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January 2007 to December 2007December 28, 2007
BET News Founder Deborah Tang Dies
Deborah Tang, who created DC-based Black Entertainment Television's news division and - as vice president of news, entertainment, and sports programming - hired news anchor Ed Gordon, talk show host Tavis Smiley, and others who went on to become journalists around the country, died on 12/25 of cancer at her Washington home, her sister, Marie Canada, told Journal-isms. She was 60. Tang left BET in 2000 after 14 years. "At a network long criticized for its booty-shaking videos, Tang was said to believe in presenting balanced images of black people," writes Journal-ism's Richard Prince.
December 21, 2007
Rosenbaum Family Settles Suit
The adult children of slain New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum have reached a confidential settlement with Howard University Hospital, ending a year-old lawsuit that accused the hospital and DC emergency workers of negligence and medical malpractice. Rosenbaum, 63, was killed in a street robbery near his DC home in January 2006. The lawsuit was filed the following November by Rosenbaum's son and daughter after a report by the DC inspector general's office cited an "unacceptable chain of failure" by firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and hospital personnel in treating Rosenbaum. The family said that the failures contributed to his death.
December 20, 2007
Rouse Leaving WLIF
Morning man Steve Rouse is leaving Baltimore adult contemporary outlet WLIF (101.9 FM). We heard from a CBS Radio/Baltimore insider that the offer of a new contract that cuts Rouse's pay might be the culprit for his departure. The Baltimore radio veteran became WLIF's morning man in September 2006. Rouse and his "Company" got bounced from CBS's co-owned WQSR oldies outlet when it flipped to a jockless "Jack" adult hits format in the spring of 2005.
December 20, 2007
Former MZQer Ben Campbell Back To Phoenix
Ben Campbell, formerly half of the "Ben And Brian" morning team on Clear Channel country WMZQ (98.7 FM), returns to Clear Channel country KNIX in Phoenix for mornings. Campbell had been paired with Brian Egan for three years at KNIX before the duo came to WMZQ in 2001. Campbell left WMZQ in March.
December 20, 2007
Despite Subscriber Slump, Post To Hike Newsstand Price
The Washington Post will raise its weekday and Saturday newsstand price from 35-cents to 50-cents beginning 12/31. The home delivery price and the Sunday newsstand price will not change. The Post's most recent newsstand price increase came in 2001, when it went from 25-cents to 35-cents. Over the past six years, the Post, like most US newspapers, has watched its circulation and advertising revenue decline, in part because readers and ad dollars are fleeing ink-on-paper newspapers for other media, principally the internet. Post daily circulation peaked at 832,232 in 1993. It now sells an average of 638,000 papers Monday through Saturday. Newsstand, or single-copy, sales account for 18 percent of daily sales of the Post. The bulk of its lost circulation in the past 14 years has come from a decline in single-copy sales. In comparison, USA Today charges 75-cents for a newsstand copy, the New York Times $1.25, but the Washington Times is still only 25-cents.
December 18, 2007
Castleberry To Twin Star
Tod Castleberry, who recently left Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm, where he had been head of programming for the firm's Triple X sports talker, joins Twin Star as chief operating officer. Michigan-based Twin Star is run by Sima Birach, the 30-year-old son of (another) Sima Birach, whose company, Michigan-based Birach, runs 25 AMers across the country, including Frederick area brokered talker WDMV (700 AM). Twin Star does not own any radio stations yet. Castleberry, a two-decade DC area radio vet, spent many years managing Clear Channel's DC area radio stations.
December 18, 2007
Tracey Neale Leaves 9 Anchoring Gig
Tracey Neale is giving up her evening anchor job at Channel 9/WUSA. She will remain for now with the Gannett-owned CBS affiliate, but her role has yet to be determined, said Allan Horlick, the station's president and general manager. "I am engaged in ongoing conversations with Tracey about the possibility of a different assignment that would allow her to maintain a relationship with WUSA," Horlick told the Washington Post. Horlick said the decision to replace Neale evolved last summer as she was adopting two 13-month-old twins from an orphanage in Ethiopia. Neale took an extended leave to bring the children home. "She had been having very private discussions with (WUSA news director) Mike Ward and with me about her own concerns as to whether she would be able to do everything she wanted to with the adoption... as well as the enormous duties of anchoring at 6 PM and 11 PM," Horlick said. "She came to her own very personal decision that the best thing for her and the kids right now would be for her to relinquish those anchoring duties to focus on the kids." Neale told the Post that becoming a single mom to 1-year-olds has been "pretty overwhelming."
December 18, 2007
Sun Photog David Lewis Dies
David Lewis, deputy director of photography at the Baltimore Sun, died Friday at Howard County General Hospital of medical complications after receiving kidney dialysis at another medical facility. He was 57.
December 16, 2007
Former 9er Doug Buchanan Seen On 5
Channel 9 reporter Doug Buchanan was seen on Channel 5 doing a report on Friday's 10 PM newscast. Buchanan, who got the boot from 9 back in October, is the son of Mike Buchanan, a longtime Channel 9 reporter and anchor who later moved to Channel 7 and now does commentary for WTOP radio.
December 15, 2007
Lynne Brown Becomes Blade Publisher
Window Media, owner of the Washington Blade, announced this week that a new publisher has been hired to lead the nation's oldest and largest gay newspaper. Lynne Brown, the Blade's former director of business development, started Wednesday as publisher. Brown, who first joined the Blade in 1988 working as a sales executive, left in 2006 to become director of business development at DC's gay Metro Weekly publication.
December 14, 2007
TOP Tops DC Radio Heap
Another round of those monthly "trend" radio ratings. DC, full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WKYS, 5) WASH, 6) WMMJ, 7) WMAL, 8) WWDC, 9) WIHT, 10) WMZQ, 11) WJZW, 12) WRQX, 13) WBIG, 14) WLZL, 15) WJFK-FM, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA and WFRE, 21) WTNT and WWWT, 23) WFLS, 24) WACA and WBQB and WWXX, 27) WYCB and WILC and WWRC and WAFY. Morning drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WWDC and WPGC-FM, 6) WKYS, 7) WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WIHT, 10) WRQX, 11) WJFK-FM and WMZQ, 13) WLZL, 14) WJZW, 15) WBIG, 16) WPRS, 17) WTEM and WTGB, 19) WAVA and WWWT, 21) WFRE, 22) WYCB and WACA, 24) WWXX, 25) WFLS and WILC and WBQB and WTNT, 29) WAFY and WWEG. Afternoon drive, same demo: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WKYS, 5) WMAL and WASH, 7) WMMJ, 8) WIHT and WJFK-FM, 10) WMZQ, 11) WWDC, 12) WRQX, 13) WLZL, 14) WJZW, 15) WBIG, 16) WTEM, 17) WPRS and WTGB, 19) WWWT, 20) WFRE, 21) WFLS, 22) WTNT and WAVA and WWXX and WBQB, 26) WWRC and WAFY and WWEG, 29) WYCB and WILC. Up in Baltimore, WERQ takes a solid lead in the full-day, age 12+ radio ratings "trend" numbers. WPOC places 2nd, WWIN-FM 3rd, WLIF 4th, WBAL 5th, WIYY 6th, WWMX 7th, WCBM 8th, WSMJ 9th, WQSR 10th, WZBA 11th, WHFS 12th.
December 14, 2007
Castleberry Leaves RedZeb
Tod Castleberry has resigned from his position as VP of operations with Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm, which owns the Triple X ESPN sports talker. Castleberry used to do the same kind of thing for Clear Channel in the DC area.
December 13, 2007
ABC, Discovery Vet John Alexander Dies
John Alexander, who'd once worked for ABC's "Nightline," collapsed and died suddenly yesterday on assignment in China, while working on a Discovery Channel documentary for Ted Koppel. Alexander, 26, was Tom Bettag's "Nightline" assistant and production coordinator and later was assistant to Koppel, when he hosted the ABC program. Alexander left to become an associate producer at the Discovery Channel. No cause of death has been announced.
December 11, 2007
POC's Rehkopf Heads To Pittsburgh
Aaron "Bill" Rehkopf, currently morning news anchor and news director at Clear Channel's country WPOC (93.1 FM) in Baltimore, will take the leading news anchor gig at Pittsburgh's CBS news talker KDKA (heard nights locally on 1020 AM) come January. Rehkopf, a Pittsburgh area native, has been at WPOC since 1999. Previously, he worked across Pennsylvania, at radio stations in places like Scranton and Harrisburg. Rehkopf has also been a volunteer fire fighter, emergency medical technician, and spokesman for the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department in Carroll County.
December 11, 2007
PD Gone From 92Q
Victor Starr is out of his program director gig at urban outlet WERQ, 92Q, in Baltimore. We're hearing rumblings that his leaving may be related to a music playlist controversy that has plagued the Radio One station for the past year or so.
December 10, 2007
98 Rock's Stash Suffers Serious Head Trauma
98 Rock WIYY personality Steve "Stash" Ash suffered serious head trauma, causing him to be missing from his afternoon show. According to 98online.com, Stash suffered "several head injuries" in a fall down the stairs at his Bel Air home on 12/4. "Although stable, he's in the hospital" in the intensive care unit" at Johns Hopkins Hospital Bayview Medical Center. Ash suffered a fractured skull, which resulted in bleeding on the brain, says Dave Hill, program director at rocker WIYY.....
December 8, 2007
Donnie Simpson's Niece To 7
Howard University grad Cynné Simpson will join Channel 7/WJLA as a weekend anchor in January. Simpson, who will co-anchor with Leslie Cook on Sunday evenings and fly solo on Saturdays, is the niece of WPGC-FM morning man Donnie Simpson. She had been working at an Atlanta TV station.
December 7, 2007
PD Out At WMAL
Citadel talker WMAL is losing its program director. Paul Duckworth is "retiring" - not "resigning," we're told. Duckworth joined WMAL in late-2005 after the departure of Randall Bloomquist, following the firing of personality Michael Graham, after what some characterized as an anti-Islamic remark. A WMALer tells DCRTV: "Paul is truly loved and respected by everybody at the station. It's a sad day for us because he has done an outstanding job. This is totally his own decision. Everybody from top-to-bottom wants him to stay, but he feels it's time for him to do other things in life".....
December 6, 2007
Phil Metlin Gets 5 News Director Gig
Channel 5/WTTG picks Phil Metlin as its new news director, replacing Katherine Green, who is jumping to CNN International. He comes from Fox's sister station in Philadelphia, WTXF, where he was news director. His career includes a stint in the 1990s as executive producer of WTTG's "Fox Morning News," plus news director stints at WTVT in Tampa and WHNT in Huntsville AL, a news producer gig for Miami's WPLG, and a managing editor job at "America's Most Wanted."
December 6, 2007
ABC News DC Cameraman Killed In Highway Accident
Cameraman Ralph Binder, a longtime fixture of ABC's Washington news bureau, was killed in a vehicle crash yesterday. He had recently relocated to Denver for ABC News, and was on his way to Omaha to cover the mall shooting when his vehicle was involved in a mishap on I-80 near Grand Island, Nebraska. Soundman Dan Johnson, who was with him, was treated and released from a hospital. Binder started at ABC News in 1974.
December 6, 2007
CBS Promotes Jeff Hedges
Jeff Hedges has been appointed vice president and director of ad sales for CBS Radio's DC cluster. He'd most recently been VP of sales for CBS's WJFK-FM, WLZL, and WTGB. In his new gig, he'll add CBS's WPGC-FM/AM. A local ad sales veteran, Hedges had worked at a variety of radio stations, including WRC/WKYS, WAVA, and DC101.
December 5, 2007
Armando Trull Joins 9
Armando Trull will leave his position as news anchor for WUVC-TV, a Univision Spanish-language station in Fayetteville NC, to join Channel 9/WUSA, where he'll be a reporter and anchor. The Fayetteville Observer tells us that Trull will become "one of a handful of Hispanic reporters to cross over to English-language media." Born in Cuba, Trull has also worked with Telemundo, TV Azteca, Caracol, the BBC, and Radio France.
December 5, 2007
2 & 4 News Editor Keith Williams Dies
Keith Williams, a former Channel 2/ WMAR news editor, died of lymphoma on 11/30 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Joppa resident was 47. Williams, a 1978 graduate of Joppatowne High School, became paralyzed from the waist down after a 1984 automobile accident. "Being a paraplegic didn't let him stop doing what he wanted to do. He always said he did what he wanted and did the same things as everybody else, except he did them in a different way," said his mother, Teresa Williams of Joppa. Williams left WMAR in 2005 and, at his death, was doing freelance work for Channel 4/ WRC.
December 4, 2007
Veteran Cameraman For 4 Dies
Martin Waters, 67, who worked at Channel 4/ WRC as a cameraman for 25 years, died of congestive heart failure on 11/13 at Washington Hospital Center. He lived in Fort Washington. Waters, a Washington native, also worked the teleprompter at Channel 4 before retiring in 1989.
December 1, 2007
Joan Friedenberg Dies
Joan Friedenberg, the founding editor of PBS's "Online NewsHour," has died. She was 53. Friedenberg was married to Bloomberg News political reporter Jonathan Salant, a past-president of the National Press Club.
November 30, 2007
PFW & HFS Veteran Tom Terrell Dies
DC radio and music veteran Tom Terrell (right) passed away on 11/29. He'd been suffering from prostate cancer. Terrell began DJing while a student at Howard University, where he created Washington's first reggae show in 1978, then moved on to host shows on WPFW and alternative rocker WHFS. There he launched the "Sunday Reggae Splashdown" and "Cafe C'est What?" When he wasn't on the air, Terrell was the house DJ at the dc space club and at the 930 Club. Also, he wrote about music for Jazz Times, the Village Voice, Vibe, and Washington City Paper.
November 30, 2007
Salem Buys WAMD
DCRTV reported rumors last year. Now, we hear that California-based religious broadcaster Salem is buying Aberdeen MD oldies outlet WAMD for $3 million from First Broadcasting. So, why would Salem buy a station in the fringes of the Baltimore market when it recently sold its city-based WITH, on 1230 AM, to Peter And John Ministries, which owns Baltimore religious FMer WRBS? And, when Salem gets decent coverage of much of the Baltimore market with its religious WAVA-FM from DC? So some wondered then, as now, that maybe Salem could tinker with the 500-watt night signal of WAMD to improve the night signal of its NYC area station, WWDJ. Both are on 970 AM.
November 30, 2007
4's News Sees Declines
The November TV ratings "sweeps" for DC find Channel 7/WJLA at the top of the heap at 11 PM - as DCRTV first reported yesterday - dethroning longtime news leader Channel 4/WRC. Still, Channel 5/WTTG's 10 PM newscast beat everyone else at 11. Although Channel 4 did manage to finish first among total viewers in all other newscasts in which it goes head-to-head with competitors, the station was down from last year in every time slot. Channel 9/WUSA, which has performed poorly in many past "sweeps" periods, had encouraging ratings increases under General Manager Allan Horlick, who is in his first year at the station, and new News Director Mike Ward. The station increased viewership in the 25-to-54 demographic in all its newscasts except at 11 PM. Baltimore's long-running tug-of-war continues, as Channel 11/WBAL and Channel 13/WJZ, once again staked competing claims for TV dominance in November. For the November sweeps period, WJZ emerged as the region's top-rated TV station for total viewers, thanks in no small part to the large number of football fans who continue watching the Ravens, in spite of the team's five-game losing streak. For local weekday newscasts, the pattern remained the same as it has for months: WJZ generally won the morning, while WBAL was top dog in the evening, when audiences are larger. WJZ won the 5 AM and 5:30 AM slots, while WBAL carried the 6 AM slot. WJZ won big at noon. WBAL won the evening news slots.
November 29, 2007
Root Leaves Discovery
Jane Root is leaving her job running the Silver Spring-based Discovery Channel and returning to the UK "to pursue other opportunities in the media industry," fuelling speculation that she is a contender for a BBC controller post. She is president and general manager of Discovery Channel and the sister Science Channel, where she has worked for more than three years since leaving the BBC. Root will be replaced by John Ford, the head of Discovery Networks' Discovery Times and Military channels.
November 27, 2007
Dennis & Hennessey Out At WSMJ
Some drivetime changes at Clear Channel's smooth jazzer in Baltimore, WSMJ (104.3 FM). Gone: Randy Dennis and Trish Hennessey. They'll be replaced with the nationally-syndicated Ramsey Lewis and Dave Koz.
November 26, 2007
WAMU's Peter Fay Becomes Colleen Fay
On 11/20, Peter Fay (right), longtime arts editor for American University news talker WAMU 88.5's "Metro Connection," transitioned to life as Colleen Fay. One of the original forces behind the launch of "Metro Connection" in 1995, Fay, who is transgender, will continue as the show's arts editor. "This has been an amazing time for me, and it's far from over. I'm both excited and terrified about what the future may bring. That being said, WAMU 88.5 and 'Metro Connection' hold special places in my heart, and I hope that our listeners can bear with me through this change," said Fay. "I want them to know that even as I change, my admiration and affection for them will not change."
November 26, 2007
Retired ABC Engineer George Hughes Dies
George Hughes, 67, a retired broadcast engineer with ABC News, died on 11/16 of respiratory failure at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was a resident of South Riding. Hughes moved to the Washington area in 1978 to work for ABC News, where he was a video operator and studio cameraman. He spent most of his career there as a field soundman, covering presidential inaugurations, political campaigns, the White House, and many other Washington-based news stories and events. He retired from his broadcasting career in 2005.
November 22, 2007
Black Newspaper Pioneer Frances Murphy Dies
Frances Murphy (left), the first woman to chair the Afro-American Newspapers board of directors, the publisher emeritus of the Washington Afro-American and popular columnist at the Baltimore Afro-American, and granddaughter of the newspaper's founder, died Tuesday at Sinai Hospital. She was 85. A Baltimore native, Murphy gained a wide following with her column in the Baltimore Afro, "If You Ask Me."
November 21, 2007
James White To WTOP
James White joins all-news WTOP as a freelance anchor and reporter. He was recently a news anchor and reporter for news talk WAMU. He also worked at the old news talk WRC radio and at NBC's and Mutual's radio networks.
November 21, 2007
WTMD Starts DC Area Relay
Baltimore's adult alternative WTMD has started a DC area relay on 105.5 FM. The Towson University signal on 89.7 FM doesn't make it to most of the DC area. Apparently, it's a 32-watt relay in Great Falls that covers portions of Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Vienna, McLean, Rockville, and Potomac.....
November 20, 2007
5's News Director Joins CNN Int'l
Channel 5/WTTG News Director Katherine Green has been appointed senior vice president of CNN International programming. Green will be based at the network's world headquarters in Atlanta. Green will oversee all of the editorial production, program development, network talent, and operations of CNN International. Her last day at Fox5 will be 12/7. No word on her replacement. Before coming to DC, Green was news director at Baltimore's Channel 11/WBAL. During her nine years at WTTG, Green oversaw the development of 5's morning news shows and new newscasts at 5 PM, 6 PM, and 11 PM, as well as the continued dominance of the station's long-running 10 PM newscast.
November 20, 2007
WMAL Veteran Bob Gneiser Dies
Robert "Bob" Gneiser (left) was found dead at his home by Montgomery County police on 11/19. The death appears to be due a heart ailment. He was 76. Up until the late-1990s, Gneiser was a reporter for WMAL radio. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, he worked for the old WMAL-TV, Channel 7. He'd also worked for Channel 20/WDCA and Mutual Radio. Gneiser was profiled by the Washington Post in early 2006 because he owned and lived in the Bethesda house where CIA operative William Bradford Bishop allegedly killed his mother, wife, and three sons in the 1970s.
November 20, 2007
Eleanor Lide Dies
Eleanor Duncan "Nellie" Lide, 48, a onetime television writer and producer who had spent the past six years as senior creative director for a communications consulting firm in Arlington, died on 11/14 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. She had heart disease. From 1982 to 1986, Lide was an associate producer for the "60 Minutes" CBS news program. She then worked on and off through the early 1990s as a writer and producer for WUSA-TV and WJLA-TV.
November 19, 2007
Cindy Pena Leaves 9
Reporter Cindy Pena is leaving Channel 9/WUSA at the end of November. She is taking a position with Maya, a minority-oriented DC communications firm specializing in public relations, brand development, advertising, and market research. Pena has been with WUSA since 2001.
November 16, 2007
Ratings: Junks, Elliot, D&M Up
From our Radio Guru: "Initial analysis of the monthly numbers... Happiest people in town are the Junks, 3WT, and WPGC, which edged out WHUR by a tenth of a point in the 'extrap' number. Saddest folks in town are WHUR, in addition to being edged out by WPGC, Steve Harvey's morning show had its lowest extrap number in a very long time, and WJZW." At WJFK-FM, Don and Mike were up from 10th to 6th, with the Junks erected from 13th to 11th. DC101's Elliot surged from 7th to 5th. The new alt rockish The Globe, WTGB, was basically flat, stuck at 17th. New FM gospel outlet WPRS dipped from 13th to 16th. New talker 3WT showed some signs of life, but still has a long way to climb out of 20th place. WTOP placed 1st in morning and afternoon drives, as usual. Here are the overall age 12+ numbers for DC. Full-week: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WKYS, 6) WASH, 7) WMAL, 8) WIHT, 9) WWDC, 10) WMZQ, 11) WJZW, 12) WBIG, 13) WJFK-FM and WRQX, 15) WLZL, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM and WFRE, 20) WAVA and WWWT, 22) WTNT and WWXX, 24) WFLS, 25) WIYY, 26) WYCB and WWEG. Morning drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WWMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WWDC, 6) WKYS, 7) WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WMZQ and WIHT, 11) WJFK-FM, 12) WRQX, 13) WJZW, 14) WLZL, 15) WBIG, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WAVA, 19) WWWT, 20) WTEM and WFRE, 22) WYCB, 23) WTNT and WFLS and WWXX, 26) WBQB, 27) WWEG. Afternoon drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WKYS, 5) WIHT, 6) WJFK-FM and WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WMZQ, 10) WMMJ, 11) WWDC, 12) WBIG, 13) WJZW, 14) WLZL and WRQX, 16) WTGB, 17) WPRS, 18) WTEM, 19) WWWT and WFRE, 21) WTNT and WFLS and WWXX, 24) WIYY, 25) WAVA and WBQB, 27) WYCB. The Baltimore monthly Arbitrends. Full day, age 12+: 1) WPOC, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL, 6) WIYY and WWMX, 8) WCBM, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR, 11) WZBA, 12) WHFS, 13) WHUR, 14) WCAO and WPGC-FM and WRBS, 17) WWDC, 18) WIHT and WTOP, 20) WKYS and WRNR, 21) WJFK-AM and WRQX.
November 16, 2007
Radio One Deal To Move Back To DC Collapses
DC will have to renegotiate a proposed deal to bring Radio One to the city after city council members rejected a plan to give the developers city-owned land worth $6 million on which to build the project. Kwame Brown and Jack Evans told the city's planning and economic development office yesterday to go back to the negotiating table with Broadcast Center One, which intends to build a $115 million development atop the Shaw-Howard University Metro station. "The problem I'm having is giving away land," Evans said. Radio One, the largest black-owned radio broadcaster in the USA, is currently located in Lanham.
November 14, 2007
Lawsuit Against MAL's Chris Core Settled
The Potomac News reports that a defamation lawsuit against WMAL's Chris Core was settled before being heard in a DC court this week. Gary Jacobsen of Woodbridge, an independent columnist who writes a weekly column for the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger, filed a lawsuit against Core for comments he made about Jacobsen on the air. The case was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday. Reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon, Jacobsen said "the matter has been settled" and said he would not comment further. The case involved a column Jacobsen wrote for the Washington Post, titled "How To Hire A Day Laborer." In it, Jacobsen described hiring day laborers waiting at a 7-Eleven. On 11/8, Core discussed the article on the air, saying Jacobsen "admitted to breaking the law concerning the hiring of illegal immigrants," according to Jacobsen, who stressed that Core's claim was not true and he was not "a lawbreaker."
