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NEW: RI Gov Chafee Calls for Talk Show Host DePetro to be Fired

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Governor Lincoln Chafee, who once called for a ban on all talk radio under his administration has now come out in support for effort to fire talk show John DePetro.

Governor Chafee's Spokesperson Christine Hunsinger told GoLocalProv.com, "Chafee signed the petition (to remove DePetro) because he has daughters."

Chafee's pledge is one of 17 Democratic elected officials who have signed a pledge started by the organization, "For Our Daughters," -- a group tied to a number of Rhode Island leading union officials.  The pledge says, "We have asked Rhode Island elected officials and candidates running for office not to go on any WPRO talk show until WPRO ends their relationship with John DePetro."

WPRO is owned by Cumulus Media, Inc.

Chafee's Previously Banned Talk Radio

This is the second time Chafee has battled with talk radio. In 2010, Michael Harrison, Publisher of "Talkers Magazine" criticized Governor Chafee's ban on his administration's association with talk radio.

In an interview with Harrison, GoLocalProv asked him for his thoughts on the Governor's notion to put a limit on talk radio within his administration. Harrison had heard about it and had an opinion on it.

"The Governor forgot for a moment that he was elected Governor, not king. His statement and position was off base and quite ignorant on several levels... constitutionally, academically and economically. I'm glad he has since retreated from his remarkable foolishness."

Related Slideshow:
Rhode Island’s Changing Media Landscape

Radio, print, television and digital- the faces in Rhode Islands's media has changed drastically over the past months... Let's take a look at some of the biggest moves:

Prev Next

Phil Marcelo

After a seven year stint reporting for the Providence Journal's state house bureau, Phil Marcelo left the paper to take a reporting gig with the Boston office of the Associated Press.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Marcelo came to ProJo in 2006, and covered everything from regional news, to Providence City Hall and the Statehouse. Marcelo's departure was first reported by WRNI's Ian Donnis.

Prev Next

Julie Tremmel

Formerly a nightly news reporter for WJAR, Tremmel was fired from the "Team You Trust" after two clips, one of her performing on-air handstands, and the other offering tips on what to do during a bear attack, went viral.

The video became an internet sensation, but long-time Channel 10 newsman Jim Taricani called Tremmel’s antics “a smudge on our station's reputation.”

Prev Next

Jim Taricani

A long-time staple of Channel 10’s news team, Taricani announced plans to retire after over three decades with the station. 

Taricani has won 5 regional Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award for investigative journalism and a Prestigious Yankee Quill Award from the New England Newspaper Association.

He was convicted to six months in prison in 2004 for refusing to reveal a source, and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame.

Prev Next

John DePetro

WPRO talk show host has come under fire for comments he made on air regarding women. Leading union organizations have called for DePetro to be fired. 

Most recently, he has been on announced suspension.

DePetro apologized for his comments.

Prev Next

Helen Glover

Former star of the reality show Survivor, turned talk radio show host is out. Helen Glover departs and is replaced by radio Veteran Ron St. Pierre, who only months earlier was let go by 630 WPRO. St. Pierre is a radio Hall-of-Famer and former top sports anchor on WPRI-12.
Prev Next

Mike Stanton

Mike Stanton, the remaining reporter from the Providence Journal's once storied investigative team, is leaving Fountain Street for a teaching job at the University of Connecticut.
Stanton, who was part of the team that won the Providence Journal's last Pulitzer and is the author of the "Prince of Providence," the Buddy Cianci expose, departs leaving the Projo without an investigative reporter. 
Prev Next

Dean Starkman

GoLocal named Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dean Starkman as a contributor and editor-at-large.
"Dean Starkman has a tremendous track record in financial, media, and investigative reporting. His work at the Wall Street Journal as a reporter and as an editor and writer at Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), coupled with ground-breaking investigations of public corruption for The Providence Journal, is unsurpassed in the region," said Josh Fenton, Co-Founder and CEO at GoLocal24, the parent company to GoLocalWorcester.com.
Prev Next

