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KERO News Director Defends Stripper Story that Led to Firing of Chief Meteorologist

KERO news director Todd Karli is defending his station’s decision to air a story about successful local strippers during its 5 p.m. newscast, a move that ended in the firing of chief meteorologist Jack Church (right), a devout Christian who boycotted the newscast because of the story’s racy subject matter.

“We were very careful to approach the story, not as any kind of promotion for the business, but straightforward,” Karli told The Californian recently.

The story (which can be seen here) reported on how strip-clubs are one of the few local businesses that have not been hurt by the recent economic downturn. In explaining his decision to boycott KERO’s newscasts that day, Church said that he felt the story sent the wrong message to young women.

“I just thought about the young mom who’s sitting at home out of work watching that and thinking, ‘That’s how I can ride out the recession, go work at a strip club,’” Church recalled.

In defending the piece, Karli pointed out that KERO’s news team covered it from multiple angles.

“We even went to the trouble of interviewing a psychologist who talked about how stress makes people spend more money on their impulses, not just strip clubs but all vices, smoking, alcohol, all of that,” he said.

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