"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.
NBC News president Steve Capus said on MSNBC after the announcement, "It was the only decision we could reach."
"I take him at his word that he is not a racist," Capus said. "But those were racist comments and there should not be a place for that on MSNBC."
Some of them wiped away tears as their coach, C. Vivian Stringer, criticized Imus for "racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable."
At the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, N.J., about 300 students and faculty rallied earlier in the day to cheer for their team, which lost in the national championship game, and add their voices to the crescendo of calls for Imus' ouster. One of the speakers was Chidimma Acholonu, president of the campus chapter of the NAACP.
"This is not a battle against one man. This is a battle against a way of thought," she said. "Don Imus does not understand the power of his words, so it is our responsibility to remind him."