In late May, the massively influential radio network Westwood One debuted a new daily talk show from Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and New York City cop who gained stature in conservative media during the presidency of Donald Trump. The show occupies the noon-3 p.m. time slot once dominated by Rush Limbaugh, setting Bongino up as one of the key challengers for his audience.
Within two months, the show had reached distribution on more than 300 stations, which the company described as “impressive growth.”
Now, Bongino is threatening to walk away completely. He has taken issue with a vaccination mandate imposed in August by Westwood One’s owner, Cumulus Media. Chief executive Mary Berner gave all employees until Sept. 27 to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus before an expected return to the office and wrote that “it would neither be fair nor do we have the bandwidth to make exceptions based on individual preferences,” according to industry publication Inside Radio.
Several Cumulus radio hosts have already quit or been terminated because of a stated preference not to be vaccinated for personal or medical reasons, and Bongino is threatening to join them. Though the host’s team says that he has been vaccinated on the advice of his doctors because he has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bongino is objecting to a mandate on behalf of rank-and-file employees who don’t want to get vaccinated.
“I’m not really happy with the company I work with right here,” Bongino told listeners on Monday. “I believe these vaccine mandates are unethical. I believe they’re immoral. I believe they don’t take into account the science of natural immunity due to a prior infection. I believe they’re broad-based and don’t take into account an individual circumstances of why they may or may not want to take a vaccine. And they’re antithetical to everything I believe in.”https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2021/10/18/conservative-pundit-dan-bongino-threatens-quit-radio-giant-over-vaccination-mandate/