New York (CNN Business)Upon hearing about Rush Limbaugh’s death on Wednesday, many fans said he was irreplaceable. For the time being, his distributor is not going to try.
“Rush’s voice will continue to be heard, providing comfort and continued insight to his legions of loyal fans,” Premiere Networks said in a statement obtained by CNN Business.
Premiere Networks syndicates “The Rush Limbaugh Show” to hundreds of local radio stations across the United States. Many of the stations rely on Limbaugh to draw a big audience in the middle of the day. So the stations are paying close attention to Premiere’s plans for the time slot.
For now, Premiere says that “transitional programming” will air in Limbaugh’s time slot “until his audience is prepared to say good-bye.”
The company, a division of iHeartMedia, didn’t specify how long this “Best of Rush” programming will air, but it is expected to continue for weeks.
Limbaugh’s producers will draw on the show’s archives and “pull segments that are relevant for each day’s news cycle and allow us to feature the best of Rush for the full three hours of the program,” according to the statement.
Limbaugh had several guest hosts, including Todd Herman and Mark Steyn, fill in for him while he was undergoing cancer treatments.
Premiere said that guest hosts will be used on the “Best of Rush” shows “when needed to guide Rush’s audio from one topic to another, but Rush will be the predominant voice heard.”
Before Limbaugh died, there was speculation in media industry circles about who might succeed him someday. Donald Trump’s name repeatedly came up, especially after he lost re-election in November. Limbaugh and Trump were close allies.
On Wednesday evening, while being interviewed on Newsmax about Limbaugh’s legacy, Trump demurred when asked if he’d consider filling the talk radio void.
Any number of existing right-wing radio hosts are sure to jockey for the job, though not publicly, lest they appear to be exploiting Limbaugh’s death.
In Chico, California, the general manager of KPAY, Dino Corbin, told the Enterprise-Record newspaper that all of the regular guest hosts are being “tested, rated and scored to see who will replace the man who has been the most successful radio host ever.”
“It’s like how do you replace Alex Trebek?” Corbin said, referring to the “Jeopardy!” host who died late last year.
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