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Former KNBR Host Ralph Barbieri Was Terminated Due To Age And Disability, Says Attorney

The Bay Area radio drama continues to run its course. As a quick refresher: Ralph Barbieri was let go by the popular radio station after 28 years on the air, in a sudden move that, according to Barbieri, took all of seven minutes to complete. There's still no tangible information on what actually went down, given that we've only heard Barbieri's statement and nothing from the station itself.

Some opinions have surfaced - most notably the one from Rich Liberman - which paints litigation as a certainty as opposed to a possibility. It looks like Rich was right at this point, with apparent legal council for Barbieri in Angela Alioto releasing statements that claim KNBR wrongfully terminated Barbieri, whose contract ran through Oct. 31.

There's no litigation at the moment, but for now, Barbieri's side is claiming that he was fired due to his age - 66 - and his disability - Parkinson's disease. They're disputing claims that Barbieri frequently showed up to work late and really, that's all the information that's out so far. Here's part of the statement, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News:

"The action by KNBR , Susquehanna Radio Corp., and Cumulus. Inc, sends the message loud and clear that if you are 66 years old and have a disability, 'we don't want you anymore,''' she wrote. "The message we will send, right back to them, loud and clear, is that this type of despicable illegal behavior will not be tolerated in the City and County of San Francisco."

Now, the important thing that's worth noting at the current time is that this is just initial statements, and it's only one side of the story. The actual lawsuit, if and when it is filed, could have nothing to do with the things. It could all be a big smokescreen and simple battering to pressure Cumulus and KNBR into some form of settlement - the intention is generally to get the words in print in as many places as possible.

Which they're accomplishing. On the flip-side, that isn't to say that there isn't something to this statement. But you should keep an open mind at this point.