Arthur Carlson, general manager of the moribund beautiful-music station WKRP in Cincinnati, hires young hotshot program director Andy Travis to turn the station around. When Andy changes the format of the station to rock n' roll, he faces the wrath of the station's owner, who happens to be Mr. Carlson's mother.
When a local athlete overhears other reporters refer to Les as a "Queer Little Guy", Les gets banned from the locker room at the stadium for being gay. Whether true or not, the rumors prompt Les to contemplate suicide by jumping off the building. Meanwhile, Jennifer asks Johnny to get Herb off her back. Johnny does it by telling Herb that Jennifer used to be a man!
Things are slowly starting to pick up when Herb sells his new client, Del's Stereo Shop, on a remote. Things go bad when Johnny broadcasts from the stereo shop, no customers show up, Bucky (the engineer) breaks tons of equipment, and an out-of-work deejay holds the store up.
Bailey convinces WKRP to institute a one-hour public affairs show, but getting sane guests for the Johnny-hosted show proves tough. Bailey finally finds child-psychologist Dr. Hyman Monroe for the first show. Unfortunately Dr. Monroe's credentials and theories on juvenile delinquents prove to be less than reliable on-the-air.
Mr. Carlson is beginning to feel useless at the new formatted rock station so he decides to create a big Thanksgiving Day promotion. His idea? Get a helicopter, with a banner attached to it saying "Happy Thanksgiving From WKRP", and drop live turkeys from the helicopter.
Andy's former struggling musician girlfriend, now a big country music star, shows up on tour in Cincinnati. The passion is rekindled and she wants Andy to quit WKRP and join her on tour. Can Andy turn his back on WKRP to chase love?
Momma comes to the station for her quarterly review for the first time since WKRP changed formats. When Momma shows up, heads usually roll! Momma, Mr. Carlson, and Andy review the different events that occurred during the first 8 episodes using significant flashback footage.
Les wins the Silver Sow award! WKRP will pay for Les & a date to go to the awards banquet...but he has no date until Jennifer agrees to go with him. Herb, being jealous, convinces a memo-happy Carlson to outlaw co-worker dating. But Les, wearing a toupee, stands up to Carlson and gets him to revoke the memo.
When Johnny misreads a contest prize as $5,000 instead of $50, Andy & Venus try to make the contest unwinnable by slicing short parts of songs together. Unfortunately someone still wins. Herb convinces Carlson that it is the "dungaree" generation sabotaging the "suits" generation and pushes Carlson to the brink of firing Andy, Venus & Johnny. However, it is Johnny to the rescue when Les & Herb accidentally give the prize money to the wrong person.
A tornado is striking Cincinnati! Les' warning system didn't work cause Herb unplugged it...and Les' disaster file is "What to do if the Communists attack Cincinnati!" Meanwhile, a group of Japanese radio executives arrive for a tour of WKRP, but a mix-up has them with a Spanish translator instead. Johnny gets drunk due to fear of tornadoes, Andy gets injured, and Mr. Carlson talks a scared child through the storm.
Johnny gets a job offer and a chance to return to the Los Angeles radio market (the place of his greatest success.) The staff of WKRP try to trick Fever into staying by showing how much they mean to him. But Johnny goes anyway.
With Johnny gone, Andy finds a replacement for the morning shift in Doug Winner. Meanwhile, Johnny returns after getting quickly fired in L.A. for saying something obscene on the radio. Johnny and Andy discover that Doug is taking Payola in the form of cocaine from a record promoter. The Doctor gets his morning shift back!
Herb's wife Lucille finally kicks him out...and Johnny gets stuck taking in Herb. Herb views the break-up as an opportunity to start dating other women and enjoying single life. The gang works hard to show Herb that the single life is not all it's cracked up to be.
The biggest account in years just signed with WKRP..."Ferryman's Funerals". The staff creates a jingle and runs commercials for the $600/day account. However, Carlson has second thoughts about selling upbeat commercial time to a company trying to sell funeral services to young rock music fans.
T.J. Watson, a wannabe country music star and former childhood friend of Jennifer shows up at WKRP. Jennifer is nervous that he is trying to collect on a joking pledge for her to marry him. Jennifer claims to already by married to Johnny. In reality, T.J. is hoping Jennifer can help him get his big break in the music business.
Mr. Carlson's son disappears from Prussian Valley Military Academy. When he turns up at the station with Momma Carlson, he is put to work at the station. He promptly gets into trouble while seemingly trying to get the attention of his parents.
In an episode hated by creator Hugh Wilson, but loved by the fans, we see a day in the life of WKRP. Johnny and Venus are participating in a "Drinking and Response Time" on-air promotion. Mr. Carlson & Andy are being interviewed for a newspaper about the changes at the station. The lobby is being painted by a lazy and slow painter. And Herb, dressed like a Karp (WKRP) gets into a fight with a guy dressed like a Pig (WPIG) in a college bathroom and gets arrested with Bailey and Les.
The Rev. Little Ed Pembrook's Sunday morning religious show is creating problems with the religious community. It seems the Rev (a former wrestler) is selling all sorts of religious oriented merchandise. Even though everyone at WKRP is frightened of him, Andy & Carlson finally get him to move his show to 6AM on Sundays, shorten it, and stop selling stuff. How'd they do it? They threatened to call the IRS.