News (USA)

Rochester radio hosts fired over transphobic broadcast back on the air

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A controversial radio duo fired earlier this year following a transphobic radio broadcast, are back on the air at a new station.

Kimberly Ray (right) and Barry Beck
Kimberly Ray (right) and Barry Beck

Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck, know to Rochester radio listeners as “Kimberly and Beck,” announced Thursday they will host the afternoon “drive time” broadcast weekdays on WQBW Radio. The station began promoting the show on social media and on their website.

Ray and Beck were fired from WBZA Radio in May following a segment in which they mocked and ridiculed the transgender community.

The duo was commenting on an announcement by the City of Rochester to extend transition-related health coverage to transgender and gender non-conforming municipal employees.

Ray and Beck characterized the new city healthcare coverage by referring to transgender individuals as “nut jobs,” and on air rants such as, “The dude can look like a lady and the city is going to pay for it!”

“The services that will be paid for under the new coverage – gender reassignment surgery, psychological counseling, because you’re probably a nut job to begin with!” said Ray. “That’s my opinion.”

(Audio of that broadcast is here.)

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Ray and Beck later apologized for the broadcast, saying “Our attempt was to discuss a controversial healthcare issue; however our lack of sensitivity and understanding of the Transgender people and their plight created 12 minutes of radio that we wish we could take back.”

In announcing the new show Thursday, Ray and Beck said it will be similar to the show they have been doing for 13 years, and don’t deny they might say something else that gets them in trouble.

“Oh we’ll probably say stupid things. I mean, there’s no doubt. We’re all human,” said Ray. “There are things that you say that in a minute you wish you could take back. It’s the nature of the business. We never intend to hurt anyone.”

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