The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

18 July 2005

Jay Severin Exits Tucker Carlson's Show


Boston Host's Sudden MSNBC Departure Fuels Speculation

If you blinked, you've missed Boston radio talk show host Jay Severin's national cable talk stint. And if one source is correct, he may be finished on TV for some time.

What exactly was the real reason for Severin's departure from MSNBC's low-rated "The Situation With Tucker Carlson"?

Last week, The Radio Equalizer began to note a large number of Google search enquiries reaching this site, using "Jay Severin fired", or close variations, with no indications of any emerging news. Who had the early line?

Usually, there's an official version, instead we have conflicting reports. The New York Post paints a dubious picture of Severin-the-tired-commuter, not seeing the ratings-challenged program as worth his commute from Long Island to New Jersey:

JAY Severin has vanished from MSNBC's new "The Situation with Tucker Carlson." Sources say Severin, a conservative who hosts a radio talk show in Boston, didn't enjoy the commute from his home in Sag Harbor to the TV show's studio in New Jersey - especially when he saw how low Carlson's ratings were.

Severin, who has a wife and young daughter, was also promised a state-of-the-art studio where he could do his radio show on the days when he was on TV, but MSNBC didn't deliver. Severin's departure leaves humorless Air America host Rachel Maddow as the breakout star on Carlson's daily panel.

Today, however, TVNewser provides a different take: that network sources say he was in fact fired and will never again be seen on MSNBC.

From their report:

But the suggestion that leaving the Situation was Severin's decision is a "complete absolute lie," an insider tells TVNewser.

In fact, he's been banned from the network:
"You won't see him on MSNBC again," the source says. (And based on Severin's actions in Secaucus, "we were shocked to read in Page Six that he has a wife and daughter," the insider adds...)

Who to believe? While sometimes the truth lies somewhere in the middle of such conflicting accounts, we have good reason to wonder about the Post report, given many unanswered questions about Jay Severin:

--- Why does he continue to be evasive about hosting his show from Long Island, New York? His Boston listeners would never accept this if it were to become widely known.

--- What is his political ideology? In his radio bio, it's called "Libertarian/libertine", whatever that means, but I could swear he was touted as the conservative counterpart to fringe extremist Rachel Maddow on "The Situation".

--- While he claims to have a major political campaign consultancy background, details are elusive. His bio does not mention specific candidates or issues, can we have some verified positions and duties? With his home in New York, he certainly isn't a player in New England politics.

--- He claims to be edgy, but his show sounds like more of the same mellow-talk that plagues much of the market (and simply doesn't fit the area).

I don't buy the Post's Page Six line that he was simply tired of the commute, or thought the ratings were too low. Severin's not a major TV personality and needed every minute of this exposure.

Maddow's smart to ride "The Situation" to its inevitable upcoming end, since the TV face time could lead to other opportunities.

Boston's radio community has long been tired of Severin's antics, particularly the Long Island residency. Here, they question his latest flap.

If TV Newser's report is correct, what exactly did happen at MSNBC? It sounds serious and should be investigated further.

Meanwhile, how's he doing in Boston? Severin's critics are sometimes told that his ratings top WRKO's franchise conservative talk host Howie Carr, but the hard copy to back up the claim hasn't emerged, at least not into my in-box.

When Severin's WTKK-FM pumped up the advertising and marketing budget last year, ratings went up substantially, even beating rival WRKO for a brief moment.

But when WRKO responded with a major billboard campaign of its own, it went far higher, while WTKK fell sharply. That's where things stand now, with a hugely important ratings update just days away.

Let's hope somebody at MSNBC is willing to leak the rest of the story. Severin's Boston listeners deserve to know more.


  • "Libertine" is a term the Marquis de Sade liked to use, describing really horrible over-the-top perverts...

    thats the origin of the word, as far as I know, but he can't mean that, can he?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2005 11:39  

  • Windie, thanks for the info, hard to know what he means. Certainly 99.9% of the audience must be as confused about it as we are.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 19 July, 2005 11:54  

  • I must confess my ignorance. WHO is Jay Severin? What is his claim to fame? I rarely, if ever watch MSNBC. I lost interst in the years ago. Is his program broadcast in the Seattle market?
    Is Jay a national treasure we should all know about? Just asking out of curiosity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2005 12:35  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2005 13:11  

  • Anon:

    Thanks for your question, Severin was one of two panelists on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show. On the radio, he isn't heard outside of Boston. He's had other analyst roles for NBC in the past.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 19 July, 2005 15:13  

  • My sources deep inside MSNBC tell me that they caught him performing lewd acts with a Randi Rhodes blowup doll. At first glance that would seem to explain the "libertine" as well as the "wife and daughter" bit.

