Wednesday, July 11, 2018

NYC Radio: Leonard Lopate Returns To WBAI-FM

Leonard Lopate, the WNYC radio host fired last year amid allegations of inappropriate behavior toward his female colleagues, is returning next week to New York’s radio waves with a show on WBAI 99.5 FM.

“Leonard Lopate at Large,” a one-hour program, is scheduled to start July 16. WBAI is owned by Pacifica Foundation, which is known for its liberal-leaning programming.

Lopate’s career in radio began at WBAI in 1977. During his tenure there, he hosted a gospel music program and a late-night call-in show.

“They called me and of course I was really pleased,” Mr. Lopate said. “Returning to my roots seemed rather exciting and also an opportunity to do something different.”

In December 2017, Mr. Lopate and his co-worker Jonathan Schwartz were fired as revelations about sexual harassment sent tremors through various media industries, including public radio.

WBAI 99.5 FM (10 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WNYC and its owner, New York Public Radio, said it had been investigating allegations against Mr. Lopate for months before making its decision. Mr. Lopate, 77, had been a host at WNYC for more than 30 years when he was fired.

The NY Times reports a report by the law firm Proskauer Rose released earlier this year concluded that senior management at WNYC did not know about or tolerate systemic discrimination at the station. But even after Laura R. Walker, president and chief executive of New York Public Radio, apologized for prioritizing “growth, and content and programming, over investment in some of the processes and people,” multiple WNYC employees complained that the report was insufficient.

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