NEW YORK - MSNBC said Wednesday it will drop its simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program, responding to growing outrage over the radio host's racial slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team.
"This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees," NBC news said in a statement.
The decision also was announced on air.
Imus triggered the uproar on his April 4 show, when he referred to the mostly black Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." His comments have been widely denounced by civil rights and women's groups.
The network's decision came after a growing list of sponsors - including American Express Co., Staples Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and General Motors Corp. - said they were pulling ads from Imus' show for the indefinite future.
But it did not end calls for Imus to be fired from the radio portion of his program. The show originates from WFAN-AM in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS Corp.
Bruce Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a director of CBS Corp., said Wednesday he hoped the broadcasting company would "make the smart decision" by firing Imus.
"He's crossed the line, he's violated our community," Gordon said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He needs to face the consequence of that violation."