Imus faced a cascade of criticism for calling the Rutgers team members “nappy-headed ho’s” on his Imus in the Morning radio program, which had been simulcast on MSNBC. He made a public apology, and it appeared that the outrageously irreverent host would get off with a two-week suspension.
That all changed after a meeting late on the afternoon of April 10, which NBC News president Steve Capus held with about 30 of his staffers, including Today show weatherman Al Roker, the most high-profile African-American on-air personality in the news division. According to an NBC insider, Roker told Capus, “That could have been my daughter” Imus was joking about.
After hearing the concerns, Capus knew he had to do something more. The decision to cut ties with Imus became a lot easier when a number of his program’s high-profile national advertisers said they were pulling their commercials off the show. While Imus’ TV ratings had been growing recently, the simulcast was considered only modestly profitable for MSNBC
April 12, 2007
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