November 12, 2007
5's Gwen Tolbart Injured In Crash
A Metrobus driver has been charged after a dramatic crash that injured a Fox5 weather anchor Saturday night. A Metro spokeswoman confirms that a Metrobus running the H-4 route was travelling south on Wisconsin Avenue when it made a sudden left turn, struck a car that was travelling in the opposite direction and crashed through a Jersey barrier around 11:40 PM. The bus came to rest by the Mission Of Taiwan building at Van Ness Street. The driver of the car, Channel 5/WTTG weather anchor Gwen Tolbart, was taken to Georgetown University Medical Center with minor injuries and later released. The driver of the bus was also taken to Georgetown. He was complaining of back and neck injuries. Five passengers on the bus were unhurt. Metro's spokeswoman tells 9News that the bus driver was cited with failing to maintain control of a vehicle. Fox5 reports that Tolbart is resting at home and doing fine.
November 10, 2007
11's Snipes Lands Midwest Anchor Gig
Channel 11/WBAL reporter Darrielle Snipes is heading to Oklahoma City, to Hearst sister KOCO-TV, where she'll anchor the weekend 6 PM and 10 PM newscasts. Snipes came to Baltimore in 2004 from a Detroit TV station.
November 9, 2007
Derek Williams Gone From WTOP
Reporter Derek Williams has been cut loose from Bonneville all-newser WTOP. He has been erased from the station's website. There are rumblings that there's a journalistic ethics issue involved. A Philadelphia area native, Williams worked at that city's KYW, WWDB, and WDAS before coming to DC. No comment from WTOP management.
November 9, 2007
KYS PD To Atlanta
Steve Hegwood, program director of Radio One's urban contemporary WKYS (93.9 FM), has been named operations manager for Radio One's Atlanta radio cluster. Hegwood has more than 25 years of experience in radio and has programmed in markets like LA, Houston, and Detroit. He was also a station owner through his Lanham-based On Top Communications for five years.
November 8, 2007
Imus Probably Back To WTNT
The most-likely place Don Imus (right) will resurface in DC would be Clear Channel talker WTNT (570 AM), where he aired before getting canned last spring after that nasty comment about the Rutgers female basketball team. The Washington Post reports that WTNT Program Director Bill Hess strongly suggests that Imus could return to WTNT in January. No deal yet.
November 5, 2007
WTOP Starts 24/7 Traffic & Weather Service
Bonneville all-newser WTOP debuts an all-traffic/weather digital HD Radio channel. On the HD3 signal of 103.5 FM. Bonneville continues its unsigned rock artists "ichannel" relay on 103.5's HD2 signal. A WTOPer tells DCRTV that the traffic/weather service is still in a "testing" phase. "We have not yet worked out all the bugs in this."
November 5, 2007
49 Joins UFO Net
DC's Channel 49/WWTD has become the first affiliate of the new "WUFO" television network. Yes, "UFO" is what you think it is - unidentified flying objects. "We are now airing this new network 24/7 and are eager to see how the DC market responds to this exciting content," station manager Mike Gravino tells DCRTV. WUFO "soft-launched' on 11/1. Look for "alternative knowledge genre featuring programming which comes to you direct from the authors, researchers, producers, and reporters." Including stuff like coverage of the 2007 X-Conference, "which begins the UFO disclosure process." Adds Gravino: "We choose to air the programming we are most interested in and would want to watch ourselves, programming which teaches, inspires, and brings us closer to the sacred, the divine, and to understanding why we are here on this little blue ball in a vast ocean of dark energy in what seems like an infinite field of dreams." Lowish-powered WWTD is not available on any area cable TV systems.
November 1, 2007
Slump Continues For Post
More bad news for the Washington Post. Its parent publishing conglomerate and education company reported a drop in third-quarter profits. The newspaper publishing unit continued to struggle amid an industry-wide slump. Its quarterly revenue fell 7 percent, with profits dropping nearly 50 percent. Print advertising revenue at the Post fell 13 percent, with circulation down 4 percent from a year earlier. Television broadcasting revenue was down 5 percent. Revenue at its magazine publishing division, which includes Newsweek, fell 18 percent.
November 1, 2007
4's Shannon Bream Goes To Fox
Reporter and anchor Shannon Bream jumps from Channel 4/WRC to Fox News Channel to cover the Supreme Court and be a general assignment reporter. She replaces Megyn Kelly, who left for Fox's NYC HQ earlier this year. Bream came to Channel 4 in 2004 doing the weekend morning news and later moving to evenings. She was crowned Miss Virginia in 1990.
November 1, 2007
Luther Brown Dies
Luther Brown, a longtime NBC News Washington producer, died Sunday in Chicago after suffering an apparent massive stroke on 10/25, friends and colleagues told Journal-isms. He was 59. "What can you say about a talented black man who won custody of his two children and wrote a book called, 'Raising My Best Friends'?" said retired ABC news anchor Carole Simpson. They had been close friends for 30 years. In 1972, Brown joined CBS News. He moved to NBC News, where he was an editor, reporter, and producer for 14 years. Brown earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1988. He joined Internet Multicasting Service, a pioneering internet research firm in the early 1990s. In 1999, Brown moved to San Francisco to join Invisible Worlds, as director of marketing communications. In 2005, he published "Raising My Best Friends: Meeting the Challenge of Being a Single Parent," about the challenges of raising his two small children after he and their mother divorced in the 1980s.
October 31, 2007
Grease To Go On "Haitus"
DC radio veteran Doug "Greaseman" Tracht (right) is taking a "hiatus" from his morning radio show, heard on DC area talker WMET (1160 AM). "I've been thinking about exploring other options in my life and the time has come," Tracht said via a WMET release. "WMET has been a great experience but I move on with the thought of taking some time off and relaxing for a while. I am not retiring but I am taking a break from the daily pressures of doing the show." His last show will air on 11/2. Tracht, who does his show from a studio in his Montgomery County home, is also heard on a handful of stations across the country, including Fredericksburg's WGRX. He will continue his video efforts on getalife.tv. Tracht's local radio career goes back to the 1970s, when he was a DJ on "top 40" WRC. In the 1980s, he did the morning show on rocker DC101. He got fired from his morning gig at classic rocker WARW in 1999 after making a tasteless joke. WMET will replace Tracht's unique brand of humor with nostalgic tunes.
October 29, 2007
Mal Johnson Dies
Mal Johnson (right), a key figure in the birth of the National Association Of Black Journalists, died Saturday at a hospital in Fairfax County after suffering complications from diabetes. She was 85. Johnson became the first female reporter employed at Cox radio and TV news, where she worked for 27 years. As its first female White House correspondent, Johnson covered five presidents, as well as Capitol Hill, the State Department, and various federal agencies. In 1980, Johnson was promoted to senior Washington correspondent and assigned additional duties as national director of community affairs.
October 29, 2007
Kornheiser To 3WT
Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser will return to his radio program live in-studio on talker 3WT beginning 1/21. The show will air weekdays from 8 AM to 10 AM, with a 2 PM to 4 PM replay. There had been some doubt as to whether Kornheiser would return to 107.7 FM and 1500 AM, which was known as Washington Post Radio until September, when it became 3WT. Kornheiser left his radio show in June because of his ESPN "Monday Night Football" gig, which will last through the end of 2007. Kornheiser's show was reportedly the only ratings bright spot on talker Washington Post Radio. Kornheiser's regular "cast of characters," such as producer Marc "Nigel" Sterne, will also be back. DCRTV hears that 3WT is planning to have Kornheiser host his radio show for the entire year, lending speculation to the possibility that he won't be returning to "MNF" in 2008. David Burd, currently "substituting" for Kornheiser, and Jessica Doyle will continue doing their pre-8 AM show on 3WT.
October 25, 2007
El Jefe & J-Dubs Back To 106.7
Former WJFK-FMers El Jefe and J-Dubs will be returning to the CBS Radio talker. They'll air on Saturday evenings, after Maryland Terps football. Eventually, the duo will wind up in the 6 PM to 9 PM slot. And, they're resurrecting "The Hideout" name. El Jefe and J-Dubs left WJFK-FM, 106.7, several years ago for a gig at a Florida radio talker. But they got bounced from that late last year.
October 24, 2007
ABC Vet Densmore Joins iBiquity
Steve Densmore joins Columbia MD's iBiquity as broadcast engineering technology manager. Densmore, who covered many presidential events during his 32 years as the manager of operations at ABC Radio's DC bureau, will interact with iBiquity's broadcasting partners and internal development teams to help ensure smooth commercial transitions of digital HD Radio broadcast products and features.
October 24, 2007
TC To Be Seen On DC's 13
DC radio personality TC has been tapped as lead on-air personality of the DC Office Of Cable Television's channel 13, where she will be hosting various productions, including one-on-one interviews with the city council, "town hall" meetings, and special presentations. "As a native Washingtonian, I look forward to working closely with the DC City Council, and their efforts to expand and improve on our communities," says TC, who used to co-host urban adult WHUR's morning show until it was replaced by Steve Harvey's syndicated show in 2006. TC will continue her parttime on-air duties on smooth jazz WJZW.
October 24, 2007
Local Listener Group Seeks To Buy WGTS
Friends of Christian contemporary WGTS (91.9 FM) are working to come up with $25 million in hopes of buying the Takoma Park outlet from Columbia Union College. The college last month yielded to community pressure and ended negotiations with American Public Media, the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio, which made a multimillion-dollar bid for WGTS earlier this year. In a highly anticipated vote, the college's trustees agreed to examine the financial challenges facing the private liberal arts school before selling off any assets.
October 23, 2007
Tyler Molnar Gets Elliot Producer Post
Clear Channel rocker DC101 promotes Tyler Molnar as the new producer of "Elliot In The Morning." Molnar, a Georgetown University grad, had been associate producer of WWDC's morning show. He also runs Elliot Segal's website.
October 19, 2007
FCC Fines Sinclair For "No Child" Show Plugs
The Federal Communications Commission issued its first fines for a station airing DC-based conservative commentator Armstrong Williams' Department Of Education-paid-for plugs for its "No Child Left Behind" initiative. Baltimore-based station-owner Sinclair doesn't plan to pay the fine and said it will take the FCC to court. The FCC Thursday fined a Pennsylvania TV station for airing five episodes of "The Right Side With Armstrong Williams" and Sinclair a total of $76,000 for airing "America's Black Forum." Both were cited for violating the FCC's sponsorship-identification rules. Sinclair said it did not air any of Williams' shows, but it did acknowledge that nine of its stations aired an episode of "America's Black Forum" during which Williams discussed "No Child Left Behind" and without any sponsorship ID. Sinclair added that it wasn't paid to air the show and that it could have had no knowledge that "anyone had received or was promised any consideration" for the views expressed. Sinclair owns Channel 45 and operates Channel 54 in Baltimore.
October 18, 2007
Normand Nudged Out Of D&M Producer Post
Don Geronimo revealed on his Thursday WJFK-FM show that the show was in "best of" mode on Wednesday because of a meeting held among the show's partipants: Geronimo, Mike O'Meara, Robb Spewak, Joe Ardinger, Buzz Burbank, and John Normand. Management was not included. And, as a result, "Don And Mike Show" producer Normand (left) is gone. He was "not right for this particular position," Geronimo said on the air. And, Normand's position won't be filled by anyone new. D&Mer Spewak will probably be handling show producer duties from now on. Although Geronimo is sworn to silence according to his contract with JFK owner CBS Radio, the word is that he'll be leaving the nationally-syndicated show in May 2008. Possibly for a satellite radio gig. Still no word about whether CBS will keep the show running without him or replace the show with something else.
October 17, 2007
WMAL Jumps In Summer Ratings
The summer Arbitron radio ratings "book" for DC and Baltimore. DCRTV hears that righty talker WMAL is up big. Hot adult Mix 107.3 took a stumble, as did Spanish El Zol. New gospel Praise 104 was up just a bit, not a big jump as some had predicted. Pretty steady sailing for the new alt-rockish The Globe, if not showing some weakness. Guy talk WJFK-FM sees solid growth for both drivetimes. Don and Mike jump from 13th to 10th in the overall age 12+ numbers and re-take first place among men age 25-54. All-news WTOP is crowing about another strong performance - as usual. Both Tom Joyner on WMMJ and Steve Harvey on WHUR are "trending back to earth after being in double digit shares for a while." While the last ratings for Washington Post Radio were not great, the September numbers "appear to give mornings on 3WT a solid foundation from which to grow," we're told. A good "book" for country WMZQ. Up in Baltimore, new talker WHFS is way up, while old talker WBAL is way down. The full-day age 12+ numbers for DC: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WKYS, 6) WASH, 7) WMAL, 8) WJZW, 9) WIHT, 10) WMZQ, 11) WWDC, 12) WLZL, 13) WBIG and WPRS, 15) WRQX, 16) WTGB and WJFK-FM, 18) WFRE, 19) WTEM, 20) WAVA and WTNT, 22) WTWP. Morning drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WMAL, 6) WKYS, 7) WWDC, 8) WASH, 9) WJZW, 10) WMZQ, 11) WIHT, 12) WRQX, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WLZL, 15) WBIG and WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WAVA, 19) WFRE and WTWP, 21) WTEM. Afternoon drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMAL, 5) WKYS, 6) WASH, 7) WMMJ and WIHT, 9) WJZW, 10) WJFK-FM, 11) WMZQ, 12) WLZL, 13) WBIG and WWDC, 15) WRQX, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WWXX, 26) WTWP. The full-day age 12+ numbers for Baltimore: 1) WPOC, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WWMX, 6) WBAL-AM and WIYY, 8) WCBM, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR, 11) WHFS, 12) WZBA, 13) WHUR, 14) WCAO, 15) WRBS. WFLS is tops in Fredericksburg.....
October 17, 2007
Nats Do Deal With Bonneville's 3WT
The Washington Nationals and Bonneville announced the continuation of their media partnership, signing a three-year deal that gives broadcast rights to talker 3WT, WWWT. All regular season games, plus 10 spring training games for the Nationals' fourth season and inaugural season in their new ballpark, will be heard on 107.7 FM, plus 1500 and 820 AM. The agreement calls for additional Nationals programming, including the second year of "Nationals Talk Live," and two new one-hour "special editions" of the "Nationals Weekly Insider," the first of which will be hosted by Marc Sterne and air live on 10/23 from DC's ESPN Zone. Come March, 3WT will air a "Countdown To Opening Day" series, building on arrival of the team to its new stadium just south of Capitol Hill. This season, the Nationals aired on Bonneville's Washington Post Radio, which was discontinued in September in favor of 3WT.
October 16, 2007
New Gig For Kepley
Former WTOP afternoon news anchor Diane Kepley has been hired as a news anchor for Associated Press Radio. "The amount of support I have received both publicly and privately since being laid off at WTOP has been amazing," Kepley said in a Tuesday memo to her colleagues. "It is truly a blessing to know just how many people both inside the Bonneville family and outside have cared enough to offer a kind word or a shoulder to lean on or have passed on tips about possible opportunities in the past few weeks".....
October 13, 2007
"Our Man In Washington" Dies
Jay Richter, 92, who operated a news service in Washington, died on 9/13 at his home in Alexandria. He had complications from colon cancer. Richter ran Richter News Service for more than 40 years and was known as "Our Man In Washington" by the magazines and newspapers that subscribed to his service. He covered Capitol Hill, government agencies, cooperative associations, commodity groups, and farm organizations.
October 12, 2007
TOP's Plotkin Criticized For Shouting Question At First Lady
All-news WTOP is reporting that its left-leaning political commentator Mark Plotkin was escorted out of the White House for asking an inappropriate question at an event for Laura Bush on Friday. At a ceremony honoring the Ballou High School marching band - as Mrs. Bush welcomed band members, left the stage, and headed for her seat - Plotkin shouted a question to the First Lady as to whether she supports voting rights for the District. A la whether the students graduating from DC's Ballou should be able to vote for members of the US Congress. Mrs. Bush did not respond, and Plotkin was led from the event. DC residents cannot vote for members of the US House Of Representatives and the US Senate. President Bush has opposed changing the law.
October 12, 2007
Anita Brikman Leaves Philly For Anchor Job At 9
Anita Brikman (right), a reporter and anchor for ABC's Channel 6/WPVI in Philadelphia, will become Channel 9/WUSA's 5 PM and 7 PM weeknightly co-anchor. She will join Derek McGinty on both newscasts, starting in January. Todd McDermott and Tracey Neale will continue co-anchoring the 6 PM and 11 PM newscasts. Brikman will also lead WUSA's new consumer news unit, set to launch in early 2008. Neale, who has been co-anchoring the 5 PM newscast with McGinty, will head a new health news unit at 9. Brikman has been with WPVI since 1994, where she specialized in covering health and medical news.
October 12, 2007
45's Gabirella Abiera Goes Shopping
Gabrielle Abiera leaves traffuc duties at Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF. She has accepted a position at the QVC shopping network in West Chester PA.
October 11, 2007
Angie Goff To Do AM Traffic On 9
Angie Goff is leaving her reporting gig at Columbia SC's WIS-TV to become morning traffic reporter for Channel 9/WUSA. She's a graduate of Fairfax's George Mason University, where she studied broadcast journalism. During college, she completed four internships, including a stint with CBS in DC.
October 10, 2007
Margaret Mayer Dies
Margaret Mayer, 85, a longtime Texas journalist who was one of the first women to lead the Washington bureau of a major newspaper, died on 9/26 of a heart ailment at George Washington University Hospital. She lived in Washington.
October 9, 2007
Mancow Lands On Female Talker
Are the days of female-oriented talk at Baltimore's 1370 AM, WVIE, numbered? DCRTV hears that the sister station of righty male talker WCBM, 680 AM, has quietly added Chicago-based male shock jock Mancow's nationally syndicated morning show. Says a Charm City radio listener: "What a bizarre station with no plan. They do not and never will show in the Baltimore ratings book, with many DC stations beating them. They may make money, as I'm told, but they are an embarrassment." WVIE had gotten no ratings traction with its female talk format. It's repositioning itself as a "variety" talker, with several male voices - including Mancow and Phil Hendrie, who airs in overnights. With a new 50,000-watt day signal, WVIE flipped from oldies WWLG last year. For many years, 1370 aired nostalgic standards.
October 7, 2007
Red Shipley Dies
Robert "Red" Shipley (right), legendary area radio personality and longtime host of "Stained Glass Bluegrass" on WAMU (88.5 FM), has died of cancer. He was 70. Shipley, who retired from hosting his show after his 25th anniversary on 9/16, passed away Saturday night in Charlottesville. "Radio lost one of its own legends last night," said Caryn Mathes, WAMU's general manager. "I'm deeply saddened by the news of Red's passing, but grateful that he was able to spend 25 years on the air with us at WAMU, and heartened that he was able to continue doing what he loved for so long." Shipley's career spanned more than 50 years, with the constant being the songs that serve as the foundation for his bluegrass gospel programs. He began his career at country station WJMA in Orange VA in 1956. In Shipley's time at Alexandria country outlet WPIK/WXRA, he began a program called "Inside Bluegrass." There he met Jerry Gray, who was instrumental in bringing him to WAMU.
October 6, 2007
Doug Buchanan Gets Booted From 9
Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA has let go reporter Doug Buchanan (left). It happened on Friday afternoon. "An e-mail was sent out saying, more or less, simply he was no longer an employee and the station wished him and his family the best. His picture has been removed from the bio page on 9's website. Word on the street is contract negotiations went sour. He'd been at WUSA five years," we're told. "Doug was a huge favorite in the newsroom, a great reporter, and a great co-worker." He is the son of veteran DC TV reporter Mike Buchanan, who worked at 9 for some three decades, before jumping to Channel 7/WJLA a few years back.....
October 5, 2007
Chapman Family Settles Lawsuit
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the family of Darrian Chapman (left), the Channel 4/WRC sports anchor who left in 2000 for WMAQ, the co-owned NBC station in Chicago, has settled a lawsuit stemming from his death in 2002. He was 37. Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a Chicago doctor settled with Chapman's widow, Deborah, and their two children for almost $2 million. The suit alleged the doctor failed to ensure Chapman would have a steady heart rhythm, through proper testing and other procedures. Chapman had suffered a heart attack at age 31, while working at WRC, but recovered. He collapsed and died in October 2002 while getting ready to play hockey at a Chicago skating rink. While at DC's NBC4, the very popular Chapman had been a weekend morning sports anchor and sports reporter for four years.
October 1, 2007
Lorrin Palgai Gets Globe PD Position
Lorrin Palagi has landed the program director gig at CBS Radio's alternative rockish the Globe, WTGB, 94.7 FM. He put hot adult contemporary Mix 107.3 on the air in the early 1990s and was the architect for its success for many years. We're told that Palagi has experience building "hybrid" formats in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and DC. On the music side, Palagi will be assisted by Norm Winer from CBS's adult alternative WXRT in Chicago and middayer Schelby Sweeney, who has been the Globe's music director since it launched in February, from the remains of classic rocker WARW. Also providing musical guidance at the Globe are Keith Cunningham at Jacobs Media and Pat Ferrise, a former WHFSer who now does air shifts on the Globe. "Do not expect a major shift in strategy," says CBS Radio DC honcho and Globe General Manager Michael Hughes. "This station is uniquely Washington. If some call it Triple A, adult alternative, or polka, I don't care. The music mix is unique to the listeners that live here."
September 28, 2007
ESPN Cuts Theismann Loose
Sports site profootballtalk.com reports that ESPN has cut ties with Redskins great Joe Theismann. "We have reached a settlement with Joe Theismann to end his association with ESPN. We thank Joe for his many years of work for us and wish him well," according to a statement from the sports network. Theisman got canned from the "Monday Night Football" booth earlier this year, leaving him little to do at ESPN, via his existing contract. DCRTV wonders: This development could open the door for Theismann to sign with another network or a DC sports outfit like Comcast SportsNet, MASN, SportsTalk 980, Triple X, or 4, 5, 7, or 9.
September 24, 2007
Spanish To Replace Sinatra On 1520
Former DC101er Buddy Rizer's Vegas Radio, WTRI (1520 AM) in Brunswick MD, will be flipped to brokered Spanish language on 10/1. However, the nostalgic music stream will continue as a web-only feature via vegasradio.net. Rizer, who does the morning show and planned to make the announcement Monday on WTRI's airwaves, tells DCRTV that it's strictly "a business decision." Vegas Radio has done well, he says, but the offer to lease the station's airtime simply makes sense financially. Rizer and his radio partner will continue to own the station, which is located about halfway between Frederick and Leesburg. Rizer says he will continue in the radio biz, consulting for a new nostalgic music, popular American standards radio station in Philadelphia.
September 21, 2007
WTOP Cans Mellman & Kepley
Bonneville has said adios to all-news WTOP reporter Ira Mellman and afternoon drive co-anchor Diane Kepley. They are to be replaced by Bob Kur and Hillary Howard, respectively, who had co-anchored afternoons on Bonneville's recently defunct Washington Post Radio talker. An "economics" decision, we're told.
September 21, 2007
CSN To Start CSN+ Overflow Channel
Comcast SportsNet is adding an overflow channel, called CSN+, starting 10/1. The channel will be activated when Comcast SportsNet carries simultaneous live games of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, or area colleges. On Comcast cable systems, CSN+ will reside in MASN2's current home. On other cable carriers or satellite systems, it might be on a different channel.
September 21, 2007
WINX Veteran Bill Vickers Dies
Bill Vickers, longtime chief engineer and DJ on the old "top 40" WINX (1600 AM) in Rockville, has died. In his early days, he was "Big Bill Palmer" and hosted the "WINX All Night Pajama Party." Says a colleague: "Bill was a very nice guy and total character at the station - sometimes we'd laugh with him and other times we'd laugh at him but in either case he made the days enjoyable."
September 21, 2007
WGTS Sale Called Off
The trustees of Takoma Park's Columbia Union College voted to defer selling Christian contemporary WGTS (91.9 FM). The station was expected to be sold to Minnesota Public Radio parent American Public Media to become a news talker. WGTS will continue "as is" for the foreseeable future, we're told. WGTS made a like announcement on its airwaves on Thursday afternoon. A short statement from the college says its board of trustees voted to "rescind the action to enter into negotiations to sell the radio station license." There were several other parties interested in buying the station, all of which would have kept the station's religious format. Some wonder if one of those groups will do a fund-raising radio programming lease deal with the cash-strapped school, which would continue to own WGTS.
