Two local radio disc jockeys were the subject of some vicious Facebook scrutiny concerning a shtick gone wrong.
During the Oct. 18 broadcast of Q104.5 FM morning program “Up and Adam in the Morning” radio host Adam Montiel and his co-host were jesting about the common use of thespian inflection by people in the radio-hosting industry. The banter culminated in an exaggerated reading of an actual obituary on the air.
That obit happened to be of Los Osos resident Jack L. Smith, late father of Jack Smith, a local and internationally renowned skateboarding icon and founder of Skateboarder’s Journal Magazine and the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum. When the younger Smith heard the bit on his drive into San Luis Obispo, he was outraged.
“This is what entertainment has become, using people’s sadness and suffering to get a laugh,” Smith said in a Facebook comment posted later that day.
According to that same post, Smith telephoned American General Media—which owns the station—and spoke to a receptionist who told him he could expect a telephone call from the general manager. Smith claims he waited four hours, called the station again, and this time was told Montiel would call the next day to apologize. Smith encouraged others to voice their opinion about the incident on the Q104.5 Central Coast Facebook page.
Over the next few hours, the Facebook profiles of both Smith and Q104.5 blew up with comments—many from around the world—of support aimed at the Smith family, vicious condemnation of the station and Montiel, as well as a few words of defense for the DJ’s misjudgments.
The issue prompted American General Media to issue a press release on Oct. 18.
“[The comment] was a very, very poor decision made on the fly, live on the air, and it will be dealt with appropriately,” the statement read. Montiel was put on unpaid leave from his position on Oct. 19.
The D.J. released a heartfelt personal statement on Oct. 19, saying, “I made a horrible mistake which hurt and angered many good people. … I take full responsibility for what happened on air.” Montiel also appeared on KSBY, apologizing for what happened.
Two separate Facebook posts by Smith, dated Oct. 19, stated that he had spoken with Montiel and co-hosts Cheeba and Crystal, that he believed their apologies were “sincere,” and that, in such light, he accepted them. Smith added that phone calls to the station’s general manager and program director weren’t returned in a timely fashion, and had their response been more timely, he would have never made the initial post.
American General Media General Manager Kathy Signorelli did not return requests for comment as of press time. ∆