Don Imus, one of radio's most popular and controversial shock jocks, is being sued again, along with his former employer CBS Radio. This round, it's for mocking a 30-second commercial he was paid to read on his program in January 2007 that promoted signed copies of a book by the late President Gerald Ford.
According to the lawsuit filed by Flatsigned Press, Inc., Imus called the commercial "cheesy," adding that executives at the company "have been waiting for him to croak so they can unload these."
The comment was typical Imus, who's known for tweaking his advertisers. Nonetheless, Flatsigned is suing for $4 million, claiming the insults cost them book sales of $40,000 a day. They take particular exception to the radio host's implication that the timing of its publication was opportunistic, or that Ford may not have wanted the book published. These "libelous" comments prompted some bookstores to refuse to carry the book. The company is also suing for an additional $59,000 for a newspaper ad to counter Imus' remarks.
According to an AP report, court papers say Flatsigned rejected an offer by CBS and WFAN in February 2007 to provide 15 "makegood" commercial spots on other programs.
Imus was fired by CBS last April for making racist and misogynist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. After settling a lawsuit accusing CBS of breach of contract, Imus was sued by one of the Rutgers players for defamation, although this lawsuit was later dropped. He joined Citadel Broadcasting's WABC in December 2007.