Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Killed By Wacky Radio

You may remember the story of Jennifer Strange, the woman who participated in a "Hold Your Wee For A Wii" contest on a radio station in Sacramento and ended up dying from drinking too much water. It was another wacky morning radio stunt that went wrong. Last week, a jury ordered Entercom, owner of the radio station, to pay $16.6 million in restitution to Strange's family.

Though he was not part of the story and did not work at this particular station, longtime morning radio guy Bruce Maiman -- who knows a little about this contest because he did it on the air over a decade ago -- has written an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee in which he explains why he's saddened by the story:

It's not just the death of a mother of three children.

I'm saddened that we even had to go to court.

I'm saddened that Entercom Communications, the parent company of KDND, The End (107.9 FM) chose to fight this matter in court rather than admit its degree of culpability and immediately make significant financial amends to the family, which might've been, in the minds of some, far more equitable than the almost $16.6 million awarded in the lawsuit.

I'm saddened that lawyers pretending outrage while seeing dollar signs threatened lawsuits before aggrieved family members even had a chance to mourn. I'm saddened that we needed lawyers at all when a proper recourse was patently obvious.
The whole piece is here.