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January 2008 to December 2008December 31, 2008
JFK In Trouble In December PPMs
Guy talker WJFK continues its poor performance in the December monthly electronic Portable People Meter ratings for DC, fueling rumors that CBS will flip the station to sports talk early in the new year. The latest monthly PPMs, age 12+, full-day: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WIHT, 5) WRQX, 6) WHUR, 7) WGTS and WETA-FM, 9) WKYS, 10) WWDC, 11) WPRS, 12) WMMJ, 13) WPGC and WMZQ, 15) WBIG, 16) WLZL, 17) WMAL, 18) WTGB, 19) WTEM and WJZW, 21) WJFK, 22) WBQB and WPFW. Morning drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WASH, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WRQX, 7) WWDC and WPRS, 9) WKYS and WMMJ, 11) WETA-FM, 12) WPGC, 13) WGTS and WMZQ, 15) WMAL, 16) WBIG and WLZL, 18) WJFK, 19) WTGB and WTEM, 21) WJZW. Afternoon drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR and WRQX, 7) WETA-FM and WKYS and WWDC, 10) WMZQ, 11) WPRS, 12) WPGC, 13) WBIG, 14) WLZL, 15) WGTS, 16) WTEM, 17) WMMJ, 18) WMAL and WTGB, 20) WJZW, 21) WJFK. In the latest weekly PPM numbers, WASH, with its Christmas tunes, is in first place. Also, DCRTV hears that WAMU's HD Radio channels post a 0.6 cume rating, a milestone of sorts for digital-only local radio services. Possibly because Bluegrass Country, WAMU-HD2, is now broadcast in analog via Great Falls VA's 105.5 FM? As of today, ratings firm Arbitron certifies the October, November, and today's December "book" as "currency." The new PPM numbers for DC become official and can be used to set ad rates.
December 27, 2008
Cory Haber To Retire
Cory Haber, longtime NBC and Channel 4/WRC engineer and Emmy award winner, is retiring at the end of March.
December 24, 2008
James Adams Leaves 4
Another cut at Channel 4/WRC. DCRTV hears that longtime reporter and anchor James Adams took a buyout from the NBC-owned station. "He went to the station Sunday and cleaned out his desk," we're told.
December 24, 2008
George Michael's Sports Shows Gone From 4
Longtime DC TV sports anchor George Michael (right) will no longer be doing his weekly sports shows at NBC's Channel 4/WRC. A source tells us: "At the taping of... Michael's sports show, Michael Jack, VP at NBC4, informed George that his contract was being bought out and (Tuesday's) taping was the last. George... responded with an offer to the crew that they could come out to his (Maryland) ranch and muck out the horse stalls for a couple of bucks an hour." Michael gave up his nightly sports anchoring duties at budget-cutting WRC in March 2007. But he was continuing to host weekly sports shows like "Redskins Report" and "Full Court Press." DCRTV now hears that both shows are gone from 4's schedule, including the WRC appearances on "RR" by Redskins greats Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins, plus, over the years, Washington Post sports scribes Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, and David DuPree. Another WRC source tells DCRTV that the latest tussle between Michael and 4 was "amicable (and) mutually beneficial." And while there was some turbulence between Michael and WRC's management, he was well-liked by the station's crew and on-air personalities.
December 23, 2008
45 To Relay MGM Channel
Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF will launch This TV Baltimore on its digital subchannel on 1/12. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios is backing the new This TV network, which is designed for the US broadcast marketplace. It'll offer movies from the MGM library as well as classic sitcoms and childrens' programming. It will replace Good TV, a WBFF-based nostalgic entertainment channel which went off the air in October. This TV Baltimore can be seen on digital channel 45.2 and will also be carried in the Baltimore TV market by Comcast on channel 206 and via Verizon FIOS.
December 23, 2008
Gary Reals Bids Farewell To 9
Today is Channel 9/WUSA general assigment reporter Gary Reals' (left) last day at the Gannett station. He's been reporting DC area news for four decades. Reals, who is leaving 9 because of a series of budget cuts and employee buyouts, joined WUSA (then WDVM) in 1991, after working at Channel 7/WJLA since 1983. He started at WMAL radio in 1970, working his way up to reporting duties by 1975.
December 17, 2008
WCHH Sinks In Balto Radio Ratings
Urban WERQ tops the latest monthly radio ratings for Baltimore, with Radio One sister adult urban WWIN-FM in 2nd. Clear Channel's country WPOC falls to 3rd, with CBS's adult contemporary WLIF 4th, Hearst news talker WBAL 5th, CBS hot adult WWMX 6th. News talk WCBM places 7th, Hearst rocker WIYY 8th, Clear Channel gospel WCAO 9th, and CBS classic hits WQSR 10th. Shamrock classic rocker WZBA places 11th, with new CBS sports talker WJZ-FM in 12th. New Clear Channel alt rocker WCHH dives to 23rd in the Arbitron numbers.
December 17, 2008
Winchester Radio Vet Michael Bell Dies
Former WHPL and WEFG radio personality Michael Bell has passed away. The 56-year-old Bell died in Miami Beach. His parents operated the two Winchester-area radio stations, and he was the morning show host, before leaving for WRVQ in Richmond and stations in Florida. Bell suffered a stroke in 1998 which ended his career.
December 16, 2008
TOP Gets More Power For 1050
Bonneville all-newser WTOP has gotten FCC approval for a new 10,000-watt daytime signal upgrade on 1050 AM. The 3,500-watt Silver Spring signal used to carry Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, which is now on 50,000-watt 1500 AM. WTOP will continue to be heard on FMers 103.5, 103.9, and 107.7.
December 15, 2008
Armstrong & reals To Leave 9, 9 Take Buyout
Longtime DC TV newsers Phyllis Armstrong and Gary Reals will be leaving Channel 9/WUSA soon - she in late January and he before the end of 2008. Also, several WUSA photographers have accepted buyouts and will leave the budget-cutting Gannett station at the end of January, along with a longtime executive administrative assistant. A total of nine employees have taken buyouts, including a director, an editor, a master control tech, and a building engineer. Plus, we hear more rumors that anchor JC Hayward (right), who has been with 9 since the early 1970s, might make her "departure announcement" in March, and could leave WUSA in the spring. There have been rumblings for the past few years that Hayward will be leaving 9, but they haven't panned out. However, another 9 source tells us that Hayward's got two more years on her contract and isn't going anywhere.
December 15, 2008
CBS Trades QSR To Clear Channel
CBS has traded away Baltimore "Jack" classic hits outlet WQSR (102.7 FM) to Clear Channel in a radio swap deal that involves stations in Houston, Seattle, Portland OR, and Sacramento. DCRTV had previously reported that CBS had put its five Baltimore stations up for sale, and that WTOP-owner Bonneville was interested in picking up WQSR and WLIF. Clear Channel already owns three stations in Baltimore - two FMers, country WPOC and alt rocker WCHH, and an AMer, gospel WCAO. Clear Channel also owns five FMers in the DC market, plus an FM/AMer in Frederick.
December 15, 2008
Post Hikes Newsstand Price
The Washington Post today hiked the price of a newsstand/retail copy from 50-cents to 75-cents. That's the second price rise in a year. Last year, the Post cost just 25-cents on newsstands. The $1.50 Sunday retail price remains the same, as do the rates for the Post's Sunday-only and seven-day home-delivery subscriptions. In comparison, the New York Times now costs $1.50 on newsstands, with USA Today recently raising its retail price from 75-cents to $1.
December 12, 2008
Former 9er Released From Prison After Sex Sting
Bill Kamal, 51, who anchored the weather on Channel 9/WUSA in the 1980s and early 1990s, was recently moved from a federal prison facility in Massachusetts to a half-way house program in Philadelphia. Working for Miami's WSVN-TV in October 2004, Kamal (booking photo at right) was arrested when he pulled into a South Florida convenience store parking lot where authorities alleged that he was planning to pick up a boy he'd contacted on the internet. Kamal pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he used the internet to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy but was instead an undercover detective with a local sheriff's office. A federal judge in February 2005 gave Kamal the minimum prison sentence for the criminal count of using the internet to solicit a child for sex - five years - and ordered that he pay a $20,000 fine and be placed on probation for the rest of his life.
