March 29, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---More have been lawsuits filed against talk show host Ryan B., and now he has handed in his resignation. But his station says that won't solve anything.
At first he said he was leaving...but just two hours after deciding to resign over controversial remarks on his radio show, Brian Doyle, also known as Ryan B., says he may be "staying put", at least for now.
"I was called and informed by my owner on my way here that he will not accept my resignation, because he thinks what needs to be done in the community needs to be handled," Ryan B. told News 12.
The talk radio show host is fighting a few lawsuits and says he expects more of them to come, but since he has management on his side, he might just reconsider sticking around a little longer. The host says that the general manager and owner of the station want him to continue.
"I offered my resignation, my owner specifically said he has not accepted it, and that he's in it, and why he's in it, he's going to be in it."
Ryan B. offered to walk away after being sued for making slanderous comments about Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength, but he says management at Rejoice 94.7 won't accept it, even after two more lawsuits surfaced today.
"You know, the First Amendment gives you the right to free speech, so my boss says he's not going to accept my resignation," Ryan B. said.
Banker and Aviation Commissioner Cedric Johnson and Rev. Clarence Moore have both filed suits claiming that the radio host made false statements about them in February. According to the suits, Ryan B. said that Johnson showed favoritism by providing Moore's wife with a job at First Bank of Georgia and providing Moore with airport contracts.
"Cedric Johnson has filed a lawsuit, so a lot of this is retaliation," Ryan B. said.
As for the lawsuit involving Sheriff Ronnie Strength, Ryan B. insists that they have corrected the matter over the airwaves.
"The retraction has been put out," he said. "We believe in correcting bad things. I was man enough, the station was big enough. Someone called in with an error and hey, we retracted it. I mean, that's all we can do."
"We live in a country where we do have freedom of speech...however you have to be very mindful, especially on the air," said Rejoice 94.7 program director Harry "Hippie" Hughes.
Rejoice 94.7's program director Harry "Hippie" Hughes says that he understands how the radio show's comments can get folks "heated" and cause conflict, but as part of management, he's sticking by the embattled host, despite all the controversy.
"We are indeed going to stand behind Ryan," Hughes said. "We are to wait and see what unfolds with this lawsuit."
"I will talk about it with the family and decide whether I will leave or just leave anyway or rather I'll stay," Ryan B. said.
News 12 tried to contact the attorney for Moore and Johnson, but we weren't able to reach them. We do know that this issue is far from being over.