IMUS FIGHTS BACK
I love this story. Fortune magazine is reporting that Don Imus has hired one of the top 1st amendment lawyers to fight for the $40 million that was left on his contract with CBS Radio. And some interesting contractual clauses that might get him paid in full.
But Imus has hired one of the nation’s premiere First Amendment attorneys, and the two sides are gearing up for a legal showdown that could turn on how language in his contract that encouraged the radio host to be irreverent and engage in character attacks is interpreted, according to one person who has read the contract.
The language, according to this source, was part of a five-year contract that went into effect in 2006 and that paid Imus close to $10 million a year. It stipulates that Imus be given a warning before being fired for doing what he made a career out of – making off-color jokes. The source described it as a “dog has one- bite clause.” A lawsuit could be filed within a month, this person predicted.
It’s an interesting case because Imus was obviously under FCC regulations as a radio host. CBS will lean on that, contending that Imus’ comments were profane according to the FCC stipulations on what is considered profanity. But this is where it gets interesting for me. What about all the other utterances of ‘hos’ and the like on the radio? Would the FCC then fine all of the stations that played rap songs with such lyrics?
[tags]Don Imus, CBS, FCC[/tags]