Updated 6:00 pm
I could have titled this a lot of different ways such as ...
Smerconish camp eager to replace Imus
Smeronish people lobbying MSNBC
Here are some disconnected ramblings because I'm not bright enough to make sense of everything and too poor a writer to craft this into a coherent story line ...
It's a poorly kept secret that Michael Smerconish has his eyes set on bigger things that just being a morning man in Philly. He's had his agent (then his *new* agent) pitch shows to cable outlets, most recently a book type show for CNN that reached the proposal/pilot stage complete with filming here in town. He's been a regular on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.
Smerconish lobbied hard to get the morning spot but they had to show CBS that they could make "at least a dollar more" in ad revenue and CBS/Westwood One wanted Imus to still be cleared in Philly. That became possible when AM860 agreed to take Imus but being a daytimer the early hour of Imus would be cut off in the winter.
Now it gets curious. I was asked by somebody connected to W1 about a comment Smerconish made today. To paraphrase it ... "Imus never worked in Philly ... I replaced Imus ... I didn't ask/want to replace him ... I didn't want to get up at 3 o'clock in the morning." Oh Really? Not so fast, refer two paragraphs up.
Smerconish even patterns his show loosely on Imus. The first 30 minutes is a repeat of the previous day's clips then there is the heavy reliance on politicos, books, and assorted guests. He has the producer to beat up on, the news foil, etc. ... and his ego is at least a match for Imus up to and including berating his staff on the air. Two big differences ... he doesn't deny the ego part and he hasn't made it a blood sport to pick on people not deserving of being mistreated. It would be totally foreign for Smerconish to even *think* of calling a local women's basketball team, "Nappy headed hos."
Back to replacing Imus. Smerconish's show is billed as a perfect "plug in replacement" for Imus. Pop in the cameras and plug in the audio feed and presto, syndicated Smerconish ... all wrapped up with an impressive roster of go-to experts and guests. From what I hear technically it's doable in short order what with the new studio digs in which they now reside.
The next thing that came up was Smerconish calling MSNBC "weak kneed" for cancelling Imus. Apparently they picked that up on 1210's stream this morning and were particularly curious as to the context.