April 1st is a day when you must not turn off your critical faculties if you’re planning on turning on the radio or TV, surfing the internet, or even leaving the house. Luckily, most pranks are fun and harmless. Also, the FCC is watching broadcasters, who won’t be off the hook if a hoax results in trouble. Maybe that’s one reason why maybe there aren’t as many pranks on US radio as in other countries. But there were some choice April Fool’s pranks elsewhere in the English-speaking world.
In Australia, Sydney radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa fooled their own bosses by staging a fake on-air argument over Fitzy’s resignation. They rigged in-station speakers so that it only sounded like the explective-laden tiff was being broadcast. In fact it was only being heard on premises, and they videoed management scrambling to the studio to intervene.
Montreal’s hard rock CHOM and top 40 Virgin Radio swapped programming for April Fool’s today. CHOM listeners expecting the likes of Metallica were treated to Lady Gaga, while Virgin Radio listeners got a little AC/DC. According to Broadcaster Magazine,
Virgin listener Marie said: “I thought my car radio was broken!” CHOM listener Steven called to say that he “nearly gagged in his own mouth” upon hearing Lady Gaga on CHOM!
Irish morning DJ Andrew Morissey caused a bit of row this morning when he announced that teeny bopper phenomenon One Direction is breaking up. He told Radio Today,
“As you can imagine all hell broke loose on the phones and texts. So much so that even as I type this we’re still dealing with angry parents and listeners whose children still believe it to be true. Whoops :)”
Although not broadcast, some radio-associated groups pulled off their own April Fool’s pranks.
Perhaps replacing Click and Clack with Woof and Bark, the Public Radio Exchange announced a new show called “Dog Talk.” Reportedly funded by a $600 grant from the Ivan G. and Ekaterina V. Sputnik Foundation, it is a show by and for dogs. This is the first episode:
The WFMU-directed Free Music Archive announced today that it is rebranding as the Paid Music Archive. The new PMA “is not just free music; it’s music that costs money now.”
Finally, the Radio and Internet Newsletter reported that “Putin annexes Pandora.” A “highly-placed” source told RAIN, “this is a man who likes to hunt down individual songs and coerce them onto customized playlists.”
Did you hear about a great radio April Fool’s prank today? Let us know in the comments.
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