    BUT, my sources tell me there's more to this. He may have been setup by Soros-funded sources as a publicity stunt for Air America Radio. As partial proof of this, MMFA has a page about him.

    P.S. I'm kidding.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2005 15:59  

  • C'mon Brian

    AAR just hit a new low in NYC


    Ha Ha

    I'm dying to hear your take


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2005 22:43  

  • >>Libertine" is a term the Marquis de Sade liked to use, describing really horrible over-the-top perverts...

    Yeah==humorist Jean Shepherd used to say on his WOR show that he had written a book--which didn't exist--by the title I, Libertine. There was so much demand he actually had to collaborate with a writer (name escapes me) on a book with that title. I wasn't sure what libertine meant so I looked it up, and found a similar definition.

    Am not all that much into Severin...a Howie Carr fan, myself.

    --Bob Nelson

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 July, 2005 07:08  

  • Carr has beaten Severin in every demo the last two books.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 July, 2005 23:15  

  • Jay Severin should be taken off of the air. He routinely refers to black children as 'illegitimate bastards', Hillary Clinton as 'that lesbian bitch', gay marriage as 'homo marriage' (and nearly always goes into a rant about how everyone accepts the fact that 'homo's are all immoral by choice - and have no ability to control themselves'. His wanting to have sex with Britney Spears is 'normal and expected' - gay sex - is completely a crime against nature.

    I (and a lesbian friend - who unlike Jay - has served in the military) have offered to box Jay for charity.
    He is uncharacteristically silent on this offer).

    Jay wrote an article predicting that liberal radio would disappear within months of its introduction; it is now beating him. He needs to issue a retraction in the Boston Globe, a Boston paper which continually gets attacked by Severin - yet agreed to print his piece.

    The reason that he doesn't generate more outrage - is based upon the fact that the Boston press is smart enough not to play into his publicity stunts.

    Jay's firing couldn't have happened to a more deserving conservative tool. For the record, the local Libertine Party disavows any association with Severin (who claims to have run the presidential campaign for Pat Robertson). Severin and our Governor Mitt Romney are both carpetbagging interloper's. For the record, Romney is frequent guest / guest host on the show, despite the outrageous misogyny and racism of Severin.

    My prediction: they'll both be gone, by the next election cycle.

    By Blogger oskarwilder, at 01 August, 2005 10:51  

  • Occasionally listening to Severin, I'm impressed. But it still makes me miss Brudnoy all the more.

    By Blogger Brent, at 01 August, 2005 14:12  

  • I heard he was bothering the female interns for SEX. If true, sounds like all those years of slamming Clinton was actually just envy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 13:08  

  • You people need to get a life. I've met Jay at the gym. He's a decent guy who wanted to be able to take his 3 year old daughter to daycare each morning and tuck her in each night. He couldn't do that while commuting daily to the city for Tucker's show. Give the guy a break...he told me this himself. He was thrilled to be asked to do the show but deep down knew it would be a difficult haul. His radio show is suppose to go national in Jan. and that's really what he's wished for all a long. Leave it be. Whatever you think of his politics, he's a decent man who loves his family and is putting them first. Why do people always have to make up some other dirt. Grow up and get a life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 August, 2005 02:21  

  • I used to listen to Severin but got tired of his constant whining about the Iraq war. However, his opinion on same-sex marriage is straight on (pardon the pun)...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 August, 2005 08:54  

  • "...he actually had to collaborate with a writer (name escapes me) on a book with that title."

    The other author was science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon.

    By Blogger pst314, at 17 September, 2005 16:04  

  • Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't he not on the talk show anymore? I noticed a Mr. Graham is in his place. Is it wrong I'm more shocked he has a wife and child??

    By Blogger Robin, at 19 November, 2005 08:28  

  • Jay Severin show airs in Washington, DC now. He stinks. He's a fake libertarian and a bully. Hang it up Jimmy Severino, Pulitzer Prizer winning, Harvard educated lawyer, MSNBC sex harrasser!

