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EXCLUSIVE: DePetro Suspended Until January

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


John DePetro was scheduled to return to host his radio show on Tuesday, December 17, but the word from the Salty Brine Broadcast Center is that DePetro is suspended for comments he made back in September.

He will not return until early January.

DePetro is no stranger to controversy and the latest battle is a drama of a new level. It features some of the biggest unions, political boycotts by both Democrats and Republicans, and sets the stage for the 2014 election. 

Many of the top elected official and candidates have pledged not to appear on any WPRO programming until DePetro is removed - this includes both high level Democrats and Republicans.

The For Our Daughters campaign, which was formed following DePetro's latest remarks, bills itself as a "grassroots advocacy organization committed to promoting gender equity and combating misogyny in public speech and debate."

As GoLocal reported earlier today, a change.org petition has been formed by a group, RI Citizens for Free Speech, stating DePetro is "under attack by a paid organized union smear campaign designed to silence his vocal criticism." It writes, "Do not allow politicians and unions to suppress free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment! We will not tolerate the censorship of the callers or the host of The John DePetro Show."

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 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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John Fougere

This hack should be taken off the air!

frank bentley

hack is being kind..he's demonic

Redd Ratt

I wonder if he was the member of a union getting him removed from his job would be so easy. I hope whoever replaces him is as relentless on calling bs at special interests as he apparently was.

Joseph Bernstein

His replacements do a much better job

Ed Venture

How long before we find out that the Change.org petition was started by DePetro's wife and he says he knew nothing about it.

Marie Dawn Christie

So it's ok to call a woman a whore? I wonder what would have happened if he dropped a racial slur instead? He'd be long gone. So much for the free speech argument.

Monkey Boy

Don't go away mad John just go away.You are a jerk!

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