Posts Tagged ‘Imus’

Imus and the International Ratings Week

27,June, 2008

Don Imus is in another racial flare up. I’ll give Imus the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t mean what his comments sounded like, but you would think that a man whose job is words would know better. I want to address the incident that got him fired from CBS.

Everyone is now saying that Imus lost his job at CBS for being a racist, I don’t think that’s true. Regardless of whether his comments about those girls were racist or not, they certainly were downright mean. He did humbly apologise and I think he could have weathered that storm but for the content of the rest of that show.

The TV and radio industry has a thing called ratings week. That’s when the pollsters are counting your audience and the advertisers are listening to programs to see if they want to sponsor them. During ratings week all the scripts are sharp and everyone is on their best behaviour. By making the “Nappy-headed” comment, Imus turned that particular show into his own international ratings week. The whole world heard the insensitive comment but then half the world listened to the rest of the show and it wasn’t good. Those people asked CBS, “Do you pay good money for this?”

Imus and his production team were coasting that day – normally that wouldn’t be a problem , if you have to crank out a show every day then some of them are going to be better than others. But if your shows a clunker and you say something stupid – that makes everyone listen to it – then you get what you deserve.