Early last month, former News Talk 98.9 The Roar of Memphis morning host Bob Boccia — known as “Sideshow Bob” — sued Cumulus Media claiming he was discriminated against after refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The company has now denied any wrongdoing.
Boccia claimed that due to suffering from Crohn’s Disease and his status as a “devout Catholic” should have given him both a medical and religious exemption. However, Cumulus claims the host never sought an exemption from its vaccine, and alleges it never agreed that he wouldn’t be required to take the shot.
The company says it provided Boccia with reasonable accommodation, but it could not give an exemption to him without altering the safety of other employees. It went on to say that Boccia, who was ultimately fired for refusing the vaccine, was let go “for legitimate business reasons based on safety requirements which are job-related and consistent with business necessity”.
The former morning host is seeking damages of at least $75,000 after he claims his contract was breached. Cumulus argues that because Boccia has received income from other avenues since his departure, he has simply failed to seek employment as part of a ploy to garner sympathy for the suit.
WDAY Host Jeff Left Retires After 50 Years
Left worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
WDAY host Jeff Left is saying goodbye to radio as he’s retiring after 50 years in the industry across the country. Left began his career in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was 17 years old, and his first on-air opportunity was reading traffic reports to listeners.
“I wasn’t afraid or nothing. ‘I-35 backed up 10 minutes’, and I’m just reading it,” Left said about doing his first live-reads. “I said to myself, ‘Is this it? This is fun!”
Those live-reads led to Left traveling the country and working at various stations throughout his 50-year career. He worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
Eventually, he returned to WDAY for a second time, working in sales, production, and as an on-air personality alongside Bonnie & Friends.
“I’m lucky enough to have 27 advertising awards, I’ve been published 23 times nationally…” Left said. “…I thought it was time, and so that is why I decided to retire.”
Beginning Monday, October 2, Jace Denman will join Bonnie & Friends as Bonnie’s new co-host.
KQED Promotes Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Role
Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
News/talk KQED in San Francisco is promoting Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
Aguilar reacted to his promotion on X, formerly Twitter, and shed light on details of what the new role that he’s taking over will consist of.
“Happy to share that my role at @KQED is growing,” Aguilar wrote. “I’m now Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. In addition to the exciting broadcasts we do, I’ll also now oversee diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the Content division.
“I’ll work closely with our Chief DEI Officer and teams to ensure our internal culture and our programming authentically serves the diverse Bay Area community we cherish. I’ll also be implementing annual Content DEI plans.”
Before joining KQED and heading to the Bay Area, Aguilar was Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and worked in Houston’s public radio scene. Furthermore, he thanked his boss, Holly Kernan, for entrusting him with the new role.
“Sincere thanks to @KQEDKernan, my boss, for her dedication and leadership on diversity issues,” Aguilar added. “Her support for devoting resources within Content is invaluable and a step I hope other organizations learn from.
Chris Hayes Taking Podcast on Road with Live Tour
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is taking his Why Is This Happening? podcast on tour, as he’ll be hosting three live shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. Hayes has already made a stop in Austin, but the bulk of the tour is getting underway.
Hayes’ tour this fall will begin on Oct. 9 in Chicago, then head to Philadelphia on Oct. 16, and conclude in New York on Nov. 12. Furthermore, the MSNBC host won’t be alone, as he’ll guest, including some from his network.
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia; meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
The All In host was recently in the news after it was announced that Inside with Jen Psaki will take over the Monday 8 p.m. time slot of Hayes’ show, with the change beginning on Sept. 25.
Nonetheless, Hayes will still anchor his show Tuesday through Friday, and Psaki will continue in her Sunday time slot at noon.