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Imus to Satellite Radio? Guess Again...

4/12/2007 8:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Don ImusWere I a less morally-scrupulous blogger, I would be tempted to break this (faux) exclusive: "Sirius-XM in Talks with Don Imus." Even though I have no knowledge of this, and even though it's probably true, such talks may be short-lived and ultimately doomed. Here's why:

* Even on satellite radio, advertisers matter. XM is filled with them, and consumer brands consider Imus rat poison. And as Business Week columnist David Kiley noted, "Imus's influence is transcending the size of his audience...[It's] about a quarter of Limbaugh's weekly following and less than half of Stern's. But blue-chip and family-oriented advertisers like Chrysler, Bigelow Tea and The New York Stock Exchange are prepared to pay top dollar to flog their brands on Imus; his show commands advertising rates of $1,333-$1,500 per thousand listeners versus about $1,000 for Limbaugh and Stern, according to industry sources." Not anymore. Strike one.

* Sirius' biggest star, Howard Stern, simply detests Imus. Viz, Stern's on-air rant against him: "If it was me and I did something stupid like that I would just go on and say, 'I'm not going on Al Sharpton's show. Al Sharpton is a piece of s**t. He's just a human being that is bankrupt, and he should pay his bills ... I would rather just leave the radio than apologize to that man...' I like Al Sharpton, by the way."

Alienating off your top talent to hire less popular, radioactive talent? Uh-uh: Strike two.

* The business model of satellite radio may be shifting from backing up dumptrucks filled with cash to more fiscally prudent deal-making. Together, XM and Sirius have nearly 14 million subscribers; combined, they expect to add another 3.5 million net new subscribers if they finally merge this year. But the losses are just as staggering: XM lost $256 million last quarter; Sirius lost $245 million. That's over half a billion dollars in red ink in one quarter. And rampant piracy of Stern's show on BitTorrent and other websites means subscriber growth will be a challenge.

Even assuming Imus could get a gig on satellite, let alone on YouTube or the web, he faces yet another major problem: Guests. Or rather, the lack of them: Politicos like Sen. Chris Dodd and Barack Obama would rather be injected with the Ebola virus than be seen with Imus now; business moguls wouldn't do satellite because he'd lack the combined reach of TV and radio. And the loss of his MSNBC simulcast means that neither serious broadcast journalists like NBC's Brian Williams nor print superstars like Newsweek editor Evan Thomas will be permitted to do an Imus show. Strike three.

Finally, there's the question of whether the public even wants to hear from this guy anymore. As Bob Herbert points out in his NYT column, Imus has a history of hateful, disgusting speech that many people are simply not willing to leave in the past. Writes Herbert, "The real question is whether this controversy is loud enough to shock Americans at long last into the realization of just how profoundly racist and sexist the culture is... It appears that on this issue the general public, and the women at Mr. Imus's former network, are far ahead of the establishment figures, the politicians and the media biggies, who were always so anxious to appear on the show and to defend Mr. Imus."

Friends, Imus may be a celeb, but even the heaviest hitters don't get four strikes. He's outta there.

COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Tom    

I AM CALLING FOR A FULL AND COMPLETE BOYCOTT OF THE CBS TV AND RADIO NETWORK AND MSNBC CABLE NETWORK.

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-242-6397 (1-800 CH2-NEWS) TELL CBS THAT THEY ARE UNDER BOYCOTT EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!

2748 days ago
2.

know it all    

Tom Shea must be Imus' secret lover. What Imus did was appauling. He deserved to lose his job. He deserves to go down in flames. This was no accident. He must be a bad person, and he got what was coming to him. You reap what you sow.

I = Idiotic
M = Masogynistic
U = Unemployed
S = Swine

2748 days ago
3.

what a hoot    

What a hoot! PLAIN AND SIMPLE-Do not accept the UNEXCEPTABLE. His remarks may have been tolerated 50 years ago. Tough, not now. This is the price for demoralizing fine young athletic people based on their color.

UNACCEPTABLE! VERBAGE!

2748 days ago
4.

Tom    

BTW, "truth" what's your real name? Twana Brawley? You must be because you sound like one of Al (sharpie) Sharpton's pathetic loser stooges.

2748 days ago
5.

Tom    

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO: "STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES BUT NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME". IT WAS POPULAR 50 YEARS AGO TOO.

2748 days ago
6.

alsvow469    

I have a friend that is in upper management at CBS.

Imus will be replaced with David Allen Coe.

2748 days ago
7.

