Radio show canceled after host makes school shooting comment

Business

DENVER (AP) — A Denver radio station has canceled a scheduled program after one of the hosts said a school shooting would help break up media coverage of impeachment proceedings.

Chuck Bonniwell from the show “Chuck & Julie” was complaining Tuesday about an abundance of media coverage on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“You wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the monotony,” Bonniwell said.

His co-host and wife Julie Hayden immediately cut in, saying, “Don’t even say that,” and she told listeners not to call in.

The show is broadcast across the Denver metropolitan area and reaches communities where there have been high-profile mass shootings such as the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting and this year’s STEM Highlands Ranch school shooting.

In an official statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday evening KNUS-AM said the decision to end the program was made immediately. The statement also noted Colorado’s “history of school violence.”

KNUS-AM gave an official statement on its website stating that the 1-4 p.m. weekday slot would now feature the Salem Network show America First hosted by Sebastian Gorka.

Bonniwell said Wednesday his comment was meant as a joke.

“Making a statement like that is just unbelievable to me, especially our family. I couldn’t believe it,” said John Castillo, the father of the high school student killed last May at STEM Highlands Ranch school in suburban Denver when two students opened fire and also wounded eight others.

Castillo also told KDVR-TV: “People always say they’re sorry — we’re sorry for your loss, sorry for the statement we made — make it your life work to prove it. Do something different. Advocate for good.”

KNUS-AM is owned by Salem Media Group, which specializes in Christian and conservative content.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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