Venus is getting offers to join a higher-rated radio station and Andy is trying to offer everything under the sun not to lose one of his top DJs. Meanwhile, Herb is going around saying he's getting a lucrative job offer as well, and everyone's patting him out the door. Venus finds out that the other radio station is pre-programmed (literally: there's a computer sitting in the middle of the room) and he won't have any say on what music he gets to play: he's only getting hired to be the local 'Face' of the station. Returning dejected to WKRP, Venus meets with an equally dejected Herb who reveals he lied about another station wanting him: he was feeling jealous that Venus was getting the attention. So when Andy comes one more time to offer Venus a sweetheart deal, Venus asks that Andy include keeping Herb as part of the deal.
It's a minor you-might-miss-it moment in the hilarious "Turkeys Away" episode. At the beginning, Carlson tries to demonstrate what authority he has at his station by asking Jennifer to get him a cup of coffee. Jennifer sweetly rebuffs, pointing out she negotiated a "no-getting-coffee" clause in her contract. After the turkey fiasco when a humiliated Carlson returns to the station, Jennifer offers to get him coffee as a way of telling him she's concerned for him.
The climax of the baseball episode. Les fearfully tries to maneuver himself under a pop fly, knowing that he doesn't have an athletic bone in his body and hearing the voice of his domineering mother in his head telling him over and over again how useless and weak and pathetic he is. And just when you're sure that Les is going to miss it, he puts himself in just the right place for the ball to fall right into his glove so easily it looks almost casual, winning the game for WKRP. The look on actor Richard Sanders's face at this point just sells this scene.
Earlier in the episode, Carlson is at bat and the rival station's manager, confident the Big Guy will strike out, pulls all of his fielders off the diamond to humiliate him further. Carlson responds with a powerful hit. While the other team scrambles to get the ball, Carlson triumphs by calmly walking 'round the bases, scoring the go-ahead run.
The gang visiting Jennifer on Christmas Eve, thinking she was spending the holidays alone. Each one brought a tree with them, except Herbert, prompting Andy to tell him, "You can't come in without a tree." Jennifer was genuinely touched, although she did have plans to fly to Bethlehem with a wealthy paramour(what Johnny called "a real down-home Christmas").
"Tornado": Les and Mr. Carlson are in the booth, reading off the emergency file and taking listener calls about the tornado. A crying 7-year-old girl calls into the station, frightened because she's home alone and doesn't know where her mother is. Carlson takes the call and simultaneously gets on the air, and tells her (and other kids who might be listening) not to be frightened. At Les' urging, Carlson tells her to go to the basement. After some hesitation, she sets down the phone.
Mr. Carlson:[To Les] She's going, I can hear her walking. I heard the door! She's gonna be safe! [Beat] Mr. Carlson: At least I hope so. The phone just went dead. Les: ...Mr. Carlson, you saved that child's life. [Hugs him]
Mr. Carlson may have been an ineffectual businessman but he had plenty of heart. In one episode, Johnny is convinced that God is speaking to him. When he excitedly tells his coworkers they're condescending, at best, and he ends up checking himself into a mental hospital. Carlson finds him, and points out that people hearing divine voices certainly have precedents, and that they're telling him positive messages can only be a good thing - he talks Johnny into coming back to work.
Carlson: Of course, if this voice starts telling you to go naked at the airport, I'd look into it.
Johnny: Don't worry - that voice that tells me to go naked is my own!
When Herb develops a drinking problem and it affects his job (losing a client, letting a fired ad executive string him along for free drinks) Andy, Venus and Johnny angrily confront him but it's Carlson and his kind folksy demeanor who finally gets thru to him.
When Venus, a Vietnam vet, turns himself in as a deserter, Mr. Carlson decides to go with him in a show of support, despite being initially outraged at Venus(as Carlson is also a Veteran). And when asked by the Army officer what his relationship to Venus is, without hesitation and with absolutely zero irony or humor, Carlson says, "I'm his father. He's my son. I'm here to support my son." It brings a tear to Venus's eye.
The exchange is actually much more subtle but still heartwarming. Carlson keeps interrupting and speaking over the army investigator, who angrily asks Venus, "Who is this man?" It's Venus who deadpans, "My father." For a split second, Carlson looks shocked and confused, but then sits up straight and nods as he's proud to be thought of that way.
Also, the end of the episode, the investigator learns that Venus deserted after his combat tour was over. The officer says he's going to recommend a general discharge. Venus is visibly shocked and relieved to end a decade of running. He is at first speechless, realizing that Carlson saved his life. He shakes Carlson's hand and says "Thanks, pop." He then turns the regular handshake to a more soulful version, which Carlson happily, if somewhat awkwardly, returns.
When the station's ratings rise for the first time, everyone is giddy with delight and planning a party to celebrate— except Andy, who is depressed because he expected better results. When Bailey finds out, she mentions it to Johnny and Venus. Johnny instantly says "We should skip this little party then."