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Radio station suspends Rudy Giuliani and cancels his talk show

The owner of WABC said Giuliani defied warnings from station management about his on-air comments questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
Rudy Giuliani politics legal politician lawyer
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters as he leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, DC., in 2023.Jose Luis Magana / AP file

Rudy Giuliani was suspended from WABC radio on Friday and had his show canceled, according to station owner John Catsimatidis.

Catsimatidis, a billionaire and major GOP donor, told NBC News that Giuliani had been warned twice by station management about his on-air comments questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election on his daily talk show, which he's hosted for three years.

Giuliani's suspension and show cancellation was first reported by The New York Times.

In a letter addressed to Giuliani and obtained by NBC News, Catsimatidis said that Giuliani, who is Donald Trump's former lawyer, was "prohibited from engaging in conversations relating to the 2020 Presidential Election" on his WABC programs.

"These specific topics include, but are not limited to, the legitimacy of the election results, allegations of fraud effectuated by election workers, and your personal lawsuits relating to those allegations,” Catsimatidis wrote in the letter dated Thursday.

The letter cited a recent news article about two Georgia poll workers who were awarded $148 million in damages last year in a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani and are accusing him of making fresh false statements.

"You are now once again stating that there was fraud. You may not do so on our airwaves. This is a clear condition of your continued relationship with WABC. We do not condone these actions, and do not want to be subject to the ramifications of your conduct under any circumstances," Catsimatidis wrote.

The cancellation of the former New York City mayor's show was not preplanned, Catsimatidis told NBC News, adding that he “feels very bad, because he is still America’s mayor, but we need to know where to draw the line.”

Giuliani blasted WABC's actions in a statement Friday.

"This directive is a clear violation of free speech," Giuliani said, arguing that he had not been informed previously about restrictions.

"Obviously I was never informed on such a policy, and even if there was one, it was violated so often that it couldn’t be taken seriously,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani is facing charges in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia and Arizona. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Georgia but has not yet entered a plea in Arizona.

His suspension from WABC comes after some news organizations have been hit with lawsuits from voting machine companies over false statements regarding the 2020 election and the integrity of its results.

Last month, Smartmatic settled its defamation suit against One America News Network out of court. In 2023, Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems reached a $787.5 million settlement agreement over a 2021 lawsuit that claimed the voting machine company was defamed by hosts and guests on Fox News and Fox Business.