AOL to Host Kids Radio Show

NEW YORK America Online is making its first foray into live, hosted, original programming with a children’s radio show set to launch this fall.

Called Radio KOL, the four-hour daily program will encourage young listeners to interact with the host and each other by submitting questions, jokes, shout-outs and song requests via e-mail or phone for on-air play.

The radio show, which will feature music, celebrity interviews and games, will be available to kids as a part of KOL, the first version of AOL designed entirely for 6- to 12-year-olds that will be available later this month.

The move is a part of AOL’s effort to appeal to different audiences by tapping into their unique interests with distinct programming. The Dulles, Va.-based AOL Time Warner Internet unit is also preparing to roll out an audience-specific service for teenagers, called Red, and another for Hispanics, named AOL Latino, this fall, according to a company representative.

Radio KOL, hosted by U.K. radio and TV personality Rick Adams, will attempt to capture kids’ fast-paced energy and irreverent humor with skits, practical jokes and other stunts. The show, running from 3-7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, can be replayed anytime by clicking on the Radio KOL icon on the main screen of the service.

Malcolm Bird, senior vice president and general manager of kids and teens programming at AOL, said that Radio KOL will “empower kids by giving them a forum where they can directly impact and shape their online music experience.”