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The show had been broadcast almost every weekday morning for 36 years on radio and 11 years on MSNBC until it was canceled on April 12, 2007, due to controversial comments made on the April 4, 2007 broadcast.Imus in the Morning program returned to the morning drive on New York radio station WABC on December 3, 2007.During the WNBC years, Imus in the Morning was conducted out of NBC's radio studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.The program then moved to the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria, Queens, WFAN's longtime studio home, but in 2005 the program moved to a dedicated Imus in the Morning set at MSNBC's studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, although certain cast members remained at the WFAN studios using a split-screen format.Imus returned to Cleveland, but NBC brought him back to New York only two years later.On September 3, 1979, Imus started off his first program back on WNBC with his old character/voice/bit, "The Reverend Billy Sol Hargis".The show originated locally on WNBC radio in New York City in December 1971.
Initially limited to the broadcast range of WFAN in the New York metropolitan area, the show's radio audience and influence expanded considerably once Westwood One began syndicating it in 1993.Originally considered a shock jock, Imus turned his show more towards politics and news and gained public influence as a result. Among the cream of the press who regularly appeared on the show were Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, Howard Fineman, Mike Barnicle, Frank Rich, Jonathan Alter and Jeff Greenfield.During the 1990s, Imus in the Morning became increasingly important as a useful, non-traditional platform for politicians to express their views and gain exposure. In 1996 as MSNBC was being launched, the original plan for weekday morning programming was to rerun the previous night's prime-time shows.However, NBC Executive Producer of Special Events and Breaking News David Bohrman suggested to NBC president Andy Lack that putting the newsmaking Imus program on the new cable channel was the right thing to do.Bohrman contacted Imus, and over the course of several visits and business conversations a deal was struck so that the radio program would be simulcast on MSNBC.
In comparison, Stern attracted more than 8.25 million listeners on half as many stations and Rush Limbaugh attracts 13.5 million listeners).