Managers: What Would You Have Done?


Our story yesterday about the firing of two sports broadcasters in Maine was our most viewed story of the day. With Monday being a holiday, we wanted to share the story with you again today and ask the question…if you were the manager of WHOU-FM, what would you have done?

Here’s our story from Monday…

WHOU-FM in Houlton, Maine has fired Jim Carter and Steve Shaw after they were overheard making comments about the weight of basketball players of a high school basketball game. Carter and Shaw were apparently unaware their mics were hot.

WHOU-FM owner Fred Grant told the Portland Press Herald he fired Carter and Shaw after they completed their broadcast of a high school basketball game last Thursday. Grant told the paper he began seeing complaints almost immediately after the announcers made their comments.

The paper reports that Shaw worked as athletic director at Easton High School until his retirement in 2019, and in August was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. Carter is a retired teacher and coach at Caribou High School, and has written three books about high school basketball in Aroostook County.

A Twitter video shows one of the two saying, “two girls out here extremely overweight. Awful.” There was also laughter after that comment.

Grant issued this statement to the Herald: “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students. Tonight, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated.”



  1. Apologize on the air. And the station manager join in by introducing them and their mistake (though NOT word for word). Eat crow in public and then move on. I’ve been through similar episodes and the public/on-air/G.M hovering over with the whip apology goes a long way. Normal people move on after that. Pat Boone anyone?

  2. Big Deal,
    We have all become so touchy about problems surrounding us. Yes, lighten up in many ways. There had to be another reason why the GM or PD SAID HIT THE ROAD. They are thinking one thing (Oh no, they, the sponsors might cancel their ads)…we owe it to the community to fire two non-broadcasters that the GM or PD hired!
    It is a sales thing for the radio station be honest. If NO ONE HAD COMPLAINED, I AM SURE THEY WOULD STILL BE EMPLOYED. Give your heart a break and smile. Radio can be hard enough without undue pressure, if you are heavy, push away from the table…..look at all the chubby or should I say overweight Radio & TV people today, are they whimpering. No, will not at least in public. This is kind of like the old Harper Valley PTA song. Bloopers and open mics can create some good laughs, which in turn is good for your heart. This Country has far larger problems than two overweight basketball players being broadcast from a small market radio station.
    Holding a grudge will only make you sicker. Say sorry and move on.

  3. I would tell them to be careful and always assume a mic is hot. Warn them but don’t fire them.
    Hell, I’m fat too. Fat is just a fact. Too much fat is unhealthy. America is getting fatter by the day and yes, that is awful.

  4. Has anyone making comments heard what these guys said? How insensitive were their remarks? Did the Manager hear it, or is he dependent on second hand information? Is there a recording? Was the Manager’s action appropriate? Were there outside influences involved? By description these two guys are non-Radio knowledgeable sports people who are members of the community doing play by play Kids basketball on the Radio. Tough to find those people in a small market. Does the sentence match the crime? Every opinion is conjecture until we hear the recording, if it exists.

  5. Old Jim W, you crack me up. 9th out of 7.5 billion people on earth is pretty good. I’ll take 9th, but actually Im often #1. Many times. But you’d need to upgrade your ear trumpet and your mr magoo glasses to hear and see. lol

  6. Of course, air talent wouldn’t have to be so wary of hot mics if the producer/board op was doing his or her job during commercial breaks. Poor board opping.

    Having said that, yes, the announcers were insensitive toward the players who were buttering their (announcers’) bread, so to speak.

  7. Broadcasting 101: Always treat a microphone as if it is hot. Some years ago, I was running the board at a station that was broadcasting a PROFESSIONAL baseball game, listening to the remote feed in cue while playing the local commercials. During the break, the booth announcers were dropping F-bombs right and left. Imagine if someone at one of their affiliates forgot to pot down the remote feed during the break!
    BTW, the game was a major league game in a major city.

    Phil G.

  8. Pussification? Really. How vulgar jim w

    The topic is about untoward comments about underage girls

    Show respect and decency toward the young

    Using bar talk for body parts is indecent here

  9. The Herald story gave no indication that the announcers didn’t know that the mics were hot, and it’s my understanding is that the comments came as part of the actual broadcast, hence the firings.

  10. Classic – the old guy passing judgment on someone younger so he can feel superior. Such small men, I feel sorry for the students that had them as teachers. Such an embarrassment.

    • Jim…if you’re in radio you always have to treat the microphone as if it’s hot. That’s on these guys. There are many part-timers in small market radio that aren’t radio people. They’re learning on the fly or even not paying attention to the job. This gaffe is on these guys and has nothing to do with management decisions. I suggest that if you think it’s okay, that you come to the radio station and answer all the angry phone calls.

    • Regarding 95% of similar stories we see each day, I’d normally agree with your statement…but not in this case. Maybe no one told these guys that you always act as if the mic is hot when you’re in front of one – but that doesn’t excuse this. And since there are sponsorships involved to promote HS sports, making fun of players for being fat is never going over well with them nor with listeners. It was a dumb comment to make.

      • I’m not arguing the fact the comment was dumb and insensitive. Firing the guys??? Ridiculous. We have political correctness running amok in the country which leads to a station firing hosts for basic name calling instead of making them do the RIGHT thing: make them apologize.

        I’m over it.

        • “Jim W” lol, try getting the facts first. Your knee jerk reaction is likely same about many things in your life. “They’re all against ya”, arent they. lol

          It’s not name calling old boy. It’s basic disrespect of young women. If you dont care if your daughters [if you have any] are treated by middle aged men as though your girls are in a livestock auction, well, cant help you.

          Nor do I want to convince you. However, I condemn your low way of dealing with a situation you want to trivialize, that I promise you has done harm, where no harm was required. Ever.

          THE RIGHT THING is not a paltry apology. If you asked young women and young men how much they like old men and old women slobbering and judging over their young bodies and ways, you would hear an earful of how repulsive such leering geezers are to them, and their low opinion of those who try to make a serious form of degrading others, into trivia.

          You want easy. Respect for young persons takes first of all speaking with them, and not judging what is not yours to judge, not in heaven and not on earth. Bloviating without knowing the young athletes and their fathers and mothers and coaches, is your own ‘running amok” lol


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