Monday, February 7, 2011

VOCM parts way with news director

After 27 years at the helm of the St. John’s newsroom, Gerry Phelan and VOCM have “parted company," according to a Facebook update posted earlier today.

“Now I seek new challenges,” Phelan writes.

The general reaction, at least on Facebook, is shock.

To many, Phelan was VOCM news, and it will be interesting to see how NewCap steers its news service without him.

Phelan was in the news himself last month after he chaired a panel struck by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to investigate a complaint made by a Newfoundland woman about the word “faggot” in the lyrics of the 1985 Dire Straits song, Money for Nothing.

The panel ordered the word censored from the song because it’s derogatory to gay men — even though the song had played for 25 years.

Christie Blatchford of the Globe and Mail described Phelan as the only Newfoundlander, besides the complainant, “without a robust sense of humour.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has urged the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to review the decision made in early January by its Atlantic Regional Panel.

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