CBS Fires Imus, Joins MSNBC, After Racist Comments (Update3)
By Don Jeffrey
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- CBS Radio fired talk-show host Don Imus after his racially charged comments sparked protests from civil-rights leaders and advertisers.
CBS Radio said ``Imus in the Morning'' will be off the air permanently, making the decision a day after cable-television network MSNBC canceled its simulcast of the show.
``All of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air,'' CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said today in an e-mailed statement. New York-based CBS owns CBS Radio.
Imus called the Rutgers University women's basketball team ``nappy-headed hos'' on April 4. CBS and MSNBC reversed an earlier decision to suspend the host for two weeks as calls for his firing grew louder and the show's largest advertisers, including General Motors Corp. and Sprint Nextel Corp., pulled their ads.
Imus's ability to attract high-profile political guests such as John McCain, John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman, drew listeners and made it the top-grossing show on CBS. He generated more than 25 percent of the revenue for CBS's WFAN radio station in New York, or about $12 million, according to Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA Financial Network, a broadcast consulting firm in Chantilly, Virginia. The show was carried on more than 60 stations across the country.