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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 09:52 GMT
US radio star fired for obscenity
The segment was broadcast twice on California radio station KCRW
A US radio commentator has lost her job after using a four-letter word on Los Angeles station KCRW-FM.

Author and actress Sandra Tsing Loh said the obscenity was the result of an editing error in a recorded segment - but the station said it was deliberate.

The profanity occurred during a report on a Bette Midler concert, in which Loh's musician husband played guitar.

KCRW-FM general manager Ruth Seymour likened the incident to Janet Jackson's breast-baring Super Bowl performance.

"It is the equivalent of the Janet Jackson performance piece and there is not a radio or TV programmer today who does not understand the seriousness involved to the station," Ms Seymour said.

Carefully scripted

US broadcasters have come under increasing pressure over indecency and obscenity, with politicians recently recommending fines of $500,000 (275,000) per breach of rules.

Ms Seymour also rejected Loh's explanation that it was the station's fault for not checking the piece.

"It her responsibility to deliver a program that is ready for broadcast," the general manager said.

Loh's show had the air of a spontaneous comment piece, but was in fact carefully scripted.

"We discussed it and [the engineer] said, 'Say it and I'll bleep it out'," Loh, 42, said.

"It's shocking and I would never have toyed with saying that," Loh said. "Of course I shouldn't say that word on the air. It was never intended to be on the air," the DJ said.

She pointed out she had just finished a five-part series on knitting.

Ms Loh will continue as a commentator on Minnesota Public Radio Marketplace, which is syndicated to more than 300 US stations.

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