Former public radio host Tom Ashbrook launches new online media venture

Tom Ashbrook.
Lucy Cobos
Tom Ashbrook.

Tom Ashbrook, the former public radio host fired by WBUR for bullying subordinates, has a new web media venture.

The website,, features conversations between Ashbrook and various cultural luminaries, similar to the format he adopted for his syndicated “On Point” program.

“I’ve been talking with some interesting people lately about the world and where we’re going,” Ashbrook writes at the top of the web page. “You can listen to those conversations here. Be well!”


Recent guests have included former British spy chief Sir John Sawers; historian Maya Jasanoff; social network entrepreneur Salman Habib; author and foreign policy analyst Kori Schake; and artist Steven Locke.

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The launch of the site represents a quiet comeback for Ashbrook, who was dismissed from “On Point” after a review of workplace complaints concluded he had created an abusive environment at WBUR-FM.

The station had placed Ashbrook on leave in December after 11 former employees of the show — men and women — accused him of “verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching,” according to BU Today, Boston University’s website. The university operates WBUR as an NPR affiliate.

A separate review concluded Ashbrook had not sexually harassed female staff members at WBUR.

One review, by Longpoint Consulting, verified claims that Ashbrook had created an abusive work environment, according to the university.


Ashbrook said at the time of his firing that his workplace interactions were “always well-intended and driven by my commitment to great radio and tackling tough issues,” though he expressed some regret in how he managed the team. He also said WBUR and BU “failed in their responsibility to effectively address these issues when they arose when they could have been more easily resolved.”

Mark Arsenault of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.