WNCI has posted the following message on their Facebook page:
WNCI is aware of the complaint regarding the recent program that aired Thursday morning on our morning show. We understand your concerns, it was unacceptable and insensitive, and we apologize to anyone we offended, that was never our intentions. WNCI support the gay community and again, we are so sorry to anyone we offended.
WNCI’s Morning Zoo Show is hosting a “contest” to see if one of the morning guys (Jimmy) can “change” a hot lesbian if he dates her. This show is syndicated across the state, including places like Youngstown, Mansfield, Harrisburg & Lima. Please let Tony Travatto, Director of Programming at WNCI, know how inappropriate, unacceptable & insulting you find this antic, especially for young listeners.
The following letters were emailed to Mr. Travatto by MJ Hudson and by Karla Rothan, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus
MJ Hudson’s Email
Dear Mr. Travatto – I enjoy listening to WNCI through the day. I turned it on in the car this AM and was horrified to hear Dave, Jimmy & Kelesy talking about a “contest” for Jimmy to convert a lesbian to a heterosexual woman by dating her. Then, they were joking about how hot she was and that he might lose to the cat. I am a lesbian, and it was unbelievably insulting to hear such banter on your station. The idea that I require conversion is in and of itself insulting. I also immediately thought of the young people in the Morning Zoo listening area, including in more conservative areas of places like Lima, Mansfield and Youngstown, and thought how awful such a message is for young people who are listening to hear. This “contest” is really degrading, sending a message that if you are gay or lesbian, that you need to be altered and are not acceptable.
I ask that WNCI cease this banter immediately, and issue an apology to its listeners for broadcasting such insensitive material on the air. I am copying Karla Rothan, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, on this email. Karla and her colleagues can be a good resource to you and your colleagues regarding the harmful nature of this type of programming.
Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.
Mary Jo Hudson
Karla Rothan’s Email
I echo Ms Hudson’s concerns. On Thursday, October 18, Stonewall Columbus will be presenting a candlelight vigil at Goodale Park to honor the lives of young people who have committed suicide because of bullying. I invite you to join us. Every day in this country young people are sent the message that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is unacceptable and in thousands of cases the ridicule is too much to handle. Your message is contributing to this problem and giving ammunition to bullies. The message that a young person needs to change his or her sexual orientation is irresponsible and could be a contributing factor to a young person’s decision to end his or her life. I urge you to immediately take this hateful speech off the air ways to make room for more positive change.
Please let Tony Travatto, Director of Programming at WNCI, know how inappropriate, unacceptable & insulting you find this antic, especially for young listeners.