Tom    

Well you can tell David Allen Coe or what ever his name is, that nobody will be watching. You can hire Rodney Allen Rippy for all I care. CBS and msnbc are being boycotted. Just what do you think this is?? You think you are replacing Cole with Pepsi with your Happy Meal or something? CBS will be sold at firesale prices within one year. Make book on it.

2748 days ago
8.

sapphire1234    

I put my 2 cents in with the newsroom at CBS.
We will no longer be watching.
We also cancelled our 3 business cell phones with SPRINT...and
I placed a nice big juicy order with Bigelow Tea to thank them for supporting opinions of Imus.
I dont think Imus should have apologized.
I wouldnt have.
We ordered bumperstickers too:
IMUS FOR PRESIDENT!!!
I'm not a political freak...just disgusted with Reverend Al Sharpton and that idiot
Jesse Jackson.
They are not my leaders, they do not speak for me...and they will never be elected for anything by us...except maybe to say that they can be heads of
"IDIOTS UNLIMITED"

2748 days ago
9.

The Donald    

Hey folks - Nothing negative has happened to Mr. Imus -- he has not been charged with any crime or anything. If any of you out there have ever had the privilage of firing someone or voting on a panel to fire someone who was ultimately fired, then you already know that the person will usually go on to bigger and better things for themselves. Mr. Imus is going to be fine, as his getting fired is not a tragedy or travesty.

2748 days ago
10.

Melsmellanson    

We've begun a boycott of not just CBS and NBC news programs (including MSNBC), but also of Proctor & Gamble, Sprint, Staples, and any other company willing to cave to the pressures of those who want to silence the voice of those whose words and views they do not approve of. Imus was wrong, he apologized, but to lose his job over this was just way over the top. I'd call for Sharpton and Jackson to lose their jobs too, but I'm not sure what they do other than stir the racial pot when it's to their liking and beneficial to getting their faces on TV.

2748 days ago
11.

Michael    

What Imus did was wrong, but Sharpton did the same thing to the Duke Lacrosse boys, going so far as to say because they were white they must have done it and no backlash towards him? His act is getting old, he could do so much more good then Imus could do bad if he stepped up and lead instead of fighting retards like Imus all the time. How about we boycott both hateful people and not just the white one?

2747 days ago
12.

Cecil Jones    

If Imus ever works again in radio, it will be on satellite. Before you write this idea off as stupid, consider the facts. Imus has a history of success in keeping the talk real. If he's too hot to share his opinion on Earth, then he must go underground or into outer space. The question is "Does Satellite Radio Need Imus?" He comes with a huge paycheck that they may no longer want to pay after the Howard Stern fiasco. Imus can make money from marketing, but he needs his voice heard. That voice is unrestricted in outer space. Why would he quibble over a paycheck? Satellite Radio can have an unrestricted political debate with no holds barred now and Blacks and Women can't do a damn thing. America needs a forum for adults to enjoy life. I think it's time for an "Adult Network" that competes in the market place with cable. How many people would scream about this? Where would all the viewers go? Parents must be responsible for what their kids watch. The media provides a service, but it can't police who illegally uses it. Kids want to know what's happening too. Good parents make good kids. Content opens their minds to unlimited possibilities, but Parents are the filter. Too bad so many of us are hypocrits and the kids know it. That's keeping it real.

2747 days ago
13.

Tom    

CBS = CONTROLED BY SHARPTON

2747 days ago
14.

Hans Brinkers    

Network Television is on the way out!
Public Television is on the rise!
Satelite Telivision will be the Mass comm. of the future
By firing Imus of the Air(Like him or not) Free speech is dead, and so remember the movie 1984.. God save you all!

2747 days ago
15.

Lara    

Love, love, love Imus. I have the utmost respect for him. He has cleaned up his act from drug and alcohol abuse and has given of himself with working with children who have cancer. This one time slur should not bring down an empire. Al Rocker is off base. He is lucky to have his job. He has added NOTHING to the Today show in fact, why is he there? For me, I will boycott the show by just a flick when I see his face.
I think MSNBC has made a huge mistake by not working with IMUS to better the show and thus I hope another network will be brave enough to pick him up. His popularity will soar and advertisers will be right back
As to the trio, ie. Rocker, Jesse and Sharpton, I hope I see them picket in front of the music buildings until every single CD is removed from the shelves and all the filth is removed. They are the ones exploiting the women calling them ho, b, etc. not Imus
The wrong person was used as the poster boy.

2747 days ago
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