Hayes returns to campus

John P. Hayes, a 1971 University of Detroit Mercy alumnus who spent a career in radio, fired Howard Stern. Twice.

Hayes, known as Jack to his friends, re-visited Detroit Mercy on Sept. 29 as part of Homecoming week, and spoke to a number of students about his days on campus and career in broadcasting.

Hayes graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, but his main focus is in broadcasting.

He was initially a part of the business school but switched to liberal arts during his time as a mail boy at Channel 7 WXYZ TV.

"We would do the basic stuff like make copies and run errands but sometimes, we were lucky enough to sit on the TV and news production and that's what really got me,” he said.  "All I could think was wow, this is definitely what I want to do with the rest of my life."

And so he did.

 After his time at Detroit Mercy he held a few miscellaneous jobs to support his wife and six kids and he eventually became the general manager of WNBC in New York City.

While at WNBC, he would soon become the guy to fire Howard Stern, the controversial radio personality.

Hayes described the situation as a sticky one and ultimately untrue; Hayes was ordered by his boss, who was ordered by the network executives to take the program off the air.

Unknowingly to Hayes and everyone else, he would later on become Stern's boss again and fire him for the second time.

This time it was at Q107, a classic rock station in Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

"I have nothing personal against the guy, but as vice president of a whole radio division I have to do what's good for everyone.” he said. “I have a team that I have to manage and leadership starts with doing the right thing."

Hayes, whose dad is in the Detroit Mercy business school hall of fame also tries to give back to the university as much as possible.

He and his wife Susan, who's also an alumna of Detroit Mercy, are generous donors to students in the Communication Studies department.

The couple created a scholarship as a way to give back to Detroit Mercy.

"We know how expensive private school tuition can be so this is just a way to not only be thankful but to help students and encourage them to be a journalists or whatever it is they want to be,” he said.

Hayes said that dropping out of the business school was the best thing he could've ever done, and even though he wasn't an A student he still got the best out of his education at Detroit Mercy.

"It's not what you learn here,” he said. “It's what you do with it.”