SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The manager of three southwest Missouri radio stations has apologized and disciplined a pair of talk show personalities for suggesting that the on-air killings of two Virginia journalists was a hoax.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that the controversy stems from an Aug. 30 discussion between call-in show host Joe Rios and his telephone screener, Rick Masters.
The Sunday morning show, called “Cracker Barrel,” airs on KTTS-FM, KSGF-FM and KSGF-AM.
The stations’ manager, Rex Hansen, said one employee indicated he believed the shooting was a hoax “to the degree that there might have been some thinking that it was intended to influence gun laws, so they fabricated the event.”
The remarks came four days after the deaths of television reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the WDBJ7 station in Roanoke, Virginia. Parker and Ward were shot by a former co-worker on live television.
Hansen called the comments “disrespectful and downright wrong” in an on-air apology last week.
Rios and Masters don’t have listed numbers.