Salem Communications added another conservative star to its ever-growing constellation of assets today. In a press release, they announced that starting in January, Sean Hannity’s radio show would be jumping ship from the local Cumulus-owned AM station WMAL 630 to WWRC 1260, a local AM station bought by Salem in 2010. Ironically, WWRC was formerly a progressive talk radio station from 2005 to 2010, and was even branded as “Obama 1260” after it was bought by Red Zebra Media in 2008. It has struggled for the past several years to find an audience in the DC market. Salem hopes to attract more listeners with a conservative talk format.
The announcement follows on the heels of Salem’s Dec 10 purchase of Michelle Malkin’s Twitter-aggregation site Twitchy.com. They already own Townhall.com and Hotair.com, as well as dozens of Christian and conservative radio stations around the country. They also have a publishing arm, Salem Publishing, and a web content distribution arm, Salem Web Network, both targeted towards Christian and conservative audiences.
Hannity decided to leave Cumulus after he and Rush Limbaugh engaged in high-profile, bluster-filled negotiations with the company. Rush Limbaugh decided to stay, while Hannity moved to Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks. Michael Savage is slated to take over Hannity’s 3-6 PM drive-time slot at most Cumulus stations, though DCRTV Dave suggests that WMAL might want to find a locally-produced replacement. He notes, however, that Cumulus is rather iron-fisted in their programming decisions and probably won’t allow that.