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MSNBC Tests Imus Replacements

MSNBC plans to test out replacements for its Imus in the Morning program beginning Monday with Philadelphia radio host Michael Smerconish.

Smerconish, a former attorney, currently broadcasts The Michael Smerconish Morning Show on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia.

MSNBC vice president of media relations Jeremy Gaines said Friday that Smerconish will broadcast his morning program April 23-25 from MSNBC’s Secaucus, N.J., headquarters, the previous broadcast home of Imus in the Morning.

CBS Radio and MSNBC cancelled Imus’ long-running program earlier this month after he directed a racial insult at the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, sparking a backlash from listeners, community leaders and advertisers.

Gaines said MSNBC -- which has relied heavily on NBC News chief White House correspondent David Gregory to fill in during the weekday-morning slot that Imus occupied -- expects to test a number of replacements for Imus. Those may include additional radio hosts and NBC talent.