Originally created 03/15/04

Marie Osmond promises "safe" content in syndicated radio show



LEHI, Utah -- Marie Osmond is taking the shock out of jock.

As the Federal Communications Commission cracks down on broadcast indecency, Osmond's nationally syndicated and family friendly radio show, "Marie & Friends," is hitting the airwaves.

"It's safe radio," said the 44-year-old Osmond, a member of the famously squeaky-clean performing Utah family. "That's one of the things we're going for is to be safe, and funny and clever and quick-witted without getting to the blue side."

The debut of Osmond's show last month came as broadcasters nationwide are responding to pressure generated by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash.

"We all have choices," said Osmond, whose show mixes congenial conversation and the occasional celebrity guest with familiar songs. "You have to be 21 to be able to go into a strip bar. Why are you bringing the strip bar into my living room?"

She has tailored the show primarily for women, but counts her eight children, her 78-year-old mother, men and truck drivers among her listeners.

"It's informative and it's fun and we're a little crazy," she said. "But it's something you don't feel like you have to explain to your 6-year-old later in the evening, and try to fill her in on information that she's too young to understand."

"Marie & Friends" is a five-hour afternoon drive time program syndicated by Jones Radio Network. So far it airs on stations in Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; Yakima, Wash.; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Santa Maria, Calif.

This is Osmond's first foray into radio, but she said she was well prepped for the work after doing years of live radio interviews. "The only training is what's up here, a quick wit," she said, pointing to her head.

A lifetime in show business doesn't hurt, either.

Osmond first performed at age 3 on "The Andy Williams Show." At age 13, she had a No. 1 hit on the pop and country charts with "Paper Roses."

In 1976, she and her brother became the youngest ever television hosts with "The Donny and Marie Show."

After the show, Marie Osmond continued acting, but branched out to meatier stage roles on Broadway and cross-country tours. Later, she rejoined her brother for a short-lived television talk show, canceled in 2000.

She's also a businesswoman whose three enterprises includes a line of collectible dolls. Osmond also is the co-founder of the Children's Miracle Network.

Along with the much storied success have come some very public setbacks.

She left her family for a few days after suffering postpartum depression in 1999. A year later, she and her second husband, Brian Blosil, briefly separated.

She admitted, but gave few details in her autobiography, that she was sexually abused as a child. And later, as an adolescent Hollywood star appearing alongside busty women like Raquel Welch and Farrah Fawcett, developed an eating disorder.

"You know, I've been through a lot of things, so I feel like (listeners) think they can relate to me," she said.

But this isn't an advice show. "Life can be heavy," she said. "When you turn on the radio, you want something that will pick you up, make you laugh, and make you feel like, 'I can do this."'

On the Net:

Marie Osmond's radio show: www.radiomarie.com