On Point Host Tom Ashbrook Dismissed
Boston University has dismissed on-air host Tom Ashbrook.
Ashbrook, who was the host of WBUR's two-hour show On Point, which is operated by Boston University, had been on leave while two separate investigations took place to determine if he had created a hostile work environment and violated the university's sexual misconduct policy.
Through the investigations, a review of hostile workplace claims was verified by Longpoint Consulting. The second investigation of sexual misconduct, conducted by the law firm Holland & Knight, found that the host had "unwelcome conduct" but that it was not sexual in nature.
The university said the investigators from both firms talked with about 60 people, including those who made complaints, past and current employees of the show, Ashbrook and station management.
“We were struck by the common themes that appeared in both reports,” Gary Nicksa, the university's senior vice president for operations, said in a statement. “On Point employees expressed enormous pride in the program and they recognized that along with everyone else, Mr. Ashbrook was under a great deal of pressure to make sure that the two-hour daily program was perfect. But the employees also described ways in which Mr. Ashbrook consistently overstepped reasonable lines and created a dysfunctional workplace in the process.”
In a statement, Ashbrook said he was disappointed in Boston University's action.
"I am very proud of my sixteen years at WBUR, contributing to the national dialogue in a way that is especially important today," Ashbrook wrote. "I am also proud of the extraordinary team who worked with me on the program and made it what it was. Some have been with the program from the beginning, and others have gone on to great careers in media beyond the show. I’m proud of those who thrived with us.
"I’m sorry to those who found the show’s pace and me just too much," Ashbrook continued. "I’ve felt a terrible urgency about our country’s direction, and that urgency played out -- maybe too stridently sometimes -- in our workplace. We strove for excellence in really challenging times and sometimes colleagues’ feelings were hurt along the way. I regret that."
Ashbrook also said WBUR failed in its management of his show.