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Don Imus Returns
Will the show be the same?

by Michael H. Thomson
December 5, 2007

On Monday, December 3, Don Imus returned to the airwaves. His charity debut from the Town Hall center in mid-town Manhattan was a sellout with several hundred people standing in line, at as early at 3:30 in the morning, to purchase tickets.
In the opening moments of the show, Imus made the following remarks:
"I will never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me," Mr. Imus told a live audience at Town Hall in Midtown and those listening to WABC-AM, his new radio home. "And no one else will say anything on my program that will make anyone think I did not deserve a second chance."
The debut TV and radio program showed a contrite Imus going through, at times, an awkward, but necessary explanation that things would not be  as they were before he was fired by CBS and MSNBC. There was no doubt in my mind that he was genuine in his contriteness.
The next day's show was very technically challenged. Microphones did not work and the snappy Imus timing was not there. The critics were swift to attack a wounded Imus. However, today's show improved by about 75%. Imus had regained his orneriness and everyone was jumping when he snapped his fingers.
I never listened to Imus on the radio, so it's difficult for me to have a media identity with him there, but I have watched him on MSNBC, and will tell you that the set on RFD TV is much less slick with the program occasionally interrupted by commercials for alpacas and biodiesel fuel. With new sponsors added in the weeks to come, this too will change.
This morning's program was smoother because the commercials were spaced in such a way to give the I-Man more valuable airtime. He used it well with appearances from columnist Craig Crawford and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.
The program on Tuesday was stellar due to the appearance (with plenty of airtime) for presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. I'm starting to get past my initial reservations and starting to believe this guy may have a shot – at least of winning the Iowa Republican Caucus. I wouldn't have changed my opinion if Don Imus had not given him more than ample time to express his positions. So much news is boiled down to sound bites.
RFD TV the network that hosts Imus can be seen on Direct TV channel 379 and on the Dish network channel 231. In addition, a growing number of cable outlets carry the 7-year-old network that has very deep penetration of the rural TV market.
Many subscribers are in Iowa where Hillary Clinton, the woman Don Imus calls "Satan" is campaigning.
I don't think Imus's contriteness extends to her or husband, Bill.

About the Author:
Mike Thomson predicts that Imus will have a definite influence on Iowa's rural voters prior to January.

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