Thursday, July 12, 2012


This was a more traditional prank, the April fools joke. The holiday has it's roots in a Roman pagan holiday called Hilaria, celebrated on the vernal equinox to honor Cybele on  (about) March25th. Hilaria is the root word from which we derive "hilarity."  Incidentally it was one of a few Roman holidays which was to be celebrated soberly. How it devolved into the modern tradition is unclear. But it probably had something to do with the ever-popular Spanish Feast of Fools, and Christian Feast of the Ass. Fast forward two thousand years and the holiday now centers around morning zoo DJs playing trick on their own listeners.

This prank may have been an homage to satellite radio. Beginning in mid-March, the Denny Schaffer Breakfast Club morning program began announcing that their program was converting to a subscription-only business model at 92.5 WVKS. Much like the Wall Street Journal, without a subscription, only portions of the content would be available. They claimed that free content would only include commercials, music beds, drops, and the listener-end of phone calls.

On April 1st the program was aired only in part with big gaps to simulate the "pay radio" platform. Toledo responded with ire and venom. Angry callers flooded WVKS and were recorded and played back after the prank was announced at 8:30 AM. Denny crossed the street to 1370 WSPD-AM  in 2003, and moved to Atlanta in 2006 for a gig on WGST-AM. last I knew he was doing nights at WGKS-AM still in the Peach state.