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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 15:51 GMT
Radio staff axed for tsunami song
Recovery work in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Radio host Miss Jones has apologised for the "insulting" song
Two members of a New York radio show crew have been sacked after causing outrage with a song and comments that ridiculed victims of the Asian tsunami.

The Hot 97 WQHT-FM hip-hop station's morning show producer Rick Del Gado, who wrote the Tsunami Song, and co-presenter Todd Lynn have been fired.

The song includes lines about "Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away".

Host Tarsha Nicole Jones, known as Miss Jones, and two other crew members are serving a two-week suspension.

'Utterly unacceptable'

The station's parent company Emmis Communications said the "actions of the morning show crew were socially and morally indefensible".

Emmis Radio president Rick Cummings said the sackings and suspensions sent "a message that this type of insensitivity is utterly unacceptable".

The company is giving $1m (530,000) plus two weeks pay from the suspended staff members' salaries to the Give2Asia charity for relief efforts.

Mr Del Gado wrote, produced and broadcast the Tsunami Song, which was performed to the tune of charity hit We Are the World, Emmis said.

'Racially insensitive'

Mr Lynn was sacked "for making offensive, racially insensitive comments while on the air", according to a statement.

The suspensions of Miss Jones and crew members DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower will end on Wednesday.

Before being suspended, Miss Jones apologised for her "poor decision" and described the song as "insulting (to say the least)".

Only one member of her crew was not suspended. Miss Info objected on air when the song was played, but received a tirade of abuse from her co-hosts.

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