Popular Nashville radio host Blair Garner said his employer, Cumulus Media, blocked him and other country music stations from airing his recent interview with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE.
The mayor of South Bend, Ind., interviewed with Garner on Wednesday when he was in Nashville during a stop on his campaign tour.
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 the 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
Garner’s self-titled radio show is syndicated nationally and can be heard on more than 150 stations.
HuffPost reported that Garner 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.”
An initial email from Garner sent to affiliates gave them the option of airing two segments from his interview with Buttigieg.
“Just to be clear, I would have also enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to have any candidate, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, 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.
“It’s important to Pete to reach voters everywhere, and we’ve made it a point on this campaign to go outside the traditional political media bubble- that’s why we reached out to Blair about an interview,” Buttigieg’s spokesman Chris Meagher told The Hill. “He has a big audience, and it’s an audience that doesn’t typically hear directly from Democratic candidates for president. It was a great discussion and we are obviously disappointed that Blair’s listeners won’t have the opportunity to hear it.”
A spokesperson for Cumulus Media told The Hill that the decision not to air the interview was made “because of the large number of political candidates currently in this race.”
“As broadcasters subject to the FCC’s Equal Time Rule, Cumulus Nashville’s programming managers made the decision not to air Blair Garner’s pre-recorded interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg 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,” a spokesperson for Cumulus Media said.
–Updated 2:04 p.m.
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