Buck Sexton and Clay Travis: Who are the replacement radio hosts for Rush Limbaugh?

Limbaugh’s massive reach fractures with multiple hosts filling the coveted time slot in separate markets across the country

Justin Vallejo
New York
Monday 21 June 2021 18:20 BST
Dan Bongino pays tribute to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh

The three-hour radio slot of Rush Limbaugh has been filled by a lawyer turned sports journalist and a former CIA counter-terrorism expert turned political commentator after the conservative radio fixture died from cancer in February.

The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show began in the daytime slot across more than 400- nationwide stations in all 50 states on Monday.

"We’ll be with you every day continuing on the fight, and trying to push forward the legacy of the one and only Rush," Mr Sexton said in a promotional spot ahead of the pair’s 21 June debut.

Mr Travis also said the program would continue the battles begun by Limbaugh that "are even more important today than they ever have been before".

In selecting the pair, distributor Premier Networks hopes to attract a younger audience with Mr Travis, the 42-year-old founder of sports site, Outkick.com, and Mr Sexton, the ex-CIA and New York police officer.

The pair tapped by iHeart go up against former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who was picked by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to fill the 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern slot in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, DC, which launched on 24 May with Donald Trump as a leading guest.

In a blog post to Outkick.com, which Mr Travis is expected to sell to Fox Corp. as part of the move, the politically independent moderate broadcaster said he made the move after seeing his audience embrace issues more important than sports.

“I’ve always said that sports should be an escape from politics, but, increasingly, sports became politics,” he said.

The president of iHeartMedia Inc’s Premiere Networks, Julie Talbott, approached Mr Travis about filling the Limbaugh timeslot “several months ago”.

“No one ever replaces a legend, and Rush Limbaugh is the most influential and listened to radio voice across multiple generations,” Mr Travis said.

“But the battles Rush fought aren’t ending. If anything, they’re just becoming more intense. And I think intense and rigorous and intelligent debate has never been more important in this country than it is right now.”

He will be joined in those political battles by someone who is no stranger to fighting. Mr Sexton followed a career in the Central Intelligence Agency and the NYPD as a security analyst on Fox News and national security editor for The Blaze before hosting the three-hour “Buck Sexton Show”.

“Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited,” Mr Sexton said in a tweet, adding in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he and Mr Travis represent the next phase of talk radio after the airwaves were dominated by a single generation.

“We’re going to bring the perspective of two guys who see a country they’re deeply worried about, and a massive audience that needs people who will speak for them,” he said.

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