MSNBC Cancels Imus Simulcast
April 11, 2007 at 4:04 PM (PT)
MSNBC has announced that it has cancelled the simulcast of DON IMUS' WESTWOOD ONE/WFAN-A/NEW YORK program. NBC NEWS issued a statement late WEDNESDAY that "this decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees. What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC UNIVERSAL have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.
"Once again, we apologize to the women of the RUTGERS basketball team and to our viewers. We deeply regret the pain this incident has caused."
Advertisers Jump Ship For Now
Earlier in the day, some of IMUS' advertisers distanced themselves from IMUS in the ongoing controversy over his racially charged remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. STAPLES INC. and PROCTOR & GAMBLE CO. have pulled their advertising from the show, and GENERAL MOTORS, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and SPRINT NEXTEL have also suspended their advertising on the show for now..
STAPLES ran its last ad on IMUS' MSNBC simulcast yesterday, spokesman PAUL CAPELLI said. "Any venue in which our ads might appear that might be offensive to our consumers is unacceptable to us until we evaluate further," added JEANNIE THARRINGTON, a spokeswoman for P&G.
BIGELOW TEA also suspended its advertising. Future sponsorship is "in jeopardy," said Co-President CINDI BIGELOW. "Our company does not condone or support in any way the unacceptable comments made by IMUS. We are deeply saddened by IMUS' remarks."
CBS Board Member Calls For Firing
And a member of the CBS CORP. board of directors is calling for IMUS' firing: BRUCE GORDON, a former President and CEO of the NAACP, said, "As an African-American, I believe that IMUS has crossed the line, a very bright line that divides our country. His remarks are so significant that I believe that the right outcome is for him to be terminated."
GORDON added that the two week suspension levied against IMUS by CBS is the "right step" for now because "it affords management the opportunity to do due diligence and evaluate what this means to the company, the brand and what it stands for." But, he added, "Once due diligence is completed, it is my belief that the facts should determine that he should be terminated."
CBS Confirms Suspension
CBS RADIO issued a statement WEDNESDAY that repeated what was widely reported TUESDAY, IMUS' two week suspension, saying, "DON IMUS has been suspended without pay for two weeks beginning on MONDAY, APRIL 16. During that time, CBS RADIO will continue to speak with all concerned parties and monitor the situation closely.."