September 20, 2007
WWRE/WWRT Drops Classic Rock For Rock
Winchester area classic rocker WWRE/WWRT (104.9 FM/105.5 FM) has dropped the syndicated "Bob And Tom" morning show, with local man Joe Sanchez returning. And, the station has shifted gears from classic rock to regular rock. It's now know as "Rock 104-9/105-5, Everything That Rocks." The Mid-Atlantic station, along with Winchester sister WINC-FM/AM, was recently sold to Centennial.
September 20, 2007
Carpenter Sawed Off Nats' TV Team
Washington Nationals television announcer Bob Carpenter has been told by the club his contract will not be extended when it expires after the season. Carpenter, who has done play-by-play for all Nationals games on MASN the last two seasons, was informed during a meeting with team president Stan Kasten that he will not be asked back for 2008 and the club will hire a new TV announcer to partner with analyst Don Sutton.
September 20, 2007
New Calls For 3WT Stations
The former Washington Post Radio, WTWP, is now talker 3WT, WWWT-FM 107.7 and WWWT-AM 1500. The Frederick relay on 820 AM is now WWWB. The website for the Bonneville station has gone live at 3wtradio.com.
September 19, 2007
WTOP Tops Drivetimes
Some age 12+ DC drivetime rankings for those monthly Arbitrend radio ratings. Morning: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WMAL and WWDC, 7) WKYS, 8) WASH, 9) WJZW, 10) WMZQ, 11) WRQX, 12) WIHT, 13) WLZL, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WPRS, 16) WBIG, 17) WAVA, 18) WTGB, 19) WTWP, 20) WFRE, 21) WWXX, 22) WTEM. Afternoon: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WKYS and WJZW, 6) WMMJ, 7) WIHT and WASH, 9) WMZQ, 10) WMAL, 11) WLZL, 12) WWDC, 13) WBIG and WJFK-FM, 15) WRQX, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WWXX, 20) WFRE, 21) WAVA, 22) WFLS.
September 18, 2007
Tom Temin Gets Morning Gig At WFED
Bonneville hires Tom Temin to replace Mike Causey as co-host of its morning show on Federal News Radio, WFED (1050 AM). Temin, who'll be paired with Jane Norris, was executive vice president and editor-in-chief for Post Newsweek Tech Media, responsible for print and online editorial content for Washington Technology, Government Computer News, Government Leader, and Defense Systems. He is a frequent contributor to WFED on-air and online with his weekly column, "Eye On IT," for the station's website, FederalNewsRadio.com. Also, WFED is hiking its power to 3,500-watts thereby "solidifying its coverage area inside the Beltway," according to a Bonneville statement. Causey will continue with Federal News Radio in his senior correspondent role, his "Mike Causey's Federal Report" column, and host his weekly call-in program.....
September 17, 2007
Chuck Bullett Gets SF Engineering Gig
Chuck Bullett has landed the top engineering position for Cumulus's San Francisco radio cluster. He'll be handling KFOG/KFFG, KSAN, KTCT, and KNBR. Bullett was chief engineer for Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra Broadcasting arm, which runs the DC area's Triple X sports talker, and he served as executive technical producer for the Redskins Football Radio Network. A corporate restructuring last December eliminated Bullett's position at RZ. Since then, Bullett has been working as senior design engineer for CEI, a DC-based TV and radio systems integrator, as well as for Fox News Radio and WETA's "News Hour."
September 17, 2007
60 Years On DC Airwaves For Fred Fiske
Fred Fiske (left) will celebrate 60 years on the Washington DC area airwaves on 9/27. Since 1995, Fiske has served as WAMU's "senior commentator," and he's heard at 1 PM Fridays on "Metro Connection." His current role is an extension of his ongoing 30-year relationship with WAMU, which began in 1977 when he brought "The Fred Fiske Show" to public radio after a run of the show on WWDC-AM (1260). Originally called "Empathy" when ran on WWDC, from 1970 to 1977, it was then the only talk radio program in the market.
September 16, 2007
Scott Broom Leaves 2
Channel 2/WMAR has said adios to reporter Scott Broom. He's been with the Scripps station 16 years. Apparently, his contract was not renewed. "We thank him for his contributions over the years, and wish him well in future endeavors," said WMAR News Director David Silverstein in a Friday memo to the Baltimore station's employees. However, a WMAR source told DCRTV that the key issue was money. A DC area native, Broom's won seven AP awards and an Emmy for his reporting work.
September 14, 2007
WHFS Founder Jake Einstein Dies
Jacob "Jake" Einstein (left), the man who founded legendary free-form progressive rocker WHFS at 102.3 FM in Bethesda in the late 1960s, passed away on 9/12 after a long illness. Einstein sold 102.3 in 1983 and moved WHFS later that year to his new 99.1 FM in Annapolis. That station, via a variety of different owners over the years, most recently CBS, ended its alternative rock run in 2005. Einstein also once owned Annapolis's WNAV, 1430 AM, which had featured a talk show hosted by corruption-plagued former Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel, a good friend of Jake. Einstein's sons, David and Damian, were both heard on WHFS over the years. And both have worked at current Annapolis adult alternative outlet WRNR, 103.1 FM. At one time, Einstein owned WRNR as well as WFQX, 99.3 FM, in the Winchester area. He was a resident of Potomac.
September 10, 2007
WAMU Bluegrasser Red Shipley To Retire
Legendary WAMU (88.5 FM) bluegrass music host Red Shipley (right) will retire as he celebrates his 25th anniversary as host of "Stained Glass Bluegrass." Shipley's final episode will air from 6 AM to 10 AM Sunday, 9/16. Bob Webster, who currently works on the program with Shipley, will take over hosting duties as the program moves to WAMU's Bluegrass Country HD Radio channel and via the internet at bluegrasscountry.org, where it has been airing since 2001. "I want to retire while I'm at the top of my game," Shipley said. "It's been a great 25 years." Shipley's career has spanned more than 50 years, with the constant being the songs that serve as the foundation for his bluegrass gospel programs. He began his career at country WJMA in Orange VA in 1956. In his time at Alexandria country outlet WPIK/WXRA, he began a program called "Inside Bluegrass," and met Jerry Gray, who was instrumental in bringing him to WAMU.
September 8, 2007
Cheryl Spector Dies
Cheryl Ann Spector, 49, who jestfully appeared as "Cheryl The Big Dyke" on WJFK-FM's Don and Mike show, died on 9/4 at George Washington University Hospital. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in late June. Spector worked as a DJ at the Phase and Hung Jury gay clubs in the early 1980s but discovered her true passion as an activist after her brother Stanley's AIDS diagnosis and subsequent suicide in October 1985. She channeled her grief into action by helping with the 1987 and 1993 marches on Washington, and served as grand marshal of the DC Gay Pride Parade in 1998. She also organized the first Drag King contest at the Hung Jury in the mid-1990s.
September 4, 2007
Elliker To Replace Franklin On BAL Radio
Shari Elliker has been selected to replace Chip Franklin in the 9 AM to noon slot on WBAL radio (1090 AM). Elliker has been working in TV, radio, and the theater for more than 15 years. She's appeared on "Homicide," "America's Most Wanted," and "Unsolved Mysteries." Her voice can be heard on hundreds of commercials and narrations for the Discovery Channel, TLC, and Lifetime. Elliker recently co-hosted female talk show "Broadminded" for XM Satellite Radio. From 1992 to 1996, she did traffic and bits for WJFK-FM's Don and Mike. She's also done traffic reports for Channel 9/WUSA. Franklin recently left for a gig at talker KOGO radio in San Diego.
September 1, 2007
WAMU To Move Bluegrass To HD
American University's WAMU (88.5 FM) is moving all of its weekend bluegrass programming to its HD Radio digital signal. That would leave the public radio station's main signal almost all news and talk. It looks like WAMU is preparing to do battle with a new public radio news talker, when Minnesota Public Radio buys Columbia Union College's Christian contemporary WGTS (91.9 FM). That's expected to happen this fall. WAMU already operates a 24/7 bluegrass channel on HD Radio and on the internet via bluegrasscountry.org.
August 31, 2007
Loudoun Newspaper Owner John Geddie Dies
John Jay Geddie, 70, a reporter and editor who started a newspaper in Loudoun County two years ago, died on 8/22 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of kidney failure and pneumonia related to treatment for skin cancer. He lived in Sterling. Geddie covered the assassination of President John Kennedy for the Dallas Morning News and became the paper's Washington bureau chief until 1981. He worked briefly for Congress, then owned and edited the Loudoun Easterner newspaper, before founding the Loudoun Independent newspaper in 2005.
August 30, 2007
Mike Causey To Give Up WFED Morning Gig
Federal government news columnist and reporter Mike Causey is giving up his co-hosting duties on Federal News Radio/WFED's "The Federal Drive" morning program. He will continue to write his daily column for FederalNewsRadio.com and host his weekly "Your Turn With Mike Causey" show on Bonneville's WFED, 1050 AM. A "Drive" replacement for Causey's pairing with Jane Norris is being sought.
August 28, 2007
Bonneville To Launch 3WT Talker
Bonneville announced that it will re-launch talker Washington Post Radio WTWP as 3WT, WWWT, on 9/20. The "personality-driven" talk station's new slogan will be "Left, Right, And Whatever We Want." As expected, David Burd and Jessica Doyle will continue to do their locally-based morning show. With Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser expected to return next year to do late mornings. Local car guy Pat Goss will be joined by nationally syndicated personalities like Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Stephanie Miller, plus play-by-play sports. DCRTV hears that Washington Post Radio afternoon personalities Bob Kur and Hillary Howard will move to Bonneville all-news sister WTOP. Bonneville and the Post have formally ended their radio alliance. The year-and-a-half old Washington Post Radio "just did not garner the Arbitron ratings we had hoped for," said Bonneville's DC radio honcho Joel Oxley. 3WT will utilize the old Washington Post Radio signals of Wheaton's 1500 AM, Warrenton's 107.7 FM, and Frederick's 820 AM.
August 28, 2007
Washington Post Radio Is Dead
The Washington Post confirms that the newspaper will end its low-rated year-and-a-half talk radio experiment, Washington Post Radio, WTWP, with all-news WTOP owner Bonneville come September. As DCRTV told you, Bonneville will continue to use the 107.7 FM and 1500 AM signals for a talk format, with David Burd in mornings and syndicated talkers like Glenn Beck and Neal Boortz during other periods. The Post says that it's unclear if its sports columnist, Tony Kornheiser, will return to the station after his "Monday Night Football" duties end early next year. However, DCRTV hears there's a good possibility that without the Washington Post's name on the station, the intensely loyal Kornheiser will end up elsewhere, perhaps at XM/Sirius satellite radio or return to Clear Channel's SportsTalk 980, WTEM. Bonneville would give Kornheiser the 10 AM to noon slot on the talk outlet if he returns.
August 23, 2007
Elizabeth Callan Dies
Elizabeth Callan, 57, an award-winning producer for PBS's "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" for more 20 years, died on 8/17 at Washington Hospital Center of burns from a kitchen fire in her DC home in July.
August 23, 2007
Del Walters Produces Documentaries
Del Walters (left), who anchored and reported news for two decades at Channel 7/ WJLA, and for two more years on Channel 2/WMAR, now runs a Loudoun County-based video production firm, 3PE. And, in early September, he will hold a Leesburg premiere for "NSSM", an investigative documentary regarding the Nixon Administration and the CIA's dealings with post-colonial Africa. Walters, who executive produced the documentary, tells DCRTV that he's busy working on another documentary and has been networking in places like Cannes with famous film people, including George Clooney and Angelina Jolie. Walters is also in the final stages of production on fictional book about a black man running for president, mirroring the current campaign of Barack Obama. Ashburn resident Walters says he was proud to work in "the golden years of (local) TV news" and keeps in close touch with the folks at WJLA, which didn't renew his contract in 2003, and WMAR, where he worked from 2004 through 2006.
August 23, 2007
Andy Parks Gets Pacemaker
WMAL morning show host Andy Parks (right), who was rushed to the hospital on Sunday suffering from chest pains and an irregular heartbeat, had successful surgery on 8/23 to implant a pacemaker. He's doing fine, his co-host Fred Grandy announced on-air.....
August 22, 2007
DC101 Names Roche MD
Afternoon man Greg Roche has nabbed the music director gig at Clear Channel rocker DC101. Roche had been acting MD since Donielle Flynn exited the station in April.
August 22, 2007
Mixed Numbers For Talkers In 'Trends
The August monthly Arbitrend radio ratings. Talker WJFK-FM is basically flat, with the morning Junks up a bit and afternoon's Don and Mike down a bit. Talker WMAL was up big in July after a floppish June. Talker Washington Post Radio pulled anemic numbers, with most listeners coming from their Nats baseball broadcasts. New alternative rocker The Globe is continuing its very slow build with little gain in July. The urbans - WPGC-FM, WHUR, WMMJ - are up at the top of the heap. New gospel outlet WPRS continues a steady climb upward. Up in Baltimore, urban WERQ and country WPOC take the top spots, with talker WBAL-AM continuing its slump, now dipping to sixth place.
August 22, 2007
WKCW's "Little Bitty Buddy" Dies
Leroy Self, who was known as "Little Bitty Buddy" on now defunct Warrenton country and bluegrass outlet WKCW (1420 AM), died of cancer on 8/15 at the Gilcrest Hospice Center in Baltimore. Born in Washington DC, Self worked at "Big K Radio" from the 1960s into the 1990s. He was also a musician, singer, and songwriter in the country and bluegrass music business. WKCW was sold several years ago and now features Spanish language music and talk.
August 22, 2007
New Quantico Radio For 920 AM
The Federal Communications Commission has granted Prince William Broadcasting a construction permit for a new AM radio station on 920 to be licensed to Quantico. The station will be licensed to run 2,000-watts by day 970-watts at night. The licensee consists of six media companies, including Bay Broadcasting, which runs several radio stations on the Eastern Shore.
August 22, 2007
New Producer For Rehm
Emmanuel Touhey is the new producer for public radio outlet WAMU's nationally syndicated "The Diane Rehm Show." He spent the past nine years working as a producer with DC-based C-SPAN, covering Congress and the White House. Touhey is a native of Ireland, and came to the US in 1993. He began his career as an intern at BBC Radio in Northern Ireland.
August 22, 2007
Galindo Leaves Fox 5
Lowell Galindo, a sports producer and reporter for Channel 5/ WTTG, has been hired as the primary anchor on college sports network ESPNU. He interned at ESPN in 2002.
August 20, 2007
Cameron Gray To XM
Cameron Gray, former WJFK-FM operations director and former G. Gordon Liddy show executive producer, becomes an executive producer at XM Satellite Radio's new POTUS '08 presidential election channel (XM-130). Also, Joe Matthieu comes from the MarketWatch Radio Network to program the channel, and Gary Starikoff, who's been at XM's MLB Home Plate channel, will be a producer. POTUS '08, which launches in September, is being produced in cooperation with DC-based C-SPAN and other news outlets.
August 20, 2007
Joe Robinson To 98 Rock Nights
Local comedian Joe Robinson is taking over the 7 PM to midnight slot Monday through Friday on 98 Rock, starting 9/17. As well as doing post Ravens gameday reports. He's being paired up with someone named Theo from Illinois.
August 18, 2007
WRC Veteran Dave Von Sothen Dies
Dave Von Sothen (left), 81, a WRC broadcaster who won two local Emmy Awards in 1962 for a documentary about Griffith Stadium, died on 8/12 of pneumonia at Georgetown University Hospital. He was a Washington resident. Von Sothen worked for WRC (980 AM) radio and Channel 4 television for 20 years as a news writer and host of programs such as "Four Corners News" and "Dimension Washington." His Emmys were awarded for writing and producing "The Last Out," a documentary on the life of Griffith Stadium, the home of the Washington Senators baseball team. After leaving WRC, Von Sothen worked for the CIA, collaborating on an experimental television workshop at the agency's headquarters. He was also a founder of the Washington Quarter Century Broadcasters Club and was a member of the National Press Club.
August 15, 2007
Metro Radio Buys 3rd Area VA AMer
Praise Communications is selling Warrenton religious outlet WPRZ (1250 AM) to Vienna-based Metro Radio for $1.1 million. The buyer already owns Spanish language outlets WKCW (1420 AM) in Warrenton and WKDV (1460 AM) in Manassas.
August 13, 2007
5 To Launch 6 PM Newscast
Channel 5/WTTG will extend its current 5 PM hour-long news block into the 6 PM half hour. Come 9/10, "Fox5 News Edge At 6 PM" will replace "Seinfeld" reruns. Says WTTG honcho Duffy Dyer: "This is a natural next step for our station given viewers' positive reception to our half-hour news at 11 PM, as well as our hour-long broadcast at 5 PM - one of the fastest growing news programs in the market." According to the Fox station, "News Edge" will deliver the news of the day in a "unique, fast paced format." Highlights will include weather at five minutes past the hour, as well as "in-depth reports on top-of-mind Beltway region issues" such as, transportation, housing prices, and taxes. Fox5 top dog Brian Bolter will serve as the sole anchor of the 6 PM show, joined by weathercaster Sue Palka and sportscaster Dave Feldman. The new celebrity-chasing syndicated show "TMZ On TV," based on the popular gossip website, will follow at 6:30 PM. WTTG recently replaced its half hour noon newscast with an hour-long one at 11 AM, and extended its hour-long 10 PM newscast into the 11 PM half hour. Also, NBC's Channel 4/WRC will move its 10 AM newscast to 11 AM starting 9/10, to accommodate the new additional hour of NBC's "Today," which will run in the Washington market from 7 AM to 11 AM. The newscast, to be called "News 4 Midday," will continue to be anchored by Joe Krebs and Barbara Harrison.
August 13, 2007
London & Warner Gone From MZQ
Longtimers Jim London and Seth Warner get the boot from Clear Channel's country WMZQ (98.7 FM). A new midday and afternoon lineup featuring Michael J from Clear Channel's Baltimore country WPOC (93.1 FM) will begin 9/4.
August 13, 2007
Baltimore Radio Veteran Harry Shriver Dies
From the Baltimore Sun: Harry Shriver (right), the legendary Baltimore radio executive who brought such popular radio personalties as Johnny Walker, Peter Berry - "The Flying Dutchman," Charlie Eckman, Tom Marr, and Ron Matz to the old WFBR (1300 AM) and served as a panelist of "Conference Call" for nearly 40 years, died Saturday of heart failure at Sinai Hospital. The Owings Mills resident was 74. "He had his pulse on the radio business in Baltimore during the 1970s and 1980s, and took chances in an era when broadcasters weren't taking chances," said Matz, now a Channel 13/WJZ personality. "He also created Orioles Magic after the station acquired radio broadcast rights for the team in 1979." After WFBR was sold in 1988, Shriver managed stations in Ocean City, Pittsburgh, and Beaver Falls PA, which were owned by Baltimore Radio Show, until the company sold them and went out of business in 1995. In the mid-1990s, he became part-owner and general manager of WWLG (then 1360 AM). In 1997, he became general manager of WCBM (680 AM), an all-talk station, and where he appeared on "Conference Call," a news program that began on WFBR and later moved to WCBM. Shriver retired in 2000.
August 8, 2007
More Digital TV Musical Chairs
According to the latest digital TV documents from the Federal Communications Commission, here's where the local digital TV stations will wind up come 2009, when the plug is pulled on old-fashioned analog broadcasts. Five stations will remain right where they are, with their digital broadcasts on their old analog channel, including WJLA on 7, WUSA on 9, WBAL on 11, WJZ on 13, and WDCW on 50. Several other stations will continue broadcasting their digital signals on their current digital channel allocation, including WRC on 48, WTTG on 36, WFDC on 15, WDCA on 35, WMPT on 42, WUTB on 41, WETA on 27, WHUT on 33, WBFF on 46, and WNUV on 40. And several others get a new digital allocation, including WMAR on 38 (WJZ's current digital channel), WPXW on 34 (WUSA's current digital channel), and WNVC on 24 (WUTB's current analog channel).
August 6, 2007
Former HURer TC To JZW
Citadel-ABC's WJZW, Smooth Jazz 105.9, has tapped TC as the newest addition to the station's on-air lineup. No word yet on what shift she'll be doing. TC was last heard as one of the hosts of the highly-rated "The Real DC Morning Show" on Howard University's adult urban WHUR (96.3 FM), before being replaced by the syndicated "Steve Harvey Morning Show" last year as a cost-cutting move.
August 4, 2007
WFMD Suspends Blaine Young For "Potty Mouth"
Blaine Young, a talk show host on Clear Channel news talker WFMD (930 AM) in Frederick, said he's sorry for dropping the "f-bomb" on the air in July. In an apology at wfmd.com, Young said he uttered the expletive during a request to a producer to fix a technical problem. He did not realize that his comments were being broadcast due to an "internal microphone in the new studio telephone... (that) was picking up all the dead air, background noise, and my potty mouth." Despite Young's on-air apology immediately after the 7/21 "Frederick's Forum" show incident, he was suspended for two weeks. He'll return doing "Sound Offs" and "Frederick's Forum" on 8/13.
August 3, 2007
Revenue & Circulation Continue Slumping At Post
The Washington Post Company has reported a 13 percent drop in quarterly earnings, as declining revenue from its flagship paper continued to cancel gains in the company's education unit. For the second quarter, the DC-based company reported earnings of $68.6 million compared with $78.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenue rose 8 percent, from $969 million a year ago to $1.05 billion. That stemmed mostly from a 23 percent increase in revenue at the company's Kaplan education division, which now accounts for about half of the company's revenues. Newspaper publishing revenue fell 7 percent to $228 million. Print advertising fell 13 percent quarter-to-quarter, mirroring a nationwide trend caused by the decline in real estate ads and the migration of ad dollars to websites. Online revenue, driven by advertising on the Post's website, increased 11 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, but at $28.2 million it still only accounts for 12 percent of the newspaper unit's overall revenue. For the first six months of the year, print circulation dropped 3 percent, to 652,200 daily and 920,000 on Sunday.
August 3, 2007
July Ratings Good News For 13
The Baltimore Sun tells us that for Channel 13/WJZ the July Baltimore "sweeps" were cause for celebration yesterday. New ratings numbers showed that its 4 PM newscast had beaten powerhouse "The Oprah Winfrey Show," aired by its chief competitor, Channel 11/WBAL, for the first time since February 2003. WJZ said the viewership of the newscast had grown last month by 14 percent over July a year ago, for a total of 55,000 households, 2,000 more than were watching "Oprah" on WBAL. WJZ said "Oprah" lost 27 percent of its ratings from the corresponding period last year. WBAL countered that the reason for the decline in Winfrey's numbers was that her show is in reruns for all of June, July, and August. The new season of "Oprah" is set to launch on 9/10.
July 31, 2007
WYPR To Buy OC's X106.9
Your Public Radio, which owns Baltimore public radio outlet WYPR (88.1 FM), is buying Ocean City contemporary music outlet X106.9, WRXS, from Atlantic Radio Broadcasting for about $1.1 million. A WYPR 106.9 FM simulcast is scheduled to begin in late September, we're told. The WRXS 4,900-watt signal covers southern Delaware and westward to the Salisbury area of Maryland. Mainly news talk WYPR already relays its signal via Frederick's WYPF, also on 88.1.
July 27, 2007
WaPo Radio Shows Pulse, WBAL Slumps
The spring '07 Arbitrons for DC and Baltimore are out today. DCRTV hears that Washington Post Radio, WTWP, placed "very strongly" against rival talker WMAL in the full-week age 25-to-54 demo, and even beating WMAL among some demos in morning drive and middays. Elsewhere on the DC talk dial, all-news WTOP continued to dominate drivetimes, while male talker WJFK-FM was basically flat, with afternooners Don and Mike declining a few notches in the all-important 25-to-54 demo, and down to 13th among 12+ers. Musically, new alternative rocker The Globe, WTGB, edged ahead of rival rockers WWDC and WBIG in a key 25-to-54 demo, with more women tuning into to the "green" station. DC, full-day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WPGC-FM, 3) WTOP, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH, 6) WMZQ, 7) WJZW and WKYS, 9) WLZL, 10) WWDC, 11) WRQX and WIHT, 13) WMAL, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WJFK-FM, 18) WTEM and WTWP. Morning drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WRQX, 6) WMZQ and WKYS, 8) WWDC, 9) WLZL, 10) WASH, 11) WMAL, 12) WIHT, 13) WJZW, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WPRS and WBIG, 17) WTWP, 18) WTGB, 19) WAVA. WBAL-AM continues its ratings slide, plunging to 6th place in the spring '07 radio ratings for Baltimore. In the full-day age 12+ demos, the news talk station is now at a 4.5 share, way down from a 6.9 share a year ago. Urban WERQ takes the 1st place position, with a 9.4 share. Country WPOC is 2nd with an 8.8. Adult contemporary WLIF, adult urban WWIN-FM, and rocker WIYY round out the top five. In Frederick, country WFRE (99.9 FM) has a big lead. Rounding out the top five: adult contemporary WAFY (103.1 FM), classic hits WWEG (106.9 FM), news talker WFMD (930 AM), and all-newser WTOP (previously 820 AM). Over in Winchester, country WUSQ (102.5 FM) has a big lead, with hot adult contemporary WINC-FM (92.5) in second place. Rocker WFQX (99.3 FM), contemporary hit WKSI (98.3 FM), and oldies WZRV (95.3 FM) make up the top five. Adult contemporary WQHQ is the top-rated radio station in the Salisbury/Ocean City market. Country combo WXJN/WICO, urban adult WSBY, country WWFG, and rhythmic contemporary WOCQ round out the top five.
