August 14, 2007

Guess Who's Coming Back To The Dial?

I wonder if ABC got Al Sharpton's endorsement on this decision. Don Imus, whose racially-charged description of the Rutgers womens' basketball team not only got him fired but started a backlash against rap music, has reached an accommodation with CBS that will bring him back to the airwaves on its rival station:

Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is negotiating with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, according to CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations.

Imus and CBS Radio "have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS," the network said in a statement Tuesday. ...

CBS confirmed only that the settlement had been reached. The person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press that Imus is taking steps to make a comeback with WABC. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced, also said the deal with CBS calls for a "non-disparaging" agreement that forbids the parties from speaking negatively about each other.

So now ABC will have Imus, while CBS has ... Boomer Esiason. WFAN, where Imus broadcasted his show, just announced that they have signed the former NFL star to Imus' old slot. CBS wound up settling a $120 million lawsuit and only got a quarterback.

Imus shouldn't have been fired in the first place. That kind of violaton traditionally gets a suspension, and a few weeks off without pay would have been just and fair. What he said was rude, crude, and indefensible, but it's hardly on the same level as sending couples into St. Patrick's Cathedral and live broadcasting their, er, coupling. It was thoughtless and stupid and showed that Imus has some issues, but it wasn't the equivalent of donning a white sheet and going on a night ride, as Sharpton and others suggested.

ABC thinks that a market exists for Imus. Let's let the market decide whether they're correct.


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Comments (18)

Posted by Richard Aubrey | August 14, 2007 1:40 PM

It may be far worse for Imus to find he has no market--that he is unimportant--than to be fired, which is not a direct reflection on himself, but instead of pressure brought on "the suits". The latter is easier to externalize.
The former is pretty painful for a performer.

Posted by Howard Veit | August 14, 2007 1:59 PM

I bet he has as much chance of coming back as Michael Vick does of playing for the Falcons. The hysterical race hustlers will see that every sponsor has picket lines. He's toast.

Posted by viking01 | August 14, 2007 2:10 PM

No argument that what Imus said was rude, crude and indefensible....
Yet if he'd had a better tan, had set his statement to primitive rhythm and was making a boatload of money for Sony, BMG and Time Warner he'd be lauded as a fine, upstanding member of the Rap / Hip Hop community.

Posted by docjim505 | August 14, 2007 3:29 PM

$120 million is a steep price to pay for pandering... which is exactly what C-BS did. They actually took Smilin' Al and Pimp Daddy J seriously and sacked Imus. But the Justice Brothers and their comrades overplayed their hand. Americans who were turned off by Imus' "humor" were even more turned off by race pimps who rushed to crucify Imus even while defending much worse language from rap "artists" (as viking01 points out). In the end, a lot of people were more angry at C-BS and the Justice Brothers than they were at Imus, and so he's getting another shot.

It may play out as Howard Veit suspects, but I have my doubts. The fact that Imus is going back on the air says to me that the "suits" are starting to decide that the Justice Brothers don't quite have the juice that they might have once had, and certainly not as much as they claim. I'm no fan of Don Imus, but I hope that his "rebirth" marks the begining of the end of the shabby careers of Smilin' Al and Pimp Daddy J, the Justice Brothers.

Posted by HustlinAl | August 14, 2007 3:52 PM

Eye Eye Captain, toss the race hustler over board -- and spare no time fer the meserable sole -- ta boot.

Posted by laree | August 14, 2007 4:05 PM

Oh Imus fans are out here and we have not been quiet. If you google this story about this settlement and go through the comments the story is still going on 4 months later. Imus has been on radio for about 40 years he is a radio icon.

It wasn't Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, they were the shills. All you have to do is google Hillary's hit man and Don Imus media matters. Imus has referred to Hillary as the Devil, Satan, That bucked tooth witch...ect..and he was broadcasting out of Manhattan, who is running for President from New York State? Hillary Clinton recently stated at the KOS convention she established Media Matters...they were monitoring Imus for 2 years to capture a soundbite they could use to hit him with. And now he looks to be coming back.

Posted by patrick neid | August 14, 2007 4:16 PM

imus has a huge audience and it will come back only if he and his crew have not changed.

whether or not you liked imus is a side issue. the fact still remains he was lynched by his detractors, especially the reverends. as to the folks who said imus was a racist--they never listened to the show. i'm just sorry i can no longer tivo his tv show so i could melt three hours down to 45 minutes.........

Posted by NahnCee | August 14, 2007 4:30 PM

If Imus has an audience, it is white, conservative and employed - not the sort of folks who are turned off by a little inflammatory jargon. I never thought of Imus as being popular in the ghetto's or with the religious types who go in for hollering "Hallelujah" at the end of every sentence. I don't believe the second group of people has that much money any way, so Big Bidness isn't gonna care about them one way or the other.