December 10, 2008
NPR Cuts 64 Jobs, 2 LA-Based Shows
Faced with a sharp decline in revenue, DC-based National Public Radio said today it will pare back its once-flourishing operations, and institute its first organization-wide layoffs in 25 years. NPR said it would lay off about 7 percent of workforce and eliminate two daily programs produced out of its facilities in its Los Angeles area Culver City facility. The shows include "Day To Day," which was aimed at younger listeners, and the newsmaker-interview program "News And Notes," which NPR hoped would attract African Americans. The layoffs of 64 of NPR's 889 employees is designed to close a $23 million shortfall in NPR's current fiscal year, said Dennis Haarsager, NPR's interim president and chief executive in an interview. The cutback will affect all departments, including reporters, producers, researchers, and digital media employees. All four of NPR's major funding sources have taken hits, leading the public radio organization to revise its financial projections downward. It projects revenue this year to fall to $145 million, an 8 percent decline. NPR employees were to be told of the cutbacks in a staff meeting this afternoon.
December 7, 2008
Kenny Campbell Gone From WCEI
Kenny Campbell is no longer the morning man at Easton MD adult contemporary WCEI (96.7 FM). Campbell is the former morning co-host at Mix 106.5 in Baltimore. After Baltimore, he worked in Denver before coming back to the area. No word on whether Campbell was fired from WCEI or left on his own. WCEI Program Director Matt Spence is back to mornings at WCEI, we hear.
December 7, 2008
Former WASHer Mike Kavanaugh Dies
Mike Kavanagh, who did the news on DC's WASH radio in the 1970s, died at his home in suburban Atlanta on Saturday. He was 57 and suffered a heart attack. Kavanagh most recently ran a financial planning business and had been host of a financial show on Atlanta's WSB radio. "I got to know Mike, and he was a truly caring person as well as one of the best news people in the business." a friend tells DCRTV.
December 3, 2008
TOP Tops November PPMs
Portable People Meter electronic radio ratings for DC. The November monthly "book." Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WASH, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WGTS, 7) WRQX and WWDC, 9) WKYS and WETA-FM, 11) WMMJ, 12) WPGC, 13) WMAL, 14) WPRS and WMZQ, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WLZL, 20) WJZW, 21) WJFK, 22) WAVA. Morning drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WRQX, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WASH, 7) WMMJ, 8) WWDC, 9) WGTS, 10) WKYS, 11) WPGC, 12) WMAL, 13) WMZQ, 14) WETA-FM, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WBIG, 18) WJFK, 19) WLZL, 20) WTEM, 21) WJZW, 22) WAVA. Afternoon drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WHUR, 5) WIHT, 6) WWDC, 7) WRQX, 8) WKYS, 9) WETA-FM and WMAL, 11) WMZQ, 12) WPGC, 13) WGTS and WPRS and WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WMMJ and WTEM, 19) WLZL, 20) WJFK, 21) WJZW.
December 2, 2008
"Billy Zero" Becomes TMD's PD
William Gallagher, known as "Billy Zero" to his listeners and colleagues, has been named program director of Towson University's adult alternative rock WTMD (89.7 FM). Gallagher has worked at alternative rocker WHFS and, most-recently, at XM Satellite Radio, where he was responsible for programming indie rock XMU and other channels. Tyler Laporte will continue handling day-to-day music duties at WTMD, as well as hosting the "Thursday Night Mixtape" and "Altered Fridays." Gallagher is a graduate of Towson University, with a degree in mass communications.
November 29, 2008
Salem To Hike Power For 780
Salem applied to the FCC to more than double WAVA-AM 780's power from 5,000-watts to 12,000 watts daytime. If approved, this would rectify some of the lost signal in Northern Virginia when the transmitter was recently moved from Arlington to Bethesda, while even adding some coverage to Baltimore. Our source tells us that this will probably make some wonder if Salem might consider selling WAVA-FM 105.1 if it had a comparably powerful AM signal and/or even some of Dan Snyder's FMs, a la rimshots 92.7 and 94.3.
Doc Webster Dies
From the Cumberland Times-News: James "Doc" Webster Jr., 83, died on Thanksgiving at his home. He was a well-known Western Maryland radio personality, beginning a 60-year career at Cumberland's WCUM. He retired from WCBC after a 32-year career there. Webster had a knack for creating radio commercials. "He came up with some very original commercials for clients, using catch phrases that really caught on," said Ted Troxell in remembering his co-worker. Pat Corrado voiced the same sentiment. "When I think of Doc, I think of his creativity in developing commercials. And Doc had a very pleasant personality, very easy to work with, would do anything for you," Corrado said. The two worked together for 10 years, starting in the 1960s, at WTBO.
November 24, 2008
13's Richard Sher To Retire (Really!)
From the Baltimore Business Journal: After 33 years at Channel 13/WJZ, veteran Baltimore television newsman Richard Sher (right) is leaving - for good this time. Sher, 67, said Monday that he will spend his time in teaching, pursuing freelance opportunities, and public speaking. Though he loves covering news, Sher said, it was time to leave the station so he could help in his son Greg's mortgage business. Sher said he had tried to retire "a couple of other times" but never quite left the station. He also hosted the long-running public affairs program "Square Off" and, many years ago, the locally produced program "People Are Talking" with Oprah Winfrey in her early days in television. Sher started his career in radio, after graduating from University Of Maryland. After stints at radio stations in San Francisco, Washington, and Baltimore, Sher entered the television industry in 1975, when WJZ hired him as a general assignment reporter. Sher was an anchor for the 5 PM news in the mid-1990s, before returning to reporting.
November 24, 2008
45's Fadool To CSN
Amy Fadool is joining Comcast SportsNet. The sports anchor and reporter is leaving Channel 45/WBFF in Baltimore and jumping to CSN in Philadelphia.
November 21, 2008
Sliwa To MAL Evenings
Curtis Sliwa, the longtime WABC NYC talker and Guardian Angels co-founder, is getting a syndicated evening show that will also be heard on WABC's Citadel sister talker WMAL in DC. Sliwa's show will air from 10 PM to 1 AM and be distributed by ABC Radio Networks. It'll launch on 12/1.
November 20, 2008
Ron Riley Retiring From NC8
Broadcasting great Ron Riley (right) is leaving his morning weather gig at NewsChannel 8 next week, after 15 years at the Allbritton-owned local news network. His last day on NC8 will be 11/28. Riley tells us that it is "my choice" and not a budget cut. "I've been getting up at 2 in the morning for a long time," he says. "Too long." Riley, who was a "top 40" DJ on the legendary WLS radio in Chicago in the 1960s, came to Baltimore to program then "top 40" WCAO radio, where he worked in the 1970s. He also hosted "Bowling For Dollars" for Channel 11/WBAL at the time. In the 1980s, he did weather stints for Channel 2/WMAR and Channel 13/WJZ. After short weather gigs at Channel 4/WRC and Channel 5/ WTTG in the early 1990s, he got hired by NC8. Even though he's retiring, Riley says that he may still seek freelance TV and radio gigs from time to time.
November 19, 2008
Stronger DC Signal For El Zol
CBS Radio has moved the 99.1 FM transmitter for El Zol, WLZL, to a 463-foot tower near Bowie State University in northeast Prince George's County from a tower a few miles to the east, near Crofton in Anne Arundel County. That'll improve the Annapolis-licensed station's Spanish contemporary signal to DC and its western suburbs.
November 17, 2008
Weasel Out At Globe, Albie To Mornings
94.7 the Globe's morning man, Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert, and the classic rocker's program director, Lorrin Palagi, are gone. WTGB evening man and local radio veteran Albie Dee will be moving to mornings. DC area rock radio legend Weasel will still be available for WTGB special projects, feature shows, and maybe weekend duty. CBS DC radio cluster programming VP Michael Hughes will be programming WTGB in the near term, with Jerry Hoyt becoming the station's manager of operations. DCRTV also hears that CBS will move WTGB from its Silver Spring studios to the firm's broadcast complex in Lanham, which houses WPGC and WLZL. That would leave talker WJFK, with studios and offices in Fairfax, as the only CBS DC market station not in Lanham.
