Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Folks, I need to talk about something here. I’m always uncomfortable talking about this, and I haven’t even seen it. I was out playing golf over the weekend and friend of mine says, “By the way, what about these stories about how you’ve lost audience in April?”

I said, “What?”

“Oh, yeah, these stories are everywhere.”

“I haven’t seen one.”

“Oh, yeah. The story is all about how your audience is shrinking.”

“What? It’s not. It’s increasing. It’s incredible!”

I haven’t seen the stories. But look, I know what’s going on. It’s the ongoing effort. It’s been going on for 23, almost 24 years now. In this case, in large part, there’s some radio people actually behind these trumped-up, bogus stories. But let me tell you who’s really in trouble. We’re not in trouble here in any way, shape, manner, or form. We are as strong or stronger as ever both audience-wise and business-wise. All of this is just bogus.

It’s laughable to hear about this stuff, but it’s also instructive because even my friends reading this stuff think it’s true. One of them gets it, one of them didn’t, but it’s just the power of the printed word. Over the weekend there happened to be a story in New York Magazine by a guy named Joe Hagan, and it’s a story about the New York Times and what happened when they got rid of their CEO Janet Robinson. Janet Robinson was Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s right hand.

She ran the newspaper. They were inseparable, a platonic married couple. They were that close. She was the one who was trying to help the paper recover from all the lost advertising revenue. You want to talk about ratings down, revenue down? It’s the New York Times, and this story New York Magazine makes it very clear. But before I get to the details of that, what happened was that Little Pinch got a girlfriend that he met over at Davos. She had something to do with the World Economic Forum.

What’s her name? I can’t think of her name right now. It’s Claudia Gonzalez. She’s a Mexican marketing executive who formerly worked for the World Economic Forum in Davos. Well, it turns out she didn’t like Janet Robinson. Little Pinch gets a girlfriend. He fell madly in love with her. (I guess he just got divorced in 2008.) He fell madly in love with this babe, and this babe then started telling him that she didn’t like the way Janet Robinson ran paper.

The upshot is, Robinson gets canned with a $24 million golden parachute to get her to go away. The rest of the Times employees were fit to be tied over this because the unions are having to give things up. They’re giving up pensions and they’re giving up health care — no wage increases and so forth — and the CEO (an exec, a suit) was paid $24 million to go away ’cause Pinch’s girlfriend didn’t like her! That is the essentially the upshot of the story. But here the details in New York Times.

The next time you read about supposed problems here, let me just give you the real truth. “In the era of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. …” I’m reading from New York Magazine. “In the era of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., when newspapers have flailed under new digital realities, the New York Times Company has shrunk dramatically. Once it was a wide-ranging media empire of newspapers and TV stations and websites, and even a baseball team, that was worth almost $7 billion; today itÂ’s essentially two struggling newspapers and a much-reduced web company, all worth less than $1 billion…”

If you’ve ever heard of the Internet company or music company called Pandora, it’s worth twice what the New York Times is worth. Pandora, a music streaming outfit! “Despite the shrinkage, the company has retained essentially the same top-heavy management, which it has kept well compensated.” So I don’t mean to hit on Little Pinch here, but since he took over, they’ve built this new building that they couldn’t afford and they’ve done all this crazy stuff. Now they paid $24 million to their CEO to go away.

And a $7 billion company is now worth $1 billion, and you know who’s really upset? Apparently there are 40 members of the Ochs-Sulzberger family who live off the dividends, and there aren’t any anymore. And they’re all upset. The magazine describes them as people who have “admirable but low-paying jobs,” like academics, artists, and so forth. They went from $7 billion to less than $1 billion in less than ten years. Now, if you want to know who’s in trouble media-wise, it’s newspapers and liberalism, folks.


RUSH: I just want to read you one more little excerpt here from the New York Magazine piece on the New York Times. “That was fine for Sulzberger and the five other family members with salaried positions at the company, but the wider family of sons and daughters, nieces and nephews…” and there are 40 of ’em. See, what happened was that every year the Times company paid dividends, and the family, described here as academics, novelists, musicians, and psychotherapists, divvied up — there are 40 of them — they divvied up the $20 million dividends that were paid every year, and now the dividend’s been suspended because there isn’t the money for it, and so this story describes the pain and suffering of the family members. They’re now “forced to sell stock at a historical low to raise money. Most of them have admirable if low-wage jobs.”

The heartstrings are being tugged here over the circumstances for the family members that feed off the New York Times. Meanwhile, you have a newspaper here that rips the hell out of people that work and claims they’re not being taxed enough. You have a newspaper company that’s value has shrunk from over seven billion to under one billion. The dividends been suspended. The family are having to sell stock at low prices just to be able to live. And this is not unique. This is happening. The Times-Picayune, I didn’t know this. I didn’t know this until yesterday. Have you ever heard the Times-Picayune, the newspaper in New Orleans, is only going to publication three days a week? I didn’t find that out ’til last night. Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday I think. They have an online version but the printed paper… Super Bowl is gonna be there this year.

Folks, we are strong as ever. We haven’t lost any advertisers. Well, we’ve regained whatever advertisers we lost. There were three. This is all a bunch of BS. And I really don’t want you falling for it or worrying about it or believing it. The real problem in media is being experienced on the left. CNN, 54,000 viewers — oh, speaking of them, they’ve come up with a fix. They’re gonna now focus on international news. That’s the answer. CNN is going to do more international news. They’re gonna tell us more about the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, and the Greek debt crisis and what’s happening in Singapore, that’s the answer. I kid you not. The reason they’re doing it, CNN International is doing well. Worldwide, it does do well. So they’re going, “Okay, well, that’s working, let’s try that here domestically.” They’re not gonna stop American operations. I’m just telling you, MSNBC doesn’t have anybody listening or watching for all intents and purposes. All these newspapers, advertising revenue is down, circulation is down. People want to sit here and lie about what’s happening on this program, they’re welcome to do it, but they better start paying attention themselves.

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