned by mainstream media. Rolling Stone accused him of doing his best to ruin America.
The New York Times called Limbaugh’s legacy one that “weaponized” radio. They focused on alleged conspiracy theories and bigotry, ignoring his love for America and its people.
Yet Hannity says it well. No one can replace him, and no one will. It will take a generation of conservatives to extend his impact into the future, bringing new energy to America as the home of the brave.