Minnesota Daily A&E
February 16, 1998


Children's Broadcasting Inc.,
which until recently was
providing kidlet-oriented programming
on Radio Aahs (1280 AM in the 'Cities,
and on numerous owned and affiliate
stations throughout the country) may
have a new programmer. The network went
dark on January 30, and the planned
sale of 13 CBC-owned stations to Global
Broadcasting Co. fell through at the
last minute. DJs for the network have
since been playing a mix of '80s music
and staying off the mic; the result has
been better than either static or KQ,
but not by much.

Enter Alan Freed, whose unlicensed Beat
Radio station was shut down by the FCC
in November of '96. Freed has reached a
tentative agreement with CBC to provide
12 hours a day of Beat-format dance
music to CBC's satellite network; no
one seems to know quite yet what the
other 12 hours might bring.

At press time both Freed and a source
at CBC indicated a hope that Beat Radio
would sign on at 6 p.m. yesterday,
although given the length of time taken
to put the deal together -- a
corporate-record two weeks -- nothing's
for certain. And how long the
broadcasts will continue is anyone's
guess; CBC has a high debt load after
years of unprofitability, with several
million dollars in loan payments due
early this summer. For the time being,
broadcasts should be daily from 6 p.m.
to 6 a.m.

It's good news for both the beleagured
children's network and the
ever-enthusiastic Freed. CBC has a
positive-energy format to feed to
networks that might otherwise be used
to relaunch New Wave. Freed gets his
format broadcast to ten major cities,
including Chicago, New York and Los

CBC still has its share of troubles:
years of operating debt to worry about,
not to mention a pending suit against
Disney/ABC for breach of contract,
negligence, fraud, misappropriation of
trade secrets and unfair competition,
all stemming from a disputed joint
operating agreement. ABC announced it
was withdrawing from the agreement
shortly after the Disney purchase of
ABC; then (quelle surprise!) the
company began marketing its own Radio
Disney in late '96. (I'd say it's
Disney's worry, but needless to say,
Disney filed a countersuit; the case
has yet to see trial.) Next up: Beat

-- Ryan Kallberg

Minnesota Daily 1 | Minnesota Daily 2 | Minnesota Daily 3 | Minnesota Daily 4 | Minnesota Daily 5 | Minnesota Daily 7 | Beat Press main ]