Conservative commentator Dan Bongino has joined a scramble to inherit the radio talk show mantle left behind by the death of Rush Limbaugh.
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One said Bongino will begin a new three-hour radio program from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern, the same time slot Limbaugh occupied before his death due to lung cancer in February. Bongino's news and opinion show will launch May 24 in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
Limbaugh's show is syndicated to more than 600 markets through Premiere Networks, which has not announced future plans. Since the star's death, the show has featured guest hosts and old tapes of Limbaugh.
That is setting off a race to offer an alternative in that time slot, said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine. Dana Loesch and Erick Erickson are among the personalities being bandied about, he said.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
“There is no clear-cut favorite at this time,” Harrison said. “It is generally accepted that no one can replace Rush Limbaugh, even Rush Limbaugh as a posthumous performer.”
Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, has become a popular commentator on Fox News Channel, featured frequently on Sean Hannity's show. He has a podcast and is considered a rising star in the community of conservative commentators.
“I’m excited to embrace the immense power of radio to connect with my listeners live for three hours every day,” said Bongino. “This is an incredible privilege, and I pledge to honor the trailblazing work of those who came before me.”
Although he's starting with slots on Cumulus-owned stations in some big cities, it's not immediately clear how many markets Bongino will be heard in.
“Dan has been on a meteoric rise since his podcast launched in 2019, and we look forward to watching his star continue to rise,” said Suzanne Grimes, Westwood One president.
Associated Press writer Mark Kennedy in New York contributed to this report.
This story corrects the name of commentator Dana Loesch.