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Buff Contest Closed Down

It was a hit, Dakin says: "The girls that did it were like, 'It was freeing! It was so fun!' " It was also risky. Going topless in Richmond and Chesterfield County is against indecent-exposure laws.

Despite its popularity, Dakin says, the station canceled the contest July 24 because some listeners and advertisers complained. "The day it was ended we had three hours of nonstop calls from people who wanted it to come back," he says.

Some listeners turned off by the contest may have taken it out of context, says Mike Murphy, the station's program director. "It can sound crazy and wacky," he says. "But it wasn't that big a deal. Some folks thought that it was promoting hedonism and other things that we weren't trying to do. To be responsible, we thought it best to end it. The advertisers who advertise on our radio station pay our salaries."

Dakin, 26, has worked for stations in Nashua, N.H., and Boston, Mass., but this is the first time he'd ever held a contest like this. His producer, "Boy Band Todd," as he calls himself, came up with the idea. "I was like, 'That's brilliant!'" Dakin says.

Dakin hopes the segment may one day return. "My ratings in June reflected that it was a hit," he says. Among listeners in the station's key demographic (people ages 18 to 34), he says he moved up locally from fourth place to second in his time slot.

But the contest may be gone for good, Murphy says. "It just goes back to what is the threshold in the community," he says. "We're not here to hurt people. We're just here to have fun on the radio."

— David Clementson

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