James Thompson Severino III
January 8, 1951
|Died||July 9, 2020 (date death was reported)|
|Spouse(s)||Renee Melanie Klock|
|Parent(s)||Iris Severino (f)|
James Thompson Severino (m)
Jay Severin (born James Thompson Severino III; January 8, 1951 – July 7, 2020) was an American political talk radio personality. Severin has worked at WTKK-FM, at Boston's WXKS-AM Talk 1200 in 2011 and 2012 as an afternoon talk host and at The Blaze Radio Network.
1.1 Early life
1.2 Controversies and termination from WTKK
1.3 WXKS Talk1200 AM
1.5 Personal life
2 Philosophical and political views
4 See also
6 External links
Severin was born in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. His mother was a writer and his father was a direct mail advertising entrepreneur. He spent at least a portion of his childhood and teen years in Poughkeepsie, New York where he founded his sixth grade civics club and school newspaper, and later graduated in the Vassar College class of 1974 and studied at Boston University.
Severin worked in New York City for political consultant David Garth. In 1979, Severin started Severin Aviles Associates to direct strategy and produce media for Republican candidates, including campaigns for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, gubernatorial elections, as well as the presidential bids of George H.W. Bush and Pat Buchanan.)
Filling in for Gene Burns starting in October 1994, Severin began work as a talk show host on WOR, and worked there during the afternoon drive time slot until June 1996 when he was replaced by Bob Grant. Severin accepted a late-night talk show position on WRKO which lasted from April to July 1999. Starting in late 1999, he began hosting an afternoon talk show on WTKK.
In September 2005, CBS Radio announced that Severin would host a show for select Infinity Broadcasting stations called "Jay Severin Has Issues". Severin returned to WTKK on 9 October 2006, after nine months in syndication.
Controversies and termination from WTKK
In April 2004, when a caller said United States citizens should "befriend Muslims living in the United States," Severin replied, "the vast majority" of those Muslims "... are not loyal to the United States and are ready, when the time comes, to take over this country ... You think we should befriend them. I think we should kill them." On 25 April 2004, Severin said his comments were directed at terrorists, not Muslims in general, and stated, "I certainly regret any discomfort that may have been caused by the misunderstanding of my remarks." The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) unsuccessfully called for Severin's dismissal.
On 30 April 2009, Severin said Mexicans were "the world's lowest of primitives". He said "Its millions of leeches from a primitive country come here to leech off you and, with it, they are ruining the schools, the hospitals, and a lot of life in America." Severin was suspended until June 3, 2009, at which time he apologized by saying (in part), "My remarks were hurtful, unkind and wrong. For these remarks and for failing to meet the standards you are right to expect of me, I am sincerely sorry."
In March 2011, Severin said, "I slept with virtually every young college girl I hired to be an intern or an employee for my firm." Following this statement, Severin was fired from WTKK. Greater Media said, "Severin was let go because he did not maintain an appropriate level of civility and adhere to a standard that respects our listeners and the public at large....it had become clear at several points in the past two years that Jay was either unwilling or unable to maintain our standards on the air. It's for that reason we have made the decision to end our relationship."
WXKS Talk1200 AM
Severin returned to Boston-area radio on August 18, 2011 on WXKS Talk1200 AM, which had converted from a Spanish-language station to conservative talk. He still delivered pointed commentary on politics and current events but avoided controversies such as those in the years on WTKK.
On August 7, 2012, as part of the format change to Comedy 1200 effected on August 13, Severin was dropped from the schedule. The move also affected morning talk host Jeff Katz, as well as nationally syndicated host Rush Limbaugh, who returned to WRKO.
Starting in October 2012 Severin began broadcasting with TheBlaze Radio network. Run by Glenn Beck, the network is available through online streaming, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, Dish Network satellite television, Verizon Fios, Apple TV, Roku, iPhone and Android, and select cable providers across the United States. The Jay Severin Show on The Blaze was cancelled; the last air date was September 2, 2016.
Severin's first marriage was to Kathleen Cooney, one of his partners in the Severin-Aviles consulting firm.
On May 17, 1997, Severin remarried, to Renee Melanie Klock, in Sag Harbor, New York in the Old Whaler's First Presbyterian Church. They resided in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
On July 9, 2020, Michael Graham tweeted "Jay Severin passed away this week." Severin had previously tweeted he was battling cancer but declared on May 26 that he had seen his doctor and was "cancer free".
Philosophical and political views
Severin describes himself as a "radical libertarian, a libertine." Within his capacity as a conservative talk show host, pundit, and while on air, Severin has described Hillary Clinton as "the devil" and Barack Obama as a "domestic enemy of the Constitution."
In July 2004, Severin was nominated for a National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Award for the Major Market Personality of the Year.
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