The Miami Herald reports Beasley’s WQAM Miami host Neil Rogers was pulled off the air Wednesday, two days after he dropped the f-bomb while reading a listener’s e-mail on the air. Rogers’ attorney told the paper he was ”technically suspended” after the station’s seven-second delay equipment failed Monday and the obscenity slipped onto the airwaves.
”It’s a mess that WQAM has to deal with, and basically they’re just giving Neil three days off with pay because of their own snafu,” said Norman Kent, the attorney.
Ironically, Rogers has mostly quit taking listeners’ calls during his midday show because too many pranksters were unleashing long, obscenity-ridden tirades that had to be bleeped out. Instead, he encourages them to send e-mail that he reads on the air.
It was one of those e-mails, complaining about WQAM’s dismissal of Rogers’ longtime producer last week, that got him into trouble.
Rogers was reciting it aloud, relishing the insults it heaped on WQAM general manager Joe Bell, when he inadvertently included a line that said, “[Bleep] Joe Bell.”
”Neil immediately hit the dump button, the button you use to cut out stuff during the seven-second delay,” Kent said. “But WQAM is moving into new studios, and Neil’s dump button wasn’t connected yet.”
WQAM is already under an FCC consent order — a sort of probation — stemming from a stream of ugly sexual invective on another host’s 2003 show. The consent order requires the immediate suspension of anybody involved in ”obscene or indecent” broadcasts pending a station investigation of what happened.
Kent predicted the investigation — now underway by a Beasley Broadcast corporate attorney — won’t result in any punishment for either Rogers or WQAM. ”This is the first time in a 33-year career that Neil has been involved in anything like this, and it wasn’t even his fault,” Kent told the paper. “Neil appreciates the three days off and thanks WQAM for the opportunity to have more vacation.”