Ahead of her final show on 89.3 The Current Thursday, longtime host Mary Lucia provided a few more details about leaving.
Her departure was announced somewhat abruptly on The Current website Tuesday, with program director Jim McGuinn paying tribute to someone who "has long been more than a DJ to music fans," with only a brief comment from Lucia saying: "Starting The Current 17 years ago was a joy."
But in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Lucia says that while the "heartbreaking decision" to leave The Current is a "long and nuanced story," the short version is that she's been "trying for years to affect positive change in the company."
"I've been concerned with equity and fair treatment of all of my sisters at the station. Past, present and future. Know your worth, embrace your unique talent and voice and lift each other up," she adds.
Lucia continues to state that she's not retiring ("the pugs need to eat after all"), and that she has "at least 2 books in me to write."
"I'd like to think you'll hear from me sooner than later," she says.
While Lucia didn't go into specific detail about her concerns, it follows a turbulent few years for Minnesota Public Radio and its parent company American Public Media.
In September 2020, host Eric Malmberg was fired as MPR dealt with allegations of historic inappropriate behavior by a Current host.
This came just days after long-serving MPR News reporter Marianne Combs announced her resignation, accusing the organization of mothballing her story investigating a Current DJ after she had spoken to eight women who claimed they had been "sexually manipulated and psychologically abused."
Among those critical of the way sexual harassment allegations were being handled – not just at MPR but also in the wider Twin Cities music scene – was The Local Show host Andrea Swensson, who left The Current in 2021.
She said she had pitched four separate stories to "various people who hold ... positions of power" after becoming aware of a number of instances of "predatory and abusive men" in the music industry, but came up against road blocks to publishing.
The MPR/APM union put out a statement – also in September 2020 – saying that many MPR employees have "lost trust in the company's senior leaders," and alleged that the company has "for decades ... mismanaged racial and gender concerns."
APM CEO Jon McTaggart announced he was stepping down that same month, and was subsequently replaced in August 2021 by Jean Taylor.
In response to Lucia's comments, Taylor told Bring Me The News that efforts have been made to create and sustain a "diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment" for all employees.
"Mary Lucia has been a vital member of, and contributor to, The Current for 17 years. She's immensely gifted, has built a one-of-a-kind relationship with her listeners, and she will truly be missed. Under my leadership, we continue to strengthen American Public Media Group (APMG) culture and invest in talent, and these are top priorities.
"I am firmly committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment where all employees, including women and people of color, are respected and valued. This is critical as we seek to fulfill APMG’s mission to be an indispensable resource for our audiences and an essential public service for our communities."