Bob Garfield, longtime co-host of popular WNYC’s ‘On the Media’ show, was fired after two separate inquiries revealed he had violated an anti-bullying policy, Public Radio said on Monday. New York, owner of WNYC.
Mr. Garfield’s employment was terminated “due to a pattern of behavior that violated NYPR’s anti-bullying policy,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
“This decision was made following a recent investigation by an external investigator who concluded he had violated the policy,” she said. He had been sanctioned and warned after an investigation in 2020, “which also found that he had violated the policy,” she added.
In an email Monday, Mr Garfield said he was not yet able to fully speak to the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, but defended his behavior by shouting.
Almost three years ago, a New York Public Radio and WNYC workplace culture investigation was conducted after a string of misconduct charges against on-air personalities. Although it did not identify any “systemic” harassment, the investigation found that incidents of bullying and harassment were not reported to senior management for fear of retaliation and lack of confidence in the organization. system.
In December 2017, two longtime hosts Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz were fired after complaints of inappropriate behavior, and former “The Takeaway” host John Hockenberry was charged with sexual harassment. The handling of the allegations contributed to the downfall of Laura R. Walker, longtime president and CEO of New York Public Radio, who resigned in March 2019.
Mr. Garfield co-hosted “On the Media” for 20 years. He also wrote a column for Advertising Age for 25 years until 2010 and hosts the Audible podcast “The Genius Dialogues”.
“I was fired not for ‘intimidation’ per se, but for shouting in two meetings,” he wrote in the email. “Either way, as will be clear from the then, the provocation was extraordinary and simply shocking. “
He said last year’s investigation concerned shouting that “implied blatant insubordination under pressure from production.”
“Over time, the full story will emerge… and it’s really scary,” Garfield said. “It’s tragic.”
“On the Media” examines the functioning of the news media and their impact. It won a Peabody Award in 2004 and is now broadcast to millions of listeners on 421 public radio stations.
WNYC content director Andrew Golis told staff in an email Monday that the show will continue with Brooke Gladstone, Mr Garfield’s co-host and the show’s editor, at the helm.
“I know this is important news for our NYPR community,” Golis said in the email, which was viewed by The New York Times. “Bob has been with the organization for two decades, and ‘On the Media’ is an invaluable companion to listeners across the country both on air and online. It is a show that we are proud to support and a team that we are proud to have as colleagues.