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ANGRY LISTENERS

QUESTION FOR DAN O'DAY:

A few weeks back I read the "TOP 5 ways you can tell that fall is in the air" from Stevens' & Grdnic's DAILY COMEDY EXCLUSIVE SIDEBAR. One of the lines was "The first EPT test has been sold to a cheerleader at _____ high school."

Well, I filled in the blank with a local high school. Little did I know that an article had recently been in the local paper about a certain cheerleader at that school who recently had given birth to a baby without the benefit of marriage. It was one of those warm and fuzzy pieces about how she still managed to get good grades, yada yada yada. Anyway, since my comment I have received several phone calls, letters from the board of selectmen, the high school, and I've even had my contract for dances cancelled at a town center for kids. All in all it's been an interesting experience.

Any suggestions as to how I can get back in the good graces of this town? Believe me, I did not know about the article when I did the joke. By the way, i have apologized on the air and sent a letter of apology to the school.

DAN REPLIES:

1. Call the parents of the girl to explain to them, just make sure they understand your comment was innocent and not aimed at their daughter.

2. Every angry phone call you received should have been put on the air, letting them rant & rave. Then you calmly, sweetly & politely explain that you had been unaware of the local news story and that, if you had known, you certainly never would have made that joke. And you add that even though you had been unaware of the situation, you apologize to anyone who might have been offended.

If you had put the angry calls on the air and gracefully explained your situation, you then would have had listeners calling in to defend you against the over-reactions of the callers.

3. To get back in the good graces of the town, do lots of good work -- on & off the air.

Much more to the point, however: If your listeners saw this story in your local newspaper, why didn't you? (Or are you following the lead of most jocks and knowing what's happening in USA TODAY but not in your own community?)

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