It was nothing short of a cameo appearance at a Podcast Movement expo booth a company he co-owns, The Daily Wire, paid for. But, for at least one attendee, the very appearance of an individual known for his controversial stance on the LGBTQ+ community led conference organizers to apologize for his presence on Twitter.

That set off a firestorm of its own, leading Cumulus Media, parent of Westwood One — syndicator of a talk show featuring this personality — to announce this week that it is severing ties with Podcast Movement.

On Thursday, a long-awaited apology directed to Ben Shapiro came from Podcast Movement.

As first reported late Thursday by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, Podcast Movement President Dan Franks followed up on a Tweet that essentially said sorry to the popular podcast and radio host by issuing the following statement:

“As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right.

“Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow.

“We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.”

Perhaps the apology is a bit too late to save Podcast Movement’s business relationship with Cumulus. The Cumulus Podcast Network has been The Daily Wire’s advertising sales representative since 2016; The Ben Shapiro Show is syndicated through Westwood One.

In a statement previously published by RBR+TVBR, Cumulus Media said, “After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.”

 



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