July 27, 2007
Jaffe Sorry For WaPo Radio "Tanking" Comment
"I called to apologize. I didn't have the numbers," confessed media columnist Harry Jaffe Friday on David Burd's morning Washington Post Radio show. Jaffe claimed in an August Washingtonian magazine article that the Bonneville-owned station's ratings had "tanked" after Tony Kornheiser left his morning gig in late June - even though the Arbitron radio ratings for the period had not yet been released. Jaffe told Burd that he did "my own unofficial polling." Still, he reminded Burd that previous ratings for the 15-month-old news talk station are "not a pretty picture... Right now, there are more people listening to a gospel station out of Waldorf, Maryland." Washingtonian has posted a correction on its website: "While there was anecdotal evidence for a drop in the number of WTWP listeners, the actual ratings for the period in question will not be released until October. The Washingtonian regrets the error".....
July 25, 2007
Frankin & Douglas Leaving BAL Radio
Chip Franklin and Rob Douglas are leaving Baltimore news talker WBAL (1090 AM). Franklin, who hosted late mornings for more than seven years, is headed to a "more lucrative" radio job in San Diego, while Douglas is returning to his security consulting business fulltime and his home near Denver. "This is a tremendous, life-changing opportunity for me," Franklin told the Baltimore Sun by phone from his Montgomery County home, which he is selling. He leaves WBAL on 8/3. Franklin, who used to work at DC talker WMAL, will start at San Diego talker KOGO as morning drive host shortly after Labor Day. Douglas, who had an earlier stint at WBAL but who returned to its airwaves four months ago, "no longer desires to be a WBAL radio talk host," Jeffrey Beauchamp, vice president and station manager of WBAL, wrote in a staff memo. Douglas is on vacation and will not resume his show. Their departures come during a ratings slump, since the station dropped Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show last year.
July 24, 2007
Hugh Panero Leaves XM
Hugh Panero, the head of DC-based XM, is saying goodbye to the satellite radio firm he founded. His departure was widely anticipated following the announcement, earlier this year, that XM planned to merge with NYC-based rival Sirius. While XM Chairman Gary Parsons will continue to be part of a merged entity, Sirius execs - including Mel Karmazin - are expected to preside over management.
July 24, 2007
DC's City Paper Sold
Washington City Paper has been acquired by Tampa-based Creative Loafing, which owns alternative weeklies in Atlanta, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Tampa. The DC freebie weekly, along with a like rag included in the purchase deal, the Chicago Reader, were both controlled by founders of the Reader. City Paper, which is published on Thursdays and underwent a redesign this year, was founded in 1982 and has a circulation of 80,000. No major changes are planned at the paper, other than a series of already underway budget cuts. City Paper Editor Erik Wemple and Publisher Amy Austin are to remain. No price was revealed, but it's said to be "an eight-figure sale."
July 24, 2007
Former 4 ND To Head Gannett's TV Ops
Former Channel 4/WRC News Director Dave Lougee has been appointed president of McLean-based Gannett's Broadcasting Division. He replaces Roger Ogden, who retired on 7/1. Lougee, who worked at NBC's WRC from 1996 to 1998, spent many years with Dallas's Belo, overseeing its TV station and local cable news operations. Also, he served as news director in the early 1990s at Gannett's Denver TV station, KUSA. Locally, Gannett owns Channel 9/WUSA, which features another former WRC exec, Allan Horlick, as its president and general manager.
July 24, 2007
Former 11 Reporter Loses Balto Cop Spokesman Job
Matt Jablow, a former reporter with Channel 11/WBAL, has been fired as director of public affairs for the Baltimore City Police Department. Jablow, who has held the top cop spokesman gig for four years, has been replaced by Sterling Clifford, a top aide at City Hall. City officials would not comment on the change, calling it a personnel matter. Jablow also declined to comment on the circumstances of his canning. But he told the Baltimore Sun: "It was truly an honor to have worked with the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department for the past four years."
July 24, 2007
CNS's David Thibault Dies
CNSNews.com Editor-In-Chief David Thibault died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on 7/20 at age 49 after two battles with cancer. Thibault came to DC as a press secretary for New Hampshire Senator Judd Greg and then worked at Channel 7/WJLA for a several years as a news writer. In 1993, he jumped to the Republican National Committee to produce its TV projects and write news. "He had a lot of friends in the DC TV world," we're told.
July 23, 2007
CC Yanks AM Talker Relays From HD
It looks like Clear Channel has discontinued its recent FM HD Radio relays of its lowish-powered AM DC talkers. A few weeks ago, Clear Channel put lefty talker WWRC (1260 AM) on the HD3 digital signal of the more powerful adult contemporary WASH (97.1 FM). Followed by the righty talk signal of WTNT (570 AM) on the HD3 digital signal of the more powerful country WMZQ (98.7 FM). However, DCRTV heard complaints from other DC area broadcasters who pointed out that the current agreement with the promotional alliance of HD Radio stations forbids commercials on stations' additional HD2 and HD3 digital signals. Both of the Clear Channel DC talker HD relays featured ads.
July 22, 2007
ABC's "This Week" To Newseum
A source tells DCRTV that ABC is planning to move its "This Week" Sunday political talk show from its DeSales Street DC news bureau to studios at the new Newseum news gathering museum, which is being built near the US Capitol. It involves a promotional deal between ABC and the Newseum, which is seeking to become a major tourist attraction. This comes at the same time as a series of cost-cutting moves at ABC, including the upcoming dismissal of an undisclosed number of staffers at the DC bureau and at other bureaus around the country, we're told.
July 19, 2007
Jeff Wyatt Leaves Red Zebra
DC radio veteran Jeff Wyatt is out as head of programming for Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra Broadcasting arm. Wyatt, who had worked for Clear Channel's DC radio cluster before joining Red Zebra, helped Snyder launch the Triple X sports talker (730 AM, 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM) in the DC area, as well as sports talkers in Richmond and Virginia Beach.
July 16, 2007
After RBR, HFS Vet Damian Einstein Joins Joe's
The Washington Times reports that DC progressive rock radio legend Damian Einstein is partnering with Joe Lee, who owns the three-decade-old Joe's Record Paradise music shop in Rockville. The two are planning to open a 550-seat club next door. Damian's father, Jake, started free-form progressive rock WHFS on Bethesda's 102.3 FM in the early 1970s. In 1975, a nearly fatal road crash in put Damian's career on hold for two years as he relearned how to walk and talk. Lately, he'd been working at Annapolis's adult alternative WRNR, 103.1 FM, which he recently left. Says the Times: Einstein would not comment on the circumstances of his departure. Sources familiar with the situation said he was fired for a purported drop in the ratings. Photo (right) of Lee and Einstein from the Times.
July 16, 2007
Osei To PGC Late Nights
Former WKYSer Osei The Dark Secret is heading to WPGC-FM. He'll be replacing Justine Love in late nights on 95.5. Love becomes public affairs director at the CBS urban station.
July 15, 2007
Huggy Lowdown Joins Tom Joyner
Huggy Lowdown, the comedian and on-air sidekick of WPGC-FM morning man Donnie Simpson, has left the CBS station. And, we hear that Huggy is going to be part of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show, heard locally on Radio One's WMMJ (102.3 FM) and WWIN-FM (95.9).
July 14, 2007
Bonneville Denies WaPo Radio Sale Rumor
Bonneville sources have steadfastly denied a "wild rumor" from a usually reliable source that DCRTV recently printed which suggested that Redskins owner Dan Snyder may be negotiating to purchase the 107.7 FM and 1500 AM frequencies from Bonneville. Those signals relay news talk Washington Post Radio, which has been languishing in the ratings and hemorrhaging cash since its creation in early 2006. In late 2006, Snyder was talking to Bonneville about buying the 104.1 FM and 103.9 FM frequencies for his Triple X sports talker. But that deal collapsed.
July 14, 2007
13's Anne Wozniak Heads For 2
News producer Anne Wozniak is jumping from Channel 13/WJZ to Channel 2/WMAR. She'll be the senior producer on the morning newscasts during "Good Morning Maryland." Also, Mix 106.5's Maria Dennis will be doing Friday cross-promotions for 2's "Good Morning Maryland."
July 13, 2007
Labor Board Slaps Post For Not Paying Reporters For Radio Work
Associated Press reports that the National Labor Relations Board has accused the Washington Post of failing to negotiate with the newspaper's union over extra work employees were asked to perform for its radio station. In a complaint filed against the Washington Post Company, the NLRB said the company's management repeatedly violated labor laws, beginning in 2006, by failing to negotiate in good faith with the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, which represents more than 1,200 newsroom and commercial employees. The complaint against the newspaper, which is scheduled to go before an administrative law judge in September, also charged that employees were not fairly paid for work they contributed to Washington Post Radio, a news talk venture with all-news WTOP-owner Bonneville, which was launched in early 2006. The complaint also said the newspaper this year did not properly negotiate with the union before demanding employees perform extra work for the Onion, an independent fake news publication that the Post prints.
July 10, 2007
Geronimo Sets Radio Retirement Date
DCRTV hears from a very reliable source that Don Geronimo's last day doing "The Don And Mike Show" on the DC area's WJFK-FM and dozens of syndicated stations from Sacramento to Miami will be May 30, 2008. We're told that the DC "radio god," whose real name is Michael Sorce, gave official one-year notice to his employer, CBS Radio, on May 30, 2007. We attempted to confirm this on-the-record with Geronimo but received no response. We're told that the May 2008 date is a bit of an "earlier out" than what Geronimo's current contract calls for. No word about what partner Mike O'Meara's radio plans are after May 2008. Geronimo, 48, grew up in Rockville and has been in the radio biz since his teens, having worked at WPGC as well as Chicago's WLS and LA's KIIS. He and O'Meara have been doing their afternoon "zoo" show for just over 20 years, starting out in mornings at then "top 40" WAVA in Arlington.
July 10, 2007
New Venture For Zier
Where's Bennett Zier? You remember him! The former head of Clear Channel's DC radio operations who jumped over to Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm only to leave at the end of 2006, reportedly frustrated at Snyder's failure to obtain a strong, inside-the-Beltway FM signal for his Triple X sports talker. Well, DCRTV hears that Zier is very close to announcing a new venture, probably some sort of broadcast/marketing company located in the Tyson's Corner area.
July 5, 2007
IMAS Sells Radio World & TV Tech
Falls Church-based IMAS Publishing, parent firm for broadcasting and recording biz trade pubs Radio World, TV Technology, Pro Audio Review, and Audio Media, has been sold to NYC's NewBay Media. No sales price was disclosed. NewBay's properties include Pro Sound News, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard, EQ, Videography, Government Video, Television Broadcast, Digital Cinematography, and Government Video Technology Expo, among others. Stevan Dana, founder and president of IMAS, tells Radio And Records that when he decided to sell his business after more than 30 years, he was intent on finding a buyer who could build the brands in the new media age. NewBay said it will keep IMAS's offices at Bailey's Crossroads.
July 5, 2007
Pat Ferrise Joins XM's "Broads"
Former WHFS program director Pat Ferrise has signed on to produce DC-based XM Satellite Radio's female talk show "Broadminded." The afternoon drive program with Shari Elliker, Christine Eads, and Molly Dedham has been renewed through the fall of 2008. "Broadminded" started airing on Take Five (XM-155) in 2005.
July 5, 2007
106.7 To Replace O'Reilly With Rome, Big O & Dukes To Evenings
Fox Newser Bill O'Reilly is losing his DC radio perch on CBS talker WJFK-FM (106.7 FM). The station will put nationally syndicated sports talker Jim Rome in the 1 PM to 3 PM slot. Also, WJFK-FM confirms another rumor DCRTV has reported. That former WHFS evening duo Big O and Dukes, Oscar Santana and Chad Dukes, will be returning to the market, to air on 106.7 from 7 PM to 11 PM. They replace the evening relationship show "Unzipped" with Michelle Jerson and Michael Checkoway, which was launched earlier this year. Big O and Dukes, who recently lost their Phoenix gig when their station flipped from talk to urban contemporary, had been heard in evenings on the old WHFS on 99.1 FM until it flipped to Spanish contemporary in early 2005, and for a short time in middays on the Baltimore version of WHFS on 105.7 FM, both owned by CBS. WJFK-FM officials would not comment on speculation that Big O and Dukes are being groomed to replace afternoon duo Don and Mike, regarding their previously announced plan to retire in 2008.
June 29, 2007
WKYS Slumps In Latest Ratings
Another round of those monthly "trend" radio ratings. For DC, age 12+ demo. Full day: 1) WHUR, 2) WPGC-FM and WTOP, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL, 6) WASH, 7) WJZW and WMZQ, 9) WKYS, down from winter's 5th, and WIHT, 11) WMAL, 12) WRQX, 13) WWDC, 14) WBIG, 15) WTGB, 16) WPRS, 17) WJFK-FM, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE and WTWP, 21) WFLS, 22) WWXX and WAVA, 24) WBQB, 25) WPGC-AM and WILC and WTNT. Morning drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL, 6) WMAL, 7) WRQX, 8) WKYS and WWDC, 10) WMZQ, 11) WASH and WIHT, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WJZW, 15) WBIG, 16) WTWP, 17) WPRS and WTGB, 19) WWXX and WTEM, 21) WFRE, 22) WAVA, 23) WFLS, 24) WOL and WBQB, 26) WTNT, 27) WILC. Afternoon drive: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL, 6) WASH, 7) WJZW, 8) WMZQ and WIHT, 10) WJFK-FM, 11) WRQX and WKYS, down from winter's 8th, 13) WMAL and WWDC, 15) WTGB, 16) WBIG, 17) WPRS, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS, 21) WTWP, 22) WWXX, 23) WBQB, 24) WPGC-AM and WIYY, 26) WAFY and WTNT. In evenings, with Nationals baseball, Washington Post Radio, WTWP, ranked 16th place, up from 25th during winter. Monthly radio ratings "trends" for Baltimore. Age 12+, full day: 1) WPOC, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WIYY, 6) WBAL-AM, from a 5.1 share to a 4.1 in a year, 7) WSMJ, 8) WCBM and WWMX, 10) WZBA, 11) WQSR, 12) WPGC-FM, 13) WCAO, 14) WHFS, 15) WRBS, 16) WHUR and WIHT, 18) WTOP, 19) WRNR and WWDC.
June 29, 2007
5 To Replace Noon News With 11 AM Newscast
Channel 5/ WTTG is promoting "Fox5 News Midday" at 11 AM. With Allison Seymour and Holly Morris, starting Monday, 7/2. The hour-long newscast will replace WTTG's current 30-minute noon newscast. The Tyra Banks show will now air at noon, up against half-hour newscasts on Channel 7/WJLA and Channel 9/ WUSA. Channel 5 debuted its noon newscast in 1994.
June 28, 2007
Baltimore Radio Veteran Walt Teas Dies
Walter Allen Teas, a former radio morning host who also made numerous commercials at a studio he owned, died of heart disease on 6/19 at his Catonsville home. He was 84. Born in San Antonio, he worked in radio in his hometown, as well as Dallas, St. Louis, and Tulsa before moving to Baltimore in 1953 and joining WFBR radio. He used the phrase, "Walt Teas, if you please" on its morning show broadcast from North Avenue. In 1959, he became a freelance announcer and commercial narration artist. In 1983, with his son, he founded his Sound One Productions, which was initially on US 40 in Ellicott City and later in Catonsville.
June 27, 2007
WMAL's Brogam To WAMU After Short Stop At WTOP
In May, DCRTV reported that news reporter Pat Brogan was leaving ABC (now Citadel) news talker WMAL for Bonneville's all-news WTOP. Now, we hear that Brogan is headed to American University's news and talk WAMU. Before Brogan joined WTOP as a parttimer, he had applied to WAMU. And they finally got back to him with an offer of a fulltime position. No hard feelings from WTOP, we hear.
June 23, 2007
CC Prepares To Sell WFMD & WFRE
Clear Channel has transferred two Frederick stations its owns - news talk WFMD (930 AM) and country WFRE (99.9 FM) - to an "Aloha" station trust, along with 69 other stations nationwide, in order to complete the sale of the San Antonio-based company. We're told that WFMD and WFRE will likely be sold in the coming months to allow Clear Channel to stay under FCC ownership limits regarding the DC market, where CC owns eight radio stations. Clear Channel, which recently sold its Eastern Shore outlets, continues to own radio stations in Baltimore and Winchester, in addition to DC.
June 22, 2007
Snyder Pulls 730 Signal Hike Plan
Redskins owner Dan Snyder's plan to move the 730 AM signal of his Red Zebra Triple X ESPN Radio sports talker from Mount Vernon to near his Redskins Park compound in Ashburn has been yanked from consideration at the Federal Communications Commission. Snyder had hoped that the change would allow WXTR to hike its currently lowish night power to cover the DC metro area, but the plan had been recently rejected by Loudoun County zoning officials. Triple X can also be heard on the FM frequencies of 92.7 and 94.3, which don't blanket the DC area. However, this season's Redskins games will also be heard on Clear Channel's WBIG at 100.3 FM.
June 20, 2007
FCC Veteran Louis Stephens Dies
Louis Stephens, 93, a senior legal advisor for the Federal Communications Commission, died of cancer on 5/30 at his home in McLean. Stephens worked for the FCC from 1975 to 1989 and then worked as a consultant to a number of private communications firms.
June 19, 2007
Photog James Tingstrum Dies
James Tingstrum, 72, a news photographer for two Northern Virginia newspapers for 27 years, died of emphysema on 6/14 at his home in Amissville VA. Tingstrum, who later owned and operated a photo studio in Fairfax City, worked for the Globe newspaper from the 1950s through the 1960s and then was head photographer for the Journal newspapers for 17 years. He was past president and vice president of the Virginia News Photographers Association and received more than 40 photographic awards in his career. He was one of the first photographers on the scene of the 1982 Air Florida crash at the 14th Street Bridge. He covered the Pentagon riot of 1967 and the dedications of the Vietnam and Korean War memorials.
June 18, 2007
Radio One To Pay $38M For Bonneville's 104.1
Radio One will pay $38 million to buy 104.1 FM, now WPRS, from Bonneville. The Lanham-based owner of WKYS, WMMJ, WOL, WOLB, WYCB, WERQ, and WWIN-FM/AM has been leasing the station since early April, when religious black gospel music replaced Bonneville's adult hits "George" format, WXGG. Radio One has already paid a $3 million deposit to the seller. The deal for the Waldorf-based signal hasn't been filed with the FCC yet, but Radio One says it expects to close on WPRS in the first half of next year.
June 18, 2007
Mark O'Brien Joins Metro Networks
DC area radio veteran Mark O'Brien joins the Silver Spring office of Metro Networks as general sales manager, overseeing the traffic and news service's advertising in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland region. O'Brien has over 25 years of sales management experience via ESPN Radio, the Washington Redskins Radio Network, ZBS Broadcast Holdings, Bonneville, and Clear Channel predecessor AMFM.
June 15, 2007
Litzinger Leaves WaPo Radio
Sam Litzinger is leaving his post as midday man on Washington Post Radio, WTWP. The former NPRer will be returning to the CBS Radio Network as a DC-based anchor and has other projects under consideration. "Sam has played a big role in helping get Washington Post Radio off the ground," said talker WTWP Program Director Greg Tantum in a Friday memo to station employees. "We will miss seeing Sam everyday and being treated to his wit and wisdom but we will still hear Sam on Washington Post Radio and (sister) WTOP."
June 15, 2007
MAL Engineer Rick King Retires
Rick King, a longtime radio broadcast engineer with WMAL and its ABC Radio sisters WRQX and WJZW, is retiring. A local radio source tells us that King "has been 'the' engineer and historian of the station for more years than I have been in radio. As a grand finale, Rick has been there everyday, evening and overnight of the past three years, shepherding along the 10kW daytime upgrade and addition of IBOC (aka HD Radio) capabilities" of WMAL.
June 14, 2007
Maryland Sports To JFK-FM
CBS Radio has nabbed University Of Maryland sports for talker WJFK-FM (106.7). Starting 7/1. The deal includes all Maryland football and men's basketball games, including postseason outings. The DC market rights had been held by ABC (now Citadel) talker WMAL (630 AM). Maryland sports will continue to be heard in Baltimore on CBS Radio talker WHFS (105.7 FM) and sports talk WJFK-AM (1300). Hall Of Famer Johnny Holliday will return for his 29th year as the play-by-play voice of the Terrapins for both football and men's basketball.
June 14, 2007
Olivia Fox Back To KYS
Olivia Fox will return to Radio One urban outlet WKYS in the 10 PM to 2 AM shift. She got bounced from Russ Parr's WKYS morning show in December 2002, with rumors that she'd soon be jumping to CBS urban outlet WPGC-FM. That never happened. She soon landed a gig at WBTP, a Clear Channel urban station in Tampa. That job ended in September 2006, when Fox's morning show got replaced by the syndicated Steve Harvey.
June 13, 2007
Duarte Geraldino Leaves 2
Channel 2/WMAR reporter Duarte Geraldino (right) is leaving for an undisclosed gig elsewhere. "In the next few days I'd like to personally say good bye and thank you to each one of you. I recently got an offer I can't refuse. I have accepted and start in July," he says in a memo to station employees. Geraldino joined ABC2 News in October 2006 and was seen on "Good Morning Maryland." Also, 2's new News Director David Silverstein has made it official - Terry Owens will be anchoring the station's 5:30 PM newscast and Megan Pringle will handle weekend newscasts. The two have been anchoring in an "experimental" mode the past few months.
June 13, 2007
Margie Perkins Remembered
We hear: "Many DC broadcasters will attend the funeral for Margie Perkins today. Margie spent many years as the traffic director with Channel 7, WASH-FM, and recently Red Zebra. Margie was a warm-hearted person in a cold-hearted business. She was unflappable. Crazy sales managers and unorganized program directors as well as hundreds of sales people will all miss the 'don't worry I will get it done' attitude that Margie had every day. She was truly unique and loved by everyone she touched".....
June 12, 2007
ABC Radio Becomes Citadel
Today's the first day that ABC's radio employees are working for a new company. We're told that the now former ABC/Disney workers received a note from honcho Robert Iger thanking them for their service to the company and wishing them "continued success as you transition to this new organization." Added Iger: "Because of your drive and commitment, ABC Radio programs and stations are among the most successful in the nation." Says a local radio guru: "Can you imagine Clear Channel ever sending such a note to their employees? Naaaaaaaa." ABC's DC area radio stations - news talker WMAL, hot adult contemporary WRQX, and smooth jazz WJZW - are now part of the Citadel "family." Look for big budget cuts at all three outlets over the summer and into the fall, possibly even some format flips.
June 7, 2007
Redskins To Air On WBIG
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has done a deal with Clear Channel to have his team's games aired on classic rock hits WBIG, 100.3 FM, this season. The games will also air on Snyder's Red Zebra-owned Triple X ESPN Radio, via 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM, and 730 AM. Last season, many Redskins fans complained that they couldn't hear the team on Triple X's weakish sports talk signals. Also, DCRTV hears that Snyder's first choice was to have his team aired on rocker DC101, but Clear Channel "did not have enough (promotional ad) inventory available."