November 17, 2008
Winchester's 610 Goes Dark, Sports To 1550
Clear Channel moves the sports talk format from Winchester VA's WTFX, 610 AM, to Charles Town WV's WMRE, 1550 AM, which had sported a nostalgic music format as "Memories 1550." The new "SportsTalk 1550" will continue to broadcast regional high school sports as well as NASCAR, University Of Virginia sports, and Fox Sports syndicated programming. Also, CC is taking 610 off the air for good, as the 40-acre WTFX transmitter site on Route 50 is slated to become a retirement development. "The AM signal that began as WHPL (right) in 1961 has had an important presence as a carrier of local sports for many years," said Clear Channel Radio Winchester Market Manager Chuck Peterson. "In continuing our strong commitment to our community and in order to further super-serve the local sports needs in the area, we are glad to be able to move our sports talk programs to another one of our AM signals, 1550." Formerly also WUSQ and WVAI, Winchester's 610 was a country station in the 1960s and a contemporary hit station in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the outlet had a variety of formats, including big band, adult contemporary, news, and country again. It became talker WNTW in 1994, and flipped to contemporary Christian music in 1999. In 2002, under Clear Channel ownership, 610 became sports talk WTFX.
November 15, 2008
Channel 104.3 Crashes
The latest Baltimore monthly trend radio ratings show that urban WERQ topped the full-week, age 12+ numbers, with urban adult WWIN-FM 2nd, adult contemporary WLIF 3rd, country WPOC 4th, news talker WCBM 5th, hot adult WWMX 6th, news talker WBAL-AM 7th, and rocker WIYY and classic rocker WZBA tied for 8th, with adult hits WQSR 10th. Gospel WCAO was 11th, and talker WHFS 12th. New alternative rocker WCHH, Channel 104.3, crashed to a disappointing 19th. Since flipping 104.3 from smooth jazz to alt rock, the Clear Channel station has plunged from a year-ago 3.6 share to a 1.2 share now.
November 14, 2008
4 & 5 Share News Video
Local television station groups owned by Fox and NBC have formed a news service to share video taken at news events like crime scenes and press conferences. The venture will operate initially in Philadelphia, where it was tested, as well as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington. Those are the markets where both companies own stations. Executives at the Fox Television Stations and NBC Local Media portrayed it as a way to save money for local news operations, which have been hit hard recently as heavy advertisers like automakers have been pulling back spending. In Washington, the deal would affect NBC's Channel 4/WRC and Fox's Channel 5/WTTG. A DCRTV source tells us that 4 and 5 already share helicopter footage - one station flies in the morning and the other at night - saving an estimated $500K a year, and a fiber line has been installed between Nebraska and Wisconsin avenues to share video.
November 12, 2008
Sinclair To Shutter DC Bureau
Sinclair Broadcast Group will be closing its DC news bureau and cease all newsgathering and production at its headquarters in Hunt Valley MD, effective at the end of the year. The DC bureau was headed by DC-Baltimore news anchor veteran Morris Jones. About 20 jobs will be affected. At one time, the bureau fed news to Sinclair's News Central operation, which provided newscasts for many of its 60 TV stations across the country, including Baltimore's Fox45 and CW54. But News Central has already been scaled-back.....
November 12, 2008
XM Changes Channels
Many music channels from XM disappeared at midnight, replaced by their Sirius equivalents. The result of last summer's satellite radio merger, and a series of recent budget and personnel cuts at the DC firm. Says a DCRTVer: "At about 11:40 PM on XM-54, the PD for Lucy came on to thank everyone for supporting the station and satellite radio, and then they launched into five farewell songs: 'Closing Time' by Semisonic, 'Let The Mystery Be' by 10,000 Maniacs and David Byrne, 'No Surprises' by Radiohead and 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)' by Green Day (not a shock) and finally 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Tori Amos. Ethel, XM-47, ended with Mighty Mighty Bosstones 'So Sad To Say' (another goodbye song), and on XM-44, Fred's final song was Haysi Fantazee 'Shiny Shiny' which was just obtuse, before it ran a 'Thank You!' message on the PAD Data, and went right into it's new Sirius identity promptly at midnight - as did Ethel and Lucy. Thank you XM for these little bright spots - I'll give the new stations a shot."
November 8, 2008
Alda Tullis Brown Dies
Alda Tullis Brown, 85, a retired paralegal who appeared on a local television show in the 1950s, died on 10/20 in Marietta GA. She occasionally performed as a stage and radio singer before becoming a writer, producer, and on-air personality with the Channel 5/WTTG program "Jamboree," hosted by Art Lamb. The audience-participation show was broadcast from Washington until 1957.
November 8, 2008
Henry Loomis Dies
Henry Loomis, who died on 11/2 in Jacksonville at age 89, was director of the Voice Of America during the Eisenhower administration and president of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting during the Nixon administration.
November 7, 2008
Rob Heckman Leaves 98 Rock
Rob Heckman is leaving Baltimore's 98 Rock, WIYY, where he's been assistant program director and music director. He tells a trade pub: "This is a personal decision I made on my own. I've had a wonderful experience at 98 Rock. Hearst is a great company and after being here for 14 years it was solely my decision to leave." There are no plans to replace him. Program Director Dave Hill and Assistant Music Director Steve Huber will be sharing Heckman's responsibilities.
November 6, 2008
Marc Clarke Gone From 92Q
Marc Clarke (right), host of 92Q's "Big Phat Morning Show," has gotten the axe. Along with producer Sonjay Decaires. Their last show was today. We're told that they're the victims of a budget cut by the slumping Radio One. Clarke came to Baltimore's urban contemporary WERQ, 92.3 FM, in 1999 to do the morning show with co-host Troy Johnson, who got bounced in 2006. By the way, Johnson also got canned this week from his midday talk gig at CBS's 105.7, WHFS, which flipped to sports talk WJZ-FM. Look for 92Q to pick up the Rickey Smiley syndicated show for mornings, starting next week. According to wjz.com, WERQ General Manager Howard Mazer says the change was a corporate decision. It's part of cost-cutting measures designed to save the station bucks. But some fans think it's a bad move. "I have no idea why they would do that especially because he is so popular. He's kind of like a staple for somebody to up and get rid of him. It makes no sense," a listener told WJZ. Clarke is married to Channel 5/WTTG reporter Allison Seymour.
November 6, 2008
"The Hideout" Ends
"The Hideout" show, which ran during Saturday evenings on WJFK-FM, is over. Done. Finito. That's according to show co-host J Dubs at hideoutheretics.net. DCRTV recently reported that the show's other host, Alex "El Jefe" Jimenez, recently joined the morning show at Atlanta rocker WKLS. Once done daily at WJFK, recently the weekly "Hideout" show was done from Tampa.
November 6, 2008
Comcast To Shutter CN8 News
Comcast's CN8 news channel will shutter in Boston, where Comcast has an interest in the New England Cable News Channel, and will become "The Comcast Network" in DC and Philadelphia. A "majority" of its 300 employees will be laid off. In October, DCRTV reported that CN8's "Your Morning" early morning newscast would leave the air by year's end.
November 4, 2008
Catherine Snyder Jumps From 9 To 4
Catherine Snyder is Channel 4/WRC's new senior manager of news content, replacing Margie Ruttenberg, who left NBC4 in September for the assistant news director gig at Channel 5/WTTG. Snyder jumps over from Channel 9/WUSA, where she was assistant news director. In the past, she'd worked as producer for CNBC and MSNBC. Snyder started her career with NBC4 as a production assistant.
November 3, 2008
WCBM Owner Nick Mangione Dies
Nick Mangione, owner of Baltimore talker WCBM (680 AM) and sports talker WVIE (1370 AM), passed away on Sunday at age 83, following an earlier stroke. He bought WCBM in 1988, and brought with him many of the talkers heard on the old WFBR, including Tom Marr, Frank Luber, Les Kinsolving, and Stan "The Fan" Charles.
