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Morning radio controversy put to bed

BY NEW TIMES STAFF

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All is well in Radioland once more.

         Adam Montiel, host of the morning program “Up and Adam” on local oldies station Q104.5FM, was back at the mic as of Oct. 25 after a short period of unpaid leave.

         On Oct. 24, Cayucos resident Jack Smith—whose offense at the radio host’s use of his father’s obituary in a comedy skit prompted international outrage—posted a Facebook comment thanking the community for its support over the preceding days and acknowledging the sincerity of Montiel’s apology.

         “To Adam and his crew, apology accepted,” the post reads. “Our family wants you and your fans to know that we never felt that the skit was directed at my father, it could have been anyone. … Our family would also like to thank the management of Q104.5 and American General Media for reaching out to, and staying in contact with us once they became aware of our feelings regarding the skit.”

         On Oct. 24, the station released the following statement: “After many healthy conversations with all involved, and at the specific request of Jack Smith Jr. and the Smith family, ‘Up&Adam in the Morning' will resume tomorrow morning at 8am. Thank for your comments and patience. With this healing, we are grateful to move forward with the blessing and support of everyone involved.”

         Smith’s father, Jack L. Smith, passed away two weeks ago following a battle with Alzheimer’s. The “skit” took place during the Oct. 18 broadcast of Montiel’s show, and consisted of the reading of the elder Smith’s obituary over the air in an obnoxious, “over-the-top” voice. On Oct. 18, the junior Smith—an internationally renowned professional skateboarding legend—posted a Facebook comment about what he’d heard on the radio and how it made him feel. The post sparked a firestorm of comments.

         American General Media, which owns Q104.4FM, issued a statement Oct. 19 stating that it didn’t condone the actions of the radio host, but didn’t return requests for comment from New Times.

         An atypically somber and reflective Montiel and his co-host returned to the air Oct. 25, and discussed the “healing” process and lessons learned from the incident. Since his Oct. 19 apology, voices of support for Montiel and his radio program have chimed in on the radio and on Facebook.

         According to Smith, American General Media has made a donation in the elder Smith’s name to his charity, A Push to Remember, which is raising awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease.

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