Updated: Sept. 15, 7:01 p.m. | Posted: Sept. 14, 3:55 p.m.
MPR announced Tuesday evening that Eric Malmberg will no longer be a host radio DJ at The Current.
“MPR has made the decision that the audience of The Current is best served by a programmatic change,” according to a statement released on MPR.org. “Our hosts have to be able to attract an audience that wants to listen to them and trusts them and over the last 36 hours those conditions have changed for Malmberg.” The statement was attributed to MPR President Duchesne Drew.
In response to an MPR News reporter’s question on whether Malmberg resigned or was fired, an MPR spokesperson said, “Effective immediately and we let him go.”
The announcement follows veteran MPR News reporter Marianne Combs’ public resignation Monday morning from her position in the newsroom.
In her resignation letter, which she shared on social media, she said editors “failed to move forward” on a story after months of reporting about misconduct in the local music scene. The story focused on an on-air host at The Current. Combs alleged the company was dragging its feet, which Drew disputes.
“While the editors have not gone so far as to cancel the story, they have shown such a complete lack of leadership that I no longer have any confidence they will handle the story appropriately,” Combs tweeted.
Combs did not name the individual who was the subject in the story in her Twitter thread.
In an interview with MPR News host Cathy Wurzer Tuesday, Drew said that editors had asked Combs to put more work into the story, and he believed their demands were well-founded. He said editors thought the story was still in progress and was proceeding toward potential publication when Combs resigned.
On Monday in a company statement, Drew said that newsroom editors were “blindsided” by the resignation.
“We were shocked by Marianne Combs’ decision to resign her position at MPR News. That said, I fully support the editors who reviewed her story. The MPR News editors decided that the story, which deals with complex and sensitive issues, is not ready to run because it does not meet our journalistic standards," the statement said.
Drew said wrongdoing alleged by sources against the host, whom Drew did not identify, didn’t relate to the individual's work at The Current. He said that none of the allegations had surfaced before the host was hired and that the host went through a mandatory company background check.
In his interview with Wurzer, Drew also addressed the firing of classical music host Garrett McQueen.
Click on the audio player above to listen to MPR President Duchesne Drew’s interview with Cathy Wurzer.