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Two former SF radio employees sue over dismissal

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  • Two former SF radio employees sue over dismissal

    Updated: Oct. 25, 2005, 2:23 PM ET
    Pair accuses station of firing them to appease Giants
    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Two radio station employees who were fired over racially tinged remarks made about San Francisco Giants players sued their former employer, claiming they were used as scapegoats in the flap.

    Talk-show host Larry Krueger and producer Tony Rhein accused the Giants' flagship station, KNBR-AM, of firing them to appease the team so it wouldn't pull its broadcast contract with the station. Cancellation of the contract could have jeopardized owner Susquehanna Radio's pending sale of KNBR and 33 other stations, they alleged. KNBR owns approximately 1.5 percent of the team.

    The flap began when Krueger ranted about the struggling Giants after their Aug. 3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. He complained about too many "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly" and said manager Felipe Alou's "mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."

    Krueger apologized and was suspended for a week without pay.

    Tony Salvadore, KNBR's vice president and general manager, later announced the firings of Krueger, Rhein and program manager Bob Agnew after KNBR's morning crew played "inappropriate comedy sound bytes" mocking Alou's reaction to the remarks six days later.

    The lawsuits, filed separately Friday in San Francisco County Superior Court, charged Susquehanna Radio, KNBR and Salvadore with wrongful termination and defamation, among other things.

    They claimed Salvadore had praised Krueger's remarks as "fantastic" and ordered the clip to be replayed on the air and posted on the station's Web site.

    Krueger and Rhein also said a statement by Salvadore posted on KNBR's Web site explaining the firings omitted key facts of the case and damaged their professional reputations, according to the suits, which ask for unspecified amounts in damages.

    Salvadore could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.[/b][/quote]

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