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John “Sly” Sylvestor Fired From WTDY, Along With Many On-Air Voices

November 21, 2012

I have had my deep differences with John “Sly” Sylvestor who has long been featured on WTDY.  His lack of professionalism, over and over through the years, has grated on the sensibilities of radio listeners.  Today the management of WTDY released him as an employee.

I would have desired that his removal taken place when he made outrageous comments on the air, and not right before the Thanksgiving holiday.  I certainly am not in agreement with the firing of the radio talent who also was included in the change of format.  Dylan Brogan, Amy Barrilleaux, Shawn Prebil, Crystal McKenzie, Deanna Wright and Lindsay Adjavor are now also without a job.

I have been dismayed with “Sly” dating back to the time Sue Bauman was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Madison.  He proved then to be a sexist loud-mouth, and so when I see young people adore him for his comment about Tommy Thompson’s penis I want to puke.

I love to jazz it up with politics too, but know there are standards that must be met when it comes to the airwaves the public owns.

No one wants anyone to be fired on the Holidays.

But seriously, John “Sly” Sylvestor, should have been out on his rear a long time ago.

Let me again spell it out clearly as to why I have such a problem with “Sly”, and those like him.

I expect radio personalities to be like my guests in the house.   I like good talk, humor, and spirited conversation with ideas that conflict with mine.  But I do not want, and will not tolerate, the most base of shock jock type rancid talk just because some radio station has an itch for a rating.  I wish to be thought of as a listener that deserves respect, rather than just a notation in a ratings book.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2013 11:26 AM

    I am from the Chicago area originally, where we had a morning radio man named Art Hellyer who was – like Sly – a bit outrageous but FUN to listen to. I will miss Sly as – even today at age 81 – I still miss Art Hellyer.
    Find a new station, Sly, and come back to entertaing.

  2. Hugh G Rection permalink
    December 1, 2012 12:13 PM

    I have been listening to Sly for over 25 years and have both enjoyed and been irratated with him. There is now a huge void in Madison area radio.

  3. November 25, 2012 3:52 PM

    “Sly was the voice of Labor?” How sad.

  4. November 25, 2012 3:34 PM

    I think in an intelligent and well-educated media market, such as Madison, there can be a dynamic liberal voice on the airwaves without being demeaning, and lowbrow. I find the right-wing rancid talk on radio deplorable. Having said that why should I not then be appalled by the same tone when it comes from someone like Sly? I repeat that this post was really about radio, and the professional conduct of someone who had the chance to be behind a microphone. If anyone does want to talk politics on this issue (and that is fine) let us ask if the end justifies the means?

    Let me throw out another way to view what I am saying.

    There is no doubt that some standup comics have a hard time today delivering a routine without resorting to every four letter word imaginable. But there was a time not so long ago (before pay channels) when Lucille Ball created humor, which I think we all can agree remains timeless.

    So what happened?

    Does the ‘acceptance’ of cursing make for better comedy, or does it just mean a lower common denominator is more readily accepted?

    The same holds true for broadcasting, and that is my point here with Sly and WTDY. Instead of talking about four letter words I am talking about a whole series of out-of-bounds comments that Sly used, and seemed never to know that boundaries do exist on the airwaves for a whole set of reasons.

    Meanwhile, Milt Rosenberg has one of the most informed, and intelligent shows on radio. For over 20 years he has broadcast on WGN, and has ratings and advertisers. He never plays low-ball as he tackles topics ranging from politics to religion to foreign policy to literature. He never has fits or outbursts but knows that the audience he is talking to wants an informed, mature, respectful talk-show host.

    I think the vast majority of Madison wants the same.

  5. Jake formerly of the LP permalink
    November 25, 2012 2:40 PM

    Being nice and genteel will not defeat these people- they have no depths they won’t reach to get power and money. Sly often gave appropriate responses to the evils being done in this screwed-up state and country.

    Even if you don’t like how Sly did it, it was important that we had the voice out there standing up for workers and holding this administration accountable. Tell me where the local “nice lefties” are on the radio in Wisconsin, deke? Or any local lefties, for that matter.

    NOW do you see the problem?

  6. November 25, 2012 1:14 AM

    This post is not about politics, or the labor movement. This post is about radio, and professional conduct on the air while in a broadcast studio. Good taste is not a partisan issue, nor does it cede itself to time.

  7. Jud Lounsbury permalink
    November 24, 2012 10:26 PM

    Sly is great and your failure to see the forest for the trees is disappointing.

  8. Joe Wineke permalink
    November 23, 2012 11:30 AM

    Sly was the voice of labor in this state and the only real progressive voice on the radio. He has incredible talent. Frankly…if you want everyone to be like you, it would be a very boring world we live in.

  9. November 21, 2012 4:47 PM

    For every Vicki McKenna you’ll find a Jon Sylvester. I’m inclined to give the Sylvesters a lot of slack because the McKennas are so egregious. Bottom line, Sly may have been a bit of a boor, but he is my kind of boor and I think Madison radio will be worse without him.

  10. Solly permalink
    November 21, 2012 4:39 PM

    so from the console radio in your home at 1927 Twilight Zone Place, do you tune in every night to hear, “”Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press.”

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