Imus and FBN – Yes, there is a line…

Last year, after several early morning business news incidents where FBN didn’t dump out of Imus to cover the story, I posited the question regarding whether there would ever be a story big enough for FBN to consider abandoning Imus.

Well today we got an answer, sort of. FBN did dump out of Imus – when exactly I don’t know – to launch Varney and Company early in order to cover yesterday’s Stock Market calamity.

ICN says it’s about time and it should do so more often. Let’s be clear here, I’m not a fan of Imus taking up cable news real estate, whether it was on MSNBC for over a decade or now on FBN. It undermined MSNBC’s brand and now it’s undermining FBN’s. Whatever juice FBN gets out of Imus it sews seeds of confusion for business news junkies in the mornings, particularly since FBN has continued to beef up its on air talent with hires like Stossel and Gasparino. So it’s refreshing to see FBN act like a business network in the pre-market hours, if only for one day.

19 Responses to “Imus and FBN – Yes, there is a line…”

  1. Let’s see Imus was stopping at 9:00 A.M. every morning and FBN extend his time into the next half hour so people wouldn’t flip the channel. Today is the second day of the annual 21st Imus Radiothon for Children Charities, The CJ Foundation for SIDS, Tomorrows Children’s Fund, Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer.

    http://www.wabcradio.com//Article.asp?id=1294736

    So it’s a great idea that they cut away today for Varney to re hash yesterdays news, and show everyone a count down clock for when the market opens – coincidentally he would have been on air at the same time anyway, if they had left the time allotment the way it was…it was boring rehashed news, and I changed over to Fox News. Stuart Varney is on Fox News Channel as I am typing this so what was the point of starting his program early, during a radiothon for children charities?

    At the height of Imus’s ratings on MSNBC they were pulling in 800 thousand, and beating CNN. I don’t see that as using up valuable on air time – they were making money for MSNBC which is the whole point “Cable News’ is a business.

  2. 800,000? Where the hell did you get that number? Imus rarely pulled down those kind of numbers. It averaged in the low 300,000s

  3. Imus’s average 350,000. At their “BEST” they hit 800,000.

    How much money did MSNBC lose when they fired Imus?

  4. joeremi Says:

    I agree that his show dilutes FBN’s brand, but I don’t see how it did on MSNBC. A). It was a news-talk show, B). MSNBC didn’t have a brand back then.

  5. Spud,

    I don’t know how to leave a link for you tube without embedding it.

    Here is Imus and Bigfoot discussing this very topic.

    Imus Unloads on Scarborough
    Fox News Channel 28 April 2010 you tube.

    Imus ask Bigfoot (Tom Bowman) what did we pull in when we were at MSNBC? Bigfooot replies, that Morning Joe pulls in half that we did when we were at our HEIGHT between 700 and 800 thousand. Currently Morning Joe pulls in the ratings they pulled in on a regular basis about 350,000.00

  6. This was after Joe Scarborough and Mika radio show for 77WABC was canceled. Marty Davis – Chickaboomer, has blogged about Joe and Mika’s radio show being canceled extensively. Marty has recent post up about it right now. No one believes that these two are going to go back on the air on 77WABC.

  7. lurkerlou Says:

    I heard the IMUS rant on Joe but I also thought he was bsing too, unless I’m wrong?

    He said he had like double Joe’s ratings and also says they have twice as many viewers as CNBC in half the homes and when they get full coverage, it’s OVERRRRR lol…

    CNBC gets 100,000+ in the mornings but so does IMUS so I don’t know what’s “this twice as many” he’s talking about.

    I’m an IMUS viewer but when he says these things, I’m just scratching my head… people can fact check these #’s lol

  8. urkerlou Says:
    May 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I heard the IMUS rant on Joe but I also thought he was bsing too, unless I’m wrong?

    I was listening to what Bigfoot was telling him. Tom Bowman is one of Imus In The Morning producers, he was with Imus back on MSNBC, RFDTV and now FBN.

    I would like to look at FBN’s ratings too. Occasionally you can read about the show on TVNewser.

  9. lurkerlou Says:

    There was an article about IMUS recently, where his radio ratings have like doubled, they also said he was getting 100,000+ from FBN.

