The host of one of the most popular talk shows on National Public Radio was suspended Friday by both WBUR, the home of his program “On Point.” and Boston University, the parent of the NPR powerhouse, for allegations the university has hired an outside investigator to explore.
WBUR released this statement Friday at 5 p.m.:
Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook. Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations. We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.
Interesting, the WBUR.org story about the suspension ran under the headline: ‘On Point’ Host Tom Ashbrook Has Been Placed On Leave For Unspecified Allegations, as if WBUR did not know why it had just suspended the host of one of its own shows.
The WBUR article reported that Ashbrook was at the station Friday, but left before the staff meeting when the suspension was announced:
In a statement, Ashbrook said he’s “stunned at the situation.” He declined further comment.|
“I have no information about what the station has received. There’s a process and I respect the process,” Ashbrook said.
BU has not yet responded to a request for information about the policy for, timing of or costs of the outside investigation mentioned in the statement announcing Ashbrook’s leave.
Ashbrook retweeted this Tweet on his own feed:
@tomashbrooknpr is one of the few balanced voices in talk radio, and a terrific journalist. Hoping for a fair, transparent and equitable resolution to this; perhaps even a model process that can be followed. https://t.co/x6FvamTBu9
— Douglas Hardy (@dshardy) December 8, 2017
For more than 15 years, Ashbrook has hosted the program that is a legacy of NPR’s coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. “On Point” is carried on 290 NPR stations with roughly 1.8 million daily listeners to the two-hour weekday program. The show’s podcast has roughly 2.2 million downloads per month.
Ashbrook has a fascinating that includes his undergraduate studies at Yale University, studies in India and gold prospecting in Alaska. For 10 years, he lived in East Asia, where he dubbed over Kung-Fu movies. As a reporter, he worked for overseas and American papers before settling in Boston to lead the foreign coverage for The Boston Globe. The host has a private fortune separate from his NPR income that comes from his co-founding of the homeportfolio.com website.
Ashbrook’s first wife Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook died in 2014 after a long illness. The Bloomington, Illinois native met his current wife in 2016 after she Tweeted about one of his programs and he reached out to meet her. The couple married in June.
This is the Tweet that led to Ashbrook’s second marriage:
— Cathryn Clüver (@Cluverc) January 28, 2016
As of Dec. 5, Ashbrook’s wife Tweeted that she was overseas as part of an Eisenhower Foundation Fellowship:
— Cathryn Clüver (@Cluverc) December 6, 2017