June 6, 2007
5 Cut At WaPo Radio
Bonneville-owned and operated Washington Post Radio has cut two fulltime producers, one fulltime associate producer, one parttime board op, and one parttime associate producer. We do get confirmation that WaPo Radio is still burning a lot of cash, but the "general belt-tightening" was "less than 20 percent" of the one-year-old talker's programming staff. No on-air or sales people were cut. Ironically, we're told, the layoffs came at same time as a "very encouraging increase in ratings." We also hear that there were no cuts at Bonneville's other DC stations, all-news WTOP or Federal News Radio, WFED.
June 6, 2007
Osei Back To DC
DCRTV hears from our Atlanta correspondent: "Osei The Dark Secret has left urban V103 here in Atlanta, reportedly to return to DC. The question is whether he'll return to a station in DC or just to DC. He did afternoon drive at WKYS before moving to middays at V103. He has a good voice, but I didn't think he was especially good as a jock." V103, WVEE, is owned by CBS, same as DC's WPGC. WKYS is owned by Radio One.
June 6, 2007
New Morning Show For WJZW
ABC's Smooth Jazz 105.9, WJZW, becomes the newest affiliate for Broadcast Architecture's synicated morning show hosted by Ramsey Lewis. Current WJZW morning co-host Charlie Maxx remains to anchor the local side of the show.
June 5, 2007
WETA-FM & WAMU See Ratings Hike
WETA-FM has seen a rise in its ratings and listener donations since flipping from news and talk to classical music in January. Following the demise of commercial classical WGMS, WETA-FM is now the 5th most listened to station in the market. News talk WAMU, shot from 3.6 percent in the fall to 4.3 percent of the listening audience from January to March, giving it a 6th place ranking among all local stations.
June 4, 2007
WEAM "Redcoat" Paul Christy Dies
Paul Christy (left then, right now), who was a "Redcoat" DJ on DC area "top 40" outlet WEAM (1390 AM) in the 1960s, has died after a long illness. The Detroit area resident, whose real name was Paul Christides, was 69. Christy's 40-plus year radio career spanned stations in Detroit and Minneapolis, as well as a stint at legendary "top 40" blowtorch WCFL (1000 AM) in Chicago.
June 4, 2007
WHUR Tops Radio Ratings
Another round of those monthly three-month rolling average radio ratings. DC. Age 12+ demo. Full day: 1) WHUR, 2) WPGC-FM, 3) WTOP, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL, 6) WIHT, 7) WASH, 8) WKYS, 9) WJZW, 10) WMZQ, 11) WMAL, 12) WWDC, 13) WRQX, 14) WBIG, 15) WTGB, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTEM, 18) WFRE and WPRS, 20) WTWP. Morning drive: 1) WTOP and WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WKYS, 6) WLZL, 7) WWDC, 8) WIHT, 9) WMAL, 10) WRQX, 11) WMZQ, 12) WASH, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WBIG, 15) WJZW, 16) WTWP, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WWXX, 20) WFRE and WPRS. Midday: 1) WMMJ, 2) WASH, 3) WHUR, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WTOP, 6) WJZW, 7) WLZL and WMAL, 9) WMZQ, 10) WKYS, 11) WIHT and WBIG, 13) WWDC, 14) WRQX, 15) WTGB, 16) WTEM, 17) WFRE, 18) WPRS, 19) WTWP, 20) WTNT and WJFK-FM. Afternoon drive: 1) WHUR, 2) WPGC-FM and WTOP, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL, 6) WIHT, 7) WASH, 8) WJZW, 9) WMZQ, 10) WKYS, 11) WJFK-FM, 12) WRQX, 13) WWDC, 14) WMAL, 15) WTGB, 16) WBIG, 17) WTEM, 18) WFRE, 19) WPRS, 20) WFLS and WTWP and WWXX. Evening: 1) WPGC-FM, 2) WMMJ, 3) WHUR, 4) WIHT, 5) WKYS, 6) WLZL and WJZW, 8) WTOP, 9) WASH, 10) WMZQ and WWDC, 12) WMAL and WRQX, 14) WBIG, 15) WTGB, 16) WILC and WPRS, 18) WFRE, 19) WTNT and WJFK-FM. A local radio guru, who has access to the monthly "extraps" and age 25-54 demo data, tells us: Washington Post Radio, WTWP, is up in almost every daypart. Good news for WMMJ, WTGB, WASH, and the new WPRS, Praise 104.1. The "most worried" stations - WPGC-FM, WMAL, and WTEM, SportsTalk 980. The latest monthly radio ratings for Baltimore. Full day, age 12+ demo: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WIYY, 7) WSMJ, 8) WCBM, 9) WWMX, 10) WZBA, 11) WQSR, 12) WCAO, 13) WHFS and WPGC-FM, 15) WRBS, 16) WHUR and WIHT, 18) WRNR and WTOP, 20) WKYS.
June 3, 2007
Viewers Tuning Out Local Evening Newscasts
Between May 2006 and last month, the number of people watching Washington's four leading news stations at 5 PM and 6 PM and late at night fell by about 8 percent overall, according to Nielsen Research. Some stations were hurt far more than others. While Channel 7/WJLA gained a modest number of viewers compared with last year, Channel 9/WUSA's three evening newscasts lost almost one in five, about 19 percent. A decade ago, in May 1997, Washington's "Big Four" stations attracted an average of 880,000 area viewers to their late news broadcasts each night, Nielsen says. By last month, the same four stations were averaging 562,000 viewers among them - a decline of 25 percent in 10 years. The audience for the 6 PM news fell by about 37 percent. "We're dealing with audience fragmentation," Allan Horlick, president and general manager of WUSA, and the former head of WRC, tells Paul Farhi in the Washington Post. "People have so many choices today. Cable. The internet. Mobile phones. There's no question that technology is giving viewers options they didn't have 10 or 15 years ago," Horlick adds.
May 31, 2007
Gary Murphy To QSR Mornings
Gary Murphy, formerly of the long-running Murphy and Jessica Cash duo at Clear Channel/DC's oldies WBIG and country WMZQ, will be doing a new morning show at CBS/Baltimore's "Jack" oldies WQSR (102.7 FM). Murphy has been selling airtime for CBS Radio in Baltimore for the past year or so, since he lost his morning gig when WBIG flipped from rock oldies to classic rock hits. And Murphy will continue to sell ads, along with his new on-air job. Until now, WQSR has been jockless. And it will remain so, except for morning drive. Murphy will have no cohost and there will still be very little talk during his show, with just three breaks an hour, and an ad-free hour at 8 AM. By the way, Cash now cohosts mornings on Fredericksburg's country WFLS.
May 30, 2007
WMAL's Pat Brogan Jumps To WTOP
Another WMALer is jumping to all-news WTOP. This time its Pat Brogan, who had been managing editor at the ABC news talker. Brogan came to WMAL from Clear Channel news talker WLW in his native Cincinnati. Brogan joins a parade of WMALers who've recently marched from Jenifer Street to the Ledo Pizza Glass Enclosed Nerve Center at the Idaho Avenue complex of Bonneville's WTOP, including anchor David Burd and reporter Michelle Basch.
May 30, 2007
WFBR Veteran James McGarity Dies
The Baltimore Sun reports that James McGarity, a former Baltimore radio and TV sales executive who helped bring "Romper Room" to numerous cities, died on 5/29 of prostate cancer complications at the Gilchrist Center For Hospice Care. The Mount Washington resident was 81. In the 1960s, he traveled across the country selling the "Romper Room" kiddie show to local television stations as part of Bert Claster Productions. McGarity sold advertising for other Claster programs, including "Duckpins For Dollars," a bowling show hosted by John Bowman, and "Pinbusters." In the 1970s, McGarity worked for the old WFBR (1300 AM), and sold advertising as part of its "Mad Radio" staff. Radio personality Johnny Walker sometimes lampooned McGarity on air.
May 30, 2007
Triple X To Carry VA Tech Sports
Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Triple X ESPN Radio will carry all Virginia Tech football and men's basketball games, starting with the 2007-2008 season. In a deal with ISP Sports. Also, the "Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline" will air on Triple X's 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM, and 730 AM. The Hokies had been on Clear Channel's WTEM, SportsTalk 980, in the DC market.
May 29, 2007
FCC Slaps DC101 For Dark Tower
Federal Communications Commission has cited and fined Clear Channel's DC101 for a lack of tower lights. A source tells us that the rocker didn't have any lights on its tower on Brookville Road in Silver Spring for several weeks earlier this year. The Federal Aviation Administration apparently notified the FCC of the potentially hazardous situation.
May 28, 2007
Farm Reporter Layne Beaty Dies
The Washington Post reports that Layne Beaty, 93, a pioneer in farm reporting who oversaw the US Agriculture Department's radio and television broadcasts for more than 25 years, died on 5/11 at Collington Episcopal Life Care Community in Mitchellville. He had lymphoma, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary disease. In the 1950s, Beaty broadcast a live weekly report on "The National Farm And Home Hour" on NBC radio when its Washington studios were in the old Sheraton Park Hotel, and was a regular contributor to ABC's "American Farmer" and CBS's "Columbia's Country Journal." From 1960 to 1980, he directed and emceed "Across The Fence," a weekly syndicated television program of agriculture and consumer information produced by the USDA that was taped at Channel 4/WRC.
May 25, 2007
4 & 11 Win Spring News Ratings Race
Despite all the recent staffing cuts mandated by parent NBC, Channel 4/WRC retained its news ratings lead in the DC market in the all-important May "sweeps." WRC held onto its top dog status at 6 AM, 5 PM, 6 PM, and at 11 PM. The top-rated late evening newscast was Channel 5/WTTG's 10 PM show, largely due to massive lead-ins from "American Idol." Struggling Channel 9/WUSA placed 2nd in mornings and first at noon, but still posted anemic news numbers at 5 PM and 6 PM. In the Baltimore TV news battle, Channel 11/WBAL took 1st place honors at 5 PM, 6 PM, and at 11 PM, with the station in a virtual early morning news tie with Channel 13/WJZ. Fox affiliate Channel 45/WBFF's 10 PM newscast saw a big "American Idol" jump.
May 24, 2007
980 "Nightowl" Stan Karas Dies
DC area radio veteran Stan Karas (right) passed away on 5/22 at age 76 after a long battle with cancer. Karas did the overnight show as "The Nightowl" on WRC radio, 980 AM, from the early 1960s until 1973. He also did golf and sports shows on WRC radio's TV sister, Channel 4. From 1973 to 1977, he worked at then all-news WAVA and did play-by-play announcing for American University basketball. In 1979, Karas became general manager of WEAM, when it had a big band format. After working at several radio stations around the country, Karas returned to the area in 1995 to manage Culpeper country outlet WCUL, where he worked for 11 years. Karas was an avid golfer and a member of Bethesda's Kenwood Country Club.
May 23, 2007
Jail Time For Man Who Threatened Geronimo
A Leesburg man pleaded guilty in Fairfax County Court on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of stalking in connection with a January incident in which WJFK-FM afternoon host Don Geronimo (aka Michael Sorce) received a letter that allegedly contained threats to himself and his family. According to court documents, Carl R. Grossman originally faced a felony charge. He was given a one-year jail sentence with 10 months suspended, followed by a year of probation and a period of supervised mental health care. The judge also issued a lifetime restraining order on Grossman, who had once been a frequent caller on "The Don And Mike Show."
May 18, 2007
Radio One Sells 10 Stations To DC Equity Firm
Lanham-based Radio One is selling five of its six radio stations in Louisville, Kentucky, and all five of its stations in Dayton, Ohio, to Main Line Broadcasting, a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington DC-based private equity fund. Philadelphia-based Main Line operates radio stations in Richmond and the Hagerstown area. The sale price is about $76 million, and the deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
May 17, 2007
Post Veteran Elise Carper Dies
Elsie Carper, 87, a retired reporter, editor, and administrator at the Washington Post whose career ranged from covering the civil rights movement to editing the newspaper's Style section and promoting opportunities in journalism for women and minorities, died on 5/16 of complications from a series of strokes at her home in Huntingtown MD. Carper was the first woman named an assistant managing editor at the Post, in 1972.
May 16, 2007
WMAL Substitute Hosts Apologizes For VA Tech Scooting Jest
The Washington Times reports that a substitute host on ABC talker WMAL (630 AM) apologized after stepping into sensitive territory two weeks ago with his criticism of male students at Virginia Tech for not confronting the rampaging gunman who killed 32 persons. Mark Williams, a talk radio host based in Sacramento, was filling in for WMAL host Chris Plante on 5/6 when, in the words of a listener, "He basically said that all the male students who died at Virginia Tech had no manhood." Williams, according to the listener, "kept after it," even going so far as to call the students "fairies," and fielded several angry calls on the air. The next night, he apologized twice. "I try not to watch over every single word our people say," Paul Duckworth, WMAL's program director, told the Times. But, "particularly in this market, where this is a very sensitive local story, the inclusion of the Virginia Tech case was ill-advised." Duckworth said Williams, who has subbed before on the station, made the comments in the context of a larger argument about personal responsibility. After calls and e-mails poured in to the station, the two had a chat and Williams agreed that he "went in the wrong direction." Adds Duckworth, "We are always responsible for what we say, no matter what it is. I think that Mark and I think that the station handled it well and we're moving on."
May 15, 2007
XM Suspends O&A
DC-based XM Satellite Radio announced Tuesday that it has suspended Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia , the NYC-based hosts of "The Opie And Anthony Show," and ceased broadcast of the morning "shock jock" talk program for 30 days, effective immediately. XM said it deplored the comments aired on a show last week regarding sexual assault jests about Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, among other famous women. At the time, XM strongly expressed its views to Opie and Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology, according to an XM statement. Comments made by Opie and Anthony on Monday's broadcast put into question whether they "appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them," the statement added. There are no plans to suspend Opie and Anthony from their CBS Radio show, which is heard on WJFK-FM and on CBS stations in NYC and Philadelphia, among other major markets. The comments did not air on the CBS version of the program.
May 15, 2007
Former 7 Anchor Jim Harriott Dies
Former Channel 7/WJLA news anchor Jim Harriott (left) died over the weekend due to complications from a stroke. He was 71 years old. Harriott worked for Seattle's KING-TV in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to WJLA. Later, he jumped to the DC-based Voice Of America, where he worked until 2004. For the past several years, Harriott did radio spots and podcasts for the DC-based AARP, the American Association Of Retired Persons. Harriott had a bit part as a TV newscaster in the 1983 film "WarGames."
May 15, 2007
Clear Channel Sells Eastern Shore Stations
Good Radio-TV is purchasing a batch of Clear Channel's smaller market radio stations, including those in the Salisbury/Ocean City area. Now, we hear that the sales documents have been filed, showing a price tag of $452 million for hundreds of stations across the nation. In addition to the Eastern Shore's WDKZ, WLBW, WJDY, WOSC, WQHQ, WSBY, WTGM, and WWFG, the deal also includes stations in the Pennsylvania cities of Lancaster, Reading, and Williamsport. Radio giant Clear Channel is not planning to sell its dozen or so radio stations in the immediate DC-Baltimore area.
May 14, 2007
Mid-Atlantic Sells WINC & WBQB
Mid-Atlantic Network, a longtime owner of radio stations serving Northern Virginia, has entered into a "definitive agreement" to sell all six of its stations to North Carolina-based Centennial Broadcasting. Reported price tag: $36 million. The stations include the Winchester area's hot adult contemporary WINC-FM (92.5), talker WINC-AM (1400), and classic rock WWRT/WWRE (104.9/105.5 FM). Plus the Fredericksburg area's hot adult contemporary WBQB (101.5 FM) and talker WFVA (1230 AM). Mid-Atlantic is owned by the Lewis family of Winchester. The firm was founded in 1939 when Richard and Marion Lewis built WFVA and, two years later, WINC-AM. WINC-FM was one of the first FMers in the country, signing on in 1946. Legendary country singer Patsy Cline, a native of Winchester, did her first broadcast on WINC. Centennial owns four FMers in the Roanoke-Lynchburg area.
May 14, 2007
Gannett Remains Largest DC Area Media Company
Gannett, which owns USA Today and Channel 9/WUSA, is the largest media corporation in the DC area, according to the annual top 200 locally-based business listing in the 5/14 Washington Post. The owner of 90 newspapers and 23 TV stations has a market capitalization worth an estimated $13.22 billion. Coming in second, the Washington Post Company at $7.29 billion, followed by XM Satellite Radio Holdings at $3.95 billion, and Radio One at $640 million. XM may drop off the list next year if its merger with Sirius is approved and the combined company moves to NYC, where Sirius is headquartered. Baltimore-based Sinclair, which owns Channel 45/WBFF and Channel 54/WNUV, makes the list as the largest Maryland media company.
May 11, 2007
11's Rod Daniels Has Hip Surgery
Concerned viewers of Channel 11/WBAL news have written e-mails and made phone calls to find out why anchor Rod Daniels was missing from the evening shows for about six weeks. Daniels, an avid cyclist, had a hip replaced several years ago, but the other hip joint started deteriorating, so he decided to get that replaced, as well. Daniels' surgeon, Dr. Joseph Ciotola, said the prosthesis used to replace his real hip joint would not only last longer but would provide better range of motion. The "difficult surgery" took about 2-and-1/2 hours, according to 11 anchor Donna Hamilton, who covered Daniels' hip malady.
May 10, 2007
WCBM Limbaugh Billboard Defaced
The Baltimore Sun reports that somebody in Baltimore isn't a fan of Rush Limbaugh. A large billboard advertising local air times for the conservative radio talk show host has been defaced. Robert Murrow, a spokesman for Baltimore's Department Of Public Works, saw the vandalism as he drove to work on Thursday morning on I-83 near the Guilford Avenue exit. He called the Sun, saying that someone had poured paint on the image of Limbaugh's face. Limbaugh, who is nationally syndicated, can be heard on WCBM (680 AM) from noon to 3 PM. "It looks like they took globs of paint and threw it on his face. It looks great. It did my heart good," said Murrow, who admittedly is not a Limbaugh fan. Limbaugh mentioned the incident as the first item on his Thursday show. WCBM General Manager Bob Pettit says the vandalism was first noticed on Monday and will be fixed as soon as possible.
May 10, 2007
Transmitter Fire Knocks MZQ Off Air
From wmzq.com: At around 10 AM Wednesday, the transmitter for Clear Channel country outlet WMZQ caught fire and caused the 98.7 signal to go silent. "The fire melted a good chunk of the generator. WMZQ was off-air for almost two hours. The brave WMZQ engineers (right) battled the fire and got your favorite country music back on the air." WMZQ's tower and transmitter facility are in Falls Church. DCRTV wonders: Doesn't WMZQ have a backup transmitter that would have prevented the station from being off the air? More fire pics are at MZQ's website.
May 9, 2007
Merson & Valentine Do Memphis
Baltimore radio veteran Ken Merson has resurfaced "in" Memphis. "The Merson Person" is doing middays on Entercom rhythmic oldies outlet Snap 94.1. Vice the miracle of voicetracking from his Maryland home. We also hear that Merson's doing middays on WOLX, an Entercom oldies outlet in Madison, Wisconsin. He had been doing afternoon drive at adult contemporary WLIF until the fall of 2006. Prior to that, he had been on oldies WQSR. Merson was under contract to CBS Radio in Baltimore until the end of 2006. Also on Memphis's Snap 94.1 - another Baltimore radio vet, Greg Valentine, who does mornings.
May 9, 2007
Dempsey Apologizes For MASN Domestic Violence Jest
Former Baltimore Orioles catcher and current Mid-Atlantic Sports Network broadcaster Rick Dempsey had to apologize for on-air comments in which he joked about domestic violence during Saturday's telecast of the Orioles-Indians game. The comments were made in the broadcast booth while he was interviewing the wife of Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons, who is active in raising awareness of the issue.
May 9, 2007
WTOP Sells "Nerve Center" Name To Ledo
Ledo Pizza has purchased the "naming rights" to all-news WTOP's "Glass Enclosed Nerve Center." That's according to Ledo Marketing Director Will Robinson. WJFK-FM's Don and Mike spent half an hour joking about it on their show.....
May 8, 2007
Allison Seymour To Replace Lark McCarthy At 5
Channel 5/WTTG names Allison Seymour to be the new co-anchor for the "Fox 5 Morning News," teaming with Bob Sellers. She replaces Lark McCarthy, who is leaving the station after 17 years to move to Las Vegas. Seymour, who co-anchors the noon news for WTTG and contributes reports for various newscasts, begins her new job on 6/4. A native of the DC area, Seymour has been at Channel 5 since 1999, although she interned as a WTTG assignment desk trainee in the early 1980s. She is married to Marc Clarke, the morning show host at Baltimore's WERQ radio.
May 7, 2007
Clear Channel Sells Eastern Shore Radio Stations
Dean Goodman's Good Radio/TV of West Palm Beach FL has reached a deal to buy a batch of Clear Channel's radio stations, including those in the Salisbury/Ocean City MD area. The stations: WQHQ, WWFG, WLVW/WLBW, WOSC, WSBY, WTGM, and WJDY. Good will pick up 187 radio stations in 36 mainly small markets for $452 million. San Antonio-based Clear Channel has been selling its stations in smaller markets. It plans to hold on to its dozen or so stations in the immediate DC-Baltimore area.
May 7, 2007
New News Director At 9
Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA has a new news director. He's Mike Ward. He's got a lengthy history at news departments at TV stations in Sioux Falls, Raleigh, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. In 1985, he moved to NBC's WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where he rose to news director. In 1998, Ward was given news oversight control over NBC's 14 owned TV stations. In 2005, Ward returned to Philadelphia where he's been consulting several business ventures. Ward replaces Randal Stanley, who left WUSA, DC's CBS affiliate, in March for the ND gig at New Jersey's News 12 cable operation. Ward is new WUSA General Manager Allan Horlick's first major hire.
May 7, 2007
Amy Hunt Dies, Was Pioneering Female Radio Talker
Amy Angell Hunt, a former radio talk show host, died on 4/30 of complications associated with lymphoma. The longtime Severna Park resident was 79. Born and raised in Roanoke, Hunt was one of the first female talk show hosts at radio station WSLS in Roanoke when she was hired in 1950. She earned an Award Of Excellence from the Virginia Associated Press.
May 5, 2007
Elliot Francis Gone From 7
Elliott Francis has left Channel 7/ WJLA. He anchored weekend newscasts for the ABC affiliate. His bio has been removed from the Allbritton station's website. Before joining WJLA, Francis worked at Fox News Channel and Boston public TV outlet WGBH.
May 4, 2007
WETA-FM: More Older Listeners With Classical Flip
WETA-FM (90.9) has seen a surge in its ratings since flipping from news and talk to classical music in January. The non-commercial outlet posted an overall (age 12+) 4.9 percent audience share during the winter period, way up from a 2.1 last fall. The station has seen higher ratings across the board, with almost a five-fold increase in middays and a doubling in afternoon drive. WETA attracts a 50/50 split among the genders, but now attracts more older listeners with classical music than it did with news and talk, with 66 percent age 55 or older. Before, about 50 percent were 55 or over. WETA assumed WGMS's classical format, music library, and some personalities when Bonneville flipped the commercial outlet to adult hits George in January. George flipped to gospel Praise 104.1 in April.
May 4, 2007
Emily Schmidt Jumps From 9 To 7
Channel 9/WUSA reporter Emily Schmidt jumps to Channel 7/WJLA. She'd been with 9 since 2004 and her contract with the Gannett station was up.
May 3, 2007
DC101 Splits With Donielle Flynn
DC101 midday gal Donielle Flynn (left) has been given the boot by the suits at the Clear Channel rocker. Her image has been yanked from DC101's website. The unconfirmed word is that Flynn, who doubled as assistant program director and music director, was put on suspension a few weeks back after she uttered an expletive while guesting on DC101 morning man Elliot Segal's show. Our sources say that the "f-word," as a background comment, made it onto DC101's airwaves. For now, DC101 Program Director "Cruze" has shifted Whitney from nights to cover middays, as he searches for Flynn's replacement. Known as "heavy metal mama," Flynn joined DC101 in 2003. Also known as the "vixen of volume," Flynn had worked at rockers in Detroit and Philadelphia.
