Rush Limbaugh (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Book: Roger Ailes tried to bring Rush Limbaugh to Fox News

With Fox News' ratings sagging in 2006, Ailes hoped to reinvigorate his network by adding the talk radio giant


Elias Isquith
January 13, 2014 10:20PM (UTC)

In the wake of the Democrats' landslide win in the 2006 midterm elections, Fox News saw its dominant hold over its cable news competitors slacken somewhat, according to "The Loudest Voice in the Room," Gabriel Sherman's upcoming biography of Roger Ailes.

Ailes and his fellow executives were worried, writes Sherman, that the relative dip in ratings would soon become "a freefall." So what did the former advisor to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan do? He reached out to one of his best buddies, the king of right-wing radio: Rush Limbaugh.

Advertisement:

According to Sherman, however, Limbaugh turned down Ailes' offer to join the Fox News team, telling a friend at the time, "Roger is really trying to get me to come back. Why would I do this?"

Beyond being close friends, Limbaugh and Ailes had worked together previously. From 1992 to 1996, Limbaugh had a syndicated TV show for which Ailes was an executive producer. Yet the shared history was evidently not enough to convince the talk radio legend to get in front of the television cameras once again and join the Fox News team.

More from the Huffington Post:

"My relationship with Roger has been more deeply personal on a friendship level and a professional level than I've ever experienced with anybody else that I've worked for or worked with," Limbaugh said of Ailes in 2009. "The things I've learned from him about being a man, about the country, about how to be a professional, nobody else taught me."

The book also claims that CNN and MSNBC tried to "woo" Limbaugh in 2001 by offering him a show, in an attempt to finally beat Fox News.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias IsquithFOLLOW eliasisquithLIKE Elias Isquith

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •