THE call letters KUNT have landed at a yet-unbuilt low-power digital television station in Wailuku, Maui.
Alarmingly similar to a word the dictionary says is obscene, the call letters were among a 15-page list of new call letters issued by the Federal Communications Commission and released this week.
The same station owner also received KWTF for a station in Arizona.
From Skokie, Ill., comes a sincere apology "to anyone that was offended," said Kevin Bae, vice president of KM Communications Inc., who requested and received KUNT and KWTF. It is "extremely embarrassing for me and my company and we will file to change those call letters immediately."
...The call letter snafu was a source of great mirth for Bae's attorney.
"I can't tell you how long he laughed at me when he learned of my gaffe," Bae said.
Broadcasters for generations have joked among themselves about call letters resembling off-color words or acronyms knowing the FCC would never approve their assignment -- but that was before computerization.
KCUF-FM near Aspen, Colo. got its F-word-in-reverse call letters in August of 2005 and has been on the air since December, "Keeping Colorado Uniquely Free," its Web site says. Uh, yeah.
[Yeah, sure, "KUNT" and "KWTF" were just coincidences.]