Eric Ferguson out at 101.9 The Mix

Allegations of sexual harassment sink Hall Of Fame career

It must be “fall from grace” in Chicago week because we have another case of a success story going down in flames.

Eric Ferguson resigned as morning host of Hubbard’s hot adult contemporary station The Mix/WTMX-FM Friday afternoon, stepping down over allegations of sexual harassment at the station.

Ferguson has apparently come to terms with the Minneapolis-based company on a contract settlement as terms were not disclosed. Ferguson had two years remaining on his deal as he was one of the highest-paid radio personalities in Chicago.

Since details of Ferguson’s sexual harassment were made public, Hubbard has been hit with two defamation suits – one from former producer Cynthia DeNicolo and another from current US 99 morning personality Melissa McGurren. In all, four women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct from demanding oral sex to harassment. A motion by Ferguson’s lawyers to dismiss the case was expected on October 5, but now delayed until December 23.

The morning show continues with Brian Paurch (Whip), Nikki Chuminatto, and Violeta Podrumedic for the time being.

Originally paired with Kathy Hart in 1996, Eric & Kathy was one of Chicago’s most successful morning radio shows in history, though unlike morning programs from mass appeal favorites Larry Lujack, Wally Phillips, and Bob Collins, Eric & Kathy wasn’t exactly a critical hit and seemed to target North Side and suburban women in the 25-54 demo. Still, the duo often topped the morning ratings, or at least always ranking in the top five.

But cracks in the foundation began showing about four years ago when it was reported Ferguson and Hart clashed off-air and at one point, stopped speaking to each other unless it was on-air. Hart went MIA in 2017 and quit shortly thereafter. The show was rebranded Eric In The Morning With Melissa & Whip in 2018 and kept its dominant position in the ratings. But in the last year, those ratings began to drop.

As the investigation continued, Hubbard management yanked Ferguson off the air four weeks ago, and it appeared officials at the company were still trying to protect their number-one morning star at all costs. It was basically a cover-up.

Ferguson’s exit comes just days after a report from law firm Jenner and Block detailed how the Chicago Blackhawks mismanaged a scandal involving their former video coach who sexually assaulted a player, whose name was revealed as Kyle Beach. After the report came out Tuesday, several people were forced out from the organization – including former coach Joel Quenneville, who lost his job in the same capacity with the Florida Panthers.

If anything, there should an investigation involving Hubbard – who runs 101.9 The Mix, WSHE-FM, and WDRV-FM/The Drive and the local executives involved in this cover-up should either resign or be fired. If Hubbard won’t do it, then this is something maybe the FCC could look at and maybe start license revocation hearings.

Enough is enough.

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