This is interesting.
A site called Talk Stream Live: A Dynamic Directory of Internet Radio has compiled a list of "The 50 most influential talk show hosts on the Internet."
Guess who is number one after all those weeks of direct assault?
That's right (so to speak): El Rushbo still stands as a solid Number One.
But what is really interesting is the full list of both the Top Ten and the Top 50.
Savage and Laura Ingraham, Hannity, Levin, Beck and others of your favorites are in the Top Ten.
But what name isn't on either list at all? Not even mentioned?
That would be the man who was put forth as the guy who was going to take down Rush Limbaugh: Mike Huckabee.
As I wrote last week in "The Titanic of Talk Radio" I was always skeptical that the idea of a talk radio show hosted by a moderate Republican would have an audience.
Now comes a new take on the whole idea -- a survey of the Top 50 talk radio hosts streaming on the Internet. To quote from TSL:
TSL sampled over 1.2 million listeners during the first 6 months of 2012 to produce the Power 50 Report -- the 50 most influential talk show hosts on the Internet and on mobile devices.
Note that "the first 6 months of 2012" well includes the kerfuffle over Rush and Sandra Fluke, plus the much ballyhooed Huckabee launch. And note as well that TSL says (bold emphasis mine):
The Power 50 includes the big personalities talk show fans would expect as well as some new media rising stars.
In other words, in spite of all that incredible hype back in March and April, Huckabee not only isn't close to Rush, much less replacing him as Number One. In this independent survey…Huckabee isn't even listed as a "rising star"… he doesn't even make the list!
And one other thing while we're at it.
Back in the spring of 2011 there was a flurry of stories saying that conservative talk radio was dying.
The guy at the center of these wildly imagined pieces was one John Avlon, he of the No Labels group.
No Labels is essentially the Huckabee/Cumulus radio philosophy translated as interest group politics. RINO Radio as RINO Politics. Talk radio, insisted Mr. Avlon in an article at the Daily Beast titled "The Right Wing Talk Radio Flame Out" was dying. Rush was not only toast, but the entire idea of conservative talk was dying right in front of our eyes.
I made the point in this space that this argument was so much hooey, and one of the reasons was that new technology was changing the world -- the way talk radio was listened to included. With new technology, listeners were no longer simply turning on a radio. And therefore ratings could no longer be measured in the traditional fashion. Listeners were increasingly doing their listening from some form of Internet use -- streaming, host websites and satellite to name three.
This survey from TSL confirms not simply what I was saying, but spotlights the future.
Or, put another way, Rush Limbaugh has been on the air since the last year of the Reagan administration. We are now four presidents down the road from Reagan, with a serious potential of a fifth -- Romney -- being elected this year.
Presidents come -- and presidents go.
But conservatism remains, even as the technology for listening to conservative talk radio changes.
Which is why Rush Limbaugh is still here, still Number One and Number One now in the new world of Internet radio. And quite clearly he will continue to be so. In spite of his detractors, Rush Limbaugh is the future of talk radio until he himself decides to put the dust cover over the EIB Mike.
Did you know his grandfather retired at 103?
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