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Rudy Giuliani’s radio talk show gets axed after one too many 2020 election lies

WABC radio’s owner John Catsimatidis said he felt “very bad” about canceling Giuliani’s show “because he is still America’s mayor, but we need to know where to draw the line.”

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Rudy Giuliani has paid dearly for spreading lies about the 2020 election. And now they appear to have cost him a main source of income: After defying the station’s repeated warnings to stop questioning election results on his WABC radio talk show, Giuliani was suspended and his talk show axed on Friday.

Giuliani had been warned twice about spreading false claims of voter fraud, WABC’s billionaire Republican owner John Catsimatidis told NBC News. Catsimatidis said he felt “very bad” about canceling Giuliani’s show “because he is still America’s mayor, but we need to know where to draw the line.”

Giuliani, however, accused WABC of violating his First Amendment rights. He also suggested that if there had been a policy against his spreading misinformation, he would’ve violated it so often that it must not have been genuine anyway.

“This directive is a clear violation of free speech,” Giuliani said. “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.”

Donald Trump’s former lawyer has for years used his WABC-AM radio show as a platform to spread election fraud claims. But it seems the specter of legal action may have led to a change of heart among the station’s management. In a warning letter to Giuliani, Catsimatidis cited new accusations against Giuliani this week from two Georgia poll workers who won a defamation suit against him last year.

“We do not condone these actions, and do not want to be subject to the ramifications of your conduct under any circumstances,” Catsimatidis wrote.

Catsimatidis also told The New York Times that Giuliani was openly defiant. “We warned him once. We warned him twice. And I get a text from him last night, and I get a text from him this morning that he refuses not to talk about it,” he said. “So he left me no option.”

Giuliani’s show on WABC had been among his only sources of income. He brought in about $400,000 a year from the radio show, and he has some income from his podcast and a livestream broadcast, according to a report from the Times. Giuliani has also hawked unapproved supplements and a 9/11 shirt to make money.

Due to his role in the 2020 election fraud scheme, his license to practice law in New York was suspended in 2021, and he may soon be barred from practicing in Washington, D.C., as well.

Giuliani declared bankruptcy in December after a judge ordered him to pay the Georgia election workers $146 million in damages for defaming them after the 2020 election. He lost a post-trial motion to dismiss that judgment in mid-April, which he has appealed.

During the initial trial, his lawyer told jurors that the damages being sought “will be the end of Mr. Giuliani.”