A 4-part interview — The Jen Royle lawsuit (Part 4)

January 12, 2012 | Drew Forrester


RL — I heard you speak out about the coverage she received when she announced she was leaving and going back to Boston.

DF — I couldn’t believe it.  I still can’t.  The guy from The Sun writes this piece about how she’s leaving CBS Radio and heading back to Boston and that somehow “Baltimore chased her out of town because she’s a female”.  So he’s writing a story about how she’s been treated differently because she’s a female when, in fact, the only reason he’s even writing the story in the first place is because she is, in fact, a female.  Ken Murray retired from The Sun in November after 30 years as a sportswriter.  I didn’t see any stories or Q and A sessions with him.  Think about that.  Ken Murray put 30 years of his life into that newspaper and when he left – or retired – there wasn’t a word about it from them.  Jen Royle hung around for 20 months, called it a day, and they ran stories about her “career” in Baltimore as if she was Mary Beth Marsden or Denise Koch.  It was laughable.  CBS Radio fired Damon Yaffe last spring.  Here’s a Baltimore guy who had been on the radio for four or five years and he left to crickets.  Nothing from The Sun on that.  No chance for him to speak his mind or give his side of the story or anything.  Jen Royle leaves after 20 months and it’s front page news.  And you know why?  Only one reason.

RL — She’s a female?

DF — No, not just “she’s a female”.  That she’s the female who took on the institution of the sports fan in Baltimore.  It’s that she is the woman who filed the lawsuit against WNST and she’s the woman who has gone toe-to-toe with Baltimore sports fans. That’s it.  I read that article and not once in there did she actually talk any sports.  She didn’t offer an opinion on the Maryland basketball team or make a comment about the turnaround of Towson football or suggest who a good replacement would be for Cam Cameron if the Ravens part company with him at the end of the season.  It was just “woe be me, I’m going back home, I’ve been so mistreated here” and this dude from The Sun wrote it for gospel.

RL — And that bothered you?

DF — I don’t know that it bothered me, but it once again gave me an awakening to how fraudulent some of these people can be. You write a piece in the paper that says “this person was treated differently because she’s a female” – which in my opinion is false – and you yourself at the newspaper are completely guilty of propping her up as a story topic because she’s a female.  If you can’t see how much of a joke that is, there’s not much help for you.  Ken Murray never got a going-away story, applauding him for 30 years of dedicated service to the Baltimore sports community.  Neither did Damon Yaffe.  But she did.

RL — Have you talked with her at all since she dropped the case?

DF — What would I say to her?

RL — I’m not sure.

DF — There’s nothing to say.  In her heart of hearts, she knows the drill.  She doesn’t need me to remind her of what happened.

RL —  What’s “the drill” you’re referring to?

DF —  That she sued us, got her name in the paper and in a few magazines and on the local news, then dropped the case and really never had to explain herself at all about why she didn’t go through with it.  She knows she’s lucky.  Deep down, she knows the truth.


10 Comments For This Post

  1. Anne Boone-Simanski Says:

    I very much enjoyed this series.

  2. Dan Says:

    Good interview and blog . very interesting indeed.
    Question , did you at WNST stop the remarks aimed at her
    while the suit was pending . She said they stopped and that was the purpose of the suit , to call attention to the remarks and make them stop . I didn’t hear much talk about her while listening to your show during that period . She said she got what she wanted , What say you .


    (DF: Of course, we all stopped mentioning her name while there was a lawsuit pending. We were under instruction to do so from the legal guys. The purpose of the lawsuit was to try and win an $800,000 settlement.)

  3. Jason Taylor Says:

    First it was Anita Marks, now Jen Royle. The shine came off of the turds,and the stink resonated throughout the Baltimore sports talk airwaves. Their act wore thin and now they’re gone…case closed.

  4. Jim Says:

    Drew, I for one really appreciate the insight you shared here. I know I wondered from the beginning how much validity her claims had and I was glad to see the news last summer that she dropped the case. As you noted so well, when it came time for her to go through with it, she couldn’t do it. That tells you everything. Keep up the good work, my friend.

  5. TimNATC Says:

    Drew – Really enjoyed the series. I grew up just outside of Baltimore and live in PA now. I get ALL of my Baltimore sports updates from you guys at WNST, keep up the good work.

  6. Pa Clampet Says:

    Any thought of publishing her discovery responses/ deposition transcripts from the case?

