New York Public Radio Fires WNYC Hosts Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz
New York Public Radio on Thursday fired Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, two popular and longtime personalities on WNYC, after recent allegations of inappropriate behavior.
The company said it acted after outside investigators had finished looking into accounts that the men had violated standards of workplace conduct. Mr. Lopate, 77, and Mr. Schwartz, 79, were suspended earlier this month.
New York Public Radio, the owner of WNYC, said both men had a history of being accused of improper actions and then facing disciplinary action from the organization.
Before the most recent complaints of inappropriate remarks surfaced against Mr. Lopate earlier this month, the company said it opened an investigation in February into similar allegations. Mr. Lopate was then given a warning and told to complete one-on-one anti-harassment training, the company said.
Mr. Lopate had been a host on WNYC for more than 30 years.
New York Public Radio said Mr. Schwartz, who was the subject of multiple complaints of improper remarks and behavior earlier this month, had previously been disciplined for other indiscretions. Mr. Schwartz, who joined WNYC in 1999 and hosted “The Jonathan Channel” for the station, is known for his commentary on jazz, pop and his expertise on Frank Sinatra.
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Before firing Mr. Lopate and Mr. Schwartz, investigators interviewed both men and multiple witnesses, the company said.
Mr. Schwartz, in a statement sent by his lawyer, Mark Konkel, said, “I profoundly disagree and am extremely disappointed with WNYC’s decision today.”