May 3, 2007
WAGE To Stay Anglo Talk
Brian Edwards, the new director of operations at Leesburg talker WAGE (1200 AM), tells the Loudoun County weekly section the Washington Post that, despite personnel changes, WAGE was not planning significant changes in format and would continue to provide local news and sports coverage. He also said programming at WAGE would remain English-only, unlike the multicultural format at Potomac Radio's other DC area station, WUST (1120 AM) in Falls Church, which offers programs in Chinese, Spanish, and Amharic, among other languages.
May 2, 2007
Radio Ratings Sun Shines On El Zol
Big jumps for CBS's Spanish contemporary El Zol, WLZL. "Very very excited," proclaims a DC CBS Radio honcho. Winter radio ratings. DC market. Overall age 12+ demo. Full day: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WLZL [up from 13th] and WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL and WASH, 10) WJZW, 11) WMZQ, 12) WRQX and WWDC, 14) WBIG, 15) WTGB, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WXGG, 18) WFRE and WTEM, 20) WAVA and WTWP, 22) WFLS, 23) WOL and WWXX and WPGC-AM, 26) WTNT and WIYY and WINC-FM, 29) WYCB and WBQB. Morning drive: 1) WTOP and WHUR, 3) WMMJ and WPGC-FM, 5) WKYS, 6) WMAL, 7) WWDC, 8) WLZL [up from 13th], 9) WRQX, 10) WIHT, 11) WMZQ, 12) WASH, 13) WJZW, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WTEM and WTWP and WFRE and WXGG, 21) WOL, 22) WAVA, 23) WWXX, 24) WFLS and WTNT, 26) WPGC-AM, 27) WIYY, 28) WYCB and WBQB and WINC-FM, 31) WILC. Afternoon drive: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WLZL [up from 11th], 5) WMMJ and WIHT, 7) WJZW, 8) WKYS, 9) WMAL, 10) WASH, 11) WJFK-FM, 12) WMZQ, 13) WRQX, 14) WWDC, 15) WBIG, 16) WTEM, 17) WTGB, 18) WXGG, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS, 21) WWXX, 22) WTWP, 23) WPGC-AM and WAVA and WIYY and WINC-FM, 27) WBQB, 29) WOL and WYCB and WTNT. Winter radio ratings. Baltimore market. Overall age 12+ demo. 1) WPOC, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WIYY, 7) WCBM, 8) WSMJ, 9) WWMX, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WZBA, 13) WPGC-FM, 14) WHUR and WRBS-FM, 16) WHFS, 17) WRNR, 18) WIHT and WKYS, 20) WTOP and WWDC, 22) WRQX, 23) WJFK-AM and WLZL and WMZQ.
May 2, 2007
MPT To Carry Spanish Public TV Net
Recognizing the state's burgeoning Hispanic population, Maryland Public Television is adding V-me, the new ad-free Spanish network to its digital lineup. MPT will join public TV stations in about 20 markets offering the new network, which is launching in August and is being produced by a coalition of public TV entities, including NYC's WNET. So far, no word about V-me being carried in DC market. MPT's digital signal is available over the air and on many cable TV outlets, including Comcast's systems in the Baltimore area.
May 2, 2007
Raja Helou Dies
Raja Alexander Helou, 66, who taught urban studies at the University Of The District Of Columbia and worked as a radio news editor at ABC News in Washington, died of cardiac arrest on 3/29 at his home in Vienna.
May 1, 2007
Milt Grant Dies
Washington radio and TV legend Milt Grant (right) died of cancer on 4/28 at his home in Fort Lauderdale. He was 83. Grant began his broadcast career in the 1940s as news director of WNYC radio in NYC. He then became an announcer for WARM radio in Scranton. He later went to Washington DC to work for WTOP radio. He created Washington's first local radio network with his show being carried simultaneously on WINX, WOL, WAVA, WWDC, and WPGC. During the 1950s, Grant created and produced "The Milt Grant Show," a live dance and entertainment program that aired seven days a week on Channel 5/WTTG. In the 1960s, when UHF frequencies became available, he founded Capitol Broadcasting, which was licensed to operate Channel 20/WDCA. The station began operation in 1966 with Grant as president and chief executive officer. WDCA was sold in 1969 to the Superior Tube Company. He continued in his capacities until 1980, when the station was sold to Taft Broadcasting. In 1980, Grant joined a group of Houston-based investors to found KTXA-TV in Dallas and later KTXH-TV in Houston. While preparing for the sale of the Texas stations, he built WBFS-TV in Miami. Continuing the momentum, Grant Broadcasting System built WGBS-TV in Philadelphia, and soon acquired WGBO-TV in Chicago. He went on to form a new company, Grant Communications, which, at the time of his death, owned eight TV stations, including WFXR in Roanoke and WWCW in Lynchburg.
April 30, 2007
Dave Feldman Gets WTEM Show
Fox5, WTTG sports anchor Dave Feldman co-hosts a new show on SportsTalk 980. "Feldman And Maloney" airs at 11 AM with Comcast SportsNet's Carol Maloney. It's sandwiched between Rick "Doc" Walker's new 9 AM show and John Thompson's 1 PM program with Brian Mitchell and Al Koken. WTEM is still trying to tinker with its schedule since Tony Kornheiser's January decision not to return to the sports talker, in favor of moving his late morning radio gig to Washington Post Radio.
April 30, 2007
Spanish Channel 6 Debuts
The DC area has a new TV station. It's a low-powered operation on channel 6, W06CJ. It's IDing as "UTN6 Washington DC" and owned by a group called Signal Above DC. It's said to be relaying programming from the Spanish language Unison Network, with shows from Ecuador and Argentina. The station is licensed to Fairfax, has its transmitter in North Arlington, and beams its signal toward DC.
April 28, 2007
Bruce Kelly Heads To Miami
DC radio veteran Bruce Kelly leaves his farm outside of Gettysburg for the sunny climes of South Florida. He'll be doing mornings on Miami's WMXJ, which plays 1960s and 1970s oldies. Before hearding to the farm, Kelly created and programmed the 80s-On-8 channel for DC's XM Satellite Radio. Kelly takes over for venerable Miami radio personality Rick Shaw, who retires next month after 47 years on the air.
April 27, 2007
5's Lark McCarthy To Las Vegas
Lark McCarthy (right), co-anchor of Channel 5/WTTG's morning news show since it debuted in 1990, will leave the Fox-owned station in early June. She is relocating to Las Vegas, where her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, is joining a medical practice. McCarthy's contract with WTTG expired in October, but she was granted an extension by station management until the end of next month. Her last on-air day will be 6/1. "I'm taking time off," McCarthy, 52, told the Post. "I am not retiring. In an ideal world, I would love to do something... that would allow me to be (in Las Vegas) but also spend time here in Washington." She said she is not ruling out any television work in Las Vegas. McCarthy joined WTTG in 1990 after a five-year stint at ABC, where she eventually became a White House correspondent. Before her job at ABC, she worked locally at Channel 7/WJLA.
April 27, 2007
Yaman Coskun Exits Clear Channel
After seven years, Yaman Coskun leaves Clear Channel's DC radio complex as creative director of sales and imaging director of classic rock hits WBIG to pursue his own ad agency efforts.
April 26, 2007
Dennis Miller To WTNT Afternoons
Clear Channel talker WTNT (570 AM) has picked up Dennis Miller for afternoon drive. Miller will be replacing Jerry Doyle in the 3 PM to 6 PM slot, we're told. Right-leaning Miller, who's a veteran of "Saturday Night Live," HBO, and Fox News, recently launched a nationally syndicated Westwood One radio show. WTNT will tape delay Miller's show.
April 26, 2007
Glassman To Head VOA Parent
Magazine publisher, writer, and former Washington Post financial columnist James Glassman has been nominated by President Bush to replace Kenneth Tomlinson as chairman of the DC-based Broadcasting Board Of Governors. Glassman is the publisher of the American magazine, and pens columns at townhall.com and for the Scripps Howard News Service. The BBG oversees the Voice Of America, Radio/TV Marti, and Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. Tomlinson resigned in January after accusations of misusing government funds.
April 26, 2007
Sun To Make Cuts
In the wake of similar announcements at two of its sister papers, the Baltimore Sun said it would reduce its staff by about 50 people, part of an effort to trim costs in a time of shrinking revenues. The Tribune Company newspaper will offer "voluntary separation" agreements, also known as buyouts, to certain employees, Publisher Timothy Ryan said in a memo to the staff. About 15 jobs will be cut from the news department, a little less than 5 percent of the staff. The Sun's first-quarter revenue declined 6 percent from the comparable period last year, and the trend was continuing in April, Ryan said.
April 25, 2007
Merrill's Wife & Daighter Take Top Positions At Washingtonian
Washingtonian magazine has announced a new ownership agreement under which Eleanor Merrill, the wife of late publisher Philip Merrill, will become chairman. And their daughter, Catherine Merrill Williams, will become publisher. The Merrill family, along with Landmark Communications, owns Washingtonian under the umbrella of Capital Gazette Newspapers, which also includes the Annapolis Capital and five other newspapers in Maryland. Philip bought Washingtonian in 1979. He was found dead near his yacht in the Chesapeake Bay in June 2006.
April 25, 2007
Loyola Play-By-Play Man Dies
John Galvin Fitzpatrick, a retired state business finance official who followed local sports and did play-by-play for Loyola College basketball games, died of leukemia at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Homeland MD resident was 78.
April 22, 2007
Navy Extends BAL Football Deal
The Naval Academy in Annapolis has announced a three-year extension with Baltimore's WBAL (1090 AM) to air Navy football games. WBAL will continue to flagship the Navy Football Radio Network, which includes WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis and DC's Washington Post Radio, WTWP (107.7 FM and 1500 AM).
April 20, 2007
Radio America To Arlington
Radio America is headed for new digs in the Ballston section of Arlington. The syndicator of G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, "Car And Driver," and other radio talk shows is closing its downtown DC shop at 15th and L in favor of a new all-digital plant at the CACI building on Glebe Road, behind the Marymount University building.
April 19, 2007
Fairfax Peace Corps Worker Found Dead In Philippines, Had Worked For Connection
"They're treating it as a criminal investigation, and that's all we know," Geary Morris of Falls Church told the Washington Post. She's the older sister of Julia Campbell (right), 40, a Peace Corps worker from Fairfax who was found dead in the Philippines. Campbell's body was discovered partially buried in a shallow grave in a rural area about 160 miles north of Manila. She was last seen alive on 4/8. The Associated Press reported that police suspect foul play. Campbell was a journalist for People magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the NY Times, CNN, and several other news outlets before joining the Corps. Campbell attended Woodson High School in Fairfax, where she ran track and cross-country. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at James Madison University and got her start in journalism with a summer internship with the Connection newspapers in Fairfax, her family said.
April 17, 2007
Shedlick Gone From Zebra
Another one leaves Red Zebra. DCRTV hears that DC radio technical veteran Tom Shedlick resigned yesterday as director of engineering for Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm, which runs Triple X ESPN Sports radio on 92.7, 94.3, and 730. Our sources tell us that he's jumping over to ABC to work on WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW. Shedlick worked for Clear Channel's DC radio cluster before he leaped to Red Zebra in mid-2006.
April 16, 2007
WAMU Seeks OC Relay
American University's mainly news talk WAMU, 88.5 FM, is looking to expand its reach by building a full-power station on 88.3 FM in Ocean City. The application for the relay, which was filed 11 years ago, was only recently "accepted for filing" by the Federal Communications Commission. Also, DC-based National Public Radio has received FCC permission to put an "experimental" low-powered DC station on 87.9, at the low end of the FM radio dial. No word about what it'll be used for.
April 14, 2007
JLA Reporter Sues PG Cops
Channel 7/WJLA reporter Andrea McCarren has filed a lawsuit against Prince George's County Police for "violating her constitutional rights." She asking for $500,000 in damages. McCarren was detained and injured by Prince George's County police officers in April 2005. She and a WJLA photographer had been investigating a story about alleged misuse of government resources. McCarren and her photographer, Peter Hakel, were surrounded by nine county police cars and up to a dozen officers with weapons drawn. Her complaint alleged that officers held McCarren, who did not resist, at gunpoint while they forcibly restrained her arms. She suffered a partially dislocated shoulder and a torn rotator cuff as officers allegedly manhandled her during the incident. The journalists were never charged with a crime. According to a 4/16 statement from McCarren's attorney, the county acknowledged, nine months after the incident, that two officers were disciplined, although the nature of that action was never divulged. "The people of Prince George's County deserve better than this from their government," said McCarren, a 15-year veteran at WJLA. "If a journalist can be subjected to an illegal stop in broad daylight and is unable to get any documentation of the incident, how can the citizens of Prince George's County expect to be treated?" McCarren is on leave from 7 until September. This summer, she will teach a broadcast journalism course at Harvard.
April 14, 2007
Frances Leighton Dies
From the Washington Post: Frances Spatz Leighton, 87, a prolific writer and journalist who made a career chronicling the lives of people who work backstage, backstairs, or in backrooms in official Washington, died on 4/6 of congestive heart failure. She lived in Falls Church. Leighton wrote more than 30 books and countless articles for Sunday supplements and publications, including the Washington Post.
April 13, 2007
11's Domenica Davis To Fox News
Domenica Davis leaves her weather gig at Channel 11/WBAL. She heads to NYC, where she'll be doing weather for the Fox News Channel. She came to Baltimore from Louisville. Her replacement is "blonde hottie" Sandra Shaw (right) from WPMI-TV in Mobile, Alabama.
April 13, 2007
CBS Fires Imus
A day after the NBC-owned MSNBC cable TV network fired Don Imus, CBS Radio did the same. Imus's morning radio show was carried in DC by Clear Channel talker WTNT, where he was wiped from the station's website within minutes of his Thursday afternoon canning. "From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with such class, energy, and talent," CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. "I didn't see CBS having any other choice," said Dave Pugh, who heads Clear Channel's group of radio stations in the DC and Baltimore region, including WTNT. "Imus just took it to an unforgivable place," Pugh told the Washington Post.
April 13, 2007
Loudoun Smacks Down Zebra's 730 Hike Plan
Loudoun County's planners have nixed Redskins owner Dan Snyder's plans to move the transmitter and towers for his Red Zebra Triple X ESPN Radio to property adjacent to his Redskins Park training facility. The proposal to move 730 AM, WXTR, from Mount Vernon to Ashburn, and hike its power, would make the signal listenable at night throughout the Washington region. Right now, WXTR must drop to an extremely low power level at sunset, sometimes in the middle of a Redskin game. Triple X's signal is also carried on two far-suburban FMers (92.7 and 94.3), which are both difficult to hear inside the Beltway. "Snyder bought (the three signals) long before bringing (Bennett) Zier on board. Bennett was a scapegoat - brought in at the 11th hour to try and fix a big-ass (signal) mistake," we're told. We're also told that Zier had advised Snyder to buy 104.1 from Bonneville, but Snyder balked at the price. Former Clear Channel DC radio head Zier left Red Zebra in March. There are rumors that Snyder wants to buy WMAL's 630 AM signal from Citadel once it takes over ABC Radio this summer.
April 12, 2007
Rehm Producer Says Adios To WAMU
Anne Adams, producer of Diane Rehm's late morning talk show for almost a decade, is leaving American University's WAMU (88.5 FM). Adams is heading to the Maryland Institute College Of Art in Baltimore, where she will seek a post-baccalaureate certificate in fine art.
April 11, 2007
WTOP Remains Top-Biller
Bonneville's all-news WTOP remains the biggest radio money-maker in the region. According to 2006 stats from Chantilly-based BIA, which keeps track of radio advertising revenue data, WTOP billed $49.4 million and was the 11th highest radio revenue generator in the nation. Clear Channel's adult contemporary WLTW in NYC was tops nationwide, with $65.6 million in revenue. In the DC market, CBS's urban contemporary WPGC-FM placed second with $30.6 million, ABC's hot adult contemporary WRQX ranked third with $25.9 million, CBS talker WJFK-FM was fourth with $24 million, Howard University's urban adult contemporary WHUR placed fifth with $23.9 million, and Radio One's urban contemporary WKYS ranked sixth with $21.6 million. Radio One's urban contemporary WERQ was the top radio revenue generator in Baltimore with $20.6 million.
April 11, 2007
Stubbs Out At WAMU
The country music "The Eddie Stubbs Show," which has been airing since 1990, is being cut. The victim of weekend lineup changes at WAMU.
April 10, 2007
Steve Allan Named JZW PD
ABC Radio has hired DC radio veteran Steve Allan as program director at its Smooth Jazz 105.9, WJZW. Allan comes from a PD gig at WOMC, a CBS oldies outlet in Detroit. Before that, he programmed Clear Channel's adult contemporary WASH and oldies WBIG. He replaces Carl Anderson, who became VP of music programming for Dallas-based ABC Radio Networks in late 2006.
April 10, 2007
Doc Walker Gets WTEM Show
Rick "Doc" Walker gets his own SportsTalk 980, WTEM, show starting 4/23. From 9 AM to 11 AM. Walker, a Redskins vet, is visible all over the radio and cable TV local media universe. "He's very worthy of his own show and has worked hard to get it," says a local radio source.
April 7, 2007
Radio One Grabs 104 From Bonneville, Flips To Gospel
Lanham-based Radio One has made a deal to acquire 104.1 from Bonneville for a new FM gospel station. Bonneville and Radio One have penned a local marketing agreement. No word yet on a sale deal or a purchase price. The WXGG frequency, which had been running adult hits George 104, became Praise 104.1. Radio One plans to carry the syndicated "Yolanda Adams Morning Show" on 104.1. George's other frequency, 103.9 in the Frederick area, has flipped to a relay of Bonneville's all-news WTOP, 103.5. WTOP's current relay in Frederick, 820 AM, will flip to sister news talker WTWP, Washington Post Radio, in late June. That will give WTWP three frequencies, including 107.7 and AM 1500. The 104.1 and 103.9 signals had been contemporary hits Z104 until early 2006, when Bonneville moved classical WGMS there from 103.5. In early 2007, WETA-FM picked up WGMS's classical format, with 104.1 and 103.9 becoming George. Redskins owner Dan Snyder almost penned a deal to buy 104.1 and 103.9 for his Triple X sports talker in late 2006. We're told that George will live on as a digital HD Radio signal via WTOP's 103.5 frequency. In the DC market, Radio One owns urban WKYS, urban adult WMMJ, urban talk WOL, and gospel WYCB, an AMer with a weakish signal. The 104.1 transmitter is in the Waldorf area, in the southern suburbs, which would provide good coverage to heavily African-American Prince George's County and DC, the prime targets of an FM Christian gospel music format.
April 6, 2007
Mallory Crosland Leaving 4
Mallory Crosland, a sports producer for Channel 4/WRC, is the latest to exit the cost-cutting NBC station. Crosland was one of the world's top amateur golfers when she was hired in 1999 by George Michael, who gave up his nightly sports anchoring duties in early March rather than fire a bunch of his sports staffers due to network budget cuts. Later this month, Crosland will be heading to a marketing and promotions job with the Professional Golfers Association.
April 6, 2007
New Gig Fir Former 9 ND
Former Channel 9/WUSA News Director Randal Stanley has landed a new job as the general manager and news director at the News 12 New Jersey regional cable news network. Stanley, who had TV news director stints in Buffalo and Cleveland before moving to WUSA, left DC's Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in March because his wife was taking a new job in the NYC area.
April 5, 2007
James White Leaving WAMU After 24 Years
DCRTV hears that James White (right) is leaving WAMU (88.5 FM) as of 4/20. White, who currently helps drivers through the evening commute as the local host of NPR's "All Things Considered," came to WAMU in 1983. White started as the fill-in host for the overnight jazz program, "Jazznight." He soon moved to the news department as the producer and host of "First Edition," WAMU first overnight news and information service. After working virtually every shift at the station, and "running the board" for Diane Rehm, Derek McGinty, and Kojo Nnamdi, White served as the producer for local news inserts during "Morning Edition." No word on his plans.
April 5, 2007
JV Returns To JFK
DC area radio vet Jason Veazey is back. You'll recall him as "JV" on the old Z104. When the plug got pulled on the contemporary hit outlet in January 2006, Veazey dabbled in his own voice-over biz, but now he's back at WJFK-FM, where he held a variety of positions from 1996 to 2003. Including operations manager and G. Gordon Liddy's producer. Veazey now serves as 106.7's production director.
April 5, 2007
Ripken To TBS
Baltimore Oriole great Cal Ripken will serve as a studio analyst for the Time Warner network's baseball post-season TV package. Ripken's fellow new Hall Of Fame inductee, Tony Gwynn, will become a game analyst. Ripken's first appearance for TBS will be on the All-Star Game selection show in July. Then he will be in the studio along with host Ernie Johnson for pre- and post-game shows during coverage of the Division Series and National League Championship Series.
April 4, 2007
Solid Ratings For WHUR
Another round of those monthly radio ratings. DC. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WMMJ and WTOP, 4)WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WLZL and WJZW, 11) WMZQ, 12) WWDC, 13) WBIG, 14) WBIG, 15) WXGG, 16) WTGB and WJFK-FM, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE and WAVA, 21) WWXX, 22) WTWP, 23) WPGC-AM and WFLS, 25) WOL and WWRC and WTNT. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ and WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WWDC, 7) WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WRQX and WIHT, 11) WMZQ, 12) WLZL, 13) WJZW, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WBIG, 16) WXGG, 17) WTEM and WTGB, 19) WAVA, 20) WTWP, 21) WOL and WPGC-AM and WWXX and WFRE, 25) WIYY and WFLS and WTNT. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WASH and WPGC-FM, 5) WMMJ, 6) WIHT, 7) WKYS, 8) WLZL, 9) WJZW, 10) WMAL and WJFK-FM, 12) WMZQ and WWDC, 14) WRQX, 15) WBIG, 16) WXGG, 17) WTEM, 18) WTGB, 19) WWXX, 20) WFRE, 21) WWRC and WFLS and WIYY and WTWP, 25) WPGC-AM and WAVA and WINC-FM. DCRTV is told that the monthly "extrapolation" morning drive age 25-54 demo number for Washington Post Radio, WTWP, shows a 1.7, beating rival talker WMAL's 1.3. The trend includes only 12 days of Tony Kornheiser's WaPo Radio show, which debuted on 2/20. A local radio guru adds: "Huge numbers for WHUR's Harvey and Baisden - number one in both drives, mostly taken from Magic (WMMJ) and KYS. El Zol (WLZL) did great. Does the FCC know how raunchy that station is? Any Spanish speakers at the FCC? The Globe (WTGB) tumbled. George (WXGG) held on to WGMS-like numbers - no marketing, no promotion, doesn't matter. Rough monthly numbers for Jazzy (WJZW), WMAL, WMZQ, WASH." Baltimore. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WERQ and WPOC, 3) WLIF, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WIYY, 7) WCBM, 8) WWMX, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WZBA, 13) WPGC-FM and WRBS, 15) WHUR, 16) WHFS and WWDC, 18) WIHT and WKYS, 20) WRNR.
April 4, 2007
WAGE Picks Up Dennis Miller
Comic and righty political pundit Dennis Miller gets a radio outlet in the DC area. Leesburg talker WAGE (1200 AM) will run the former "Saturday Night Live," HBO, and Fox News Channel personality's new Westwood One show on weekdays from 9 AM to noon. Miller's radio show, which debuted in most of the "top 10" markets in March, couldn't snag an outlet in DC. There had been rumors that he might be carried by WJFK-FM. With Miller's arrival, WAGE moves Joy Browne to the 1 PM slot.
April 4, 2007
FLS Vet Jon Reed To Retire
WFLS Program Director Jon Reed has announced he'll retire at the end of April, after 46 years in the radio biz. He's been at the Fredericksburg country outlet since 1993. Before that, Reed worked in Denver, New Orleans, Providence, Daytona Beach, Kansas City, Dayton, and Jacksonville.
April 4, 2007
VOA's Joseph Wang Dies
Joseph Cheng Pin Wang, 78, a Beijing native who spent 35 years at the Voice Of America and retired in 1990 as chief of the Chinese branch, died on 4/1 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital of cardiac arrest. During his VOA career, Wang helped start a Chinese language curriculum at American University and George Washington University. From 1994 to 2004, he taught Chinese studies courses at GWU, so reports the Washington Post.
