Jay Severin

Jay Severin (born James Thompson Severino, IIIcite web | url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E2DB1238F93BA25756C0A961958260 | title="Renee Klock, James Severin 3d"] cite web | url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/09/16/severins_phony_pulitzer/ | title=Severin's phony Pulitzer | accessdate=2006-12-28] [ [http://www.savewrko.com/archives/2007/10/severinos_tempe.php Save WRKO: Jimmy Severino: Nigerian Phishing Scammer ] ] on January 8, 1951) is an American political talk radio personality on Boston's WTKK-FM (96.9).

Severin, a former Republican Party political consultant, who describes himself as a libertarian conservative Republican, constitutionalist, or radical independent, worked for the presidential campaigns of George H. W. Bush (1980) and Pat Buchanan (1996) before becoming a radio talk show host and political analyst. Throughout his childhood and early adult years, he was called "Jimmy Severino" - changing his name to the more professional sounding "Jay Severin" upon entering the world of Republican politics.

For several weeks during 2005, Severin was a contributor to the MSNBC program "The Situation with Tucker Carlson", though he was originally billed as a permanent cast member. [cite web | url=http://mediamatters.org/items/200506100003 | title="The "Situation" with Jay Severin"] cite web | url=http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/msnbc/situation_severs_ties_with_severin_23685.asp | title="'Situation' Severs Ties With Severin"] The "New York Post" quoted a source which said the reason was partly his displeasure over having to commute from Sag Harbor to the New Jersey-based MSNBC studio, [cite web | url=http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/2005/07/jay-severin-exits-tucker-carlsons-show.html | title="What Happened?"] Severin would go on to state on the Sept. 24, 2008 episode of his radio program that "MSNBC had bent over backwards" in order to get him to remain, but that he decided to return to his radio program that is his dream.

In September 2005, it was announced that Severin would be joining CBS Radio with a new show called "Jay Severin Has Issues". His show at WTKK, "Extreme Games", was cancelled, and both parties agreed he would return to the station with his new syndicated show. However, on November 14, 2005, Michael Graham took over Severin's slot at WTKK; days later, any mention of Severin vanished from the WTKK web page.

In December 2005, WTKK ( [http://969fmtalk.com/listingsentryfeature.asp?ID=396783&PT=feature] ) announced on their website that Severin would be broadcast following Michael Graham, silencing rumors that he would be moving to a competing station. During the summer 2006, Severin's syndicated radio program was heard in 48 cities across the country.

On October 9, 2006, Severin returned to his former timeslot, ending his syndication deal with Westwood One. WTKK owner, Greater Media, bought out Severin's remaining syndication contract. Despite not having a nationally syndicated program, Severin was named 53rd most most important talk show host in the country. [ http://www.talkers.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=44] Severins current contract with WTKK will last until 2013.

Although Severin's on-air persona is highly suggestive of bachelorhood, he has been married to the former Renee Klock since 1997.cite web | url=http://www.boston.com/realestate/luxuryliving/articles/2006/11/12/the_bruins_dens/ | title="On Location: The Bruins' dens"] Severin currently resides in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts with his wife and several Newfoundland dogs.


Radio program

His radio program (on WTKK-FM Boston) has been criticized by some Boston-area media, especially "The Boston Globe", on numerous occasions for his frank but factual comments regarding minorities and liberals. However, his choice of topics, his fiery rhetoric, and his lively debates with callers has made the program one of the most popular political radio talk shows in the New England area.

No Pulitzer Prize

On 9 September 2005 during an on-air discussion of journalistic standards, Severin described himself as the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for online journalism: "But since journalism began, and up until the time at least that I took my master's degree at Boston University -- and may I add without being obnoxious, up till and including the time that I received a Pulitzer Prize for my columns for excellence in online journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism, the highest possible award for writing on the Web -- right up to and including that in 1998, you still had to practice journalism to be a journalist."

Severin has not been a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, nor does the Pulitzer Prize have a category for online journalism. It was MSNBC.com that won an Online News Association award in 2000, which was administered by Columbia University but completely unrelated to the Pulitzer Prize. Severin had a column that ran in MSNBC.com, but the award was given for the entire site.

When a caller during his radio show on January 17 2006 confronted him on this issue, Severin rebutted saying, "I never said that I won the Pulitzer Prize. I never said that ever in my life... If I was in a business of suing people, and if I had a time and money to sue the Boston Globe in particular, I will be a very rich man."Fact|date=February 2007

No Master's degree

Although for a period of 25 years Severin claimed to hold a Master's degree in Journalism from Boston University,cite web | url=http://www.westwoodone.com/agnosticchart?charttype=minichart&chartID=112&formatID=1&size=1&useMiniChartID=true&destinationpage=/pg/jsp/severin/bio.jsp?more=true | title="About Jay"] on 27 September 2005 the Inside Track section of the Boston Herald reported that this is not the case. [cite web | url=http://thetrack.bostonherald.com/moreTrack/view.bg?articleid=104215&format=&page=2 | title="Inside Track"] WTKK's web site advertises that Severin "pursued a masters degree in Journalism at Boston University," yet does not state that he received such a degree. [cite web | url=http://wtkk.com/Personalities/JaySeverin/tabid/69/Default.aspx | title="Jay Severin"] In a brief autobiographical page on his syndicated show's web site, Severin says that he was surprised to learn in 2005 that Boston University had no record of his graduation, stating "... it would appear I have no degree."

