NPR's 'On Point' Radio Host Tom Ashbrook Fired

NPR's 'On Point' Radio Host Tom Ashbrook Fired

Produced by WBUR in Boston and distributed by NPR, On Point is broadcast live on Vermont Public Radio every weekday from 10 a.m. - noon.

WBUR's embattled "On Point" host Tom Ashbrook "won't be returning" to the popular show, BU Today announced, in a decision he called "profoundly unfair". The second investigation of sexual misconduct, conducted by the law firm Holland & Knight, found that the host had "unwelcome conduct" but that it was not sexual in nature. BOSTON UNIVERSITY's decision was based exclusively on issues with TOM's management of the team, which the university failed to address in a timely and professional manner that would have resolved these issues.

The university had placed Ashbrook on leave in December.

The university said the investigators from both firms talked with about 60 people, including those who made complaints, past and current employees of the show, Ashbrook and station management. An internal review by Boston University, the station's operator, confirmed claims made late a year ago that he had created an abusive work environment.

"On Point employees expressed enormous pride in the program and they recognized that along with everyone else, Mr. Ashbrook was under a great deal of pressure to make sure that the two-hour daily program was ideal", said Gary Nicksa, BU's senior vice president for operations, in the article.

"Given the University's failure to appropriately address these management issues at the time, it is fundamentally unfair that BOSTON UNIVERSITY would take such a drastic action against an employee exclusively based on his management interaction with his team". Holland & Knight concluded that there was no sexual harassment, BU said.

Nicksa said Longpoint Consulting will now help station managers make needed changes.

"I recognize that we must do better in the future", said Charlie Kravetz, general manager of WBUR.

WBUR remains fully committed to "On Point" and will "immediately begin a national search for a new host", Kravetz said.

Ashbrook, a former Boston Globe editor, began at WBUR by helping provide live special coverage after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Within a few weeks, WBUR made a decision to hire Ashbrook and make the special program a permanent show. We strove for excellence in really challenging times and sometimes colleagues' feelings were hurt along the way.

"On Point employees expressed enormous pride in the program and they recognized that along with everyone else, Mr. Ashbrook was under a great deal of pressure to make sure that the two-hour daily program was flawless". Many listeners and guests have reached out to me to express their support, and I can't express how much that has meant to me. But media observers beyond Boston believe the show could use a reboot.

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