New radio program aims for older listeners

New Age Radio" is for adults only. The ongoing series of three-minute radio spots hits a variety of issues for adults over 40, including consumer economics, pre-retirement planning, and leisure time.

The programs, hosted by Ed and irene Martin, a retirement-age couple who often speak from experience, begins broadcasting in the Eastern half of the country in March. Produced by Jameson Broadcast Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, "New Age Radio" is described by creator Trulee Burns as "across-the-breakfast-table husband-and-wife talks."

"It is an innovative show," says Ms. burns a Jameson Broadcast vice-president. "There is a lot of necessary information to communicate to older people, and this is one way to help." She estimates that over 80 percent of women over 40 (and nearly as many men in the same category) listen to radio each day.

The programs vary. One day Mr. and Mrs. Martin talk about "The New wrinkle," a Boston-based theater composed of seniors with no previous acting experience. On another day they might tell how older people can become involved in volunteer programs like foster grandparents, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), and senior companion programs. They are also quick to point out resources, such as information and referral services, local councils on aging, and senior citizen center.

The Martins make the show personal by adding a lively blend of humor.

"Old age is mind over matter," quips Irene Martin in one program. "If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

The couple contributes ideas and attitudes to the scripts, which are then researched and written by the Jameson staff for national broadcast. Ms. burns says the Martins greatly enjoy doing the show.

"Both have been involved in a community theater, and to get a gig together is a life- time dream come true."

The program was first broadcast on more than 100 Ohio radio station last year , sponsored by the Ohio Commission on Aging. Its success led to sponsorship east of the Mississippi (except for Wisconsin) by an insurance company. The producers are looking for a Western sponsor.

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