New York public radio WNYC fired Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz after concluding two investigations about “inappropriate behavior” allegations. WNYC put both hosts on leave in early December, as iMediaEthics reported.
The news came in a statement from WNYC public relations distributed this afternoon, announcing the firings. The statement noted that Lopate also was accused and investigated in February and Lopate was given a warning and training in that instance. In response to the firing, Lopate told WNYC the firing was “unjust.”
The statement, sent to iMediaEthic by e-mail, reads:
New York Public Radio has terminated the employment of Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz following two separate investigations overseen by outside counsel. These investigations found that each individual had violated our standards for providing an inclusive, appropriate, and respectful work environment. In each investigation, an outside investigator interviewed multiple witnesses as well as Lopate and Schwartz.
The investigation into Leonard Lopate’s conduct was prompted by recent allegations of inappropriate behavior, following a previous substantiated investigation in February of this year of inappropriate remarks made by Lopate to staff. That previous investigation resulted in one-on-one anti-harassment training for him and a warning to Lopate that he was creating an uncomfortable work environment.
The investigation into Jonathan Schwartz was prompted by multiple complaints of inappropriate behavior received earlier this month and followed previous complaints, including as recently as November of this year, that were investigated and substantiated by New York Public Radio and resulted in disciplinary action at those times.
These decisions were made by management in consultation with and with the support of the Executive Committee of the New York Public Radio Board of Trustees.
We recognize that Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz have made many contributions to New York Public Radio and we are deeply saddened to have to take these steps. But our higher commitment continues to be to ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for our staff, guests and listeners.
Unlike WNYC’s decision, yesterday, the New York Times announced it would reinstate reporter Glenn Thrush next month. The Times’ suspension of Thrush followed allegations of unwanted sexual advances by him.