Radio Mogul Considers Resigning as University California Regent After Harassment Claim

National Radio Hall of Famer, Norm Pattiz, is facing pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown and others

Broadcasting magnate and University of California Regent Norm Pattiz says he may consider resigning his post, but not out of pressure to do so because of sexual harassment allegations that surfaced last month.

Pattiz was caught on tape last month asking comedian Heather McDonald if he could “hold her breasts,” referring to his hands as “memory foam.” In addition, Ji-Min Park, a former employee at Pattiz’s PodcastOne, told the Los Angeles Times that she left the company because he told her she looked like a “schoolgirl” and that he had watched “too many videos” with schoolgirls in them. She says Pattiz also told her, “If I wasn’t married, I’d be chasing you down a hallway right now.”

The recording was given to McDonald by a former PodcastOne producer who has sued Pattiz for allegedly brandishing a gun on him and retaliating for giving the recording to the comedian. Pattiz, who has denied the charges, said about his retirement that he is still undecided but that the charges against him are making him consider not resigning.

“I haven’t made that determination,” Pattiz told the San Francisco Chronicle, in reference to his stepping down. “If I become a distraction, I don’t want that. I care too much about the university. Time will tell if I’m going to be a continuing distraction.”

“Had this (recording) not come up, I might have considered retirement more than I’m considering it now. I certainly don’t like the idea of retiring under a cloud.”

Pattiz, 75, has been on the UC Board of Regents since 2001, but as allegations mount, he has been pressured to resign not only from UC students, but from California Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who are both also on the board. Newsom, along with state schools chief Tom Torlakson and student Regent Paul Monge, sent a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano last month asking what she has done to investigate Pattiz, while dozens of UC students protested against Pattiz at the latest Regents’ Meeting.

“This has been a matter of deep concern at many levels of the UC, especially in light of the systemwide work we have done to address sexual harassment and sexual violence,” the letter read.

The letter also condemned Pattiz for saying the UC Student Association should be “ashamed of themselves” for approving a resolution calling on the board to dismiss him. Pattiz told the Chronicle he said this because their resolution is “full of information that isn’t true.”