The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 April 2007

Imus In The Morning Affiliates, WFAN Cancels, Westwood One, Nappy-Headed Hos



*** Boston Reaction Here ***

Based on unconfirmed reports from multiple industry sources, it appears Don Imus may be finished in talk radio.

All are saying that CBS is poised to yank Imus from WFAN-AM in New York City, which would leave him without a flagship station. And in several other cities, Imus has already been cancelled, with Boston remaining the last major holdout.

Among those already canning the program: Portland's KXL and WQXC-AM in Charleston.

Without WFAN, there is little reason for syndicator Westwood One to continue the show, which would lead to a full, nationwide cancellation.

If the reports are correct (and there is little reason to doubt them at this point), tomorrow will represent the I-Man's farewell program.

In the meantime, his replacement is sleazy Imus suck- up Mike Barnicle. For more on that aspect of the story, click here.

Check back for the latest on this developing story. At this point, we are waiting for confirmation from CBS and news from Westwood One.

UPDATE: CBS confirms he's been fired by WFAN:

(CBS) NEW YORK CBS 2 has learned that CBS-owned radio station WFAN has fired Don Imus. The news comes a day after MSNBC discontinued their relationship his radio show.

CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves met with Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on Thursday morning to discuss Imus' future with the company. The shock jock has been in hot water since calling members of the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

Now, what will Westwood One do?

UPDATE: from the New York Times:

CBS brought the tumultuous weeklong crisis over racially insensitive remarks by the radio host Don Imus to an end late this afternoon when it canceled the “Imus in the Morning” program, effective immediately.

The move came one day after MSNBC, which has simulcast Mr. Imus’s radio program for the past 10 years, removed the show from the cable network’s morning lineup. The two moves together mean that Mr. Imus, who has been broadcasting his program for more than 30 years, no longer has a home on either national radio or television.

Mr. Imus received the news in a telephone call to his home. Many of his listeners learned of it during the afternoon radio show “Mike and the Mad Dog,” which announced it on WFAN, the same New York station owned by CBS that carried Mr. Imus’s program.

The CBS chairman, Leslie Moonves, held a meeting this afternoon with the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the leaders in what became a national movement to have Mr. Imus removed from the air in the wake of comments in which he disparaged members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. On his program of April 4, Mr. Imus referred to the women on the team as “nappy-headed hos.”

Both CBS and MSNBC had been under pressure from black leaders, women’s groups and advertisers, many of which said they intended to pull their commercials from Mr. Imus’s program.

In a statement Mr. Moonves said, “Those who have spoken with us the last few days represent people of goodwill from all segments of our society – all races, economic groups, men and women alike. In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society.”

He went on to say, “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many emails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies.”

And from the Washington Post:

But Imus's four-decade career as a radio host appeared to be in jeopardy after a board member at CBS Radio said he hoped the shock jock would be fired.

Imus, whose show is simulcast on radio and MSNBC, first sparked outrage last week when he referred to Rutgers University's women basketball players as "nappy-headed hos." Team members have agreed to meet with Imus on Tuesday -- a day after the host is to begin serving his two-week suspension from CBS.

In a statement late yesterday, NBC, which owns the cable news channel, said the decision to drop Imus came after "an ongoing review process" that included "many conversations with our own employees." The broadcast company added: "Once again, we apologize to the women of the Rutgers basketball team and to our viewers."

This morning, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has helped lead a campaign to get Imus fired, announced that a rally would be held in New York on Saturday. "If NBC could see the light, CBS should see the light," Sharpton said. "If all of those advertisers could see the light, CBS should see the light."

MSNBC said that starting today, it would offer "expanded live news programming" from 5:30 to 9 a.m., the slot formerly occupied by "Imus in the Morning."

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  • Appears to be official, broke on FOX just now:

    By Blogger Lesli3, at 12 April, 2007 17:03  

  • The die is cast. Now when LIBERAL hosts says offensive things, they must be canned.

    By Blogger PCD, at 12 April, 2007 17:26  

  • wow, if radio hosts have to be canned for saying offensive things, why does rush limbaugh still have a job? michael savage? sean hannity?

    They say hateful offensive things nearly every day...

    I'm not arguing people should lose their jobs over offensive speech - but if that's the standard, then there are tons of heads that have yet to roll

    By Blogger TJ, at 12 April, 2007 17:29  

  • Essentially, our culture has devolved into the serial practice of partisanship without regard for the individual or the pursuit of the truth. We're not looking to find the truth, we’re looking to create truth and that is a pivotal distinction. As such, each issue becomes the flagship for opposing interest groups and the epicenter for partisan politics. Those actually involved in this and other incidents (and they are often victims) become nothing more than pawns in an elaborate game of chess...and they are frequently further victimized.

    The actual merits of Don Imus the man or the employee cannot and should not be ciphered through public opinion...especially public opinion that results from the systematic hijacking of the incident. In fact, one might be safe to suggest that those manipulating public opinion may well have more malicious motivations and intentions than those that underlie the incendiary words uttered by Don Imus.

    These situations shouldn't be about whether liberals or conservatives, this race or that race, hip hop or honky-tonk, one group or another, are more offensive and therefore more responsible for all that is wrong with America.

    I'm not a religious person...but I often find kinship with the imagery surrounding the portrayal of one called Jesus and his teachings of understanding and forgiveness. For all the banter I hear about the Bible and Christian values, it certainly seems to me that we are fast abandoning what many view as the sacred "tablets" in favor of the sacrosanct tabloids. If I'm right, all I can say is heaven help us.

    Read more about the dynamics that lead a situation to become larger than the sum of its

    By Blogger Daniel DiRito, at 12 April, 2007 18:04  

  • Imus has been wiped from the listed lineup on Washington, D.C. affiliate WTNT/570's Web site.

    By Blogger Everett W., at 12 April, 2007 18:26  

  • The radiothon will go on tomorrow with Charles McCord and Mrs. (Deirdre) Imus co-hosting.

    From WTKK's site, Greater Media's Phil Redo and Peter Smythe say they respect CBS' decision.
    "Don Imus has been a part of WTKK since our launch in 1999 and has many fans. We want to acknowledge his many positive contributions to radio and charitable causes.
    We have not made any decision about a replacement for Imus and will be reviewing all our options in the coming weeks."

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 12 April, 2007 18:40  

  • Were I Don Imus, and assuming I wanted to continue in broadcasting, I would immediately begin daily podcasts. Imus' new show would immediately make the iTunes Top Ten, and probably stay there. Advertisers would follow, as would, eventually, a new network. Then Imus would have the last laugh over the only true nappy-headed ho in this story - Al Sharpton.

    By Blogger Jeff Faria, at 12 April, 2007 18:51  

  • Rosie O'Donnell is in trouble, for sure. Can they fire Nancy Grace for what she said about Duke students in general, and the lacrosse team in particular? It was worse than what Imus said.

    By Blogger exhelodrvr1, at 12 April, 2007 18:56  

  • In Boston, African-American talk host Jimmy Myers will fill in for the next 2 weeks on Barnicle's show on WTKK
    as Barnicle fills in nationally for
    what was the Imus show (Myers also will be on tonight and tomorrow from 7-9 pm on WTKK in place of tape
    delayed O'Reilly)

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 12 April, 2007 19:00  

  • update: not so fast on the myers fill in, sez WTKK...haven't made a decision yet (source: boston radio watch)

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 13 April, 2007 00:50  

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