Don Imus‘s longtime sidekick Charles McCord is leaving “Imus in the Morning”, effectively giving three weeks notice on the air this morning.
FBN anchor Connell McShane will take over the seat on both the radio and TV shows beginning May 9. McShane will continue co-anchoring 11amET hour alongside Dagan McDowell on FBN.
McCord has been with Imus since the early 1970s when Imus’s show was on NBC radio. They remained together as Imus moved to WFAN, simulcast on MSNBC, and finally to WABC Radio and FBN. Writes David Hinckley in today’s Daily News:
McCord, who shares Imus’s penchant for personal privacy, added no details after Imus made the announcement. Both seemed upbeat, as Imus played the Righteous Brothers’s “Try To Find Another Man” and Imus joked that “I feel like Newt Gingrich’s wife” – alluding to Gingrich serving his wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital.
While Imus on the radio continues to do well, “the best number of his career,” writes Hinckley, his TV numbers are down. Earlier this week, HuffingtonPost revealed first quarter numbers showing Imus is down -45% from Q1 2010, averaging about 65,000 total viewers. The show averaged around 127,000 viewers when it launched in October 2009.
> Earlier on TVNewser: VIDEO – Connell McShane Looks Beyond Cable