It's a done deal: Don Imus is moving his show to the Fox Business Network -- virtually and physically.
After weeks of rumors, FBN announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement to carry a simulcast of Imus in the Morning, the highly rated talk radio show produced by WABC and syndicated by Citadel Broadcasting. The simulcast will begin Oct. 5. As part of the deal, Imus will relocate his operation from Manhattan's Penn Plaza, the current site of his broadcast, to a studio within FBN's offices half a mile north on Avenue of the Americas.
Imus in the Morning is currently simulcast on RFD-TV, a smallish cable network targeted at rural viewers. But that deal ends Friday. FBN is aimed at a very different audience, one more concerned with actionable stock-market intelligence than animal husbandry tips. A Fox Business spokeswoman says viewers of the simulcast will get plenty of business news mixed in with the chatter about politics, sports, music and books that makes up the bulk of the show.
As a radio program, Imus in the Morning features more and longer commercial breaks than most TV shows. Into those breaks FBN will program breaking news updates using its on-air personnel, including Connell McShane, Jenna Lee, and Ashley Webster.
Moreover, "since the start of the financial crisis last year, Imus has been focusing on the crisis pretty much every single day," said the spokeswoman. "That's not going to change." And he will continue to feature guests from the network, including Alexis Glick, Cody Willard, and Liz Claman.
Finally, added the spokeswoman, about one-third of the screen will be devoted to text and graphics providing information about foreign markets and other news of interest to investors.
Neither Imus nor FBN executive president Kevin Magee was available for interviews, but Magee praised Imus in a statement: "His 40 years of on-air experience combined with his superb interviewing skills and capitalist sensibilities will be a great addition to our lineup."
Don Imus brings his 'capitalist sensibilities' to Fox Business