If an Imus falls in the forest...

Jonathan Garthwaite
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Posted: Apr 11, 2007 11:00 AM

With all the outrage over Don Imus' comments last week, it's worth looking at his ratings for a little perspective.  A number of years back, I would often listen to Imus on my early morning drive into the city.  Back then he was the morning drive show on the big sports talk station in town so Imus led right into Redskins chatter.  Imus moved stations during a holiday weekend or summer vacation and I lost track of where he aired and apparently couldn't have cared less since for the past few years I hadn't bothered to find his new DC affiliate.

Rant - 4/11 - Putting things in perspective. Don Imus in the DC radio market. Despite all the Washington "power players" he has on his show, and all the press he gets, almost no one inside (or outside) the Beltway listens to him. In the latest Arbitrends, Imus, via Clear Channel talker WTNT, was tied for 25th place in morning drive with Fredericksburg country outlet WFLS. He posted a 0.6 share of the age 12+ demo, down almost 50 percent from his 1.0 share a year ago. His national cable TV audience is said to be less than 300,000. That's the population of Loudoun County. Yes, I agree, what Imus said was in terrible taste. But, we must remember, this big controversy surrounds someone almost no one listens to. [h/t: fbDC]

The MSNBC deal is the relationship that Imus has to try to save with his hourly apologies if he's going to stay on the air - with listeners.