MEDIA
03/21/2013 10:05 am ET

Rush Limbaugh's Sandra Fluke Controversy Still Hurting Business, Says CEO

It's been a year since Rush Limbaugh's incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke — but they are still hurting business, according to Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey.

Limbaugh ignited a firestorm of controversy last March when he called Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who had been denied the right to testify at a White House administration's hearing on contraception, a "slut" and a "prostitute." His remarks — he subsequently doubled down on his attacks — spurred over 100 advertisers and two radio stations to drop his show.

Dickey, the CEO of Cumulus, said that his company is still feeling the effects of the controversy. "Clearly, it's been well documented that the talk side has been challenged," he told an industry newsletter published on Wednesday. "Most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago and so there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there."

"Clearly that's had an impact not only on our network business [at Cumulus Media Networks], but it's had an impact on some of the news talk stations that we own," he continued.

Last year, Dickey said that the ad boycott cost him "millions." Cumulus has been a relatively small player for Limbaugh, airing his show on 38 stations last year. The company's losses suggest that other radio networks where Limbaugh's show accounted for a bigger chunk of business could have experienced even greater losses.

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