Radio host Dan Bongino challenged the validity of Cumulus Media’s vaccine mandates, railed against CEO Mary Berner, and reiterated his desire to leave the company during a diatribe that was brought on by Cumulus firing more employees because of vaccine requirements Thursday.
The rant began at the top of the second hour with Bongino discussing an email that was sent out by Berner regarding the termination of unidentified employees who were let go in the name of “public health.”
Bongino said Berner addressed the company by saying that “regretfully because of public health, we had to let some people go because of the vaccine mandates.”
“I don’t understand what the public health component is,” said Bongino. “The vaccine is entirely ineffective against stopping transmission from Omicron and that’s been scientifically proven.”
In October, Bongino issued an ultimatum to Cumulus Media, demanding that they get rid of their vaccine requirements or fire him.
Thursday, Bongino became furious when the company not only fired more employees over mandates but also notified its employees that “vaccine misinformation” was being broadcast over the radio. Bongino then proceeded to invite Berner on the show multiple times to defend the company’s policy.
“You want to come on the show?” Bongino asked several times. “Let’s have a little debate. I hope you’re not talking about this show [broadcasting vaccine misinformation] because if you did, and you had any guts, you would say don’t come back tomorrow.”
Bongino told his audience that “he doesn’t work for Berner and that Berner works for him.”
“I don’t need you, you need me,” he said. “Nobody is listening to the Mary Berner show. I don’t need you for anything.”
Bongino admitted that he is double vaccinated and also said that he was not going to get the booster shot citing a battle with COVID-19 following the vaccination process.
Cumulus Media is not the only broadcasting company to require its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Most, if not all, major radio companies like Audacy and iHeartMedia have mandates in place.
Ryan Hedrick works for WIBC in Indianapolis as a Morning News Anchor/Digital Content Producer. Prior to moving to Indy, he served as Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. His career also includes stints at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA, Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and WIBW-AM in Topeka KS where he earned the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
Bill Handel: Ken Chiampou Retirement ‘Big, Big Hit to KFI’
According to KFI, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou are the longest-running duo in talk radio history.
KFI AM-640 host Ken Chiampou is in his final week hosting the station’s early afternoon show before he retires. Morning host Bill Handel shared his sentiments on the longtime host Tuesday.
John and Ken are airing a series of tributes to Chiampou throughout the week, and Tuesday, Handel shared that the loss of the radio host is a big one for the iHeartMedia station.
“Frankly, it’s a big, big hit to KFI. Obviously, you’ve been a huge part, not only of the radio station, but of talk shows all over the country,” Handel said. “Everybody knows who you are. Even though I hate to say this — because that’s not how I role — you are going to be missed. And it’s kind of a nice feeling to end a career the way you are doing, leaving at the high end of your career.”
According to KFI, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou are the longest-running duo in talk radio history. The pair have been working together since 1988, when they joined 1400 WOND in Atlantic City, NJ, after leaving competing stations in Elmira, NY.
Hugh Hewitt: I Will Never Discuss Colleagues On the Air
“It is professional courtesy and I extend it to all my collegaues, present and past.”
Hugh Hewitt welcomed author Tim Alberta to his Salem Radio Network morning show Wednesday to promote Alberta’s recent book. However, there was a point of contention about how the interview would be conducted.
While promoting that he’d appear with Hewitt, Alberta shared that he had agreed not to discuss Eric Metaxas and Charlie Kirk — Hewitt’s Salem Radio Network colleagues — during the interview, despite being prominent figures in his book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism.
“I agreed to keep his Salem Radio colleagues, Charlie Kirk & Eric Metaxas, whose radicalism I document in detail, out of this conversation,” Alberta wrote in a post to X.
Hugh Hewitt followed that post up by pointing out the condition for Alberta to appear on the program and not talk about Salem Radio Network hosts isn’t a new policy for the longtime radio host.
“In the interests of accuracy, (Tim Alberta), on air I told you I don’t discuss colleagues from (NBC), (The Washington Post), or (Salem Media Group) on air and that therefore we wouldn’t be discussing Charlie or Eric, and you agreed to my groundrules,” Hewitt wrote. “It is a rule set for every interview with every author and guest for all three platforms. It is professional courtesy and I extend it to all my collegaues, present and past.”
NJ 101.5 Program Director Anne Gress Departs
Gress has been let go as part of cost-cutting measures by the company.
New Jersey 101.5 Director of Content Anne Gress has departed the Townsquare Media-owned station.
Barrett News Media has learned that the station’s top programming boss has been let go as part of cost-cutting measures by the company.
Gress began programming New Jersey 101.5 in January 2018 after 14 years of leading CBS Radio’s classic hits station WOGL in Philadelphia. In 2020, she added programming duties at station WPST, a CHR station.
Her other prior stops include urban formatted Power 99 and smooth jazz WJJZ in Philadelphia, and Q105 in Tampa, among others.
Under her leadership, New Jersey 101.5 finished the Trenton spring ratings period with a 7.9 share in the 6+ demographic, 2nd overall among all local stations. The dominant talk brand featuring Bill Spadea, Deminski and Doyle, and Dennis and Judi also delivered a 5.2 share in the Middlesex-Summerset-Union market.