November 3, 2008
Sports Talk For 105.7, K&M Gone, Norris To Mornings
CBS Radio flipped low-rated Baltimore talker WHFS, 105.7 FM, to sports talk on 11/3. The new calls are WJZ-FM/AM, linking it and former WJFK-AM (1300) to CBS TVer Channel 13/WJZ. With the overall sports format moving over from CBS sister WJFK-AM, ESPN 1300. Kirk and Mark got yanked from mornings, replaced by former afternooner Ed Norris and his producer, Maynard Edwards. Also out - middayer Troy Johnson. We're also told that CBS has registered several new web addresses, including sportsradio1057.com, sportsradio1057thefan.com, and 1057thefan.com. DCRTV has reported rumblings that CBS's Baltimore suits have been debating whether to yank K&M, who moved to 105.7 in 2007. They never achieved the ratings they'd had during their long run at Hearst's 98 Rock. More on the new 105.7 sked: Fox45 sports anchor Bruce Cunningham is leaving sports talker WNST (1570 AM), where he did a Saturday show, to join "The Fan" 105.7 for the 1 PM to 3 PM slot. Former Channel 2/WMAR sports anchor Scott Garceau joins Anita Marks, who did afternoons on 1300, to pair from 3 PM to 7 PM. Mark Viviano hosts late mornings. The Baltimore Orioles and University Of Maryland's Terrapins will continue to air on 105.7. Also, ESPN 1300 will pick-up the ESPN national radio feed, with no local content.
November 3, 2008
1580 To Become Big Talker
On 11/11, CBS Radio plans to flip WPGC-AM, 1580, to a right-leaning talk format with Michael Smerconish, who does mornings on CBS's Philadelphia talker, WPHT, blowtorch 1210 AM. The Morningside MD station, which now relays urban PGC-FM since dropping "inspirational talk" last month, will be branded "The Big Talker," like the co-owned Philly outlet. PGC-AM will also carry Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck - the latter two had been heard on recently-defunct Bonneville talker 3WT. CBS has registered bigtalker1580.com, dcbigtalk.com, and dcbigtalker.com, we're told. WPGC-AM has a strong 50,000-watt daytime signal, with a weak 270-watt night signal. Also, CBS will be moving the WHFS calls to the frequency.
October 30, 2008
FCC Approves Hike & Freq Change For WAGE, WBIS To Shut Down
The FCC has approved Leesburg talker WAGE to move from 1200 to 1190 AM and hike its power to 50,000-watts daytime, greatly improving its coverage into the DC metro. Annapolis/Baltimore loses an AM signal as co-owned business talker WBIS, currently on 1190 with 10,000-watts daytime, will be shut down.
October 29, 2008
Jeremy Settle Named NC8 ND
Jeremy Settle has been named news director for Allbritton's NewsChannel 8. A Silver Spring native, Settle once worked at Channel 9/WUSA as a production assistant, assistant producer, assignment editor, sports producer, and assignment editor. In late 2004, he headed to Charlottesville to be news director for three TV outlets - WCAV, WVAW, and WAHU.
October 24, 2008
CBS Radio Tweaks DC Management
CBS Radio has restructured the management of its DC radio cluster. We're told that Sam Rogers, the general manager of urban contemporary WPGC-FM/AM and senior corporate vice president, now controls the five-station complex and takes the title of "market manager." Michael Hughes becomes "vice president of programming by title only. His real job is day-to-day program director of the Globe," we hear from a local radio source. Hughes has been general manager of not only the classic rock Globe, WTGB, but also Spanish contemporary El Zol, WLZL, and guy talker WJFK-FM. However, another source tells DCRTV that while Rogers is, indeed, now market manager, Hughes will serve as vice president of programming, or "station manager," and be ultimately responsible for programming all five stations in the cluster, including PGC.
October 17, 2008
WorldSpace Files For Bankruptcy
Silver Spring-based WorldSpace has filed for bankruptcy protection after its board of directors decided it needed to raise cash to repay debt. The international satellite radio operator has been trying unsuccessfully to raise capital. It has listed debt of $2.1 billion and assets of $307.4 million as of June. It will remain on the air while it looks for financing. WorldSpace serves Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
October 17, 2008
Connie Adams Dies
Connie Adams has died. She was a producer and secretary of WMAL (630 AM) back when it was a full-service middle-of-the-road music station in the 1960s and 1970s. She also helped produce WMAL's Harden and Weaver morning show, we're told. Later, she formed Adams Communications, which worked with WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis in the 1990s.
October 15, 2008
WHUR & WERQ Top Summer Ratings
The summer radio ratings "book" ain't the most important of the year, but it's still widely analyzed. And, more good news for WTOP in the just-out DC ratings. The all-newser has way more "cume" listeners than any other radio station in the market, more than a quarter million more listeners than the number 2 station with 911,200 listeners age 12+ in the metro area. Placing 1st in AM and PM drives in the 12+ demo, and 2nd, just one-tenth of a point behind top-rated WHUR, in the full-day numbers. Full-day AQH, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WKYS, 8) WMAL (down a full point from a year ago), 9) WMZQ, 10) WWDC, 11) WLZL and WPRS, 13) WRQX, 14) WBIG and WJZW, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM (despite two Skins games during the ratings period), 19) WACA, 20) WFRE and WAVA. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WMAL, 7) WKYS, 8) WWDC, 9) WIHT, 10) WRQX, 11) WLZL and WMZQ, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WAVA, 17) WTGB, 18) WJZW, 19) WTEM, 20) WACA and WFRE. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WIHT, 6) WMZQ and WASH, 8) WMAL and WKYS, 10) WRQX, 11) WJFK-FM (down almost a full point from a year ago), 12) WPRS and WWDC, 14) WLZL, 15) WBIG, 16) WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WACA. Reborn classic rock WTGB sees an age 25-54 big jump for September alone, we're told. Baltimore, full-day 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WLIF, 4) WPOC, 5) WBAL-AM and WCBM, 7) WWMX, 8) WZBA, 9) WIYY, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHFS, 15) WRBS, 17) WCHH, 23) WRNR, 26) WNST.
October 14, 2008
Axe Hits XMers
DC-based XM Satellite Radio makes massive cuts following its summer merger with rival Sirius. We get this from an XM source: "All the great people that are gone from XM radio, may we all RIP... Let's go back and take the terrestial world by storm... Gone but not forgotten: '50s Channel PD Ken Smith, '50s Channel MD Matt The Cat, '60s Channel PD Pat Clark, '80s Channel MD/afternooner Kandy Klutch, Cross-Country PD Jessie Scott, Decades Channel Senior PD Kurt Gilcrest, Cafe PD Bill Evans, all of XM Urban accept three people." Also among the 50-ish employees cut Tuesday: George Taylor Morris of Deep Tracks, '70s-On-7's John Clay; Billy Zero and Tobi from XMU, Ethel's Erik Range and Rick Lambert, and Bill Hutton of Lucy. Plus: Soul Street's Bobby Bennett and Leigh Hamilton, Raw's Mz Kitti, The City's DJ Xclusive and Lisa Ivery, Viva's Karla Rodriguez, and Aguila's Mad Mexican. Plus Ken Smith of '50s-On-5, Pat Clarke of '60s-On-6, XM America's Ray Knight, John Welch, and "Country Dan" Dixon, BK Kirkland of the Groove, plus Bill Evans, Brian Chamberlain, and Cathy Carter from XM Cafe. XM Gospel's Jay Bryant and Suite 62's Vic Clemens. And, another round of cuts could be coming in early November. The word is that Sirius XM suits have abandoned plans to continue separate line-ups for each service, and instead will feature one common channel line-up on both systems. With the Sirius music channel versions probably being offered on both.
October 14, 2008
Danilo Noel Diron Dies
Danilo Noel Diron, who was the radio color analyst for more than 400 DC United soccer games since 1997, died on 10/10 at his home in McLean. He'd been suffering from liver cancer.
