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.