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Dueling Shows: Radio

Original Clone Capsule Pitch Description Implementation Winner?
American Top 40 Casey's Top 40 Radio countdown program of the week's top 40 mainstream pop hits. AT40 was created in 1970 by Casey Kasem, Don Bustany and Tom Rounds, and became radio's most popular countdown program. In 1988, Kasem had a falling-out with ABC Networks and was fired; in retribution, Kasem created Casey's Top 40, which debuted in January 1989. ABC Networks, meanwhile, hired Shadoe Stevens, who took over the week after Kasem's last AT40 program, and the show continued for another 6-1/2 years. In many respects, Casey's Top 40. Many radio programmers were not happy with the circumstances surrounding Kasem's departure and took his show. Stevens although he did an excellent job by many accounts never stood a chance, and AT40 concluded its original run on January 28, 1995. In the post-script, AT40 would return ... three years later, after Kasem had another falling out, this time with Casey's distributor Westwood One; Kasem was able to procure the rights to the AT40 name, and the show has been going strong since Premiere Radio Networks took over in March 1998.
American Top 40 Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Radio countdown program of the week's top 40 mainstream pop hits. AT40 had been the standard-bearer for radio countdown programs when Los Angeles radio personality Rick Dees began his own Top 40 radio countdown program (in the aftermath of his station, KIIS-FM losing AT40 to a rival station. The presentation was somewhat similar, although Dees used the Radio & Records chart as its source and had different features, including (then-novel) interview clips of artists (during Dees' stretch stories on various songs), songs predicted to make the top 10 and a recap of the top 5 from a past year. Unclear, as both shows are running today. The exception was 1995-1998, when AT40 was on an "extended hiatus" the original version, hosted last by Shadoe Stevens, having ended in January 1995, only to return in March 1998 when original 'AT40' host Casey Kasem acquired the naming rights; during the interim, Dees' show continued uninterrupted, while Kasem hosted the competing Casey's Top 40.
American Country Countdown Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 Radio countdown program of the week's top country music hits. ACC was created by Casey Kasem, Don Bustany and Tom Rounds in 1973 as a country music spinoff of American Top 40. Hosted today by Kix Brooks (half of country music's mega-duo Brooks & Dunn), the show was hosted for years by Los Angeles radio personality Bob Kingsley (who began as the show's producer during original host Don Bowman's run). When ABC Networks decided to take the show in a different direction and Kingsley balked, he was given his walking papers. Kingsley quickly took his vision of the format which had worked for 27 years and took it to Jones Radio Network to begin the Country Top 40. Still a tie, as both programs continue running strong. ACC has a slight advantage with Brooks' weekly column in Country Weekly and an online television show; plus, ACC is one of radio's longest-running, uninterrupted-run programs, having run every week non-stop since October 6, 1973 (nearly 40 years). Kingsley is well known for his professionalism and honest presentation of the week's top 40 hits, a tried and true formula that has worked for going on 34 years (dating to his ACC days).
American Country Countdown and Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 Other radio countdown programs including CMT's Country Countdown USA, The Crook & Chase Countdown and The Weekly Country Music Countdown Radio countdown program of the week's top country music hits. See above for ACC and Country Top 40. Country Countdown USA, hosted by journalist Lon Helton, debuted in April 1992. Each program co-hosted by a current country music artist, who provides insight into the songs and artists. Crook & Chase hosted by longtime country music television personalities Charlie Crook and Lorianne Chase is a fixture in medium to small markets, and premiered three months before Country Countdown USA. Along with their homespun humor, this program includes interviews and other songs. The Weekly Country Music Countdown debuted in 1981 and was the first major rival to ACC. Hosted by Chris Charles, this program presented the top 30 songs of the week as ranked by Radio & Records magazine; in addition to an artist profile (two of a current artist's older hits per hour), features included interviews with other artists, the "calendar" (with birthdates and important milestones in country music) and for a time, the "Dusty Diskfile" (the top 5 songs from that week in a past year). Depends on the market. ACC, Country Top 40 and Country Countdown USA are the top runners, in a virtual tie. Crook & Chase is a stalwart but has held its own, and is popular mainly in medium and smaller markets. RIP to honorable mention Chris Charles' Weekly Country Music Countdown, which held its own for nearly 20 years but ultimately ran short of affiliates by the early 2000s.


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