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Nov 3, 2003 12:55 PM
Bicyclists Seek Punishment for D.J.'s
Published: November 3, 2003
Bicyclists are demanding that the nation's largest radio group be
punished because disc jockeys at three stations made comments that
they say encouraged drivers to throw bottles at bike riders or hit
them with open car doors.
They say the morning show hosts at Clear Channel Communications
stations in Cleveland, Houston and Raleigh, N.C., also suggested that
motorists blast horns at cyclists, and speed past them and slam on
their brakes in front of them.
"D.J.'s encouraging the masses to hurt people in any form is insipid,
and should not go unpunished," said Edwin D. Reeves, 30, a cyclist
and ceramic engineer in St. Louis.
Clear Channel, based in San Antonio, owns about 1,200 radio stations
in the United States.
The company will not release transcripts or tapes of the broadcasts,
but the three stations apologized on the air and Clear Channel
donated $10,000 and air time to promote bicycle safety.
"We deeply regret that comments made by on-air personalities were
misinterpreted. Clear Channel does not condone violence in any form
and we are committed to working with the cycling community to improve
cycling safety," John E. Hogan, chief executive of Clear Channel
Radio, said in a statement.
Clear Channel, which said it was coincidental that similar comments
came from three stations, said it told the stations to refer
questions to corporate headquarters. It would not say if the disc
jockeys were disciplined.
The comments started June 30 on WMJI in Cleveland when one morning
show personality complained that a group of bicyclists had held him
up in traffic near his house.
"The other guys started chiming in," said a listener, Don Barnett,
service manager at Century Cycles in Medina, Ohio. "Then it
escalated. People started calling in."
Similar remarks came weeks later on WDCG-FM in Raleigh and KLOL-FM in
Lois Cowan, 42, who owns the Century Cycles shops in the Cleveland
area, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission
asking it to fine the company or take away the licenses of the three