• Vt. radio station shows Limbaugh the door
    By
     | June 25,2012
     

    Rush has run his course at WSYB.

    After more than 20 years as a fixture on Rutland’s talk/sports radio station, Rush Limbaugh was dropped this month from the AM station’s lineup, replaced by a syndicated sports talk show.

    Debbie Grembowicz, WSYB’s general manager, released a statement addressing the decision to drop the controversial conservative talk show host.

    “Any business trying to remain vital must grow and change,” Grembowicz wrote in an email. “Some changes are more noticeable than others. There are many considerations with every one. This is an instance where a challenging decision needed to be made with WSYB.”

    She continued that she’s aware “that not everyone is happy when something they enjoy changes.”

    Limbaugh’s noon to 3 p.m., slot was taken by Jim Rome, the host of a syndicated sports talk show.

    The decision to drop Limbaugh drew a number of critical comments on the station’s Facebook page, some accusing Grembowicz of a liberal bias. “Guess the Liberal-biased management cannot stand hearing the truth about their agenda for America and the freedom loving people of our country,” wrote one listener.

    In a phone interview Grembowicz declined to go into specifics about the decision to drop Limbaugh, who got into hot water earlier this year for comments he made about a Georgetown University student. The young woman was pushing for religious institutions to offer health insurance that covers birth control. In his radio talk show, Limbaugh referred to the student using a sexual slur.

    Immediately after the comments, some radio stations nationwide stopped carrying Limbaugh, his ratings declined in some markets, and several national advertisers jumped ship.

    Grembowicz said changes at WSYB have been under discussion upwards of two years.

    Grembowicz said the station was forced to replace CNN with NBC News.

    “CNN became unavailable and this was its replacement by the company we buy it from,” she said.

    There are changes to local programming as well. Starting today, the morning show will air an extra hour from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with talk show host Tim Philbin joining the morning show during its final hour. Philbin will continue to host his morning talk show from 10 a.m. to noon.

    Grembowicz said changes also have been made to the announcing rotation on the Saturday morning sports talk show.

    bruce.edwards@rutlandherald.com

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