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An Osmond offers 'safe radio'

'Marie & Friends' is bringing a G-rated approach to the jungles of afternoon drive-time.

March 17, 2004|Mark Thiessen | Associated Press

LEHI, Utah — Marie Osmond is taking the shock out of jock.

As the Federal Communications Commission cracks down on broadcast indecency, Osmond's nationally syndicated and family-friendly radio show, "Marie & Friends," is hitting the airwaves.

"It's safe radio," said the 44-year-old Osmond, a member of the famously squeaky-clean performing Utah family. "That's one of the things we're going for is to be safe and funny and clever and quick-witted without getting to the blue side."

The debut of Osmond's show last month came as broadcasters nationwide were responding to pressure generated by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash.

"We all have choices," said Osmond, whose show mixes congenial conversation and the occasional celebrity guest with familiar songs. "You have to be 21 to be able to go into a strip bar. Why are you bringing the strip bar into my living room?"

She has tailored the show primarily for women but counts her eight children, her 78-year-old mother, men and truck drivers among her listeners.

"It's informative and it's fun and we're a little crazy," she said. "But it's something you don't feel like you have to explain to your 6-year-old later in the evening and try to fill her in on information that she's too young to understand."

"Marie & Friends" is a five-hour afternoon drive-time program syndicated by Jones Radio Network. So far it airs on stations in Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; Yakima, Wash.; and Santa Maria, Calif.

This is Osmond's first foray into radio, but she said she was well prepped for the work after doing years of live radio interviews.

"The only training is what's up here, a quick wit," she said, pointing to her head.

"You know, I've been through a lot of things," she added, "so I feel like [listeners] think they can relate to me."

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