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A New Take on Old-Time Radio

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Jay Craven Jay Craven

Burlington, Vermont - February 20, 2009

The Queen City Radio Hour describes itself as "radio worth watching."

"In radio, you're using audio to create pictures, to create images," Jay Craven explained.

Take the image of a Vermonter getting through a cold winter by investing the money she would have spent on fuel oil in pajamas made of bear fur.

It's the kind of home-grown humor show producer Jay Craven hopes will find an audience when the show debuts on Vermont Public Radio Saturday, February 28 at 4 p.m.

"We have high hopes for the Queen City Radio Hour," said Robin Turnau of Vermont Public Radio, "and I'm sure it'll be well-received by our listeners to harken back to old-time radio a bit, but maybe updated to new times."

"In the 1920s, 30s, up until 1948, everyone in the United States listened to their shows on radio," said Nancy Kerr, a communications professor at Champlain College.

Kerr says the advent of television spelled the demise of many radio comedies, dramas, and concert programs. Now, National Public Radio's Prairie Home Companion is one of the few surviving regular variety shows. Kerr predicts today's visually-driven, fast paced culture will demand snappy, colorful entertainment from a show like this.

"To capture them will be a challenge, I think," she said. "You'll have to have a contemporary storyline and contemporary guests they'll tune in for."

The show promises to reflect life here, using local writers and performers and showcasing timely events like the Lake Champlain quadricentennial celebration.

"The sense of place in Vermont is so strong," Craven said. "Why wouldn't we have our own entertainment?"

He hopes to expand the Queen City Radio Hour from its current quarterly schedule to a bi-monthly or monthly feature.

Jack Thurston - WCAX News

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