Monday, February 15, 2021

Buffalo Radio: Former WUFO PD Wins Discrimination Case

A federal judge has awarded a nearly $500,000 judgment to an ex-WUFO program director who said that the radio station fired him after his boss told him he was not "godlike," reports the Buffalo News.

Robert Frank of Garner, N.C., sued Vision Multimedia Group-WUFO Radio LLC, alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of religion and gender.

Sheila Brown, the majority owner of WUFO 1080 AM / (W243DX) 96.5 FM, made numerous comments regarding his religion and gender, including that he was not "godlike" and that God had told her he "needed to perform in a Christian manner," according to his lawsuit.

Frank also claimed that Brown would pray with people in the office and pressured him to become a member of her religious organization.

Brown often referred to how women would perform their duties and stressed that she preferred working with a female staff, according to his lawsuit.

Sheila Brown
Frank moved from North Carolina to Buffalo in January 2016 to begin working at WUFO – a radio station that broadcasts as Power 96.5 FM and Mix 1080 AM – supervising the on-air talent. The station plays urban adult contemporary music and classic hip-hop and also carries religious and community affairs talk shows, among other offerings. The radio station fired Frank near the end of April 2016.

Frank, in his lawsuit, said Brown accused him of staging a "station takeover," but he called that excuse for his firing "blatantly false."

WUFO said Frank created a hostile work environment, and at times became belligerent toward the employees he was tasked with supervising, according to court papers submitted by Pendergrass.

The radio station terminated Frank after Brown learned that he had approached her business partner, bad-mouthed her and attempted to have himself installed as the station manager, according to court papers.

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