Radio DJ’s tell-all is 'crazier than fiction'

Written by Amy Palser

It was January 2007, and Adam “Lukas” Cox was doing what he does best: entertaining listeners on his radio morning show, “Morning Rave” on KDND in Sacramento, California. Inside the studio, 18 contestants were taking part in an on-air contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii.” As the contestants downed bottles of water, the last to refrain from running to the bathroom would win a coveted Nintendo Wii system.

It was the type of silly stunt that made Cox’s morning show a hit with Sacramento listeners and catapulted him to the top of his market. But his world fell apart later that same afternoon when the contest runner-up, a 28-year-old mom of three, died from water intoxication related to the contest.

The show was canceled. Cox and nine other station employees were fired. Attorneys forbade them from talking about the incident. And they were blacklisted from radio.

Twelve years later, Cox is telling the complete story behind the tragic radio contest in a new book, “My Crazy Radio Life.” Wichitans know Cox from local morning show “Lukas & Careth in the Morning,” which he hosted for seven years on B98.

Cox, who lives in Wichita with his wife, Nicole, said his 30-year radio career has been downright crazy, so he knew “crazy” had to be in the title. “I talk about these different stories on the radio of things that have happened to me, and throughout my career people have told me, ‘You have to write a book!’ ”

“My Crazy Radio Life” follows Cox from southern California where he grew up to the big cities where he broke into radio and made a name for himself, filling the airwaves with entertaining stories and antics, and meeting and interviewing plenty of famous musicians and celebrities along the way. (The book is chock full of fascinating, never-before-seen celebrity photos.)

It was the chance to tell what really happened in Sacramento that made Cox start writing his book, and it proved therapeutic. At the time of the “Hold Your Wee” contest, Cox’s morning show was the No. 1 show in the Sacramento market. “I just hit the pinnacle of my career. I went from the top of the mountain all the way to the bottom in one day. A lot of my book happens to talk about hitting the bottom of the ocean and how to swim to the top.”

This April, just 10 days before the book was to be released, Cox experienced another crazy turn of events: Due to downsizing, parent company iHeartMedia canceled “Lukas and Careth in the Morning” and fired Cox, co-host Careth Beard, and the program director.

“I had no clue that was coming,” Cox said. “I even write in the end of my book how much I love living in Wichita and that I finally found the right radio station. So I had to stop the printing and add an extra page with breaking news. That’s a true story.” Cox said he wants to stay in Wichita and hopes to host a morning show at a different local radio station.

As for the book, Cox said those who have read it love the honesty. “I just tell exactly what happened in my life. I mean, I think the truth is crazier than fiction. The things that happened in this book are way crazier than you could even make up.”

You can purchase the paperback version of “My Crazy Radio Life” on Amazon and at mycrazyradiolife.com. The audio version will be available this month from Audible.

 
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