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Imus to Broadcast from Cablevision’s Rainbow Studios

Don Imus will broadcast weekdays from Cablevision's Rainbow Studios in Manhattan, RFD-TV, which will simulcast ABC Radio’s Imus In The Morning program, said Friday.

Imus is scheduled to return to the air Monday (Dec. 3). The I-Man was fired in April by CBS Radio and MSNBC after directing a racial insult at members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

The Dec. 3 premiere of Imus In The Morning will be shot at a theater called The Town Hall in New York. It will then move to Rainbow Studios at 11 Penn Plaza in New York, which is owned by Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings unit.

Landing the Imus In The Morning simulcast is a big score for RFD-TV. The seven-year-old channel expects to close carriage deals with Comcast and Time Warner Cable by the end of the year, COO Ed Frazier said Friday.

“The phones have been blistering hot, and the emails have been even more so,” Frazier said.

RFD counts about 30 million subscribers, with distribution on DirecTV, EchoStar Communications, Charter Communications, Mediacom Communications and small cable systems that are members of the National Cable Television Cooperative.

Some cable TV subscribers are even cutting the cord and switching to satellite in order to see the return of the I-Man, including customers of Cox Communications, which owns systems in Omaha City, Okalahoma City, Tulsa and Phoenix, Frazier claimed.

But Cox couldn’t confirm that Imus has had a noticeable impact. “We don’t have any information to substantiate that,” director of media relations David Grabert said, citing customer care surveys of former customers.