Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My 1-0-OOPS

Clear Channel Canton market AC outlet WHOF/101.7 "my 101.7" is a family-friendly, female-friendly standard-issue AC format station.

Which is what makes what happened there Monday all the more out of place.

Canton Repository entertainment writer Dan Kane reports that a "string of profane words" aired during a recorded segment at 6:30 on Monday's morning drive show - by the timing, it was presumably a newscast.

And as a result, WHOF news anchor and co-host Jesse Johnson is "no longer with the company". Host Gary Rivers has been suspended for a week, and is back at his morning show perch next Tuesday.

Johnson's bio and other information have been removed from the WHOF website.

The mistake would probably have been apologized away in the past.

But given the FCC's intense scrutiny of "offensive" broadcast comments, management has to move much more quickly than in past years.

An inadvertently-aired off-air sexually laced conversation with a stripper on an Atlanta FM station's morning show resulted in the suspension, and later firing, of a team known as "The Regular Guys".

What happened on "my 101.7" on Monday morning is pretty tame by comparison. But there's no room for error involving "bad language" in today's regulatory environment...


Anonymous said...

Did it air once or twice? I can understand it airing once, I guess. But if it aired twice? Does anyone in the building listen to their own stations? And what gives with the "dead air" immediately following the swearing? Did he edit out part of the news by accident? What a f*** up!

Anonymous said...

Keith Kennedy should be fired. The buck stops there.

Anonymous said...

HOW could this have happened? Doesn't anyone listen back to anything they record??

Anonymous said...

Really? There wouldn't happen to be any "personal" issues and bitterness that would want you to have Keith fired is there? Or are you just the good samaritan of radio that is looking out for everyones best interest's?


74WIXYgrad said...

I, for one, am happy that the airwaves are being policed. I don't feel that profanity adds anything to a news report, especially on a station that has "soccer moms" as their target demo.

Kudos to Clear Channel for taking the correct action.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't anyone listen back to anything they record?? "

The audio in question was broadcast twice. They don't listen to it in audition, but they don't listen to it over the air either.

Beef Kennedy said...

Kennedy wasn't looking out for the listeners or the station's best interest, if he allows this type of thing to air, not once BUT TWICE.

I agree Keith Kennedy should be fired. If he was doing his job properly, he would have stopped it after the first broadcast. Was it nap time at Freedom Ave? Kennedy didn't make sure his staff was trained properly.

That is what happens when you pay people $8 an hour, rather than hire professionals. They don't call 'em Cheap Channel for nothing.

I urge everyone to send a letter expressing outrage over the profanity to the FCC. Make sure you mention that it aired twice.

Anonymous said...

Keith had nothing to do with this.

Gary should be fired however. One would assume he was at the controls. He was not paying attention and let it air twice.

Where was the customary :07 second delay? Someone forget to turn it on that morning?

Anonymous said...

Here is what Happened... I (Jesse Johnson) record the News every Morning and I have 3 News casts to record... I looked on the Log to see what News Cast was going to go off at 6:00 and it was #2 so I assumed #3 would follow it at 6:30 So #2 and #3 were ok and ready to go.... when I was recording #1 I screwed up reading it and said some explicit word out of frustration in myself. I was so frustrated cause I was having a problem the whole Morning reading one News cast that had every drug name in it that ended in some sort of phetemine name and it was seriously a toungue twister for me. Gary Rivers always wanted me to be in the Studio with him by 6:05 by the latest so we could kick off the morning show. So unfortunately I thinking that #3 was gonna go off at 6:30 was WRONG #1 went off at 6:30 and as I was getting ready to head back into the studio to re record #1 got the phone call that the News cast that just went off was #1 dont play it again. It was a Big mistake on my part and I learned a valuble lesson from it. Had it all been live like the old days on Martindale I know something like this would have never happened... I do apolgize to all the listeners and anyone this may have effected. Keith Kennedy should "NOT" be fired, he handled it professionally and in the Best way he knew how for myself and the station as a whole. Again my apologies to everyone...

Jesse Johnson

Anonymous said...

the delay does no good if the jock has the monitors turned down and doesn't even know it aired in the first place!

Anonymous said...

The earlier post should have been signed, (I have a "beef" with Keith Kennedy) instead Of "Beef Kennedy"

A programmer cannot listen 24/7 and took the appropriate measures afterwards. End of story.

Anonymous said...

OH and for the reason that it aired twice or even the first time.... Yes the Monitors were turned down because at 6:30 we did our normal trivia question and so Gary had the monitors turned down so we could hear the callers when they called in for answers..... The second time it aired was because I assume Gary thought that it was #3 News cast that went off at 6:30 as well and immediatly switched it with unfortunately #1..... I would appreciate it if everyone would stop Bad mouthing Gary and Keith.... Neither one of these 2 people are responsible for what occured Monday Morning.... I am.... If you must take out your slandering on anyone.... Let it be me.. I am the one that irresponsibly let the Bad Newscast stay in the computer and I am the one who screwed up and got what I deserved for it... Thank You

again my deepest appologies to everyone,

Jesse Johnson

Anonymous said...

