U.K.'s TalkSport Fires James Whale
May 6, 2008 at 5:22 AM (PT)
Veteran late night talker JAMES WHALE has exited UTV U.K. national Sports station TALKSPORT after being absent for the last few weeks, and the station says that he was fired for telling listeners on MARCH 20th to vote for eventual winner BORIS JOHNSON in the LONDON mayoral race. The incident spawned an OFCOM investigation for bias, and the station fired WHALE before OFCOM could rule on the case.
The station issued a statement reading, "TALKSPORT presenter JAMES WHALE's contract with the radio station has been terminated after a breach of the OFCOM broadcasting code regarding due impartiality. It's very unfortunate. We have investigated the matter and after serious consideration, the station reached the decision that there was a clear breach of the rules and that we had no choice but to terminate his contract. JAMES WHALE is guilty of a gross error of judgment which we found to be totally unacceptable.
"OFCOM received a number of complaints following WHALE's broadcast on March 20. TALKSPORT has acknowledge the seriousness of the complaints received, does not excuse the content of the broadcast and has told OFCOM that it has taken steps to prevent this happening again. The matter is still under investigation by OFCOM so it would be inappropriate to comment any further on the details of the complaints."
WHALE joined the station in 1995 (when it was still TALKRADIO UK) after stints at METRO RADIO/NEWCASTLE, RADIO DERBY/DERBY, RADIO AIRE/KEEDS, and ITV.