RI Conservative Think Tank Leader Laments the Loss of DePetro from WPRO

Sunday, December 25, 2016


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Mike Stenhouse, the head of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, tells GoLocal that the loss of John DePetro is a blow to the political conversation in the state. 

"John has been one of the boldest voices in challenging the status quo, which has caused our state drop to the worst business climate and 48th rank in family prosperity. WPRO and our state have a giant hole to fill," said Stenhouse in an email to GoLocal.

As GoLocal reported earlier today:

Within just a couple hours after the announcement by controversial WPRO talk show host John DePetro that he would not return to the station, the union backed advocacy group "For Our Daughters" took credit for knocking DePetro off the air.

The group issued the following statement:

We accomplished what we set out to do -- John DePetro is off the air at WPRO. Thank you to all the elected leaders, labor unions and community organizations who stood with us in opposition to misogyny and hate radio. The boycott is over. We encourage station leaders to formally adopt policies to prevent this type of situation from happening again. 
-- Maureen Martin, chair, For Our Daughters

WPRO's General Manager Holly Paras refused comment on DePetro's departure. And efforts to reach DePetro were unsuccessful.

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Mike Stenhouse

Earlier in the day GoLocal reported:

Talk radio host John DePetro took to his website on Christmas Eve to announce he is walking away from his weekday 9-12 show on WPRO.

DePetro had last made a statement on December 6 announcing he was taking a leave due to a "health situation."

DePetro issued the following statement on his website, www.depetro.com.

Statement from John DePetro December 24, 2016

To all my WPRO radio listeners : At this time, I have decided to conclude my entertaining weekday 9:a.m.-12pm (noon) radio show on WPRO.  

Thank you to all my listeners for making 2016 my best year ever in radio, with my coverage of the Trump campaign, my many exclusives, plus my national work on The Savage nation and CNN. I am very grateful for the many loyal listeners who have been entertained by my program on WPRO over the past 10 years.

While at WPRO, I was very proud to win " Best Talk Show" by the Associated Press in 2008 and 2014. I was honored to be voted " Best Talk Show" by the readers of Rhode Island Monthly for 2014.  

It was also life changing to be part of raising money for Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Gabrielle heart fund, Jason Foreman scholarship fund and many others. I am eternally grateful to my Executive Producer Kool Keith, anchor Bill Haberman, engineers Dave Farrah, Duffy Egan, all my clients, sponsors and the people at WPRO. Merry Christmas and Happy New year.  Thank you.

John DePetro 


Related Slideshow: Infamous Talk Radio Controversies

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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.

In the 6 to 10 a.m. weekday slot occupied by the self-proclaimed “Independent Man” on WPRO-AM (630), “the reissue ranked WPRO at number nine” among valued 25- to 54-year-old listeners, “down from the number four rank in the original release,” program manager Paul Giammarco and station market manager Barbara Haynes announced in a joint statement.

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Candidate Name-Calling

DePetro was fired from Boston radio station WRKO in 2006 for calling then-gubernatorial Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross a "fat lesbian." 

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Office Scuffle

The Providence Journal's Mike Stanton reported on an altercation in 2009 between DePetro and radio host Ron St. Pierre.

DePetro said he was hit -- and scratched -- in the eye with a balled up paper with a staple thrown at him by St. Pierre.  

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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.  

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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.  

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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.  

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Severin Suspended

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.

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Imus' Racial Remarks

in 2007, nationally syndicated talk show host Don Imus called Rutgers women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos."  Imus was suspended -- then fired -- by CBS Radio.  

Five years later, Imus was back on the national radio circuit, as reported by New Jersey.com

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Rush Limbaugh

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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