A Thanksgiving tradition

Perhaps the greatest Thanksgiving moment ever broadcast had to do with radio. Sort of. As every radio aficionado knows, Thanksgiving means the infamous turkey drop episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. It turns out it actually has a non-fiction milieu.

Hugh Wilson, creator of the TV show which ran from 1978 – 1982, was interviewed by the Archive of American Television. It was a radio GM whose admission to Wilson inspired the story:

Jerry Blum, who was the general manager of WQXI [in Atlanta], told me that he had been fired from a Texas station for throwing turkeys out of a helicopter. I said to Jerry, "You just won me an Emmy. That’s really funny."

Richard Sanders as WRKP's Les Nessman

There has been dispute about this tale, with some claims the story was embellished (one version stated turkeys were tossed from a pickup truck, not a helicopter). Still, with all due apologies to the turkeys in question (and to any vegetarian or vegan readers), the mere thought of a flying fowl fiasco (I couldn’t resist the alliteration, again proving why I never pursued a career behind the mic) is just too rich.


Allow me to wish you a blessed and enjoyable holiday, we’ve some stories in progress – plus I’m preparing the annual top 10+ stories of what happened in 2021 radio. Feel free to offer your contributions. 

Click here as we once again present the radio version of what Thanksgiving is all about. Sort of.



  1. We have turkeys that roam our property, in NorCal. They wander from yard to yard, as mostly no fences are up. they come through as they wish, sometimes two or three times a day, and sometimes once a week, or even every other month. Ya just never know when they are going to all truck on through. As evening approaches, they migrate into the wooded areas and then suddenly, they all take flight straight up into the trees, about 50 to 75 feet up, onto branches that are large enough to stand their weight. They sleep up there until the break of day signals safety for them & they descend back to Earth. So, THEY CAN FLY, when they want to. I'm sure if dropped out of a helicopter hovering they would probably be swept by the wind from the propellers & be scattered far too hectically for them to maintain a safe soar to the ground.


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