Friday, April 5, 2019

St. Louis Radio: Host Quits After Producer's Complaint

Don Marsh
Longtime talk show Don Marsh, who quit his job last week as a host at St. Louis Public Radio, said he did so after managers asked him about a remark he had made to a guest a day earlier that a colleague had felt was sexist.

The station’s general manager, Tim Eby, said on Sunday that the remark was not the purpose of the meeting between managers and Marsh. He would not specify the meeting’s purpose. Although the colleague’s complaint came up in the meeting, Eby said it was “not something that management was concerned about.”

Marsh’s guest on Tuesday’s edition of “St. Louis on the Air” was Karen Foss, who retired in 2006 as anchor for KSDK-TV (Channel 5). Marsh said in an interview with the Post-Dispatch on Sunday that when he greeted Foss before the 21-minute interview, “I told her she looked great.”

Foss, 75, wrote on Facebook on Saturday that she accepted the greeting from Marsh, 80, as a “common way for those of us who are aged to greet each other.”

“As a woman who has long argued for the equitable treatment of women, I am highly alert to sexism and discrimination and I sensed absolutely none of that in his greeting.”

The post was shared more than 800 times, and several Facebook users commented that it seemed like the radio station was being too sensitive.

Marsh told the Post-Dispatch that a producer had complained about his greeting of Foss. He said he was called into a meeting with two managers before going on the air Wednesday, in which one of them said they wanted to “put this behind us.”

“And I said, ‘Are you basically saying what I did was wrong?’” Marsh said. He said the manager made a gesture with his hand “like it’s right on the edge. And I said, ‘That’s it, I’m done.’”

Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019.

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