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Steve Harper, Leeana Karlson, WKJY DJs suspended over homophobic parent hoax, return to work Monday

Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson, of Long Island's

Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson, of Long Island's WKJY/98.3 FM, shown here in a news report on Feb. 17, 2014, created an on-air hoax involving a fictitious homophobic parent. The general manager of the radio station suspended them over the weekend. Credit: News 12 Long Island

Steve Harper and Leanna Karlson of Farmingdale's WKJY / 98.3 will return to their morning show on Monday, following a one-week suspension, the station's general manager, David Widmer, said.

Management had been meeting with community organizations and others before deciding on the suspension's length.

The two radio personalities had perpetuated a hoax last week involving a made-up homophobic parent. They and the station both apologized.

Widmer also said Tuesday that the station had learned of the hoax internally, rather than from outside sources, and had gone public immediately upon confirming it.

On Wednesday, the two hosts of "The K98.3 Morning Show" described a 7th birthday party invitation by a Baldwin child named "Sophia." It purportedly was returned to her two fathers by a mother who wrote on it: "Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle.' I'm sorry Sophia has to grow up this way."

WKJY posted the invitation on the station's Facebook page with the caption, "Do you think she was right to write this?" A phone number the "mother" had included on the invite went to a voice mail that a station spokeswoman said had received "well over 2,000 messages before it was taken down."

"This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us," Harper and Karlson wrote Monday on the station's website.


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