Imus looks ready to return to radio
Vail, CO Colorado
NEW YORK ” Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is negotiating with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, according to CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations.
Imus and CBS Radio “have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.
The terms of the settlement will not be disclosed, according to the CBS statement.
The settlement pre-empts the dismissed radio personality’s threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.
CBS confirmed only that the settlement had been reached. The person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press that Imus is taking steps to make a comeback with WABC. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced, also said the deal with CBS calls for a “non-disparaging” agreement that forbids the parties from speaking negatively about each other.
The settlement and possible comeback come more than four months after Imus created an uproar over his racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
Just before his dismissal, Imus signed a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS Radio (owned by CBS Corp.). Famed First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus said in May that Imus planned to sue CBS for $120 million in unpaid salary and damages.
WFAN, the New York radio station that was Imus’ flagship, also announced Tuesday that former pro quarterback Boomer Esiason will take over the morning time slot along with Craig Carton, a New Jersey radio personality.
WABC is a New York talk-radio station that features political and topical shows with such stars Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Imus, 66, was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” on his nationally syndicated radio program, which was also simulcast on MSNBC. (General Electric Co.’s cable TV channel now has the “Morning Joe” program with Joe Scarborough.)
Garbus had said Imus would sue for the contract’s unpaid part. He cited a contract clause in which CBS acknowledged that Imus’ services were “unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial.”
The clause said Imus’ programming was “desired by company and … consistent with company rules and policy,” according to Garbus.
Garbus was not immediately available for comment Tuesday, according to his office.
WABC’s general manager, Steve Borneman, did not immediately return a call requesting comment.