WPRO Advertises DePetro’s Time Slot with 50% Pay Cut (UPDATED)
Thursday, January 05, 2017
DePetro, the controversial talk show host that had sparked a boycott of the station, served as a national surrogate for President-Elect Donald Trump, and was a ratings hit, resigned from the station on Christmas Eve.
According to an advertisement placed by WPRO’s parent company on the job board indeed.com, the company states, “Providence location is offering a great opportunity for a Mid-Day (9a-12p) Talk Show Host for Heritage WPRO-AM. Our ideal candidate possesses an extremely good work ethic, is a self-starter, and highly organized, with the ability to work in a fast-paced office environment.”
The position is advertised for $44,000 to $49,000 a year (according to the post - see below). GoLocal has learned that DePetro made a base salary in the range of $100,000 annually as well as significant revenue from live reads/advertiser’s endorsement.
Both DePetro and the late Cianci were media brands in the Providence market. Cianci died in January and since then the ratings for the 3 pm to 6 pm time slot have plummeted.
In most markets around the country, locally hosted political talk radio has been cut and often replaced with syndicated talk radio such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity that both appear on another AM radio station WHJJ.
For Cumulus, the past 18 months have been a constant effort to avoid being delisted and staving off bankruptcy.
In the fall, the company forced an eight-for-one stock swap to push the $0.30 stock over a dollar. The repricing set the stock price at $2.40 a share, but almost immediately after the repricing the stock dropped and has hovered at the $1 a share mark. The company has pushed those holding debt to swap for equity. And, according to Reuters, Cumulus filed suit in mid-December against JP Morgan regarding an effort by the company "to proceed with a refinancing that it says would deleverage the company by up to $305 million."
Cumulus for the past two years has been on a major cost-cutting and restructuring effort to keep the company solvent.
The Rhode Island cluster (of which WPRO AM is a member of is profitable), according to local management. But, it is also well understood that WPRO AM has lost a significant number of critical advertisers with Cianci's death and is expecting more with DePetro's absence.
Related Slideshow: 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.
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 http://www.wcvb.com/Radio-Station-Gorilla-Remarks-Spur-Advertiser-Concerns/-/9849586/11281756/-/5lg3o9z/-/index.html#ixzz2nbPAwzd2" target="_blank">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."
- DePetro Announces He is Leaving WPRO Show
- WPRO Boss is Fired
- RI Conservative Think Tank Leader Laments the Loss of DePetro from WPRO
- UPDATED: DePetro Pulled From the Air at WPRO, Officials Claim It Was Tied to a Pre-Scheduled Meeting
- WPRO’s Big Problem Filling the Cianci Time Slot — Who’s Next
- What Does the Future Hold for WPRO?
- Big Radio Companies Facing Bankruptcy - WPRO and WHJY’s Parent Co’s in Financial Turmoil
- RI Secretary of State’s Chief of Staff Posts Message Calling Out WPRO’s DePetro
- Democratic Chair Blasts GOP Leader and WPRO’s Granahan for Clinton Comments
- WPRO Manager Tells Hosts Not to Disparage Each Other
- Media in Chaos - WPRO’s Parent Co. Stock Plummeting, NYT Print Rev Down 19%, and More
- Exodus Continues at WPRO
- WPRO’s Yorke, DePetro Make “Heavy Hundred” Radio List
- Moore: Conservatives Should Boycott WPRO Over DePetro Leaving
- Cumulus Fires Top Boss at WPRO, LITE 105 and HOT 106
- WPRO’s Future is Doomed, Warns National Radio Expert
- “Keep Tara Granahan” on WPRO in Afternoon Petition Starts Online
- UPDATED: Cianci’s Replacement Announced, New Line Up at WPRO
- Since Cianci’s Death, WPRO AM Losing Audience, Especially in Afternoon Drive