We have some breaking news tonight about Don Imus that is bound to get some attention. The stakes are enormous: $40 million.
Some background: Today's news cycle has already reported Don Imus has retained well-known attorney Martin Garbus in anticipation of a wrongful termination lawsuit against CBS. You'll recall after a week-long storm CBS fired Imus after his controversial remarks about the Rutgers women's baskeball team.
Now our news: CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin has obtained PART of Don Imus' contract with CBS Radio, including the clause that is at the heart of Imus' case. Toobin suggests it is a very unusual contract provision that may force CBS to pay off the $40 million remaining on Imus' contract.
"Company [CBS Radio] acknowledges its familiarity with the program Conducted by Artist [Imus] on the station [WFAN] prior to company's ownership thereof and it, and its familiarity with the reviews and comments, both favorable and unfavorable concerning Artist and his material by critics, reviewers and writers of the various media both in New York and nationally. Company acknowledges that Artist's services to be rendered hereunder are of a unique, extraordinary, irreverent
, intellectual, topical, controversial
and personal character and that programs of the same general type and nature containing these components are desired
by Company and are consistent with Company rules and policies."
(The bold highlights are ours.)
Tonight, we'll have Jeff Toobin and much more about what this means about Imus, CBS and what big media companies are actually expecting, if not encouraging, from some of their talent. CBS had no comment on this story.
-- By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer