When Don Imus, left, went off the air last spring as a result of his racially-charged comments, he retreated to his ranch in New Mexico. When he attempts a comeback soon, his next radio show may have to look to other rural areas for a television audience.
Imus is expected to return to radio on WABC in New York, but his return to television may come on RFD-TV, a satellite and cable channel whose focus is rural communities, The New York Times reports. Jacques Steinberg writes that a unnamed source close to Imus said no deal has been signed, but that the two sides are in "serious discussions" about simulcasting the show. "For Mr. Imus, whose previous show on CBS Radio was seen nationally on MSNBC, RFD (which stands for rural free delivery) would offer a lower profile. Mr. Imus used to share a cable network with hosts like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews; at RFD-TV his show would be a marquee lead-in to others with titles like 'Cattlemen to Cattlemen' (a 30-minute newsmagazine about the cattle industry) and 'Horse Babies' (an eight-week mini-series)."
RFD-TV says it is seen in more than 30 million homes, but in big cities such as New York and Los Angeles the channel is only available by satellite service. According to Steinberg's source, RFD hopes to use Imus' show as a way to earn a place on Time Warner and other cable systems in major cities. (Read more)