Severin: Not Quite Forgotten

Considering the brutal media climate that exists today, Jay Severin’s disappearing act is all the more puzzling: wouldn’t he fight to keep his job?

The answer is that by remaining quiet, Severin hopes to preserve his gig, hoping the negotiations will succeed behind the scenes.

But there’s one serious side effect: with each passing day, listeners forget a bit more and are introduced to any number of potential replacements.

Clearly, WTKK owner Greater Media has introduced a scare tactic or two into the mix, one being the potential addition of syndicated wishy-washy Philly weirdo Michael Smerconish. He may not be very good, but can be added without cost, while Jay’s return will require big money, even with a substantial pay cut.

On WGBH’s Beat The Press, panelists spent a portion of yesterday’s show discussing his fate. While it’s always humorous to get the establishment elitist’s perspective on commercial talk radio (calling Obama a “socialist” is apparently seen as extreme, for example, even as he effectively nationalizes auto manufacturers and banks), they did have a few interesting points.

Host Emily Rooney said she believed there were serious negotiations for his return underway, with a string of potential conditions attached, including a possible change in compensation, an end to home broadcasts, managerial oversight of his content and the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure.

Clearly, Greater Media is dropping hints as to its next move, but has picked a strange venue to do this.

In other words, a host who is generally boring except for occasional spurts of inflammatory language would be neutered. Welcome to the Jay Severin snoozefest! How will that fare under the people meter?

During the segment, one particularly interesting tidbit was the bizarre idea that Severin’s insults and slurs had actually chased away WTKK listeners, leading to the listenership drop. The introduction of electronic ratings has hurt the station badly across the board.

As its overall lineup, marketing and imaging remain a muddled mess, Jay talking about Mexicans and condos is NOT a factor. If this isn’t clear to every manager inside the company, it’s time for heads to roll.

But WGBH panelist Dan Kennedy’s point is correct: despite hosting a local show, Severin has mostly avoided local issues.

At the end of the day, Severin just isn’t all that entertaining, while WTKK absolutely doesn’t have a Plan B. Returning him at perhaps one-third of his current salary or less is probably an agreeable compromise.

And all of this has worked to confuse the real issue: Greater Media probably can’t afford his salary and may not want to say so for reasons related to Jay’s contract language.


81 thoughts on “Severin: Not Quite Forgotten

  1. btw remember this? Dan Kennedy writes about how Jay Severin was NOT invited to Greater Boston’s anniversary party…next thing you know, Emily “Thanks Dad” is no longer part of


    Severin show!

  2. Remember this: any time Brian makes derogatory references to “Beat the Press”, HE KNOWS THAT HE HAS NEVER BEEN INVITED TO APPEAR ON IT AND NEVER WILL!

  3. Brian,

    You’re joking, right?

    “During the segment, one particularly interesting tidbit was the bizarre idea that Severin’s insults and slurs had actually chased away WTKK listeners, leading to the listenership drop.”

    What’s so bizarre about that concept? His slurs and insults chased me away from his show. All kidding aside. After the shooting panhandlers comment, I stopped listening to him.

    I think his chasing away TKK listeners is a legit claim.

  4. Don’t forget, either, that the ‘controversial’ statements that supposedly got Jay Severin canned were relatively weak in comparisson … I mean, they were just pretty average conservative comments with heald-back aggression and barely entered the orange zone for any kind of special punishment.

    A non-negotianal precondition should be a full, unfettered apology from the people that fired Jay Severin, live, on the first episode back from his dismissal.

  5. BP: Do you recall the comments I’m referencing? They were some of the most despicable, vile, heartless comments I’ve ever heard…..let alone on the radio.

  6. Lest we forget that Jay is getting beat by the neutered Howie Carr whose content is censored by management (see SaveWRKO circa fall 2007).

    Neither Brian nor Beat the Press has a concrete idea what is going on with Severin. Without having read either contract but based on intimate familiarity with dozens of talent contracts in many markets, it is unlikely that Severin would be taking any less than the full value of his contract without an extension attached, nor is it likely that adding a market to Smerconish would come with “no cost”.

  7. I agree, Ad Man. The only people privy to what’s going on w/Jay are: mgmt. at GM, Jay’s atty. and Jay himself. Everything else is speculation, and doesn’t really amt. to much more than a hill of beans…..or is that expression a hill of ants? OK, here’s one I do know: It don’t mean s**t.

