The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 June 2008

Several Factors Behind Don Imus Non-Termination


How Don Imus Hung On This Time


As the coverage
begins to subside and clouds above Don Imus lift, some are apparently surprised that he hasn't been fired, or at least suspended, after his latest racial gaffe.

But is his survival really such a mystery this time, as opposed to last year's nappy- headed hos meltdown? Let's take a look at four clear distinctions:

1) First and foremost, The Reverend Al Sharpton largely held his fire this time. Why? Who knows, it's possible a deal was cut with Imus syndicator Citadel- ABC Radio, or that Al is too heavily distracted by his own legal troubles.

2) Advertisers didn't stage a high- profile pullout for two reasons: there was no public pressure to do so and because frankly (and alarmingly), most haven't returned to his program since it was brought back by ABC. But Citadel shares have been sinking all week, perhaps partly because investors have been reminded of the commercial failure of the current Imus show.

3) Unlike nervous corporate execs at CBS and NBC who were quick to pull the plug last time, Citadel- ABC Radio has a different operating environment. There, CEO Farid Suleman has made a huge personal and financial investment in bringing Imus back. As a result, it would take a lot more than this comparatively mild heat to see him booted a second time.

4) Finally, there's Imus himself: at this late stage in his career, how is he a threat to anyone? He's probably down to his last year or two on the airwaves, at most. The current show represents a final lap around the track for an aging, onetime radio giant. Removing him now solves nothing.

Your Radio Equalizer is grateful that Imus II has blown over. Unfortunately, we have a long summer ahead, where many attempts will be made to remove talk show hosts ahead of November's election. Let's not allow them to win their misguided battle.

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  • I stopped listening to Imus
    years ago. While did hear
    his most recent comments.
    I found them offensive. He
    is just over the hill and
    needs to retire.
    How are his rating in New
    York? Could this have been
    a lame attempt to boost his

    By Anonymous Phillip, at 27 June, 2008 06:47  

  • Simple.

    The remark he made this time wasn't anywhere near as obnoxious as the last time.

    He shouldn't have been fired the last time either, but this one was nothing compared to the Rutgers nastiness.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 27 June, 2008 17:28  

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