Pete Buttigieg Interview on Country Music Radio Blocked From Airing

Blair Garner and Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 17, 2019. (Photo: Kurt Bardella/USA TODAY)

Cumulus Media blocked a Nashville country music host from airing an interview with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

In a statement to HuffPost, the company said it was concerned about the implications of the FCC’s equal time rule had the interview aired.

Blair Garner, who hosts a self-titled radio show that airs on more than 150 radio stations, interviewed Buttigieg, who is openly gay, last Wednesday when the Democrat was in Nashville for a campaign stop. Buttigieg reached out to Garner to set up the interview.

Garner’s radio show has a mostly conservative audience.

Garner announced Friday that Cumulus blocked the interview from airing on the show.

“My employer decided I couldn’t air it,” Garner wrote in a tweet. Instead, Garner posted the audio of the interview to his personal SoundCloud account and provided that link on Twitter.

According to HuffPost, Garner had said in an email to the 150 affiliate radio stations that he was going to air the Buttigieg interview as two segments on his show and then broadcast the full, nearly 20-minute interview in a podcast. He said he was also going to provide alternatives to the Buttigieg segment if affiliates chose not to air it.

“It is not, in any way shape or form, my intention for our show to become political,” Garner wrote in the email, which was obtained by HuffPost. “But because someone clearly saw the value of our listeners, I felt secure in affording him this opportunity.”

However, Garner, in a separate email to affiliates, said that he was told the interview cannot air.

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Source: USA Today