Longtime sports radio talk-show host Ralph Barbieri sued his former employer Monday, saying he had been wrongfully fired from KNBR (680 AM) in April after 28 years at the station.
In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Barbieri accused the radio station and its owner, Cumulus Media Inc., of age and disability discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful termination.
Barbieri said the station fired him after he had disclosed last year that he suffered from diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. The station claimed, Barbieri said, that he was being terminated for being late to work.
Bill Bungeroth, a Cumulus vice president and market manager, said in April that Barbieri had not honored the terms of his contract.
Barbieri’s lawsuit said that his show with Tom Tolbert, “The Razor and Mr. T,” had been consistently rated No. 1 or No. 2 in the market for the 15 years they worked together, right up until the date of Barbieri’s firing. It said that neither his age nor his disabilities prevented him from fulfilling the requirements of the job.
Barbieri’s attorney Angela Alioto called the station’s treatment of him a “maliciously blatant kind of discrimination.” Officials at the station could not immediately be reached for comment.
The lawsuit is seeking $10 million.