Bob Garfield, the longtime host of New York Public Radio's On The Media show and podcast, was fired on May 17 for alleged bullying. The veteran journalist was accused of violating NYPR's anti-bullying policy following a recent third-party investigation. On The Media launched in 1993, and Garfield began co-hosting with Brooke Gladstone in 2001. Gladstone will continue hosting the show solo.
Garfield was fired "as a result of a pattern of behavior that violated NYPR's anti-bullying policy," NYPR said in a statement. Another investigation in 2020 also found Garfield violated the policy. At the end of the first investigation, Garfield received a "warning about the potential consequences if the behavior continued, and a meaningful opportunity to correct it."
I was fired not for “bullying” per se, but for yelling in 5 meetings over 20 years. Anger mismanagement, sorry to say. But in all cases, the provocations were just shocking. In time, the story will emerge...and it is tragic. On the Media was the pride and joy of my career. https://t.co/lY7E4ZcAII— Bob Garfield (@Bobosphere) May 17, 2021
After the news broke, Garfield tweeted that he was not fired for bullying "per se," but "for yelling in 5 meetings over 20 years." He continued, "Anger mismanagement, sorry to say. But in all cases, the provocations were just shocking. In time, the story will emerge...and it is tragic. On the Media was the pride and joy of my career." Throughout last week, Garfield also thanked his fans for their support, but at the same time noted he was "not blameless" himself. In another tweet, he said he was recovering from surgery at home, which was "central to my Zoom outburst and my firing."
"Silver lining: It's like getting to be at your own funeral, hearing the nicest things anyone will ever say about you. So grateful for the support. Big big heart emoji," Garfield wrote on May 20. "Plus, lost 5 lbs in the miracle 4-day Abject Despair Diet. Svelte! Announcement about next act coming soon." Then on Sunday, he shared a link to his website, RealGarfield.com, where he posted an introduction to his new project, The Influencer with Bob Garfield.
Garfield's firing comes over three years after two hosts, Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, were fired. An outside investigation found the two "violated our standards for providing an inclusive, appropriate, and respectful work environment," reports NPR. The Takeaway host John Hockenberry also left NYPR that same year after WNYC reported that two allegations of sexual harassment at his show were not reported to executives.
On The Media covers the news media and the impact it has. The show won a Peabody Award in 2004 and is carried on over 400 public radio stations. "Bob has been a part of the organization for two decades, and On the Media is an invaluable companion to listeners around the country both on-air and online," WNYC chief content officer Andre Golis wrote to employees in an email obtained by The New York Times. "It's a show we're proud to support, and a team we're proud to have as colleagues."