On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
April 13, 2007

It was a cruel double-team for Don Imus on Thursday afternoon, as CBS Radio fired the controversial radio personality a day after MSNBC announced it would not simulcast his radio show.

Both organizations said the reason for Imus' firing was because of the disparaging remarks Imus made about the Rutgers' Women's basketball team.

Although neither media organization said so, another reason was because sponsors were backing away from Imus. Several sponsors pulled their ads from MSNBC and were certain to do the same with CBS.

Bob Burke, vice president and managing director of the radio trade publication “Friday Morning Quarterback,” said many factors contributed to the firing of Don Imus from CBS Radio and MSNBC this week.

“Obviously CBS Radio felt pressured and addressed the concerns from a number of organizations as the story has remained in the headlines on nearly every cable channel news channel, newspaper and Internet blog,” Burke said. “It's difficult to run a business when everyone from politicians to activists are calling for change every night of the week in prime time. That's pressure.

“Eventually the effect on advertising revenues would have determined whether he remained an asset or liability to the company [CBS Radio]. The only way to get the complete attention of any radio company is through the sponsors, and there is no doubt the dominos were about to fall.”

Back to the drawing board

Radio insiders say that www.sportsline.com columnist and frequent radio contributor Michael Bradley will take over as the morning host on Sports Radio 950-AM Monday, replacing Gregg Henson, who parted ways with the station last week.

According to the sources, co-host Glenn Foley will keep his job for now, but was told if he doesn't improve his on-air performance, his contract will not be renewed.

Henson's nine-month stint in Philadelphia was a disaster from the start. A Midwestern native with “shock jock” tendencies, Henson insisted on discussing topics irrelevant to Philadelphia. Ratings were a disaster.

Though Henson stated on his Web site that he left the station for a business opportunity in his hometown of Detroit, insiders say he was resistant to management's plan to move him from the mornings to a possible new local mid-day show to air before Jody McDonald's 3 p.m. show.

Henson did not return a call for comment.

Europa, Europa

Eagle Jon Runyan will serve as an analyst for NFL Europe games on the NFL Network this spring.

E-mail: lauranachman@verizon.net

April 13, 2007 7:04 AM