The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 November 2006

John DePetro Termination, Boston Talk Radio


DePetro Calls For WRKO Reinstatement

*** Bumped to the top, see updates below ***
*** Also: read my latest Inside Radio column here ***

By offering to sell his soul, could talk host John DePetro return to the station that just fired him? He's the former WRKO / Boston talker who was sacked after calling Green - Rainbow Party gubernatorial candidate Grace Ross a "fat lesbian".

Because it seems so astoundingly silly, your Radio Equalizer at first thought the Boston Globe was playing a prank on its readership with this item:

Thursday, November 9, 2006

DePetro wants his job back

By Andrea Estes
Globe Staff

Fired WRKO talk show host John DePetro is looking to get his job back, offering to undergo sensitivity training and provide weekly air time to Grace Ross, the former Green-Rainbow Party gubernatorial candidate he called "a fat lesbian."

He said he would set aside one hour a week in a segment called "Ama- zing Grace," where he and Ross could debate "issues affecting her constituency," according to a news release issued on Thursday by DePetro's lawyer, Peter Bellotti.

Bellotti said the offer makes it possible for DePetro "to put right any offense by Mr. DePetro's comment and an opportunity for Entercom (WRKO's owner) to return him to the air."

DePetro was fired last week after making the comment while describing his frustration that the two major candidates, Democrat Deval Patrick and Republican Kerry Healey weren't given an opportunity to debate one on one.

"When they immediately terminated me they were applying a double standard," DePetro told the Globe. "Unlike Dennis and Callahan who were suspended for two weeks and ordered to sensitivity training twice Entercom violated its established policy when dealilng with this incident." Hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan were suspended in 2003 after referring to an escaped gorilla as a "METCO student waiting for a bus."

Station spokesman George Regan declined to comment until after a scheduled 3 p.m. news conference by DePetro and Bellotti.

Posted by David Dahl, Political Editor at 12:37 PM

So what's going on here, is DePetro serious about this offer? Would it really make sense to give Grace Ross, who was a footnote in Tuesday's election results, an hour of weekly airtime?

And even if he did succeed in returning to his old slot, how would listeners feel about him now? It's hard to imagine how a supposed conservative could willingly offer to undergo sensitivity training. Wouldn't that greatly damage his credibility?

In Boston, the buzz your Radio Equalizer is hearing is that this may be more about laying the groundwork for a lawsuit than a genuine attempt at returning to work.

By making every public effort to seem like a good guy, he could attempt to show that his ex- employer is the unreasonable party, especially if insubordination was their official reason for termination.

After the press conference, we'll know more about exactly what he's up to here.

UPDATES: Could DePetro's strategy be having some effect? His request was immediately shot down by the station, but he did succeed in generating a great deal of publicity yesterday, which reminded the public of his situation.

Whether he is now headed for a showdown in court is anyone's guess, but in the meantime, the media attention can only help, even if his approach seems bizarre. At this point, what does he have to lose?

Meanwhile, every weirdo under the sun is applying for DePetro's job, with several agents touting the same ten people that are pitched for every opening in the country. What a business.

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Grace Ross image: Boston Herald


  • A statement by Entercom from (Ch 4 reported on his
    attempt to get re-hired):

    WRKO issued a statement today saying his firing was appropriate and he won't be coming back. The statement read:

    We understand that Mr. DePetro intends to hold a press conference this afternoon in an effort to seek reinstatement to his former position with Entercom's WRKO. Mr. DePetro no longer works for Entercom. His discharge was appropriate and justified. We do not intend to reinstate him. We have moved on and wish him well.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 10 November, 2006 03:50  

  • Depetro shouldn't come back. He's just a scumbag.

    The more important thing I am concerned about is, who is the woman in the picture with Mihos and Depetro. Hey, my wife doesn't need to know. :)

    By Blogger Stacy, at 10 November, 2006 10:24  

  • That could be Mihos' daughter.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 10 November, 2006 13:32  

  • C'mon, Brian - Rush Limbaugh admitting he's been lying to his listeners consistently for some time should certainly be story-worthy, shouldn't it???

    (note to others - no, I don't expect Brian to not be a knee-jerk partisan - he will not report on Limbaugh's dishonesty, anymore than he would report on Bush' dishonesty - just having a little fun with the facts)

    By Blogger TJ, at 10 November, 2006 15:16  

  • TJ,
    Your right. Once a hack always a hack.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 10 November, 2006 17:08  

  • TJ Sounds like you are lying or you did not listen to Rush’s show. I guess you might have listened but not understood him keep trying.

    By Blogger PF1, at 11 November, 2006 00:18  

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