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New York Public Radio Places 2 Hosts on Leave During Misconduct Investigation

Suspension comes just days after another WNYC host was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment

New York Public Radio has placed Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, two of New York’s popular radio hosts, on leave while the company investigates misconduct allegations, the station said on its website.

Laura Walker, the president of NYPR, said in a statement that the station “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly,” adding that “NYPR is committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure a respectful, equitable, inclusive and harassment-free workplace for everyone.”

Lopate has been a host on WNYC, which is owned by NYPR, for more than 30 years, discussing arts, politics and food each weekday, while Schwartz hosts The Jonathan Channel. Apart from WNYC, NYPR also owns classical music station WQXR and New Jersey Public Radio.

The station did not detail the accusations against the two radio hosts, and a spokesperson for the station has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

According to The New York Times, the men were placed on leave days after John Hockenberry, another WNYC host, was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and bullying in a The Cut article.

Lopate told the Times that he was “baffled” and “really quite shocked and upset” by the suspensions, which he added came without warning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. He also said that WNYC didn’t give him “a clue” about the nature of the allegations. Later, he said he remembered using the word “testicle” in a colleague’s presence one time, but doesn’t believe that such a statement resulted in his suspension.

“It makes no sense to me,” he said. “I am sure any honest investigation will completely clear me. That’s the only thing I’m concerned about — the damage to my reputation.”

He added, “I have never done anything inappropriate on any level — that’s not the way I conduct my job. This may just be the current environment, but this is kind of overkill.”

Another WNYC host, Mary Harris, filled in for Lopate on Wednesday’s broadcast and will continue to do so while Lopate is on leave. A substitute for Schwartz has yet to be determined, a spokesperson told The Times.