1956 (age 61–62)|
Bloomington, Illinois, U.S.A.
Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook (m. 1975–2014)
Cathryn Ann Clüver (2017–)
|Children||3, a daughter and two sons|
Tom Ashbrook is an American journalist and radio broadcaster. He was formerly the host of the nationally syndicated, public radio call-in program On Point; prior to that he was a foreign correspondent in Asia, and foreign editor of The Boston Globe.
Early life and education
Ashbrook worked in Alaska as a surveyor and dynamiter of oil fields to help pay for college. After leaving for Asia, he produced English-dubbed kung fu films in Hong Kong where he spent a decade as a foreign correspondent in India, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. His first newspaper job was at the South China Morning Post. During the late 1980s Ashbrook became foreign editor for The Boston Globe.
As a correspondent Ashbrook covered the "refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans."
Ashbrook was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during which time he decided to leave the Globe in 1996 and create an Internet startup with college friend Rolly Rouse. This company eventually became homeportfolio.com. Ashbrook wrote a book called The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush about his experience in Internet entrepreneurship.
On Point is a two-hour radio program, airing five days per week, Monday through Friday. Each hour of the two-hour broadcast is structured as a stand-alone show, focusing on a specific topic; Ashbrook interviewed a specific guest (or guests) who has relevant expertise on the topic and then listeners are invited to call into the show and ask questions or share their opinions. The first hour segment of Friday's show is a news wrap up of the previous week's top stories called "Week in the News" which regularly includes "On Point News Analyst" Jack Beatty. Multiple times a year, On Point is recorded in front of a live studio audience. Ashbrook interviewed Cheryl Strayed, Atul Gawande and many other guests in front of a live studio audience.
Ashbrook oversaw a staff of 10 who assist with research and show preparation – typically compiling information relating to the topics to be discussed on the following day's program for Ashbrook to take and read.
Suspension and dismissal
In December 2017, Ashbrook was placed on leave because of unspecified accusations of misconduct. His final broadcast was on December 8, 2017. WBUR later reported 11 men and women came forward detailing behavior including tirades, belittling critiques of show ideas, and name calling during meetings. Ashbrook allegedly would then give neck or back rubs, hugs, and "creepy" sex talks after criticism or critical comment. Boston University hired two law firms to investigate allegations against Ashbrook. One examined allegations of unwanted contact and the other looked into bullying behavior. On February 14, 2018, Ashbrook was dismissed from WBUR after both investigations concluded he had created a hostile work environment, although neither investigation concluded the harassment was sexual in nature. Ashbrook made a statement on the same day, saying that the decision was “profoundly unfair.” In subsequent news interviews, he described himself as "chastened" but determined to return to radio broadcasting "somewhere, sometime soon."
In June 2018 Ashbrook started recording shows of his own podcast "Tom Ashbrook-Conversations". He launched the podcast via twitter on August, 1st, 2018. The conversations cover issues of global importance such as racism, social media and the global balance of power. Featured guests on the show so far have included Steve Locke, Kori Schake, Salman Habib, Maya Jasanoff and Sir John Sawers. 
Tom Ashbrook has a daughter and two sons. On November 6, 2014, his wife of 39 years, Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, died of cancer. Ashbrook subsequently married Cathryn Ann Clüver in June 2017, after meeting in March 2016 regarding an On Point story concerning refugees. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Livingston Award for National Reporting – 1996
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