October 13, 2008
Leslie Cook Returns To Texas TV Gig
We recently told you that Channel 7/ WJLA reporter and weekend news anchor Leslie Cook had moved back to her native Texas. Now, we hear that she'll anchor the evening newscasts on Austin's KXAN-TV. Cook had anchored at KXAN from 1995 to 2003, before moving to DC with her husband Patrick, who worked with the Bush administration.
October 13, 2008
Chuck Evans Dies
Chuck Evans, a former Baltimore Ravens fullback and a regular contributor to Baltimore's ESPN 1300, WJFK-AM, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 41. He'd been a co-host of the "Press Box Live" show and frequently guested with afternooner Anita Marks.
October 11, 2008
Grease Gone From DC101
Doug "Greaseman" Tracht is done doing his Saturday morning show on DC101. Sources tell us that the Clear Channel rocker is going more "music intensive" on weekends, without the Grease's comic bits. Tracht recently signed to do an afternoon show on a Jacksonville classic rocker.
October 11, 2008
Levan Reid Leaving 9
DCRTV hears that Channel 9/WUSA has not renewed the contract of weekend sports anchor Levan Reid (right). He is done after the November "sweeps" period, we're told.....
October 10, 2008
TMD Loses DC Area Relay
Towson University's adult alternative WTMD was replaced Friday on the 105.5 FM Great Falls VA relay with WAMU's Bluegrass Country, which is carried on WAMU's HD2 digital channel and via bluegrasscountry.org. In papers recently filed with the FCC, the Reston-based owner of the translator facility applied for a power hike from 38-watts to 250-watts and a replacement of the Baltimore area's WTMD as the originating station.
October 9, 2008
"Postitive Talk" For 1230
Peter And John Ministries-owned WRBS-AM in Baltimore has rebranded itself as "Positive Talk 1230 AM," abandoning much of its music programming during the day and replacing it with Christian teaching and talk.
October 6, 2008
Talk Gone From PGC-AM For Relay On PGC-FM
CBS Radio has pulled the plug on the "inspirational" talk format on WPGC-AM (1580). And has replaced it with a simulcast of urban contemporary WPGC-FM (95.5). CBS yanked WPGC-AM's longtime "Heaven 1580" gospel music format earlier this year, following the April 2007 launch and rising ratings of Radio One's gospel Praise 104.1, WPRS.
October 1, 2008
Brian Wilson Leaves 105.7
Baltimore radio veteran Brian Wilson is no longer doing his gig at talker WHFS (105.7 FM), where he did the noon to 3 PM slot. Wilson, who programs a talker in Toledo, Ohio, had been doing the Baltimore show via ISDN phone line. A source close to Wilson tells DCRTV that it was his choice to end his partnership with WHFS and CBS. Wilson was not canned and he determined the end-date. "Brian's decision to leave was due to his obligations as program director in Toledo, as well as the future sale of WHFS." CBS suits had asked him to continue at WHFS through October. Wilson's replacement at WHFS is Mike Pintek, who once anchored news on DC's WASH radio. He's also worked as news director at WKBO radio in Harrisburg and as a midday host on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.
October 1, 2008
45 Shutters Good TV
Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF is running an announcement on its "45.2" digital subchannel that it has discontinued its Good TV nostalgic show channel.....
September 30, 2008
Elane Stein Dies
Longtime Baltimore radio talk show host, public service director, and public TV show critic Elane Stein (right) passed away at the age of 85 at her retirement home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she had taken a fall. Stein worked most of her career at Baltimore's WCBM and later at WBAL. She interviewed many local and national celebrities, and was a film and stage critic. Also, she was a regular on the early days of Maryland Public Television. Baltimore radio veteran Jack Edwards tells us: "Off the air, Elane was famous for 'telling it like it is' and would not hold back her thoughts on any subject or person. A nice lady that made the Baltimore airwaves sound very professional".....
September 30, 2008
Last Chapter For Olsson's
DC area book and music store Olsson's has shut its doors. It's definitely the end of the road for the 36-year-old chain of stores. It has closed all of its locations and petitioned the US Bankruptcy Court for conversion of its current Chapter 11 protection to Chapter 7. The reasons given for the petitioning were stagnant sales, low cash reserves, and an inability to renegotiate current leases, along with a continuing weak retail economy and plummeting music sales. Olsson's was granted Chapter 11 protection in July in order to work on an "aggressive reorganization plan" involving store closings and cuts in overhead costs.
September 29, 2008
Orpheus To Close In October
Orpheus Records in Arlington just announced that its "absolute last" day of retail sales is Sunday, 10/12. The longtime record and CD shop was supposed to close last March, but its landlord experienced several failed attempts at leasing the building. Look for an Irish pub to take over the Clarendon storefront. Orpheus owner Rick Carlisle says that most vinyl LP prices have hit rock bottom, and that he is still entertaining offers on bulk LP, CD, and fixture sales right up until the end of his lease, on 10/31. For many years, Orpheus was on M Street in Georgetown, until moving to the less expensive Clarenton spot about a decade ago.
September 29, 2008
9 Veteran Bob Strickland Dies
Longtime Channel 9 reporter Bob Strickland (right) died of cardiac complications on 9/26 at his home in DC. He was 72. The cause of death has not been announced. He worked at Channel 9 under three owners, and three sets of call letters - WTOP, WDVM, and WUSA - from 1969 to 1996. For most of those three decades, he was a general assignment reporter. Strickland will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Another Channel 9 veteran, Bruce Johnson, tells us via his blog at wusa9.com: "Bob is... credited with helping train scores of young minorities to enter the TV reporting ranks through the Channel 9 - American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists program."
September 29, 2008
DC City Paper Parent Files For Bankruptcy
Creative Loafing, the owner of the free weekly Washington City Paper, announced this morning that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a conference call with company officials, Ben Eason, the firm's CEO, said that the step would allow the six papers in the Creative Loafing portfolio to establish a greater online presence while the company reorganizes its operations. Creative Loafing owns papers in Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, Sarasota, Chicago, and Washington. It acquired the last two in July 2007. Said Eason: "I do think that the (Chicago) Reader and Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing are all far better off today together, given the footprint and given what we've been able to accomplished digitally... This is all about a fresh start," stated Eason, who hastened to add that the filing entails no liquidation, no layoffs, and "no terrible, terrible things." All Creative Loafing employees and vendors will be paid on schedule, he said.
September 29, 2008
WTOP Adds 1050
Bonneville has started relaying all-news WTOP on Silver Spring's 1050 AM, which had been the home of Federal News Radio. FNR is now on 1500 AM, with 1050 taking on the WTOP-AM calls. We're told that "1050 will simulcast WTOP except for some sports and a little weekend programming." WTOP can still be heard on FMers 103.5, 107.7, and 103.9.
September 29, 2008
Grease Back To Jacksonville
Doug "Greaseman" Tracht returns to Jacksonville, to host afternoon drive on classic rock WFYV. Tracht was heard in the North Florida market from 1975 to 1982, when he was the morning man on "top 40" AM legend WAPE, before coming to DC's DC101 to be Howard Stern's replacement. We assume that the Grease will manage to continue his current Saturday morning shift on rocker DC101.
September 23, 2008
JFK-FM To Be Relayed On 94.7's HD3
Now that the HD Radio Alliance has relaxed its rules on running commercial content on digital HD Radio subchannels, DCRTV hears that CBS is planning to relay the signal of guy talker and University Of Maryland sports outlet WJFK-FM (106.7) on the HD3 signal of co-owned classic rocker WTGB (94.7 FM), which transmits from Bethesda. Since Northern Virginia's 106.7 is short-spaced to Baltimore's 106.5, WWMX, the JFK-FM signal has a tough time reaching some portions of DC's northeastern suburbs, including College Park.
September 23, 2008
Cahill New PD For WBIG & WASH
The new program director for Clear Channel's classic hits WBIG (100.3 FM) and adult contemporary WASH (97.1 FM) is Bill Cahill, from CC's Richmond radio cluster, where he's been operations manager and programmed adult contemporary WTVR-FM. He replaces Bill Hess at WASH, who left for a gig at Air America over the summer, and Dan Michaels at WBIG, who just left.
