The duo will take over the daytime slot June 21, with plans to preserve it as a bastion of right-wing talk, albeit from a younger perspective. The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, syndicated by iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks, will air from noon to 3 p.m. ET on hundreds of radio stations across the country.
Limbaugh died in February at age 70, after wielding considerable influence in conservative circles for decades. Gaining traction during the presidency of Bill Clinton, he pioneered a brand of talk radio that proved enormously lucrative but also contributed to the political divisions in the U.S. Former President Donald Trump joined a number of Republicans in paying tribute to Limbaugh upon his death, though some outside the conservative establishment did not mourn his loss.
Travis, 42, founded Outkick Media, which was acquired earlier this month by Fox Corp. The digital media and podcast company is known for its right-of-center sports takes, especially its attacks on ESPN over political comments by its hosts and for its forays years ago beyond sports.
Sexton, 39, is a radio personality and also hosts Hold the Line on First TV, whose lineup also includes a show hosted by former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Before his media career, he worked at the CIA and as a counter-terrorism expert at the New York Police Department.
The Wall Street Journal had the first report on the permanent new hosts. Premiere Networks re-tweeted the Journal‘s article from its official handle. Travis and Sexton both said their goal is to honor Limbaugh’s legacy while engaging listeners in their 20s and 30s.
Premiere president Julie Talbott told the Journal that the new pair should not technically be considered replacements for Limbaugh. “We’re not going to replace Rush Limbaugh, we’re going to have an evolution of the show with fresh voices—those that grew up on Rush and admired him,” she said.
While radio is past its peak as a medium of influence and has undergone dramatic consolidation over the years, it remains an important arena in politics. Trump, recognizing the role Limbaugh played in his rise to the White House, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom to in 2020 during his State of the Union address. Limbaugh, who revealed he had advanced lung cancer at the time, received the medal and sat next to former First Lady Melania Trump during the primetime speech, in a departure from protocol.
Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator, took over Limbaugh’s slot on 122 radio affiliates earlier this year via a deal with Westwood One, including in major markets like New York, LA, Chicago and Washington. Trump appeared as the first guest on The Dan Bongino Show. Other stations in markets like Atlanta and Baltimore have opted to fill Limbaugh’s airtime with local hosts.