MSNBC fires Don Imus

040907imus.jpgMSBC fired Don Imus Wednesday, saying it would no longer simulcast his morning radio show because of his racial and sexual insults to the women’s basketball team of Rutgers University.

Industry insiders way CBS radio may soon follow suit and put an end to the shock jock’s long career of hosting and insulting people from all walks of life. A member of CBS’ board of directors called Wednesday for Imus’s dismissal. CBS owns the radio station where the Imus program originates.

Reports MSNBC:

The network statement went on to say, “Once again, we apologize to the women of the Rutgers basketball team and to our viewers. We deeply regret the pain this incident has caused.”

Imus’ show originates on the New York radio station WFAN, owned by CBS Corp., and is distributed nationally on radio by Westwood One. CBS owns an 18 percent stake in Westwood One and also manages the company. For its part, CBS has not announced plans to discontinue the show.

Before the announcement was made, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) had appeared on the MSNBC program “Hardball,” where host David Gregory asked the senator and presidential candidate if he thought Imus should be fired.

“I don’t think MSNBC should be carrying the kinds of hateful remarks that Imus uttered the other day,” Obama said. He went on to note that he and his wife have “two daughters who are African-American, gorgeous, tall, and I hope, at some point, are interested enough in sports that they get athletic scholarships. … I don’t want them to be getting a bunch of information that, somehow, they’re less than anybody else. And I don’t think MSNBC should want to promote that kind of language.”

Imus and his producer had referred to the mostly black Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” In a press conference Tuesday, the team said they had agreed to a private meeting with Imus.

Advertisers had been pulling out
Earlier Wednesday and Tuesday, advertisers had begun pulling out of supporting the Imus show. General Motors Corp., a significant advertiser on the show, said on Wednesday that it was suspending its advertising but could resume it at a later date.

“This is a very fluid situation, and we’ll just continue to monitor it as it goes forward when he returns to the air,” GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said, adding that GM would continue to support Imus’ charitable efforts for children dealing with cancer and autism.

American Express said Wednesday that it had also pulled its advertising from Imus’ show as of Tuesday. “Our policy isn’t to advertise on controversial programming,” company spokeswoman Judy Tenzer said.

Procter & Gamble Co. and the office supply chain Staples Inc. have also said they would pull out, and Bigelow Tea said it was considering doing so. How many other advertisers follow suit could depend largely on how Imus handles the fallout from the controversy.

Kim Hillyer, a spokeswoman for TD Ameritrade, said the brokerage was “evaluating” its continued advertising plans in the program but did not have any further comment.

Imus’ program is worth about $15 million to CBS Corp. through advertising on WFAN and syndication fees received from MSNBC and Westwood One.

A CBS Radio spokeswoman declined to comment on the advertiser actions or to identify other advertisers that may have pulled out of Imus’ shows.


  1. andreea360

    Don’t be so harsh.. it’s not really goodbye freedom of speech, at least I’d prefer to be said goodbye to cigars! Those are really harmful.


    Don’t like this slippery slope… BUT i gotta think justice would be served if douche bag Limbaugh was made to walk the plank… splashhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Wayne K Dolik

    I have a whole lot of mixed feelings about the firing of Don Imus. Has this last few days of the Imus attack been cover for Speedy Gone-Zalez? Or perhaps this all was cover for a few botched wars? Perhaps the Main Stream Media along with it’s Spenders has taken to eating it’s own!

    Anyway I have had it with the adhominim attacks non-stop on Imus. Kiss free speech goodbye. Oh, well we have lost most of our freedoms anyway. Have a nice day. I haven’t heard much real news lately, have you?

  4. Sandy Price

    I am stunned that a combination of Sharpton and Jackson and Fox News decided freedom of speech is limited to agreements between Fox and the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson. I am sick! I am insulted! and this must be the end of another of our freedoms. This is just another push by the Religious Right and NBC should ashamed of themselves.

  5. This is a very sad day for the radio business. This is another nail in the coffin of free speech. Michael Savage will be next just watch. Howard Stern left traditional radio to Satellite Radio.

    Regardless of your political views, Ann Coulter says really bad things all the time in very poor taste. The reason she has not been run out off the air is that she refuses to apologize.

    Several years ago I met Don Imus at a radio convention. Met his wife too. They seemed like solid people and I used to get a kick from time to time watching a talk radio show on MSNBC.

    If you look and read very carefully you’ll notice that most media outlets are part of the “entertainment division” of their news agencies. So in other words, it’s about focusing what’s entertaining.

    When I attended the FCC hearings in Monterey California in 2004, I was impressed and amazed at how young people, between the ages of 16 and 20 faught hard to keep small radio stations and independent thought on the air.

    It’s only a matter of time until the blog’s are attacked the way syndicated radio is. Just watch.

  6. Hiflyer

    Yes..Imus put his foot in it…egged on again by that bald headed b**tard of a producer…again. However, the reaction from Sharpton, Jackson, and every other group of ‘color’ is to hang Imus for every piece of racism in the last 10 years…they got a target and NBC is willingly being used in this huge mea culpa. A 70 year old white man is going to be the black caucus effigy hanging for rap…so that they can get face time in an election year.

  7. wminot

    I am delighted that Don Imus was fired. I don’t believe my right to free speech was altered in any way. His misogyny and hate filled speech has polluted the airwaves for far too long. Also, I question the character of a man who says at least 4 times a day what a good person he is. His judgment is clearly uncolored by humility.

  8. Judy Bodnar

    Around the time he signed his new contract with MSNBC Imus said he was telling his wife Deidre, to not go around thinking that he had a millions if influential friends because he didn’t and the minute that he was off the air she would find that nobody would be calling him , and raising the money for the Imus Ranch would be far more difficult if not impossible. The man knew that he had power and influence ONLY as long as he was a host with an popular show that could promote his guests or their interests. I will miss the parade of authors, historians, politicians, editors and news journalists that I could watch/ listen to and gain insight from. The unique thing about his show was that he had only one guest at a time and you were able to hear and digest what that person was saying as well as having learned something new and interesting from most shows. Though I have always despised the degrading and abasing comments made on the show, that was the price one paid if they wanted to watch/listen to it. Don Imus was ultimatly responsible for allowing any of it..but I have noticed over the last several years that most of the filth spewed actually eminated from and started with his producer Bernard McGuirk….and almost nothing has been written about him.

  9. Jay

    So as a follow up to all the apologies that Imus has made to the black community, I guess we can now expect the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton to apologize to the Duke LaCrosse team…