WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
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Up and Down the Dial 

Mama Carlson announces plans to change WKRP's format.


George Gaynes


Hugh Wilson (created by), Dan Guntzelman | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Gary Sandy ... Andy Travis
Gordon Jump ... Arthur Carlson
Loni Anderson ... Jennifer Marlowe
Richard Sanders ... Les Nessman
Frank Bonner ... Herb Tarlek
Jan Smithers ... Bailey Quarters
Tim Reid ... Venus Flytrap
Howard Hesseman ... Dr. Johnny Fever
Carol Bruce ... Lillian Carlson
Ian Wolfe ... Hirsch
Nicholas Hormann ... Charles Von Sanker


With a serious demeanor, Andy calls a staff meeting, which everybody believes is him either with bad news or to chew them out for something. Instead, with the ratings out a week earlier than expected, he gives them the good news that they have moved up to #6 in the market, with Venus #1 in his time slot - #3 overall - and Johnny #1 overall, although the news isn't quite as good for Les' newscasts, which Andy tries to deflect. And the station is finally in the black financially. Regardless, Andy is surprised when a Charles Von Sanker arrives at the station purportedly hired by Mother Carlson as the new news director to start in two weeks time. Andy eventually learns directly from the horse's mouth that Mother Carlson hired Mr. Von Sanker not to replace Les but rather to replace Andy himself in implementing a radio programming consultant's report, about which she told no one at the station, to change the format from rock 'n' roll to all news in her push to become #1 in the market. In ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

21 April 1982 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Arthur Carlson mentions that football is the number one spectator sport in the world and Andy corrects him by stating that soccer is.However,in Europe and other parts of the world soccer is referred to as football so in a sense Arthur Carlson is correct. See more »


Andy tells Venus he is #1 with women 18-35. The actual Arbitron demographic is 18-34. See more »


Lillian Carlson: [reading to Andy the recommendations of a report prepared by a programming consultant she has hired] "WKRP's Top 40 audience is at its peak. The sound quality of the AM signal cannot compete with FM stations. If WKRP is to remain profitable in the long run, we recommend changing to a non-music format: all news."
Andy Travis: [with a stunned look on his face] All news? But, I, I... I don't know the first thing about programming an all news station.
Lillian Carlson: That's why I hired Mr. Von Sanker.
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References The Gong Show (1976) See more »


Written by Albert Collins
Performed by Albert Collins & The Icebreakers
[The song playing when Herb enters the control booth]
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User Reviews

...And That's The Way it Was.
20 July 2018 | by edrybaaudioSee all my reviews

...Sort of. I had been on the Radio for a little over a year when WKRP IN CINCINNATI premiered on CBS. Sure, there were some things they did on the show that were NOT the way things were really done at the time (such as eyeballing where to put the stylus, or "needle" on the record - you would REALLY "cue" a record with your EARS, not your eyes - and a number of other things). But for the most part, there was PLENTY about WKRP that was like the REAL stations where I'd worked in my 30-year Radio career. I'm talking about the personalities of the people at the station, both on and off the air. The inconsistencies between actual radio and WKRP really didn't matter. After all, this was a TV sitcom. There have been a number of TV shows about Top-40 Radio ("Good Morning, World" comes to mind immediately) and of any you might be a able to think of, WKRP was the closest to the real thing EVER to light up anyone's picture tube (remember Picture Tubes? My, Grandma - you're showing your age!). Congratulations to Hugh Wilson, the show's Creator, and it's wonderful Cast. In my Radio career, I worked with a real-life analog of EVERYONE on WKRP's staff.

Today, there is NO SUCH THING as Radio that's done that way. With a VERY FEW exceptions, the odds are that your former favorite station that once had live and local Personalities spinning your favorite tunes, now has a satellite dish pointed at the sky, and if there's anyone on the air at all, he or she is in some other city, with pre-recorded voice tracks made in advance by the person on the air - who is also on the air in 50 OTHER cities at the same time, or maybe even more than that, and the music comes from the computer that runs the whole thing. Sometimes I miss the way Radio used to be... at least when I was doing it... but there are a LOT of things I DON'T miss at all. Why did Radio turn into this ugly, computerized THING it is now? Simple. It's MUCH cheaper to put ONE talented person on LOTS of stations than it is to maintain a STAFF talented people at ONE station. And it's MUCH easier for your local station to buy pre-packaged "Mistakes From Space" than it is to find people who are good enough to make a great Radio Station. And in that regard, thanks to all the VERY Talented People who I was lucky enough to work with on the West Coast of the U. S. A.

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