The I-Team has learned that KGO Radio fired host Bernie Ward, effective at the end of 2007. He no longer works for the station. Ward has been off the air since he was indicted on federal child pornography charges last month – he admits downloading images from the internet and trading them with people he met on-line. His attorneys have said Ward was doing research for a book at the time.
KGO Radio General Manager Mickey Luckoff tells me the station took the action against Ward before knowing full details of the case, and that he wants him back on the air soon. Luckoff believes Ward’s explanation that he downloaded and traded child porn as research for a book: “Technically, it’s against the law. He admitted what he did. There’s no reason to believe he’s a pedophile.” Luckoff adds that Ward’s arrest “hit us like a ton of bricks.” Luckoff says Ward and his attorneys have assured him that the talk show host’s involvement with child porn is confined to the three incidents outlined in the federal complaint. You can read it here.
Ward and Luckoff will meet after the next court appearance January 24th, and he may be back on the air soon very soon. Luckoff tells me would hire him back, even before a possible trial wraps up: “We really value Bernie. He’s a very capable on-air talent.”
From the “Support Bernie Ward” website, it’s clear Ward is chomping at the bit to return to the air and discuss the political campaigns. He’s been posting essays on current events – the latest blasts the governor for proposing deep cuts in education. Ward’s also been thanking his long-time listeners who continue to support him.