XM Satellite Radio Broadcasts "War of the Worlds"
By Natalie Hope McDonald
On October 30, 1938, The Mercury Theatre, a young drama troupe under the direction of Orson Welles, performed a radio play based on a novel by H.G. Wells called "War of the Worlds." WABC New York and CBS both carried what would become a monumental event in radio history. Despite disclaimers before and after the show, the broadcast caused mass hysteria as thousands of listeners panicked nationwide, not realizing the apocalyptic newscast was actually a fictional radio play. Sixty-four years later to the day, XM Satellite Radio will broadcast an original live production based on the notorious shocker about aliens landing in New Jersey.
Beamed from XM Satellite Radio's studio in Washington D.C., nationally syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck takes over the role Welles once made famous. Buzz XM (channel 166), in addition to Beck's own 100 radio affiliates and Web sites, will broadcast the event produced by Premier Radio Affiliates. Featuring a dozen actors, a 15-piece orchestra, and Foley effects to air without commercial interruption—the radio play is designed after the original. As a bonus, two pre-recorded versions of "War of the Worlds" will also be aired prior to the show. This from a programming lineup that usually features more than 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, like commercial-free hip hop and opera.