hip hop music

January 19, 2006

Hot 97's Barry Mayo Steps Down, Cites Tsunami Song as "Biggest F**kup" of My Career"

Apparently Barry was planning to step down for a while now, but this year of public disgrace at Hot 97 helped grease the wheels:

Hot-97, Kiss exec is dialing back

After three eventful years whose low points included Hot-97's "Tsunami Song" and whose high points included Kiss-FM returning to the top of the ratings, Barry Mayo is stepping down as senior vice president and market manager for Emmis Radio...

..He will continue at Emmis, overseeing WRKS (98.7 FM), WQHT (97.1 FM) and WQCD (101.9 FM), until a successor is named. He will also remain an in-house consultant for a year and may eventually consult for "one or two" other stations. "I know people in radio say, 'Consultant? Oh God, that means he got fired,'" said Mayo with a laugh. "But this is my choice. I had a contract option for another year that the company said it wanted to pick up. I said no..."

...Smooth-jazz WQCD has remained generally steady and calm, which isn't a word that would be applied to Hot-97 after a year that started with last January's ill-advised "Tsunami Song" parody. "There's no way in hell I could have foreseen what would happen with Hot last year," Mayo admitted. "And if there's anything I could take back, it's pretty obvious it would be 'The Tsunami Song.' I didn't hear it or approve it beforehand, but I take full responsibility for the fact it went on the air for four days. "It was clearly the biggest f-up of my career."

The resulting firestorm led to two dismissals from the Miss Jones morning show, considerable losses from canceled advertising and Emmis paying $1 million to a tsunami relief fund. It also cast Hot-97 as a villain in discussions on whether radio goes too far.

Mayo praised Emmis yesterday for holding the line where it did. "Almost any other company," he said, "would have fired [station management]."

I'm not sure how praiseworthy that last item is.. and I'm curious to see whether his replacement has any different thoughts about remaining loyal to Hot's management.. I know if I was taking that job I'd have a lot of questions for my new employee, Hot's PD John Dimick.

Posted by jsmooth995 at January 19, 2006 1:22 PM

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