KCRW backs off Loh's firing! *


She won't return to the air, but the radio station and Sandra Tsing Loh issue a joint statement:


SANTA MONICA, March 15, 2004 - KCRW-FM and Sandra Tsing Loh announced today that the station has decided to reverse its decision to take Loh off the air after an indecent word was inadvertently broadcast during one of her taped commentaries. But Loh has turned down General Manager Ruth Seymour's invitation to resume "The Loh Life" on KCRW.

"When I made the decision to cancel 'The Loh Life,' I was not in possession of all the facts regarding this unfortunate incident, specifically that it had been Sandra's practice to leave instructions for her engineer to bleep out certain words, and that this practice had never before gone awry," said Seymour. "I regret having jumped to conclusions about what happened and for erroneously accusing Sandra of an 'intentional' breech of our broadcast standards."

"I appreciate the station's willingness to acknowledge that it was wrong to cancel my show as well as its invitation for me to return," Loh said. "And while I do wish KCRW well, I personally don't think I could be comfortable working there anymore."

The releases were made jointly by KCRW and by Allan Mayer of Sitrick and Co., representing Loh.

At Cathy Seipp's blog, Sandra continues to vent her feelings about KCRW's Ruth Seymour:

"I feel a certain warmth towards her because she IS such a character," Sandra told me the other day about her former boss. "I do feel Ruth Seymour makes the world a more interesting place, I can't wait to see what she does next, and I really can't wait for it not to be related to me."

"My decision is to never set foot upon the toxic soil of KCRW again as my personal statement about the poor way I was treated," she added. "Aside from that, I wish KCRW the very best."

Mack Reed has a take at LAVoice.org and provides a tip that, in her newfound celeb status, Loh will be on a lunch panel Wednesday put on by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Topic: The New Censorship: The FCC, the Justice Department and You.

This morning's "Counterpunch" in the Times Calendar section places the Loh affair in the context of free speech fights. The piece is by Joel Bellman, a former radio journalist in L.A. and editorial writer for the Herald-Examiner who is now a deputy to county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The Al Martinez column Monday is also about Loh.

Also: In a staff story posted on the L.A. Times website at 3:40 p.m., Seymour explains that she returned from vacation, learned all the facts and apologized to Loh on Thursday. She also offered to move Loh's commentary back to prime time from the Sunday slot it recently occupied. Loh, however, vowed that "I will never set foot inside KCRW's studios again. It's a personal statement of how badly I was treated. That place is toxic ground for me."

* This entry has been updated several times since being posted at 11:18 a.m.

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