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Alliance radio station ends contest

Published: Fri, September 1, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.

The host of the controversial contest apologized on the air Wednesday.
ALLIANCE (AP) -- A radio station has ended a running contest in which listeners won prizes for singing songs as if they were mentally retarded after advocates for the disabled protested.
WZKL-FM in Alliance on Wednesday pulled the "Name That Tune with Mongoloid Mike" contest, which aired for seven months.
"It was not our intent to hurt anyone, but to merely entertain as we try to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Program Director John Stewart.
The on-air personality known as "Igor" who hosted the contest also apologized on the air Wednesday night, saying he has a cousin with Down syndrome.
"It wasn't my intention at all to hurt anybody," he said. "I try to do an entertaining show every night and didn't realize that maybe some people would take offense to this."
Beth Philley of Canton has three adopted children who are disabled. She was among those who contacted the station, calling the contest demeaning.
Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities spokeswoman Pat Fehlman said she urged about 100 parents to complain to station advertisers.
"It is without a doubt the most disgusting show of broadcasting I have ever heard," she said.

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