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.”
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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.