WRKO fires John DePetro

Statement from Jason Wolfe, Entercom Boston

After learning last night of the remarks about Grace Ross made by morning talk host John DePetro, WRKO terminated his employment.

Jason Wolfe, Vice President of AM programming and Operations, Entercom Boston commented:

“In the context of what he said and the tone with which he said it, the comments were completely inappropriate, derogatory and will not be tolerated. I met with our corporate staff last night after listening to the tapes, and we decided to terminate John at that meeting. I informed him of that decision this morning.

“I had told John after his suspension in July for describing then Massachusetts Turnpike Chairman Matthew J. Amorello with a homosexual slur that any further comments of this kind would be dealt with in a severe way.”

“I have no doubt that terminating John’s employment was the right action to take.”

WRKO believes that talk radio is an informative media that benefits all of us by providing a forum for public discussion. However, there is no place at WRKO for the use of such inappropriate references as made by John.

WRKO regrets the reference to Grace Ross.

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  1. DePetro tells Globe he was $quot;stunned'' by firing

    Now, from the Globe:

    DePetro tells Globe he was "stunned'' by firing By Andrea Estes Globe Staff

    Fired radio talk show host John DePetro said he was "stunned'' by his firing from WRKO Friday morning, and that he called Grace Ross to apologize for calling her a "fat lesbian.''

    In an interview with the Boston Globe, DePetro explained that he was exasperated that Ross and independent Christy Mihos were eating up time during Wednesday's debate. Recalling his remarks on the radio, DePetro told his listeners that he wished someone would "tell the fat lesbian to shut up."

    • Gosh, now I understand

      So lemme get this straight...by his explanation, it's not that he hates fat people or lesbians, it's that he hates democracy.  That makes it OK, then.

  2. An interesting footnote --

    DePetro was originally scheduled to be the conservative voice on CBS4's election night webcast, which I'll be on as well.  But the latest press release from CBS4 has dropped DePetro's name and put in Peter Blute instead.  I can't tell whether the change occurred before or after his firing became public.

    • ugh

      Grace was so right when she said that it is representative of a whoel culture of right-wing radio show hosts who think they are more important than they are!  The clip of DePetro's attack on Grace is on bostonherald and queertoday.

    • Oooh, good one

      You're saying the guy who was fired for flagrantly poor judgment was replaced by Peter Blute?  I can't wait to see how many people bite on this before you admit it was satirical.

        - Dan

  3. One sexist homophobe down, two to go....

    If WRKO/Entercom is willing to talk the talk, let them walk the walk. Howie Carr and Michael Savage have said equally or more offensive things repeatedly over the years. The real test is whether management will dump them on the same grounds -- oh, wait a minute... this is a business and they have better ratings.

    Silly me.

    • Savage--yech

      I'm not shedding tears for DePetro, but compared to Michael Savage, he's a PFLAG member.

      And then, of course, there's the fact that as when I logged onto WRKO to try to find a statement today, it announced that Rush "Michael-J-Fox-was-faking" was on the air.  It seems that this came about because of DePetro's previous warnings on his Amorello comments, but it'd be nice if the station would also look at their other shows.

  4. Double Standard

    Shame on WRKO for claiming to have suddenly seen the light and adopting a "zero tolerance" policy. Riiiiiiiiiight. Listen to the other shock jocks for one day and point out to me how consistently this policy in enforced.

    I don't condone DePetro's remark. It's illustrative of the all-too-common approach to political commentary in this country; i.e., spend almost all time and energy on name-calling and labeling and no time on actual thoughtful analysis of the issues. I find it banal, juvenile and usually pretty boring.

    That being said, DePetro was doing his job (shock for ratings - though his low ratings show he wasn't doing a great job) and, much more importantly, he didn't say anything that Howie Carr, Savage, Limbaugh, and the host of talk radio folks don't say on a daily, if not hourly, basis. If RKO is going to fire DePetro based on this zero tolerance policy, they pretty much have to clean house on nearly all their on air personalities.

    And my dear friends in the Blue World, as an Independent I can tell you with all certainty and clarity that this poison is not limited to the Right. This activity is distributed equally across the Left and the Right. I think back to the 2004 election when people were trying to convince me to vote for Kerry not because of what Kerry stood for or what he'd do if elected, but because Bush is [insert your favorite negative label, invective, expletive, or insult here -- most of them not even close to printable]. And that's just one example. I'm now getting the same attempts at persuasion from Democrats and Deval supporters when they try to tell me I should not vote for Healy because she is [repeat the same for Bush here].

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Thu 2 Oct 12:30 PM