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Cable News Ratings: Imus Debut Boosts FBN

Don Imus’ return to the cable news airwaves after a stint on RFD-TV immediately boosted the ratings of his new home Fox Business Network, according to ratings data acquired by B&C.

A spokesperson for FBN would neither confirm nor deny the numbers, as the network is not publicly rated by Nielsen.

Imus in the Morning averaged a .2 rating and 148,000 viewers P2+ in its 6-9 a.m. timeslot for the week of October 5-9.

That was good enough to just beat CNBC’s Squawk Box, which averaged 145,000 viewers P2+.

Imus premiered on FBN October 5 to 177,000 total viewers, and had a day-to-day retention rate of 75%.

Imus helped boost FBN’s ratings (his premiere was up 1,000% from the slot’s previous occupant, Money for Breakfast). But he still has a way to go before he comes close to what he could draw when he was on MSNBC, usually averaging over 300,000 viewers P2+ from 6-9.

By comparison, CNN’s American Morning averaged 447,000 total viewers in Q3 2009, while MSNBC’s Morning Joe averaged 357,000.

Imus' MSNBC show and his syndicated radio program were canceled in April 2007 following controversial remarks he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

He would eventually return to the radio airwaves on 770 WABC in New York City and to TV on RFD-TV in December 2007.