Comments on Muslims

During the 22 April 2004 broadcast of Extreme Games, as part of his response to a caller suggesting the United States should befriend its Muslim residents, Severin said, "I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column.... The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country." Later during the same conversation, Severin asked the caller, "Do you think we should befriend them?" When the caller said yes, Severin responded in part, "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."cite web | url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/04/27/radio_host_says_remarks_misconstrued/ | title="Radio host says remarks misconstrued"]

After these comments were heavily criticized by CAIR,cite web | url=http://bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/this_just_in/documents/03789089.asp | title="KILLING MUSLIMS?"] Severin responded to the criticism during his show on 26 April 2004, " [Someone listening for] any length of time longer than 10 minutes has heard me say that Muslims are not our enemies, that all Muslims are not terrorists," and also offered an apology, "To anyone who may have been offended by misunderstanding or misconstruing my remarks, I want you to know that I regret that. This is never my intention."

Incident with the "Boston Globe"

On April 23, 2004, the day after Severin's controversial comments regarding Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release which called for the termination of Severin's employment at WTKK. In this press release, Severin was misquoted as saying, "Let's kill all Muslims." [cite web | url=http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=166&theType=AA | title="Boston Radio Host says Kill All Muslims"] The "Boston Globe" subsequently ran an article on the controversy which included comments by a CAIR spokesperson. From the "Globe" article:

She [CAIR spokesperson] said he [Severin] then remarked, "I've got an idea, let's kill all Muslims." [cite web | url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/04/25/islamic_group_seeks_firing_of_radio_host/ | title="Islamic group seeks firing of radio host"]
Two days later, the "Globe" printed a correction with the actual quote from the radio broadcast: "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them." [cite web | url=http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/04/27/april_27_2004/ | title="April 27, 2004"]

Thereafter, Severin has disparagingly referred to the "Globe" as "the Boston Globe Retractor." However, the "Globe" never made a retraction since the article in question properly attributed the quote to CAIR. The same article mentions that the general manager of WTKK declined to comment on the alleged remarks by Severin. The "Globe"'s metro editor stated, "There were numerous efforts to get in touch with him [Severin] " about the comments, although Severin claimed, "They made no effort to communicate with me."

The subsequent correction issued by the "Globe" did not pertain to the article itself; the CAIR spokesperson was wrong, and the "Globe" corrected the spokesperson. For this reason, the "Globe"'s metro editor said the correction should not have been worded as a reporting error.

Awards and recognition

*Placed 66th on trade journal "Talkers Magazine"'s list of the 2007 "Heavy Hundred". The list ranks what the magazine considers the most popular, influential, or entertaining talk-show hosts from around the country. [cite web
first = Clea | last = Simon
title=Area talk hosts among biz's
publisher=Boston Globe
] . In 2008, he placed 53rd on the same list. [http://www.talkers.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=44]

External links and citations

* [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/04/30/severin_fails_to_own_up_to_his_words/ Scot Lehigh, "Severin fails to own up to his words", Boston Globe, April 30, 2004]
* [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/09/16/severins_phony_pulitzer/ Scot Lehigh, "Severin's Phony Pulitzer", Boston Globe, September 16, 2005]
* [http://www.viacom.com/view_release.jhtml?inID=18&inReleaseID=26584 Viacom's Press Release]
* [http://www.viacom.com/view_release.jhtml?inID=18&inReleaseID=26584 Infinity Broadcasting Press Release: Jay Severin To Join Infinity Broadcasting As Talk Show Host For Select Stations In The Top 10 Radio Markets]
* [http://thetrack.bostonherald.com/moreTrack/view.bg?articleid=117677&format=&page=3 Severin's New National Show Starts January 2006, Boston Herald, December 19, 2005]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DEFDD1E38F934A25752C0A962948260 Campaign Battles January 17, 1984]
* [http://archive.sagharboronline.com/sagquery/20000224/news3.htm Jay Severin talks politics in upcoming lecture]
* [http://archive.sagharboronline.com/sagquery/1998%2D3/98080608.htm Bill Clinton - Sag Harbor Kind of Guy? by Jay Severin]
* [http://archive.sagharboronline.com/sagquery/1997%2D4/97102312.htm Our Town: Ole Cassini by Jay Severin]
* [http://archive.sagharboronline.com/sagquery/1998%2D4/98102914.htm Our Town: Clash of Cultures by Jay Severin]
* [http://archive.sagharboronline.com/sagquery/1998%2D2/98060411.htm Our Town: Sag Harbor Memorial by Jay Severin]
* [http://www.ultimatetaxi.com/1997/jan4c.htm Jay & Renee Severin in "The Ultimate Taxi"]

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