The management of a Denver radio station has canceled its Chuck and Julie show, after co-host Chuck Bonniwell said on air that the “never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump” makes “you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the monopoly.”
In response to the backlash against his comment, Bonniwell stated on Twitter, “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way.”
Bonniwell’s statement falls short of an apology, raising the possibility that his refusal to apologize might have played a role in KNUS’ decision to cancel his show. But KNUS management isn’t commenting.
“Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community,” a statement released Wednesday evening by 710 KNUS Denver reads, “710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the Chuck and Julie show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell. A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.”
Bonniwell is well-known among the relatively small audience of talk-radio listeners in Colorado as a radio host who regularly makes shocking comments, but Tuesday’s remark set off a national backlash and was spotlighted in multiple local Colorado and national media outlets.
Bonniwell and co-host Julie Hayden, a former Fox 31 reporter who is married to Bonniwell, were on air Wednesday afternoon, prior to the show’s cancellation this evening.
In a move that suggests friction between KNUS management and Bonniwell, KNUS removed all archived audio from past Chuck and Julie shows from the station’s website.
The station removed all recordings of host Craig Silverman’s KNUS show last month and canceled his program abruptly, mid-show, after Silverman criticized Trump and discussed appearing on other stations’ shows to talk about Trump.
Bonniwell’s departure came as KNUS is facing serious accusations that a staffer is a Nazi. KNUS Management is reportedly conducting an internal investigation, and the producer, Kirk Widlund, has denied posting pro-Nazi comments on social media, including one post stating that the United States fought on the wrong side of WWII. The results of KNUS’ internal investigation have not been announced. But KNUS hosts, like Steffan Tubbs, have been defending Widlund.
In a Tweet today, John Castillo, the father of Kendrick Castillo, who was killed as he protected fellow students in the STEM School shooting in May in Highlands Ranch, called Bonniwell’s comment “unbelievable.”
Here’s the full audio segment from Tuesday’s Chuck & Julie show, before @710KNUS spliced host Bonniwell’s “you-wish-for-a-nice-school-shooting” comment from its online recording of the show. (at 1 min 30 seconds)