Sean Hannity has decided to end his affiliation with Cumulus amid frustrations with the way he and his employees have been treated by the network, according to a source close to the conservative opinion-maker.
Cumulus's negotiations with Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have been a subject of ongoing fascination among media reporters and trade publications, and last week multiple outlets reported that Hannity was planning to part ways with the company while Limbaugh would stay put.
If true, the result would be that Hannity's millions of listeners will have to change the dial to find his show — and he might not be on the air at all in some markets.
But while the reasons for the split have yet to be made public, or even confirmed — neither Hannity nor Cumulus responded to BuzzFeed's request for comment — one Hannity ally familiar with the situation said the host is upset at Cumulus's incompetence, frustrated by the way the company has conducted the negotiations, and that an offer from Clear Channel could prove to be more lucrative.
The source said a person involved in the production of Hannity's radio show recently complained about the company's lackluster marketing efforts, joking, "If Cumulus had a lemonade stand in New York City when it was 95 degrees outside, they wouldn't sell three cups."
The source also accused Cumulus of repeatedly leaking to outlets like Politico as a way of manipulating the negotiations.
"It seems to me Politico is hitting copy and paste on Cumulus's press releases," the Hannity insider said.
Politico's media reporter, Dylan Byers, declined to comment on his sources.
Adding to the intrigue, radio blogger Jerry Del Colliano reported last week that the conservative talker had been privately angry with Cumulus for a while, and quoted "sources who know Hannity" saying he has complained that the network treats its employees "like dirt, shit, subhuman."
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at email@example.com.
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