The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 December 2007

Imus Day Two Ruined By Technical Glitches


Imus Television Focus Leads To Technical Meltdown


After a major technical meltdown ruined Don Imus's second day on the air, radio insiders are buzzing about what went wrong.

Apparently, a glitch prevented Imus from hosting a substantial part of his first hour, a problem broadcasters blame on the I-Man's focus on tiny RFD-TV, rather than his much larger radio affiliates. In fact, his show doesn't even originate from WABC's studios, instead coming from a makeshift television studio across the street.

Mainstream media reporters are so busy sucking up to their liberal friend that none of them have bothered to note today's fiasco. But radio observers were emailing your Radio Equalizer this morning about the troubles.

At the New York Radio Message Board, made up of broadcasters and traditionally a bastion of Imus support, participants were quick to lay blame:

Posted by Kevin Canessa on December 04, 2007 at 06:27:38:

This is not meant to be critical -- I am seriously wondering about this.

Right now, it's approaching 6:30 a.m., and there has barely been a show yet from 6:05 a.m. on because Imus can't communicate with Lou Rufino, who is apparently across the street from the show's studio in the regular WABC studios.

Perhaps I am just being naive here, but would there have been some sort of dry off-the-air runs using the new studio? They've lost almost an entire half hour of the show, and they will have lost at least a half hour by the time all is said and done.

I apologize if this is too simple a post, but I've just found all of this strange.


Posted by Allan Sniffen on December 04, 2007 at 06:39:23:

In Reply to: Serious technical problems posted by Kevin Canessa on December 04, 2007 at 06:27:38:

Imus should be IN THE WABC STUDIO doing the show. Not at some makeshift TV studio.

There is way too much concern that Imus do a TV simulcast on that tiny little RFD Network (that most of the world can't even get) and it's happening at the expense of the main show--which is the WABC *radio* show. Let RFD adapt itself to the radio show... not the other way around. This is an example of vastly misplaced priorities.

It's not just the technical issues. It's the whole tone of the show. Imus should stop thinking he's talking to farmers. His audience is NY, DC, Boston and the other major urban/suburban markets.

There's further discussion at, where posters claim Imus blamed a $10/hr board operator for the problems.

Citadel had months to plan for Imus's debut and New York City is home to some of the nation's most experienced broadcast engineers. So what's the problem?

UPDATE: Ian Schwartz has video of the incident here.

ALSO: Imus guests and opinions seem to mirror those of his new employer

ALSO: Lou Dobbs moves into talk radio

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • I don't believe it. Drudge finally linked to Maloney's blog. Thank God.

    Ironic it was an Imus Posting

    By Anonymous elmonica, at 04 December, 2007 16:28  

  • It was pretty annoying to say the least...focus on your RADIO show first Imus and then TV...

    By Blogger J. Mark English, at 04 December, 2007 16:31  

  • The techinical problems are minor in scope compared to the fear-limiting show content of Imus' political correctness. Imus used to be an oasis in the desert of political correctness, but the racial problems to which he has caved have ruined what the Imus Show used to be. No one is going to listen to the crap being broadcast, especially the segments dealing with anything controversial. It's probably a positive that technical glitches are having an impact on the actual broadcast.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 04 December, 2007 16:47  

  • Al Sharpton was behind the glitches. He was operating from the mother ship hovering 10 miles above Imus' studio, from where he sent a tractor beam of "most righteous indignation and hell fire" causing the transmitters to malfunction. Only after Imus said a prayer were Lucifer's antics thwarted.

    By Blogger Schratboy, at 04 December, 2007 16:49  

  • He looks like a crappy headed schmo. Keep us entertained, Imus.

    By Blogger Kevinmjay, at 04 December, 2007 16:50  

  • He looks like a crappy headed schmo. Keep entertaining us, Imus.

