Before we get into the details of the New York Post article, I must profess my love for the above graphic that accompanied said piece. Imus looks worried, pensive, perhaps because the severed heads of radio execs are floating in front of him. "I guess I could revive my career with ABC," Imus ponders. "But would I really want these floating, decapitated visages with bored expressions to haunt my working hours, and perhaps eventually my nightmares?"
So get this - WABC in New York really likes Imus! They really, really like him! So much so that they've seriously considered hiring him for months now! And there's an article in the August 27 New York Post that pretty much confirms that they're after him!
Now, these Imus-to-WABC rumors have been around for, oh, forever. But this article strongly hints that WABC will most definitely be his future home. It focuses around a man named Farid Suleman, the CEO of Citadel Communications, who apparently wants to hire Imus. While I don't want to jump to any conclusions before we hear an official announcement, I must say that this looks very promising...
From Snagging Imus, by Peter Lauria (NYP):
As soft-spoken as the 54-year-old Tanzanian native is, sources said Suleman doesn't lack for ego and isn't afraid of taking chances, two traits that will be necessary to endure the scrutiny if he succeeds in landing Imus.
"Farid will not only absorb, but also enjoy and bask in the attention that comes with hiring Imus," said Radio-Info.com news editor Tom Taylor. "He'll like the dialogue the hiring sparks."
In an interview with The Post, Suleman said only that he thinks Imus' availability represents an opportunity and that he would consider hiring him only if he could make the numbers work.
Such modesty belies the "can't lose" proposition that bringing Imus back is for Suleman. If the shock jock flames out in his return, Suleman can point to Imus' comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team as having tarnished him forever. If the public embraces Imus' second act, Suleman will earn kudos for giving him another chance.
Suleman, who has never had a formal employment contract, dismissed the publicity that would come with an Imus hiring as a fleeting distraction that matters little to the bottom line.
"There will be a little publicity for a couple of days, but after that all that will matter is if I made money for my shareholders," Suleman said.
Sources said that both Suleman and Imus would love to have a deal in place in time to make a big splash at the National Association of Broadcasters' Radio Show in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 26.