Why Did This MPR Reporter Quit?


Minnesota Public Radio’s Marianne Combs quit her 23-year job Monday after accusing management at the public radio station of covering for a DJ at sister station 89.3 the Current who has been the target of sexual misconduct allegations.

Combs says she researched and wrote a story about the person being accused of sexual misconduct, it was approved by MPR lawyers, but editors have failed to move forward with the story. She says the editors called the accused a real creep but said he had not done anything illegal and her story would have brought on a lawsuit.

In a 19-post thread on Twitter Combs accused editors at MPR of showing a complete lack of leadership and she no longer had any confidence they will handle the story appropriately.

According to the Star Tribune, MPR President Duchesne Drew said the editors decided the story was not yet ready to run because it didn’t meet its journalistic standards. He said the station was blindsided by Combs’ resignation and he supports the decision of the editors not to run the story. “Editors had discussed with her how to strengthen the story … The sources in the story do not allege that the subject of the story assaulted them or did anything illegal. None of the sources in the story were willing to be identified. The reporting could not confirm that any of the women had reported their allegations or incidents to authorities. No complaints regarding any action by him have been brought forward to MPR’s HR staff. No MPR employee has made any accusations against him on their own behalf, nor on behalf of other employees. Facts matter, to us and to our audiences, and we work hard to earn the trust of every listener by honoring the highest standards of professional journalism in every story.”

Here’s Drew’s full statement. He will also be on the air Tuesday morning during the 8 a.m. hour of Morning Edition on MPR News.



  1. All the above comments not only cover this story but thousand of others in ever media. They use this type of story to not tell the facts but to present only their “facts as they see them” . So much for real unbiased reporting anywhere.

  2. What a world we live in. No support, no named accusers no complaints and they are bad for not publishing a story? Seriously lacking in any sort of journalistic standards just run the story and hope for the best? that you do not get sued? Or worse yet hope that the next time there are unsupported but horrible creepy allegations it is not you that they name from the veil of unsupported anonymity. She should have retired there is no place in journalism for sloppy unsubstantiated damaging stories. But she is free to write a book and can pay for her own defense when sued.

  3. Activism has no place in a news organization. Unfortunately, activism has infected most all news organizations in the country. Quitting because management said to not run the story? Bush league. She didn’t get “her” way. Probably lucky she wasn’t fired before she was able to quit. Real reporters don’t quit when they don’t get their way. When the EDITOR (who has final authority for what runs and what doesn’t run) says it won’t run, that’s it. Move on to another subject. Quitting just showed she didn’t get “her” way and wasn’t able to put “her” spin to the story. Let management handle this so-called “creep” as it is their job, not hers. The fact lawyers approved her verbiage does not override an editor’s discretion and is just a red herring not germane to the issue. If I had to make a guess, she wrote the story on her own, and was probably told to leave it alone as management has their own plan on how to handle the issue, but she couldn’t.


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