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Feb 23, 2001

Radio Station Owned By Formula USA Parent Company Suspends DJs For Encouraging Motorists To Attack Motorcyclists

During an evening-drive-time radio show February 13, Bay-area shock jocks Kramer & Twitch encouraged motorists to run over or open their doors in front of motorcyclists and bicyclists when stuck in afternoon traffic, suggested that it was illegal and wrong for motorcycles and bicycles to share the roadways with cars, and made numerous derogatory comments about motorcyclists and bicyclists. Kramer & Twitch broadcast their show from the San Jose, California studios of KSJO 92 FM, a station owned by Clear Channel Communications, which also owns SFX Entertainment, which in turn owns SFX Motor Sports Group, which promotes the Formula USA National Road Race Series, the Formula USA National Dirt Track Series, CCS motorcycle road racing, Arenacross, IFMA Freestyle Motorcross, and EA Sports Supercross.<BR><BR>Asked to comment on the situation February 22, KSJO Vice President and General Manager John Sutherland declined to speak on the record and instead e-mailed Roadracing World a press release, which is reproduced here in its entirety:<BR><BR>"Thanks for taking the time to contact KSJO Radio. Your comments have been heard and I hope you'll take the time to read this letter in regards to the Kramer and Twitch situation.<BR><BR>"KSJO radio as well as Kramer and Twitch do NOT advocate violence, aggressive behavior or discrimination against anyone, in particular bicyclists and motorcyclists. Kramer and Twitch made an error in judgement and they are being punished. However, that does not reduce the severity of this issue in our minds.<BR><BR>"In what was supposed to be a humor-based, talk segment that involved callers, the wrong message came across. Sensing that their commentary was problematic, KSJO suspended Kramer and Twitch before any type of backlash began. In the subsequent days, KSJO has aired apologies during Kramer and Twitch's afternoon timeslot and KSJO has ran over 80 Public Service announcements (and will continue doing so) that ask listeners to be cautious of bicyclists and motorcyclists on the road. The frequency of these announcements is once per-hour.<BR><BR>"KSJO has always been a radio station that supports bicyclists and motorcycle riders. In recent years KSJO sponsored a bicycling team, something that most radio stations ignore. And last year alone, KSJO gave its listeners a chance to win one of 20 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It's clear that KSJO unconditionally supports bicyclists and motorcyclists. This summer KSJO will be supporting the Hollister Independence Day rally (something we committed to months ago) and we'll be giving listeners another chance to win more motorcycles. On top of this, KSJO will be airing some programming aimed at promoting bicycling and bicycle safety in the next few days. We have a champion cyclist on staff as well as many employees who ride motorcycles in their free time. Anyone who disputes KSJO's support of these industries and lifestyle groups is misinformed.<BR><BR>"If Kramer and Twitch are allowed to once again broadcast on KSJO, they will begin with a personal on-air apology. It should be known that Kramer and Twitch are very apologetic about this and in no way, shape or form intended for their comedy to be misinterpreted, as it has been. Bad judgement --yes. Malicious intent--absolutely not. On behalf of KSJO, we will be making a decision in regards to Kramer and Twitch's suspension shortly and we will then consider this matter closed. I thank you for your concern and want you to know that we relish our moral obligation to the community. We have responded appropriately and we will take the proper disciplinary action with this situation.<BR><BR>"John Sutherland<BR>"VP/GM, Market Manager<BR>"Clear Channel San Jose/San Francisco"<BR><BR>