Fox Business Network [FBN] executives are in talks with Radio host Don Imus to simulcast his syndicated early-morning radio show, possibly from 3 to 6 a.m. P.T., as MSNBC did, the LA Times reports, citing a source familiar with the discussions.
No deal is in place yet between the two parties, but if the talks conclude as anticipated, the show could make the move as early as September 1. There’s no question that the move would add some firepower to Fox Business’ morning line-up. A Fox Business spokesperson tells LA Times, “We talk to interesting and engaging talent all the time.”
The Imus radio show would be simulcast on FBN in the mornings until 9am E.T. and would replace current FBN programming, which now includes “Fox Business Morning,” hosted by Connell McShane and Jenna Lee, and “Money for Breakfast,” anchored by Alexis Glick and Eric Bolling. Alexis Glick, who is an executive with the network and who also anchors “Opening Bell” at 9am E.T., is likely part of the Imus negotiations.
If FBN finalizes the deal it would underscore the public rehabilitation of Imus. In April of 2007 Imus made derogatory comments about a group of African American female basketball players calling them “some nappy-headed hos.” The remarks started an uproar and triggered widespread condemnation. Advertisers such as GM and American Express (NYSE:AXP) pulled their spots off his MSNBC show. After the cable network yanked his simulcast, CBS Radio canceled his program altogether. Imus did apologize after that event and met with the young ladies to attempt to make amends. What’s more interesting is that, according to the Orlando Sentinel — at the time — Imus’ morning simulcast was doing crashingly well. So well in fact, that CNN decided to change it’s morning anchor line-up to stopgap the ratings blood-bath.
Six months after losing a CBS radio show and MSNBC telecast due to inappropriate remarks, Imus returned to the airwaves on WABC Radio in New York. Many of the politicians and journalists who were guests on his old show returned.