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."
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.)