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Radio Pranks, Stunts, and Hoaxes From 2007

Dateline: 12/31/07

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2007 was a relatively quiet year when it came to pranks, stunts, hoaxes, and contests mostly because of a contest tragedy which began the year and cast a shadow over much of the rest of it.

After a woman in Sacramento, California, died from water intoxication after taking part in a contest to win a Wii game console, the business took a step back to re-evaluate the cost of listener-participation, liabilities, and safety issues.

Although these aren't the only ones from the year, they did make enough news to get noticed.

January 13

Woman Dies After Competing in Radio Station Contest
From abcnews.go.com came this out of Sacramento, California: "A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday. Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the 'Hold Your Wee for a Wii' contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner."

10 stations employees were fired, a criminal investigation was launched by local authorities but did not proceed. A civil suit was filed by the family of the dead woman.

March 12

"The Wolf" Brings Howls from Local News Media
In San Jose, a new country station, 95.7 The Wolf, angered local news outlets. According to blogs.mercurynews.com: "During its 'stunt' days, the time when it played weird noises and sound loops during the transfer from rocker MAX FM to country, it gave out numbers 'for more information.'" Apparently, the numbers were for local TV and newspaper newsrooms and they weren't very happy fielding the all the misguided callers.

March 15

Not Quite a Pot of Gold, More Like a Vat of Goo
On St. Patrick's Day, participants - including one dressed like Wonder Woman - vied for concert tickets by jumping into a 400-gallon pool of green Jell-O, thanks to a local radio station (not named) in Salt Lake City.

May 23

Man Will Eat Dead Dog on London Radio Show to Protest Royal Family
This came from annanova.com: "An artist is launching a protest against the Royal Family - by eating a corgi. Mark McGowan, 37, will eat one of the Queen's favourite breed of dog on a live radio show...in protest at the Royals' treatment of animals...The corgi, which died at a breeding farm last week, will be served up on London's 104.4 Resonance FM on May 29." According to the station's website, it is "London's first radio art station".

June 4

Singapore Radio Station Fined for Bra Stunt
From Singapore as reported by nstonline.com: "A Singapore radio station will be fined S$15,000...for breaching the island state's radio programme code when it broadcast what the media regulator here described as 'exploitive and inappropriate content' in March this year.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) said...contestants from FHM magazine's 'Girls Next Door' contest were challenged to take off their bras 'on air' in the shortest possible time, under their clothes."

July 19

Cleveland Radio Personality Out of Hospital After Stunt
From wkyc.com: "K-Rock (92.3 FM) radio personality, Dominic Dieter, has been released from the hospital following a morning radio stunt...Dieter was placed and sealed in a barrel and rolled down a hill..." Unfortunately, Dieter was partially ejected when the lid popped off and wound up needing medical care.

August 10

Radio Contest Winner Dies on Cruise Ship He Won Trip On
Unfortunately, the year began to wrap up as badly as it had begun. A Sydney, Australia man who won a cruise in a radio contest was found dead in one of the ship's toilets. According to news.com.au: "The 31-year-old man was found unconscious shortly after midnight on Tuesday in a toilet cubicle on the vessel. The station, 2GB issued a statement in part saying, "The station's thoughts are with the family at this difficult time".

November 7

Sydney Radio Host Invited the World to Breakfast
According to news.com.au: "A SYDNEY radio show is attempting to prove that the harbour city is the nation's most cosmopolitan by inviting a representative from every nation to breakfast. Adam Spencer’s ABC Sydney breakfast show has put out the call to have a person from every country who now calls themselves a Sydneysider, to meet for a special breakfast broadcast on Friday." So far, listeners representing 150 nations are expected to show up.

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