The fate of Joe Scarborough‘s radio show has been a topic of conversation this week, beginning with the New York Times‘ report it was being put on “immediate hiatus” in order to “revamp and expand” the program.
Then fellow WABCer Don Imus weighed in – and Scarborough fired back.
The crux of Imus’ argument is that the Times story sounds like spin (via Radio Equalizer). “His radio show is canceled,” said Imus. “They’re not revamping anything! He will never ever be on WABC in New York again, ever!”
Newsbusters picked up the story as well – and highlighted this personal shot by Imus aimed at Scarborough:
Imus said Scarborough’s MSNBC ratings aren’t any better than Imus’s were when he was forced out, and told listeners they should check NBC personnel files to see how many people have complained about Scarborough, since he is a “disgusting backstabbing phony.”
Then it was time for Scarborough to address Imus, Newsbusters and Radio Equalizer (on Twitter):
Neither @newsbusters nor Imus can change these facts: We’ve already doubled Imus’s best ratings over a decade. Imus never beat CNN. We do.
Morning Joe gets 20 times the audience in the demo as does Imus. Our WABC radio show also beat Glenn Beck every month in every category.
Imus’s bitterness is misplaced. I was one of the few people who stood by him publicly. It’s a shame he’s so bitter about our success.
There’s a sampling. A few things here – first of all, it’s important to note how closely Scarborough and Imus’ career paths are tied. When Imus was fired from MSNBC, Scarborough, and later Mika Brzezinski, took over the morning slot. Now, with Imus on Fox Business Network, they essentially are competitors. But an hour later, that all changes. Imus’ FBN TV show airs simultaneously with his WABC radio show, while at 10amET, Scarborough and Brzezinski came in as hosts of their radio show. They were competitors…then Imus was their lead-in.
Also, Scarborough is correct in his breakdown of the ratings (the Beck comment relates only to the New York market). But that doesn’t answer the main question raised by Imus – will the show be back on WABC? Are they really making room for an “expanded” show, because where would it fit? Rush Limbaugh takes over at NoonET, and he’s certainly not going anywhere. We’ve reached out to Scarborough via Twitter and MSNBC.
For now, we’ll monitor to see if Imus is right or if the show returns.
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