U.S. 'Countdown' Radio to Debut Back in the U.S.S.R.


Soviet rock fans will soon be hearing more from the likes of Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and other American favorites. The producers of two pop music "countdown" radio programs that compete in the United States said Tuesday that they will begin broadcasting shows in the Soviet Union.

"USA Top 20," produced and distributed by Westwood One, will debut Feb. 9 and air twice a month. It will be hosted by Stuart Detmer, a 26-year-old Chicago native who lives in Moscow and speaks Russian fluently, said Norman J. Pattiz, Westwood One chairman.

The program will be produced in Los Angeles then delivered to the Soviet Union for translation and airing over government-owned Gosteleradio. Commercial sponsorship will also be available on the show, with foreign companies running ads during the 90-minute program, Pattiz said. Westwood One will produce two other music programs, "America on Record" and "American Musical Classics," to air in the Soviet Union.

"American Top 40," produced by ABC Radio and hosted by radio and television personality Shadoe Stevens, will also be heard on Gosteleradio. The debut date is not yet set but will be sometime before April 1, according to Tom Rounds, president of Radio Express, which handles the program's international distribution.

The program has been in continuous weekly production since 1970 in the United States and is currently heard in 70 countries, Rounds said. No further details about the Soviet version were available.

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