Cumulus Snubs Podcast Movement Following Ben Shapiro Flap

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An unscheduled appearance by podcaster and Westwood One-distributed radio show host Ben Shapiro at a Podcast Movement conference booth — paid for by The Daily Wire, co-founded by Shapiro — proved to be so uncomfortable to at least one paid attendee that the show’s organizers apologized for his attendance.


The apology set off a firestorm of its own, with Podcast Movement slow to respond to criticism of its now-deleted social media commentary deriding Shapiro.

Now, Westwood One’s parent has chimed in by separating itself from any Podcast Movement activities in 2023 … and perhaps beyond.

In a statement, Cumulus Media shared that its tenet is that Every Voice Matters. As such, the company said, “We support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement.”

After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement what Cumulus believes is sufficient time “to appropriately address their misstep,” Cumulus announced that it is “disassociating” from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.

The move from Cumulus comes after Podcast Movement quietly removed its apology tweets that it made in August, in response to criticism that Shapiro, who has been vocal in his stance against LGBTQ+ community members, should not have been allowed at the event. Podcast Business Journal first reported on the removal of the Tweets.

Shapiro was not a featured panelist, nor a keynoter. He wasn’t even in the session space. Rather, Shapiro was briefly at a booth for The Daily Wire his company paid for.

The Cumulus Podcast Network has been The Daily Wire‘s advertising sales representative since 2016. Additionally, his radio show, The Ben Shapiro Show, has been nationally syndicated through Westwood One since 2019.

On September 1 Radio Ink and Podcast Business Journal Editor Ed Ryan interviewed The Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing to discuss the controversy. Boreing detailed what went on behind the scenes with Podcast Movement after the apology Tweets went up, and was very upset about the damage Podcast Movement had done to his business.

Watch Ed Ryan’s interview HERE
Listen to the interview as a podcast HERE.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Can you really call the appearance unscheduled when he paid for a booth? I’m pretty sure he had to register when he paid it to be there. Do you journalists do any research anymore? Or did that whole concept of due diligence just completely leave your industry altogether?

    • It was a cameo appearance, “ManaMOB.” He was not registered as a panelist or speaker. And yes, the company he founded and is a co-owner of paid for the booth. But, the booth was part of the vendor expo outside of the area where all of the sessions were being held. As a professional journalist, I always do my research and we offer facts. It’s up to our readers to accept them as fact, or dutifully correct us when incorrect. In this case, we are reporting the facts — Shapiro was NOT registered and The Daily Wire paid for the booth. He showed up, unannounced, for 15 minutes. That’s the story.

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