And the Dr. Oz saga continues...
In the wake of 10 physicians, surgeons and professors penning a scathing letter to Columbia's University Dean of Medicine Lee Goldman, asking that the Dr. Oz host be removed from the school's facility and claiming he promotes "quack treatments," the physician's radio show on Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Radio has ended, although it is not, as some reports suggested, a direct response to the recent drama.
A Harpo spokesperson tells E! News, "Harpo Radio ended in December 2014. As a part of its closure, we mutually agreed to end our relationship with Westwood One who will distribute "A Daily Dose with Dr. Oz" through June 1. Dr. Oz will be announcing a deal with iHeart Radio shortly."
The company's announcement comes in the wake of a massive medical scandal surrounding the 54-year-old television personality, who, in June 2014, admitted his role "in the proliferation" of weight loss "scams" after testifying before the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. Oz has been repeatedly criticized for his on-air health advice as well as his promotion of "miracle" products, many of which are controversial.
Most recently, the physician said his series is "not a medical show" telling NBC News the purpose is "not to talk about medicine" but to discuss "the good life."
"Without question, the show will survive it," he told Today co-host Matt Lauer on Friday in response to the backlash. "I want to keep doing the show for as long as I can because I think we played an important role in making America a better place."
In spite negative headlines, the physician told E! News on Wednesday at the HealthCorps 9th Annual Gala that he still has Winfrey's support.
"When it gets hot in the kitchen you call people you trust so yes I connected with Oprah. I talked to this one who is the brains of the operation…" he said, pointing to his wife, Lisa. "[She] really has sound insights as someone who is just a real person raising a real family. What are the issues I'm talking about that are important, which are the ones she isn't really bothered by? And I trust that also from a lot of the viewers that wrote in."
He added: "Oprah left me a very nice message, saying to recognize sometimes it's uncomfortable but if its unworthy doing, stick with it."
In addition to defending himself on his show, Today and NBC News, Oz also penned a Time op-ed.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
"I discovered problems in the promising research papers that supported some products; the products themselves were often poor quality; and scammers stole my image to promote fake pills. So I have not mentioned weight loss supplements for a year and have no plans to return to that neighborhood..." he wrote, addressing the past criticism.
"I know I have irritated some potential allies," he added before concluding, "No matter our disagreements, freedom of speech is the most fundamental right we have as Americans. We will not be silenced. We're not going anywhere."
Meanwhile, the group at Colombia University continues to insist that Oz is doing a great disservice to the public. "Members of the public are being misled and endangered, which makes Dr. Oz's presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable," the letter stated.