Saturday, June 4, 2016

R.I.P.: Former WBCN Boston Radio DeeJay Mark Parenteau

Mark Parenteau
Former WBCN disc jockey Mark Parenteau, who was a force on the Boston airwaves for more than 20 years but saw his career and life go off the rails after he was arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old boy, died early Friday morning after a long illness.

He was 66, according to The Boston Herald.

“He had a great career but it was a tough end to his life,” Parenteau’s longtime friend and former co-worker, WZLX’s Carter Alan told the Track. “He was having good days and bad days, but I didn’t think he’d go this quickly.”

Parenteau died recovering from surgery. He had been ailing in recent years, suffering from a number of conditions including spinal stenosis that made it difficult for him to walk.

“I know many of you might have been offended or even angered at things Mark did in his life; but he also was a legendary talent; the best DJ I ever heard behind a mic and one from whom I learned so much of what I do on the radio,” Alan, who visited with Parenteau regularly in his final days, wrote in a Facebook post on May 30. “At this point, please allow compassion to trump judgement in your hearts. Please say a prayer for Mark.”

Parenteau had one of the most successful radio careers in Boston history, with a 20-year run, first on the former WCOZ then spending 19 years as the afternoon-drive talent on WBCN. But his 2004 arrest for having sex with a minor marked the end of his days on the air.

Parenteau was working at the former XM satellite radio in Washington, D.C. when prosecutors alleged that he enticed teenage boys to come to his D.C. apartment to drink, smoke marijuana and have sex. Parenteau, who claimed he did not know the boy he was charged with molesting was under age, agreed to plead guilty to one count of child sexual abuse and was sentenced to three years in prison.

A Worcester native, Parenteau began his career at 15 on WORC-AM in his hometown. He worked at WLLH in Lowell and WKNR and WABX in Detroit before returning home to Massachusetts, first landing at WCOZ before finally getting his dream job at WBCN.

Declining ratings and belt-tightening at the former Rock of Boston led to Parenteau being let go in 1997. After leaving ‘BCN he did fill-in work on WRKO and WTKK in Boston and a stint at Q104 in New York.

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