Right-wing pundit Dan Bongino appears to be taking a break from his radio show and is off the air for at least the rest of this week in the midst of a public feud over a Covid-19 mandate imposed by Cumulus Media, the radio giant that distributes his show, according to a Wednesday report.
Several affiliates that play The Dan Bongino Show told the radio broadcasting industry trade magazine Radio Ink that Bongino’s program has been put on “best of” mode for the rest of this week.
The show, which occupies the noon to 3 p.m. time slot on Cumulus Media’s influential radio network Westwood One, also did not air on Tuesday, according to Radio Ink.
Zachary Petrizzo, an investigative reporter with Salon, tweeted Wednesday morning that he received information Bongino is currently on “vacation” from his radio hosting duties with Cumulus.
Cumulus Media and a general inquiry line for The Dan Bongino Show did not immediately respond to requests for comments; Bongino could not immediately be reached by Forbes.
Bongino’s sudden and so far unexplained departure from the air follows a public clash over the Covid-19 vaccine mandate imposed by Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner in September. Several of the company’s radio hosts have already quit or been fired over the rule, which was geared toward an October 11 return to the office. Bongino himself has been fully vaccinated on the advice of his doctors as he is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his team said. However, the right-wing pundit says he believes vaccine mandates are “unethical” and “immoral.” He threatened to quit his job earlier this month if Cumulus Media didn’t shift on the mandate.
“Cumulus is going to have to make a decision with me—if they want to continue this partnership or they don’t,” Bongino told listeners in a recent program. “It’s really unfortunate that people with a lower profile than me, who don’t have 300-plus stations, have been summarily either shown the door or been put in really untenable circumstances because they simply want to make a medical decision by themselves.”
Bongino’s show with Westwood One debuted in May and is being distributed to more than 300 stations, according to the company. He holds the time slot previously occupied by the late Rush Limbaugh. Prior to securing this profile-raising opportunity, Bongino made a name for himself with years of punditry on shows like Fox News, the National Rifle Association’s now-defunct NRA TV and Alex Jones’ InfoWars. The former Secret Service agent and thrice unsuccessful congressional candidate also has a huge audience on social media, where his posts regularly outperform those from media giants like The New York Times and Fox News.
“Conservative pundit Dan Bongino threatens to quit radio giant over vaccination mandate” (The Washington Post)