  8. Ad Man, radio talent contracts tend to be quite similar with a few very rare exceptions.

    They contain boilerplate language designed to protect the firm. It is very difficult even for top talent to negotiate any of it away.

    Companies always retain the right to remove air personalities, no matter how important the person might appear to be in the marketplace.

  9. There are plenty of reasons not to like Jay Severin. I’m a conservative who agrees with many of Severin’s positions, but am really sick of his BS macho act.

    What is more disturbing however, is GM caving into political correctness – and especially so since it’s an out of state group of professional whiners.

    It would be really nice to see a radio station with the stones to tell these “activist” groups to shut the hell up. And then to replace Severin because his false swagger and braggadocio have gone over the top.

    THAT is what has nearly driven me away – except when Howie is in a commercial break or the Red Sox have taken over WRKO.

  10. Brian, what you say is true, mgmt can always take the talent off the air, but what inevitably transpires as long as the talent has reasonably good legal counsel is that the case can be made that the decision to to take them off without pay is not defensable, either in light of reasonable expectation (i.e. Jay/Imus has said worse in the past and not been suspended) or the threat of arbitrating the cause itself. My point was not that they can’t take Jay off the air, but that he will not miss out on $1 of the contract unless he negotiates it away as part of an extension. Nevertheless, unless Jay, Peter Smyth or Grace Blazer decides to post here, we’ll never know.

  11. Did Severin go over the top? Sure. But not as many times as “progressive” idealogues have adamantly insisted that he has been maligning LEGAL immigrants. Repeat a lie often enough…

    Charlie above echoed my thoughts. Who needs a “Fairness Doctrine” when a little PC whining accomplishes the same result, while providing cover for cowardly politicians?

  12. Jimmy Severino III – you reduced to eating Spam yet???

    Best and brightest (e.g. agingcynic) – how come you still have not organized a Beacon Hill show of force to support your eunuch Jimmy Severino III?

    Brian – keep up the good work.

  13. Talk radio yackers are clearly too full of themselves. Almost universally, they have an inflated sense of self and start believing that their salaries are ‘earned’ and ‘justified.’ Severin is from this mold, and I wish him nothing but the worst. While I loosely align myself with his ideology, his ‘schtick’ is tiresome and his work ethic is tepid. The best way for Severin to lose his inflated sense of self is for him to simply evaporate from Boston’s airwaves and then show up as a host on some third-world radio station in a market no one has heard of.

  14. This is an ideal time for TKK to strike at Howie whose show has devolved to chatter with Sandy about how much MSG 49 he has to take to lose weigh before his hip surgery. TKK does not have the weapon to do take advantage of Howie’s future absence ….I stopped listening to Severin because he would always blurt out some sexual boast in the middle of a serious discussion…For national political junkies Monica Crowley is on AM 1570 at the same time. Most of the time she is entertaining and on topic.

  15. CircletSoft: you don’t get it, do you? It’s not the messenger, it’s the message. I will repeat: Severin is an obnoxious gasbag. I could not care less if he ever returns. That does not make all of his positions automatically false, despite what pathetic ideologues parrot. It is sad that he has become the distraction from real issues, like the lack of border security in times like these. Two final thoughts: 1.)your posts seem to involve an awful lot of penile references and

    2). While he may have a big mortgage in Manchester-by-the-Sea, (like many of us), he is apparently sleeping well enough to avoid blogging at 4:46 AM.

  16. Hey Larry – thanks for the suggestion for AM 1570. I really like Monica Crowley.

    I hope I can get the signal south of Boston – it looks like a limited footprint. 39 KW days, 85 watts nights.

    But I bet I can find her streaming somewhere – and maybe I can even stream her in the car via iPhone.

    That means I can tune “Macho Man” Severin out for good.

    Monica is living proof that you can have good conservative talk radio without being a massively conceited, hyper-inflated, self-important gasbag.

  17. agingcynic – Don’t you realize that Severino’s message boils down to an attempt to prove to everyone just how much he really, really loves Korean **ahem** “women”.

    Yes, Jay, pour another large Brandy Alexander and turn up the Noel Coward record.

  18. Hmmmmmmmmmm, what’s that I hear on RKO rite now……..oh wait I recognize it………….DEAD AIR………again.

  19. raccoon, the article said they bought back his contract when they saw he was doing well nationally….that is even more of a surprise.

    I can’t stand Jay’s arrogance and thought he was totally losing it when he reported that Imus threatened to shoot him.

