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CBS Radio Fires Imus

Apr 12, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The other shoe dropped on Don Imus Thursday when CBS Radio fired the shock jock and canceled “Imus in the Morning,” which was syndicated to 61 stations.

The action was taken nearly 24 hours after NBC News canceled the MSNBC simulcast of “Imus in the Morning,” and a week after he and his executive producer Bernard McGuirk used blatantly racist terms to describe the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

It came only one business day before Mr. Imus was to have begun a two-week suspension without pay. The suspension had been delayed so Mr. Imus could proceed with his scheduled fund-raising broadcasts Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday’s show, Mr. Imus apologized again for what was said, but he also said, “The hypocrisy is absurd. … Everybody knows what the deal is.”

In the announcement, CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves said: “From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent.

“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,” Mr. Moonves said. “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many e-mails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies.”

The CBS CEO concluded: “I want to thank all those who came to see us to express their views. We are now presented with a significant opportunity to expand on our record on issues of diversity, race and gender. We intend to seize that opportunity as we move forward together.”

(Editor: Horowitz)