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MSNBC Dumps Imus Program

The cable channel follows advertisers' lead in bailing after the shock jock's slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team.
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Cable news channel MSNBC has dropped the simulcast of radio host Don Imus' show, the latest move in the fallout from the shock jock's racial slur against the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

"What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company," NBC News said in a statement. "This is the only decision that makes that possible.

"Once again, we apologize to the women of the Rutgers basketball team and to our viewers. We deeply regret the pain this incident has caused."

Imus' remarks came a week ago on his WFAN-AM New York morning radio show (which is syndicated by Westwood One and simulcast by MSNBC), the day after the Rutgers team lost to the University of Tennessee in the NCAA women's basketball championship in Cleveland.

WFAN and Westwood are managed by


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. MSNBC is a unit of

General Electric's

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NBC Universal.

The network's decision came within 24 hours after a parade of corporate sponsors -- including

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American Express

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Procter & Gamble

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General Motors

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, suspended advertising on Imus' show.

The advertisers' move came after Imus' comments sparked a weeklong firestorm of protest and debate, which led to a two-week suspension for the veteran announcer. That suspension was scheduled to begin Monday.