boston.com Arts and Entertainment your connection to The Boston Globe

Pa. station fires copy cat DJ

Same racial slur was used on air

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- A radio station fired its morning DJ yesterday after he encouraged listeners to repeat talk-show host Don Imus's racially charged comments in an on-air contest.

Gary Smith told WSBG-FM listeners to call and say "I'm a nappy-headed ho" for Tuesday's "Phrase that Pays" contest, said Rick Musselman, executive vice president of station owner Nassau Broadcasting Partners L.P.

Musselman said three of the listeners who called were awarded tickets to a NASCAR promotion at a local club.

Station management reviewed a tape of the broadcast of the "Gary in the Morning" show and fired Smith, Musselman said.

Musselman said that Smith was fired and not suspended because he uttered the slur in a premeditated manner, "with full knowledge of the reaction to Don Imus's use of the exact same phrase."

Attempts to reach Smith for comment were unsuccessful. But he told The Morning Call of Allentown he regretted the comment.

"What I said was stupid, and I'm sorry," Smith told the newspaper.

WSBG , a 3,000-watt rock station, is based in Stroudsburg, about 40 miles northeast of Allentown. The Princeton, N.J.-based Nassau is privately held with more than 50 radio stations in the Northeast.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES