(CBS) NEW YORK CBS 2 has received confirmation that CBS Radio has fired Don Imus. The news comes a day after MSNBC discontinued its relationship with his radio show.
CBS Radio issued the following statement regarding the decision:
“From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent,” said CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, in announcing the decision. “Those who have spoken with us the last few days represent people of goodwill from all segments of our society – all races, economic groups, men and women alike. In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many emails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies.”
CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves had met with Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on Thursday morning to discuss Imus’ future with the company.
Imus came under fire last week when on his show he referred to members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” The comment snowballed from there, eventually drawing the ire of Civil Rights leaders and presidential candidates.
Imus went on Sharpton’s radio show on Monday to apologize, and did so profusely while the Reverend demanded he be fired.
“Because of who I am and what I am everyone had a right to expect better of me,” Imus said.
“Imus in the Morning” was carried on 61 stations across the United States and distributed over the Westwood One radio network.
“I want to thank all those who came to see us to express their views. We are now presented with a significant opportunity to expand on our record on issues of diversity, race and gender. We intend to seize that opportunity as we move forward together,” Moonves added in the statement.
The Rutgers women’s team held a press conference on Tuesday where members of the faculty, head coach C. Vivian Stringer and the players sounded off on the radio host. They kept mum on whether they believed Imus should be fired, but called his comments “deplorable” and “despicable.”
The team appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show on Thursday.
CBS 2’s Magee Hickey, Deborah Garcia, and Brendan Keefe contributed to this report.