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XM re-creates War of the Worlds

This time, "it came from space" could apply to both the aliens and the radio
transmissions.

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. is re-creating Orson Welles' War of the Worlds
broadcast Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. from its Washington, D.C., studios, complete with
15-piece orchestra.

The radio drama -- which begins with the interruption of an orchestral-music
radio broadcast and ends with the near annihilation of the planet by Martians --
originally aired Oct. 30, 1938. Its use of fictitious news bulletins and reports
frightened hordes of unwitting listeners already unnerved by the war in Europe
and led to rules preventing mock news broadcasts without sufficient disclaimer.

The radio play has since been rebroadcast and readapted numerous times,
including an updated 50th-anniversary edition for NPR in 1988.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.