Unfortunately, it became necessary this week, for Rush to explain to audience that he doesn’t take callers from paid actors, a charge, that he maintains, doesn’t even make much business sense for a show like his.
The story he’s referring to, originally appeared in The Tablet Magazine on the 11th of February, and suggested that shows like Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, and Beck’s take fake, paid callers:
“I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”
Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “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.”
Rush clarifies, it’s FM morning shows that use these types of paid actors: