(Host) The controversy over racially charged comments made by radio show host Don Imus about the Rutger’s women’s basketball team has so far elicited little response from listeners of one area station that carries the program.
WHDQ in Claremont, New Hampshire broadcasts the program in central and southeastern Vermont.
Shirley Clark is the general manager.
(Clark) “We’ve actually heard nothing directly from our clients, nor have we heard from our listeners.”
(Host) WHDQ – or Q 106, is owned by Nassau Broadcasting Partners which also carries the Imus program on stations it owns in Barre and Rutland.
Clark says the company has issued a statement in response to the offending comments.
(Clark) “Nassau is denouncing the inappropriate comments that were made by Imus In The Morning. We stand proud of the character and accomplishments of the Rutger’s women’s basketball team as our company’s headquarters is in New Jersey.”
(Host) Imus’ employer, CBS radio, has issued a similar statement and Imus has apologized for his remarks.
Many people, particularly leaders of the black community, say the statements and apologies aren’t enough and they’ve called for Imus to be fired.
An online poll at the Q 106 website indicates that roughly half of the participants favor his firing – although it’s not clear how many people have taken part in the survey.
Yesterday, CBS announced that it will suspend Imus for two weeks beginning Monday.
Clark says it’s possible the stations that carry him will simply broadcast old Imus programs during his absence.
In Burlington, Imus is carried on a station called The Zone, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications.
The manager of that station declined to comment on the controversy or the response of the station’s listeners.