'Loh Life' axed by KCRW*


Sandra Tsing Loh's Sunday morning commentary "The Loh Life" has been taken off the KCRW air, apparently over her use of a bad word. [See updates at end of post.] This email went out from Connie Alvarez of the radio station:

Sandra Tsing Loh of The Loh Life will no longer be on our air. It is critical that all calls regarding Sandra Tsing Loh be transferred to Sarah or Jennifer immediately.

What happened, you ask? Well, unfortunately, she uttered a certain banned word the that could have cost us our license with the FCC. As you know, these are not the times to mess around with such words and much less on our public station. We have received many complaints as a result.

If anyone calls to complain and does not want to be transferred to Sarah or Jennifer, please ask them to leave their phone number, email, or at the very least address because management really would like to respond to each call.

Jennifer is apparently assistant general manager Jennifer Ferro. Sarah is Sarah Spitz, a KCRW producer and the station's publicity director. Reached by phone, Spitz emailed L.A. Observed this policy:

Our policy at KCRW with regard to inappropriate language is clear and has always been standard operating procedure at the station.

KCRW does not permit inappropriate language to be used on the air.

The only time actionable language is permitted on KCRW is in the context of a news actuality.

In those instances which are questionable, the programmer must get a management directive on how to proceed. Management may determine that the language is not acceptable, or that a sensitive language disclaimer must precede the program, or that the language is within bounds.

If a programmer violates this policy, management will cancel the program and end the relationship with the programmer.

As of Wednesday at 2 p.m., the "Loh Life" web page is still on the KCRW site. The last show it archives was Feb. 22 -- and it was clean.

Update 3:25 p.m.: In a piece in tomorrow's CityBeat and Pasadena Weekly, Cathy Seipp - a friend of Loh's since their Buzz magazine days - says it was the f-word, recorded onto the tape but not bleeped for humorous effect by an engineer as Loh intended. She was fired by KCRW general manager Ruth Seymour. Seipp expands on the story on her blog and First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh writes at his that KCRW probably had no FCC exposure at all.

And another update...Michael at speculates the station wanted a "convenient excuse" to dump Loh.

CityBeat piece, Pasadena Weekly

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