As for WLS-AM, they have market clearance from co-owned Westwood One.
Ratings do not matter for these stations as much as overall revenue for the companies which own them. In the case of the syndicated shows especially. Westwood One and SRN can make more money if the shows are "On the air in Chicago, Market #3" than they would if they were not.
Same goes for Rush, Premiere (iHeart) Rush has his own branded station in Los Angeles. KEIB. Ratings are in the 0s. But he's on in Market #2. That matters when it comes to selling spots on the show, and the show itself to other stations. You have to be on in the major markets.
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