Connoisseur Media AC “K98.3” WKJY Hempstead, NY morning hosts Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson have been suspended after fabricating a letter from a parent who would not allow their child to attend a birthday party of a child of a same-sex couple.
Harper and Karlson stated that they created the letter with the intention of creating “healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic” and doing so without without the knowledge of the station management or ownership. However, they fail to state that Harper IS part of WKJY management as he is also the Program Director for the station. No word on whether he has been suspended from that position while off the air.
At this time WKJY’s website is down amidst a massive backlash to the bit calling for the hosts to be fired.
The statement from WKJY follows:
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the K-98.3 (WKJY) Morning Show with Steve and Leeana aired a story about a girl’s birthday party and one parent’s objection to the same-sex situation of that girl’s parents.
After this aired, it was brought to K-98.3 management’s attention that all the details of the story were completely fabricated independently by Steve and Leeana. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership. The story, presented as a real event, was, in fact, fictitious. An internal investigation was quickly launched which has resulted in the immediate suspension of Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson from the K-98.3 Morning Show.
In an effort to move forward, K-98.3 has been speaking with local community organizations, such as the Long Island GLBT Services Network, to ensure the fabricated story does not result in further damages with respect to the GLBT community.
“We applaud the quick and decisive actions from the management team at K-98.3 FM. While we don’t agree with how the information was presented by Steve and Leeana, we do recognize the impact and importance of fostering discussions of this important and sensitive social issue. I look forward to continuing this discussion on the K-98.3 Morning Show with Steve and Leeana upon their return”, said David Kilmnick, Chief Executive Officer, Long Island GLBT Services Network.
“K-98.3 has been serving Long Island for over 25 years and we respect the important role we play in the lives of our listeners. We deeply value our relationship with our listeners and are committed to providing them with the highest level of service because they deserve the very best. I sincerely apologize for the actions of Steve and Leeana, their insensitivity to the hurt it may have caused anyone, and for the breach of trust these actions have caused”, said Dave Widmer, GM/Market Manager, Connoisseur Media Long Island.