    By Blogger Kevinmjay, at 04 December, 2007 16:50  

  • I turned on ABC radio from 7.30 to 8am and thought Imus was absolutely appalling. I don't think there was neither one complete or grammatical sentence uttered/stuttered as he continued (I think) to try to justify his past and his future, nor by the incompetent humorless new team members. There may well have been more "errs" "uuhhhs" "uhmms" and "ahhs" than anything substantial said. And there was certainly NOTHING to be learned about anything. I miss Curtis and Kube for their humor and their vast knowledge of their subjects. This Imus guy doesn't mind cutting anyone to bits but when it happens to him he makes us suffer at lenngrth through his obvious hurt and pain. get rid of him!! Similarly this blog is captioned "All Comments must be approved by the blog author" No doubt the oh-so sensitive Imus himself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 16:52  

  • I was a semi-regular listener to Curtis and Kuby before Imus came over to WABC. I had never heard Imus before at his old station, so I don't have any history as an Imus listener to draw upon.

    The man seemed awfully mush-mouthed and mumbly. I could barely make out what he was saying. Does Imus drink a lot? It seems like the sycophants in the studio who were yuk-yuking to his mumblings were hinting at that. If he had showed up at the studio half-crocked, then the way he sounded would make sense.

    Just wondering.

    By Blogger Scott, at 04 December, 2007 16:54  

  • Who wants to see his ugly face anyway. He looks like his face has not recovered from when he smashed into the asphalt when he passed out stoned while crossing the street back in his Cleveland days.

    By Anonymous ImusLover, at 04 December, 2007 16:55  

  • Yet another reason why Imus is, and always will be, EPIC FAIL. That's the most screwy way to run a radio show I've ever heard of.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 17:03  

  • I would point out to the NY Radio commenter that Imus' audience is not D.C. since no radio station there has picked up the new program yet. Maybe the technical snafus will be worked out if/when the show goes into wider syndication.

    By Blogger Everett W., at 04 December, 2007 17:10  

  • Wow! And to think I missed Doris Kearns Goodman and Chris Dodd yesterday! Is there any good reason that the only places we can hear Glenn Beck in NYC is on the internet or on Headline News?? Does management at WABC have a grudge against him for him for some reason?? (It's not his politics, I don't think!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 17:12  

  • Who needs The Crypt Keeper? For righteous commentary and talk visit The American Sector

    By Anonymous Checkpoint Charlie, at 04 December, 2007 17:12  

  • If you think that this is RFD's fault chances are it isn't new as NBC had and still has plenty of mistakes.

    One has to wondering if the strike will continue to spread in entertainment.

    I see at least one major error a week on news networks (raw bits like a test pattern showing up, cues to other people aren't on time, wrong camera angles etc)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 17:27  

  • That's what he gets for wearing the fake dust cowboy hat. what a wannabe TEXAN! Get out poser!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 17:38  

  • since when is Imus a liberal?Coultergeist has tried to label him the same way--he's a registered Republican and his politics skew right.

    By Blogger jim, at 04 December, 2007 17:39  

  • I know this is considered politically incorrect, but why is gay journalist Matthew Drudge so obsessed with bizarre minutia? Is an event such as this really all that Earth shattering? Just asking.

    By Blogger CW, at 04 December, 2007 18:43  

  • Didn't you ever see his WFAN/MSNBC program? These simulcasting trainwrecks occurred day-in/day-out, year-in/year-out, usually (though not always) when he was broadcasting from that ranch of his; sometimes consuming more than an hour's worth of the broadcast.

    I don't see why this is a story.

    By Blogger Tom Sutpen, at 04 December, 2007 19:14  

  • Imus tv operation is based at 11 Penn Television, a division of the Cablevision company that owns Madison Square Garden.
    It's not set up well for daily television, as staffers at the MSG Network know full well on a daily basis [11 Penn does a nightly show for MSG and a taped show, both technical nightmares].
    Also a battle of unions.
    MSG's techs are IBEW.
    11 Penn's techs are IATSE.
    WABC-AM's techs are NABET.
    And none of them like each other.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 19:17  

  • Get him off the air..he has ruined my morning drive. Bring Back Silwa!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 19:39  

  • Brink Back Sliwa, et. al.
    Imus belongs on another network,
    Can't understand why Citadel have their formar world-class line-up.

