The Dean Blundell Show, a popular Toronto shock-jock morning radio program, has been cancelled, Corus Entertainment announced Monday.
The show had been indefinitely suspended in early December after a Toronto Star article exposed the program’s homophobic commentary about a sexual assault trial for which the show’s producer and co-host served as jury foreman.
“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,” Dave Farough, the general manager of Corus Radio, said in a statement posted on 102.1 the Edge’s website.
Blundell posted a farewell message on Twitter to his fans.
“Truly love you all. The last 13 years been the greatest time of my life,” he wrote.
When reached by the Star Monday, Blundell refused to comment.
The show’s co-host and program producer Derek Welsman served as foreman of a jury that convicted a man for sexually assaulting three men he met at a bathhouse.
At the beginning of the trial, Welsman swore on a Bible and told a court he had no bias against homosexuals.
On air, he and the other radio personalities mocked gay men who visit bathhouses and the intelligence of the assault victims. They snickered as they imagined the perpetrator's excitement about prison showers.
“If anyone wants to get into the backdoor business, I can give you some tips,” said Welsman, prompting more laughter from his on-air colleagues.
Calls to Welsman and a show manager Monday were not immediately returned.
Kathryn Wells, lawyer for the convicted man, told the court Welsman’s on-air conduct “made a mockery” of the trial and tainted the guilty verdict that he, as jury foreman, read aloud on Sept. 27. She asked the trial judge to order an inquiry into the conduct of Welsman, who she says is biased against gay men.
Justice Faye McWatt rejected the call for an inquiry. Her ruling did not address whether Welsman’s homophobic radio conduct affected the decisions he made as a juror. Instead it focused on whether any of the broadcasts could have influenced other members of the jury, who unanimously found the accused, Joshua Dowholis, guilty on nearly all counts.
A day after the judge’s ruling, the show’s host apologized for his and his co-host’s on-air conduct.
“We both made rude, homophobic and inappropriate remarks, which were offensive and unacceptable. We offended a lot of listeners, our families and our friends,” Dean Blundell said in a clip posted to the shows website Wednesday.
The show had been repeatedly sanctioned for homophobic and discriminatory views, the most recent censure coming in August.