WNYC Fires Two Long-Serving Radio Hosts After Sexual Harassment Accusations
New York Public Radio fired two of its most popular and beloved hosts Thursday after each was recently accused of sexual harassment and bullying, the New York Times reported.
Leonard Lopate, 77, and Jonathan Schwartz, 79, had been suspended earlier this month. Each was a fixture of WNYC, the public radio station in New York. Lopate was a host on the station for over three decades. Schwartz was a well-known jazz critic and expert on Sinatra.
NYPR said that both men had faced disciplinary actions for improper behavior several times in the past. The company said it fired the two men based on the findings from an independent investigation.
In a statement, Schwartz said he was “extremely disappointed” about the firing decision. Upon being suspended, Lopate told the New York Times that he had “never done anything inappropriate on any level.”
“We recognize that Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz have made many contributions to New York Public Radio and we are deeply saddened to have to take these steps,” said a spokeswoman for WNYC. “But our higher commitment continues to be to ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for our staff, guests and listeners.”
Several other major figures in public radio have been removed from their positions over allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, including Michael Oreskes, John Hockenberry and Garrison Keillor.