On Point radio host Tom Ashbrook has been dismissed from WBUR. Ashbrook, who has hosted the nationally syndicated show for 16 years, was placed on leave in December 2017 after 11 current and former station employees filed complaints of sexual misconduct and bullying that spanned the past 10 years.
WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger has the latest details on this story here.
Tom Ashbrook's statement in full:
I am deeply disappointed by this decision, which I believe is profoundly unfair both to me and the listeners who are been such a part of On Point. I am very proud of my sixteen years at WBUR, contributing to the national dialogue in a way that is especially important today. I am also proud of the extraordinary team who worked with me on the program and made it what it was.
Some have been with the program from the beginning, and others have gone on to great careers in media beyond the show. I’m proud of those who thrived with us. I’m sorry to those who found the show’s pace and me just too much. I’ve felt a terrible urgency about our country’s direction, and that urgency played out – maybe too stridently sometimes – in our workplace. We strove for excellence in really challenging times and sometimes colleagues’ feelings were hurt along the way. I regret that.
WBUR and BU stated that the sole basis for this decision was my management of our team. I believe that WBUR and Boston University failed in their responsibility to effectively address these issues when they arose when they could have been more easily resolved.
When these issues arose, there were suggestions of inappropriate behavior that were completely antithetical to my personal values and my respect for the people with whom I worked. In their decision, WBUR and BU concluded there was no basis for any action based on the review of those issues.
I have learned a great deal about myself over the past couple months, and there are things I would do differently in the future.
But my interaction with our team was always well-intended and driven by my commitment to great radio and tackling tough issues.
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. I am fortunate to love what I do, and I look forward to rejoining the national dialogue in whatever way I can.
Statement by Laura R. Studen, partner at Burns & Levinson
The independent investigation concluded that Tom did not engage in any form of sexual harassment, contrary to the initial media coverage of this matter. Boston University’s decision was based solely 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.
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 solely based on his management interaction with his team. The workplace issues raised could clearly be addressed without this drastic action.