ATLANTA – Dan Bongino, a rising star in the world of conservative talk shows on 300 stations nationwide, told listeners on Monday that he was threatening to step down if his Atlanta-based employer, Cumulus Media, did not change not its coronavirus vaccine mandate.
General Manager Mary Berner gave employees until September 27 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to the office and wrote in a note that “it wouldn’t be fair nor we didn’t have the tape bandwidth to make exceptions based on individual preferences, âaccording to industry publication Inside Radio. Certain employees who can work remotely full time are exempt.
But Cumulus Media has said no to most of the staff who requested exemptions, including those who applied because of religious beliefs and health concerns, Inside Radio said.
Bongino is vaccinated because he suffers from Hodgkin lymphoma, but protests the warrant on behalf of other employees who do not want to be vaccinated.
âI’m not really happy with the company I’m working with here,â Bongino said on the radio Monday. âI think these vaccination warrants are unethical. I believe they are immoral. I believe they ignore the science of natural immunity from a previous infection. I think they are general and do not take into account the individual circumstances as to why they may or may not want to take a vaccine. And they’re antithetical to everything I believe in.
âSo, I repeat, I am not going to give up,â Bongino continued. âCumulus is going to have to make a decision with me – whether they want to continue this partnership or not. But I’m talking to you on their airwaves. They don’t have to let this happen. And I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t. Because it is really unfortunate that people less known than me, who have no more than 300 stations, have been summarily shown to the door or put in really untenable circumstances because they just want to make a medical decision by themselves.
Cumulus declined to comment.
Bongino’s radio show also airs on the Fox Nation streaming service and he hosts a weekend show on Fox News.
Westwood One also distributes well-known conservative talk show hosts such as Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and Chris Plante. None of the network’s main hosts left Cumulus, although a few talk show hosts in specific markets left or were fired for not being vaccinated.
Cumulus owns 413 stations nationwide in 86 markets, making it the second largest radio company behind iHeartMedia.
Â© 2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.