NEW YORK – The replacement for Rush Limbaugh is... Rush Limbaugh, at least in part.
Premiere Networks, the company that syndicated Limbaugh's afternoon program to some 600 radio stations across the country, said Monday that it would continue airing a series of guest hosts that play archival audio footage of the late personality. Limbaugh died of cancer on Feb. 17.
“No one can replace Rush Limbaugh, and Premiere Networks will continue to provide millions of loyal listeners with the voice of Rush for the long term,” said Rachel Nelson, company spokeswoman.
Through Limbaugh's absence for cancer treatments and since his death, the show has had guest hosts like Todd Herman, Ken Matthews and Brett Winterble, who guide listeners through clips of Limbaugh talking on various issues.
The announcement indicates there has been no serious erosion in listeners for the program in Limbaugh's physical absence, said Michael Harrison, publisher of the trade publication Talkers magazine.
There will almost certainly be an effort by competitors to siphon off some of the stations that Limbaugh held, and personalities like Dana Loesch, Dan Bongino and Erick Erickson are making those moves, Harrison said.
For Premiere, appointing a single host to replace Limbaugh would put a huge burden on that person, he said.