Emmis Austin Radio has suspended Jason Alvarez and Deb O’Keefe, hosts of the 101x morning show on 101.5 FM. Alvarez and O’Keefe were suspended for one week after they used suggestive and insulting words on the air.
Alvarez and O’Keefe were remarking on ways that Zilker Park could be cleaned up after ACL festival. Heavy rains soaked the new grass at the park during the festival which led to mudpits. O’Keefe was heard over the air making a several comments about hiring “wet vacs” to clean up the mess. Listners called in to complain about the use of the word.
O’Keefe’s use of the word “wet vacs” as in wet vaccums, could be construed as a play on words and found to be insensitive.
The Jason & Deb morning show, on 101X Tuesday morning, were discussing a news item about the problems at Zilker Park with the mud after ACL. During that discussion they did not use any slur, but they did make foolish and ugly comments for which we sincerely apologize. They suggested getting a big squeegee or a wet vac. They then repeated the wet vac suggestion in some suggestive and insulting ways. As a result, they were suspended immediately for one week each without pay. In addition, in light of this, Emmis Austin Radio is going to arrange mandatory cultural awareness & diversity training for all on-air hosts on all six of our radio stations.