Don Imus has found a new TV outlet on tiny cabler RFD-TV. Nashville-based Rural Media Group, parent company of cablers RFD-TV and RFD HD, has inked a five-year deal with ABC Radio Network to simulcast Imus’ daily radio morning show set to bow on WABC-AM New York on Dec. 3.
RFD-TV will carry the “Imus in the Morning” show from 6-9 a.m. EST weekdays, and also offer an evening simulcast from 6-9 p.m. as well as making the show available on a video-on-demand platform. Deal marks a major play for the big-time for RFD, a lifestyle and entertainment channel aimed at rural America that reaches about 30 million cable/satellite homes and is aiming to expand.
Imus had been a champion of RFD’s in his previous show on CBS’ WFAN-FM, which was widely syndicated by CBS Radio and simulcast on MSNBC until April, when Imus was dumped after making derogatory remarks on air about Rutgers U.’s women’s basketball team. Following the firestorm, Imus first resurfaced in the media on Labor Day with a spesh carried by RFD on his Imus Ranch philanthropic effort for children with cancer.
RFD earlier this month announced plans to revive the talkshow “Crook & Chase,” hosted by Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase,” in primetime starting in January. “Crook & Chase” had been a mainstay on the now-defunct The Nashville Network (TNN) cabler, which was purchased by Viacom and transformed into Spike TV.