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In Wake of John & Ken's Whitney Houston 'Crack Ho' Comment, KFI Radio Vows to Diversify Shows

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Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

click to enlarge SOUTH PARK DOES 'KUMBAYA.'
  • South Park does 'Kumbaya.'
Following ongoing criticism of talk radio hosts John & Ken, KFI and its parent, Clear Channel Communications, have vowed to diversify the L.A. station's workforce and programming.

In fact the station is taking pitches for shows.

John & Ken were lambasted (and suspended) two weeks ago after they called the late Whitney Houston a "crack ho" on-air.

An African American media coalition met with station management and the hosts this week to decry the remark and argue that if the broadcaster had more black people on-board things like that wouldn't happen.

The pair has a long history with ethnic advocates, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which has argued that John & Ken are anti-Latino. The NHMC last year persuaded some major advertisers, including General Motors, to pull out of the show.

(Read more background on the history of the duo versus ethnic groups here).

Today the Latino group is pushing to have the pair permanently banned from KTLA News, where it appears on a nightly segment called "Driving it Home."

In any case, KFI says it's changing its ways. In a document titled "Memorandum to the Los Angeles Community," the station states ...

... We are reviewing our talk formats and will find a platform for auditioning a diverse group of local hosts and guests. ... We anticipate creating unique programming to reflect important issues to our multi-cultural community.

Really. They're even taking pitches via email.

20120301clearchannelLAKFI

The memo also notes that John & Ken have apologized for the remark and that the two have invited an African American leader to the show to make the case for why the utterance was way wrong.

The statement says the station will be hiring more minority interns and that employees will undergo cultural sensitivity training.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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