Don Imus is leaving the TV airwaves once again.
FBN confirmed the news tonight following Imus’s rather understated announcement this morning: “We go off television May 29. Why? I do not know. There’s 10 times, maybe a hundred times more people that listen to the radio than watch television. That’s the mentality of… whatever,” said Imus before changing the subject.
A network executive with knowledge of the decision said the plan had been in the works since January when Imus informed FNC and FBN Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes that he was moving to Texas. Both sides agreed to part ways. Ailes is said to have had a warm relationship with Imus for more than 30 years and is appreciative of the contributions he made to the network.
Meanwhile, FBN is planning for the future of the 6am-9am slot which Imus has hosted for the last six years. He joined in 2009, two years after FBN went on the air.
Eight years ago this month, Imus’s TV simulcast of his CBS Radio show was canceled by MSNBC. The cancellation came after Imus made disparaging comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. CBS Radio would cancel Imus in the Morning the next day.
A few weeks after Imus left MSNBC, the network’s 10pm host Joe Scarborough moved to the mornings and began hosting what would become “Morning Joe.”
Imus in the Morning returned to radio on New York station WABC in December 2007. A simulcast on RFD-TV followed, until FBN scooped up the longtime radio talker in 2009.
FBN will announce its new line-up in the coming weeks, we’re told.