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WLW pulls the plug on J.R. Gach after slur

By Rick Bird, Post staff reporter

J.R. Gach is off the air on WLW.

The 9 p.m.-to-midnight talk show host, who last week referred to the Japanese as ''yellow monkeys,'' has suddenly disappeared from the airwaves.

Station officials won't comment on whether he was fired, dismissed, terminated, or is on some sort of leave.

Darryl Parks, WLW program director, would only confirm that Gach (pronounced Gash) is off the air, but would not comment about the circumstances of his departure.

''It was a try-out, and we've decided to go in a different direction. That's all I want t o say,'' Parks said.

Parks said he doesn't comment on personnel moves and he refused to answer questions about the reasons behind Gach's departure.

In January, Parks announced that Gach had become the permanent host of the evening shift. Gach rarely was in the station's Cincinnati studio's, mostly hosting the show out of a siste r Clear Channel radio station in Albany, N.Y., where he also had a midday talk show.

Since last Friday, the WLW evening time slot has been filled by sci-fi/paranormal buff Bill Boshears.

Parks did confirm the station had received dozens of complaints from anti-defamation groups, as well as from individual listeners, because of the apparently hate-filled diatribe on Gach's show the evening of Feb. 12.

Some sources say Gach thought he was being funny using the ''yellow monkey'' term, because he had heard it on an episode of the old TV show ''McHale's Navy.''

Neither Gach nor the station has publicly apologized for the ethnic slur.

The 9 p.m.-to-midnight shift on WLW has been something of a revolving door since September. It's believed the shift is not a high priority for WLW, since it is mostly occupied by Cincinnati Reds baseball broadcasts.

Publication date: 02-22-01






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