Death of Don Imus, Radio Shock Jock: Mixed Reactions

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The news of the passing of radio legend Don Imus on Friday (Dec. 27) at age 79 led to widely divergent reactions, much like his decades-long career. Even before the ill-advised derogatory remarks he made about the Rutgers University women’s college basketball team in 2007 – which we will not repeat here – Imus courted controversy by doing what drivetime radio hosts do, i.e., make outrageous statements.

While that can’t be overlooked, neither should his passionate work in helping countless children stricken with cancer – and their families – cope with their circumstances by hosting them at the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, which he ran with his wife, Deirdre. Imus also quietly raised money for wounded veterans.

He and Howard Stern bookended New York’s WNBC-AM, with morning drive helmed by Imus in the Morning and Stern in afternoon drive. The pair famously feuded for years.

Imus earned every radio award imaginable. As CBS News reporter Anthony Mason wrote, “Love him or hate him (& he gave his audience cause to do both) he was a giant in radio.”

What follows are some reactions, including many from people he worked with and had an impact on over his career, as well as some from others who couldn’t look past Imus’ numerous transgressions.

Sports talk show host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo thanked Imus for “putting me on the map…

When Imus was fired by MSNBC for his 2007 statements about the Rutgers players, the network replaced him with Morning Joe. Host Joe Scarborough said, “Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus. No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don.”

Imus’ final radio broadcast was on March 20, 2018

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  1. Imzadi14
    #1 Imzadi14 28 December, 2019, 07:34

    Don Imus is dead…to quote Dorothy Parker, how could they tell?

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