MEDIA

2 Prominent NY Public Radio Hosts Fired After Misconduct Investigation

The dismissals come amid a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in media.
WNYC host Leonard Lopate was fired Thursday along with Jonathan Schwartz, another host at the public radio station, after an
WNYC host Leonard Lopate was fired Thursday along with Jonathan Schwartz, another host at the public radio station, after an investigation into their alleged inappropriate behavior.

Longtime WNYC radio hosts Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz are the latest media figures to be fired from their positions after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior, station owner New York Public Radio announced Thursday.

“New York Public Radio has terminated the employment of Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz following two separate investigations overseen by outside counsel,” spokeswoman Jennifer Houlihan Roussel said in a statement.

Both men had been on suspension since earlier this month after accusations of their misconduct came to the station’s attention. NYPR did not provide specifics about the behavior in question. 

“These investigations found that each individual had violated our standards for providing an inclusive, appropriate, and respectful work environment,” Roussel said. “In each investigation, an outside investigator interviewed multiple witnesses as well as Lopate and Schwartz.”

Lopate, 77, who for over three decades has hosted a weekday talk show named for him, previously said he was shocked by the accusations.

“I have done nothing wrong, and I am really sad that my reputation may be damaged, despite the fact that I have not done anything that I know of that could have led to this situation,” Lopate said in an interview with WNYC News earlier this month. 

NYPR said in its statement that the recent investigation was not the first time it has had to look into Lopate’s behavior. It conducted a previous inquiry in February after he allegedly made “inappropriate remarks” to his staff. That investigation resulted in a warning and one-on-one anti-harassment training for him. 

Complaints against Schwartz, 79, host of “The Jonathan Channel” and a music program on weekends, date back to November, NYPR said. He has also faced previous disciplinary action for his behavior. 

Their accusations follow those against former WNYC host John Hockenberry, 61, who was accused earlier this month of bullying and sexually harassing women throughout a long career at the station, which ended in August. 

Several other media figures have lost their positions in recent months after facing allegations of sexual misconduct, including Minnesota Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor and NPR’s Michael Oreskes and David Sweeney, CBS’ Charlie Rose and NBC’s Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin. 

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