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Motley Fool to try radio

In another melding of new and old media, Cox Radio and the Net finance wizards of the Motley Fool team for the "Motley Fool Radio Show."

In another melding of new and old media, Cox Radio and the Net finance wizards of the Motley Fool today announced a partnership to produce the "Motley Fool Radio Show."

The show, which will cover issues surrounding money and investing in the Motley Fool's signature comical style, will debut June 13 in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and will become available for syndication in the fall, the firms said.

Along with its Web site and America Online presence, the Motley Fool has a syndicated newspaper column as well as three published books. Founded and run by brothers David and Tom Gardner, the Motley Fool is known for its lighthearted approach to making money and investment issues accessible to laymen. The upcoming radio program could be compared to that of the brothers who make auto mechanics funny and interesting to a broad audience on National Public Radio's "Car Talk."

Motley Fool spokesman Chris Hill said the firm was approached by television and radio interests, but decided on its current deal because "Talk radio is the closest thing to the interactive experience you have on the Net."

He said the Gardners, who will star on the radio program, wanted a forum where they could directly answer questions from listeners nationwide. Hill said they also will solicit help from listeners when a question is asked on a topic about which they are less knowledgeable.

Plus, "You don't have to get dressed up to do radio," Hill said. "And we were all heavily influenced by WKRP in Cincinnati."

Under the terms of the deal, Cox Radio will syndicate the show. Hill said this is Cox Radio's first foray into syndication, so it will cut the deals with the radio stations to broadcast the show, and Media America will sell advertising.

The Motley Fool site has an audio feature already, called Fool Audio, in which in-house analysts discuss investment issues for three minutes twice daily, broadcast via RealAudio. Hill noted that Fool Audio is separate from the upcoming radio show and will continue in its current format. The Motley Fool has no immediate plans to broadcast the radio program on the site, though Hill said it would consider running highlights sometime in the future.

The "Motley Fool Radio Show" will debut on KFI-AM in Los Angeles and on WSB-AM in Atlanta.

The Motley Fool was founded in August 1994 and receives 20 million visits per month to its Web and AOL sites, the company said.