September 22, 2008
Mancow Lands On WTNT
Redskins owner Dan Snyder's righty talker WTNT has replaced Dennis Miller with Chicago-based shock jock Mancow in the 3 PM to 6 PM slot. WTNT Program Director Greg Tantum tells us that it's a "soft launch" with no publicity - not even on the station's website. Miller moves to the noon to 3 PM slot, with Mike Gallagher taking late evenings. All three are syndicated, piped-in via satellite. Mancow just lost his Baltimore outlet, with talker WVIE, 1370 AM, flipping to sports talk.
September 22, 2008
Post To Increase Web Presence, Politico To Expand
The Washington Post is launching a major web expansion of its Capitol Hill national political coverage, just as Allbritton's less than two-year-old DC-based Politico website and newspaper announces a major expansion, too. The Post unveils "The Political Browser," a section that "brings together on one page the day's most important political stories, videos, facts, statistics, and photos from around the web." A hub for readers to instantly find the top news driving the day's political discussion selected by the Post's political team. Focusing on breaking news, viral videos, and best scoops likely to shape the rest of the week's political conversation. It'll also cover news from the congressional and gubernatorial races across the country. But, upstart Politico is also announcing some big plans. Next year, the less-than-two-year-old political news and gossip site will increase publication of its newspaper to four days when Congress is in session, increase circulation, and expand its staff to more than 100 employees. It currently has a staff of 85. The paper will remain predominantly focused on Capitol Hill and add new congressional editors and reporters. Plus, it'll increase coverage of the White House, with a new webpage dubbed "Politico 44."
September 21, 2008
CBS News Vet Robert Camfiord Dies
Robert Bjarne "Barney" Camfiord, 77, a former director of CBS news programs, died on 8/5 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had emphysema. Camfiord began his career with CBS-TV in 1955 in New York as a film editor. In 1963, he came to the CBS Washington bureau, where he directed "Face The Nation" and the "CBS Morning News." He also directed Washington segments of the "CBS Evening News." Among the major news events that Camfiord covered as a director were the Cuban missile crisis; the 1963 March on Washington, which featured Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech; the funerals of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy; the first Apollo moon landing in 1969; and the Watergate hearings.
September 18, 2008
Michaelsen Gets ND Gig At 9
Lane Michaelsen has been named as the new news director at DC's CBS affiliate, Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA. He worked his way up through the Gannett ranks from news photographer, to news director at a Little Rock TV station, to a Gannett corporate position. Michaelsen will replace Mike Ward, who "resigned" earlier this week. On the heels of last week's news anchor shuffle, not to mention the CBS affiliate's chronic low news ratings. Ward joined WUSA in May 2007 after TV news and management gigs in Chicago, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Sioux Falls, and Cleveland.
September 17, 2008
CBM Finally Beats BAL
WCBM (680 AM) finally tops WBAL-AM (1090) in the battle of the Baltimore AM talkers. WCBM has risen from a 3.4 share to a 4.1 share in a year, while WBAL has dropped from 4.8 to a 3.9. Also, new alternative rocker WCHH debuts with a 1.3 share, way way down from a 3.6 when 104.3 was smooth jazz a year ago. Out today, the monthly "trend" ratings for Baltimore, full-day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WPOC, 4) WLIF, 5) WCBM, 6) WWMX, 7) WBAL-AM, 8) WZBA, 9) WIYY and WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHFS, 14) WRBS, 17) WCHH.
September 17, 2008
TOP Stays On Top
Another round of those monthy "trend" radio ratings. DC. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH and WIHT, 7) WKYS, 8) WLZL, 9) WMAL, 10) WMZQ and WRQX and WWDC, 13) WPRS, 14) WJFK-FM and WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WFRE, 19) WAVA, 20) WFLS and WTEM, 22) WWWT, 23) WINC-FM and WIYY and WBQB, 26) WWXX, 27) WWRC. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WMAL and WWDC, 8) WIHT, 9) WASH, 10) WLZL, 11) WRQX, 12) WMZQ, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WAVA, 17) WFRE and WJZW, 19) WWWT and WTGB, 21) WTEM, 22) WFLS, 23) WWXX and WINC-FM, 25) WIYY, 26) WWRC and WBQB. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WIHT, 6) WASH, 7) WJFK-FM, 8) WRQX, 9) WLZL and WMAL, 11) WMZQ and WKYS, 13) WWDC, 14) WPRS and WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS and WBQB, 22) WWXX and WIYY and WINC-FM, 25) WWRC and WWWT, 27) WAVA.
September 16, 2008
MASN To Launch 24/7 HD Net In March
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will be launching a full-time high-def channel come March 2009. With up to 200 Nationals and Orioles games in HD. Doubling the number of HD games offered this year via MASN's part-time HD network, which was not carried by all area video providers. Also, the MASN HD channel will carry Ravens pre-season games, selected NCAA Division I football, basketball, and lacrosse games, plus ESPN News in high-def. Comcast, DirecTV, Cox, and RCN are on-board to carry the new 24/7 channel, according to MASN.
September 16, 2008
Ruttenberg Jumps From 4 To 5
Executive news producer Margie Ruttenberg leaves NBC's Channel 4/WRC for the assistant news director gig at Fox's Channel 5/WTTG.
September 15, 2008
Willingham, Witte, Cook Gone From 7 & 8
Dave Willingham, the morning traffic reporter on NewsChannel 8, and Channel 7/WJLA weekend weatherman Joe Witte have both been canned by Allbritton, which owns both outlets. DCRTV has already reported that local TV weather veteran Steve Rudin has been hired by 7 to do weekend forecasts. DCRTV also hears that anchor Leslie Cook, who is away on maternity leave, will not be returning to JLA. We're told that she's moved back to her native Texas.
September 15, 2008
Tim Watts Gives Up PD Duties At Magic 95.9
Tim Watts has resigned his program director post at Baltimore adult urban outlet WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9. The two decade Charm City radio veteran will continue his midday on-air gig at the Radio One station. On an interim basis, Kathy Brown, operations manager of Radio One's adult urban WMMJ, Magic 102.3 in DC, will assume programming duties at WWIN.
September 15, 2008
RZ Tweaks Talkers
It's "McCain 570 WTNT" and "Obama 1260 WWRC". Those are the temporary presidential campaign identities for the former Clear Channel talkers now operated by Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra. With some line-up tweaks as of today. On righty WTNT, on the left side of the AM dial, it's Bill Bennett at 6 AM, Laura Ingraham at 9 AM, Mike Gallagher at noon, Dennis Miller at 3 PM, and Michael Savage at 6 PM. On lefty WWRC, on the right side of the AM dial, it's Bill Press at 6 AM, Stephanie Miller - moving over from now-defunct 3WT - at 9 AM, Ed Schultz at noon, Lionel at 3 PM, Rachel Maddow at 6 PM, and Ron Reagan at 8 PM. Also, righty WTNT features news from Fox, with lefty WWRC carrying newscasts from CNN and CNBC. The stations are now programmed by Greg Tantum, who used to program Bonneville talker 3WT.
September 15, 2008
WFED Makes Move To 1500
As expected, Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, made the move Monday morning from the weakish 1050 AM to the 50,000-watt signal of 1500 AM, which had been airing now-defunct talker 3WT. WFED will also be heard on Frederick's 820 AM. The beefed-up WFED line-up includes the "Federal Drive" with Tom Temin and Jane Norris at 6 AM, locally-produced specialty federal programming at 10 AM, "In Depth" with Francis Rose at 1 PM, and the "Daily Debrief" with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris at 3 PM. Plus a batch of weekly programs, including "Federal Tech Talk" with John Gilroy on Tuesdays at 11 AM, and "Your Turn" with Mike Causey on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Federal News Radio will continue to run sports that had been heard on 3WT, including the Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals, Navy Athletics, and GW men's basketball, plus 3WT's night talkers, including DC-based Jim Bohannon. 3WT's Virginia signal, 107.7 FM from Warrenton, now airs Bonneville sister all-newser WTOP.
