Limbaugh's 15 million listeners are now in the conservative wilderness -- where will they go now?
Over the years, Rush Limbaugh built a massive conservative platform with an emphasis on tackling controversial views and even conspiracy theories. Because of this, he amassed a following of more than 15 million listeners. But now that he's gone, where will they go?
A new report published by The New York Times draws out those possibilities for the future of conservative radio. Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist and longtime press aide for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also weighed in with his take on the various platform options Limbaugh's base could choose from now that the conservative pundit is gone.
"There's so many different platforms to interact with conservative voices, and there are so many more voices," said Williams. "If you're pro-Trump, you've got Breitbart and Newsmax. If you're more of a moderate Republican, you've got The Bulwark and Charlie Sykes. I follow 25-, 26-year-old conservatives on Instagram who are sharing two-minute videos that young people connect with personally."
He added, "I don't think you'll see it ever again where one person is the king of this realm."
While there are other conservative radio personalities, others are not entirely convinced that there are many that can fill the new void. In fact, former Fox News Eric Bolling believes Trump might be the only person who could engage Limbaugh's base.
"The only person who might keep part of that audience is Donald Trump, and I don't know if he wants to do three hours a day every single day," said Bolling. "That's a lot of work."
Bolling's remarks come as speculation builds about Trump's next move. Over the last several weeks, Trump has floated the possibility of starting his own media platform. When he appeared on Newsmax with host Greg Kelly this week, he touched on the possibility again.
"That is one of those little things that keeps popping up," Trump said during his interview with Kelly. "But you wouldn't want to follow Rush. It's the old story: You get somebody like that, you don't want to follow them, because some things just can't be done."
However, at this point, "The Rush Limbaugh Show," remains in control of the Texas-based radio syndication network, iHeartMedia. The show is currently syndicated across nearly 600 radio stations across the United States. Until the conglomerate decides how to proceed, it will re-air previous segments of Limbaugh under the name "Best of Rush."
Following Limbaugh's death Premiere Networks, the iHeartMedia subsidiary that hired Limbaugh released a statement for his audience as they highlighted their plans for the near future. "Please note that we will continue with this transitional programming until his audience is prepared to say goodbye," Premiere Networks said in the statement.
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