Hot 97 Cries "Uncle"
Emmis Donates $1 Million to Charities to Aid in Tsunami Relief & Recovery
New York – February 1, 2005: WQHT/Hot 97-FM and Emmis Communications announced today that they have terminated the employment of morning show producer Rick Del Gado for his role in writing, producing and airing “The Tsunami Song,” a highly insensitive parody of the 1985 single “We Are the World.” Hot 97 and Emmis also terminated morning show personality Todd Lynn for making offensive, racially insensitive comments while on the air. Both terminations are effective immediately.
Simultaneously, Emmis announced that it will make a lump-sum donation of $1 million to Give2Asia to aid the organization in its Tsunami relief and recovery effort.
An internal investigation by Hot 97 and Emmis determined that the singularly egregious actions of Lynn and Delgado warranted termination from their employment at the station. Other members of the morning show crew: Miss Jones, DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower have each been given two-week suspensions. The salaries of these individuals will be redirected to Give2Asia for the duration of their suspensions, which will end on Wednesday, February 9. Another member of the morning show crew, Miss Info, has not been suspended.
“The actions of the morning show crew were socially and morally indefensible and the entire Emmis family is ashamed by this,” said Rick Cummings, President of Emmis Radio “Emmis and Hot 97 have investigated this matter thoroughly over the course of the last week. Our decision to terminate Mr. Del Gado and Mr. Lynn while suspending the other members of the morning crew sends a message that this type of insensitivity is utterly unacceptable.”