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Richmond's Own "Access Hollywood"?

She came up with the show's premise, recruited Duvall, her fiance, as business manager, auditioned potential talent and trained a tribe of eight reporters. Then she took her idea for the half-hour program to Bill Lane, general manager at Fox Richmond.

It "made complete sense," Lane says. "These are really talented local people; they just need a shot — no pun intended." He's signed a 52-week agreement in which "Ear Shot" pays a fee to Fox and finds its own advertising. Fox will promote the show.

"Ear Shot" plans stories on the arts, music and independent-movie scene. On deck are stories about WRIR-FM 97.3, the city's new independent radio station, and the history and future of the Thalhimer building. Some of the stories are paid content — a segment on Bandito's, for example, and other local hot spots.

There's even a real star. Crystal Waters, whose dance anthem, "Gypsy Woman," started rocking clubs in the early '90s, has signed on as a correspondent. Waters, who lives in D.C., will report on international gossip, industry news and rising talent in the region.

The idea, Winfield says, is to help viewers learn about the entertainment that's out there. "If people can see that their five dollars are going to a really great band, and that the parking lot is well-lit so they can go there with their girlfriends, then they can get out and spend money and enjoy themselves," she says.

Already, Winfield and Duvall hope to copy their format in other metropolitan markets, lending energy and cohesion to local scenes and ultimately revolutionizing the music industry. But first, Richmond.

"Ear Shot" premi┼áres Thursday, March 3, at 1 a.m. The half-hour show will run every Thursday. — Amy Biegelsen

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