Less than four months after being fired from Rochester, N.Y.'s Breakfast Buzz radio show on 98.8 "The Buzz" for a transphobic tirade, radio personalities Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck are back on the air, reports The Post-Standard.
This Thursday, the pair began hosting an afternoon show on a different Rochester station, Radio 95.1
"It was nice to have the summer off," Ray told Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle. "We took some time to reflect and kind of figure out what went sideways."
She and Beck had plenty to reflect on. During the May segment that led to the duo's termination, they commented on Rochester governor Lovely Warren's announcement that the city would begin offering trans-inclusive insurance policies to all city employees.
In response, Ray suggested transgender people were mentally ill, saying, "The service that will be paid for under the new coverage -- gender reassignment surgery, psychological counseling -- because they're probably a nut job to begin with!"
She and Beck also played Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and mockingly referred to a dissatisfied female caller as "sir."
In response to the "hateful comments against the transgender community" and the backlash that ensued, 98.9's parent company, Entercom Rochester, swiftly fired the pair.
Despite this -- and despite issuing an apology for "our lack of sensitivity and understanding of the Transgender people and their plight" -- Ray and Beck say they have returned to the airwaves with much the same approach.
"We're doing the same kind of show that we did for the last 13 years," Ray told the Democrat & Chronicle. Later, she admits, with a laugh, "We'll probably say stupid things. I mean there's no doubt; we're human."
Following the controversial decision to welcome her and Beck back to the airwaves, Robert Morgan, Vice President for Clear Channel, Entercom's main competitior and the parent company of Radio 95.1, explained to Democrat & Chronicle, "Radio is all about making the listener happy, finding what's important to the listener, and delivering it. Kimberly and Beck are tremendous talents, and the market wanted them back. So we're delighted to bring them."
Watch Ray and Beck's interview with Democrat & Chronicle below.