Popular Nashville radio host Blair Garner has accused his employer, Cumulus Media, of blocking him and other country music stations from airing his interview this past week with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
Garner posted a photo of himself with Buttigieg on Twitter on Friday, writing that Buttigieg “asked to be on my show. My employer decided I couldn’t air it.”
He included a link to his interview posted on SoundCloud.
My interview with @PeteButtigieg. The only candidate who asked to be on my show. My employer decided I couldn't air it – but I did get permission to post it on my personal Soundcloud here: https://t.co/Sqi0bOTyQ1 @Lis_Smith pic.twitter.com/0K88w3cA49
— Blair Garner (@blairgarner) July 19, 2019
HuffPost reported that Garner, whose self-titled radio show is syndicated nationally and can be heard on more than 150 stations. sent an email Friday to all affiliate stations informing them that Cumulus Media made the decision to block the interview from airing.
“I’ve been told that the interview cannot air,” Garner wrote in the email, obtained by HuffPost. “I was very proud that a presidential candidate of any party valued our show to the degree that they would ask to be a guest.”
“Just to be clear, I would have also enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to have any candidate, including President Trump, as a guest. It was simply that Mayor Pete showed up, and made the ask,” Garner wrote in the second email announcing the interview had been spiked.
A spokesperson for Cumulus Media told HuffPost that the decision not to air the interview was made “because of the large number of political candidates currently in this race.”
“The decision was made by local programming management based solely on concerns related to the application of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday, “The effects of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule are widely understood and considered whenever these types of issues arise.”