CBS Radio, MSNBC Suspend Imus for Two Weeks

Apr 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

CBS Radio and MSNBC will suspend shock jock Don Imus’s show for two weeks amid the rising furor over racist comments Mr. Imus made on the air about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Thus ended Mr. Imus’s long day of apologies that did not quell protests and demands he be fired over his comments, which Mr. Imus now says should not have been made.

“This comes after careful consideration in the days since his racist, abhorrent comments were made,” NBC News, which manages MSNBC, said in a statement Monday evening. “Don Imus has expressed profound regret and embarrassment and has made a commitment to listen to all of those who have raised legitimate expressions of outrage. In addition, his dedication – in his words – to change the discourse on his program moving forward, has confirmed for us that this action is appropriate. Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word.”

The previously scheduled Imus radiothon in support of the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund, the CJ Foundation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome research and the Imus Ranch will be telecast on MSNBC, as scheduled, on Thursday and Friday mornings.

The CBS Radio statement made no critical comments about Mr. Imus’ remarks. “Due to the events of the past week, CBS Radio will suspend Don Imus and the broadcast of his show for a period of two weeks, effective Monday, April 16,” it said. The program will continue to broadcast this week due to WFAN’s previously scheduled on-air charity fundraisers, which will air, the statement said.

“Imus in the Morning” Monday devoted two segments to Mr. Imus’s somber apology for the comments, which, he said, came from a good man who did a bad thing.

Mr. Imus then appeared on a radio show hosted by activist Al Sharpton, who said Mr. Imus still should be fired.

“Imus in the Morning” originates on WFAN-AM, in New York and is nationally syndicated by CBS Radio.

The 6-9 p.m. weekday timeslot on MSNBC will be filled with live news produced by the cable channel.

(Editor: Romanelli)