Clear Channel forces removal of Andrew Z. videoWritten by David Steffen | | firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Click here to see the video, courtesy Glass City Jungle.
Clear Channel Communications ordered the removal of a video from 92.5 KISS FM’s Web site and YouTube on Aug. 25 showing a confrontation between host Andrew Zepeda and WSPD 1370 AM reporter Nik Rajkovic. Zepeda intercepted Rajkovic Aug. 24 as he waited to interview Democratic mayoral candidate Ben Konop.
“I stopped him from chasing after [Konop],” said Zepeda, host of Andrew Z in the Morning. “I stepped right in front of him.
The station caught the altercation on camera after an in-studio interview with mayoral candidates Konop, Mike Bell and Jim Moody. In the video, Zepeda intervened and told the reporter to leave the area. WSPD and 92.5 KISS FM are Clear Channel stations and share the same building.
Zepeda said he uploaded the video on the station Web site to show listeners the altercation, which he mentioned on air. The YouTube version was removed by author “andrewz07” on Aug. 25 in the afternoon.
“We wanted to give listeners a chance to see what happened behind the scenes because we talked about it on the air,” Zepeda said.
WSPD-AM News Director Brian Wilson said he agrees with Clear Channel’s decision to remove the video.
“It wasn’t my order, but I’m totally in support of it,” Wilson said. “It’s a wise move on the part of the company in order to see to it that Andrew Z. doesn’t embarrass himself anymore than he has with his ignorance and immaturity with the way journalism and the news department function.”
Zepeda said he sympathizes with Clear Channel’s decision to remove the video. He said the company allows him to voice his opinion openly on air, which is what matters most to him.
“To management’s credit, they’ve never censored anything I’ve had to say, even if it’s negatively impacting a sister station,” Zepeda said. “To me, that’s the most important thing. It’s their Web site, so if they don’t want the video there, I’m OK with that.”
He said he confronted Rajkovic for approaching a guest upon exiting his studio. Konop has refused to interview with WSPD on several occasions.
“If it’s anywhere else, I have no problem with it,” Zepeda said. “I thought it was unprofessional in the building when we have a guest our show, then they try to shove a microphone in their face.”
Zepeda said the video and its subsequent removal have not affected his personal relationships with WSPD staff.
“We haven’t had any problem with them,” he said. “I don’t not like them. We’re from different ideologies. It doesn’t make us bad people, and it doesn’t make them bad people. We can still be cordial or like each other.
Comments from the Konop campaign were unavailable at press time.