KLBJ-A/Austin Suspends Todd And Don
July 15, 2009 at 5:54 PM (PT)
EMMIS Talk KLBJ-A/AUSTIN has suspended morning hosts TODD JEFFRIES and DON PRYOR for two weeks without pay for using the term "wetback" to describe illegal immigrants on TUESDAY morning's show. NBC affiliate KXAN-TV (AUSTIN NEWS)/AUSTIN reports that PRYOR used the term (34 times in an hour, by its count) in a sarcastic manner as a "tongue-in-cheek example" of what to call illegal immigrants, asking "what happened to the good old word wetback? Seriously, what was wrong with that? It was memorable."
JEFFRIES tried to stop PRYOR, but management said that he should have done more to stop his co-host. The hosts apologized on the air on WEDNESDAY, but local Latino community activists, led by the U.S. HISPANIC CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION, threatened a boycott and the station responded with the suspension.
A statement from VP/Market Manager SCOTT T. GILLMORE read, "KLBJ-AM's DON PRYOR and TODD JEFFRIES have been suspended from their weekday show without pay for two weeks, effective immediately. Despite their apology today, the comments on-air yesterday were highly offensive, and I would like to personally apologize to the AUSTIN community. We cannot take DON's words back but we can work hard to move forward. Today I have heard from many KLBJ-A listeners and reached out to leaders of the Hispanic community, including City Council Member MIKE MARTINEZ, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chair, BLANCA GARCIA, and U.S. Hispanic Contractors Chairman, FRANK FUENTES to discuss the situation. I fully understand and appreciate their concerns, and I believe that TODD and DON understand the depth of their mistake. We intend to continue to work with the community to turn this hurtful mistake into an opportunity for greater understanding."