Karen Bordeleau

Karen Bordeleau takes over for Tom Heslin as Executive Editor for the Providence Journal.
Before joining the newspaper in 1996, she worked at the Kent County Times and the Woonsocket Call. 
She is a graduate of Northeastern University and a Rhode Island native.
Prev Next

Bob Whitcomb

Bob Whitcomb has been the editor of the editorial page of the Providence Journal since 1992 and Vice President since 1997. 
His book, "Cape Wind" unveiled the business and political story behind Jim Gordon's effort to build a wind farm off of Cape Cod.
Prior to being a powerful voice at the Providence Journal, Whitcomb served as Financial Editor at International Herald Tribune.
He is slated to leave later this year according to RI NPR.
Prev Next

Tom Heslin

Managing Editor of the Providence Journal, Tom Heslin, is retiring. 
Heslin who has been a journalistic leader of the Journal since the 1990's, led the paper's team the one their last Pulitzer Prize in the early 1990's and had to implement a series of staff cuts during the past decade.
Widely respected by journalists, Heslin has recently suffered from health issues.
Prev Next

Tara Granahan

The former co-host to the morning drive show is now Buddy Cianci's sidekick and co-host on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm drive time show on WPRO AM.
Granahan has had a host of assignments at WPRO and is the only woman on air at WPROAM. 
Prev Next

Connie Grosch

She was the star photographer for the Providence Journal for better than a decade.
Her State House/Political photos made her one of the most influential members of the Providence Journal staff. 
In late 2012, the Providence Journal let her go as part of the latest cost cutting ordered by the home office in Dallas.
In January, she was named press secretary to U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-1). She just announced she was leaving the Congressman's staff to return to photography.
Prev Next

Gene Valicenti

The co-host of Channel 10's 6:00 pm news is now doing double as the host for WPRO's 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show.
Previously, Valicenti lost his 11:00 pm slot on WJAR.
Prev Next

Andrew Gobiel

The former WLNE 6 TV reporter, served as co-host of morning drive with Tara Granahan, but the Valicenti hiring left no room for Gobiel.
No word yet on where Gobiel has landed.
Prev Next

Jennifer Jordan

One of the top Providence Journal reporters is leaving not only Fountain Street, but also journalism. 
She was one of the guild members with the least longevity - more than 10 years.
She leaves for Boston-based Opportunity Nation - a not-for-profit.
Prev Next

Fred Campagna

The former ABC 6 Meteorologist left in the summer and launched his own digital weather platform.
Fred Campagna's new gig is titled, RightWeather.
Prev Next

Ron St. Pierre

The new guy at WHJJ - he takes over the morning show from the departed Helen Glover.
For decades, Ron St. Pierre has been a key player in the media industry in both local television and radio.
St. Pierre handled sports at WPRI TV, hosted morning drive at WPRO AM, and most recently, was Buddy Cianci's co-host in the afternoon.
(Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr)

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frank bentley

pressure mounting.."stress leave BS" won't save him

David Beagle

Big question, who has a higher approval rating, Chafee or DePetro?

paul zecchino

When they speak nonsense, why not simply let them continue to speak it? When they're in process of demolishing themselves, why interfere?

michael riley

i agree with Paul Zecchino... but if wpro thinks they can do better they should

Redd Ratt

I agree with PZ and MR. An unpopular lame duck Governor is hardly going to galvanize opposition to wpro. It will be interesting to see if there was an actual threat levied at his place of work and if there was harassment before the slurs against women. We already know that the unions aren't afraid of bullying for Liedecker.

john paycheck

if you don't like it.......um..uhh.......maybe just change the channel.

last I heard, it's a free country....nobody is forcing people to listen to the show.

this is a capitalistic society... ones value rises and falls based on economic contribution and performance.

there is always somebody that will dislike anything.

suppose we start outlawing npr... they say a lot of things I disagree with and are unfair and biased.. and they are financed by my tax money...

