I had the distinct pleasure this afternoon of receiving a phone call from Eddie Martiny, General Manager, and Marc Sherman, FM Operations Manager, of the Clear Channel stations in Houston. They were calling at the request of Mr. John Hogan, President of Clear Channel Radio, who received my letter asking for a public apology. They were interested, compassionate and want to help us with an awareness campaign through their sister stations. They also gave me permission to share with you the words of the public apology that was made on KKRW station on Tuesday:
“KKRW and Walton & Johnson would like to apologize for insensitive remarks about Stephen Hawking’s physical condition that have caused distress to people with disabilities, including those with ALS – which Professor Hawking suffers from – and their families. We recognize that there are many people in Houston who suffer from serious, debilitating illnesses and no offense to them was intended.”
They are working on producing public service announcements, and will run them on all of their stations during the next couple of weeks. I urge all of you to join me in thanking them for their concern and their response to the ALS community. I want to go on record with a huge thank you to the management of Clear Channel Communications, who recognizes the mistake that was made and are now doing everything they can to help us.
Clearly the use of online media to get Clear Channel's attention along with the refreshing ALSA leadership to meet the problem head-on made a difference.
This is ALS advocacy. This is ALS awareness. This is newsworthy. This is a huge step in a good direction.