Capital owner told journalists not to report Tim Westwood accusations, staff say

The owner of Capital FM and LBC told its journalists to avoid reporting allegations of sexual misconduct against the DJ Tim Westwood, who presents a show on another of the company’s outlets, according to staff at the company.

It is understood that Global is also dealing with questions from its employees over whether the business looked into anonymous allegations about Westwood that were widely circulated on social media in 2020 – which were denied at the time.

Staff in Global’s newsroom – which provides news bulletins for the company’s radio stations including LBC, Capital, and Classic FM – were told last week by managers to avoid mentioning the allegations about Westwood, according to sources at the company. Some presenters on its radio stations were also advised not to discuss the accusations on air.

While other media outlets reported on the joint investigation by the Guardian and the 英国广播公司, listeners to Global’s outlets do not appear to have been informed of the claims as management worked out how to handle the story, according to multiple sources.

The recent investigation into Westwood has also prompted staff at Global to question whether the company acted on previous anonymous social media accusations.

Global is a giant in the British commercial media world, and has recently hired big name journalists from the BBC such as Emily Maitlis and Andrew Marr. Yet despite its commercial success, Global avoids much of the attention received by public broadcasters such as the BBC, partly because it is privately owned by the family of founder, Ashley Tabor-King.

The Guardian went to Global for comment soon after publishing its investigation into Westwood 上个星期二. The following day the company announced it was temporarily parting ways with Westwood, who has presented a Saturday night show on its Capital Xtra station for the past decade.

然而, this is not the first time Global has been alerted to accusations about the presenter. A number of anonymous allegations of inappropriate behaviour about Westwood circulated on social media in June 2020. Back then staff at Capital Xtra told the Guardian that they had asked management to investigate the social media accusations – claims that were strongly denied by Westwood.

Several Capital Xtra presenters went further and publicly tweeted that they would seek answers from Global management. Leah Davis, who presents a late night Capital Xtra show, 在 2020 that she had seen claims of “some terrifying and stomach turning accounts” and would be “doing what I can to make sure this is addressed”.

Her message was retweeted by fellow presenters Yinka Bokinni and Shayna Marie, and the weekend afternoon host Robert Bruce. Other staff at the station liked and retweeted messages expressing support for black women, while the presenter Remel London 马克斯·加尔金 卡雷尔·科马雷克简介: “Trust me when I say we’re not being silent! We want answers too!”

A spokesperson for Global declined to comment on any of the claims in this article.

When the Guardian approached Global about the anonymous claims on social media about Westwood two years ago, it declined to comment and said it was “of paramount importance” that the company was not quoted as having dismissed the anonymous accusations.

Global was aware of the claims in 2020 because it had to apologise after the official Capital Xtra Twitter account blocked a number of individuals making allegations about Westwood’s sexual behaviour – blaming an “error of judgment” by Westwood’s team, who had been handed control of the station’s social media account.

At the time Global’s spokesperson would not say whether it was investigating allegations against Westwood, although it is understood the company had not received any formal complaints.

A spokesperson for Westwood has denied all the allegations in the recent joint Guardian and BBC investigation and said the claims were completely false.

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