    Pa Clampet

    (DF: You’d have to ask her to do that.)

  7. Matt Says:

    Awesome interview series. Baltimore, not just WNST, is lucky that the lawsuit ended as it did because the truth is that the city benefits from the work WNST does, and a lawsuit to shut that down would have been unjust, unfair, and unfortunate. Kudos to you and your station for the perspective you offer, one of honesty and unbiased (or uninfluenced might be better) sports opinion.

  8. Chris from Boston Says:

    I am from Boston and have lived here for several years now. I am a big sports fan who is still loyal to the Boston teams I grew up with. Besides the Celtics our teams were not winners for the most part. Nowadays, as a sports fan, I will support Baltimore teams when they are not playing my hometown teams. As a Baltimore resident I am certainly not rooting against them. The problem I have with Jen Royle is that she thinks she is better than the fans/people of Baltimore and despite what she says was always rooting against the Orioles and the people of Baltimore. She’s says she was being impartial. She explained it by saying that she can’t tolerate losing (How can she say this growing up in Boston?) We prided ourselves on being loyalist and selling out Fenway even when things were the worst. For 86 Years! But in Baltimore Jen decides to disassociate herself with the Orioles and latch on to the Ravens because they are winning? Despite having never followed football? So Jen is really just a fair-weather fan.

    Jen has publicized her trips up to Boston to try to move “home” but her home is no more there than it is in Baltimore. She hasn’t lived in Boston to witness either of the World Series or any the 2000 Super Bowl victories. Why would Boston fans respect her? Actually if she ever got a job she’d probably get better treatment being an attractive woman, that is if she gets a job! I would, however, be super surprised if she does. Her social media accounts are out there for the world to see and if anyone is looking to hire her in that major market they are surely following her on Twitter, Facebook etc. These hiring managers at networks can see her battling with her listeners daily. She opens herself up to the scrutiny because she engaged the negative people who are always going to be out there. My brother and wife are uncontroversial journalists and you wouldnt believe the negativity they get daily. If the engaged it all they would be miserable. Jen, you think Baltimore is bad, you just wait, if you get a job in Boston and don’t know your stuff you will get your head ripped off in Boston. I actually feel bad for her because she had the opportunity to work in her hometown, a major market for sports but has probably ruined it in Baltimore by being negative and litigious. Who will go near her now?

  9. Damon Yaffe Says:

    This blog has gotten a lot of attention. I’ve been getting texts about the article and blog since noon today, maybe 15 or more. To clarify…I began working in local media in 1994 and for CBS in 1996. I was a regular on-air co-host, contributor at CBS starting in 2000, and that run ended on June 9, 2011. Prior to that period I was behind the scenes – producer, engineer, etc. Also, while it doesn’t matter at this point…I wasn’t fired at CBS. My contract was honored. Suffice it to say – I didnt like my options and made my own choice. Anything to the contrary is false. Beyond that, I cant comment due to contractual agreements I made. As for the direct message(s) implied/stated in Drew’s blog: 1) There are only a few local media outlets devoting time & room to sports. If you stack up the “talk” talent pool at Hearst (WBAL & WIYY) and WNST vs. anywhere else…it’s not even close. If what you’re looking for is “home grown Baltimore blood” running through the veins of the mouthpieces (other than Haynie, who is very solid). 2)It’s obvious to me…like a thunderbolt through my skull…when I’m back on-air my first two guests will be Jen Royle and Drew Forrester. Until then, I’ll swim with the crickets. Power to the people…carry on! GO RAVENS!!!!!!!! – Bulldog (DF: Thanks for the note. My apologies for chronicling your departure a “firing”. And I’m sorry you never got a call from The Sun or anyone else allowing you to talk about your career – which, as you noted, was MUCH lengthier than “others” in town – because you had a helluva run.)

  10. Damon Yaffe Says:

    No problems!

    If I may – I kinda ripped off the comment quickly yesterday. In doing so, I whiffed on kudos to Ken Weinman. Kenny is a good guy & does his best to deliver solid local flavor. Also, while we all know he didnt grow up in Bawlmer, Scott Garceau is the Filet Mignon in a sea of Happy Meals. The week I spent in Dallas last Super Bowl, producing Scott’s show was as good as it gets. Nearly every interview was ease-of-operation & an education…mainly because so many people know and respect the guy. For what it’s worth – jyst my opinions.

    Enjoy the game! – Bulldog

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