Fitchburg, MA

Host of K-Zone Morning Kommute resigns from WPKZ, alleging hostile work environment

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Sean Sweeney during a radio broadcast.Sean Sweeney/Facebook

FITCHBURG — Sean Sweeney, the host of the K-Zone Morning Kommute on WPKZ resigned Saturday. Sweeney alleges that management remained mum to his complaints as he was subjected to harassment from coworkers that at times made him fear for his safety.

“I felt like I was doing my part to inform the community. Inside, I was screaming for them to fire me so I wouldn’t have to put up with what felt like torture,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney’s had two stints at WPKZ, which can be heard on AM 1280 and 105.3 FM. The first was from August 2017-March 2018 as a part-time cohost of The Thursday Local SportsLive Lunchbox show.

Sweeney said his first departure was due to mental health issues stemming from workplace harassment, specifically from one employee who repeatedly insisted that “he made me in local radio.”

Nevertheless, unable to resist the temptation of a hosting gig at the station he grew up listening to, Sweeney returned to WPKZ last October. That only lasted six months.

“The morning show is the flagship show, a show I worked on behind the scenes when I was a teenager,” he said. Later adding, “While every other kid in Fitchburg listened to 94.5 and Kiss 108, I was listening to AM 1280.”

Sweeney said that he feared for his safety on the morning of March 24, following an argument with an employee in “Studio C” who was trying to figure out why spots were being deleted at the station.

“There were many accusations being levied about who has access to the computers, and he suggested that I had something to do with it because I don't now AudioVault as well as everyone else who uses it, namely him,” said Sweeney. Later adding, “I calmly explained that I use the studio log computer to schedule two things: a religious program, as well as the makegood ads. He said I don't have to do that, but I said that's how I was taught. He wasn't listening, so I raised my voice at him. He then threw a wadded-up ball of paper at me, then said, ‘Come at me, bitch. You yell at me one more time, you will never yell at another person again.’ I was in a confined space, and he was enraged. I feared for my safety at that moment.”

Sweeney added that in the past, the aforementioned “Studio C” employee made homophobic remarks to him, and when Sweeney approached John Morrison, the owner/manager of K-Zone Media Group/WPKZ Radio, Morrison did nothing about it.

“It is said that employees do not leave jobs; they leave poor management,” Sweeney wrote in his resignation letter to Morrison. “That is why I leave today: ridiculously poor management. Had you heeded any of my requests over the last six months, all reasonable requests, none of this would have happened. Sir, I find your management style completely incompetent, you a stone-faced, uncaring individual, and your radio station lacking any sense of professionalism once I leave.”

News Link Live has reached out to WPKZ and hasn't heard back yet.

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