EXCLUSIVE: DePetro Suspended Until January
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
He will not return until early January.
DePetro is no stranger to controversy and the latest battle is a drama of a new level. It features some of the biggest unions, political boycotts by both Democrats and Republicans, and sets the stage for the 2014 election.
Many of the top elected official and candidates have pledged not to appear on any WPRO programming until DePetro is removed - this includes both high level Democrats and Republicans.
The For Our Daughters campaign, which was formed following DePetro's latest remarks, bills itself as a "grassroots advocacy organization committed to promoting gender equity and combating misogyny in public speech and debate."
As GoLocal reported earlier today, a change.org petition has been formed by a group, RI Citizens for Free Speech, stating DePetro is "under attack by a paid organized union smear campaign designed to silence his vocal criticism." It writes, "Do not allow politicians and unions to suppress free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment! We will not tolerate the censorship of the callers or the host of The John DePetro Show."
Infamous Talk Radio Controversies
Arbitron Ratings Scandal
In 2008, radio host John DePetro found himself in the midst of a ratings controversy. The Boston Herald reported,
The briefly stellar ratings of controversy-dogged-talkmeister John DePetro’s Providence radio show tanked yesterday after a whiff of scandal forced Arbitron to reissue its spring survey of listener-dial habits.
Sexual Harassment Claim
In 2012, DePetro was sued by a WPRO colleague for sexual harassment.
Producer Dee DeQuatro said DePetro invited her to lunch before driving to a house and making sexual advances.
DePetro denied the allegations.
Buddy's Return - to Radio
After five years in prison for racketeering conspiracy from 2002 to 2007, former Mayor of Providence Buddy Cianci returned to the public eye with a radio show on WPRO.
While controversial, Cianci's continued popularity has people wondering if Buddy might just make another run for Mayor in 2014.
Chafee's Talk Radio Ban
Upon taking office in 2011, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee announced that he would not appear on talk radio shows and barred state employees in agencies and departments that report to him from doing the same during work hours.
Governor Chafee is among the elected officials who have signed the "For Our Daughters" pledge.
Dennis and Callahan
WEEI sports radio hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan were suspended in 2003 when they referred to an escaped gorilla as a "Metco gorilla" waiting for a bus to Lexington -- with Metco being bus program that buses inner-city students to suburban schools.
Boston's WCVB reported that advertisers Dunkin' Donuts and Blue Cross pulled back station support in light of the incident.
WTKK's Jay Severin was fired for making comments about sleeping with female employees over the years.
Radio Ink reported on Greater Media's reaction to the incident.
"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.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is no stranger to controversy; his latest remarks prompted the Democratic National Committee to call on Republican leaders to boycott the Daily Caller, which defended Limbaugh's remarks in an article entitled, "Liberals want to stop men from checking out women."
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