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TV station fires producer for airing April-fool prank

An April Fools' Day prank has back-fired for a Massachusetts TV producer who aired a false news report that a hill near Boston had erupted like a volcano. Producer Homer Cilley was fired by officials at WNAC-TV, RKO, for "his failure to exercise good news judgment" and for violation of Federal Communications Commission rules.

On Tuesday, April 1, the station ran a bulletin that the nonvolcanic Great Blue Hill in suburban Milton, Mass., had begun spitting flames and lava. Films of the active Mt. St. Helens volcano in Washington State were used, dubbed with warnings from President Carter.

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A card reading "April Fool" followed the bulletin but police and state civil-defense phones were deluged with calls from residents asking if they should evacuate their homes.


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