Former WBCN/Boston Rock DJ Mark Parenteau, 66, Passes
June 3, 2016 at 11:47 AM (PT)
Former radio personality MARK PARENTEAU, who became synonymous with Rock radio as the afternoon DJ at BOSTON's legendary WBCN before his career was derailed by child molestation charges, passed away from complications following a long illness at the age of 66, his brother, BARRY told his hometown WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE.
PARENTEAU grew up in WORCESTER, where his mother hosted a women's talk show on WAAB in the '50s. He got his start in radio when he was seven, doing MEOLA'S DAIRY commercials for her show. When he was 15, he became SCOTTY WAINWRIGHT on weekends on WORC, the all-request Top 40 station that had a 70% marketshare at the time. He left WORCESTER for DETROIT in 1971, where he worked at WKNR and WBAX, got divorced, and came back east to join BOSTON's WCOZ.
“WCOZ had a corporate mindset, tight playlist,' he recalled. "I had to sneak records in." The DJ met secretly with WBCN’s managers, cut a deal and moved crosstown to his dream job in 1978.
During his 19-year reign at the CBS RADIO station, PARENTEAU live remote broadcasting techniques and became “The Honorary Dean of BOSTON Comedy” as he gave shots to dozens of comedians on his show. But, by the mid-90s, the veteran found himself embattled by the hard-rocking WAAF and its acerbic afternoon team of OPIE AND ANTHONY.
In NOVEMBER ’97, the soon-to-be-unemployed PARENTEAU honored a promise to appear at a high-profile awards ceremony in BOSTON. He used his podium time to, as the BOSTON GLOBE reported, “get some barbs in, noting that, ‘I feel like I have shaken baby syndrome,’ and that the CBS ‘Welcome Home’ slogan should be ‘Welcome Homeless.’”
After leaving WBCN, PARENTEAU went on to host shows for Q104/NEW YORK and XM RADIO, among others, until he was arrested in 2004, pleading guilty to a single count of child sexual abuse. He was released in 2006.