Suspension Over, John & Ken Back On The Air At KFI-A
February 28, 2012 at 8:05 AM (PT)
Two weeks ago (NET NEWS 2/16), CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES suspended afternoon stars JOHN KOBYLT and KEN CHIAMPOU for what the station termed "insensitive and inappropriate comments about the late WHITNEY HOUSTON."
The duo returned to the air at 3p PT TODAY (2/27), yet community leaders are continuing to use the controversy to pressure KFI management. Hours before they hit the air, the L.A. TIMES reports that Black leaders met with station management today to demand the duo's resignations and more diversity for the station's on-air personalities and newsroom staff.
Sen. CURREN D. PRICE JR. (D-LOS ANGELES), community activist NAJEE ALI and representatives for several groups, including the LOS ANGELES URBAN LEAGUE, are expected to make their case.
After the meeting, Dir./Programming ROBIN BERTOLUCCI ftold ALL ACCESS, "We had an extremely constructive and positive meeting with a number of people today. We are working with community leaders and that means hearing their concerns and making real and meaningful progress."
Meanwhile, a small group of protestors were expected to be at the station as well. EURWEB quoted two protestors on why they would be at KFI-A. "WHITNEY HOUSTON was adored by millions of people," commented protest organizer DARREN JOHNSON. "JOHN and KEN not only disrespected WHITNEY HOUSTON and her family by calling her a crack ho, but black women everywhere. To think that they are coming back on the air after just a 10-day suspension is ridiculous."
"I'm taking off from work to be there because I loved WHITNEY HOUSTON," added 28-year-old ERICA BENNET. "It's that important to me as a black woman to be there and stand in solidarity with my sisters, brothers, and all of WHITNEY's fans. We owe her at least that much as well as ourselves to let these guys know you can’t just call a black woman a crack ho and come back to work like everything’s okay, because it’s not."
But there are opinions on both side of the issue. In our 2/16 story, 835 readers commented, writing everything from "So, exactly WHAT was it that was said which wasn't the truth?" to "And why didn't they make similar remarks about AMY WINEHOUSE? She actually WROTE A SONG about her REFUSAL to go to "rehab," but no scorn and derision was forthcoming from these two BUTT WIPES."