One month ago, former Q107 radio personality Jacqui Delaney made her Toronto Mike'd debut, and we discussed her career in radio and why she left the industry. Here's an excerpt from that episode in which she says "Working with John Derringer was one of the things that lent itself to my leaving radio altogether".
When I then referred to John Derringer as "one of the the radio legends in this market", Jacqui quickly replied with a line I've been thinking about ever since. "The way he treats female co-hosts is also legendary."
That was my mindset when I watched a video from former John Derringer co-host Jennifer Valentyne yesterday. Jennifer has filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, alleging gender discrimination. Here's the video in its entirety.
What would you do if a coworker screamed at you, belittled you, called you names, shut you out, brought you to tears, and then laughed when he told you to cry all you want, that he didn't feel one bit sorry for you, and let you know with utter conviction that if you went to HR, they would choose him? All this while three other men watched uncomfortably, but supported him, because they knew what would happen to them if they went against him. You see, they had witnessed the same scenario many times before, but no one found it necessary to warn you about it before you accepted the job.
Would you take a dream job working as a radio host if you knew you would be working with a cohost with accusations of prior abusive behaviour towards women and that you would also be exposed to two, sometimes three men vaping in an enclosed room for four hours a day with no ventilation. Would you complain about it? Would you complain about it if you knew that women before you were moved from that room, eliminated because they spoke up. Would you complain knowing they would choose to support the man no matter which issues were brought forward, and it would put your job in jeopardy, because history had proved that. What would you do?
This prompted many discussions on social media, and here are a few particularly relevant responses.
Upon watching Jennifer Valentyne's video, Jacqui Delaney elaborated on her Facebook page. "This serial abuser needs to be taken off the air immediately," she wrote.
Also on Facebook, radio personality Andrea Rooz spoke up. "I was his traffic person for a while until he called me a 'useless piece of shit' and then said 'no one cares about your fucking opinions, want to compare paychecks?'"
Andrea Rooz will be making her Toronto Mike'd debut this summer.
On Twitter, former John Derringer co-host Maureen Holloway wrote "I back Jennifer up 100 percent". Coincidentally, Maureen is scheduled to return to Toronto Mike'd in June.
Former Q107 personality Teri Hart replied with this tweet. Coincidentally, Teri is also set to return to Toronto Mike'd next month.
Supriya Dwivedi, who worked in the Corus Quay building with Jennifer Valentyne when she co-hosted The Morning Show on AM 640, another Corus radio station, has tweeted "any claims from management or other senior media ppl that they had no idea this was going on is pure BS. We all knew what Jenn was dealing with in that studio."
Raina Douris also shared her awful encounter with John Derringer when she was working with the digital department at Corus Radio.
Humble and Fred, a show I proudly produce, discussed this topic in depth the morning of May 24. Howard just revealed he had Colleen Rusholme's permission to name her as another victim.
Here's that episode of Humble and Fred.
Corus and Q107 have suspended John Derringer pending a third party investigation into these allegations. The official Derringer in the Morning landing page on q107.com is now offline.
I reached out to Corus and they sent over this statement "attributable to a Q107 spokesperson".
We are aware that Ms. Valentyne has voiced concerns about her time in the broadcasting industry, including from her time with us.
A few years ago, Ms. Valentyne’s shared certain concerns and we took action to review at that time. There is also a process underway with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. We have had mediated conversations with her, been responsive to proceedings, and we are waiting determination of next steps. We take these matters seriously and look forward to a resolution.
Over the past two days we have received new information about workplace concerns in our station. We have referred these to our ethics and conduct team and will be conducting an external investigation. Effective immediately and during the course of the investigation the show Derringer in the Morning will be on hiatus pending the conclusion of the investigation.
Any concerns involving employee experience are of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to listen, learn and take any appropriate action.
The mainstream media is now starting to cover this story.
- Toronto Sun, May 24, 2022
- Toronto Star, May 24, 2022
- CTV, May 24, 2022
- Global, May 24, 2022
- CBC, May 24, 2022
- Canadian Press, May 26, 2022
This is an evolving story, and I'll update this post accordingly. Here are a few clarifications / disclosures before I hit 'publish'.
- I have spoken directly with Jennifer Valentyne and when she's ready she will come on Toronto Mike'd.
- I have confirmed that the co-host Jennifer is referring to in her video is in fact John Derringer.
- I have never met John Derringer, but I've been a listener throughout the decades and when I started my podcast he was a highly desired guest. I've invited him on several times throughout the past decade and he's always politely declined.
- My Twitter DMs are open, and you can always write me at mike (at) torontomike (dot) com.
August 9, 2022 Update:
Corus has announced that they've parted ways with John Derringer. "The independent investigation initiated by Corus remains ongoing."