NY Times advertisement airing during ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ on flagship station

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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While Media Matters for America has been eager to argue that conservative talker Rush Limbaugh’s radio show has suffered in the wake of controversial remarks he made recently on his show, the liberal attack group is not telling the whole story when it claims the program’s flagship station, WABC 770 AM in New York City, has had to broadcast dead air during commercial breaks because of the flap.

Last week the Media Matters website pointed out the dead air on the station’s online “listen live” feed. But the group ignored what was aired over the broadcast airwaves, which often dramatically differs from online feeds.

Some stations don’t run commercials online because of extra announcer fees and issues surrounding advertising agency rights, according to John Mainelli, a former New York Post media reporter.

It also escaped Media Matters’ notice that an advertisement for the left-leaning New York Times aired during Limbaugh’s Tuesday program.

A recording of Limbaugh’s commercial break on Tuesday from 12:55 p.m. EDT to 12:58 p.m. EDT on WABC shows that ads were aired for the non-prescription female hormone balancer Amberen, a food-stamp public service announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a spot for WABC’s other programming and one for The New York Times.

The Times’ one-minute spot is as follows, courtesy of Mainelli. It begins at 2:39 in the recording.

“The weekend”: Those words alone are enough to make you feel excited. And when you order the weekender subscription from The New York Times, you’ll find the words more treasured than ever. You’ll get the Friday, Saturday and Sunday Times delivered to your home for as low as $3.95 a week. Just call 1-888-Times20 to sign up. Plus, when you subscribe you’ll have more than just access to the newspaper. You’ll now receive their all-digital access package, including unlimited access to the NYTimes.com and their apps for your smartphone and tablet free. Just call 1-888-Times20 and subscribe today. So, get the most out of your weekend and out of home delivery of The New York Times with the weekender plus free all-digital access, all for just $3.95 a week. Call 1-888-Times20, or go to www.NYTimes.com/WABCAM today.

The Times spot appears to have aired during the show’s “local break,” which is controlled by WABC. Still, it’s curious because even the Times’ own reporting by Brian Stelter failed to acknowledge that ad.

Stelter instead apparently relied solely on Media Matters’ monitoring report for his story, a a charge that has been leveled against him in the past when he has pointed out supposed instances of “dead air” on WABC.

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