KTVI Fox 2 newscaster Kevin Steincross announced via a video statement that he would be on indefinite leave from the station. Last week Steincross inserted a racial slur while pronouncing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a morning broadcast.
The statement originally aired on KTVI sister station KPLR this afternoon.
“Station management and I have agreed that I need to step away from the anchor desk for now,” Steincross said in the video. “I will begin working to regain your trust. I know the work I need to do will take time, and I will do everything I can to address the pain I caused. For 22 years, I’ve reported and anchored the news on Fox 2. Now my job is to regain the trust of our entire community.”
KTVI management also issued a statement. It reads as follows:
“KTVI is deeply sorry for the understandable pain to our viewers and disrespect shown to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., caused during our early morning news broadcast of January 17. During the past week, we have met with or spoken to representatives from the NAACP, the Urban League, the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists, and other civic groups in the area about the seriousness with which we approach issues of importance to our community. We have met with our employees and listened to our viewers. These meetings and discussions have been healthy and very productive. We are committed to the healing process and moving forward together through open dialogue and action. We look forward to continuing these discussions and taking specific action in the days ahead.”
The full transcript of the video by Kevin Steincross announcing his leave from the station reads as follows:
"Good evening - As you may know, I haven’t been on the air since last Thursday. Rather than reporting the news, I have been the news and a mistake I made has been the topic of conversation throughout our region.
Last week I apologized for misspeaking. I have since had the opportunity to reflect and to learn. What I should have done then, and what I’m doing now, is apologize for the pain my mistake caused. I am truly sorry.
Words matter. Words have been and still are, used to inflict pain and to make people feel less than equal. I know that.
I know my words, especially in the context of Dr. King's name, and heading into the weekend when we celebrate his birth, inflicted and reopened deep wound for my friends, my colleagues, and our viewers.
No apology can heal those wounds. I only hope that time and my efforts will show who I am in my heart. I will live the rest of my life knowing how much pain I caused.
For 22 years, I’ve reported and anchored the news on Fox 2. Now my job is to regain the trust of our entire community.
Station management and I have agreed that I need to step away from the anchor desk for now. I will begin working to regain your trust. I know the work I need to do will take time, and I will do everything I can to address the pain I caused.
I hope that my mistake will not detract from the good work of my colleagues. The last thing I want is for my mistake to damage their reputations.
I want you to know I am committed to doing what it takes for all of you to welcome me back into your homes again. Thank you."
Information from Fox2now.com contributed to this report.