April 2, 2007
Big Tigger Back To PGC
Big Tigger (right) is returning to his roots at CBS's urban WPGC-FM, to do afternoon drive. Starting Monday, 4/9. He replaces Adimu, who'll be staying with CBS Radio. However, no word yet on a new gig for him. Big Tigger will continue doing his nationally syndicated radio show for Clear Channel's Premiere, "Live In The Den With Big Tigger." Big Tigger, aka Darian Morgan, is a graduate of the University Of Maryland. He worked at PGC in the 1990s, along DC radio veteran Albie Dee, before jumping to NYC. He's also done numerous gigs for DC-based BET, including hosting "Rap City."
April 2, 2007
MHz Adds Russian News Net
Fairfax-based MHz Networks debuts a relay of Russia Today, an English language Russian news channel on the digital service of Channel 56/WNVC. The network is also carried on Comcast's digital channel 206 in the DC area. This is the second foreign news network relayed fulltime by MHz. Last year, it started carrying France 24 via WNVC's digital broadcast signal. France 24, also produced in English, is available on Comcast's digital channel 186 in the DC area.
March 31, 2007
Car Guy Warren Brown Leaves WaPo Radio
Washington Post automotive writer Warren Brown has been yanked from his Saturday morning automotive show on WTWP, Washington Post Radio). The talk station will replace Brown with infomercials.
March 30, 2007
WEAM's "Lonesome Guy" Dies
Howard Stanley, a DC area radio veteran, died on 3/20 at his home in Portsmouth VA. He was 90. Stanley's career featured an early stint at CBS's flagship DC radio station, WTOP (then 1500 AM). In 1944, he moved to CBS's sales and public relations in NYC. In the late 1940s, he left CBS and returned to DC as VP and general manager of Arlington's WEAM radio (then 1390 AM), where he assumed a popular on-air personality dubbed the "Lonesome Guy," a masked crooner who serenaded woeful female listeners in post-war Washington. "Stan," as friends knew him, left WEAM in 1953 to join WAVY radio in Norfolk, where he led a successful bid to create WAVY-TV, the current NBC affiliate serving the Norfolk market.
March 28, 2007
Kinard Takes PD Gig At 106.7
Chris Kinard, the executive producer of the morning Junkies, has become program director of CBS talker WJFK-FM (106.7). Kinard started as an intern at the station, which is still trying to jolt its ratings since the departure of Howard Stern to satellite radio at the beginning of 2006, and the loss of the Redskins at the end of 2005. Kinard replaces Max Dugan, who had also programmed CBS co-owned classic rocker WARW. He left in January, right before it flipped to adult alternative rockish WTGB in February. "Chris has some terrific ideas and I look forward to his partnership leading our programming effort on WJFK," says CBS Radio DC head and WJFK-FM General Manager Michael Hughes in a memo to station staff. Kinard will continue producing the Junkies.
March 27, 2007
Harrison Apoligizes For Gutteral Utterance
Channel 4/WRC news anchor Barbara Harrison apologized at the end of Tuesday's 10 AM newscast for accidently saying the "s-word" during Monday morning's newscast. Harrison stated that steps are being taken to ensure that it wouldn't happen again. The YouTube video of the tongue slippage has been pulled. WRC owner NBC cited copyright infringement regarding the DC area viewer who had recorded it and posted it on the videoclip website. Harrison, who was off-camera at the time, didn't realize that her microphone was on when she said the expletive during live coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith autopsy news conference.
March 27, 2007
Morning Man To Leave MZQ
Clear Channel country WMZQ morning co-host Ben Campbell (right) has decided to leave the "Ben And Brian" show as of 3/30 to "spend time with his family and pursue other interests." He says via wmzq.com: "The decision to depart at the end of our current contract is based on a desire by both my wife and I, to get back closer to our families. After 13 years of working together, Brian and I are more than friends, we are more like brothers, and I'm so happy for him, that he will continue on, here in the town he grew up in with all of his family and friends. I am really proud of all we accomplished as a team over the course of our run." He adds: "I'm looking forward to a little time off, and then pursuing other opportunities in morning radio and beyond."
March 27, 2007
Laureen Ong Leaving NGC
One week after unveiling her upcoming programming plans in NYC, DC-based National Geographic Channel's founding president Laureen Ong announced that she's leaving the network to become chief operating officer of News Corporation's Star TV in Hong Kong. In a management restructuring, it will take NGC execs David Haslingden and Steve Schiffman to replace Ong, who, before launching the Discovery Channel rival six years ago, was the general manager of Fox-owned Channel 5/WTTG. NGC is two-thirds owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation subsidiary Fox Cable Networks and one-third by DC's National Geographic Ventures.
March 26, 2007
Dan Mason To Head CBS Radio
Dan Mason will succeed Joel Hollander as president of CBS Radio. A Poolesville native, Mason will oversee the day-to-day operation of the company's 144 radio stations, including a dozen in the DC-Baltimore area. He will report to CBS head Les Moonves. Hollander has been rumored to be working on an exit plan after skirmishes with Moonves. During the late 1990s, Mason served as president of the then CBS Radio Group. Rather than operating from Manhattan, he worked from offices in Potomac. After giving up his previous title at CBS, Mason continued working for the company as an adviser and consultant. In the late 1970s, Mason was program director at "top 40" WPGC-FM/AM.
March 26, 2007
Theismann Gone From MNF
Redskins great Joe Theismann (left) is out as a "Monday Night Football" analyst after one season, due largely to his "lack of chemistry" with Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser, who does color commentary for the show. According to news reports, ESPN officials believed that relations between the two would improve as last season went on. When Kornheiser said in January he would return to the booth, it was assumed the current trio would remain intact. The replacement alongside Mike Tirico and Kornheiser will be former Philadelphia Eagle Ron Jaworski. He worked on a Monday night doubleheader last year. Theismann, 57, has been an analyst for ESPN since 1988, beginning on the network's Sunday night NFL package.
March 22, 2007
Bennett Zier Leaves Red Zebra
Bennett Zier is out as head of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm. Zier, who used to head DC radio operations for Clear Channel, resigned after 16 months at Red Zebra saying he was considering "opportunities on a broader scale." He declined to discuss his plans. With Snyder's financial backing, Zier acquired five radio stations, including three in the Washington area, with others in Richmond and Norfolk. But listeners have complained that the DC area stations - known as Triple X ESPN Radio and broadcasting at 92.7 and 94.3 FM, and 730 AM - have weak signals. Launched last summer, Triple X collectively attracted less than a 1 percent share of the radio audience. In a Washington Post interview, Zier called his departure "a little bittersweet" and said he had "mixed emotions" about leaving the company he launched. He said that there wasn't any friction with Snyder and that he considered the owner "a friend and a mentor." Zier also said he intended to continue as an investor in Red Zebra. Bruce Gilbert, general manager of ESPN Radio, has been named the new Red Zebra chief executive officer.
March 20, 2007
EZ Radio Founder Art Kellar Dies
Art Kellar, who founded the Fairfax-based EZ Communications radio group, died of cancer Sunday in Fairfax. He was 85. EZ's former CEO Alan Box tells trade pub Inside Radio the NYC-born Kellar began his career in Wheeling after World War II and owned Fairfax's WEEL (now WDCT), 1310 AM, before beginning EZ Communications in 1970. He also owned easy listening WEZR (now WJFK), 106.7 FM, in Manassas. By the time Kellar sold the group in 1996, it had expanded to Philadelphia, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Charlotte, Sacramento, New Orleans, and St. Louis. Programmer Dan Vallie, who helped create famous contemporary hit outlets, tells Inside Radio: "I always had great respect for Art and considered him a mentor."
March 14, 2007
Rob Douglas & Bob Ehrlich Get BAL Shows
Some programming changes for Baltimore news talker WBAL (1090 AM). Starting 3/19, "The Rob Douglas Show" will air from noon to 3 PM. The Baltimore native has been a contributor to WBAL radio for several years. This addition will allow Chip Franklin to end his late morning show at noon, and Ron Smith to begin his late afternoon show at 3 PM. Also, former Maryland state senator Clarence Mitchell moves to WBAL's 9 PM to midnight slot. And, former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich and his wife Kendal join WBAL's lineup on 3/31 - Saturdays from 9 AM to 11 AM. Plus, Bruce Elliott's Saturday show will now run from 5 AM to 9 AM. One more: Baltimore Sun sports columnist Peter Schmuck, who hosts a show on WBAL on Saturday afternoons, will also host a Sunday show at noon before Orioles' games, starting in April.
March 14, 2007
Buddy Deane Veteran Dies
Arlene Kozak passed away Tuesday in Baltimore from lung cancer at age 69. She was instrumental in managing the celebrities, record promoters, daily guests, and regular dancers ("The Committee") who appeared on "The Buddy Deane Show" dance program on Channel 13/WJZ in the early 1960s. Also, Kozak (then Arlene DiDonato) served as technical advisor to John Waters during the making of his movie "Hairspray" in the 1980s.
March 13, 2007
Baskin Returns To 7 After 16 Years
Roberta Baskin (right), a Channel 7/WJLA reporter in the 1980s who left the station 16 years ago for the networks, is returning to the ABC affiliate to head up its investigative unit. Baskin, who starts early next month, left WJLA after winning a slew of trophies while in Washington, including an Edward R. Murrow Award in 1991 for an influential report on illegal procedures in NFL drug testing. After a brief stint with Geraldo Rivera's syndicated "Now It Can Be Told," Baskin spent seven years at CBS before moving to ABC's "20/20." She most recently served as executive director of the Center For Public Integrity. Also joining the Channel 7 I-Team is longtime Chicago reporter Sandy Bergo, who also comes from CPI.
March 10, 2007
News Consultant John Bowen Dies
From the Washington Post: John Bowen, 75, one of a little-known but highly influential corps of broadcast consultants who brought "news you can use," on-camera field reporters and female anchors to many local television news broadcasts across the country, died of esophageal cancer 3/3 at Washington Hospital Center. He lived in Bethesda. Bowen helped promote the concept of "Eyewitness News," in which anchors traded "happy talk" between reports, "action line" advocates defended consumers, and health and crime pieces replaced government and foreign news.
March 9, 2007
4 Hires Haken Dermish For Sports
Hakem Dermish, 25, third in a three-man rotation in the sports department at Toledo, Ohio's WTVG-TV, has been hired as a sports reporter and producer at Channel 4/WRC. He'll also occasionally sit in the weekend anchor chair at the NBC station. He tells the Toledo Blade: "Washington is a much bigger market than Toledo. There will be more people watching, more pressure, and a lot more on the line. But I am confident I can do it. It's still sports."
March 9, 2007
Comcast & Sinclair Reach Carriage Deal
Cable TV giant Comcast and Sinclair signed a four-year extension to their retransmission consent agreement. It comes one day shy of the extended deadline. The deal provides the continued carriage of the signals of 37 TV stations owned or operated by Hunt Valley-based Sinclair in 23 markets. Including Channel 45/WBFF, a Fox affiliate, and Channel 54/WNUV, a CW affiliate, in the Baltimore market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but like many such agreements, it includes an exchange of advertising.
March 8, 2007
Former 9er Ellen Kingsley Dies
Former Channel 9/WUSA reporter Ellen Kingsley's 20-year fight against breast cancer ended in Texas. Her pioneering work as a health and consumer reporter at WUSA included "Portrait Of Hope," a documentary about her own courageous fight against breast cancer at the age of 33. She was Channel 9's consumer reporter for more than 10 years before moving to Houston 15 years ago. At 9, Kingsley (right) won six Emmy awards, five National Press Club Consumer Journalism awards, and the prestigious the Ted Yates award. Kingsley worked at Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ before coming to DC in 1980. After Kingsley moved to Houston, she left TV to devote more time to her son, who has attention deficit disorder.
March 8, 2007
Bobby Brown: Hot 99.5 Fakes Bail Stunt
Singer Bobby Brown told national radio morning man Tom Joyner this morning that Clear Channel's Hot 99.5 did not pay his bail in return for him spending a week on its Kane-hosted morning show. Joined by his attorney, Phaedra Parks, Brown said, "No that didn't happen. They didn't pay it. A bunch of my friends got together and got me out." When Joyner asked if the station was lying, Brown said, "Yeah, they lied." Parks said they had spoken to the station about doing this deal, "however, they never paid a penny toward Bobby's bail bond." She explained that Brown was released after failing to pay child support when his brother brought the $19,150. Also, DCRTV hears from a DC radio insider about the on-air communication Kane originally had with Brown: "I know for a fact is was a fake Bobby phoner." On hot995.com, the station has posted a 3/1 e-mail allegedly from Parks to Hot 99.5 Program Director Jeff Kapugi, apparently confirming that Brown "would like to appear on your show as proposed earlier. Please advise when we can expect the money."
March 8, 2007
WEBR's Ken Rostkowski Dies
Ken Rostkowski, 46, who hosted the classic rock show "Obscured By Clouds" on Fairfax Public Access cable TV and internet radio station WEBR, passed away at his home in Springfield on 3/5. "He was an avid Nationals fan and will be missed by everyone that knew and worked with him," says a friend.
March 7, 2007
C-SPAN Relaxes Copyright Restrictions
DC-based C-SPAN is loosening its copyright policy on some material for online use, saying it wants to expand citizens' access to online video of congressional hearings, White House activities, and other government-sponsored events. C-SPAN said it would allow "non-commercial copying, sharing and posting of C-SPAN video on the internet, with attribution," of its past and future coverage of "official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency."
March 7, 2007
WHUR, WTOP, WERQ Top Radio Ratings
Another round of those monthly three-month "trend" Arbitrend radio ratings. DC. Full day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WMMJ, 3) WTOP, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH and WKYS, 7) WMAL and WMZQ, 9) WJZW and WIHT, 11) WLZL and WGMS and WRQX and WWDC, 15) WBIG, 16) WARW, 17) WJFK-FM, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA, 20) WPGC-AM and WFLS and WWXX, 23) WTWP, 24) WYCB and WFRE. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WWDC, 7) WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WRQX, 10) WMZQ, 11) WIHT, 12) WLZL, 13) WJZW, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WBIG, 16) WGMS, 17) WARW, 18) WAVA and WTEM, 20) WOL, 21) WPGC-AM and WTWP, 23) WTNT and WWXX, 25) WYCB and WFLS and WFRE. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL and WJZW, 10) WLZL, 11) WMZQ, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WBIG, 14) WGMS, 15) WRQX and WWDC, 17) WTEM and WARW, 19) WWXX, 20) WAVA and WFLS, 22) WPGC-AM and WTWP, 24) WWRC and WIYY and WINC-FM. Baltimore. Full day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WLIF and WPOC, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WIYY, 7) WCBM, 8) WSMJ, 9) WWMX, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHUR, 13) WPGC-FM, 14) WRBS and WZBA, 16) WKYS and WWDC, 18) WIHT, 19) WHFS, 20) WASH and WTOP, 22) WBIG and WJFK-AM and WRNR and WRQX. Again, WFLS is tops in Fredericksburg.
March 6, 2007
New Station For Bartel
LA classical music outlet KUSC has signed "Dennis Bartel" from DC's defunct classical outlet, WGMS. Bartel, known as "James Bartel" here in DC, will do mornings on KUSC starting this summer. Bartel's full name is "Dennis James Bartel." He worked at KUSC in the late 1970s.
March 5, 2007
Radio Vet Wayne Hetrich Dies
Wayne Hetrich, a retired broadcast engineer, passed away after heart trouble. He worked at WOL and several other area radio stations. In recent years, he was working at Professional Flight Service in Indian Head. "He was another one of those people who forgot more in any given 10 minutes than most of us will know in our lives," a friend says.
March 5, 2007
PGC Picks PD
Graham "Skip" Dillard becomes program director of CBS's top-rated urban contemporary WPGC-FM. He replaces Jay Stevens, who exited in January to take on the VP of programming role at Lanham-based Radio One. Dillard comes from Radio One's Detroit radio cluster, where he was operations manager of three black-oriented stations. Also, he's worked at urban stations in Buffalo, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Dillard once worked for Billboard.
March 2, 2007
4 Retains News Lead
Another round of those February TV "sweeps" and Channel 4/WRC, even with its news budget cuts, won the news battle in most morning and evening slots. Channel 5/WTTG had the most-watched newscast of the day - its 10 PM scarefest. But the credit goes to the lead-in from "American Idol." Other DC TVers posted news ratings hikes, due largely to several bouts of wintry weather during the month. Also, NBC's "Meet The Press" remained the most popular Sunday morning political talk show on DC TV, with the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" - both on NBC4 - beating out the competition on CBS, Fox, and ABC.
February 28, 2007
Chris Miller To CSN
Bethesda's Comcast SportsNet makes it official. Cleveland TV sports director Chris Miller will anchor "SportsNight" at 6:30 PM and 10 PM, and do sports reporting starting 3/7. Miller comes from WEWS-TV, where he's worked since 2001. Miller has also done sideline reporting for ESPN and the CSTV college sports network.
February 27, 2007
Postelwaite Leaves B'ville
Vews editor and producer Lydia Postlewaite is leaving the Bonneville building, where she worked at newser WTOP and news-talk WTWP. Her last day is Friday. She started at WTOP as an intern and worked her way up to morning drive editor. Then became one of the original producers for Washington Post Radio. She's going to become communications honcho for Washington Adventist Hospital.
February 23, 2007
9's ND Out
Channel 9/WUSA News Director Randal Stanley will be leaving the Gannett CBS affiliate on 3/31. He plans to join his family in the NYC area in conjunction with his wife Jeana's job promotion to director of financial planning at TV station owner Hearst Argyle. Catherine Snyder will serve as WUSA's acting news director while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement for Stanley, who is expected to announce his new NYC area job soon.
February 23, 2007
A Clear Channel source tells us that DC101 midday personality Donielle Flynn has been suspended from the rocker for saying the "f-word" on the air during Elliott Segal's morning show. "Best guess is that she is not going to be allowed to return," we're told.
February 20, 2007
Kidd Back To CBS Baltimore
Baltimore radio vet Jason Kidd rejoins CBS Radio. This time as program director of "Jack" oldies WQSR (102.7 FM). Kidd used to program co-owned hot adult contemporary WWMX (106.5 FM). Also, Kidd used to do nights on 102.7, when it was contemporary hits WXYV in the 1990s. In between his various CBS Baltimore gigs, Kidd's worked in Pittsburgh and Austin, and for DC's XM Satellite Radio.
February 20, 2007
XM/Sirius Marriage Proposed
DC-based XM and NYC-based Sirius plan to merge satellite radio operations. The companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger of equals with a combined enterprise value of approximately $13 billion, which includes net debt of approximately $1.6 billion. Mel Karmazin, currently chief executive officer of Sirius, will become chief executive officer of the combined company and Gary Parsons, currently chairman of XM, will become chairman of the combined company. Hugh Panero, the chief executive officer of XM, will continue in his current role until the anticipated close of the merger. The transaction is subject to approval by both companies' shareholders, the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and regulatory review and approvals, including antitrust agencies and the FCC. Pending regulatory approval, the companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of 2007.
February 19, 2007
Washington Post Starts Sports Show On CSN
Comcast SportsNet and the Washington Post will collaborate on a daily sports talk show, which will debut on 3/19. "Washington Post Live" will be a sports roundtable covering the stories, trends, and topics in the news and on the minds of sports fans throughout the region. "Washington Post Live" will air live weekdays from 5 PM to 6:30 PM.
February 17, 2007
Ralph Penza Dies
Ralph Penza (right), who was a weekend news anchor and reporter who covered the State Department for DC's Channel 9 back when it was WDVM in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has died at age 74 after an undisclosed long illness. He went on to work for NYC's WNBC-TV for two decades following his Washington gig.
February 16, 2007
Pat Heffernan Dies
Veteran journalist John W. "Pat" Heffernan, the only foreigner to have been president of the prestigious National Press Club in Washington, died on Tuesday after a brief illness, friends said. He was 96. Heffernan, a soft-spoken Englishman, joined Reuters in the United States in 1946, and worked for 11 years at the United Nations and then for 20 years as the chief correspondent in the news agency's Washington bureau.
February 15, 2007
XM To Carry Kornheiser's Radio Show
DC-based XM Satellite Radio will carry Tony Kornheiser's new Washington Post Radio show. Starting 3/5, XM Sports Nation (XM-144) will run the superstar sports columnist's program from 9 AM to 11 AM each weekday, with a 30-minute delay. Also, Kornheiser will host "special shows exclusively for the XM Radio audience on a regular basis." Starting 2/20, Kornheiser's show will air on the DC area's WTWP (1500 AM and 107.7 FM) from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM, with a replay from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
February 13, 2007
Former MALer Joins Salem
Former WMAL Program Director John Butler jumps to national Christian radio broadcaster Salem as its national program director for news-talk. Most recently, Butler has been a VP for Z Comm, a Bethesda media firm. Butler will be based in Dallas. Locally, Salem owns WAVA-FM/AM.
February 12, 2007
Jim Ricca Dies, Former Redskins Owned Local Ad Agency
2/12 - Jim "Big Jim" Ricca died on 2/11 at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a brain aneurysm. He was a resident of Sterling. Ricca, 79, a former Redskin, "was a big man with a big heart who loved his family and was an asset to the Washington area media community," according to a friend and colleague. Along with his stints with the Eagles and Lions, Ricca played primarily at the center position for the Redskins (right) from 1951 to 1955. According to Wikipedia, Ricca holds the distinction of being the last Georgetown University graduate to play in the NFL. He played for the Hoyas from 1947 to 1949. After retiring from professional football, Ricca founded Arlington advertising agency Jim Ricca And Associates.
February 7, 2007
Leonard Thomas Dies, Worked For Godfrey At WJSV
From the Washington Post: Leonard Thomas, 97, a broadcast engineer whose expertise in radio helped solve electronic interference problems for the US military during World War II, died on 1/31 of pneumonia and renal failure at Providence Hospital in DC. In 1939, he moved from Alabama to Washington to work as an engineer with CBS radio station WJSV (which later became WTOP), housed in a building at 13th and E streets, NW. He was the engineer for singer Kate Smith and talk-show host Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey used to live in Virginia, Thomas recalled in a 1993 oral history interview, "and he would fly low coming in his car every morning, and if he was not on time, I would just play a record until he got there." Thomas left WJSV in 1942, he said, "because there was a war going on, and here I was with a degree in electrical engineering, entertaining people." He became a radio engineer with the Bureau Of Ships, a component of the Navy Department, specializing in transmitter and receiver interference problems.
February 7, 2007
New 94.7 Lineup Features Weasel In Mornings
DC radio veteran Weasel moves from evenings to mornings on the new adult alternative rock-ish The Globe, which was launched in place of classic rock on CBS's WARW (94.7 FM), which now sports the WTGB calls. The Stevens and Medley morning team is officially gone, however Mark Stevens will be doing the 7 PM to midnight shift. Schelby will continue to do middays, and Cerphe sticks with afternoon drive. The jocks return Thursday. Two veterans of legendary progressive rocker WHFS will handle both drivetimes. Weasel and Cerphe worked together when WHFS was on Bethesda's 102.3 in the 1970s.
February 5, 2007
NBC4 Lensman Ron Minor Retires
Channel 4/WRC cameraman and video editor Ron Minor retired today after 37 years on the beat. Minor, just 22 when he started working at DC's NBC station, says he feels like he's grown up at WRC. He shot eight Super Bowls, covered the Nixon White House, and worked with David Brinkley, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, and Henry Kissinger. While he traveled the world from Bosnia to South Africa, Minor says that sitting in the war room on the USS Roosevelt at sea was his most exciting shoot. Look for Minor to continue his video work via Fine Line Productions.
February 5, 2007
New GM For 2
Baltimore ABC affiliate Channel 2/WMAR has named advertising sales executive Bill Hooper as its general manager, succeeding Drew Berry, who left the station late last year. Hooper, 45, joined Scripps-owned WMAR in 2004 as general sales manager. Hooper began his career in ad sales in 1983 at radio station WMAR-FM (now WWMX). Since then, he has worked for a number of radio stations in the Baltimore market. Before joining WMAR-TV, Hooper was senior vice president and director of sales for Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio) in Baltimore.