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100411/SUB/304119972

    The day he was ranting about Joe, he was saying the ratings from his MSNBC days and his FBN ratings compared to CNBC. I was just thinking to myself that those #’s aren’t right.

  10. whitneymuse Says:

    There is something very wrong with the leadership at FBN; They’ve lost one of their very best commentators in Glick, and they retain that Cavuto character who sounds like a wheez; and he continues to spout that “if you don’t get us” complain on his hour program on the Fox News channel, that is no. 1 on the broader cable news side;
    Fox Business Channel isn’t even carried on the Cox side of the cable; guess I should be glad about that since Imus was irritating at best before he got booted from MSNBC.
    I think it was a blessing that MSNBC got when they gave him to FoX; it’s like Savage does OK on the radio but he’s a yelling old fart from the roaring 60s converted into a conservative.

  11. joeremi Says:

    …that Cavuto character who sounds like a wheez…

    MS will do that to ya. I’m going to assume you didn’t know that..

  12. lurkerlou Says:

    Alexis Glick as a commentator? Nah, no thanks

    She’s an Obama cheerleader but I sorta kinda still like her.

    Saw her recent tweet. She soooo excited to be on the Bill Maher show ::rolleyes::

  13. lurkerlou Says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Thank you.

    whitneymuse Says:
    May 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Yes that was a great business move when MSNBC fired Imus, and they lost his audience/SARC.

    How much money did NBCU lose in 2007 – didn’t they have to give add revenue money back?

    Cavuto is doing double duty, and he does have MS, he is on both Fox News and Fox Business Channels. I enjoy Cavuto and Stuart & Company.

    FBN is using Imus as a lead in to Varney & Company to keep people watching and not flipping the channel it works.

  14. whitneymuse Says:

    I did know that Cavuto had MS; and, I didn’t know that the wheez is seconcary to his condition; that said, he’s the Sr. V. and manageing editor for the soperation; much like Brit Hume was for the Fox News channel; and, that whole saturday Morning block is terrible, and that is Cavuto’s product to make it work, I think. I have no idea what FBN is like since my cable provider just does not carry it. I cringe everytime Cavuto does that “if you don’t get it” schtick…isn’t the carry decision based upon a how much the cable provider wants to carry the show based upon whether it’s a “must carry for them?”
    I’m just not a big Cavuto fan at all; he always appears like he’got indigestion…my apologies if that is a MS issue, too. What I do miss is a good business channel, and CNBC does it very well. Kudlow has always been someone whose monetary pillosophy I can get behind; although he missed it big when he predicted oil would be at $15/barrel if Saddam was taken out.

  15. but I don’t see how it did on MSNBC. A). It was a news-talk show, B). MSNBC didn’t have a brand back then.

    MSNBC has always had a brand. Its brand is news (duh!). Imus diluted it by blocking the early morning hours away from news. This was done probably because NBC didn’t want any news program competing with Today though I’ve always felt that was unjustifiable paranoia on NBC’s part. The demographics and formats for Today and MSNBC are very disimilar. The likelihood that news viewers would bolt Today for MSNBC if the network went to a news format from 6-9 ET is probably very low.

  16. joeremi Says:

    The “brand” comment was a joke about the mess MSNBC was back then (as opposed to the mess it is now).

    What’s the difference between Imus’ news-talk and Morning Joe’s? Unless your assertion is that Morning Joe also “dilutes the brand”, I don’t see your point.

  17. Morning Joe is a better fit than Imus was. That said, I still believe NBC wanted another three hour talk/gabfest after Imus got fired because it didn’t want a news show competing with Today.

  18. whitneymuse Says:

    It’s too bad; FBN is not carried at all by my cable provider: COX unless I go to their all digital, NOT; besides that putz Cavuto I can’t get into on his hour he hogs every day at market close when FBN has all that talent they raided from CNBC; why not use them there?

  19. […] encounter a story that would force it to dump Imus in the Morning for the day. It almost happened a year and a half ago when Imus got dumped midway through the show. Tomorrow it happens completely. J$ is reporting that […]

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