Thursday, May 25, 2006

Maybe We Should Start Doing Things At 4:40?

Randy Dotinga of San Diego area's North County Times is one of my favorite media columnists in the country. For example, his latest edition includes"Ask the Radio Columnist," in he answers questions that readers should have asked but didn't. (the questions are made up but the answers are factual):

Q: Why do radio stations love to do special things when it's 4:20 p.m.?

A: You mean like the quiz that KGB airs at 4:20 p.m. on weekdays, or the block of Bob Marley reggae music that 91X used to play at the same time?Dude, it's all about the ganja. The number "420" ---- pronounced "four-twenty" ---- has been associated with marijuana for decades. Why? Go online and you'll find theories galore.

According to urban-legend-debunking site, "420" began its life in 1971 when students at San Rafael High School in the Bay Area would meet and begin lighting up at 4:20 p.m. each day.The number "420" has other meanings: April 20 (4/20) is Adolf Hitler's birthday and the day of the Columbine Massacre in 1999.

91X stopped its "Mandatory Marley" segments about a year ago, but plenty of other radio stations around the country continue the tradition of playing songs by the late singer every morning and afternoon at 4:20.

You know that I am a big fan of appointment listening, but this makes me think it's time to do stuff at 9, 11, 1 and 3 pm or something, anything but 4:20..

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