    I still remember a Boston caller many years ago asking Jay where he voted (he must have known he was in NY) and Jay said he did not vote. I always wondered if that was because he was trying not to let people know he was in NY or if he really does not vote.

  20. agingcynic, chrisnh, babsie… all the “best and brightest” are apparently deserting the Jimmy Severino III ship. LMAO! Predictable, but humorous nonetheless.

  21. babsie, are you talking about the RKO stream, or the real broadcast? Because streams often have bits of dead air like you describe. But broadcast not so much.

  22. Severin needs to play back the Jimmy Myers show from this past Sunday for the TKK execs . It appears that TKK has a double standard when it comes to cracking down on hate speech. Jimmy and his two guests used the 3 hours for a racist rant that demanded reparations from the “white Europeans” in the US. They also laughed repeated about over the 4 NY guys who thought they were going to blow up a Jewish synagogue. Myers claimed it was a government set up.

  23. WNSH does surprisingly well along the coast (daytime) and perhaps even south of Boston you could pick it up. They bought out a station in Taunton on that frequency and threw it off air so they could go to the new pattern.

    Naturally I get them fine here in their city of license, Beverly, but a couple times on my way to and from the Cape, I found 1570 doing quite

    well along Rt 3 etc

  24. Circlet Soft – She’s a pretty cool chick too. I mean, the “best and brightest” geezers hate her now but they’re are all fairly irrevelant at this point.

  25. Grace is pretty good looking, but she is one of the crappiest programmers I can ever remember. Paula O’conner was a good producer but she was not great at programming either although she was better than Gracie and easily as good looking.

    Where is Jay Clarke when we really need him. Retired of course.

  26. # 20 “…..the article said they bought back his contract when they saw he was doing well nationally….that is even more of a surprise.”

    Jay’s syndication translated into strong ratings for the 7-10 slot at WTKK and he was doing well nationally. YES! What a surprise that WTKK would make such a wise business decision, Cricket. Surprise, surprise surprise !

    “I always wondered if that was because he was trying not to let people know he was in NY or if he really does not vote.”

    Ah, yes, this ageless question will leave scholars and philosophers pondering for years to come.

  27. Circ I was talking about dead air between the end of a segment and the beginning of the news….total silence, yesterday it was the news at the top of the hour on limbaugh’s show, it happens overnite as well right in the middle of a program, usually coast to coast, one nite there was dead air on cunningham right in the middle of the program lasted for about 20 minutes….a few weeks ago I turned on the radio to hear cunningham and instead I heard Roy Masters???? RKO really needs to feed those monkeys more bananas so they’ll behave!

  28. Dear RKO Staffer, Sending an email to a “PD” is a waste of time. It probably would be trashed before it was opened. I thought my “whining” may point out an inconsistency with the TKK policies for on air “personalities”. I thought maybe I could accomplish two things at once…alert this site’s loyal readers and, just maybe, the TKK management may have a snoop,a PI, who reads this blog and reports back to the PD.

  29. Larry…you would be wrong. Send an email to the PD and say you are no longer shopper at Mattress Discount or something. This site is considered just a small time right wing rant-fest by most folks.

  30. Mr. Sofftie, I will….but mine have been just a couple of college intern gals (the best kind to get actually). I never was interested in the Magpie even during her supposed Cougar/MILF days. She just seemed like a pasty skinned aging Irish-American gal. Blazer would be fun though.

  31. Jat Severin’s Hugh Heffner imitation is not missed here. He was way over the top even for Talk Radio and totally full of himself. I’m no lefty but Severin was a poor advocate of sane conservative thinking and was MIA on any local issues no matter how important.

    TKK’s citing of Jimmy Sevarino’s alleged ‘hate speech’ is a joke. Just listen to TKK’s Jimmy Myers (if you can bear it) on the weekend and you’ll hear far worse far more often.

  32. Interesting that “WRKO Staffer” is a typical hard left Moonbat. I’m sure he’s very comfortable in the MMM.

  33. Jan (or should I say Jay / Jimmy?), begone with you.

    We all love Stafer here. He always lands in the top 3 of our most popular category (along with pirate and Pat “Mr” Lucci).

  34. Circlet,

    You big softy! How sweet to include me with the esteemed Staffer and Mr. Lucci. We must include you, too, so let’s say the top 4 in popularity.

    Now, I’m afraid to ask, but here goes: what does Jan mean by MMM and/or MSM?

