Skip to comments.What a Rush: Meet the man who canned Limbaugh
Posted on 02/22/2021 8:59:34 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
When I was a much younger man in Kansas City in 1984, Rush Limbaugh worked for me. I fired him.
As you might suspect, managing Rush was a formidable challenge, and the fact that he was largely unmanageable was probably a part of the secret sauce that fueled his rise to meteoric success. I am saddened by his passing. And like him or hate him, any fair-minded or knowledgeable analysis of Rush's career would have to end by concluding that he was probably one of the most influential media forces in the past 100 years.
In 1984, I was a 24-year-old station manager of some radio stations in Kansas City that included KMBZ-AM. Rush was my afternoon news/sports guy and I paid him about $32K a year.
Rush's job was fairly straightforward: Watch and follow the "clock" and give news summaries and sports commentary at the appointed times.
Rush came into my office on my first day, sat down in a chair across from me, and announced, "It is only a matter of time before you are going to fire me."
I was taken aback, and confused. I told him, "Rush, these stations are a mess and I am not LOOKING to fire anyone, especially anyone who doesn't deserve it. Just do your job and be a team player, and you'll be fine."
The next few months, Rush gave me heartburn on a number of topics — including adding some bold commentary where none was required, and dropping a few words that were less than desirable for a Midwest radio station news/talk station whose audience had an average age of probably 50 years old.
(Excerpt) Read more at cdapress.com ...
Mr. Leonard lives a couple miles from us, but I don't know him.
Good read! Love the insights about his life.
A great read. Thanks!
” ...”All I know for sure, Rush, is that I am still driving the same car as I was five years ago, but I am willing to bet you $100 you aren’t.” He laughed uproariously, and the table did the same. “
“It is only a matter of time before you are going to fire me.”
Says someone who plans on either unemployment checks or self-employment in the near future.
Today as I was thinking about Rush, and missing him...I remembered, this is the guy who often ended each hour with “another one for the Archives.” There is a huge library of his material available because he was prescient ... amazing.
Rush had more drive than UPS, FedEx, DHL, and all the rest of
the delivery services.
He was a force of nature. I’m glad he was on our side.
Imagine 32 years with someone that good playing for the other
Gonna miss the guy, but he’ll never be far from my
Good stuff! Thanks!
El Rushbo a class act all the way.
This is a fun piece. And a great reminder that what seem like personal setbacks (e.g., getting fired) can sometimes work out for the best... in a big way.
As a young guy in radio at exactly that same wonderful time, I can relate to all of this. What a great post, thank you. Being on-air myself with an afternoon AM rock show and my own comments and fake commercials (the station owner — a Dickensian gem of a man who started in radio in the 50’s fresh out of the service — once smilingly told me, “I never listen from one to six.”), I would never fire Rush ... But I ended up doing double-duty, my afternoon show and engineering Rush’s broadcast from nine to noon Pacific on the FM, where I learned so much from the Maha-Rushie. :) ) ... Just beautiful times. Thank you, Rush. Radio rules. Still.
Wasn’t it at the end of every hour he’d say “Another hour is in the can and headed over to the Limbaugh Museum of Radio Broadcasting”?
So many memorable lines. I still can’t believe he is gone. I miss him every day.
I love these stories. The airwaves aren’t the same. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks so much for posting – – another Rush tribute that has moved me to tears😭
Good article, how did he get the Sacramento job?
Under the circumstances, I think Mr. Leonard felt a lot of pressure that he had to fire Rush, but I also think Rush was probably smart enough to know that what he said was a fireable offense. But I think Rush really just wanted to be himself, and be unrestrained, so was willing to take chances. I’m glad it worked out so well for Rush, and I think Mr. Leonard probably did alright too.
He had SO many of those wonderful little lines like that and they all became part of his signature brand. Some came and went while others lasted for decades.
Mr. Leonard wrote: "Rush went to work at a radio station in Sacramento, KFBK. An ABC executive named Ed McGlaughlin was fogged in at the Sacramento airport and happened to tune into Rush on his transistor. He offered Rush a job in New York, in the 12 a.m.-6 a.m. time slot."
I didn't know that a fogged-in ABC exec just happened to be listening to Rush on his personal radio and that is what led Rush to move to NYC. Without that incredible serendipity, maybe we would never have known Rush!
Everybody who lands in the panhandle of Idaho on Hayden Lake has done alright in many ways, not the least of which is living in a solid bastion of freedom!
All I have to say is the guy was a great sport about firing Rush and the Results that came of it.
Great sports on both ends. Mr.Leonard and Rush Limbaugh.
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