On The Eve Of Imus’ Return To Radio


The $64,000 media question is whether or not Don Imus’ former guests will remain loyal and appear on his show once again. Clearly the question looms large in the Imus consciousness, as he has sent out his loyal surrogate, private eye Bo Dietl, to put his enemies — Al Roker, Tim Russert, Harold Ford Jr. — on notice.

Howard Stern spent much of this week on his Sirius radio show attacking his longtime nemesis, Don Imus, and the coverage his debut has been getting. James Brady of Forbes, in contrast, expects Imus’ Monday morning debut will ”draw the biggest audience ever for an AM station show airing at 6 in the morning.” And then the $64,000 media question comes up:

”What about Imus’ favorite triumvirate at The New York Times — Mo Dowd, Frank Rich, Tom Friedman? Will they return to the fold? Will the paper rule on it? Will we hear Ken Auletta again on the Imus show? Back in 1998, Auletta profiled him for The New Yorker, opening with this passage, ‘The Don is not pleased when visitors blather. He holds grudges, he is personally insulted when companies don’t reward his favorite charity, and if don’t amuse him, you’re whacked. Every morning he is quick to let loose on ‘wimps,’ ‘jerks,’ ‘weasels’ and ‘punks.”’

Jon Friedman of MarketWatch notes that Imus’ ability to sell books may make his show irresistible to the Chattering Classes:

”It will be interesting to see how loyal Imus’s one-time guests will turn out to be. Some have pledged to stay away from the new venture for fear of injuring their own reputations. Sure, some may actually do that — until they have books to plug. Imus was second only to Oprah Winfrey when it came to selling books with his recommendations. He truly had a Midas touch.”

Finally, from our colleagues at TVNewser:

”And on the eve of Don Imus’ return to radio and TV (via RFDtv), his old slot on MSNBC, occupied by Morning Joe, is down 34% in total.”

(image via nydailynews)