CBS says it will permanently cancel Don Imus' morning radio show in response to racist and sexist comments he made on the program. The move comes after advertisers pulled out and MSNBC canceled its television simulcast of the show.
In just a week, Imus has gone from being one of the most popular talk-radio hosts in the country to a disgraced man without a show. Effective immediately, CBS says that it will no longer broadcast or distribute his program.
The decision follows growing protests against the controversial host. Imus was joking with a producer on the air last Wednesday when he called the Rutgers women's basketball team, many of whose members are black, "nappy-headed hos."
Two days ago, both CBS and MSNBC suspended Imus for two weeks. On Wednesday, MSNBC announced that the cancellation was permanent.
In a statement Thursday announcing the permanent termination of Imus' radio show, CBS President Les Moonves said that he was deeply upset by Imus' comments. Of special concern, Moonves said, was the effect that such language might have on young people of color trying to make their way in this society.
Earlier on Thursday, CBS officials met with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The two have steadily called for Imus to be fired, despite his attempts to apologize and leave the controversy behind him.
At first, CBS stood by Imus, who has built his career as a shock jock. But after major sponsors including General Motors, Staples and Procter & Gamble withdrew their advertising Wednesday, CBS took the final step.
Imus in the Morning was carried on 61 stations across the country.