RFD-TV said it has acquired the Imus Ranch near Ribera, N.M., with plans to use it as a location to produce original programs and host company events, later expanding facilities to create a western resort.
The ranch -- built to accommodate Kids With Cancer, the Imus family (Don, Deirdre and Fred Imus) charity -- includes a western town where RFD-TV will put on display Trigger and Bullet, Roy Rogers's famous horse and dog, the programmer said. RFD-TV bought Trigger and Bullet at auction in 2010.
“The Imus family built this ranch from scratch that is so well designed that the complex can now be adapted immediately for a wide variety of uses,” Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of RFD-TV parent Rural Media Group Inc., said in a release. “RFD-TV The Ranch fits perfectly into our desire to produce more original television programming that embraces western sports and the western lifestyle for both RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel.”
Don Imus, the famed radio and TV host, built the ranch in 1998 and announced plans to close it in late 2014, citing his age (74), health issues and upkeep costs among the factors, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Debbe Dunning's Dude Ranch Roundup, a dude-ranch travel show on the network, will move production to the ranch next year, the network said. The ranch includes Imus's former TV and radio studio.
The ranch has a 14,000-square-foot hacienda and has 35 beds now to accommodate guests. Gottsch said the network plans to expand to include a health spa, shooting range, dance hall, ATV experience, conference center, bass fishing and other amenities.