According to the station owner, a popular morning radio show in Toronto was cut due to allegations of verbal abuse and gender discrimination by a prominent broadcaster who worked there.
Corus Entertainment Inc. says it has retired the Q107s Derring out in the morning off the air as part of an external review of ethics and conduct.
The announcement comes three days after former Q107 radio personality Jennifer Valentyne posted a widely shared video online condemning the way she was treated by her former employer and colleagues. She does not name names in the video, but the popular broadcaster alleges she was subjected to verbal abuse from male colleagues and discrimination at the company.
In an email to CBC News on Tuesday, Valentyne said the subject of the video was Q107, Corus and show host John Derringer.
“It had been living in me for a very long time and it had to come out at some point. I didn’t want my voice and the others to be silent anymore,” Valentyne said in the email.
“There is still a double standard and that needs to change. When a woman is treated with disrespect in the workplace, it affects us all. The overwhelming response from women with similar experiences supports the need for equality.”
‘Enough is enough’
Valentyne also filed a Canadian human rights complaint against Corus. She did not share the content, but confirmed that Derringer is named in the complaint.
CBC Toronto has reached out to Derringer for comment, but has yet to hear back.
In the video, Valentyne describes the derogatory treatment that women in the broadcasting industry are forced to endure. She says the women in the field largely keep things to themselves, as they don’t want to be seen as troublemakers and want to keep their jobs.
“But sometimes enough is enough,” she said in the video.
In a statement on Tuesday, Corus said it was aware that Valentyne had expressed concerns about his time in the broadcast industry, including his time with the company.
“A few years ago, Ms. Valentyne shared some concerns and we took steps to review at that time. There is also an ongoing process with the Canadian Human Rights Commission,” the statement said.
“We have had high-profile conversations with her, have responded to the proceedings, and await determination of next steps. We take these matters seriously and look forward to a resolution,” the statement continued.
“Over the past two days, we have received new information about concerns in the workplace. We have escalated it to our Ethics and Conduct team and engaged Rachel Turnpenney of Turnpenney Milne LLP to conduct an external investigation. Effective immediately, Derringer in the Morning will be on hiatus pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
From Tuesday, the Derring out in the morning The exhibit page had also been removed from the Q107 website.
“Any concerns about the employee experience are of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to listening, learning and taking any appropriate action. Out of respect for the confidentiality and privacy of those involved and the formal processes in course, we will not comment on specific details,” the Corus statement read.
In her video, Valentyne said she faced a host of issues at work, including being exposed to two, sometimes three men vaping in a closed room for four hours a day with no ventilation.
She claimed to have developed a chronic cough, to have lost her voice completely on two occasions and to have trouble breathing at work. Valentyne says a doctor prescribed her an inhaler and steroids and told her to stay away from people who vape.
Other broadcasters make allegations
Other big-name Toronto radio personalities share similar stories.
Jacqui Delaney, now director of parliamentary affairs for Senator Leo Housakos, said she was reprimanded by Derringer while working on the show in 2002.
Maureen Holloway, who has been on the show for 15 years, said she was also the target of verbal attacks from Derringer. She worked at the studio as a co-host from 2010 to 2015. Holloway called Derringer a “bully” and not just with women.
She accused him of being aggressive, getting angry and dealing with people silently when angry.
Holloway said Derringer’s behavior is an isolated example, but said gender discrimination is rampant in the industry.