The misadventures of the staff of a struggling Top 40 rock radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A hip, young program director pumps new life into a failing AM radio station, WKRP of Cincinatti, by changing format from Big Band to Hard Rock/Punk and bringing in two hot disc jockeys, over the protest of the owner... and some of the employees.
Andy Travis has a history of turning around failing radio stations as program director. He may have met his match when he makes the move from Santa Fe to Cincinnati where he has been hired as program director at WKRP, sixteenth in a market of eighteen AM stations. Unilaterally changing the station format from beautiful music, which Andy sees as outdated, to rock n roll may be a good start, but he needs the help from the wacky entourage of those at the station: Arthur Carlson, the ineffectual general manager who would rather play with his adult and not so adult toys than do any real work; Jennifer Marlowe, the highly paid curvaceous blonde receptionist who has previously negotiated not doing any real work despite she really having the ability to do so better than almost anyone else on the planet; Les Nessman, the news director who is overly fixated on farming stories as news, especially those concerning root vegetables or hogs; Herb Tarlek, the obnoxious sales manager who is always out for himself; journalism graduate Bailey Quarters, the bright but overly shy billing and news clerk; and aged hippie Johnny Caravella, an insomniac who is one of the DJs and who over the course of his unusual career has worked under various station formats and different monikers for the format in question. Andy hires from New Orleans Venus Flytrap to be the soulful nighttime DJ, he who adds an obvious new element to the station. Working against them all is Lillian Carlson aka "Mother Carlson", the cutthroat owner of the station and cutthroat mother to Arthur Carlson, who fears her more than anything or anyone in life.