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DJ Suspended After Christmas Curses Aired

November 30, 1985

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A string of curses from an FM radio disc jockey about requests for Christmas music went out on the air, prompting a flood of complaints from outraged listeners and a week’s suspension for the culprit.

Minutes after the offending epithets hit the airwaves, management at WSTF, Star 101 FM relieved Michael Lowe without pay and told listeners, in an apology 20 minutes later, he would receive ″punitive action.″

Lowe blamed the incident on a ″technical mix-up″ and said he had nothing against Christmas music.

″I know in my heart what happened. I know it was an accident and I apologize,″ he said.

Lowe made his comments after turning down the request of a young woman who wanted to hear a Christmas song. He told her Christmas music would be played in another two weeks.

WSTF general manager Barbara Vardin said Lowe unknowingly had his microphone on when he started swearing after hanging up the phone. Promotions manager Jane Wilson heard Lowe and quickly turned off the mike, Vardin said.

Vardin said company officials will decide within a week if they will fire Lowe, a former program director who has been with the station off and on for 10 years.

A spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the radio industry, said the agency would not discipline Lowe or the station because the profanities were uttered inadvertently.

″There is no censorship. That is a provision of the Communications Act as well as the First Amendment,″ said Catherine Kilday, assistant chief of the FCC enforcement division.

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