After Rush Limbaugh finished up his show at 3 p.m. , News/Talk WGST-AM was no more. Instead, 640 began playing the syndicated radio network ESPN Deportes targeting Spanish listeners. (Clear Channel, which owns the signal, also operates a Hispanic music station on the FM side at 105.3 called El Patron.)
This was one of the rumored changes I had heard on Wednesday, but Clear Channel GM Matt Scarano didn’t return calls for comment.
Limbaugh moves to AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB on Monday. I’m not sure what becomes of the other syndicated shows like Glenn Beck, “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory,” Michael Savage and Mark Levin. I presume some of the other talk stations on the AM dial may try to scoop them up.
WGST’s afternoon host Rusty Humphries, a syndicated talk show host who added a local Atlanta show at GST two years ago, said in an interview that he had already told GST months ago that he was going to leave after his two year contract was up next month and before this news came out.
He said the strain of commuting back and forth between his home in Oregon and Atlanta was too much given that he has two daughters on the West Coast. He plans to go back there full time.
When WGST management asked him to do the local show in the fall of 2010, he thought it would be a fun challenge: “I wanted us to go from worst to first. It didn’t happen, but I had a blast.” His syndicated show, he said, is heard on more than 50 stations nationwide (as well as online).
The ratings for WGST have been pretty steady the past few years. Limbaugh always brought in the biggest numbers. In August, the station ranked 21st overall in Arbitron ratings. Limbaugh can often reach top 10 among 25-54 men.