Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Imus settles with CBS, plans radio return

The Associated Press reports that fired radio talker Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is negotiating with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, according to CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations.

Imus and CBS Radio reached a settlement that would pre-empt the dismissed radio personality's threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit, CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said Tuesday.

No terms of the settlement were disclosed, although there may be a "non-disparaging" agreement that would prevent Imus from trashing his former employer on the air.

The settlement and possible comeback come more than four months after Imus created an uproar over racist and sexist comments he made. Imus, 66, was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" on his nationally syndicated radio program, which was also simulcast on MSNBC.

Just before his dismissal, Imus signed a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS. Famed First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus said in May that Imus planned to sue CBS for $120 million in unpaid salary and damages.

Don't look for Imus to return to WFAN. They just named former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason as the permanent morning replacement. And MSNBC seems to be content with whatever direction their morning show is going in. Right now, the hot rumor sees Imus going to WABC (770AM).

However, if the WABC deal falls through, at least his former boss Mel Karmazin would welcome him to Sirius.


hashfanatic said...

I must say Sliwa's been sounding like he's going to shoot up the studio or something, of late.

Kuby's extended vacation times vividly demonstrate how he actually carries Curtis. It is embarrassing when he is paired with Bush boot-licker and B-list weekend guy Mark Simone, and the compelling Jeremy Lichtman can only throw Sliwa so much rope.

Boyce has his hands full with Sliwa, who's been known to pick fights with and harass other hosts when he becomes paranoid over job security issues...Imus will certainly not fly on WABC for long, but perhaps a realignment of the schedule, and reevaluation of what some of the other hosts really bring to the board.

John Gambling really does belong back at WOR (as does WWRL's Lionel).

Perhaps Laura Ingraham could be migrated to a permanent weekend slot, and the Erik Hastings Travel Show shelved altogether, along with the insufferably intolerant and increasing aggressive Rabbi Joseph Potasnik on "Religion On The Line".

Finally, I do wish they would bring back John Batchelor's show. I am in fundamental disagreement with many of his views, but he contributed a certain something to the lineup and injected it with a much-needed touch of dignity and style.

Michael said...

Curtis and Kuby worked well together, the first morning team on ABC that has clicked since Ross and Wilson (and they've tried a lot of hosts). Still, the I-man has generally done better in the New York market and has syndication potential. PD Phil Noyce has already put Hannity and Levin into syndication and could put the I-man back on the bird, too.
I doubt at this point Sirius would pay the kind of bucks Howard (and O&A) got to get Imus. Even so, Imus could do a satellite show in addition to a terrestrial radio show (like O&A) and sign with both WABC and Sirius.
Question is, will Imus get back on cable? NBC does not seem likely to bring him back (to bad they didn't pick Stephanie Miller instead of wing nut Joe). CNN? Seems like they can't figure out what do in the morning. Fox? Maybe not on FNC but they could stick him on FX.

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