Peter Nero Says “Crooks” Was Off-the-Record; Morning Call Disagrees

Nero has been yanked from the July 3rd Philly Pops performance.


Last week, we told you that longtime Philly Pops conductor Peter Nero is being sued in Federal Court by the group’s CEO over Nero’s comments he made in Allentown’s Morning Call newspaper. And now Nero is saying that those comments were made off-the-record.

In the Morning Call story, Nero uses the word “crooks” to describe those in the Pops responsible for him ending his decades-long run with the group this year. And Pops CEO Frank Giordano took that to mean him, hence the lawsuit.

Here is Nero’s statement to Philadelphia, as provided by his attorney:

Several weeks ago I had a conversation over the phone with a reporter from The Morning Call to plug a concert I was performing in Easton on June 14. He decided to ask questions relating to the 2011 bankruptcy of the Philly Pops. I specifically asked that parts of the conversation be off the record, which means not reported. The newspaper then published his interview that reported parts of the conversation that I knew I had clearly stated should be off the record.

I have now been sued over certain statements made in that conversation which I never intended to be reported in the first place. I recognize that I perhaps should have been more careful. I apologize for that conversation and some of the statements I made. I did not mean to cause harm nor offend.

I have been told that as a result of this incident my role as conductor of the Philly Pops concert on July 3rd in Philadelphia has been cancelled. I regret that decision.

“It’s simple,” responds Morning Call editor David Erdman. “The reporter understood these particular comments were on-the-record.”

The suit (below) also points out that Nero actively promoted the story on his Facebook page after it was published. If he had a problem with the content of the story, why would he do that?

In any event, the July 3rd Pops concert was to be Nero’s last as conductor. In light of these events, he has been replaced by a guest conductor. Way to go out on a high note.

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