Dallas, L.A. Ad Vital Ingredients as 'Dish Nation' Preps Launch

Drive-time radio DJs team up for show, now sold in more than 95% of U.S.

Twentieth Television and Studio City have recruited radio DJs from Dallas and Los Angeles to join their new entertainment strip, Dish Nation, which features drive-time radio teams from around the country doing what they do best: talking and cracking wise about the day’s highest-profi le pop culture events.

Dallas-based DJ Kidd Kraddick and his team—which includes Kellie Rasberry, Big Al, Jenna and J-Si—will contribute to Dish Nation as they produce their radio show out of Dallas. Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, syndicated by Yea! Network, is heard on more than 70 top-40 radio stations across the country, as well as on American Forces Radio weekdays from 6-10 a.m. CT.

Dish Nation also is expected to announce that The DJ Laz Morning Show, heard on Los Angeles’ LA96.3, is coming on board. DJ Laz comes to Los Angeles from Miami, where he has been a big star for the past two decades, airing on DJ106.7.

Three of the other radio teams from the Dish Nation’s recent test run remain with the show, including Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill from WPLJ New York’s The Big Show With Scott & Todd; Rickey Smiley and Ebony Steele from WHAT Atlanta’s Rickey Smiley Morning Show, which is syndicated in more than 60 markets nationwide; and Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek from WDVD Detroit’s Blaine & Allyson.

“We have five cities involved now that we’ve added Dallas,” says Stu Weiss, Dish Nation executive producer and president of Studio City. “We’ve now upped by 40% how much funny we are going to get from the nation. We are really happy about the broader representation that these new people will bring to the table.”

Dish Nation is cleared in more than 95% of the country for a Sept. 10 premiere in access and late-fringe time slots, says Stephen Brown, Twentieth senior vice president of development. The program is meant to be a new take on entertainment news shows, much like Warner Bros.’ TMZ was when it launched in September 2007.

“We don’t have to break daily news, we just comment on it,” says Brown. “The Daily Show was kind of the inspiration. But it’s also about what these radio DJs are saying every day. What Rickey and Ebony are saying in Atlanta and what Scott and Todd are saying in New York offer completely different perspectives on the same subjects.”

For Brown, it’s also important that Dish Nation reflect points of view from around the country instead of just the two coasts.

“New York and Los Angeles for years have been the guiding lights of entertainment news, but we forget that the middle of the country has a completely different way of looking at things, and that’s reflected especially in Detroit,” Brown says. “Some of the funniest bits in the whole show are because they are speaking to the authentic point of view that the Midwest has on the crazy stuff that happens in L.A.”

The Fox owned-and-operated stations are the launch group. Dish Nation also will air on stations from the Cox, CBS, Gannett, Raycom, Tribune, Sinclair, Capitol, Meredith and Local TV broadcast groups.

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