Suleman says Imus deserves another chance


Citadel Broadcasting CEO Farid Suleman, who is believed to be on the brink of returning Don Imus to radio, told the NY Times last week that Imus’ firing by CBS Radio and MSNBC last spring was sufficient punishment for his derogatory comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team and that he deserved another chance. "He did something wrong," Suleman told the paper. "He didn’t break the law. He’s more than paid the price for what he did. I think he should be evaluated by what he does going forward." Suleman would not comment on widespread reports in recent weeks that his company was working toward an agreement with Imus. But three other people apprised directly on the status of the negotiations characterized the two sides as having reached an understanding for Imus to take over morning drive on WABC. Still, no contracts have been signed, the story said. If the negotiations proceed on course, though, Imus would return to radio in the on or around 12/1, said the story.

RBR observation: Of course, the likelihood is Citadel would place Imus on some of its big market AM News-talk stations from the recent ABC Radio acquisition (along some of its other stations), and then syndicate via its ABC Radio Networks. Of course, a trial period would have to take place to see how things gel with listeners and advertisers on WABC.