    By Blogger Vilma, at 04 December, 2007 20:17  

  • Baba Booey! Howard Stern!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 20:17  

  • Gesh, people. It was his first day in a new studio & these things happen. Heck, they were still having tech problems at the MSNBC studio 2 years in. And for the record, after the first hour the show started running much smoother. The new gal seems pretty funny, adding an element of freshness & well-needed flavor. The new sports guy seems like a quick wit so far, though he hasn't been showcased as much yet. Yes, I-Man looks like he's already been dug-up, but don't be too quick to throw dirt on him yet.

    By Anonymous Brian, at 04 December, 2007 20:37  

  • Sorry guys. This is as good as Imus will ever get. It's all downhill from here.

    By Anonymous Elmer, at 04 December, 2007 20:39  

  • Imus's program is a pure and unadulterated train wreck. He is back to where he was as a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railway before he went to the Don Lee School of Broadcasting almost 40 years ago. It makes me sad. Sad for my favorite radio station: WABC. 77 was always well executed; smooth and professional sounding, and always featured hosts that were honest about where they were coming from. The last two mornings have made me heartsick for PD Phil Boyce and the rest of group on the 17th floor of Penn Plaza that strive to put on one damned good radio program after another. Most folks don't realize that WABC produces 3 highly successful nationally syndicated programs everyday of the week: Rush, Hannity and Levin. To have the bleck of the Imus show carrying the WABC empiramater cheapens the brand. The sooner Citadel places quality above ego, the better for all concerned. Show these has been Charlatans the door with extreme prejudice.

    By Anonymous Workingman, at 04 December, 2007 20:41  

  • Imus will get the kinks worked out and all will be well. He's the best and he's a radio icon. I am THRILLED that he's back!

    By Anonymous The I-fan, at 04 December, 2007 20:45  

  • Imus is a Joke. He's a dinosaur.
    Give Curtis Sliwa his show back and send Imus packing to the home for washed up wannabe cowboy broadcasters. The fact that he's hired 2 token blacks to be on his show should be the focus of the article, not the inexcusably poor broadcast standards.

    Baba Booey!

    By Anonymous iluvfreebeer, at 04 December, 2007 20:46  

  • My wife and I are very happy to have Imus back on morning television. Try watching Morning Joe, Fox and Friends or the Today Show for a while and you were surely appreciate Imus. However, I hope his political correctness doesn't last long or I'll have to turn the television off in the morning. The IMan needs Bernard there to keep things on the edge and entertaining.

    By Blogger banjobob, at 04 December, 2007 21:05  

  • Imus needs to go..he is a self worshiping wannbe cowpoke that hides behind his I Ranch and lame wife to promote green to clean. This guy is a phony to the core and why he is tolerated on the airways is a mystery to me. He has within him the seeds of his own destruction and I lay odds he gets fired again before his contract expires ...this time for creating massive audience exodus by boredom.

    By Anonymous Texan to the core, at 04 December, 2007 21:19  

  • Not likely that you will post this...but here goes. If you or for that matter anyone else is dim enough to even care if Imus is back on the air, much less tune in to his pathetic ramblings, then technical difficulties are the least that you deserve.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 21:20  

  • The owner of RFDTV is in way over his head. Imus will eat him for lunch. The Technical problems is all his fault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 21:34  

  • Imus didn't get the attention from the media you cite because he doesn't deserve the attention. Minute-by-minute updates of this fake cowboy's life belong on blogs like this and not on CNN. In closing,

    By Anonymous George Takei, at 04 December, 2007 21:39  

  • I can't believe the negative remarks about the IMAN. As an inventor I experience difficult situations when developing new ideas. Give IMUS and his staff a break. When trying something new you have to deal with the uncertainty principle. Haven't you people ever bought anything new and it did not work the first time? Ever bought any Windows product that worked the first time?

