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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Britney death hoax DJs sacked
Britney Spears
Britney Spears: Rumours of death greatly exaggerated
Two disc jockeys who sparked a panic among Britney Spears fans by reporting that the pop star was killed in a car crash have been sacked from their Dallas radio station KEGL.

Police and fire officials in Los Angeles were deluged with phone calls after the report by the DJs, known as Kramer and Twitch, that Spears was dead and her boyfriend Justin Timberlake was in a coma after a crash in Los Angeles.

"They were let go on Monday," Gabrina Soliz, a spokeswoman for station owners Clear Channel Communications.

Soliz said that the Britney scare was not the only reason for the sacking, but declined to elaborate.

Controversies

But Clear Channel vice president Tom Schurr told the Dallas Morning News that the decision was based on several controversies sparked by the DJs during their recent stint at another Clear Channel-owned station, KSJO in San Jose.

The newspaper said while at KSJO, Kramer and Twitch once suggested that motorists run over bicyclists or hit them with their car doors.

"There were some other things that I only have a cursory knowledge of ," Schurr told the Dallas Morning News.

The fake report about Britney Spears was broadcast during a night time show on KEGL, a rock station, last Tuesday.

The DJs said Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles had confirmed the report.

'Surprised'

Kramer and Twitch, whose real names are Keith Kramer and Tony Longo, have broadcast on KEGL since 1998 - and their show was broadcast by both KEGL and KSJO from December to May 2000.

Kramer told the Dallas Morning News that he and his partner were surprised by the decision.

"We got permission to air the bit," he said, referring to last week's hoax.

Kramer said when he and his partner decided to use Spears as the subject of the hoax they doubted that any of her fans would listen to a rock station like KEGL.

After news of the broadcast became known, Spears' publicist Lisa Kasteler swiftly moved to calm fans' fears.

"There is no truth to the rumour circulating around the world that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were involved in a car accident on Tuesday," said the publicist.

Spears, 19, and Timberlake, 20 - a member of the pop group 'N Sync - are both in "great health", she added, saying that the stars' representatives were considering legal action.

See also:

14 Jun 01 | Music
Britney death hoax fools fans
11 Apr 01 | New Media
Jedi e-mail revealed as hoax
23 Mar 01 | Business
Murder e-mail no laughing matter
01 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Hong Kong's philharmonic 'hoax'
25 Jan 00 | UK
Hoaxing: A national pastime
25 Jan 00 | Wales
Hoaxer bowls out chat show host
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