    By Blogger NotDemOrGOP, at 06 January, 2006 20:30  

  • I miss Jay on the drive home. I see he his back on the air up here (boston) but not until 7pm. Jay does a great job at making you think... The Boston Globe Retractor does swing left. If you are on the 'left' I can see why you say it doesn't. :)

    By Blogger Sex Help For Adults, at 13 January, 2006 20:59  

  • jimmy is so gay. i dont care if he has a wife and a child......just listen to him....what a queen. every time he talks about women, he is really talking about guys..and by the way, he is sooooooooo old....LOL

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 December, 2007 22:44  

  • poor jimmy. what a fool he is..............just come out, please..............i hate gay guys who wont come out...just listen to his voice.....come on guys, do you talk like that....real hetro guys dont talk like him......"delicious"....straight guys only say that word when talking about food.........he says it when talking about gossip...what a queen....LOL

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 January, 2008 14:44  

  • It's perfectly clear that little Jimmy SeverinO is a latent homosexual (not that there's anything wrong with that). When a man constantly goes way out of his way to verbalize over-the-top sexual advances/innuendo about women it's to try and prove he is straight. It is sad, really. Most hetero men don't need this consistent affirmation of their own sexual orientation, but to do this in a public forum just screams for help in trying so hard to "come out", but unfortunately he never will because he thinks being gay is so wrong. So sad is this confused little man.
    On a lighter note.....his radio program is really poor. Sometimes he'll follow his lead-in music with a one minute rant/diatribe, followed by more music, then a long (4 minutes or more) commercial break. It's tactics like this which draw listeners back to music radio (remember music!).
    He recently named his top 5 people he'd most like to be - his father, Wm. Buckley, Geo. Will, Pat Buchanan, and Limbaugh. Considering he has proven to be so dishonest as a person, how dare he name his father first after he dumped the mans name! Proud son indeed, what a way to honor the person you (say) respect the most.
    Little Jimmy SeverinO has big problems, my guess is this time-bomb goes off soon, somehow, someway, but in a big way. Sad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 February, 2008 04:11  

  • Jay Severin refers to his listeners as the "best and brightest", yet he talks down to them and also defines his vocabulary. It's obvious he considers himself to be intellectually superior. His claim to being part Scandinavian is laughable. ems

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 October, 2008 22:55  

  • Libertine was a term used to describe a person whose value system was not based on religeon. Since religeon was also the source of many people's morals way back, the people opposing the religeon were thought of as immoral also.

    Since it was used with such negative connotation by religeous people, it soon became a word used for people who were free of morals altogether (as opposed to just religeous based morals).

    Most Conservatives are also religeous. Jay is a mostly capitalist person, and defends the low hanging fruit very well (with attacks on big government, corruption, welfare, etc). The harder to realize fruit of a free-market system escape Jay's interest and mental framwork. For example, he sees nothing wrong with public but local schools.

    But my point (finally) is that Jay probably calls himself a Libertarian/Libertine because he knew that he wasn't conservative in the same sense as Rush Limbaugh. He has a freedom oriented streak, and loves defending the successful and the value system they stem from (capitalism). Thus Libertarian. But it is his freedom loving ways, ahem, and the fact that they aren't based on religious mores, that allow him to recoin the term Libertine for his benefit.

    Much like Ayn Rand recoined and showed love to the term Selfish.

    Lastly, I like Jay when he is picking the low level fruit. I feel the opposite feeling when he gets in over his head with ideas that he hasn't fully thought through. For another example, he defends Policemen fervently. So do I. But then he wanted to give them the discretion to do whatever they want in the name of public safety. The issue at hand was an officers discretion about giving out speeding tickets. That touched a nerve, because I have one of those personalities that never gets a break, whereas a friend of mine *always* gets off. So I called into the show and expressed my opinion about this discretion being sharply curtailed. And I made the libertarian argument. If people pass an onerous law (I think current speeding laws qualify), then police can inject bias into the equation by letting some people go, and some not. It might lead to bribery, racial profiling, etc. A policy of no discretion would prevent that, and perhaps force a repeal of the law.

    He didn't get it, proceeded to call me a naive little child, and without defending his position at all dismissed me for a commercial.

    I was shocked, and didn't listen to him for 2-3 months. A friend of mine still listened to him, and told me that Jay was caught using my point to a caller from Live Free or Die New Hampshire. So he can learn..


    By Blogger PureAbsolute, at 25 October, 2008 00:38  

  • Jimmy Severino (who has the nerve to crtique Obama's aliases) is a moral and philosophical hypocrite. He uses the most incendiary language to stir up his least intelligent listeners and then refers to them as the best and brightest. He must laugh his way all the ay to his bank. I beleive Severin is a latent homosexual. He brags to much and makes far too many assertions of his heterosexuality not to be uncertain.
    He deflects his bigoted and occasionally racist opines with tired ol' phrases like he has "Black friends," etc. I pray weekly that he'll be removed from the radio again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 March, 2009 12:58  

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