September 14, 2008
Nostalgic Tunes End On WCTN
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) will be dropping its short-lived nostalgic adult contemporary format on Sunday at 10 PM. Following a prayer from John Vogt, who owned the station when it was Christian contemporary in the 1980s and 1990s, WCTN will go back to brokered programming. Look for a resumption of Korean religion from WCTN's current owner, Richard Yoon's Win Radio.
September 11, 2008
Comcast To Close Hunt Valley Ad Center
A source tells DCRTV that Comcast Spotlight, which handles local ad sales for the cable TV giant, will shut down its Hunt Valley operations center north of Baltimore, and relocate most functions to new digs in West Chester PA, just west of Philadelphia, where Comcast is headquartered. The Hunt Valley facility processes advertising contracts, payments, and traffic from sales offices throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region. The approximately 75 Hunt Valley employees are being offered the chance to "re-apply" for their jobs in the new West Chester center. The regional Comcast sales team, as well as regional traffic and senior management employees, will be relocated to new office space in Baltimore County in the near future.
September 11, 2008
McDermott Gone From 9
A DCRTVer tells us: "I was shocked when Todd McDermott signed off on WUSA/Channel 9 after Wednesday night's 11 PM newscast. Do you have any info on where he's headed?" DCRTV hears that McDermott (left) surprised many when he did a short goodbye thanking the viewers for welcoming him into their homes since 2004. Insiders at 9 say his contract was not renewed.
September 10, 2008
MD Commission Rejects Comp Request From Former FREer
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission has turned down a request for payment by country WFRE (99.9 FM) former morning personality Linda West. In an 8/1 hearing, West claimed that she suffered health problems due to mold in the radio station on Grove Hill Road in Frederick. The Clear Channel station claimed that only small amounts of mold were found and they were located in areas not frequented by West.
September 10, 2008
GWU Hoops To Remain On 1500 & 820
George Washington University's men's basketball will again air on Bonneville's 1500 AM and 820 AM during the 2008-2009 season. Those two signals have been carrying soon-to-defunct talker 3WT, which is due to become Federal News Radio next week. However, the other component of the 3WT signal, 107.7 FM, has not been mentioned and presumably will no longer carry GWU games. That frequency is now carrying all-news WTOP.
September 8, 2008
Rudin Nabs Weekend Weather Gig At 7
Channel 7/WJLA has named DC TV weather veteran Steve Rudin as its weekend weatherman. He has been doing fill-in work on 7 and sister NewsChannel 8. Rudin has worked at Channel 5/WTTG and at Channel 9/WUSA, where he worked with WJLA's now top meterologist, Doug Hill.
September 4, 2008
56 Signs Off
As expected, as of 9/1, Northern Virginia public television outlet Channel 56/WNVC has permanently shut down its analog signal. Along with its digital signal on channel 57, while it makes equipment upgrades. The Falls Church station's MHz Networks signal is still available via digital broadcast on co-owned WNVT, which operates a digital-only signal on channel 30. Four of MHz's digital foreign network relays also remain available via channel 30. Most local cable TV systems, including Comcast and Cox, are continuing to carry WNVC's and WNVT's digital video streams uninterrupted via landline. WNVC will resume its digital broadcasts in February on channel 24.
September 4, 2008
Former Ravens Coach Buys Into WNST
Dormer Baltimore Ravens Coach Brian Billick will become an investor in Nestor Aparacio's sports talk WNST (1570 AM). As DCRTV already reported, Billick will host a weekly show on the Towson-based station.
September 3, 2008
Robin Breedon Gone From Praise 104.1
Robin Breedon, formerly with CBS's formerly gospel WPGC-AM, Heaven 1580, is now apparently also formerly with Radio One's gospel Praise 104.1, WPRS. We're told that she is no longer doing the 4 PM to 8 PM shift on the FMer and has been erased from WPRS's website.
September 2, 2008
Bob & Tom To ZBA
Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, 100.7 FM, the Bay, is going with the syndicated "Bob And Tom" morning show, which is based in Indianapolis. Starting 9/8. WZBA discharged Baltimore radio vet Chris Emry from his morning slot over the summer. Emry is now doing evenings on DC classic rocker WTGB, the Globe, 94.7 FM.
September 2, 2008
Tantum Joins Red Zebra
Former Washington Post Radio and 3WT program director Greg Tantum has been named program director of low-rated talkers WTNT (570 AM) and WWRC (1260 AM). Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra recently bought WTNT and WWRC from Clear Channel. "Not sure why they need a PD to get 0.2 shares, but there you go... wasting more money at Red Zebra," says a local radio guru. Bonneville talkers WPR and 3WT are both defunct, due to low ratings. Before coming to DC, Tantum worked at San Francisco news talker KGO.
September 2, 2008
Baltimore's 1370 To Go Sports
Baltimore talker 1370 AM, WVIE, will go all-sports on 9/8, with a Fox Sports affiliation. Area sports radio veteran Jerry Coleman, previously with WTEM, 98 Rock, and WBAL radio, will be sports director and host a daily show from 3 PM to 6 PM. Syndicated Jim Rome will be carried by "Fox 1370 Sports Radio." More line-up announcements to come. The WCBM sister talker recently upgraded its daytime signal to 50,000-watts. It'll be Baltimore's third sports talker, joining CBS's ESPN 1300, WJFK-AM, and Nestor Aparacio's WNST, 1570 AM.
September 2, 2008
Ike Pappas Dies
Ike Pappas, a longtime CBS newsman who reported the shooting death of presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on the radio as it was happening, has died at age 75. Pappas died Sunday in a hospital in Arlington of complications of heart disease, his family said. Pappas, who lived in McLean, was among more than 200 CBS News employees laid off by the company in 1987.
September 2, 2008
Ed Buterbaugh Dies
Ed Buterbaugh, who was chief engineer of legendary DC area "top 40" outlet WEAM (1390 AM) in the 1960s and early 1970s, died of complications from bladder cancer over the weekend. For many years, Buterbaugh worked at radio stations in the Detroit area, including news talk WJR and another legendary "top 40" outlet, CKLW, in nearby Windsor, Ontario, where he lived.
August 29, 2008
P-Stew Gone From KYS, RO Cuts 7 More
P-Stew has been released from his duties as music director and creative services director of Radio One urban outlet WKYS (93.9 FM). We're told that he was among eight employees just budget-cut at Radio One's Lanham broadcast complex, which also powers WMMJ, WOL, WYCB, and WPRS. P-Stew has been with KYS for more than 13 years, begining with the "Live Squad," and eventually moving up to the music director and assistant program director gigs. He's also hosted the "One Nation Hip Hop Show" on Saturday nights. P-Stew is currently nominated by trade pub Radio And Records as "Urban Music Director Of The Year." No word yet if the "One Nation Hip Hop Show" will still be heard on KYS with a new host. DCRTV also hears that locally-based Radio One, which is facing slumping revenue numbers and record low stock prices, made employee cuts in other markets, including canning 20 at its Atlanta cluster. Plus more cuts in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia.
August 28, 2008
DOJ Derails Sinclair's Purchase Of Richmond CBSer
The Department Of Justice has slapped down Baltimore-based Sinclair's proposed purchase of Richmond's CBS affiliate, Channel 6/WTVR, from Raycom, ruling that the company's effort to create a duopoly in the Virginia market violates federal antitrust laws. Raycom has purchased Richmond's NBC affiliate, Channel 12/WWBT, and is required by FCC rules to sell WTVR. In June, Sinclair agreed to buy WTVR for $85 million. But Sinclair also owns Richmond's Fox affiliate, Channel 35/WRLH, of which it planned to sell the "license assets" to what News Blues calls a "shadow company" called Carma. Sinclair would continue to own the WRLH building and equipment, and it would "continue to provide sales and other non-programming services to WRLH." Says News Blues editor Mike James: "The antitrust cops saw right through the scam and shut it down." In a news release, Sinclair said "it appears that the acquisition of WTVR-TV and the sale of the license assets of WRLH-TV will not occur." Sinclair owns about 60 TV stations, including Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF. It operates Channel 54/WNUV.