February 4, 2007
Cody Pfanstiehl Dies
Cody Pfanstiehl, the longtime spokesman for DC's Metro transportation system, died on 2/1 of pneumonia at Holy Cross Hospital. The Silver Spring resident was 90. Pfanstiehl once served as publicity manager for WTOP radio and was public relations manager of the old Washington Evening Star newspaper. He retired from Metro in 1982.
February 1, 2007
7 To Provide Weather For WTOP 24/7
Allbritton-owned Channel 7/WJLA becomes the exclusive weather provider for Bonneville's all-news WTOP radio. No more forecasts from Atlanta's The Weather Channel. You'll hear more of top weathercaster Doug Hill, who already does WTOP's drivetime forecasts, and 7's other meteorologists on 103.5 FM and 820 AM, including some new hires.
February 2, 2007
WARW Goes "Global" & "Green" AAA
At noon 2/2, after a few moments of silence, something new started. "The New 94.7 - The Globe." According to an on-air announcement from CBS Radio's DC suit Michael Hughes, the station is "going green." Using renewable sources of power for its transmitter and the station's hybrid vehicles. "World Class Rock." Classic and alternative artists from the Rolling Stones, U2, the Beatles, Neil Young, and Van Morrison, to the Clash, Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis Costello, Beck, Nirvana, and the Violent Femmes. Somewhat like the old alternative rock WHFS was in the mid-1980s, according to Hughes's noon statement, which was followed by an audio montage including Al Gore, an opponent of global warming. Trade pub Radio And Records classifies the format as "triple A" - adult album alternative. Classic WHFS veterans Weasel and Cerphe remain onboard. So do Mark Stevens and midday gal Schelby, the wife of recently canned Program Director Max Dugan. It does appear, however, that the morning pairing of Stevens and Steve Medley has been pitched into the Recycle Bin.
February 1, 2007
Hess Takes PD Post At WTEM
Clear Channel gives the program director post at SportsTalk 980, WTEM, to Bill Hess, who also programs adult contemporary WASH. Hess replaces Tod Castleberry, who jumped to Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Triple X ESPN Sports talker last year. Hess will continue to oversee operations for talkers WTNT and WWRC.
February 1, 2007
Amber Theoharis Joins K&M At HFS
With the former 98 Rock morning men Kirk McEwen and Mark Ondayko, and former WRQX Jack Diamond show producer Jeff Shamrock, debuting this morning on CBS's WHFS (105.7 FM), replacing the DC-based Junkies, former Channel 45/WBFF sports anchor Amber Theoharis is joining Baltimore station as a talk show host. Her "The A List" will air at 7 PM, as WHFS replaces the overnight and weekend alternative rock. Theoharis, who left WBFF in late 2006, had been rumored to be talking with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Also: Gone from 105.7 is the Free FM moniker used by CBS talkers like DC's WJFK-FM. The new home of the Orioles is now known as "Baltimore's FM Talk."
January 30, 2007
WARW/WJFK PD Out
Max Dugan is gone from the program director post at CBS Radio's classic rock WARW and talker WJFK-FM. Both stations are suffering from sagging ratings. No word on his replacement. Dugan joined WARW as PD in 2004 and added programming duties at JFK in August 2006, replacing Greg Gillispie. Dugan is married to WARW midday personality Schelby.
January 30, 2007
John Chester To WETA-FM
John Chester, a veteran of now defunct commercial classical WGMS, moves to recently reborn non-commercial classical WETA-FM. Doing the 2 PM to 7 PM shift. Our source tells us that he'll be heard on 90.9 Tuesdays through Saturdays.
January 29, 2007
106.7 Gets "Unzipped"
CBS talker WJFK-FM has selected Michelle Jerson and Michael Checkoway to host evenings. Jerson, a former reporter for Howard Stern's Sirius show who hosted a radio show in Trenton, and Checkoway, who comes from radio gigs in Atlanta and Philadelphia, did a test show in December based on relationships. "Unzipped With Michelle And Checkoway" will run from 7 PM to 10 PM starting 2/5. Apparently rejected for 106.7's evening slot: former WJFKers El Jefe and J-Dubbs, who also did a December test of their "Hideout" show, which recently got canned by an Orlando station.
January 29, 2007
WEAA O'Malley Critic Suspended
In the Baltimore Sun, Gregory Kane reports that Tyrone Powers, who hosted "The Powers Report" Tuesday evenings on Morgan State University’s WEAA (88.9 FM), claims that he was forced off the air in a dispute involving former Baltimore mayor and now Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, former Maryland Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, and Morgan State President Earl Richardson. According to Kane, station management told Powers to pull all show tapes in which he had talked about O'Malley during the past three months. And, apparently, two weeks later, Powers' show was "indefinitely, immediately" suspended.
January 28, 2007
NY Post's Orin Dead
The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post's Deborah Orin-Eilbeck has died after suffering from stomach cancer. Orin, 59, a political reporter and columnist, joined the NY Post's DC bureau in 1988.
January 26, 2007
New Editor At Examiner
Stephen Smith, the Washington bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, has been named editor-in-chief of the freebie tabloid Washington Examiner. He succeeds Vivienne Sosnowski, who has been promoted to national editorial director for Examiner parent Clarity Media in Denver. According to the Examiner, Smith "is the only journalist to hold senior editor positions at all three major news magazines. In addition to heading US News And World Report, he served as executive editor of Newsweek and editor of the Nation section of Time."
January 25, 2007
New GM At 9
Allan Horlick becomes president and general manager of Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA, DC's CBS affiliate. He replaces Darryll Green, who becomes a vice president of program development for Tysons Corner-based Gannett's Broadcast Division. Horlick left Washington in 1997 after a decade at NBC's Channel 4/WRC, where he was general manager. Horlick most recently had been vice president and station manager of WMAQ, NBC's TV station in Chicago. Green, who has overseen an almost complete revamping of 9's news department to mixed ratings success, has been at WUSA since 2003.
January 25, 2007
New DC Bureau Chief At Fox
DC-based news anchor Brian Wilson has been appointed DC bureau chief for Fox News Channel. Wilson replaces Kim Hume, wife of Fox News anchor Brit Hume. She departed the Rupert Murdoch-owned news network in November. Wilson will continue to anchor his "Weekend Live" program. Also, Bruce Becker, who has been serving as interim bureau chief since Ms. Hume left, has been promoted to the newly-created position of vice president for business news in DC for the planned Fox Business Channel. Before joining Fox in 1996, Becker worked at Channel 5/WTTG and Channel 26/WETA.
January 25, 2007
Northern Virginia Publications Get New Owner
American Community Newspapers, a group of 73 publications, including several in Northern Virginia, has agreed to be sold to Courtside Acquisition. Involved local publications include Leesburg Today, Loudoun Magazine, Loudoun Business, the Arlington Sun Gazette, and Middleburg Life.
January 25, 2007
Ex-Gov & Wife To Be Radio Stars?
Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich and his wife Kendel did a guest-hosting shot on the 9 AM to noon shift on Baltimore talker WCBM (680 AM). And the Baltimore Sun quoted WCBM General Manager Bob Pettit as saying: "We hope Bob will become a regular guest host," and he said he hoped the same would be true for Kendel on WCBM's sister station, female talker WVIE (1370 AM). The Sun also reported that Pettit was pleased with the show. Apparently, Mr. Ehrlich handled callers with ease, joking with several whom he knew and showing his flair for conversation. While governor, Ehrlich often appeared on radio talk shows, choosing to speak directly to the electorate over airwaves, including via WCBM's talk rival WBAL-AM and with the morning Junkies on WHFS.
January 25, 2007
Power Hike For WAGE? WBIS To Go Dark?
Leesburg talker WAGE might be moving from 1200 to 1190 on the AM band - and upgrading to a 50,000-watt daytime signal. If approved by the Federal Communications Commission, co-owned business talker WBIS on 1190 in the Annapolis-Baltimore area would go dark. "It would be a killer daytime signal from Leesburg to Annapolis, and Fredericksburg to Baltimore," we're told by an observer. The nightime portion of the application appears to suggest 1300-watts from the current WAGE transmitter site in Leesburg.
January 24, 2007
Longtime UMD Media Prof Dies
Benjamin Holman (right), a former TV network news correspondent and one-time assistant US attorney general, died Saturday at George Washington University Hospital. He was 76. Holman joined the faculty at the University Of Maryland's Philip Merrill College Of Journalism in 1978 as a visiting professor, and was appointed to the rank of full professor the following year. During his tenure at College Park, he taught an extraordinarily wide range of courses, ranging from newspaper, radio, and television classes, to seminars on the coverage of the homeless, sports, and racial issues. He retired and was named a professor emeritus in 2004.
January 24, 2007
Frederick Newspaper Veteran Dies
Gene Thomas "Tom" Mills, 79, an editor of the Frederick News Post from the 1960s through the 1980s, died on 1/18 at his home in Walkersville. In 1986, he began publishing a weekly newspaper based in Walkersville, which he continued until his retirement in 1996.
January 23, 2007
Kornheiser To Washington Post Radio
Washington Post superstar sports commentator Tony Kornheiser will be doing weekday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30, with a two-hour rebroadcast right after, on Washington Post Radio starting 2/20. The buzz was that Kornheiser had narrowed his possibilities to Bonneville-operated Washington Post Radio, talker WTWP, or to Clear Channel's SportsTalk 980, WTEM, where he previously did a late-morning show. "I've worked at the Washington Post for 30 years and the opportunity to join them in their new radio venture with Bonneville is a natural fit," Kornheiser said via a statement to WTOP. "I'm thrilled to be back on the radio at Washington Post Radio. I look forward to doing the show I have always done. It will be entertainment and sports based and be about the events of my life that day."
January 22, 2007
Bonneville Flips WGMS To Pop & Fires Staff, WETA-FM Goes Classical
At 3 PM on 1/22, Bonneville flipped classical WGMS (104.1 and 103.9) to a "whatever we want" format playing "Jack-like" 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s eclectic pop and rock as "George 104" with a website at george104.com. With "104 straight days" of no ads. With the WXGG calls. Bonneville has been negotiating to sell WGMS to Redskins owner Dan Snyder for his Triple X ESPN Sports talker. Apparently, that deal has been "sidelined." Also, NPR news talker WETA-FM, 90.9, not all that long ago a classical station, picked up WGMS's classical format at 8 PM on 1/22. Bonneville has donated its 15,000-disc library of classical recordings, and gives the public non-commercial station the WGMS call letters. WETA plans to use the WGMS identity on its 89.1 Hagerstown (currently WETH) simulcast frequency. Almost a dozen WGMS employees were let go, including its entire on-air staff, which included longtime personalities such as John Chester, James Bartel, Diana Hollander, Renee Chaney, and Chip Brienza. WGMS began cutting back its sales staff last month. Also, eight employees were fired at WETA. According to the Washington Post, the cross-promotional alliance announced today between a for-profit radio company and a non-profit station is almost unheard of in the broadcasting business. However, the agreement between Bonneville and WETA does not involve any exchange of money, both sides said. Also, WETA will end production of its daily public affairs program, "The Intersection," which was hosted by Rebecca Roberts, the daughter of NPR and ABC commentator Cokie Roberts and pundit and columnist Steve Roberts. Also out: Mary Cliff, who has been with WETA for more than three decades. Cliff was the host of the station's long-running weekend folk music show, "Traditions." WGMS Program Director Jim Allison takes the same job at WETA, replacing Maxie Jackson.
January 22, 2007
Woodruff Back To "NewsHour"
Judy Woodruff will re-join WETA-TV's "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" as a senior correspondent. Woodruff, who has covered every presidential election since 1976, including a stint at CNN, will also serve as editor of the PBS news program's 2008 political coverage.
January 22, 2007
Kates Leaves 45 For 13
Rebekah Kates leaves Channel 45/WBFF for Channel 13/WJZ, where she'll be senior producer for the website - wjz.com She spent four years at WBFF as weekend news producer and special projects manager.
January 18, 2007
CSN's Sage Steele Jumps To ESPN
Sage Steele (left) is leaving Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic for an anchor position with ESPN. Steele has been an anchor and reporter for CSN for almost six years. ESPN said Steele will appear on ESPNews and as a "SportsCenter" anchor. Steele was one of the original anchors for CSN, joining the network for its launch in 2001. She spent time on the Ravens beat and was a mainstay as an anchor for the daily "SportsRise" and "SportsNite" shows.
January 18, 2007
McCarthy Becomes Balto Mayor's Spokesman
Anthony McCarthy, a longtime political reporter who served as editor of the Afro-American newspaper and host of a weekly news round-up program on Baltimore public radio outlet WYPR, will become the chief spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, with former Mayor Martin O'Malley recently sworn in as Maryland governor. McCarthy worked as Dixon's chief of staff in 1999 and 2000 and most recently ran for the Maryland House Of Delegates as a Democrat in the 44th District.
January 18, 2007
Art Buchwald Dead
Legendary DC-based political humorist and columnist Art Buchwald died on 1/17. He was 81. Buchwald refused treatment for his failing kidneys last February, but still managed to live another year.
January 18, 2007
Sun Sportswriter Dies
James Elliot, a retired sportswriter and copy editor for the Baltimore Sun who covered the Orioles for nearly two decades and was awarded a World Series ring in the process, died of cancer Sunday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The longtime Lutherville resident was 84.
January 18, 2007
Post To Print & Sell Onion
The Washington Post will be jumping into bed with the publisher of a rag that runs fake news. The Onion, a satiric, humor-based newspaper, a la theonion.com, will partner with the Post, which will print the paper and sell local ads. The Onion will be distributed free in DC area news boxes and by hawkers, beginning in April. The Post will be paid for its "business services."
January 16, 2007
WMMJ & WERQ Top Radio Ratings
The fall 2006 Arbitron radio ratings. For DC, age 12+, full day: 1) WMMJ, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WTOP, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WMZQ and WIHT, 9) WMAL, 10) WJZW, 11) WGMS, 12) WWDC, 13) WLZL and WBIG, 15) WRQX, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WARW, 18) WAVA, 19) WTEM, 20) WFRE and WWXX, 22) WPGC-AM, 23) WFLS and WTNT and WTWP, 26) WYCB and WBQB. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WMMJ and WPGC-FM, 4) WHUR, 5) WKYS, 6) WMAL and WWDC, 8) WMZQ, 9) WASH, 10) WIHT, 11) WRQX, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WLZL, 14) WGMS and WBIG, 16) WJZW, 17) WAVA, 18) WTEM, 19) WARW, 20) WTNT, 21) WFRE and WTWP, 23) WYCB and WPGC-AM and WWXX, 26) WFLS, 27) WBQB. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ and WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WJFK-FM, 8) WKYS, 9) WMAL and WMZQ, 11) WLZL and WJZW, 13) WGMS and WWDC, 15) WBIG, 16) WRQX, 17) WARW, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA, 20) WWXX, 21) WPGC-AM, 22) WFRE and WIYY and WTWP, 25) WBQB and WFLS, 27) WTNT. For Baltimore, age 12+, full day: 1) WERQ, 2) WLIF, 3) WPOC, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WIYY, 7) WSMJ, 8) WCBM and WWMX, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHUR and WZBA, 14) WRBS, 15) WWDC, 16) WPGC-FM, 17) WHFS and WIHT, 19) WKYS and WTOP, 21) WASH, 22) WJFK-AM. In the Washington Post, John Maynard reports that Washington Post Radio, talker WTWP, "stayed mired near the bottom" of the fall Arbitron radio ratings, "finishing in a tie for 23rd" in the fall book. He tells us how great WASH did with its annual Christmas music spree, how righty talker WMAL was back up again, how Hot 99.5's morning ratings are in the toilet since Mark and Kris were fired, and how Don and Mike on WJFK-FM, "which aired repeats for about half the fall quarter, dropped in popularity (from a 4.7 share to 4.1). The show returned live this month when deejay Don Geronimo returned from bereavement leave."
January 16, 2007
Diamond's Producer To K&M
Jeff Shamrock, former producer of WRQX's Jack Diamond morning show, has landed at WHFS in Baltimore. He'll produce the Kirk and Mark morning show, which starts in February. He'll also have an on-air presence.
January 15, 2007
Sutton To Do TV Color For Nats
Hall-Of-Fame pitcher Don Sutton will be the new color analyst for Nationals telecasts on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network in 2007. He will join play-by-play broadcaster Bob Carpenter in the booth for more than 150 regular season Nationals games carried by MASN, the team's regional sports network.
January 13, 2007
Mark & Kris Go WAPE
Former Hot 99.5 morning duo Mark Kaye and Kris Gamble will be doing the morning show at Cox's contemporary hit WAPE in Jacksonville. The "Hot Morning Mess" got canned from Clear Channel's contemporary hit WIHT in early November.
January 12, 2007
Orioles Announce Radio Net
The Baltimore Orioles, which just penned a new radio deal with CBS's WHFS (105.7 FM) in Baltimore, announce two Pennsylvania pickups: WOYK (1350 AM) in York and WPDC (1600 AM) in Lancaster. WOYK returns to the fold - it was an Orioles affiliate from 1954 to 1986. The Orioles also have released the list of stations in their radio network, including: WTEM (980 AM) in DC, WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis, WFMD (930 AM) in Frederick, WTTR (1470 AM) in Westminster, WARK (1490 AM) in Hagerstown, WAGE (1200 AM) in Leesburg, and WINC (1400 AM) in Winchester, plus additional outlets in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
January 11, 2007
"ChickChat" To XM
"ChickChat Radio" will be heard on DC-based XM Satellite Radio's female talk Take 5 channel (XM-155) Fridays at 4 PM, starting 1/19. The nationally syndicated radio show is hosted by Heidi Hanzel of Middleburg VA and Lara Dyan of Boston. The show's studios are in Middleburg. The two had previously been buying time on local brokered talker WMET (1160 AM).
January 9, 2007
Moss Moves Back To WTOP
Bonneville is moving Mike Moss from its operated news talker, WTWP, Washington Post Radio, back to sister all-news WTOP, where he was before jumping to the just-launched WTWP last March. Just this week, WTWP paired Moss with Washington Post Radio former weekender David Burd for weekday mornings. Burd will now be paired with Jessica Doyle. She leaves washingtonpost.com, where she's been executive producer for radio and TV projects. With Moss joining Bruce Alan in WTOP mornings, Richard Day moves from mornings to late mornings, co-anchoring with Frank Herzog on Mondays and with Mark Lewis the rest of the week. This second round of WTWP/WTOP changes will come on 1/16. The first round of changes, including the pairing of middayer Hillary Howard with Bob Kur in WTWP afternoons, took place on 1/8.
January 9, 2007
Former 32 Producer Dies
The Reverend Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley, who worked on Channel 32/WHUT's "Evening Exchange" program before becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister, died on 12/10 of gallbladder cancer at her sister's home in Vineland NJ. She was 57. Before joining the ministry, Bowens-Wheatley worked for seven years at Howard University's WHUT (then WHMM) during the 1980s. She started with a production internship at 32's weekly "Black Perspective On The News" and continued as a producer with "Evening Exchange," a news and issue analysis program.
January 8, 2007
Orioles To HFS
CBS Radio has nabbed the Baltimore Orioles from Hearst's WBAL-AM, which has carried the team for decades. The baseball team's 2007 games will air on CBS's FM talk and alternative rock WHFS (105.7) in the Baltimore radio market. With no Charm City AM radio play-by-play coverage at all. CBS's Baltimore sports talker WJFK-AM (1300) will air Orioles programming year-round, but not games. CBS's other Baltimore stations - WWMX, WLIF, and WQSR - will promote the team. The team's games will also air on a 16-station regional radio network outside of Baltimore. Orioles games will continue to be called by the broadcast team of Jim Hunter, Fred Manfra, and Joe Angel. Not only do the Orioles get a new radio home, they're getting a new TV home with their jump this season from Comcast SportsNet to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
January 8, 2007
WBJ Editor Dead At 38
John McCalla (right), editor of the Washington Business Journal, has died. He was 38. Details about his death, including the cause, were not immediately available. McCalla was named editor in September, succeeding longtime editor Beth Hunt. McCalla had served as managing editor of the paper since November 2001.
January 8, 2007
ABC Syndicates Ric Edelman
ABC Radio will nationally syndicate DC area consumer financial advice guru Ric Edelman, who's heard Saturday mornings on ABC news talker WMAL. Starting 1/13, Edelman will be also heard on ABC radio stations in NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, and Detroit, plus a Clear Channel station in Houston.
January 5, 2007
9 Newser Is New DC Mayor's MC
A couple of reporters at yesterday's inaugural celebration for the new DC government - including Mayor Adrian Fenty - were scratching their heads at this: Channel 9/ WUSA anchor and reporter Bruce Johnson, who covers the DC government, was acting as the master of ceremonies. Johnson's colleague at rival station Channel 4/WRC, local political reporter Tom Sherwood, has no doubts about Johnson's integrity, but the MC performance leaves him open to questions about his independence. "There's a difference between doing events that are public and doing something that is a government function," Sherwood told the Washington City Paper. "It just gives people the opportunity to question how tough he might be on the new administration."
January 3, 2007
New News Director For FMD
Frederick County native Amanda Mallonee, 26, leaves her news anchor gig at Hagerstown's Channel 25/WHAG for the news director post at Frederick news talker WFMD (930 AM).
January 3, 2007
Walden Terminates BAL "Ponderings"
Commentator Alan Walden will no longer be doing his "Walden Ponderings" after 20 years at WBAL radio. In his 12/29 piece at wbal.com, Walden bid "Auld Lang Syne." But he says he'll still be heard during Chip Franklin's midday "Week In Review" segment on the Charm City news talker. A five-decade radio veteran who has worked in Cleveland, NYC, and Boston, Walden joined AM 1090 in 1988 as morning news anchor and continued doing his commentaries after leaving the anchor gig.
January 2, 2007
Jim Karvellas Dies
Jim Karvellas (right), who was the top sports anchor on Channel 5/WTTG in the mid-1970s, died on 1/1 at his home in Tampa. He was 71 and had been suffering from prostate cancer. During his four decade sports media career, Karvellas was on the broadcast teams of the then-Baltimore Bullets, later the Washington Bullets, as well as the Baltimore Colts and Orioles.
January 2, 2007
PGC's Jay Stevens To Radio One
One of CBS Radio's top DC execs, Jay Stevens, who handles programming and operations for CBS's top-rated urban WPGC-FM as well as some CBS urban stations across the country, is jumping to Lanham-based Radio One, which owns local urban outlets WKYS, WMMJ, WWIN-FM, and WERQ. "Not sure of the position, but it's got to be a big one to lure him from his cushy gig" for more than two decades at PGC/CBS, we're told. Reggie Rouse, who comes from CBS's urban WVEE in Atlanta, and who's already filling in for Stevens at WPGC-FM, could be his replacement. Rouse had been assistant program director and music director at PGC. There are rumblings that Stevens will assume the role left vacant last July when Radio One Chief Operations Officer Mary Catherine Sneed exited. She oversaw programming nationwide for Radio One's stations.
January 2, 2007
D&M Return After Hiatus
As expected, WJFK-FM afternooners Don and Mike returned to the airwaves on Tuesday after seven weeks away from the mics. According to Don Geronimo's on-air discussion, he took the time off because of continued bereavement issues concerning the death of his wife in mid-2005. Geronimo revealed that he actually did quit the show in November, and he said that, while off the air, he did have talks with CBS Radio management about moving the show to mornings either on WJFK-FM or co-owned WARW. Geronimo said that he did not negotiate a new contract with his employer, CBS. The current one, which runs through late-2008, with a two-year extension option, remains in force, he added.
January 2, 2007
RTNDA's Noreen Welle Dies
Noreen Welle, 57, vice president of communications and marketing for the DC-based Radio-Television News Directors Association, died on 12/29 at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. The Northern Virginia resident had been battling multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
January 1, 2007
Olesker Jumps To Examiner
A while back, longtime Charm City columnist Michael Olesker was bounced from the Baltimore Sun after charges of plagiarism surfaced. Now, Olesker's writing for the Baltimore Examiner. He'll pen four pieces a week for the freebie rag.
January 1, 2007
54 Drops Tube
Sinclair-operated Channel 54/WNUV has dropped its relay of music video network The Tube for the Baltimore market. An announcement on WNUV's digital "54.2" channel says it's due to "contractural terms." The Tube is still available via the digital signal of Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW in DC, carried on Comcast's 207.
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