Pa. radio host out after being told he couldn't criticize Trump

Central Pennsylvania radio host Bruce Bond is out at 92.1 WTPA-FM after being asked by management to stop criticizing President Trump.

Bond, a well-known figure on midstate radio since the 1980s, said he made the decision to resign as host of The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show after refusing to comply with a directive by the station’s general manager, Tim Michaels, to not “talk disrespectfully” about the president.

“It wasn’t my agenda to talk politics, but it’s impossible to avoid the topic of Trump [while] doing a three-hour talk show,” Bond said. “That fact that my bosses would censor me and not allow me to talk about this stuff is ridiculous.”

“I have received backlash in the form of emails, phone calls and such,” Michaels wrote in a email that Bond shared on Facebook. “I have asked previously to cease political discussion. If this cannot be achieved we will have no choice but to discontinue the show.”

My apologies to the General Manager of WTPA for the posting of this memo earlier today. I should not have had his email…

Posted by Bruce Bond on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bond said that management didn’t seem to care when he spoke about President Obama on the air, but claims their attitude about politics changed last year when it became clear Trump would be become the Republican presidential nominee.

“They’ve warned me a couple times about speaking against Trump, which I just ignored,” Bond said. “But this last time, I decided to take a stand and walk away. I didn’t want to have to walk on eggshells every time Trump comes up.”

Pat Garrett, the owner of WTPA who is best known for his billboards along I-78 promoting his sheepskin business, is an unabashed Trump supporter who made his political preferences well-known in a song he released during the campaign.

 

“I thought I’d make it so there wouldn’t be any mistake about it,” Garrett told ABC 27 last year. “My feeling is, that Trump is for America, and that’s what I’m for. So that’s why I wrote the song.”

Michaels said the station accepted Bond’s resignation, but did not elaborate further.

Bond has hosted his show on WTPA since 2003 after serving about two years in prison for his involvement in a $4.3 million forged-check scheme. He started his radio career in the 1980s as a host for WNNK-FM, where he became well known for making prank phone calls.