Michael Oreskes, NPR’s editorial director and senior vice president of news, resigned in early November after being accused of sexual harassment by several female staffers. Another top editor, David Sweeney, left later that month as a result of sexual-misconduct allegations against him. And legendary “A Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor was ousted after what Minnesota Public Radio characterized as accusations of “inappropriate behavior.”
Ashbrook’s home station issued a statement Friday announcing Ashbrook’s suspension but did not release details about the allegations or a timeline for his absence. According to the statement, the station’s owner, Boston University, plans to hire an outside organization to investigate the accusations and will make further determinations based on the result of that investigation.
A spokeswoman for the station, Kristen Holgerson, said the station could not comment on specifics until “the process is concluded.”
A story by WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger said the station’s staffers gathered Friday for an off-the-record meeting, where they were told of Ashbrook’s suspension. According to the story by Bebinger, who was not present at the meeting, station manager Charlie Kravetz told newsroom staffers that the station’s “primary concern is a positive work environment for everybody who works here and a respect for all those people who listen here in Boston and across the country.”
Ashbrook said in a statement to WBUR that he’s “stunned at the situation” and that he has “no information about what the station has received. There’s a process and I respect the process.”
On Friday, Ashbrook retweeted a laudatory note from a fan hoping for a fair process.
According to WBUR, Ashbrook’s show will air Monday with a guest host.