Fingerpointing In KDND Trial Testimony
September 30, 2009 at 4:41 AM (PT)
ENTERCOM/SACRAMENTO VP/Market Mgr. JOHN GEARY testified YESTERDAY (9/29) in SACRAMENTO Superior Court in the wrongful-death lawsuit filed over "Hold Your Wee For A Wii" -- the fatal water-drinking contest held by Top 40 KDND (THE END). He said "he had no idea his station put on the event until he learned that a woman had died in it."
THE SACRAMENTO BEE reports that GEARY said "my exact question" to his management team at KDND, when he found out about JENNIFER LEA STRANGE's death, was whether they had "vetted" the contest through the company's legal department. "I was just stunned," GEARY testified.
He had no idea his station put on the event until he learned that a woman had died in it."
ROGER A. DREYER, the lawyer representing the plaintefs, questioned GEARY, trying to link responsibility that extended from KDND's "Morning Rave" disc jockeys who put on the water contest through the station's management to GEARY himself and then on to ENTERCOM COMMUNICATIONS.
THE BEE writes "GEARY testified he was 'ultimately responsible for everything in the building.' But he rebuffed any suggestion that he knew or should have known about the 'Hold Your Wee For A Wii' competition or any other contest put on by the six SACRAMENTO stations he managed. GEARY did confirm, though, that he killed a previous body-piercing contest 'because I didn't think it was appropriate for our target audience.' He also testified that he personally approved a breast-enhancement contest after conducting an informal in-house survey and 'thought it would be a great contest' for KDND's target demographic of 18-34-year-old women."
GEARY testified responsibility for the contest was on the Station Manager and Promotions Dir., both of whom he fired the day of STRANGE's JANUARY 12th, 2007, death, as well as the cast and support crew of the morning show.
"In a videotaped deposition played to the jury MONDAY," reports THE BEE, "ENTERCOM in-house lawyer CARMELA MASI, who trained the promotions directors, testified that she also had an unwritten policy that any radio contest involving 'physicality' or 'ingestion' required the presence of an on-site medical professional. No such professional was in the KDND studio the day STRANGE died."