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Gaenzler, Klein, Hager terminated by 97 Rock two weeks after racist on-air incident

Gaenzler, Klein, Hager terminated by 97 Rock two weeks after racist on-air incident

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Two weeks after lead host Rich "Bull" Gaenzler and co-host Chris Klein were suspended for their part in a racist incident on 97 Rock that led to the firing of host Rob Lederman, Cumulus Radio announced Wednesday night that they and program director John Hager have been terminated.

A Cumulus spokesperson issued the following statement: “Upon further consideration following the racist incident that occurred on 'The Morning Bull Show,' we decided to terminate the whole morning show in addition to the Program Director.”

Lederman was fired immediately after the advertiser fallout surrounding a 45-second segment on March 24 when he compared toaster settings to the tone of the skin of two Black female celebrities.

At that time, Gaenzler and Klein were suspended without a return date announced.

Hager, who entered the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2018, has been at 97 Rock since 1988 after an earlier stint with the station.

Bobby Rosati, the morning show producer, remains with the station, a Cumulus spokesman confirmed.

Morning shows have prep discussions before they air, which has led to questions about whether the discussion was preplanned and if the program director was aware of it and blamed for making it on the air. Hager couldn't be reached for comment.

Gaenzler, who replaced Larry Norton as lead host of 97 Rock's morning show in December of 2015, was fired from three freelance jobs with the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits and the University at Buffalo Bulls after the March 24 segment.

Gaenzler’s participation in the racist segment wasn’t in the same category as Lederman. He listened to Lederman’s abhorrent commentary and was heard to say “OK.”

Klein, who has been a news reader, participated in the disgusting discussion. After Lederman brought up the names of two Black celebrity women, Klein brought up the name of a third Black celebrity female as if the subject were OK.

Cumulus, which owns 97 Rock, didn't immediately announce what will replace "The Morning Bull Show." 

In a statement, Jim Riley, the market manager for Cumulus stations in Buffalo, wrote: “The search begins immediately for a new morning show that serves Buffalo in a way that is consistent with 97 Rock’s long heritage."

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TV Critic

Alan Pergament has had a variety of roles at The News since 1970, including as a news and sports reporter. He has been the TV columnist since 1982, with more than year off for good behavior. He is a member of the national Television Critics Association.

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