One week after saying he was “terminated” from his two radio shows on KVOR and KKFM in Colorado Springs due to noncompliance with vaccine requirements, conservative talk radio host Tron Simpson announced he would return to the airwaves as a guest on two national shows, one of which is broadcast by the same parent company, Cumulus Media, that employed Simpson.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, Simpson tweeted that he would appear the following day on Dan Bongino’s show — broadcast nationwide by Cumulus — “to discuss my termination from Cumulus radio stations here in Colorado Springs.”
Later that day, Simpson called in for a brief interview with Sebastian Gorka on his nationally syndicated “America First” show broadcast by Salem Radio Network and airing on Denver’s KNUS station, where he discussed the circumstances of his termination from KVOR and KKFM, both Cumulus radio stations.
Simpson returned to Cumulus Media as a guest on Dan Bongino’s show on Oct. 20, 2021.
However, Simpson’s interview with Bongino is not included on the radio podcast for that show, available on Cumulus Media’s podcast platform as well as the podcast platforms of iHeart and Westwood One. All three of those platforms offer a one-hour edited audio selection of Bongino’s show, which airs for three hours daily. The same abridged podcast is available from Bongno’s show website.
A complete, 3-hour video recording of each of Bongino’s daily shows is posted on Fox Nation however, a streaming service affiliated with Fox News. Simpson’s entire call-in appearance can be heard in the recording of the Oct. 20 show, at the beginning of the show’s third hour.
Efforts to reach Tron Simpson for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
Last May, Bongino’s show inherited the time slot previously held by Rush Limbaugh.
While he is vaccinated, Bongino has, repeatedly and at length, challenged the Cumulus policy requiring vaccination for all employees on his show.
He has threatened to leave the Cumulus network in protest, saying on October 20, during the episode on which Simpson appeared, “For those of you who are missing–, I don’t want to keep beating this thing to death but we’re reaching, soon, a crescendo and decisions will have to be made. My radio show, I won’t be doing it if they – I won’t be doing this show if Cumulus – the syndicator of the program – doesn’t dump their vaccine mandate. … This is a principled decision I stand behind. We have come under attack by a lot of people, on the right… but also people on the left.”
One week after Simpson’s appearance, Bongino did take a leave from his show, during which time Cumulus aired recordings from previous episodes.
Following negotiations and an “ugly fight” with Cumulus, his show returned with live episodes. At that point, it was reported that Cumulus was remaining steadfast on their vaccine mandate for employees.
Also on Oct. 20, Simpson made an appearance on the nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network show, “America First” with Sebastian Gorka, a conservative host who served as a Trump appointee to the Department of Defense.
Similar to his interview with Bongino, Simpson described for Gorka his attempt to obtain a medical exemption in order to continue broadcasting with Cumulus on KVOR and KKFM in Colorado Springs.
According to Simpson, his departure from KVOR and KKFM was expedited by his popularity with listeners, who inundated the radio stations with complaints about Simpson’s pending departure. Gorka compared the management at Cumulus to “vaccine Nazis.”
“I went through the proper channels in asking the company for a medical exemption,” explained Simpson. That’s what they asked for, whether it be religious or medical. Mine was definitely medical. I talked to my doctor. He agreed, because of previous blood clots in my leg that I had had, this … would be high risk, to take these shots. So, my doctor signed off, saying deep vein thrombosis could just rear its ugly head again if I were to take these this experimental, non-FDA-approved stuff. Now, to be very clear, I’m not anti-vax. I’m not. I’m anti blood clot. I’m not anti shots. I think it’s helping people. I think it’s great. But you do you. I got emails [informing me] that I was being turned down [for an exemption]. After I filled out the proper paperwork, I was denied. That Sunday before I was to be terminated, I told everybody, my listeners, that I won’t be on the show anymore because I was going to be terminated due to my decision, my health decision, my doctor’s decision, and I put it out there. Fast forward to Friday, October 9, before my assumed last Sunday show, I got a call from management, local management. [They] told me that people were calling the station and they were angry and they were calling in droves — emails [also] — about my dismissal. … So, again, they shut me down that Friday, and they actually — listen to this — they closed the office the rest of the day because they just couldn’t handle the calls anymore!”
Gorka asked Simpson about his planned response to being terminated, and Simpson intimated that legal action was likely.
“My brother is an attorney and he’s a damn good one, and he has been in New York law for years,” said Simpson. “He’s now in Colorado, and he and I are going to go to bat for the situation. Let’s put it that way. We will not back down. We will not stand still. We will not go quietly. And look, when they absolutely tell you that you have to do something that you know constitutionally that you don’t have to do –. And by the way, this is something that a lot of other people are doing. The last thing I want to say is, [to] those of you who are being told to get a shot, do not quit your job! Let them fire you! Let them fire you. This is very important.”
Despite losing his two shows on Cumulus, Simpson continues on-air, hosting a program of oldies music at Legends Radio, 95.3 fm, a Kimtron, Inc. station broadcasting to metro Denver from Brighton, Colorado.
In a tweet from shortly after his departure, Simpson derided his former employer. He has also highlighted other conservative news outlets which have enacted vaccine requirements.
One Colorado talk radio host was hospitalized for COVID, and subsequently hasn’t advised listeners to get vaccinated, and another host died of the virus.
Listen to Simpson’s entire interview with Sebastian Gorka in the YouTube media player below.
CORRECTION: This article was corrected on Nov. 14, 2021, to reflect the fact that, contrary to our initial reporting, Tron Simpson did appear on the Dan Bongino Show. An article appeared on Bongino’s website alerting the Colorado Times Recorder to this error.