Minnesota Public Radio arts reporter Marianne Combs abruptly resigned Monday after management refused to broadcast her story about a personality at the company’s adult alternative “89.3 The Current” KCMP who was alleged to have psychologically abused women. By Tuesday evening the subject of the article, Eric Malmberg, was fired.
Malmberg hosted overnights once a week and handled fill-in shifts at “The Current.”
“MPR has made the decision that the audience of The Current is best served by a programmatic change. As a result, Eric Malmberg will no longer be a DJ on The Current,” President Duchesne Drew said in a statement. “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.”
In announcing her decision to leave MPR Combs said, “I gathered testimony from eight women who say that he sexually manipulated and psychologically abused them. Their experiences span fifteen years and describe a man who preyed on younger, sexually inexperienced women. These women encountered him while he was working at other local radio stations; they are concerned that he is now using his status as a DJ at ‘The Current’ to attract and further torment young women.”
Malmberg’s previous Twin Cities radio experience includes positions at Cumulus Media classic rock KQRS and rock KXXR.
Combs said she presented a draft of her story to MPR’s editors and legal counsel for review. And while the attorneys apparently cleared the story to run, station management did not. “They have countered that the DJ’s actions were, for the most part, legal, and therefore don’t rise to the level of warranting news coverage,” she said. “They described him as ‘a real creep,’ but worried that airing a story about his behavior would invite a lawsuit.”
While it’s unclear if Combs will return to MPR, or if her story will run, she tweeted on Wednesday, “Feeling so much immense gratitude today, Thank you.”