News Corpse blogger Mark Howard (8/10/09) calls the fact that “industry sources are reporting that Don Imus is in talks with the Fox Business Network to simulcast his Imus in the Morning radio program” a “de facto admission by FBN that they have failed to attract an audience capable of sustaining the network.”
Howard sees further evidence of the network’s struggles in that “they are approaching their second anniversary and still do not permit Nielsen to publish their ratings.” And their rumored acquisition bodes ill for whatever credibility may remain:
Acquiring Imus would be a desperation play for eyeballs. While Imus suffered a devastating blow as a result of his “nappy-headed hos” remarks, losing his top-rated radio program and the MSNBC simulcast, he still has a smaller but significant fan base. However, for a business network to hand over the prime morning hours as the stock market opens to a shock jock with no business credibility tells you that they no longer consider business news their mission. They are grasping for any viewers they can round up.
“Remember,” Howard urges, “this is the network that interviewed New York’s Naked Cowboy on their first day of broadcasting. They havenÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢t come very far since then, have they?”