KFI Stands Firm Against Anti-John And Ken Activists
October 7, 2011 at 4:45 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES is standing firm against activists angry about afternoon hosts JOHN KOBYLT and KEN CHIAMPOU's opposition to illegal immigration, canceling a meeting with the NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDIA COALITION's ALEX NOGALES because NOGALES would not budge from his position that JOHN AND KEN be fired or he would push a boycott of the station.
The current controversy came after the hosts gave out a pro-CALIFORNIA Dream Act activist's cell phone number out on the air (the number appeared on a press release), and the activist received what he called offensive calls from listeners (NET NEWS 9/30). After a LOS ANGELES TIMES article gave the activist's complaint some publicity, NOGALES, who cites his leading role in the "SELENA Boycott" of HOWARD STERN and crosstown KLSX in 1994-95 on his website, jumped into the fray. CLEAR CHANNEL Market Manager GREG ASHLOCK scheduled a meeting with NOGALES, but canceled after NOGALES insisted that the hosts be fired.
ASHLOCK issued a statement THURSDAY afternoon saying, "Expressing your opinion is not a firing offense. KFI stands behind JOHN AND KEN and their right to speak their minds -- opinions shared, incidentally, by over a million CALIFORNIA listeners each week and protected by the First Amendment.
"A handful of individuals who claim to speak for the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Latino community have exaggerated or misrepresented what was said on the air in a transparent effort to advance their own political agenda and their own personal ambitions. However, the station wants to be sure that there are no misunderstandings between us and L.A.’s important, vibrant and diverse Latino community. We are meeting with a larger, more representative group of local Latino leaders -- including representatives of LULAC, the nation's oldest and largest Hispanic Civil Rights organization, the LATIN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, the nation's largest Hispanic business group, and others -- to have an open, fruitful discussion about any concerns they may have.
"Because KFI refuses to fire JOHN AND KEN, as demanded by these few individuals, they have called for a boycott of their show and the station. We’re not going to validate the political agenda of a few and we reject their efforts to intimidate us, or to interfere with our relationship with our listeners."
On the show THURSDAY, KOBYLT and CHIAMPOU recounted the situation, voiced appreciation for ASHLOCK and PD ROBIN BERTOLUCCI's support, and wondered whether NOGALES has any actual followers.