Four months after radio talk-show host Don Imus returned to the air, stations are lining up to carry his show and ratings at his New York flagship WABC are solid.
In his “James Brady on Media” column for Forbes.com, Brady notes that The New York Times’ Jacques Steinberg recently wrote a favorable article headlined “All Forgiven, WIMUS Is on a Roll,” observing that major advertisers and celebrity guests have returned to Imus.
WABC radio honcho Phil Boyce told Brady: “We’ve got him on about 40 stations now. The old show claimed about 62, but we’ve only been able to confirm 47, so we’re getting close.”
Imus was fired from WFAN and MSNBC in April 2007 after making disparaging comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
Imus apologized for his remarks.
Boyce said stations in Providence, Tampa, Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C. recently began carrying Imus’ new show, which is also telecast over rural-based RFD-TV.
“Ratings from February are good,” said Boyce. “In the 12-plus category, he’s No. 3 in morning drive.”
At Imus’ old New York station WFAN, meanwhile, the new morning drive team was in 19th place.
As for advertising, “it’s coming in,” Boyce told Brady. “And we’re getting much higher rates, and we’re getting closer to sellouts.”
He added that Imus is now “in a better place. He was doing issue talk on a sports station and now he’s doing issue talk on an issue-talk station.”
Brady, formerly the editor of New York magazine and associate publisher of the New York Post, was a guest on an Imus show in December to promote his latest book. He wrote: “On air, Imus appeared delighted to be back, but acknowledged still being sore at some of his former ‘friends’ for their lack of support during his (self-created) crisis. ‘I like Tom Brokaw, but you don’t share a foxhole with him,’ was typical of his remarks.”
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