After months of speculation and recent reports of action, KTVI (Channel 2) officials confirmed that newscaster Kevin Steincross is no longer with the station.
Steincross had been on indefinite leave since January after he pronounced the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name with a racial slur.
General manager Kurt Krueger confirmed last week that Steincross and the station parted ways "by mutual agreement."
"He is no longer at the station," Krueger said. Saying it was a personnel matter, he declined to provide further information.
Steincross could not be reached for comment.
Several sources in local media reported to this bureau in the last two weeks that Steincross and the station had officially parted ways.
The incident that led to Steincross's departure occurred on Jan. 17, on KTVI’s morning news.
Steincross said there would be an upcoming local tribute to civil rights icon “Martin Luther coon Jr.,” speaking a racial slur that has been used against black people.
About three hours later, he apologized on air. Station management concluded that the verbal slip was an accident and would not take disciplinary action.
But in the following week, the St. Louis County NAACP and others demanded that the station fire Steincross and took their complaint to Tribune Media, KTVI's parent company.
So on Jan. 26, the station aired an announcement in which Steincross said he needed to "step away from the anchor desk for now. I will begin working to regain your trust."
Steincross had been working at KTVI since 1996, as a general assignment reporter, co-anchor and morning newscaster.
He was the latest in a series of broadcasters across the country who inserted the same slur into King’s name on air. The trend sparked debates over whether they revealed racism or were just mistakes.
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