News analysis: Dr. Laura


Speaking with industry sources in the syndication arena, RBR-TVBR discovered Dr. Laura’s decision to quit radio at the end of the year (her contract ends) will not cause herself or our industry to lose any advertisers, but certainly her exit will have affiliate sales departments burning up the phones to replace her. No word yet on whom Talk Radio Network will offer up to replace her.

She is now firmly thrown into the controversial pile and therefore certain advertisers will not touch her. How many more than before her N-Word incident? Hard to say, but those that were with her were already aware of her volatility, based on her incidents with the homosexual community in 2000 and the website that ensued.

She will possibly be losing affiliates right and left before her contract is up, but because everyone knows her radio term is ending in a relatively short time, the controversy and pressure to drive her off the airwaves will be less – and the pressure on advertisers to drop her show early may be less as well. If they do, they will get reabsorbed by the rest of the industry.

She did probably the only thing she could do, and moving to the internet may be a great thing for her. Certainly the folks listening will be her core audience and advertisers will be advertising to the interested. She will generate less dollars, but will still be listened to. She will likely not be picked up by another radio syndicator.

Dr. Laura was likely generating $3 to $5 million in ad dollars a year for TRN. The one affiliate that will really take a hit on this is KFWB-AM LA. The station completely changed what they were doing and made her the cornerstone to everything they were doing.

For affiliates, in 2009, Schlessinger was tied for third place along with The Glenn Beck Program and The Savage Nation, according to Talkers Magazine.