Today Show Invites on 'Legendary' Jane Fonda to Promote New Radio Network

Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell and Gloria Steinem team up for a new radio network and NBC's Today, not surprisingly, is ready to promote it. The Today show invited on the "legendary Jane Fonda," as Ann Curry called her, to plug the new Women's Radio Network this morning. In fact the Today cast couldn't contain their excitement for the "sometimes controversial" activist.

Curry: "By the way Jane Fonda, you look great. You look marvelous."

Lauer: "Yikes! She looks fantastic doesn't she? I don't think she can hear us otherwise she'd be saying thank you."

After he was done gushing over her looks, Lauer eventually got around to asking about her latest project, but he didn't blink when she claimed her new network with Gloria Steinem and Rosie O'Donnell has "no political agenda" at all:

Lauer: "Let's talk about women for a second, okay."

Jane Fonda: "Yes, thank you."

Lauer: "You're starting the Women's Radio Network and a statistic that I found kind of, kind of startling. Women ages 25 to 54 listen to 10 percent less radio today than they did just seven years ago. Why is that?"

Fonda: "Women are leaving radio because radio has left women. 95 percent of radio programmers are men. 85 percent of general managers in radio are men. In order to know how to program for your audience, you have to look like your audience. You have to live like your audience, you have to empathize with your audience and men just don't know how to do it so this is the first all-women-owned, women-managed radio."

Lauer: "So what are you going to present in terms of content? Is this gonna be like Lifetime television was years ago? Is this lifestyle, relationship, romance or is this politics? What is this? What's, what's it gonna be?"

Fonda: "It's gonna be everything. We, we did, last fall in '05 we did some very interesting research, very extensive research and women, number one they want current events including global issues for women. They want to laugh and laugh, laugh doesn't mean fluff. Laugh can be healing. Laugh, laugh is what you do when something really touches a chord with you. Laugh is, can laugh of recognition. Women want to laugh and our, and our first morning drive talk is three women stand-up comics that are also very smart and can talk about current events and be funny about it."

Lauer: "But let me mention, so you're on the board of this. By, you're not planning on doing any on-air stuff right now? Maybe?"

Fonda: "Well I want to do a regular, once-a-week appearance, yeah."

Lauer: "Okay but right now you're behind the scenes board member. Gloria Steinem is on the board of this, Rosie O'Donnell. People may look at those names and say there's a political agenda here?"

Fonda: "All they have to do is listen to our radio and they'll and they'll know that there is no political agenda, We're streaming and you can hear us and really women across the board, conservative women as well as liberal women and men have found something that the like on our shows."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.