‘On The Media’ Co-Host Bob Garfield Fired Over Bullying Complaints

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New York Public Radio has fired On The Media co-host Bob Garfield for a “sample of habits that violated New York Public Radio’s anti-bullying coverage,” the group mentioned Monday, the most recent in a collection of high-profile dismissals on the public radio powerhouse over the previous 4 years.

Garfield’s termination follows two outdoors investigations into his conduct. The primary, performed final 12 months, “resulted in disciplinary motion, a warning in regards to the potential penalties if the habits continued, and a significant alternative to right it,” New York Public Radio mentioned in a press release. The group mentioned a second, more moderen probe discovered Garfield had once more violated the anti-bullying coverage.

“We acknowledge Bob’s contributions to our trade and our listeners,” New York Public Radio mentioned. “We additionally affirm New York Public Radio’s dedication to offering an inclusive and respectful surroundings for our workers, company and listeners.”

By way of a spokeswoman, New York Public Radio executives declined to be interviewed. The group operates a number of radio stations, together with WNYC, and produces programming, similar to On The Media, that’s aired on public broadcasting stations throughout the nation.

Reached by e-mail, Garfield referred to as his firing “a completely stunning story” and mentioned he would seek the advice of his legal professional earlier than commenting additional.

New York Public Radio mentioned Garfield’s co-host, Brooke Gladstone, will proceed to host the present, which airs on greater than 400 public radio stations.

Garfield helped set up On The Media as one of many signature reveals within the group’s portfolio of syndicated packages, among the many likes of The Takeaway, Radiolab, Snap Judgment, The New Yorker Radio Hour, and Ask Me One other. The station’s nationwide lineup, well-liked native choices like The Brian Lehrer Present and hit podcasts similar to Dying, Intercourse & Cash mix to make WNYC a frontrunner in audio journalism.

Whistleblowers, nonetheless, have repeatedly raised considerations in regards to the stars of a few of the group’s award-winning reveals.

In 2017, WNYC opted to not renew the contract of John Hockenberry, who was then the founding host of The Takeaway. New York journal’s The Minimize subsequently printed a sexual harassment allegation in opposition to Hockenberry and WNYC’s newsroom chronicled extra complaints, a few of which had been recognized to station executives.  

Hockenberry acknowledged being “impolite, aggressive and rude” and mentioned he had “no excuses” for his habits.

Just a few weeks later, WNYC fired two extra outstanding hosts, Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz. Lopate had hosted a weekday information present that bore his title for greater than 30 years.  Schwartz had been a weekend music host on the station for nearly twenty years and a well-recognized voice in New York radio for the reason that Sixties. 

WNYC’s newsroom reported sexual harassment allegations in opposition to each males. Lopate mentioned his termination was “unjust.” Schwartz referred to as a suspension that preceded his dismissal “outrageous.”

A sweeping investigation of WNYC’s office tradition, performed by an outdoor legislation agency, concluded in 2018 that harassment and bullying had been systemic issues on the station. Laura Walker, who had led New York Public Radio since 1996 and helped construct it right into a prime media model, stepped down later that 12 months.  She advised colleagues that she and the Board of Trustees “agreed that the time has come for me to maneuver on.”

New York Public Radio, like many public broadcasters throughout the nation, has additionally confronted monetary challenges amid the pandemic.

Final month, the group laid off 14 folks, about 4% of its workers. Along with WNYC, New York Public Radio owns classical music station WQXR, New Jersey Public Radio, the information website Gothamist and The Greene House, a dwell occasions venue.

Throughout a tumultuous interval, WNYC has however produced formidable work, together with the Younger America Speaks Up venture, in partnership with YR Media. The venture obtained a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. 

This story was reported and edited by WBUR on the request of WNYC as a result of it entails a member of the station’s content material manufacturing group. No modifications had been made to the story with out the approval of WBUR with a view to keep journalistic independence. The manager administration of WNYC didn’t evaluate the story previous to publication.

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