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McGee's son will take over show

Station owner says suspension is indefinite

By GEORGIA PABST
gpabst@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 5, 2007

Radio station owner Jerrel Jones said Saturday that he's indefinitely suspending Mike McGee from his radio show on WNOV-AM (860) for remarks he made about the death of Katherine Sykes, the mother of radio talker Charlie Sykes.

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Jones would not say how long "indefinitely" might be.

"Forever is a long time, and I don't want to say something that I may not be able to deal with," he said Saturday. "But I do want to make it clear that he won't be on anytime soon."

The show will stay in the family, with McGee's son, Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee, taking over as host of the "Word Warriors" program.

"He was the natural host for this show at least for now," said Jones.

The younger McGee has himself stirred controversy with various remarks he has made about gays and others.

"Controversy is not what I object to. I've had my own share of controversy," said Jones. "His son deserves a chance now to do his own thing."

He said the show with the younger McGee would feature less editorializing and more calls for action and advocacy in the black community.

"We will advocate and do things we should do, but in a manner that's more productive," Jones said.

The moves came after a meeting Saturday between Jones and Mike McGee.

Jones said that while there has to be room for expression, the elder McGee's comments were "outrageous and we won't entertain anything like that."

Katherine Sykes died in a fire at her Mequon home last week. During his Thursday program, McGee took a shot at Charlie Sykes, a conservative talker on WTMJ-AM (620).

"A woman that had a fool like that deserves whatever's comin' to her, 'cause she raised a sure enough idiot," McGee said.

The station management received more than 100 calls Friday from people condemning the remarks and demanding that McGee be taken off the air.

After meeting with McGee on Saturday, Jones said: "He's not apologetic, but does realize his timing was not the best. It was a pleasant meeting. He understands what needs to happen."

For more than 12 years, the elder McGee has purchased his airtime on the radio station. Jones took McGee off the air for a short period in 2004 when he used an obscenity on the air.

Jones said Mike McGee has a contract for "Word Warriors" that runs until January and will continue the contract for the show.

"The compromise is that he will continue to pay for the show, but he won't be on it," said Jones.







From the May 6, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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