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Radio Pranks, Stunts, and Hoaxes From 2006

Dateline: 12/27/06

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Radio shows and Radio stations are constantly conducting promotions, stunts, and hoaxes in the hopes of getting attention and raising ratings. This year, even an advertiser pushed the limits for attention, as you'll see. Here is just a sampling of 2006's more interesting "high profile" moments in chronlogical order by date.

1/29 - French President Jacques Chirac falls for Canadian Radio Prank

Reuters reported that French President Jacques Chirac was fooled by a pair of DJs known in Montreal as the "Masked Avengers". Chirac thought he had taken a call from the new conservative Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper. But, after some time, Marc-Antoine Audette of CKOI radio let the 73-year-old Chirac in on the joke.

2/2 - Ryan Seacrest Walks Off New Jersey Radio Show Over "Gay" Question

It's now apparent that what seemed to be an uncomfortable on-air interview for Ryan Seacrest at Jersey 101.5 (WKXW-FM) was really a hoax. The "Jersey Guys" eventually admitted to the stunt. The hoax gained momentum when the following account from Carl Barbati at Trentonian.com was blogged: "After a minute or two of niceties, [Craig] Carton asked Seacrest whom he’d rather spend the night with, past 'Idol' singers Clay Aiken or Kelly Clarkson...'Ryan, are you a homosexual?' With that, Seacrest was headed for the door..."

2/4 - BBC Radio 1 Fakes "Dirty Hot Babes"

ManchesterOnline.co.uk reported: "BBC Radio 1 has been criticised after broadcasting fake adverts [advertisements] for sex chatlines...The promotional ads for 'dirty hot babes' offered listeners the chance to take part in a 'two-hour live sex marathon'...In reality, they were trailers for Radio 1's advice programme Sunday Surgery."

2/21 - Nebraska Lottery Victim of Radio Station Hoax

CNN reported: "Nebraska Lottery officials said Monday they believe they were the victims of a hoax after a call from a potential winner of a $365 million Powerball prize turned out to be from a Colorado radio station."

4/1 - April Fool’s Brings Christmas Music

Lynn Arave reports at deseretnews.com: “KOSY does an early April Fool's Day stunt, claiming to be switching to an all-Christmas music format, and since it's March 31, some listeners are caught unawares [sic], sending in hundreds of e-mails and phone calls; only a few listeners are disappointed that it's not a permanent change ...”

4/6 - Court Punishes Canadian Morning Show For Cake Stunt

From Canada.com: "A Danish court on Wednesday fined three radio talk show hosts 10,000 kroner...each for urging a listener to smash a creamy cake in the face of a bakery shop employee...On their morning broadcast, Freakshow, the three hosts challenge listeners to do pranks in return for money."

9/26 - Car Dealer Drops "Jihad" Radio Ad For "Fatwa Fridays"

From Columbus, Ohio, nbc4i.com reports: "A car dealership's tongue-in-cheek radio advertisement declaring 'a jihad on the automotive market,' will not be aired, according to a press release issued on Monday from the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Several stations rejected the spot from Dennis Mitsubishi, which boasts that sales representatives wearing 'burqas' -- head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women -- will sell vehicles that can 'comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back.'"

12/17/06 - Opie & Anthony’s Homeless Shopping Spree

From boston.com: “Mayor Thomas M. Menino is chastising shock jocks Opie & Anthony and WBCN for broadcasting a live "Homeless Shopping Spree" yesterday where homeless people were given money and were taken to a New Jersey mall. Boston's WBCN preempted its regular programming to air what the radio duo said was their fourth annual shopping stunt, which loaded New York City homeless people into a luxury bus and drove them to an upscale Short Hills, N.J., mall and broadcast their shopping trip.”

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