CBS3, reacting to accusations that anchorwoman Alycia Lane called a police officer a derogatory name during her arrest Sunday, has reached out to the Philadelphia Gay News to reaffirm what it called its "longstanding relationship" with the gay, lesbian and transgendered community.
In a statement to accompany a news article in Friday's edition, a station spokeswoman is quoted: "All of us at CBS3 certainly understand the disappointment the community must feel about the disparaging remark our anchor is alleged to have made. Alycia and her lawyer have categorically denied that she used this language. While Channel 3 is in the midst of its own investigation, we can state without hesitation that we find this language offensive, intolerable and inappropriate under any circumstance. Our longstanding relationship with the GLBT community is important to us and we hope this alleged incident will do nothing to change that."
Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal said he did not solicit the statement.
Segal declined to describe the focus of the Lane article but said it was accompanied by a photograph of her attending the newspaper's 30th-anniversary party in January 2006.
CBS3 spokeswoman Joanne Calabria said that she and Segal had been speaking about the alleged slur from the beginning. "I know this issue is a special concern and because we have been partners on another projects, I wanted to be sure we addressed it," she said.
Segal said he had not heard any complaints directed at the station. He said he'd reserve judgment on Lane. "We'll watch [the situation] and see how it plays out," he said.
Segal said CBS3 has been a friend to the GLBT community. He said it was the first television station to drop the Dr. Laura show seven years ago after it drew criticism for anti-homosexual content.
It also is one of two stations in Philadelphia to employ openly gay on-camera people, Segal said.