Limbaugh/Hannity Parent Company Admits Hiring Actors to Call Radio Shows
Op Ed News
March 7, 2011
An online leak has emerged, revealing a questionable practice used by the employer of the biggest names in radio.
America’s #1 and #2 radio broadcast hosts today and for decades have been Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, whose ratings and profits have dominated once thriving local markets. After industry deregulation paved the way, their boss, Premiere Radio Networks and parent company Clear Channel Communications have used a Wal-Mart model of steamrolling or acquiring small, independent original radio businesses, syndicating everything from robotized genre music stations to a political talk show hosts selling snake oil.
But according to an online account, Premiere is hiring actors to fake on-air calls to radio shows who do not divulge the scam. Before being abruptly removed, their website read:
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service… We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners”.
As reported, once the actor “passed the audition, he would be invited periodically to call in to various talk shows and recite various scenarios that made for interesting radio.” In addition, the source was specifically told there would be no on-air disclosure of the fabricated nature of the call. He subsequently landed the job, at $40 per hour and a minimum one hour of work per day.