Former KROX Host Sues Station After Dismissal


A former morning host for Austin alternative rock station KROX (101.5 FM) has sued the station and its parent company, Waterloo Media, over her dismissal in 2021.

The lawsuit filed by Deb O’Keefe claims working conditions at the station became “toxic” after Waterloo and its owner, Bob Sinclair, acquired the station from Emmis Communications in 2019.

According to the lawsuit, Sinclair “made misogynistic, racist, and discriminatory comments” in the workplace, including an accusation that Sinclair told a unnamed Hispanic employee that if she made a mistake, he would call immigration officials.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by the Austin Chronicle newspaper, charged that Sinclair “was willing to damage the careers of female employees in order to prop up the careers of male employees,” and cited a number of demotions that occurred at Waterloo-owned stations.

Some of the allegations made in the lawsuit were backed by an unnamed former Waterloo employee, who reportedly told the Chronicle that Sinclair was known to make “sexist and racist comments.” In her lawsuit, O’Keefe said she didn’t feel comfortable approaching the station’s human relations department, accusing Sinclair of nepotism when he hired his nephew, Chris Sinclair, to lead that department.

O’Keefe said the stress of the workplace caused her to call in sick several times, and that her tardiness was eventual grounds for her dismissal in 2021. The morning show that she worked on with co-host Jason Dick was re-branded after her departure. (Dick was laid off in late 2022.)

The lawsuit accused Waterloo of breaching a contractual agreement with O’Keefe to keep her employed through at least 2022. Waterloo has filed a countersuit, arguing that O’Keefe breached the contract “by failing or refusing to comply with company rules, policies or directives after receiving notice of such failures.” Waterloo also argued O’Keefe made disparaging remarks about the company on her social media accounts.


  1. Is it “disparaging” if you speak the truth? I’ve been told since I was child that there is no expiration date on the truth. Or was that simply “alternative facts as per Waterloo?” Perhaps Waterloo is a company that should have their license in Austin revoked.


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