After a controversy involving crude on-air comments about gays, Corus Radio has cancelled the Dean Blundell show.
The end of the popular Toronto shock-radio show was announced in a brief statement on the website of radio station 102.1 the Edge on Monday.
“With the start of the new year, Corus Radio will be taking 102.1 the Edge in a new direction in 2014. The station will return to a more music-based format showcasing the best in modern rock,” said Dave Farough, general manager of Corus Radio Toronto. “As a result, The Dean Blundell Show has been cancelled, effective January 6, 2014.”
The statement did not say what would fill the program’s slot, saying “details of the new morning show are announced in the coming weeks.”
Mr. Blundell posted a message to his fans on Twitter, saying: “Truly love you all. The last 13 years have been the greatest time of my life.”
The cancellation of the Dean Blundell show came after Derek Welsman, a producer and host of the show, talked about a court case and made crude jokes about the sexual orientation of the accused and complainants while serving as the foreman of the jury.
In September, while the trial was ongoing and after the verdict, Mr. Welsman bantered with his co-hosts in mocking ways about the case, which involved men who had met in the gay village.
Three days after the guilty verdict, a transcript of the show filed in court shows that Mr. Blundell and Mr. Welsman talked about two of the complainants, who were living together in a hotel. “I don’t believe they were porking, but they were doing drugs,” Mr. Welsman said. He also speculated that the accused would get a five-year jail term, describing it as “five years of awesome.”
Corus Entertainment and Mr. Blundell later apologized for the remarks.
The case involved Joshua Dowholis, who was convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of forcible confinement. Mr. Dowholis says he is innocent, insisting that the sex was consensual and that he did tell the complainants that he is HIV positive. He is to be sentenced on Tuesday.
Mr. Dowholis, plans to appeal his conviction, based in part on the argument that he did not receive a fair trial because Mr. Welsman was biased against homosexuals, said his lawyer, Kathryn Wells.
On Monday, Ms. Wells welcomed the cancellation of the Dean Blundell show.
“I think it’s recognition of the fact that they completely crossed the line,” she said. “Good corporate citizens don’t do that sort of thing. So quite frankly, I can understand why Corus Entertainment took that step.”
The Dean Blundell show has repeatedly been in trouble with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
In a recent decision involving Mr. Blundell and Mr. Welsman, the show was found to have violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. The decision followed a January, 2013, segment where news of a man who had died after being stuck in a rolled-up wrestling mat became a starting point for jokes about wrestling being a “gay” sport.