Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WTKK 96.9 severs ties with Severin

Conservative talk-show host Jay Severin, 60, was released from his contract at WTKK 96.9 earlier today, a week after talking on the air about hiring “mostly attractive young women” as interns and sleeping with nearly all of them during a show where topic that dealt with sexual harassment lawsuits.

WTKK's owner, Greater Media, issued a statement that it has ended its relationship with Severin but it's not yet clear whether his contract was terminated by mutual agreement.

GREATER MEDIA STATEMENT:
Boston, MA (April 6, 2011): "Greater Media today ended its relationship with Jay Severin. Our company has always encouraged a free and open dialogue on a variety of issues and topics, and we will continue to be guided by that principle. But we also demand that our on-air talent maintain an appropriate level of civility, and adhere to a standard that respects our listeners and the public at large.

 
Jay Severin has been an important part of what we have accomplished with 96.9 WTKK-FM since its inception in 2000 and for that we are grateful and wish him well in future endeavors. Unfortunately, it had become clear at several points in the past two years that Jay was either unwilling or unable to maintain our standards on the air. It's for that reason we have made the decision to end our relationship.


In the interim, Michael Bower will be assuming the on-air duties from 2 to 6 p.m. each day on WTKK while we review our long-term programming plans for that time slot."


Heidi Raphael
Vice President of Corporate Communication
Greater Media, Inc.

Severin, a native New Yorker, began his tenure at WTKK in 1999 as its afternoon drive-time host but actually broadcasting from his home studio in Sag Harbor on Long Island. In late 2005, Severin left WTKK  as he launched a nationally syndicated evening show which WTKK eventually picked up. In November 2005, he was replaced in the afternoons by station's current midday host Michael Graham.  After his syndicated show floundered, he was back as WTKK's local afternoon host in October 2006 with a new, fat 7-year deal in-hand and also changing his home base from Sag Harbor to Manchester-By-Sea.(With his return to WTKK and move to Massachusetts, Severin even boasted on the air that he was able to vote in 2006 gubernatorial election).

(Ed. Note : Many questioned whether Severin's WTKK ratings would ever match the height of the popularity he enjoyed before abandoning his "Best and Brightest" in 2005 to go for a fatter paycheck in national syndication and then returning to a non-forgiving radio playground . Looking back at the past five years, the answer now is a definite no - his pre-2005 numbers never came back. Sure, some in the local media would foolishly argue that the new technology to measure radio listening - Portable People Meters - arrived to Boston in early 2009 didn't help WTKK's cause but the fact(not opinion) is that Severin's numbers were already wearing out way, way before PPM's got to Boston so the whole argument is nothing but a case of uneducated media BS.

Greater Media's patience with Severin's under-performance began to run out and perhaps the most telling point came on April 30, 2009 when he was suspended indefinitely after making offensive remarks about illegal aliens and the swine flu. He was back on the air a month later but things would never get back to normal between him and management. To make matters worse, in the past two years things have not improved in the ratings department and it was down to one final option and one option only.)

15 comments:

Mike A said...

Seems like a big mistake for WTKK. Now they have empty slots from 2-10PM. Their program schedule says TBD. That might just be their stations new slogan; To Be Determined!

steve said...

Maybe if TKK stuck with the format it has done well with for years, and allowed Jay to stick with what he knows best, he'd been fine.

Anonymous said...

It had been an interesting station. Imus, now gone. Severin, now gone, McPhee, now gone. Sliwa, now gone. Old Andleman, now gone.

And me as a listener, now gone. Bill

raccoonradio said...

Actually the prog schedule says Bower 2-6, then TBD.

Ch 4 said something about Jay's agent/lawyer saying he'd get full compensation for the next 2 yrs because "he did nothing wrong"

Anonymous said...

Bye Jay Good riddance

Anonymous said...

won't be listening to TKK in the afternoon any longer, thought Jay was refreshing with his open, honest comments....

Anonymous said...

I am NO fan of Severin's, and I pretty much listen to satellite radio all the time, but clearly, they did not want him in the station and used this as a good excuse, just like the many times this kinda thing happened to Howard Stern in the old days.....i always go back to the old 'if you don't like to listen to these folks, change the channel!!" You know what you're getting with Severin or Stern or Howie Carr, or even that codger Imus, so what's the surprise???

Mike A said...

In the interim, Michael Bower will be assuming the on-air duties from 2 to 6 p.m. each day on WTKK while we review our long-term programming plans for that time slot." In other words "To Be Deterimined!"

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss Jay's show terribly. Bower's show just doesn't even come close. Huge loss to Boston! I'm just tuning out 96.9 altogether (in the afternoons, anyway).

Anonymous said...

Jay's gone--so am I! Didn't always agree with him, but he taught me a lot and always added another dimension to controversial topics. WTKK is becoming BORING. Bower definitely doesn't measure up. I sent an email to WTKK letting them know my dissappointment in their decision. I'm wondering how long it'll be before they decide to end Michael Graham's contract. He is the only one worth listening to; however, since I'm at work, I can't always listen. BYE BYE WTKK.

Donna

B said...

You have to almost admire the corporate testerone to claim WTKK cut Severin because of his 'insensitivity'. It was the directness & strengh of Jay's opinions that got the station ratings when they were a nonentity. WTKK's been going download for quite awhile & the only thing I listen to there are John Batchelor & the Andelman's. Aside from them, I won't go near that station. Wouldn't Severin be a good shot to host a weekend show on WRKO or WSKS AM ?

B

Liberal said...

Schweeeeet news! Exsmellcior! The lying distorting a-hole is gone. Please take Graham next. Conservative, Tea Party Jack A$$es.

Brad K said...

TKK used to be in my radio memory. Imus replaced, Severin replaced, TKK replaced. Bye bye Tkk.

Bower is awful. This is political for sure. Some how, some way, Graham will be next.
Typical moon bat behavior in a moon bat region. Silence opposing views.

Mr. Penza's Words of Wisdom said...

Jay Severin at his best (years ago) came close to the Great Gene Burns (of rko @ 80's) for his libertarian views. But the womanizing crap and derogatory talk always reduced his credibility to a seedy side show. Too bad, there is some talent there, but he doesn't seem to understand that to be taken seriously, he's got to present himself a bit more professionally.
WTKK has only M. Graham now. They are really in crisis. If the reception wasn't so good, (I need the alarm clock to wake me up) I'd click them off for good.

B said...

Did anyone else's ears begin to bleed listening to Chunga & Bower?

B.