Skip to comments.Jay Severin's suspension drags on ...
Posted on 05/23/2009 9:06:31 AM PDT by raccoonradio
WTKK's Jay Severin was suspended three weeks ago and there is still no official word when or if the controversial talk show host will be back on the air. Why is the fate of Severin's career being treated so mysteriously?
The word is that WTKK may take him back but his salary ($1 mil/ yr) could be reduced (his ratings have suffered especially recently with the introduction of Personal People Meters, so they'd want to cut expenses) and he may have to broadcast from their studios in Boston (next to the Boston Globe-Democrat building) under the watchful eye of management, rather than from his home on the North Shore. And he may have to tone it down.
Just remember, liberal talk hosts have never "crossed the line" (/ sarcasm)
See the 6 min segment
what was the offense; I agree with you, what’s David Shuster still on the air at all with his sophomoric sexual innuendo over the tea parties ?
Conservative blogger Brian Maloney’s take on this (what follows is all by him)
by Brian Maloney, May 23rd, 2009 at 10:35am
Considering the brutal media climate that exists today, Jay Severins disappearing act is all the more puzzling: wouldnt 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 theres 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 Jays return will require big money, even with a substantial pay cut.
On WGBHs Beat The Press, panelists spent a portion of yesterdays show discussing his fate. While its always humorous to get the establishment elitists 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 Severins 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 isnt clear to every manager inside the company, its time for heads to roll.
But WGBH panelist Dan Kennedys point is correct: despite hosting a local show, Severin has mostly avoided local issues.
At the end of the day, Severin just isnt all that entertaining, while WTKK absolutely doesnt 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 cant afford his salary and may not want to say so for reasons related to Jays contract language.