The National Association of Black Journalists urges Citadel Broadcasting chief executive Farid Suleman and Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to halt negotiations to return former radio personality Don Imus to the radio and television broadcast airwaves.
Recent reports that Imus is in informal talks with Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and is finalizing contractual details with Citadel Broadcasting are unimaginable.
Imus was fired last April after the shock jock called members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team ‘nappy-headed hoes.’
“NABJ remains outraged after the racially inflammatory insults made by Don Imus last spring. He used his free speech to broadcast hate speech. To put him back on the air now makes light of his serious and offensive racial remarks that are still ringing in the ears of people all over this country,” said Barbara Ciara, NABJ president.
“It seems inconceivable that less than a year after Imus was dismissed from CBS Radio and MSNBC for his vicious insults upon the Rutger’s basketball team, that Citadel Broadcasting and Fox News would consider putting him back on the air,” said Ernie Suggs, NABJ’s Vice President of Print.
NABJ questions why any responsible broadcast company would give Imus a forum to continue his history of racial insults on his program. Citadel Broadcasting owns 243 radio stations including ABC Radio Networks, and powerhouse radio station WABC in New York.
NABJ appreciates the swift action from CBS radio, NBC and its cable channel MSNBC in condemning Imus’ remarks and removing him from the airwaves six months ago, and now hopes Citadel Broadcasting and Fox will do the right thing and break off negotiations with the incendiary host.