The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 August 2006

Don Imus, Station Affiliates, New York, Boston, Virginia, MSNBC


Two More Stations Drop Incoherent Talker

For crusty, generally incoherent morning radio and MSNBC cable talker Don Imus, the slow fade into career oblivion continues.

While the loss of two small- market affiliates wouldn't normally be worth writing about, for Imus, it continues a pattern where stations gradually can him in favor of local programming or fresher syndicated offerings.

In this case, Imus has been cancelled at two of Clear Channel's Virginia news / talk outlets, according to Dan Wright of the Harrisonburg Daily News- Record:

Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc., which operates six radio stations in Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro, has dropped the "Imus in the Morning" show from two of its properties.

On Aug. 7, WKCY-AM 1300 in Harrisonburg and WKCI-AM 970 in Waynesboro began airing "The Country Club" with Kris Neal weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m., the time slot formerly occupied by Imus.

Neal has been hosting "The Country Club" in Staunton for eight years.

The show features classic country and bluegrass, news and weather from WHSV-TV3 and NASCAR news, according to Steve Knupp, operations manager for Clear Channel.

Management had been considering a change for several months, Knupp said.

"Imus’ contract was up for renewal," Knupp explained. "We have carried the program for more than five years with little or no listener growth."

Imus had a 2.2 share of Harrisonburg’s morning show audience in the spring 2006 Arbitron survey.

Hosted by Don Imus, "Imus in the Morning" is carried by 62 radio stations nationwide and is televised on MSNBC.

Whether Imus actually remains on 62 stations isn't clear, but in the syndication business, that's a tiny number. Generally, even 100 stations would be considered insufficient, unless many of them were large and located in major cities.

Add to that his slow fade in New York City, Boston and other major markets and it's a wonder how much longer his stale act can really hope to continue.

In the Big Apple, for example, his ratings have been dropping for years and Imus is now routinely beaten by a number of competitors, including WABC's "Curtis and Kuby" morning show (seen in this image).

And in Boston, he's still ahead of his news / talk competition, but the show stopped growing ages ago and finished the most recent ratings period down 3% over the previous survey.

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  • Imus should be on the MSNBC XM radio channel each weekday morning. Why he isn't, I have no idea (especially since he does show up on the MSNBC cable TV channel).

    By Blogger WHT, at 14 August, 2006 21:50  

  • Sounds to me like Clear Channel maybe couldn't afford to carry Imus anymore. Are hard times ahead for Clear Channel?

    I was also very disappointed that Imus wasn't on XM.

    By Blogger ohio, at 15 August, 2006 08:54  

  • Imus really started to collapse after that Wall Street Journal front-page article with questions about expenses for his charity for sick kids.

    Expenses at the Imus Ranch in New Mexico "totaled $2.6 million last year" for just 100 children. The article also details Imus and his family's "personal stays" at the ranch. Such issues "are drawing scrutiny from tax officials and regulators," Journal reporter Robert Frank wrote in the story, published yesterday.

    On his WFAN-AM morning show, Imus called Frank a "dishonest punk."

    Just a couple words of advice for Imus:
    See Ya!

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 15 August, 2006 13:53  

  • Imus doesn't have a point...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2006 23:19  

  • and when Imus is down to one station,he will still have more listeners than you.

    By Blogger moo slime, at 16 August, 2006 03:07  

  • Rick here.Why is Don Imus not on xm or sirius radio.There are lots of us up here in Canada that like him. Come on wake up Rick Canada

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 May, 2009 18:25  

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