Skip to comments.Imus sidekick draws fire: To be WRKO "guest"
Posted on 05/19/2007 7:16:11 AM PDT by raccoonradio
Some WRKO advertisers were jolted yesterday upon hearing news that the Boston radio station is giving Bernard McGuirk, the controversial sidekick of disgraced talk-jock Don Imus, an on-air tryout next week on Tom Finnerans faltering morning drive show.
Im not in agreement with bringing him in, said Richard Charpentier, owner of South Shore Environmental Services, an RKO advertiser.
McGuirk, the longtime producer of Imus nationally syndicated talk show, was canned a week after Imus because of their now infamous nappy-headed hos banter about members of the Rutgers female basketball team. McGuirk got the ball rolling by referring to the players as some hard-core hos.
Charpentier spends about $10,000 a month on ads on WRKO-AM (680). As to whether hell continue advertising if McGuirk is hired, he said hed give it thought.
Generally, I dont like how he and Imus operated, Charpentier said.
Don Smith, a partner with Saxton Real Estate Partners, another WRKO advertiser, said hes not familiar with McGuirks role in the Imus scandal. But he said he would reconsider his advertising at the station if he learns more about McGuirks past and if hes hired.
Still, not all advertisers were upset.
If Al Sharpton has no problems with this man, neither do we, said George Regan, an outside spokesman for SBLI Inc., a WRKO advertiser, referring to the controversial black clergyman who harshly criticized the Imus remarks but later said the two ultimately apologized and were punished. Regans public relations firm also represents WRKO.
Julie Kahn, vice president and market manager for station-owner Entercom, said WRKO is only looking at its options and bringing McGuirk in as a guest for three days next week to see what might possibly work in the future.
Asked if WRKO was backing down from prior suggestions that it was giving McGuirk a specific tryout for the Finneran show, program director Jason Wolfe said he never said McGuirk was auditioning for a job, though he said WRKO eventually wants to find a co-host for Finneran.
Meanwhile, yesterday several local black leaders expressed concerns about McGuirk being on Bostons airwaves.
Leonard Alkins, former president of the Boston NAACP, said he planned to contact WRKO owner Entercom to get a clear understanding of where theyre going with this and what their intents are.
There are many more qualified folks here in Massachusetts that could fill that position. I dont think that we should be hiring people for the purposes of provocative statements or appearances, Alkins said.
The Rev. Bruce Wall of Dorchester said black community leaders need to talk with WRKO management or McGuirk himself to find out if he has changed systemically.
Boston is a city that has racially been divided, Wall said.