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MPR says DJ for The Current no longer works for company after sexual misconduct allegations

MPR News - Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media Building - St. Paul Photo: Tony Webster . MPR News - Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media Building - St. Paul

KSTP
Updated: September 15, 2020 07:41 PM
Created: September 15, 2020 07:28 PM

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) announced on Tuesday that a DJ for 89.3 The Current will no longer be part of the station after an MPR reporter resigned Monday, claiming her bosses at the news station would not release her story about a DJ who had been accused of sexual misconduct on multiple occasions.

According to MPR, listeners and members have reached out and as a result, the station has decided to no longer have Eric Malmberg, a DJ on The Current, as part of the station. 

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"Our hosts have to be able to attract an audience that wants to listen to them and trusts them and over the last 36 hours those conditions have changed for Malmberg," MPR's statement read. 

MPR also tweeted to clarify that Malmberg is now a former employee and does not work for the company anymore. 

Marianne Combs resigned from MPR Monday after working as a reporter there for 23 years. 

Veteran Minnesota Public Radio reporter resigns, claims bosses covered for Current DJ accused of sexual misconduct

On Monday morning, Combs tweeted out that she has been investigating allegations for the past two and a half months about a DJ on The Current. During that time frame, Combs stated that she had gathered the testimonies from eight women who say that a DJ had "sexually manipulated and psychologically abused them." 

Combs said the experiences she has heard from the victims' spans over 15 years and stated that most of the victims were "younger, sexually inexperienced women." 

MPR President Duchesene Drew provided the following statement to KSTP on the matter:

“For more than 53 years, Minnesota Public Radio has been guided by our public service mission to inform and inspire the people we serve. Fulfilling this mission requires an unwavering commitment to build trust – with our own employees and with diverse audiences and communities. 

We were shocked by Marianne Combs’ decision to resign her position at MPR News. That said, I fully support the editors who reviewed her story. The MPR News editors decided that the story, which deals with complex and sensitive issues, is not ready to run because it does not meet our journalistic standards. In fact, they were blindsided by Marianne’s resignation and expected that she was continuing to work on the story. Editors had discussed with her how to strengthen the story so it might meet our standards. That’s common practice in this business. Investigative stories take time for good reason and the editors who were shepherding this story were doing so in a responsible way that met our journalism and ethics standards.

The sources in the story do not allege that the subject of the story assaulted them or did anything illegal. None of the sources in the story were willing to be identified. The reporting could not confirm that any of the women had reported their allegations or incidents to authorities. No complaints regarding any action by him have been brought forward to MPR’s HR staff. No MPR employee has made any accusations against him on their own behalf, nor on behalf of other employees. And when we hired him, his background check came back clear.

The MPR News editors use discipline in applying our high standards for journalism. The MPR newsroom seeks independent legal counsel on First Amendment and other matters related to our reporting. Our editors, not attorneys, decide when a story is ready to run. Neither I nor any other members of senior leadership at Minnesota Public Radio or American Public Media Group were involved in shaping or reviewing the story. Doing so would have been inappropriate. In fact, there’s a firewall between the newsroom and senior leaders of the company. 

The integrity of our journalism is a bedrock principle for us. Facts matter, to us and to our audiences, and we work hard to earn the trust of every listener by honoring the highest standards of professional journalism in every story. I trust MPR News editors to apply those standards for every story we report, and I stand by their decisions on this story.”

-Duchesne Drew, President, MPR


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