By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Severin to return on Tuesday

Jay Severin’s suspension will end next week, and he will return to WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) on Tuesday. The following statement is from Heidi Raphael, spokeswoman for Greater Media, WTKK’s parent corporation:

We have had conversations with Jay Severin over the past several weeks about his hurtful, inappropriate remarks. He understands that we will not accept this type of commentary on our airwaves in the future. Based on this understanding, we have agreed to conclude Jay’s suspension and he will return to the 96.9 FM WTKK airwaves on Tuesday, June 2, 2009. We want to emphasize that WTKK still strongly supports an open and spirited debate about the many issues our community and our country currently face. There will no doubt be times when people disagree with what Jay says. Our goal is to maintain a level of discourse that is compelling and thought-provoking, yet civil and respectful. While we will not always succeed in walking this line, we will continually strive to do so.

Given that Severin’s entire show is based on making hurtful, inappropriate remarks, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

The Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam and the Boston Globe’s Martin Finucane have more.

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10 Comments

  1. laborlawprof

    The news about Freidman’s travel budget has been in the public domain for years. It may well have been mentioned in his forward to The Lexus and The Olive Tree. Rather than being critical, should we not thank some diety that there is an organization capable of supporting a Tom Friedman. Also, I suspect that Nick Kristof’s travel budget is similarly unrestrained. Would anyone care to suggest that he be shut off?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    laborlawprof: Not sure why you’re talking about Friedman’s travel budget here, but I agree. Friedman and Kristof have been given perks other journalists can only dream of, but they’ve used those perks wisely and served the public. What’s wrong with that?

  3. Rick in Duxbury

    What are the odds that Jimmy (Guardian at the Gates)Myers’s similar rants will get any attention?

  4. Brad

    What’s going to be interesting, Dan? Severin says boorish, stupid, hurtful things…he always has, he always will. The suspension changes NOTHING, it just bought some “cooling off time”, just like it did with Imus.Eventually Severin will say something just wrong enough at the wrong time to get him fired, but until that day (or until his bloated, overpriced contract ends) he’ll be on the air and he won’t change one damn thing.

  5. Brad

    Actually, I take it back…ONE thing has changed: no talk station in the USA is going to sign its talent unless there’s an escape clause anymore. Punks like Severin are too expensive to keep around when they get bad publicity AND have bad ratings.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Brad: I’m not sure if even that’s true. I’m not a lawyer and know little about contracts, but let’s think it through logically. As I understand it, every radio host has a clause in his or her contract calling for termination if certain standards are violated. I’m sure Severin has such a clause.But if the host says something pretty much identical to what he’s said on any number of other occasions, then management can’t claim that he’s somehow gone over the line this time. Having encouraged him for a decade, management can’t suddenly turn around and pretend to be horrified.I haven’t tracked this down, but someone told me that the very words that got Severin in trouble were actually being used in a promo before management started getting complaints.

  7. lkcape

    Yes, Dan, we’re taking about the media here. And as much as the gossip is intriguing, if the principals choose not to comment, that is their right.As for non-disclosure agreements, it is clear that you have not been a party to one… for the answer is that if one is in place, the discussions of the matter are limited by the terms and conditions of the agreement. If one is in place, silence becomes a requirement.It’s pretty basic: Contractual elements are contractual elements, ignored at one’s own risk.The point regarding Severin’s silence is that there may well be a valid reason, and no matter what degree of media whining there might be, for him to comment could well be inappropriate.And, just as you reserve the right to not divulge or discuss the terms and conditions of your employment contracts, so, too, might Mr. Severin.Have you allowed for that?

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Ikcape: Watch and learn. “Off the record, Jessica. OK? We clear? You’d be making a huge mistake if you go down that road. Trust me on this.”

  9. Jeff

    Dan said” Given that Severin’s entire show is based on making hurtful, inappropriate remarks, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out”It may be interesting but I have had it with WTKK and as much as a love talk radio I refuse to listen to that station any further. Severin is a hate monger and a master in misinformation, A true con man. It is disgusting that he gets a fat paycheck to spread his crap!

  10. Bill Toscano

    Thanks, Dan.

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