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KSTP reporter explains firing, apologizes

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Former KSTP reporter Mark Saxenmeyer tells Star Tribune columnist C.J. the story of what got him fired from the station this week after about a year and a half on the job.

Saxenmeyer, who is gay, says he was dismissed because an inappropriate gay reference he had written as part of a joking back-and-forth with another reporter was mistakenly posted to the KSTP website. The reference was promptly removed, and an Editor's Note was posted to the bottom of the story.

MinnPost's David Brauer sheds light on the phrase that appeared briefly:

Saxenmeyer had been helping another reporter with a story about a gay couple who had been invited to the White House’s 2013 Easter Egg Roll with their 4-year-old twins. "She was in the process of writing her Web script on her computer," Saxenmeyer told the Star Tribune. "So I wrote a few things into the Web script to make her laugh."

But one comment was not deleted and was erroneously posted, and Saxenmeyer left the station Tuesday. He left with high praise for KSTP staff and his bosses and told the Star Tribune that he takes full responsibility for the mistake and is deeply sorry.

“Make that clear," he told the newspaper. "I don’t want anyone else to suffer repercussions of this. I especially don’t want the gay community to be hurt or offended in any way. They are the last people I would ever want to malign and disparage."

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