Don Imus confirms move to Fox Business Network, raising the question: Can he be trusted?
That's because the official announcement of Don Imus' move to Fox Business Network Oct. 5 is more than the marriage of a damaged broadcaster with a cable channel desperately seeking buzz.
Imus' new gig is also a step back into the spotlight from the wilderness of low-rated radio stations and little seen TV outlets. He's had about 18 months to reflect on the fallout from his unfortunate, race-based insults to a successful women's basketball team who didn't deserve them, and he's been working a revamped show with two actual black people among the on air crew.
The only question left, for those of us who haven't seen much of him lately, is whether he learned the right lesson.
I said repeatedly when the Imus controversy first exploded -- speaking both as a media critic and as head of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists -- that Imus' problem wasn't just slinging the term "nappy headed hoes." The more troubling issue, was his long history of making similar jokes on air, just before welcoming world class journalists and politicians into his massive radio salon.
If he does cross a similar line again, there's also concern his new employer may not be responsive as CBS Radio and MSNBC, which suspended and eventually fired Imus in 2007 as protests over his behavior grew.
Fox News Channel personality Glenn Beck is currently the subject of a boycott, sparked by his insistence that President Barack Obama is a racist with a "deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
While executives made it clear Beck was not speaking for the company, Fox News hasn't publicly pushed Beck to respond to those who say his comments were unfair and inaccurate, either. And given that both Imus and FBN could use a little publicity when he debuts, anything seems possible.
We'll all get to see where this lands, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays, beginning Oct. 5. And if it all goes bad, frankly, I won't blame Imus as much as I will blame the cynical media executives who keep giving him second chances.
Click here to read FBN's press release on it all:
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK SECURES DEAL WITH DON IMUS TO SIMULCAST MORNING SHOW
FOX Business Network (FBN) has signed a multi-year deal with legendary radio personality Don Imus in which his nationally syndicated program Imus in the Morning will be simulcast on the channel, announced Kevin Magee, Executive Vice President. Beginning October 5th, the program will be presented in High Definition (HD) Monday through Friday from 6-9 AM ET on FOX Business and continue to be syndicated on the radio by Citadel Media.
In making the announcement, Magee said, “We’re excited to welcome a renowned broadcaster like Don Imus to the FOX Business team. His 40 years of on-air experience combined with his superb interviewing skills and capitalist sensibilities will be a great addition to our lineup.”
The program will incorporate additional business news into its format which now offers a mix of current affairs, politics, entertainment and sports as discussed amongst Imus and his genius cast of characters including: Charles McCord, Bernard McGuirk, Rob Bartlett, Lou Rufino, Tony Powell, Warner Wolf and Julie Kanfer.
Imus added, “I love FOX. Roger Ailes is the preeminent genius of American Broadcasting. Who wouldn't want to do this?"
In addition to the Imus team, FBN’s Jenna Lee, Connell McShane and Ashley Webster will continue co-anchoring Fox Business Morning from 5-6AM ET and appear frequently on Imus in the Morning reporting on breaking financial news as well as pre-market action. Lee, McShane and Webster will also co-host a live online news morning program for viewers to get up-to-the-minute stock reports and financial news updates. The program, entitled Foxbusiness.com Live Morning Edition, will be presented Monday-Friday from 6-9AM ET on foxbusiness.com.
Money for Breakfast, which currently occupies the 7-9AM timeslot, will present its last show on Friday, October 2nd and its current host Alexis Glick will continue anchoring Opening Bell (9-10 AM ET). Glick also serves as FBN’s Vice President for Business News.
FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York—the business capital of the world—FBN launched in October 2007 under the leadership of FOX News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes and is now available in nearly 50 million homes in major markets across the United States. Owned by News Corp, the network has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and London. On the web at www.foxbusiness.com
Don Imus is a 4-time recipient of the Marconi Award from the National Association Of Broadcasters, and a member of the prestigious NAB and Broadcasting and Cable Halls of Fame.