Imus Deal Done With RFD-TV; Reportedly Worth $5 Million
November 14, 2007 at 6:40 AM (PT)
It's official, as DON IMUS and RURAL MEDIA GROUP have signed a five-year agreement to simulcast the IMUS In The Morning program exclusively on RFD-TV and RFD HD. The announcement was made today by RMG Founder/Pres. PATRICK GOTTSCH.
IMUS is bringing his team back to the air, including newsman CHARLES MCCORD. The show will air live on weekdays from 6-9am (EST). IMUS in the Evening, a rebroadcast of the morning's program, will air in primetime on RFD HD from 6-9p and will be featured on video-on-demand, enabling West Coast viewers to get the show at their convenience. As previously announced, IMUS in the Morning will be broadcast on the radio from 6-10a by CITADEL Talk WABC/NEW YORK and will be syndicated across the country by ABC RADIO NETWORK.
"DON's passion and understanding of rural America fits in so well with our ongoing effort to bridge city and country folks with this cable channel," stated GOTTSCH. "The IMUS Ranch Special that aired on RFD-TV this past summer, which focused on the history and good work being performed by the IMUS family's non-profit organization for kids with cancer was a huge hit. We expect the same overwhelmingly positive response from our audience with the addition of IMUS In The Morning and IMUS In The Evening to our program schedule."
PATRICK GOTTSCH, a former satellite-dish installer from NEBRASKA who founded RFD-TV in 1988, said in an interview yesterday that he had reached agreement with IMUS on a five-year contract to televise his program. While GOTTSCH would not discuss any financial terms, someone else briefed directly on the deal said it could be worth up to $5 million a year -- about what WABC-A and its parent company, CITADEL BROADCASTING, are paying for the radio program, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Even with a portion of the RFD payment going to CITADEL, IMUS’s annual compensation from his new radio and TV outlets could be within range of the roughly $10 million he was being paid annually by CBS RADIO before he was fired last spring over his racial and sexual aside about the RUTGERS women’s basketball team.
The deal could pave the way for RFD to be seen on large cable systems in cities like NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, where IMUS has traditionally drawn some of his biggest audiences.