BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Cumulus Media, the owner of 97 Rock, announced Wednesday they “swiftly terminated” morning show host Rob Lederman citing his comments were in direct violation of their company principles.
The company says the rest of the The Morning Bull Show’s on-air talent has been suspended. This includes Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein.
“CUMULUS MEDIA operates from a clearly-defined set of programming principles and there is no question that Rob Lederman’s comments made on The Morning Bull Show are in direct violation of those principles. We swiftly terminated him and suspended the remainder of the show’s on-air talent. We apologize, and deeply regret the incident.”Spokesperson for Cumulus Media
Roswell Park announced it is pulling all ads and marketing from 97 Rock after learning of a controversial exchange made Wednesday on the morning show.
West Herr Automotive Group has also pulled their advertising schedules from 97 Rock, according to a statement from the company that handles West Herr’s media placements.
A spokesperson for Media Pros of WNY said, “Our agency handles the media placement for West Herr and, per West Herr’s instruction, their current advertising schedules on 97 Rock were immediately canceled earlier today when they became aware of the situation.”
Pegula Sports & Entertainment followed by severing ties with one of the show’s hosts, who served as their in-arena host for Sabres and Bandits games.
University at Buffalo Athletics released this statement to News 4 regarding Rich Gaenzler’s role with UB moving forward:
“The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics is committed to sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion and strongly denounces racism in all forms. Rich Gaenzler is not currently under contract with UB Athletics. We will move forward with selection of another public address announcer for UB football games next season.”
A small clip of today’s Morning Bull Podcast went viral this afternoon.
ESPN reporter Marcel- Louis-Jacques posted the clip saying the hosts were comparing how they like their toast to women’s skin tones.
Didn’t hear this live but internet keeps receipts. @97RockBuffalo morning hosts compared how they like their toast to black women’s skin tone. So just in case y’all missed it too, take a listen pic.twitter.com/6nVolu5a23— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) March 24, 2021
In the audio, the hosts discussed several well-known women of color including Serena Williams, Halle Berry, and Gayle King.
In a statement, Roswell Park said the comments made this morning conflict with its values and culture.
“We embrace actions that respect the dignity and equality of all people, and forcefully reject any and all forms of racism,” Roswell Park wrote.
As of this afternoon, 97 Rock appears to have removed the podcast from its streaming platforms.
Pegula Sports & Entertainment said the comments were “unacceptable, inappropriate, and there is no place for them in our community.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz weighed in on the situation, tweeting the exchange on 97 Rock is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.
“I know our community is better than this. We must be better than this. None of this is funny. It is reprehensible, unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” Poloncarz said.
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown responded on Twitter calling the commentary on 97 Rock “outrageous and intolerable,” condemning the on-air exchange.
This is a developing story, check back for updates