Cumulus Media has opted to fire “97 Rock” radio host Rob Lederman after he made deeply offensive comments during a broadcast earlier this week. During the broadcast, Lederman and his colleagues seemingly compared the skin tones of Black women to toast. He then went on to say that he could never date a woman with a complexion as dark as Serena Williams, but he would date a lighter-skinned woman with a complexion similar to Halle Berry’s. These comments were recorded and later posted to Twitter by ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques.
As the clip made it way around Twitter, more and more people began to jump in to condemn the radio host. Jason Concepcion of Crooked Media, Clinton Yates of ESPN, Amy Trask of CBS and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown called Lederman out. Ultimately, Cumulus Media caught wind of what took place and let Lederman go.
“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,” a spokesperson for Cumulus Media stated.
However, the company did not act before it began to take a hit from advertisers. Roswell Park and West Herr Automotive Group both pulled advertisements from the radio station after hearing Lederman’s remarks.
Lederman’s colleagues, Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein, will also face repercussions for their actions. The two will be suspended indefinitely. Gaenzler has also been relieved of his duties as a public address announcer for football games at the University of Buffalo.
“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,” the athletic program told News 4 in Buffalo.
The show’s most recent podcast has been pulled and it is unclear who will replace the trio in the near future.
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