  35. Circlet & Pirate,

    Thanks for the kind words but I rebuff esteem as I am a former radio journalist. Esteem is reserved good or bad to those we cover. An esteemed journalist looks like Dan Rather who most feel has not been a journalist for a very longtime. He stopped being a decent scribe when his esteem becam more important than his stories.

  36. piratetoby – It doesn’t really matter what “Jan” meant by MMM and/or MSM. He/She had the turn to kick the football and Lucy pulled it away. One word: Fail.

  37. PL,

    Oh, now this is embarassing. “Esteemed” was meant for Staffer only. See my sentence?

    “…include me with the esteemed Staffer and Mr. Lucci”

    No hard feelings?

  38. Oh no! A Cricket post, generates a Grace post, then another Cricket and then……..

    …….well, there goes the neighborhood.

  39. yikes…thanks Pirate but you will notice that I ignored her on another topic and she posted three times still!

    Anyway, did I answer your question?


  40. honestly Annie Oakley. Do you really think Piratetoby, or anyone else, for that matter notices when you ignore my posts? All they notice is YOU brings out ME, and that YOU have nothing to say. You keep this nonsense up because YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO. What a poor, pathetic creature you are. You are the stalker. What other reason keeps you here?

  41. Maybe you should report me to Brian then. I am actually responding to conversation…what is it you are doing?

  42. Children, children, can’t we all just get along?!

    Well, those of us who are not nut jobs or Best and Brightest members, anyhow.

    Thank you.

  43. Circlet Soft – As you know, the Best and Brightest are hurting these days. They seek out their worn out copies of Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” and John Locke’s “Two Treaties of Government” for guidance during these uncertain times. Of course, Rand’s “The Fountainhead” always helps sustain one during the dark hours of night. Yes, the Best and Brightest knew there would be moments that test the soul. They cried with Jay when their leader talked about his beloved father storming the beaches of the Pacific…now they cry but Jay is not there. Do not not fret our dear “Best and Brightest”. For off in the distance, a Johnny Winter chord wafts over the soft misty hills and cries for you.

  44. Is it ANY surprise that one ugly woman (Margery Eagan) would rush to the aid of another (Sotomayor)? No, it is not. It’s what ugly women do. Poor Eagan must be lamenting her complete loss of femininity and appeal.

  45. Chris, I don’t think Margery is ugly…. she looks pretty damn good for her age. Do you find Jay Severin more attractive?

  46. staffer, I think I will! We all have had bad pictures taken…I just try to keep mine off the internet. (-;

    Staffer, did you work there when the “Two Chicks Dishing” were on air?

  47. Yeah, I remember one of the “chicks” named Leslie was pretty hot. She was the girlfriend to the drummer Carmine Appice who was in Vanilla Fudge and also was Rod Stewart’s drummer (he’s the drummer with the handle-bar mustache around the time of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”). Carmine is the guy responsible for promoting John Bonham to Ludwig drums and really was an early supporter of Bonzo. Yeah, I remember Leslie. Anyway, regarding Magpie, yeah, even a broken clock is right two times a day.

  48. sorry, all (except Cricket). I read this blog and occasionally post, under another screen name (obviously). I used to post on another site with a small and fun group. The one bad apple was, yes you guessed it, Cricket. She went out of her way to research and then post the most hurtful quotes geared towards me, taking delight in trying to get me to “snap”. That’s the truth. She wanted to see me snap like a twig, right Tracie?

    Well, my association with that site ended, and that was fine. Tracie/Cricket never entered my brain again until she showed up here. Funny, she was so happy that I was gone from the other site until she became aware I was here. Now, she can’t be bothered with the other site. No, she has to post here.

    And, Tracie, report you to Brian? Only YOU would think of that- you’ve already done it. That’s your MO, right? Maybe you can secure my future banning? How did you do it the last time with the forum owner? Did you b*** him?

    You are an ugly, spiteful, jealous bitch. You post here for one reason- because I am here. First thing in the morning…..Cricket logs right in. Is there ever any breaking news on Save WRKO that would compel Cricket to log in at the crack of dawn?

    Get a life. Make a friend. Find another site. I know you’ll stay because you bug me, but trust me, you will bore everyone here to death. You’ll kill this site, just like you did with Carl’s site.

    As Softy says, begone.

  49. for those of us NOT in the radio business, a few quick questions so we (I) can all follow along:

    1. Tracie who?

    2. What is Carl’s site?

    3. Which chick picked up with Butchie and went to NY?

    4. Who’s in the pic with magpie. and why isn’t she drinking?

    5. Why is felon’s failure still on the air?

    It’s amazing what you miss when you’re away.

