Can’t We All Just Get Along?
There are few things we here at Boston Daily enjoy more than a good, old fashioned media spat. And, man, are we being treated to a doozy right now.
It appears that WTKK radio host Jay Severin and WGBH television mainstay Emily Rooney, once fast friends, have had a falling out. Over what, you may be wondering? See, that’s the delicious part. Seems that Severin wasn’t invited to Rooney’s 10-year-GBH-anniversary bash.
It was Rooney’s party, but Severin will cry if he wants to.
According to Steve Bailey, who does a wonderful job of chronicling the quarrel in today’s Globe, Severin was “wounded” by not receiving an invitation to the soiree. What’s the big deal? Well, first, pretty much everyone in town made the guest list (including yours truly). Second, Rooney has been a paid, weekly guest on Severin’s afternoon show since January.
So how did Severin react to the snub? Not well. Not well at all. In the broadcast equivalent of the old “I’m taking my ball and going home” maneuver, he kicked Rooney off of his radio show. Very mature. Then, and this is where the comedy gets really good, he sent her a rather pouty email.
“Dear Emily,” Severin e-mailed Rooney on Wednesday evening just minutes before the big event was to begin.
“As I imagine you well know, I do wish you congratulations on the most impressive achievement of ten years on the air choreographing your own presentation. Extraordinary.
“And please do not misconsture [sic] what I ask as mitigating in any way the earnestness of my best wishes.
“However: I am very personally disappointed (although from what you have frankly told me of WGBH’s attitude toward myself, not necessarily greatly surprised) not to have been among those from 96.9 to have been invited to the WGBH celebratory event. After all, we are, I think, friends; and we do broadcast together here weekly, for an audience which is very considerably larger than even your television audience, correctr? [sic] It thus strkes [sic] me as fairly appropriate that I might have anticipated being included – especially considering others here at 96.9 were.
“Am I wrong and/or presumptuous to wonder why, under the circumstances, I am not included?”
Forget the misspellings and the passive-aggressive medium, are those not little-boy blues or what?
Attempts to reach Severin and Rooney for comment were unsuccessful, though I did manage to get WGBH PR person Lucy Sholley on the phone. She told me that Rooney wouldn’t be saying anything else on the matter. (Shocker.) She also denied speculation that Rooney leaked the email to Bailey. Lastly, she swore up and down that GBH wasn’t sending a statement to Severin, who’s a controversial figure in media circles thanks to his well-documented love of asian hookers and drugs.
“It was a total oversight,” Sholley told me.
At first, that was my hunch—that GBH simply forgot to include Severin. Then I learned that other TKK staffers were invited to the party, which seems a bit suspicious. And, shortly thereafter, I received this email from a long-time media member. It’s a missive that helped convince me it probably wasn’t an accident. It also made me laugh. Enjoy:
I’m sure it WASN’T an oversight. Do you think the WGBH hoo-has wanted Severin there? No way. And who can blame them? Is she so desperate for a radio gig that she’d deal with the devil? He’s not to be tamed, and certainly not by her. Besides, their interactions were stupid, at best. Did you listen to the two of them? Cranky and Stanky opine about the news. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…