WABC and the “New Imus” is Great Radio!
As the end of Imus’ 2nd week back on the radio approaches, the critics have drifted into the background and Imus is better than ever. Well, as least he is better based on today’s ridiculous expectations of political correctness.
WABC-AM and its management have provided Imus with the supervision and support that a high profile personality deserves. The 21-second delay built into the broadcast may seem oppressive by some, but it is a beautiful failsafe effort that makes people like Ryan Chiachiere, Media Matters for America, George Soros and Hillary Clinton impotent in their efforts to discredit Imus.
For those of you not familiar with Soros, he is a multi-billionaire who funds politically-oriented organizations under the guise of philanthropy. He has publically professed that he would use all his resources to end the Bush presidency. He has close ties to the Clintons and is the funding behind extreme political fronts like MoveOn.org and Media Matters for America.
In many ways, WABC-AM and Citadel Broadcasting have shown a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment to Imus. While some of their actions can be rationalized as a protection of their investment in Imus and the station’s ratings, there also seems to be a sincere effort to help make Imus even more successful. This type of loyalty is a rare commodity in radio (let alone the corporate world) where replacements are usually a dime a dozen. WABC and Citadel obvious see the unique potential of Imus.
The “new look’ of the Imus program includes his old sidekick, Charles McCord, and newcomers Ms. Karith Foster and Mr. Tony Powell. A New York Times article made sure to state that both, besides being comedians, are also black.
Katy Bachman in MediaWeek reports that the maiden broadcast on December 3 showed a substantial increase in WABC’s listeners. A poll on the WABC web site shows impressive support for the Imus rebirth. It is difficult to estimate the long-term impact of Imus’ broadcast until the Arbitron ratings, however useless they are, are released for the winter months. In the long run, as syndication opportunities increase and RFD-TV adds more viewers, Imus is likely to gain listeners as the 2008 presidential election gets more serious.
Although I have only heard about 10 hours of Imus, mostly over the Internet stream, it seems that Imus is running at a much better level than ever before. Although there have been some engineering glitches that will disappear in time, Imus is still the best interviewer on radio or TV. Imus has a style that probes deeply into questions that require answers beyond the normal fluff that turns into sound bytes rather than real information.
Imus is able to attract high-quality, intelligent personalities who have insider knowledge and deep insight about the workings of government, politics, the military, foreign affairs and the corporate world. The discussions are almost always in language that is simple to understand because it transcends the usual jargon and rhetoric. Listening to Imus on a regular basis is a promise that you will be informed thoroughly but in a fair and balanced manner.
And, despite Imus’ ability to head straight to the jugular, he never leaves his guests bloodied and crippled. The definitive proof is that Imus’ guests continue to return to his program time and time again.
Imus and the team are still exploring the new bounds of their comedy, but there have been many light and humorous moments. Imus remains amusing and it will continue to get better.
There is little chance that Imus will develop a monumental base of new fans, but it is possible there are new fans to be had. Imus has traditionally been a polarizing element because you either loved him or hated him. However, WABC-AM and Citadel seem committed to improving Imus’ image and broadening the listener base. Although a good portion of the radio world is waiting for Imus to slip on a another banana peel, holding your breath in anticipation is definitely not a good idea.
Maybe we are still in the “honeymoon” period when Imus, by necessity, has to be the good boy dressed in his Sunday-best jeans, cowboy boots, cowboy hat and denim shirt. Listening to the metamorphosis that the program will undergo in the coming weeks should be quite enjoyable.
You don’t have to like Imus. You don’t need to appreciate his philanthropic efforts. You don’t have to enjoy his humor or respect his irreverence. You don’t have to believe that he is intelligent and knowledgeable. You don’t need to forgive him for his past sins, both personal and professional.
But you really do need to be informed. Imus is an excellent choice. If not, please find another that is fair and balanced. Do not allow yourself to be misinformed by the mass media. Most of all, do not be complacent. Take responsibility for fighting against the forces that are attempting to deprive you of the ability to be in control of your life.
Imus Moves Forward December 13, 2007
WABC and the “New Imus” is Great Radio!