Wednesday, April 9, 2003

WVXU pair earn role in Peabody show



WVXU-FM's Cincinnati Radio: The Nation's Station (1922-41) audio history didn't win a Peabody Award last week, but a slice of the Xavier University project will be part of the May 19 awards ceremony.

Everyone attending the awards at the New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will be given a compact disc copy of the first Peabody Awards ceremony in 1941, with a credit to WVXU-FM's Mark Magistrelli and Mike Martini.

Magistrelli and Martini had found the 33-minute CBS Radio broadcast while researching The Nation's Station. Their two CD-set includes part of the 1941 broadcast, when WLW-AM was presented one of the inaugural Peabodys.

Magistrelli had sent a copy of the broadcast to the University of Georgia's Peabody office earlier this year. Administrators did not know that a copy existed, says Eric Holder, Peabody Awards spokesman.

"It's been a real prized possession here," Holder says.

Holder had been rooting for The Nation's Station to win a Peabody this year. WVXU-FM had won a Peabody in 1995 for its 12-hour D-Day anniversary broadcast in 1994, D-Day Plus 50.

"I'm not on the board, but I listened to (Cincinnati Radio). It got very close," Holder says.

Cincinnati Radio, featured on Bob Edwards' National Public Radio Morning Edition last month, was compiled from more than 100 hours of rare local and network recordings.

Magistrelli and Martin also did interviews with Eddie Albert, Andy Williams and other former Cincinnati radio stars. They tracked down - and cleaned up - rare audio of Red Skelton, Fats Waller, the Mills Brothers and newsman Peter Grant reporting on the 1937 flood.

Some of the old radio shows in the Magistrelli-Martini audio archives air 8-11 p.m. Saturday on WVXU-FM's Big Broadcast.

And last year they established Media Heritage Inc., a nonprofit organization to preserve old radio broadcasts. It includes the archives of Frederic W. Ziv, a Cincinnati radio (and TV) syndication pioneer.

For the first time, the Peabody Awards will air on A&E cable as a two-hour special in June. Among the 31 winners: CBS' 9/11 film; NBC's Boomtown; Fox's Boston Public; two ABC Nightline telecasts; and HBO's Six Feet Under, The Gathering Storm and Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam.

Enquirering Mind: An Enquirering mind wanted to know: Did CBS executives last year oppose the word "fat" in the title of Nia Vardalos' My Big Fat Greek Life sitcom - before her Big Fat Greek Wedding became a hit - for fear it could offend someone?

"That was once a rumor, but ... CBS did not have trouble with the word 'fat' at all," says Vardalos, 40, who stars in the autobiographical sitcom (8 p.m. Sunday, Channels 12, 7).

"I like the word 'fat' for exactly that reason. ... 'Look at my big fat Greek hair.' I've always said that expression. And it's just funny to me now that it's the name of the TV show, too."

TV today: Napoleon meets his Waterloo in the conclusion of A&E's miniseries (8 p.m., repeating at 10 p.m. and midnight).

Peter and Paul and the Christian Revolution looks at Jesus Christ's disciples in a two-hour film based on ancient writings and interviews with scholars (9 p.m., Channel 48).

Norman Lear (All in the Family) helped write South Park's 100th episode (10 p.m., Comedy Central).

Delta Air Lines engineers and Navy missile instructors build tractors on Junkyard Wars (9 p.m., Learning Channel).

Talk shows: Today's guests from TV Data:

Regis and Kelly (9 a.m., Channel 9): Robin Williams, Lionel Richie, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher.

Wayne Brady (10 a.m., Channel 9): Julianne Moore, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kelly Rowland.

The View (11 a.m., Channel 9): Judy Reyes, Shania Twain.

Caroline Rhea (3 p.m., Channel 19): Christine Lahti.


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