Media keeping in touch with troops in Mideast



American troops may be sweltering In the Saudi sun, but Increasingly they are doing so to the sight and sound of media from back home.

Locally, for example, WYST-FM 92.3 morning personalities Don O'Brien and Wendy Corey have signed up for the "USO Morning show Network," which is sending to Saudi Arabia taped compilations of drive-time broadcasts from a number of radio stations across the country. And 92 Star is taking dedication, from listeners to be included on the 90-minute weekly reel.

Earlier, WMIX-FM 106.5's MIke McCarthy personally delivered to Armed Forces personnel in Saudi Arabia a reel of listener messages, and the station last week sent abroad a huge cookie with messages from local listeners.

On a national scale, too, performers evidently are clamoring for a Saudi gig. Johnny Carson noted the other night on his annual anniversary show, for example, that the show would be taped and made available to the troops. And even TV soap operas, such as NBC's "Generations," may be available soon on the Middle East front.

Does anybody else think a franker level of language has crept into earlier prime-time hours this season?

Take last week's "Lenny," for example (at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, CBS/Channel 11). Star Lenny Clarke talked more crudely than seems customary for such an early evening show when discussing the hygiene needs of his daughter's sick hamster. Daughters Kelly and Tracy (Jenna Van Oy and Alexis CaIdwell) also had a scene discussing "hooters" and "torpedoes," and the show's central theme was a sexual come-on Lenny's boss pitched at his wife (Lee Garlington). At least the details of his proposition were whispered.

Not to pick on CBS, but that same night's "Doctor, Doctor" (at 8:30) had some pretty suggestive material more appropriate to the funny show's 10:30 air time last season. (Do readers have more examples worth zinging? Let's hear them. Write: Media Monitor/Steve McKerrow The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, 21278, or fax to 332-6666.)

An afternoon cable special tomorrow takes up the subject of breast cancer by revealing new figures suggesting that 90 percent of American women fall into at least one category of risk factor for the disease.

The show is a special edition of the daily talk show "Attitudes," at 3 p.m. on the Lifetime basic cable service. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the show will reveal results of a major survey undertaken this summer with Family Circle magazine.

More than 20,000 women responded, and 92 percent indicated at least one of the major risk factors - a family history, early menstruation, not breast feeding or being overweight - applied to them.

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