Corus Entertainment is suspending highly-rated Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto morning show Derringer in the Morning, following a gender discrimination complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission by former co-host Jennifer Valentyne.
Over the weekend, Valentyne posted a 13-minute video to her social media channels detailing a toxic work culture during her time with the show from early 2017 to 2019, that included enduring vape smoking by her co-hosts in an unventilated space, and a general lack of respect.
The veteran Toronto media personality alleges that after developing a persistent cough, losing her voice, and despite numerous complaints – including discussing the situation with company CEO Doug Murphy – Corus chose to shuffle her out of the radio show and into a television role with Global News that she had previously been told she “wasn’t a good fit for.” She was part of layoffs at the network a little more than a year later.
In an emailed statement to Broadcast Dialogue Tuesday morning, attributed to Q107, the station said based on new information that’s come to light about the conduct of the Derringer in the Morning team, the show will be on hiatus pending an external investigation.
“We are aware that Ms. Valentyne has voiced concerns about her time in the broadcasting industry, including from her time with us,” reads the statement. “A few years ago, Ms. Valentyne shared certain concerns and we took action to review at that time. There is also a process underway with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. We have had mediated conversations with her, been responsive to proceedings, and we are waiting determination of next steps. We take these matters seriously and look forward to a resolution.”
“Over the past two days we have received new information about workplace concerns in our station,” the statement continues. “We have referred these to our ethics and conduct team and will be conducting an external investigation. Effective immediately and during the course of the investigation the show Derringer in the Morning will be on hiatus pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
“Any concerns involving employee experience are of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to listen, learn and take any appropriate action.”
Some of that “new” information undoubtedly is linked to Derringer’s alleged treatment of other former female co-hosts and colleagues. Following Valentyne coming forward, former Q107 staffers like Jacqui Delaney, Andrea Rooz, and Raina Douris took to social media to relate their own experiences, as outlined by media blogger and podcaster Toronto Mike.
John Derringer has been heard in mornings on Q107 since 2001 and been in the Toronto market for nearly 30 years. He celebrated his 5,000th show on the station last November.
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