Broadcaster Wolf, 80, sues Imus, alleging age discrimination
NEW YORK (AP) — The sportscaster who popularized the phrase “Let’s go to the videotape!” filed an age discrimination lawsuit on Thursday over his firing from shock jock Don Imus’ radio show.
Warner Wolf, who’s 80 years old, charges in a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court that he was illegally fired in 2016 because of his age and was replaced with sportscaster Sid Rosenberg, who’s three decades younger.
The lawsuit names Imus and three executives with radio station WABC and its parent company Cumulus Media as defendants. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
A spokesman for Imus declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Cumulus said the company wasn’t commenting.
The lawsuit says Imus once said it was time to put Wolf “out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun,” citing the comments as evidence of discriminatory intent. It says that, “adding insult to injury,” Cumulus refused to pay Wolf the severance he was entitled to.
“Warner is seeking to hold the individuals accountable for their unlawful actions,” Wolf’s attorney Douglas Wigdor said.
Imus and Wolf have long been broadcast fixtures in New York and nationally.
Wolf worked in the 1970s for “Monday Night Baseball,” then on ABC, and has worked for several local TV and radio stations. He frequently said “Let’s go to the videotape” while introducing sports highlights on his TV broadcasts.
Imus, who’s 77, has long courted controversy with his irreverent and often insulting commentary. He was fired by CBS Radio in 2007 for racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He was hired by WABC eight months later.
Imus has announced that his show will go off the air on March 29.