K-98.3 morning drivers create international outrage

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wkjyConnoisseur Media’s AC WKJY-FM (K-98.3) Hempstead, NY (Long Island) have a bit of a problem on their hands. Morning drivers Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson on 2/12 posted a nasty note on their show’s Facebook page written on an invitation to a tie dye party for a girl named Sophia’s seventh birthday party.


It was all a hoax, but has since received global outrage: The RSVP said because Sophia has two gay dads, “Tommy” won’t be coming to the party.

“The DJs tricked people into believing that Sophia had two gay dads, and the note – supposedly written by the mother of a friend of Sophia’s, who they called ‘Tommy’ – stated ‘Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your lifestyle. I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way’,” reported The UK Daily Mail.

People were outraged by the woman’s apparent bigotry, and Harper and Karlson  even left a phone number for the woman – who they called ‘Beth’ – and encouraged people to give her a call if they “have an issue.”

On Saturday, the DJs admitted that the entire story was a lie and issued an apology:

‘Dear K-98.3 Listeners. On Wednesday, we told you the story of Sophia’s birthday party, and one parent’s objection to the same-sex household of Sophia’s parents.  We also posted the invitation on our Facebook page, and invited comments from our followers. This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us.  This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership.  We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed. We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a ‘life of its own.’  We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust’.”

People have headed to social media to express their outrage over the prank.

See the UK Daily Mail story here, which posts the RSVP as well.

RBR-TVBR observation: Well, they still have a job and are still on the station’s website. We’re not sure where their heads were at—the quest for a funny morning show and good ratings has created innumerable blunders such as these. WKJY’s management said in a statement that it has responsibility to listeners to be accurate and is looking at “all courses of action.” The latest we’ve heard is they’ve been suspended at least for Monday, 2/17. We’ll see what kind of reaction the prank gets from GLBT groups, but the sincere apology was the best route for now. So far, it has only been Long Island GLBT Services Network CEO David Kilmnick: “We applaud the quick and decisive actions from the management team…I look forward to continuing this discussion with Steve and Leeana upon their return.”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.