A radio host in Buffalo, New York was fired after he made racist comments during his morning show. Cumulus Media terminated Rob Lederman — the host of the “Morning Bull” show on their 97 Rock station — for comparing the complexions of Black women to toasted bread. Co-hosts Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein were suspended.
“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,” the company wrote in a statement. “We swiftly terminated him and suspended the remainder of the show’s on-air talent. We apologize, and deeply regret the incident.”
During a conversation with Klein and Gaenzler on the morning radio show, Lederman discussed his preferences in Black women’s skin tones.
“I may get into trouble for this,” he said. “I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level.” He then explained that he needs “a little bit of mulatto still coming through” before revealing, “Gayle King is not even on my toaster level.”
ESPN reporter Marcel- Louis-Jacques took to social media to post the clip, which prompted various advertising partners, including Roswell Park and West Herr Automotive Group, to pull their ads and marketing from 97 Rock.
Co-host Gaenzler has also been affected following his involvement in the controversial conversation. He lost his job as in-arena host for the Buffalo Sabres (hockey team) and Bandits (lacrosse team). The University at Buffalo Athletics also chose not to consider him as a public address announcer for their football games.
The “Morning Bull” show hosts even got the attention of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who released a statement in response to their remarks.
“The racist commentary made on the ‘Morning Bull’ show on 97 Rock is outrageous and intolerable,” he said. “There is no place in our society for these statements or beliefs. I strongly condemn what these individuals said on the radio.”
In the wake of the ensuing backlash regarding his racist comments, Lederman said he was “horrified” by his use of words and could “easily see how someone could be offended by that.” “I get that,” he said.