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BRAUN: Problem bigger than allegations against Q-107’s John Derringer

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The ongoing train wreck involving yet another alleged high-profile bully and the company that protected him is all over local media in Toronto — and it’s sadly familiar turf.

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Who knew about John Derringer? When did they know it? What did they do about it? What happens next?

Who will be fired?

There are umpteen examples of famed media folk alleged to be bullies or sex pests or tyrants or worse, and for every one of them, there’s a company protecting them and their interests.

Over the past few days, the general public has heard descriptions of John Derringer’s alleged outbursts of rage and abuse involving several female co-workers — each of those women completely above reproach, but thanks for asking.

The women’s accounts are such that you could almost feel sorry for the guy; being out of a job when this is over appears to be the least of his worries.

What’s being described by these women is not your garden-variety temper tantrum, but something far more disturbing.

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What the women have claimed is that management was long aware of a problem with Derringer but did little, despite the women making formal complaints to management and to HR.

Jacqui Delaney, a former co-host who has posted on social media about this debacle, included a couple of news clippings from 20 years ago decrying Derringer’s behaviour; one dubbed him “Tool of the Year.”

Tragically, Derringer may well see himself as the victim in all this. If, as alleged, he’s been protected by management all these years, he must be spinning — why are all these women saying bad things about him?

Didn’t the company just give him a big party for his 5,000th show last fall?

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

One former co-worker describes the assurances she had from the company — as she was leaving — that they took it seriously, that they’d be keeping Derringer on a short leash, that it would never happen again.

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“It was all bull—-. I was told, ‘This is obviously broken, and we must fix it,’ but in fact, they just learned to hide it better,” she said.

It will be interesting to see who gets picked as designated fall-guy at headquarters.

Just to help everyone keep up, here are some explanations to watch for that will come from various corporate people who should know better:

1) “It was a different time.”

Dubious as this excuse may be, Corus might get away with using it, if the alleged behaviour occurred 20 years ago. But Jennifer Valentyne, whose video prompted this outpouring, was at Q-107 from 2017-19, just a few years ago.

Reference to a different time or era often precedes a bald-faced lie. People are pretty much the same throughout human history, and not in a good way.

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2) “We had no idea this was going on.”

That’s not going to fly in this case. What’s obvious is that many have known, and for many years.

Ditto: “We take these matters very seriously,” “Zero tolerance,” “Our employees come first,” “Nobody spoke up,” and so forth.

3) “Well, you know — the artistic nature can be difficult.”

Just FYI, “he’s an artist,” and, “the artistic temperament,” and similar expressions are all code for bad-tempered, egotistical, unacceptable behaviour.

Someone has posted, “Hope heads roll at Corus,” on social media; that seems to be the current take on this.

Guess we’ll find out.

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Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Article content

The ongoing train wreck involving yet another alleged high-profile bully and the company that protected him is all over local media in Toronto — and it’s sadly familiar turf.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Who knew about John Derringer? When did they know it? What did they do about it? What happens next?

Who will be fired?

There are umpteen examples of famed media folk alleged to be bullies or sex pests or tyrants or worse, and for every one of them, there’s a company protecting them and their interests.

Over the past few days, the general public has heard descriptions of John Derringer’s alleged outbursts of rage and abuse involving several female co-workers — each of those women completely above reproach, but thanks for asking.

The women’s accounts are such that you could almost feel sorry for the guy; being out of a job when this is over appears to be the least of his worries.

What’s being described by these women is not your garden-variety temper tantrum, but something far more disturbing.

Advertisement 3

Article content

What the women have claimed is that management was long aware of a problem with Derringer but did little, despite the women making formal complaints to management and to HR.

Jacqui Delaney, a former co-host who has posted on social media about this debacle, included a couple of news clippings from 20 years ago decrying Derringer’s behaviour; one dubbed him “Tool of the Year.”

Tragically, Derringer may well see himself as the victim in all this. If, as alleged, he’s been protected by management all these years, he must be spinning — why are all these women saying bad things about him?

Didn’t the company just give him a big party for his 5,000th show last fall?

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

One former co-worker describes the assurances she had from the company — as she was leaving — that they took it seriously, that they’d be keeping Derringer on a short leash, that it would never happen again.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“It was all bull—-. I was told, ‘This is obviously broken, and we must fix it,’ but in fact, they just learned to hide it better,” she said.

It will be interesting to see who gets picked as designated fall-guy at headquarters.

Just to help everyone keep up, here are some explanations to watch for that will come from various corporate people who should know better:

1) “It was a different time.”

Dubious as this excuse may be, Corus might get away with using it, if the alleged behaviour occurred 20 years ago. But Jennifer Valentyne, whose video prompted this outpouring, was at Q-107 from 2017-19, just a few years ago.

Reference to a different time or era often precedes a bald-faced lie. People are pretty much the same throughout human history, and not in a good way.

Advertisement 5

Article content

2) “We had no idea this was going on.”

That’s not going to fly in this case. What’s obvious is that many have known, and for many years.

Ditto: “We take these matters very seriously,” “Zero tolerance,” “Our employees come first,” “Nobody spoke up,” and so forth.

3) “Well, you know — the artistic nature can be difficult.”

Just FYI, “he’s an artist,” and, “the artistic temperament,” and similar expressions are all code for bad-tempered, egotistical, unacceptable behaviour.

Someone has posted, “Hope heads roll at Corus,” on social media; that seems to be the current take on this.

Guess we’ll find out.

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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