SYRACUSE -- Even though it's been nearly two weeks since Rush Limbaugh made headlines with his now-infamous namecalling of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, it appears the controversy isn't over yet. Today, a Syracuse car dealer became the first local advertiser to pull its spots from Limbaugh's show.
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, you won't hear any more ads for Honda City between noon and 3pm on FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR. The dealership told the paper it pulled ads from Limbaugh's timeslot after receiving complaints from customers.
It's not clear whether Honda City is actually cancelling the spots outright and collecting a refund, or if Clear Channel will simply reschedule the spots into other time periods and/or to other stations in the cluster. The paper says Clear Channel Syracuse GM Joel Delmonico did not return calls for comment on the matter. (If we were to bet on it, we'd put our money on the rescheduling option.)
Less than a week earlier, Delmonico told Niedt's co-worker John Mariani that WSYR hadn't lost any local revenue as a result of the Limbaugh controversy. A different car dealership quoted in that article said it has a "general ad buy" with WSYR, meaning the spots aren't necessarily targeted to focus on -- or to avoid -- specific timeslots.
Since the now-infamous remarks were made on February 29, Limbaugh has lost roughly four dozen network-level sponsors, along with two affiliates -- one in Hawaii and one in Massachusetts. That exodus of big-name sponsors inspired the "cold open" for this past weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live, in which an actor impersonated Limbaugh as he shunned outgoing sponsors and introduced a line of new sponsors for fictitious products that would likely advertising budgets well below typical rates for Limbaugh's program.