Kennedy handled it professionally? He is trying to cover his own *** nothing more. Gary & Kennedy should both be fired. Both were asleep at the wheel and allowed this to air twice. There is no excuse for it airing twice. None. I love how Jesse blames the VTing technonlgy. Keith and Gary are both to blame. If Kennedy was directing operations and tried listening once in a while and if Gary tried listening to his own show, this would have never happened.

Anonymous said...


I don't know you. I don't listen to your station, however, congratulations on admitting your mistake and being a stand up guy.

In the old days, you would have gotten a stern talking to, but you would not have been canned.

Such is the state of radio these days.

Lesson learned...never say anyting on tape that you wouldn't say on the air!

Good luck on finding a new gig!


Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:52: let me make sure I'm understanding you. Jesse, who said he screwed up and got what he deserved is blaming the computer. Gary is supposed to somehow not only listen to the callers for the trivia contest but also what's coming out of the computer, and clearly understand both. And Keith Kennedy needs to be in his office 24/7/365 without so much as a trip to the toilet so that he can listen to both 101.7 and KDD (one in each ear, clearly) and hear every breath that happens anywhere near a microphone.

Glad I don't work for're insane.

Or, more likely, Keith Kennedy didn't hire you and this is your way of getting back at him. Genius!

Anonymous said...

The majority of you are clearly not in radio. How is Kennedy supposed to monitor 3 stations at the same time, meanwhile do all his deskwork and anything else that should come up simultaneously? The man is good, but let's face it - he doesn't have a magic wand. As for Gary, how can he listen to the news and answer contest calls at the same time? Once again - these are normal people, not magicians.

Jesse is a good man. This whole mess is so unfortunate because he was good at what he did. It was an honest mistake, but then again, the fact that it was prerecorded makes it 100% unacceptable. He was obviously rushed and didn't get the chance to go back and edit it. He didn't do it on purpose. He's a good jock. He'll find something else and move on, only this time, he'll be a little smarter and 100% more cautious.

We'll miss you, Jesse.

johnny morgan said...

>>How is Kennedy supposed to monitor 3 stations at the same time, meanwhile do all his deskwork and anything else that should come up simultaneously?<<

Perhaps that's the problem--PDs have been monitoring their station while doing desk work for years. Have any of the people who allegedly are in radio heard of Paul Drew and his infamous "earpiece"?

But that was one station, not three. The more you have to monitor, the less attention you can give to any single one of them, what with all of the other incidentals of the job (desk work, show prep, on-air show).

Maybe this is proof positive that the expansion of managerial responsibility has reached its apex and we need to go back to a PD for a station, and not a general overseer of three stations or more.

By the way, where are the assistant PDs? Aren't they there to, like, assist?

Anonymous said...

Why not do the newscasts live? Or if you have to place them in a digital system, you can always go back and, if you think you messed something up, fix it..could have all been avoided,,

74WIXYgrad said...

What gets me is all the vindictive responses that OMW receives every time he posts something about a Canton station. I am not in radio and the only thing that I have in common with Keith Kennedy is he used to live in Wayne County and I currently live in Wayne County.

I don't think that Keith should be chastised for the episode. Jesse paid the price, and apologized for it twice here. Owning up to his responsibility will help him in the future. I agree with newsnomore's comments.

Tim Lones said...

What really gets me is people that think they know more than someone with years in the business. The young man owned up to what he did on here..I'm not sure I would have opened myself up here if I were in his shoes..The mistake was made, people took respnsiblity for it..lets move on..

Anonymous said...

PD's Should monitor they're station(s) as much as possible, but let's be realistic here, are you going to have an ear piece in for every date your on, dinner function, vacation, or your time on the toilet? It is completely absurd to hold Keith responsible for what happened on 101.7, anything else is just the rantings of the lowest bitter. People that are looking for any reason at all to get on here and barbeque him, Clear Channel, or anyone working on Freedom Ave.

Anonymous said...


First of all let me say I am sorry for what happened to you. It was an honest mistake and everyone on this board that has time to critisize you, Keith or Gary should stop and realize that mistakes happen. I am sure that none of those negative posters are perfect and have maybe even made a few mistakes themselves.....
Secondly, Kudos to you for having the guts and responsibility to stand up for yourself and tell your side of the story.
I wish you well. We have worked together in the past and I know what a great jock you are. Good Luck!

Dave said...

You did good, Darryl.

That's exactly what you should have done.

What's next?

Anonymous said...

True Story!!

