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Posts Tagged ‘Don Imus’

Martin Bashir Out at MSNBC

BashirBreaking: MSNBC host Martin Bashir is leaving the network.

Bashir hasn’t been on the air since Nov. 22. MSNBC said he was on a pre-planned vacation, but we’ve learned he resigned today. The departure follows comments he made about Sarah Palin on his Friday, Nov. 15 show.

Bashir called Palin a “dunce” and suggested she might be a candidate for the same treatment slaves received from a plantation owner named Thomas Thistewood: being urinated and defecated on.

After demands for an apology, he apologized, but remained on the air. As calls for a suspension grew louder, Bashir anchored the rest of the week before going on that vacation.

Bashir joined MSNBC in the summer of 2010, after six years with ABC News, part of that time as a host of “Nightline.”

More: Comments from Bashir and MSNBC president Phil Griffin after the jump…

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Sorry is Easy. In the Case of Martin Bashir, Suspension Seems to be the Hardest Word

Martin Bashir 304Judging strictly by precedent at MSNBC, if Martin Bashir had called Sarah Palin a ‘cocksucking fag,’ ‘right wing slut,’ ‘dick,’ ‘pimp,’ or ‘nappy headed ho,’ he would be on suspension, at the very least.

Instead, Bashir is a free man. All he said about Palin on Nov. 15 was that she should be forced to have someone defecate in her mouth and urinate in her eyes as punishment for her remarks on slavery.

What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty, if one considers MSNBC’s long history of Foot in Mouth disease. In every case, the commentator was either suspended or fired. In every case, the perps have been men, and in every case but one, the broadcast slurs have been aimed at women.

Ten days ago, actor Alec Baldwin was benched for two weeks after he was caught on video calling a paparazzi a ‘cocksucking fag.’ He may not return.

In 2011, Ed Schultz and Mark Halperin were both suspended — Schultz for labelling conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a ‘right wing slut,’ and Halperin for describing President Obama as a ‘dick.’ (Sidebar: If it had been Nixon, Halperin would have been technically correct.)

In ’08, David Shuster served two weeks for saying that Chelsea Clinton was being pimped out to support her mother’s campaign. And in ’07, Don Imus’ description of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as ‘nappy headed hos’ got him fired.

Like all his predecessors, Bashir apologized – the latest to join the celebrity culture of contrition. In a statement Friday, MSNBC said Bashir had also apologized to the Palin family, that he’s “committed to elevating the discourse” and that the network was handling the matter internally.

Still, many critics argue that Bashir deserves harsher punishment.

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TVNewsers Atop ‘Talkers’ ‘Heavy Hundred’

Talkers magazine, the magazine of the talk radio business, has released its annual “Heavy Hundred” list. As has become commonplace, the list is chock full of TV news personalities, particularly towards the top.

Rush Limbaugh may be number one, but Fox News’ Sean Hannity was number two, and former FNCer Glenn Beck was number four. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz came in at number six, while Current TV’s Stephanie Miller held the number 12 slot and Alan Colmes was at 16.

Other TV news personalities on the list include Andrea Tantaros (24), Don Imus (35), Mike Huckabee (46), Herman Cain (59), Geraldo Rivera (62), Tom Sullivan (65) and Al Sharpton (90).

Don Imus Re-Signs With Fox Business Network

Fox Business has re-signed Don Imus to a multi-year deal. Imus’ radio program, “Imus in the Morning,” will continue to simulcast on FBN weekdays from 6-9amET.

“Imus has been a great addition to the FBN team bringing a business savvy program that informs and entertains our pre-market audience,” FBN EVP Kevin Magee said in a statement. We look forward to continuing our success in the years to come.”

“Imus in the Morning” debuted in 2009 and is one of the top-rated programs on FBN. It was also announced today that he has signed a three-year deal for his radio show with Cumulus Media.

More in FBN’s release after the jump.

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After Imus Presses, Melissa Francis Reveals Part of the Conclusion of Her Memoir

FBN anchor Melissa Francis is on her book tour for “Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter” in which she describes a troubling upbringing as a child actor at the hands of a domineering, success-at-all-costs mother. Imus rightly pressed Francis about where her mother and sister, also a child actor, are now.

Francis kept trying to persuade Imus to read the book telling him it ends in a “shocking and explosive way.” Still, Imus pressed on. So Francis told him (after the jump, spoiler alert) what happened to her sister.