  50. Might I add another question or three?

    -Whatever happened to the former ‘RKO mid-day crossover guy who ended up at W-RIKERS for rape?

    -Did John DePetro ever get fired for that ratings snafu?

    -When will Scott Allen Miller be tapped to replace Jimmy Severino III?

    -Why does Pat Whitley love the Olive Garden so much?

  51. Reese Hopkins checked in to the Herald and said he’s still in prison awaiting trial…DePetro is still on WPRO …Scotto for Vay Cay Jay? Haven’t heard anything about it.

    Olive Garden–put one on the North Shore please!

    Oh, and Jay has now been off for one month but we’re so used to him being off for weeks at a time in summer (or late spring?) that it’s nothing new for “Vay Cay Jay” though this time it’s a suspension. He still could be back.

  52. Staffer,

    Regarding conquests……” mine have been just a couple of college intern gals (the best kind to get actually).”

    C’mon. College interns are the best?

    College girls= likely fueled by drink and/or drugs, NOT very experienced and rarely care enough about things like sexy lingerie. And what you think is just a f**k, to them is the beginning of a new relationship.

    Now don’t be hatin’ me Staffer- this is just my opinion.

  53. any one listening to Jimpie? Any hugging going on in the station? If Magpie mentions the Ken doll story one more time, I’m hitting the power button- OFF.

  54. Pirate,

    You are still listening to them??? From Noon to 3:00 I listen to tones from a hearing test instead.

  55. Racoon,

    If they put an Olive Garden onthe North Shore, anyone who has eaten at Chianti or even Cafe Salerno will likely burn it down.


    Whitley says he loves OG because he is paid to do so. I’ve been on the air with him and can attest that he is a decent enough fellow, but if you paid him enough $$$ he would eat a dog crap pie and smile through the experience.

  56. Mr. Pragmatic,

    Comfort yourself. God loves you with or without a new topic. The rest of us will make our own decisions in due time.

  57. piratetoby – you must be going for the wrong type of college gals. Anyway, don’t make me have to post the Magpie photo again.

    Regarding Whitely, the show is great. Love hearing the old timers out in the burbs call in to describe their local townie slophouse in such detail.

  58. Staffer: More power to ya, brother. At my age, anything involving a college intern would make Bill Clinton look like Mitt Romney (does the Mitster even look at another woman?)

    And please, pretty please with a cherry on top, no more pics of the Pie, OK? There is a brilliant array of women on the spectrum between college girly-girls and middle aged horn balls.

    Now you also mentioned Grace. I know Grace “types”, so I’ve got her pegged. She’s Jewish, yes?

    Ok, here’s the profile: she loves to f**k, and doesn’t need some kind of emotional connection to the man that most women need (not necessarily love, but most women need to feel some kind of emotional connection, even if it’s pity!). She is not really concerned with anyone’s pleasure, except her own, but she will screw your brains out. She’ll leave scratch marks down your back. She’s like a wild animal. Not into giving, but enjoys receiving oral sex, but gets bored unless it’s really, really good.

    Now, when it’s over, depending on the location, either she leaves, or you do. There is no breakfast forthcoming; in fact, there is no sleeping over, little small talk while dressing, and out the door.

    She’d be into a 3 way, but not with 2 men. Again, when she’s done, she’s gone. No need to chit chat. She’s a very busy woman.

    Now, please, I don’t want any trouble. I haven’t a clue about Blazer’s sex life. My assessment is based on a few women I know who are similar to Ms. Blazer.

    Who brought up all this sex talk? I may have gotten a bit carried away with my Blazer scenario!

  59. just got this from WTKK!

    On Tuesday June 2nd, at 3 p.m., Jay Severin will return to the weekday afternoon timeslot on Boston’s Talk Evolution 96.9 FM-WTKK. Jay regrets the remarks for which he was suspended and understands that his comments were indeed wrong and hurtful to the Mexican and Mexican-American communities. Accordingly, we feel it is time to end Jay’s suspension and welcome him back to WTKK. All of our hosts have strong opinions and talk radio is a format for open and spirited debate about the many issues we face in Boston, New England, our nation and our world. There will no doubt be times when you disagree with Jay – and our other hosts too – but our ultimate goal is to maintain a level of conversation that is entertaining, compelling, and thought-provoking, yet civil and respectful. While we will no t always succeed in walking this line, we will continually strive to do so.

    We hope you’ll experience what Jay has to say this Tuesday and every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m.

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