After over 13 years as a host on KVOR in Colorado Springs, Jeff Crank was told to walk away from the radio station’s microphone due to his failure to get a COVID vaccination, per KVOR’s requirement for employees — a mandate Crank calls “unethical and immoral.”
“Recently Cumulus Media – which owns KVOR – instituted a forced employee vaccination policy nationwide,” wrote Crank on Facebook Saturday. “While I am not anti-vaccination, I am anti-tyranny and I told them that I find their policy unethical and immoral. I’ve already had coronavirus. I discussed the vaccine with my doctor and he recommended that I not take the vaccine at this time as there was very little risk to me contracting COVID and even less risk of having severe complications from COVID. I’m going to make my medical decisions after consultation with my doctor – and it won’t be forced onto me by the CEO of a company that I’ve never met or knows nothing about me.”
Reached via email by the Colorado Times Recorder, Crank — who is in the opinion business — said he can’t “advise people on whether or not they should get the vaccine,” adding that “if I hadn’t already had COVID and was in poor health or older than I am, I would have talked to my doctor, followed his advice, and would have taken the vaccine if that is what he thought best. … I am anti-tyranny.”
In his email, Crank decried the “shaming tactics employed by many in the media and those on the left. Whatever happened to ‘my body, my choice?'”
Cumulus issued the vaccination requirement to employees Aug. 11, giving them until Oct. 11 to get the shot and stating that vaccinations are part of the effort to combat the Delta variant, according to the Radio and Television Business Report, citing information from the RadioInsight.com blog. Leading medical experts agree that vaccinations save lives. That’s the basis for the national mandate, announced after Cumulus’ made its decision to require vaccinations, that government workers and those at large businesses get vaccinated unless they get tested or obtain an exemption.
Crank wrote that the KVOR station manager informed him that, as a result of his refusal to provide proof of vaccination, Crank’s last show would be on Saturday. Crank discussed his decision on Saturday’s show.
“Last week I had a cordial conversation with my friend, Bobby Irwin, the program manager at Cumulus Colorado Springs and he informed me that, because of my position on the issue and not providing proof of vaccination, today’s show will be my last show on KVOR,” wrote Crank.
Crank, who’s both a social conservative and a free-market libertarian, launched a podcast so he can continue his show.
“My voice will continue and so will the show. It just won’t be found on Cumulus Media. I hope you’ll continue to join me every Saturday morning at 7 am – or anytime you can- on the show,” he wrote on Facebook. “It can be found on Apple or Google podcasts on your phone by searching my name in the podcast app. Subscribe to the podcast, and we will continue as friends every week.”
Crank once ran for Congress but lost in a vicious primary after voters were hit with misinformation, allegedly orchestrated by fellow Republican Jon Hotaling and others, that Crank supported the “homosexual agenda.” Crank has remained deeply upset about the incident, which helped usher U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) into office.
He was once the regional director of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded conservative organization.
“One day our country will look back on this time in our history with shame – that we live in a country where you can be forced to go against your doctor’s best medical judgment in order to feed your family,” wrote Crank on Facebook.
No decision has been made on a Crank replacement, according to a person who answered the studio line at KVOR.
Radio Ink reports that two other Cumulus Media radio hosts were fired for refusing to get a required COVID vaccination.
UPDATE Oct. 12: A statement from Crank was added.
CORRECTION Oct. 11: This post initially stated that Crank quit his job at KVOR. His departure is better characterized as a firing. KVOR management did not return a call, but Crank said he had an ongoing paid gig that KVOR terminated due to Crank’s refusal to get vaccinated per Cumulus’ mandate, which was announced in August.