By Demian Russian
Could talk radio host Jay Severin, who was recently suspended from Boston’s all-talk WTKK, be destined for Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)? While Sirius XM’s uncensored platform has become the home for other controversial terrestrial radio talent, such as Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, could Jay Severin be even too controversial for Satellite Radio?
Jay Severin was suspended last Wednesday by WTKK management following controversial comments Severin made on air during his Monday afternoon-drive show. While not going into details, WTKK spokesperson Heidi Raphael said that “Jay was suspended after we received serious complaints about the recent content of his show.”
The comments in question occurred during last Monday’s show while Severin was discussing American Apparel (AMEX:APP) CEO Dov Charney, who is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit brought on by several female ex-employees. Severin referred to the women filing the lawsuit as “liars” and “whores.” Severin went on to explain that during the time that he owned his own company earlier in his career, he employed “mostly attractive young women” and that he had sex with almost all of them over a 20 year period.
“I slept with virtually every young college girl I hired to be an intern or an employee for my firm. That’s not the purpose for which they were hired, but it certainly was an ancillary dimension of the job. I don’t think of myself as a monster or strange in any way because of that. All I was was a young man who was the boss and I did it because I could.”
– Jay Severin
This isn’t the first time that Severin has been suspended for making controversial comments. In 2009, he was suspended from the air for a month after making comments regarding Mexican immigrants. Severin called Mexico the world’s leading importer of women with mustaches and venereal disease.
There is speculation that WTKK would like to oust Severin and get out of their expensive contract with him. In 2006, Severin signed a seven-year deal with WTKK worth north of $1 million a year. Media analyst Brian Maloney of Radio Equalizer says, “They’re continuing to look for any excuse to stop paying Jay. They can’t possibly be making a profit on his show with that kind of salary.” According to MediaBiz, WTKK earned $6.4 million in ad revenue in 2010.
Would Jay Severin be a good fit for Sirius XM or would he be too controversial and/or expensive? Leave your comments in the comment box below.