NEW YORK Software maker Citrix Systems has pulled its ad support for syndicated radio talk show Savage Nation, the advertiser has confirmed.
The decision was implemented on Nov. 5 and came within a week of inflammatory comments that the show's host Michael Savage made about the Islamic religion. On his Oct. 29 broadcast, Savage said that he didn't "wanna hear anymore about Islam. I don't wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I'm sick of you."
Click here to play Savage's comments.
The program is syndicated nationally by the Central Point, Ore.-based Talk Radio Network, which claims the show airs on 300 stations with an audience of 10 million listeners. Mark Masters, CEO of Talk Radio Network, did not return calls.
The comments prompted the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations to reach out to sponsors of the Savage broadcast and urge them to boycott the show.
Responding to the council, Bernardo de Albergaria, vp, general manager of eCommerce for Citrix Online, said, "On behalf of Citrix Systems and Citrix Online, I want to share with you and your organization that free speech is a valued constitutional right that is respected" by the company. "However, we want to make clear that the opinions expressed on the Michael Savage program, or any program we advertise in, do not in any way represent the views of Citrix." Separately, de Albergaria said, "Citrix [has] ended its advertising relationship with the Michael Savage program."
It was not immediately clear how much Citrix spent to advertise on the show. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the company's total radio budget last year was about $3 million, while Citrix spent about the same amount on the medium this year between January and September.
Citrix's de Albergaria declined to discuss publicly why he pulled the company's ads from the show. "We do not disclose the business reasons why we use or discontinue using a particular channel, or our future marketing and advertising plans," he wrote in an e-mail in response to a call seeking comment.
A representative for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that three other sponsors had agreed to pull ads, although he could not immediately supply their identities. "We call on all the other companies running ads on [Savage's] program nationwide to withdraw," the group said in a statement.