A Gem of a Radio Network for Women

Programming primarily for women hasn’t worked all that well in the past, but maybe it never found its medium — radio. That’s what Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem are counting on with their new venture, Greenstone Media, a radio network by and for women.

At a packed launch event in New York City at the Museum of Television & Radio, the two media celebs wowed the fashionable, mostly female crowd with upbeat remarks on the network’s lineup. Well-known feminist and co-founder of Ms. magazine, Steinem (now 72!) drew cheers from an appreciative audience that included the network’s stars — writer Lisa Birnbach (above), comedians Maureen Langan, Cory Kahaney and Nelsie Spencer, and talk show host Rolonda Watts — when she noted that radio had become “hostile, argumentative and humiliating. That’s why women are fleeing radio.”

Steinem was later seen in a warm embrace with a beaming Pat Carbine (of Ms. co-founder fame). A polished-looking Fonda, dressed in a conservative tweed pants suit (not the all-black uniform typical of these events), recalled how the idea for the radio network began — when Steinem corralled Fonda and feminist author Robin Morgan in her living room to discuss the birth of Greenstone. The name comes from what one catty party-goer said was a too-obscure reference to an Alice Walker novel.

Green was the color of the evening, from the lime green carpet that greeted party-goers on their way in to the green-tinted champagne, thanks to a dose of Midori liqueur.

Even Susan Ness, the former FCC commissioner who the founders were fortunate enough to land as president and CEO, was decked out in all-green pants suit she claims not to have bought especially for the occasion.

— Rebecca Fannin