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Radio host says goodbye to her show

Published February 27, 2004

CLEARWATER - The former Hawaiian Tropic model envisioned a provocative morning talk show where women could discuss men, sex and relationships.

For almost two months, Ali Diaz has been trying to craft that show from 6 to 8 a.m. on WTAN 1340-AM in Clearwater. She would begin with a round of Kegel exercises as Madonna's Like a Virgin played. Then she welcomed speakers - a sexologist, a psychologist, a plastic surgeon discussing the pros and cons of Botox.

Diaz had hoped to become a toned-down, female version of Howard Stern.

But today, she will air her last segment. Diaz decided to give up her show at a time when the station received about 500 e-mails and hundreds of calls about the cancellation of the popular Imus in the Morning show, which had aired during the same time slot. That program will return Monday, from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays.

Diaz said the complaints about Imus had nothing to do with her decision.

"It was too much for one person," she said.

Since her debut in January, Diaz has been rising at 3 a.m., brewing a pot of coffee and surfing the Internet to prepare for Hittin' Below the Belt with Ali Diaz. After, she would go home for a nap, then spend hours searching for advertisers and promoting her program.

"I was pretty much producing the show, starring on it and selling the ads," Diaz said. "Emotionally, it took a toll on me."

Diaz had tried to fashion a program in the style of HBO's Sex and the City, with shows focused on how to have an orgasm, how to deal with incontinence and how to communicate with a sexual partner. This week, she gave away a free divorce.

"We focused on topics people didn't want to discuss," Diaz said.

For now, Diaz, 30, plans to spend time with her two children, 9 and 3.

[Last modified February 27, 2004, 01:31:31]

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