Iowa Radio Announcer Fired After Racial Comments Go Viral
Two employees of a radio station in northern Iowa have been fired after a series of derogatory comments were aired during a sports broadcast last week.
The comments in question happened before a high school basketball game on November 28th between Forest City & Eagle Grove. In a Facebook video posted Sunday, the two employees could be heard talking about the amount of “Español people” on Eagle Grove’s boys’ basketball team:
The male voice on the recording is that of Orin Harris, longtime play-by-play announcer for Forest City. The female voice belongs to Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt, who also worked as a teacher within the Forest City School District.
The radio station, KIOW, issued a statement saying the comments were not made over the air–but were heard on an online video feed–and announcing that both employees had been fired:
On Tuesday, November 28th, two employees of KIOW made comments that were insensitive, thoughtless and degrading to others … and the staff and management of KIOW in no way condones or supports these comments … KIOW Radio has a long history of promoting and supporting student athletes, coaches and schools. As a company, we take great pride in spotlighting the great efforts of our local citizens, schools and communities.
Harris apologized for his remarks in an interview with KIMT-TV on Monday.