Stephen DeNinno

I would like nothing better than to see John DePetro fired. However, the Governor should mind his own damn business.

David Beagle

The whole thing is being blown up out of proportion by angry union hacks. Unions would stifle any type of speech that put them in a bad light, just like in communist countries. WPRO will be the loser if DePetro turns nice, and makes old ladies' stories about Rocky Point his big topic.

Sammy Arizona

The radio ratings manipulator, and pea-party favorite DePetro threw his wife under the bus and is now involved in a messy sex scandal is a vile and nauseating individual.

The conservative DePetro is a perfect broadcasting partner for the right-wing-nut and TWICE convicted felon Buddy Cianci

Faux News Sean Hannity has elevated Cianci, to his "Great American Panel" could DePetro be next ?? ... LOL

None of WPRO's or WHJJ's pseudo conservatives would make it on Arizona talk radio, right-winger-rubes here demand a much higher level of CRAZY, and a lot more venomous hate speech. Like righties everywhere they do have a soft spot for convicted felons, so they might tolerate Buddy Cianci,
Happy Holidays...Sammy in Arizona

Stephen DeNinno

David Beagle, This man said that unions should not be able to exercise their first amendment rights to picket Gina Raimondo. Just who is against free speech? The man is a poor excuse for a supposedly religious man. He fought so hard for the stupid christmas tree, and other religious causes like the school banner. He even advocated violence against the Atheist. Meanwhile in his own real world, it's calling women whores, cheating on ratings, cheating on his wife. Threatening the HUSBAND of his girlfriend through text messages. Yup another fine conservative right wing religious person.

G Godot

Cianci a "right wing nut". That the ONLY insult you can hurl - regardless of the circumstance? The City Unions, cashing their fat pay and pension checks never thought Buddy a "right winger" - "right wingers" don't spend like that. Perhaps you will get a dictionary for Christmas and learn some new words to attempt to demean people with, regardless of party or philosophy.

G Godot

Lame duck Governor Gump, legacy admission at Camp Bruno, (grad school "Linc" in what? horse shoes) isn't half as smart as he thinks he is. Never confuse a trust fund wife and the good name of your father with qualifications for public office. Bye, Linc, maybe the Department of Interior needs a horse shoe expert or someone to run a task force on underage drinking and driving by the "privileged class".

Ed Doyle

I do not listen to DePetro because I find his treatment of women disgusting and his flip-flopping on issues just so he can continue his shock value. However, I absolutely believe in the first amendment of the Constitution. Any elected official that has been pressuring WPRO to fire him is in fact turning their backs on that amendment. We have seen RI elected officials attack the second amendment and now the first amendment. What will the next amendment be that they attack? Don't listen, turn the channel whatever but remember the oath you took to uphold the constitution and all of its amendments.

I ask Mr. DePetro to resign from the air waves. I also will not listen to WPRO if they cave into the pressure because it will begin the slippery road to any radio, television, newspaper or internet publication being squashed when an elected official does not like what they hear. This my friends is indeed tyranny! Mr. DePetro please resign.

G Godot

As much as I loathed the prevaricators at Al Goron's "Scare America" I figured the market would take care of them and it did. It's a dangerous game when politicians (you can trust) start calling for the firing of talk show hosts becaus ethey don't like what they hear. Orwell would love it.

G Godot

I have not3ed that in left wing dominated one tack railroad liberal ststes, conservative talk shows have some popularity and in the "red" states there are popular liberal talk shows. The smarter among us always seek balance when and where they can get it. No doubt each side thinks the world would by a better place if only they could shut the other side up. Not so.

G Godot

The guy who replaced Glover on HJJ seems to be doing a good job trying to be fair to both sides. When talk radio started way beck when an attempt at fairness was common. No more. I suppose Glover's ratings were in the tank and she had to go. Doesn't seem to stop PMSNBC, and CNN, though.

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