Sharpton and Jackson need to start paying more attention to the racial scandals they brew up. This should serve to them as a repudiation by corporate America that they over-stepped their bounds on being offended.

I wonder how close to an overt backlash on the moral pandering all of America is at this point. We've had more than 50 years of apologies, affirmative action, and preferential treatment for blacks, as well as having to watch our tongues so we don't inadvertantly say the wrong thing, and I for one am tired of playing that victimhood game.

Posted by Jim Treacher | August 14, 2007 4:48 PM

"What he said was rude, crude, and indefensible, but it's hardly on the same level as sending couples into St. Patrick's Cathedral and live broadcasting their, er, coupling."

Have you ever actually heard that Opie & Anthony audio? I have. You never hear the people having sex. Not so much as the creaking of a pew. Just some dumb comedian doing "color commentary," without breaking any FCC rules. If he hadn't taunted a cop into arresting him for making a public disturbance, the whole thing wouldn't have been so much as a blip on the radar.

Posted by Jim Treacher | August 14, 2007 4:52 PM

(Not to say that it wasn't a dumb thing to do. But "live-broadcasting people having sex in a church" isn't really accurate.)

Posted by commander0 [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 14, 2007 6:26 PM

Who do you suppose will be cut? Kurtis and Kuby were beating him head to head. Next is Gambling (?) then Rush followed by Hannity followed by, I think, usually Levin, which isn't really Imus' time slot anyway. Interesting.

Posted by Bennett | August 14, 2007 6:39 PM

It will be interesting to see whether or not his guests pander to him the way they used to when he was on MSNBC. I used to listen sometimes just for the chance to hear David Gregory or Chris Matthews or Tim Russert trying to be witty and cool. Well I guess since they're all NBC folks, he won't be having any of those guys on but we'll see if the good Senators, Kerry, Lieberman, McCain, Dodd and others, start calling in again.

Imus did occasionally get good info out of some of these guys sometimes.

Posted by sharptonisaracist | August 14, 2007 6:48 PM

It is better to have Imus back than to have Al Sharpton still on the air.

If anyone should be taken off the air then Al Sharpton shoudl be the first to go.

Posted by gbear | August 14, 2007 7:35 PM

If Satan doesn't have an FBI file on someone - she sends the J bros instead, while she stays lily white.

Posted by SL | August 14, 2007 10:17 PM

Just a vote of support as Imus makes his return. The firing seemed to me excessive, in light of his contract stipulations and his past show content. His charitable work with children and his support of several groups aiding ill children is commendable. The offending comment was not what he would have said if he gave it more thought, but that said, it was in the midst of long air time with spontaneous comedy. Another chance is called for and apparently in the works. At I've seen much enlightening debate.

Posted by TrueLiberal | August 14, 2007 10:31 PM

Sure Imus squandered a lot of the donated "kids money" on he and the Missus. Sure he made a boorish statement that hurt a kid, trying to pretend he is hip. Considering the BIGOT that Sharpton is, is reason enough to ignore Sharpton's rants and realize Imus was railroaded. I don't listen to the jerk anyway but let the market decide his fate. The two shakedown artists are still pulling in cash hand-over-fist, why shouldn't Imus have the same right?

Posted by deadrody | August 15, 2007 6:51 AM

ABC thinks that a market exists for Imus.

ABC would be wrong. Hopefully they get him at a discounted rate. Chances are that's why CBS dumped him in the first place. Paying someone $10 Mil per year for non-existent ratings is bad business.

Posted by laree | August 15, 2007 2:53 PM

Imus was taken off the radio airwaves, 70 channels and simulcast of MSNBC, anybody looked at MSNBC'S ratings lately for Mourning Joe? It is estimated that Imus had btw 2.5 million and 3 million listeners and viewers, he has been in Radio for abt 40 years. Imus had many charitys and gave to them out of his own pocket and promoted them, in fact he was taken off the air in the middle of a marathon for his children's charitys. His viewers and listeners watched and listened in disbelief. I hope Imus does end up on WABC, Clear Channel, has many more Radio stations then CBS. Imus was rated I believe number 15 on Talkers Magazine's list. I would think a move to Clear Channel would raise that ranking. In the end people will believe what they want to believe. Anyone with a google feature on their computer can find out what was really behind the targeted hit of Don Imus by Media Matters. There are many Imus fan sites. Supportimus org Imus Yahoo Fan Groups ect.. I leave everyone with this, if Imus is the racist/sexist, that is what his detractor's claims he is, then why did CBS keep him in their employ for so long by all accounts he was resigned and given raises, along with his producer Bernard McGurik. When Imus was taken off the air, his ratings were up by 39% CBS didn't know Imus was a Shock Jock? when they hired him? People will believe what they want to believe but maybe they should educate themselves on the Imus Firing Issue first.

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