Award-winning journalist accuses WLRN of discrimination – citing anti-Hispanic bias

Two weeks after the host of WLRN’s Sundial reported allegations of discrimination and anti-Hispanic sentiment to his employers at the South Florida public radio station, WLRN canceled the show and fired the host Carlos Frias and his team, Frias’ lawyer told the Miami Herald.

Frias filed a complaint Tuesday with the Florida Human Relations Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that WLRN discriminated against him.

Frias, 48, a former food editor at the Miami Herald, was hired by WLRN in 2022. For nearly two years, he hosted the local talk show Sundial, which featured interviews with artists, writers and d other local personalities.

Until Feb. 1, when WLRN vice president of news Sergio Bustos ousted Frias and the two Sundial producers, the discrimination filing says.

On the WLRN website, it says the program was canceled on February 2.

WLRN CEO John LaBonia did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

In a statement, WLRN said its decision was based on a want to concentrate resources in the newsroom and develop an investigative journalism team, Axios reported.

Frias said he did not believe the loss of his show and job was due to a need to shift resources, but rather the product of anti-Latino comments, he wrote in the filing.

“To say a show about Miami culture is too Latino…of course it’s Latino,” said attorney William R. Amlong, Frias’ lawyer. “Miami is Latino.”

“It looks very Latino”

In August, Caitie Muñoz, Frias’ boss, told one of Sundial’s producers that the show “sounded very Latino,” the filing says.

Muñoz created a spreadsheet showing the ethnicity of people invited to the show, but only those who mentioned having Latino or Hispanic roots during an episode, the filing says.

When Frias asked a supervisor about the ethnicity spreadsheet, Peter Maerz, WLRN’s vice president of radio, said the show made a certain group of listeners uncomfortable, Frias wrote in the…

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