Here’s a story getting national attention, and probably wouldn’t be, if Donald Trump was not the President. And it’s a great General Manager case study. What would you do if you had to manage Bruce Bond? Can he ever be hired again in radio or has he burned his last bridge?
Local market veteran Bond hosted a talk show on the Rock station WTPA in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, every Saturday morning. Ever since he quit he’s gone on a social media rampage posting and reposting the national media coverage about himself and his burst of fame. He claims he had to quit because his GM asked him to cut out the political talk, mainly about President Trump. GM Tim Michaels repeatedly asked Bond to lay off the political discussion.
Bond used the station as an outlet to talk politics and criticize the President. General Manager Tim Michaels wanted that to stop and even put his request to Bond on paper, which Bond quickly posted to his Facebook page after he quit. Doesn’t the GM or Market Manager have every right to make the rules or even change the rules at any time? Bond didn’t want to follow the rules and because it had to do with Donald Trump, many national media outlets lapped up the story. How many full-time hosts and DJs lose their jobs or quit in radio every day — and never get any attention from the national press?
Here’s what Michaels told Radio Ink on Tuesday. “Bruce Bond was hired at WTPA to host an entertainment-type show. He was cautioned many times about making it a political show. He chose to resign. We have accepted the resignation and wish him well. WTPA is a station that does not promote or endorse any political party or candidate. We have always positioned the station to be welcoming to all, no matter their political affiliation. We do not wish to be offensive to anyone. Bruce crossed acceptable boundaries.”
The note Michaels sent to Bond to get him to back off and stick to the format.
After posting the Michaels letter to social media, Bond then apologized for not including the GM’s e-mail and phone number on the original post. Bond’s claim for quitting was that “there is this really ugly political environment in this country with the current president. Unfortunately,” Bond adds, “Central PA can’t handle someone as liberal and brutally honest as I can be.”
Bond is no stranger to controversy. According to Pennlive.com, in 1998 WNNK had to pay $8,000 in fines for two prank calls made by Bond. In 2008, Bond was indicted on 65 charges including attempted grand larceny, identity theft, and possession of forging materials. Authorities allege he was involved in a $4.3 million forged-check scheme. He is found guilty and sentenced to 2 1/3-7 years of prison. In 2010 he is released on parole.
The big question for our readers: Would you hire Bruce Bond as a talk show host on your radio station?