Radio personality Don Geronimo, who was fired from his position as morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s WBIG-FM, Washington, DC last Saturday (7/29), has issued an apology for his on-air language directed at WUSA-TV, Washington sports reporter Sharla McBride. He writes, in part: “Last week, during my live radio show from the Commanders training camp, I used inappropriate words in a way that hurt someone. I deeply and sincerely apologize for the pain I caused WUSA sports reporter Sharla McBride. As has been reported, I insensitively used the terms ‘Barbie,’ ‘Barbie girl,’ and ‘chick’ when talking about Ms. McBride, a fellow broadcaster who I did not know or recognize when she walked by our broadcast position. My attempts to be humorous and topical backfired, and I needlessly deprecated a professional colleague… I have reached out to Ms. McBride to apologize. When she feels ready, I hope that we can have a conversation and that I will have the opportunity to reiterate my apology to her in person. I hope that Ms. McBride and the listeners who heard me will forgive me. I am better than this, and I promise to demonstrate that going forward.”
According to a number of sources, including from CBS News Baltimore, iHeartMedia has fired WBIG, Washington morning personality Don Geronimo after he made comments on the air about WUSA-TV reporter Sharla McBride. While covering the NFL’s Washington Commanders training camp for iHeartMedia – which has the radio play-by-play rights to the club’s games – Geronimo is reported to have said, “Hey look, Barbie’s here. Hi, Barbie girl. I’m guessing she’s a cheerleader.” The club initially barred WBIG from covering practice on Friday (7/28) and terminated his employment on Saturday. iHeartMedia issued the following statement: “After an internal review, Don Geronimo is no longer an employee of WBIG. We take matters of this nature very seriously and this behavior does not align with our core values.” McBride commented to ESPN, “When I heard the comments made about me on the radio show, I felt incredibly insulted and embarrassed. In my 17 years as a professional journalist, I have never been disrespected in such a blatant manner while trying to do my job. Their words were sexist and misogynistic. No woman should experience this in the workplace, and I appreciate the Commanders’ swift response in handling this matter.” For his part, Geronimo stated via social media, “At this time I will not be providing comment on the events of the last few days. I am consulting with my advisers as to my options moving forward, including an accurate reflection of the situation.” Read the CBS News story here.