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7/6/2008 02:48:24
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Rush Limbaugh: Radio’s $400M Man

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By Jessica Heslam, MediaBiz

Bay State blogger Brian Maloney was the first to report on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s jaw-dropping radio deal that’s worth a reported $400 million.

Maloney, author of The Radio Equalizer, got a tip Tuesday night from a reliable source that Limbaugh had re-signed until 2016, was getting a nine-figure bonus up front and would be profiled in Sunday’s New York Times [NYT] Magazine.

Maloney said he had to double-check the “shocking bonus” with his source. “I said, ‘Do you realize that nine figures means at least $100 million?’ ” Maloney posted his story around midnight.

“The story was broken right here in Massachusetts,” Maloney said yesterday.

The Drudge Report reported it as an “exclusive” about nine hours later. The Times then posted its entire magazine article online as well as a news story. Drudge didn’t return an e-mail.

Limbaugh, 57, told the magazine his new contract would pay him $38 million a year for eight years and give him a $100 million signing bonus. His newest airplane, a Gulfstream G550, he said, cost $54 million.

Clear Channel Radio and its syndicating arm Premiere Radio Networks said yesterday that Limbaugh had renewed his contract and his show would be heard for “many years into the future” but didn’t release any of the financial details.

Limbaugh’s national show celebrates 20 years in August.

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