Saturday, January 9, 2021

Fresno Radio: KMJ Gets Heat Over Host's "Hanging" Comment

KMJ radio talk show host Ray Appleton said Thursday on air that “certain news editors should be hanged.” Appleton admitted himself to having said that on a Facebook post in which he apologized “to those of you who were upset by that.”

Ray Appleton
It comes one day after a mob of violent supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

FOX 40 TV reports Fresno Bee Editor Joseph Kieta said he found out about what Appleton had said from their editorial page editor who was listening to Appleton and heard him say that. Kieta said he wanted to get a recording of what exactly was said on air by Appleton, but he added that the station won’t release it. 

“After everything that happened yesterday, words matter,” Kieta said. “I read Ray’s apology. Obviously he says it was tongue and cheek and it’s something that wasn’t serious on his part, but I do think the rhetoric matters and in this case probably 99% of people who listen to him didn’t take him seriously but what about that 1% who did and that’s the part where it gets really scary.”

“Our job is to tell you what is happening, to be your eyes and ears, and to relay truthful information to you. And when you see stuff like ‘murder journalists’ on the Capitol doors and you hear rhetoric like we heard today, it just makes our jobs much more difficult to do,” Kieta said.

The Fresno Bee reports City Councilmember Miguel Arias said Friday he will pursue pulling any marketing dollars the city spends with the parent company of KMJ talk radio following controversial comments from the previous day.

KMJ is owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, which did not immediately respond Friday to multiple requests for comment.

The city of Fresno spends upwards of $6 million a year on advertising and marketing in radio, TV and newspapers for special events, cleanup efforts and other topics, according to Arias. It wasn’t immediately clear how much is specifically spent on Cumulus airwaves.

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