Cumulus Files To Move Former Hosts' Age Discrimination Suit To Federal Court
April 6, 2016 at 4:32 AM (PT)
CUMULUS has filed a motion to move an age discrimination lawsuits filed by former CUMULUS Classic Hits WHNN/SAGINAW "JOHNNY BURKE AND BLONDIE" hosts JOHNNY BURKE and BONNIE "BLONDIE" HOLZHEI from SAGINAW COUNTY court to U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern Division of MICHIGAN.
In her suit, filed in FEBRUARY in state court, HOLZHEI alleges that on AUGUST 24th, 2015, she was told by Operations Dir. SCOTT STINE and her PD in CINCINNATI that the station needed to "attract younger listeners" and led her to feel that "they did not believe that an older talk show host and co-host would be able to deliver." Subsequently, she "believed that she was being targeted for termination," based on STINE's alleged response to her ideas to attract younger listeners being that "it probably would not happen" and he would "appear to shoot down those ideas." The suit cites MICHIGAN's ELLIOTT LARSEN Civil Rights Act to allege age discrimination.
BURKE's complaint alleges the same points, and notes that during an OCTOBER 29th meeting, various employees joked that BURKE and HOLZHEI were "too old to pull it off" (bringing in younger demographics), and when the pair was fired, a "corporate executive" told them that the company was "looking for a newer music (sic), and younger audience."
BURKE and BLONDIE were fired and the format changed to AC as "MY 96.1" in JANUARY. They are hosting an online show weekday mornings.