KCAA-AM (1050) in San Bernardino used to be the only station in Southern California that aired Don Imus’ morning radio program. Next week, it may be the only one in the nation.
In the wake of CBS’ dismissal of the shock jock for what has been criticized as a racist and sexist remark, officials with the small, 1,400-watt station said they would kick off an ongoing “Best of Imus” series next week -- beginning with the program that has destroyed the 40-year radio veteran’s career.
“Unless we get a court order to cease and desist, we’re going to run it,” said Fred Lundgren, KCAA’s chairman. “I’m not going to let networks dictate to me who I run on my station.”
The news-talk-formatted station, which has aired Imus’ morning show since 2003, intends to broadcast the entire show in which the controversial disc jockey denigrates the Rutgers University women’s basketball team at 6 a.m. Monday. It plans to intersperse the program with listener mail and e-mail about the weeklong furor -- almost all supportive of Imus.
The station’s modest signal reaches mostly into San Bernardino and Riverside counties, though it does cut into Orange County and small parts of eastern Los Angeles County as well. The Imus material will also be available on the station’s website, www.kcaaradio.com Monday morning.
Calls late Thursday to Westwood One Inc., which syndicates Imus’ morning program, were not immediately returned.
The loss of Imus is a big blow to the station, which, according to its website schedule, typically follows the firebrand host with a daily hourlong show called “The Truth About Nutrition.”
“I hate to say it, but without Imus, we’re pretty much toast,” Lundgren said.
But Lundgren doesn’t believe he’ll have to air old Imus broadcasts indefinitely.
“He won’t be gone long,” Lundgren said. “Somebody else will hire him, and I’ll follow him to his next outlet.”