I saw Keith at a Radio Brodcasters Hall of Fame event two years ago and he was wearing an ear bud. I asked him about it and he told me the entire Paul Drew Story.
Explained WKDD was airing Rick Dees for the first time automated and wanted to hear it run correctly.

Thought it was weird when I saw somebody mention Paul Drew

Anonymous said...

Enough with the Keith Kennedy bashing, though I must say the "beef kennedy" nickname was a hoot. isn't keith HAMILTON the PD of rock 106.9?

Anonymous said...

People are not perfect, everyone makes mistakes.

Kudos to Jesse for stepping up and being a professional.

Anonymous said...

The egos in Canton are larger than those in NYC and LA. Unreal...get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

re: Beef Kennedy

Top to bottom Cumulus makes CC look like all-stars.

Anonymous said...

Johnny has it right...

Entercom actually believes in ONE program director per station. What a concept!

Anonymous said...

Given clear channel's zero tolerance policy, I agree the buck stops at keith kennedy and gary. They should both be shown the door. Nice to see the Freedom Ave. buttkissers have come out in full force to defend this poor excuse of an Ops manager.

reason said...

They should give Kennedy more stations to not pay attention to! It is not unexpected for someone like Kennedy to monitor his stations. Typical Clear Channel. Excuses. Excuses. If he can't do his job and monitor his stations, he shold be gone. For it to air twice, he bears some responsibility. So does the host.

If Kennedy does get fired, he can always work at Steak And Shake. He may be underqualified but I know he'd love the free meals. He can even get on the mic when an order is up!

Anonymous said...

This wouldn't have happened if Gary Petricola still owned 101.7 FM WJER.
He'd have Morgan in the Morning on instead.

Anonymous said...


Time to get rid of comments.

I let out a sigh of disgust when I saw that AkronNewsNow is now also allowing the unfortunate to play with a keyboard.

John L. Basalla said...

I agree with those that give Mr. Johnson props for being a stand up guy. He never blamed the technology for the mistake. He not only kindly stood up for his co-workers, but if you think about it, through his honesty, he's also standing up for the company even after they let him go.
If I were that company, I'd want and cherish employees who have that kind of commitment to the truth. There's no rule saying that he can't be re-hired.
Remember the lyrics from the Human League's #1 hit from 1986, "Human"..."We're only human, born to make mistakes".
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing and richly deserved when in the presence of honesty.

Ben Hormel said...

When Don Imus said "Nappy Headed Ho's, not once did I see/read anybody asking for the firing of the Program Director of WFAN.

When Stern said anything crass did they ask for the firing of Steve Kingston?

The Regular Guys in Atl? PD still in place.

Bubba the Love Sponge? PD still in place.

Remember when Jet Black launched into a tirade about driving in an MFing-escalade on Kiss Cleveland? I don't recall a single post on any of the boards asking for the firing of Dan Mason. I do recall anxious posters asking for copies of the aircheck however.

Be it one station, two stations, or even more, no program director can monitor stations 24/7, yet you seem to think they should. Yes PD’s are responsible for every minute on the station. Part of that responsibility entails hiring talent to execute the format and announcer duties. When a talent makes a mistake, they bear the responsibility.

Telling me the PD should be fired is equal to telling me that if a car crashes into a telephone pole and kills the driver, you should kill the worker on the assembly line in Lorain too, because he built the car.

Let's realize what this thread is.

There are those who are jealous of another’s position or skill set. Not just the PD in question. They dislike clear channel because in most cases, they can't seem to get hired by Clear Channel and more so radio in general.

Like a tiger ready to strike, they pounce on every move. Why? Simply the anonymity of the internet.

…..and their balls are the size of Raisins.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Interesting post, "Ben" (and yes, we get the reference).

We do think it's a valid point of discussion, on how the station in question handled this incident, and if more should have been done, including any action aimed at management.

And we tip our hat to Jesse Johnson, assuming that really is him in the comments here, standing up and taking responsibility for what happened on WHOF on Monday.

But like many, we're tiring of the personal mudslinging back and forth that seems to accompany certain items about certain stations, clusters or markets. (Canton seems to bring out the worst of this, for some reason.)

What bothers us?

People use the anonymity provided by this blog's comment section to try to create a "buzz" that is wholly related to their own personal disagreement or beef against someone or some operation.

And it's not just Clear Channel and its local operations or employees.

One of our more recent such problems comes any time we post about a certain Northeast Ohio public radio station.

With the posts being anonymous, mud can be slung by people who do not stand up to their words, and are only taking out personal grudges.

And since there's no limit on their ability to post anonymously, they can post message after message making it appear there is some "consensus" from others agreeing with their own thoughts. ("Sock puppets", as it's called in the online debate world.)

We often consider removing the comments, and at least for now, we'll close this item early, close the other open comments, and consider seriously if we'll open up the comments on items at least in the new future.

Again, we never intended on making this a message board. It "came with the blog".

-The Management