KCRW's email to listeners


Following yesterday's release of her joint statement with Sandra Tsing Loh, KCRW general manager Ruth Seymour sent a missive to the station's email list:

Dear Concerned Listener:

[Joint statement omitted]

KCRW runs a free-spirited station with few restrictions on programmers, who produce their shows without interference from management. The station attracts many independent and edgy thinkers and artists who enjoy the freedom to express themselves on the air.

When I initially spoke to Sandra about her February 29 feature, she did not tell me that it had been her practice, with previous commentaries, to leave an editing script with instructions for her engineer to bleep out offending language. We were not informed that this was being done. This is a risky way to work. There were no safeguards in place to make sure that the editing was, in fact, completed.

The recent Congressional decision -- which passed by a vote of 391-22 -- to massively increase fines for "obscene and indecent material," as well as to trigger license review, is an indication of just how seriously the lawmakers regard an infraction of FCC regulations. This is a huge bipartisan vote, which indicates support from all sides of the aisle.

It is a lot easier for Congress to concentrate on the use of four-letter words and he image of a woman's breast than it is to deal with the disappearance of local radio from the American airwaves. The FCC has allowed multi-conglomerates to buy up hundreds of radio stations across the country. Where there were once many local stations in a market, today in fact, public radio represents that local voice.

I know that you are concerned about the issues involved and that yousupport Sandra. Though I regret that she has made the decision not to return, KCRW will implement safeguards to protect the station from any further incidents without impinging on the freedom of its programmers.

This is a truly regrettable incident and we wish Sandra only the best.


Ruth Seymour
General Manager

Stories run today in the LAT, at Salon and at FrontPage magazine (by Cathy Seipp).

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