Today, the Rural Media Group officially announced that it has signed a 5-year deal to simulcast Don Imus’ new morning show on its RFD-TV network. The move, first reported by The New York Times today, will kick off along with Mr. Imus’ WABC AM radio show on December 3, and return Mr. Imus to television roughly six months after MSNBC severed its ties with him.
RFD-TV, which launched in 2000, covers "the needs and interests of rural America," and currently reaches roughly 30 million homes on DirecTV, DISH Network, and several other smaller distributors. The network also plans to rebroadcast the show in primetime from 6 to 9 pm and will make it available for video-on-demand viewing, according to today’s press release.
"RFD’s primary goal has always been to connect city to country," Patrick Gottsch, the head of RFD, told The Times. "I don’t think there’s anyone that can help us achieve that goal better than Don."
On Monday, Aaron Barnhart, a TV expert who for the Kansas City Star, told The Observer that RFD-TV should be a "lenient" broadcast home for Mr. Imus.
"The only problem he might have with RFD-TV is when he ventures into risqué territory," said Mr. Barnhart. "There is a squeaky clean sheen to RFD TV. It’s the station that Andy Griffith would be on. I don’t mean the show Andy Griffith. If Andy Griffith actually worked in television, he would work on that channel. It’s so cornpone."