    Mark Richards
    Georgetown, CO.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 22:05  

  • Whatever made ABC think that its audience would listen to Imus? After 10 minutes, I changed to another station and will not be back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 22:18  

  • Lets get rid of the mean spirited,sarcastic old man(Imus) and his new crew and their ass kiss canned laughter which follows his every word. Bring back Kurtis&Kooby or someone as educated,pleasant and well spoken. Contact the station and voice your displeasure with this worn out "drive time' banter. Boycott all the sponsors of the show; Sirus radio etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 22:36  

  • "Imus should stop thinking he's talking to farmers. His audience is NY, DC, Boston and the other major urban/suburban markets."

    In short you are saying New York first - f the rest of the world.
    Nothing ever changes.....

    Can't wait to have Imus syndicated so I don't have to listen to obnoxious NY accents on WABC's internet stream.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 22:59  

  • I wish I could get Imus in Michigan. I watched him for years. He is crotchety, cranky, and a curmudgeon for sure. But he has done more good for more kids than all of the weasels now kicking him. He is an acquired taste. I turned him off dozens of times, but always went back because something fresh and funny was sure to happen. Let's broadcast him nationwide. Please.

    By Anonymous pokenhorn, at 04 December, 2007 23:09  

  • Imus is a boring and feeble minded putz who needs scores of lackeys to make his lame show interesting. I guess the radio exec's feel that this old nasty individual deserves millions in compensation. Personnaly I don't find Imus entertaining nor intellectually stimulating.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 23:34  

  • The technical aspects of what you have referred to as a make shift studio was in the control of WABC, not RFD-TV. They also were responsible for a wonderful remote program from Town Hall on Monday that went without a hitch. So in all it is the nature of the business. Albeit one that disturbed many but will not deter Don Imus unless tomorrow brings another train wreck.

    And as far as him and his guests pandering to the Rural crowd; I think that is going a little bit overboard to say the least.

    Give the Station and the man a week and you will see "Imus in the Morning" at it's finest.

    Why do you Mr. Mahoney wish this man failure. Has he did something personally to you or your career?

    By Blogger Bruce, at 04 December, 2007 23:40  

  • Hey, for all of you who are making snap judgments about Imus, well you don't know what you are missing and have already missed with this guy and his crew. He's great and I don't care if there are a few glitches getting going. People from all and every walk of life love him and what he so generously brings to the table - or like they say….most of the nay sayers including Sharpton (the Reverand - speech God Sharpton) wouldn’t make a pim…..on Iman’s a….. You all may not know it, but trust me -they do.

    By Blogger cmkhayden, at 05 December, 2007 00:19  

  • Imus is like some crazy old uncle a thanksgiving. Mumbling, rant and raving and then passing out. And that's with tec difficulties. I don't know what ABC/Citadel was thinking-he's a has been and should be gone!!! Curtis and Kuby regularlly slamed I-dope on NYC rating-they should have been syndicated. Short ABC and Citadel and see the money come.

    By Anonymous Larry, at 05 December, 2007 06:06  

  • The technical problems this week are just painful. I had to turn it off. Maybe after the first of the year the Imus show will be palatable.

    The effort toward political correctness is also painful to listen to.

    I don't know which is worse, the technical problems or Imus being de-nutted.

    But I love the guy. Maybe he will eventually get his mojo back.

    By Anonymous mossback, at 05 December, 2007 07:22  

  • Whats ridiculous is that Imus still has these Country and Western themes. For God's sake your in NYC moron! He isn't even heard throughout the US anymore. He mumbles like a heroin addict. He now sounds like a semi literate Anna Nicole Smith.

    By Anonymous Mr. October, at 05 December, 2007 07:33  

  • Imus sounds like Anna Nicole Smith after inhaling a Cuban cigar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 December, 2007 07:39  

  • WABC, you need some COMPETENT
    technical people to run your station!
    Even Imus didn't deserve such poor service.

    By Anonymous jane, at 05 December, 2007 11:18  

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