MSNBC Axes ‘Imus’ Simulcast

Apr 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

MSNBC’s simulcast of the CBS Radio show “Imus in the Morning” is canceled immediately, NBC News announced Wednesday.

“This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees,” NBC News said in a statement. “What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.

“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,” NBC News said.

After outrage over host Don Imus’ derogatory comments last week about the Rutgers women’s basketball team boiled over, MSNBC and CBS Radio ordered a two-week suspension for the show starting Monday. The delay was to allow for charity fundraisers on “Imus” Thursday and Friday morning.

The fundraisers will go on as scheduled on CBS Radio, which intends to stick with the two-week suspension of “Imus,” which lost several major advertisers Wednesday.

“Don Imus has been suspended without pay for two weeks beginning on Monday, April 16. During that time, CBS Radio will continue to speak with all concerned parties and monitor the situation closely,” the division said in a statement.

“Today” weatherman Al Roker and NBC News correspondent Ron Allen posted blogs saying Mr. Imus should be fired.

Over the course of the last week many of you have reached out to me and expressed your strong viewpoints on the Don Imus situation,” NBC News President Steve Capus said in an internal e-mail Wednesday. “I’ve had countless conversations, e-mail exchanges and phone calls with people throughout this company. I’ve heard you loud and clear. Therefore, we are announcing tonight that MSNBC will no longer simulcast the Imus radio program. My primary concern has been and always will be the integrity of this division. We are the guardians of the good name of NBC News — each and every one of us. There has been a trust placed in us. We must honor and respect this trust. That, in short, is why we have taken this action.”

(Editor: Horowitz)