The crude comments made about Whitney Houston’s death by on-air personalities John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou have prompted a number of changes at Los Angeles radio station KFI AM 640.
In a memo “to the Los Angeles Community” issued Thursday, the radio station noted that it has enacted new policies and will continue to enact new policies following public criticism over the comments.
According to the memo, KFI said that John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of “The John and Ken Show”, will undergo cultural sensitivity training, along with “key staff and management.”
KFI said that the training will further John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou’s “awareness of the cultural melting pot that is Southern California.”
On a broader scale, KFI said it is reviewing its talk formats and “will find a platform for auditioning a diverse group of local hosts and guests.
“While our plans are still developing, we anticipate creating unique programming to reflect important issues to our multi-cultural community. This will be a great launching pad for identifying talent for future opportunities,” the memo reads.
KFI also said it will be working with members of the community to “update guidelines for our on-air hosts in a way that is helpful in a live unscripted environment,” and will “expand on its successful internship program to target minority students.”
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou sparked outrage and earned a week-and-a-half suspension in February when, days after Whitney Houston’s death, they made a number of on-air comments that many considered inappropriate. Among the comments, the pair called Whitney Houston a “crack ho,” said she had been “cracked out for 20 years,” and wondered of her death, “Really? [It] took this long?”
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou apologized in a statement issued by the station that also announced the pair’s suspension.
“We made a mistake, and we accept the station’s [to suspend us],” John Kobylt said.
“We used language that was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize to our listeners and to the family of Ms. Houston.”