Mr. Smith's Neighborhood

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Imus and CBS Radio Reach Settlement August 14, 2007

Is an Imus Resurrection Imminent?

The Associated Press has reported that veteran radio broadcaster Don Imus and his former employer, CBS Radio, have reached a settlement that sidesteps a potential breech of contract lawsuit for $120 million threatened by Imus. It is widely speculated that the settlement clears the way for Imus to make a return to the airwaves.

Imus was terminated without notice by CBS Radio in April following disparaging remarks made by Imus and sidekick Bernard McGuirk in the early morning hours of the nationally syndicated show and its simulcast on MSNBC. It was since uncovered that Imus’ termination was carefully orchestrated by staffer Ryan Chiachiere of Media Matters for America, a front for the Hillary Clinton campaign operating as a non-profit organization.

Imus’ contract required CBS Radio to issue a formal warning in writing about any of the show’s content that was deemed objectionable. CBS radio terminated Imus without such a written warning in the middle of Imus’ major annual fundraising effort for SID’s, The CJ Foundation and Tomorrow’s Children. This was after MSNBC had decided to end the simulcast and, presumably, Imus’ sponsors had pulled out.


Rev. Al Sharpton, the self-righteous politician and half-baked radio personality (and also a major player in the racial outcry against Imus), issued a statement that the settlement was a matter between Imus and CBS radio. However, according to the AP, he added that the settlement is “also a testimony to the movement of people that raised their voices to fire Imus that CBS would rather pay him off than keep him on. … To the rumors that Imus may resurface, wherever he resurfaces we at National Action Network and other groups will be watching and monitoring him.” Apparently, Sharpton seemed to miss the point that CBS settled rather than lose a $120 million lawsuit for breech of contract, and Imus has no need or desire to return to CBS Radio. WAKE UP, AL.

The bigger question is: who is watching Al Sharpton? Certainly not his producers, Reach Media and Syndication One. While there is no excuse for Imus’ comments, he at least had the courage to apologize and would have set the record straight given the chance. Imus’ loyal listeners would never excuse the comments, myself included, but we would never have interpreted this as anything more than a bad joke. However, we can also understand how such a comment in the hands of Imus’ detractors was dangerous. But why is Al Sharpton, the country’s main broker in bigotry and racial extortion, allowed to continue on his way with virtual immunity?

The answer lay in the BIG loser of an Imus return to the airwaves: Hillary Clinton. Clinton money and personnel have been linked by others to Media Matters for America. No other broadcaster may have the power to destroy Hillary’s presidential aspirations faster than Imus, who is on record as calling Clinton the Anti-Christ. He swore that he will never give her any air time … and is likely to give her opponents all the air time they want.

Another interesting aspect reported by the A.P. is that the settlement prohibits disparaging remarks by the parties about the other party. Many of my fellow Imus fans are happy to continue boycotting CBS Radio products in the New York market like WFAN, WCBS-AM and WCBS-FM. What we are waiting for is Imus to unload on Hillary and all of the rats who jumped ship on Imus when he needed their support.

There have been rumors about Imus coming to WABC-AM in New York but, according to the A.P., those rumors have been denied by Steve Borneman, General Manager of WABC in New York. The station is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, an owner/operator that claims to be the third largest in the United States with 177 FM and 66 AM stations and a presence over fifty markets. The coveted morning slot on WABC-AM in New York is handled by the award-winning team of Curtis Sliwa, founder and leader of the Guardian Angels, and Ron Kuby, a high-powered attorney.

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