And so the drama ends.
Premiere Radio Networks made it official this morning. Let’s quote directly:
Premiere Networks, the number one audio network in the U.S., today announced a long-term agreement with iconic radio talk show host Sean Hannity to renew and extend his relationship with the company. Under the new agreement, The Sean Hannity Show will expand to additional major market Clear Channel Talk stations as well as non-Clear Channel stations in 2014. Details regarding station clearances will be announced at a later date.
The program will also move from delayed status to live on some of its existing Clear Channel affiliates, providing listeners with up-to-the-minute programming and real-time news and information. In addition, Hannity will participate in key live events, touring and iHeartRadio Talk, the first mass market focused audio platform to offer on-demand listener-created talk content side by side with established personalities, celebrities and shows.
What does this mean?
It means that months of stories by Hannity haters (yes, Media Matters, that’s you among others) were nothing more than bunk—a useful lesson when reading liberal spin about anything. (The Obama mess in Syria comes to mind.)
It means that the Dickey brothers have once again shot themselves and the stockholders of Cumulus Media in the foot. Whoever made the bizarre decision to have Michael Savage take to the airwaves and attack then-Cumulus star Hannity was responsible for one of the worst business decisions in the history of talk radio.
There is no “trick” to talk radio. There is, as is true with all things radio and television, a relationship with a host and his or her audience. No relationship – no ratings and no show.
As the press release from Premiere correctly indicates, Sean Hannity has that relationship with his audience. Over at Fox, Roger Ailes calls Hannity “the nicest guy in the building." This simple fact communicates itself to Hannity’s audience – and they tune in to listen not only because they like him, but because they are interested in his conservative view of the world. A view millions in his audience share.
In moments like the one America is in right now – with the country teetering dangerously on the edge of war and led by a president who has managed to make of the country a laughingstock, taunted just this morning in the New York Times by the Russian president – frustrated and furious Americans turn to talk radio both to vent and most importantly to learn. In Hannity’s case he is famous for having extremely knowledgeable guests on both his radio and television shows to inform and debate the subject of the day. In other words, to discuss exactly what the mainstream media, obsessed with liberalism and protecting President Obama, will never do.
So…this whole business about Sean Hannity being finished on radio, losing his conservative audience, and all the rest is itself finished. Over. Done. Making the agenda doomsayers look like fools. Recall this from Hannity at the time:
I am actually enjoying people that really don't know a whole lot, just going nuts. Let's just say in the end, I'm very happy. That's all I can say at this point.
As of this morning, nothing more needs to be said.
Sean Hannity has the last laugh.
Obama should be so lucky.