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A Crush, and a ‘Shotski,’ For Dan Rather

Former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather continues to make the rounds to promote his new book Rather Outspoken. Last night he appeared on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront,” where Burnett revealed that she had a crush on the newsman growing up, and that she would kiss the TV set at the end of the “CBS Evening News.” Rather was flattered:

Later that evening, Rather appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” hosted by former CBS News staffer Andy Cohen. Rather, Cohen and singer John Mayer did a”shotski” of bourbon off of a ski (see photo below), and then Rather and Cohen reminisced about their time at CBS News. Cohen recalled that the one story he got to do with rather was a profile of an outspoken radio host named Don Imus:

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Don Imus and Neil Cavuto Butt Heads Once Again on FBN

Fox Business Network host Don Imus has never been afraid to share his feelings about the network on-air. Last year Imus and FBN host Neil Cavuto got into an on-air tiff, and this morning it happened again.

“You are incorrigible,” Cavuto said, prompting Imus to respond by referring to him as a “Fox News executive” rather than host, and referring to FBN executive VP Kevin Magee as “fat Kevin.” There is no Imus in team,” Cavuto quipped, before mentioning that Howard Stern called Imus “a divider, not a uniter.”


(h/t J$P)

Don Imus Compares FBN PR Team to Jerry Sandusky. PR Responds: ‘This Is Just Imus Being Imus’

On his program this morning, Fox Business Network host Don Imus set his sights on his parent company, criticizing the public relations team at FBN by comparing them to former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and referring to them as “scum.”

“Tomorrow will be 40 years I’ve been doing this,” Imus said. “I can ruin people’s — not that I want to–but I can make a day just not fun.”

Imus has always made controversial statements on his program, so inside Fox, his comments weren’t seen as a serious issue.

“This is just Imus being Imus – we don’t take it personally,” a Fox Business spokesperson tells TVNewser.

Imus has had an interesting few weeks PR-wise, largely of his own doing. Last month he called his viewers “bastards” because his ratings weren’t as stable as he would like, and then he got into an on-air tiff with colleague Neil Cavuto over the issue, which was probably more Imus being Imus.

Does Calling Your Viewers ‘Bastards’ Directly Affect Your Ratings?

Don Imus‘s morning show has never been on more radio stations than it is today — more than 80.

But the cowboy boot-wearing jock is having a hard time finding his footing on TV. In the just finished November ratings period, “Imus in the Morning” was the least watched FBN program in A25-54 viewers, averaging 6,000 from 6-9am. An improvement from the 5,000 who watched last month, but down -50% from the 12,000 average in Nov. 2010, when the mid-term elections were the big story.

By comparison, CNBC which is available in 40 million more homes, had more than 10x the A25-54 viewers with 70,000 watching “Squawk Box”. The gap narrows in total viewers as Imus drew 92,000 to CNBC’s 175,000: and both shows grew their Total Viewer numbers year-over-year.

Since May, (5/5/11 – 11/25/11) when Connell McShane took over for Charles McCord, the show has seen an -18% drop in A25-54 viewers. And despite crowing about an occasional win against “Squawk Box”, Imus has not logged a win in the 6-9am block this year, in either Total Viewers or the demo.

Earlier this month, Imus went after his “bastard” viewers for watching one day and not the next, which led Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto to go on the show and declare it wasn’t the viewers’ fault “that your show is awful.”

Imus launched on FBN October 5, 2009 and with another year left on his deal, Fox Business may be looking for what’s next. So might Imus. His deal with FBN comes to an end around the same time as The Wall Street Journal‘s partnership with CNBC expires. Though both are owned by News Corp., an FBN-WSJ team-up is not a sure thing.

The TV version of “Imus in the Morning” aired on MSNBC from 1996-2007 and on RFD-TV from 2007-2009.

  • Cable news morning ratings (Nov. 2011)

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Sen. John McCain on His Daughter Joining MSNBC: ‘She Went Over to the Dark Side’

Senator John McCain called in to “Imus in the Morning” on FBN today, and among the topics that came up was McCain’s daughter, Meghan, joining MSNBC. “She went over to the dark side, I guess,” McCain joked. “I’m sure she’ll do well. She’s feisty, and I think being over there she’s going to have to have quite a bit of that.” Watch:


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