Can Imus Come Back?

April 14, 2007 — -- Fired at age 66, tainted by scandal, and weary from apologizing, could rabble-rousing radio host Don Imus have a second act?

"I think he certainly will work again. He wants to work again," said Tom Taylor, editor in chief of Inside Radio.

Other controversial radio personalities have had comebacks after similar scandals.

Howard Stern was fired twice in the 1980s for on-air stunts and comments. He faced a $600,000 FCC fine in 1992 after an obscene comment about Aunt Jemima. Finally, in 2004, Clear Channel Communications, the largest chain of stations in the country, stopped carrying Stern's program and he jumped to the less-regulated Sirius Satellite Radio.

Opie and Anthony, formerly broadcast on New York's WNEW-FM, lost their gig over an on-air contest encouraging a couple to copulate in St. Patrick's Cathedral. The two also moved to satellite radio, and have since found their way back to terrestrial airwaves.

But Taylor doesn't think Imus will find a home at satellite radio.

"XM and Sirius are in the middle of asking the FCC to approve their merger," he said. "They've got that business situation, and I think this is not good timing for them."

So where will Imus land?

"I think there are opportunities in cable," Taylor said. "There could be video-on-demand opportunities, and who knows what is out there on the Internet world. Internet radio is beginning to flower."

It could be a while before Imus announces his next move. He recently resigned a five-year contact with CBS Radio that was said to be paying him around $10 million annually. Taylor said there will likely be complicated legal maneuvers involved.