Mutual Compliment Leads to Resignation

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Former KTVI (St. Louis) Anchor Don Marsh was hosting a show on KWMU radio.

The keyword here is “was”….. as in he is no longer doing that.

Marsh was asked to hand in his resignation after he conducting and interview with his former competitor, KSDK anchor Karen Foss.

Foss explains what happened in a Facebook post:

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of being a guest on KWMU radio, when I was interviewed by Don Marsh on “St Louis on the Air”. He was an impressive host. The time flew by and I was surprised later to realize that we had covered multiple topics in just a time. Don skillfully led the conversation and gracefully accommodated the numerous breaks for news and fundraising inserts. It was a pleasure to work with such a professional. I was reminded why Marsh was always considered a premier St. Louis broadcaster.

Imagine my shock when I learned that the very next morning Marsh and KWMU parted ways. And I was doubly shocked when sources told me that I had played an unwitting role in his departure. Reportedly Marsh was reprimanded for greeting me with a ‘’you look good”. The assertion being that Don was making a sexist comment.

I am appalled.

As a woman who has long argued for the equitable treatment of women, I am highly alert to sexism and discrimination and I sensed absolutely none of that in his greeting. In fact I strongly suspect I responded by saying

“so do you”. It is a common way for those of us who are aged to greet each other - meaning we share our pleasure at being vital and healthy. It is in no way leering or meant to diminish anyone’s intellectual or professional contributions.

If indeed this simple exchange between professionals who have been friendly competitors for nearly 40 years was considered evidence of sexism, I must protest vehemently. After sixty years in the workplace, I know very well what sexual harassment and innuendo look like and this was most assuredly nothing of the kind. It was a warm and innocent exchange between two mature, mutually respectful professionals.

KWMU listeners will miss Don Marsh’s insightful view of today’s issues as well as his his good humor and grace.

KWMU released this statement which gives no reason for Marsh’s leaving:

Don Marsh resigned from his staff position as host of St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday.

He began hosting the show in September 2005 after working for many years as a journalist in print, radio and television.

During his time as host, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, and named a “Media Person of the Year” in 2015 by the St. Louis Press Club.

While we search for a new permanent host, St. Louis Public Radio reporters and producers will take on the role.

We thank Don for over 13 years of service hosting our signature talk show and guiding conversations with guests from across the region and afar with wide-ranging interests and perspectives.

Has it really gotten to the point that you cannot tell a member of the opposite sex that they “look good”?