August 27, 2008
Schelby Sweeney Gone From 94.7
Schelby Sweeney is out as midday personality and music director at CBS's recently reborn classic rocker on DC's 94.7 FM. Her replacement will be named soon. Sweeney, who'd been working at the station several years, since its days as the Arrow, WARW, had been instrumental in its step toward becoming an adult alternative rocker as the Globe, WTGB, in the past year-and-a-half. But, due to lowish ratings, the station has been tweaked back to traditional classic rock. She will be replaced by Marci Wiser, who comes comes from sister CBS alternative rocker WXRK in NYC.
August 27, 2008
WFED Calls To 1500, WTOP Calls To 1050
Bonneville plans to move the WFED call letters from Silver Spring's 1050 AM to Wheaton's 1500 AM, when it moves Federal News Radio to the latter signal in mid-September. The venerable WTOP calls will get slapped on 1050. Also, Bonneville has asked the FCC for a waiver to simulcast WFED's programming on both 1500 and 1050 "for a few weeks while (they) move the audience to 1500." The FCC does not normally allow a full-time simulcast on same-band signals which significantly overlap. After that, look for 1050 to become a relay for all-news WTOP, which stays on DC's 103.5 FM, and a sports overflow channel. And, there's still talk that Bonneville will sell or trade the 1050 signal.
August 26, 2008
Nats' Radio Ratings "Microscopic"
We already knew that their TV ratings were in the basement. Now, we hear that the Nationals' radio ratings are so bad that there are more people in the stadium (average attendance 29,990 per game) than hearing them on the radio (cumulative weekly listenership of 26,500). "The numbers are disappointing," says Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming for Bonneville, the company that carries Nats' games via soon-to-be defunct talker 3WT, which had been Washington Post Radio. Farley says the team's poor record alone doesn't explain the results. "There's no storyline for this season," he says. "Who's the hero? Who's the big star (on the team)?" And, Farley concedes that the actual radio audience for the Nationals is "probably lower" than the average reported by Arbitron.
August 25, 2008
Robert Scorpio Returns To PGC
CBS Radio names Robert Scorpio as operations manager of urban contemporary WPGC-FM and inspirational talk WPGC-AM. He'll also handle programming duties at WPGC-FM, replacing Skip Dillard, who is now operations manager for Inner City's adult urban WBLS and gospel WLIB in NYC. Scorpio worked at PGC-FM 17 years ago as assistant program director and on-air personality. More recently, he programmed urban KDAY/KDAI in LA until May 2007, when he left to open a consultancy firm, Mostly Media. Scorpio is also executive producer of Westwood One's "Top 40 Countdown" and had programmed urbans KKBT in LA and KBXX in Houston.
August 25, 2008
Mitchem Replaces Kapugi At Clear Channel DC
Clear Channel names Thea Mitchem as operations manager for its five DC, three Baltimore, and two Frederick radio stations. As well as program director for DC's contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT. She replaces Jeff Kapugi, who resigned for personal reasons several weeks ago. Mitchem comes from Clear Channel's Philadelphia cluster, where she's been OM. This a return to her hometown of DC, where she started her radio career in the 1990s in the programming department of CBS's urban WPGC-FM. From 2001 to 2003, she programmed Baltimore's then-WXYV during its incarnation as urban X105.7, another CBS station.
August 22, 2008
Revamped Sun Rises On Sunday
On Sunday, 8/24, the Baltimore Sun will debut a "reinvention... that complements readers' busy lives and offers its advertisers high-impact promotion opportunities." Says Sun Editor Tim Franklin: "This is a whole new Baltimore Sun. It's a more visual newspaper for a more visual age. It's bolder, with more color, more photos, and more of our personalities displayed prominently." Look for 40 features to be introduced. The daily editions will be organized into three sections - News, Sports, and Features. The Sunday edition will see a new "Find It" career-oriented tab with job ads.
August 21, 2008
Pat Goss Back To JFK
Car show guy Pat Goss will be returning to CBS talker WJFK-FM (106.7) on Saturday, 8/30, from 11 AM to 1 PM. Goss's weekend car show had been heard on Bonneville talker 3WT, which is being terminated. Before jumping to 3WT and its predecessor Washington Post Radio in 2006, Goss had been heard on WJFK-FM.
August 20, 2008
More Surgery For WETA Head
AP is reporting that WETA president and CEO Sharon Rockefeller, 63, is recovering from surgery stemming from a 2005 cancer treatment. She was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital on 8/5. And is said to be recuperating well and plans to return to work at the DC area public TV/radio operation by the end of September.
August 20, 2008
HUR Battles MMJ
Another round of those monthly "trend" radio ratings for DC. Massive battle shaping between HUR and MMJ. HUR had been leading drivetimes with Steve Harvey in the morning and Michael Baisden in the afternoon. Now Tom Joyner and Monique on MMJ are closing the gap. The other big urbans, PGC and KYS, are getting left behind. TEM and Red Zebra ain't going anywhere. TEM/RZ got beat by a partial-market signal, WFRE. MAL 12+ looks fine, but 25-54 nowhere near the top 10. Globe up a little, not a lot, but that's before tweak back to classic rock. JFK-FM flat. O'Meara and Junks same as spring book. TOP tops 12+ in mornings, 2nd in afternoons. El Zol back up. DC, age 12+, full-week: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP and WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WMZQ, 10) WLZL and WRQX and WWDC, 13) WPRS, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WFRE, 19) WACA and WTEM, 21) WAVA, 22) WFLS, 23) WWWT, 24) WWXX and WBQB and WIYY, 27) WKDV. Morning drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WMAL, 6) WWDC, 7) WPGC-FM and WIHT, 9) WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WMZQ, 12) WJFK-FM and WLZL, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WJZW, 18) WAVA, 19) WFRE and WTEM. Afternoon drive: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH and WIHT, 7) WMZQ, 8) WJFK-FM, 9) WKYS, 10) WLZL and WMAL, 12) WRQX and WWDC, 14) WBIG, 15) WJZW, 16) WPRS and WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WAVA. Baltimore, age 12+, full-day: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WWMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WCBM, 8) WIYY, 9) WZBA, 10) WCAO, 11) WQSR, 12) WHFS, 14) WCHH, 16) WRBS, 23) WJFK-AM and WRNR.
August 19, 2008
Dorobek Joins Morris On FNR Afternoons
Chris Dorobek joins Bonneville's federal news talker Federal News Radio, WFED, to co-host the afternoon "Daily Debrief" show with Amy Morris. He comes from Federal Computer Week. Also, look for "DD" to be expanded from two to three hours. DCRTV has reported that a batch of changes are coming to WFED as it moves to the stronger 1500 AM signal in September.
August 17, 2008
Jack Landau Dies
Jack Landau, 74, a founder of the Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press, died on 8/9 of complications from emphysema at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was a longtime Falls Church resident. The committee, a Washington-based legal defense and research center for reporters, was created in 1970, when the nation's news media were facing an increasing number of government subpoenas demanding that reporters name confidential sources. Landau, a reporter-lawyer covering the Supreme Court for Newhouse News Service, was an early member of the steering committee. In his spare time, he started the First Amendment Hotline, the first free legal guidance service for journalists involved in First Amendment and freedom-of-information issues.
August 16, 2008
NPR's Leroy Sievers Dies
National Public Radio's Leroy Sievers, 53, the former ABC "Nightline" executive producer whose battle with cancer was documented on his NPR blog died on 8/15. Sievers was one of Ted Koppel's executive producers at then-DC-based "Nightline," and later moved with Koppel to the Discovery Channel where he oversaw the 2007 documentary "Our Children's Children's War," which aired in March 2007. Sievers, along with Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Edwards, was featured in Koppel's "Living With Cancer" broadcast, which aired on Discovery in May 2007. Sievers was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006. By June of this year it had spread to his brain, shoulder blades, liver, pelvis, and lungs.
August 15, 2008
Snyder To Put Spanish Sports On 730
Redskins owner Dan Snyder will start a Spanish language sports talker on some of the six area signals his Red Zebra broadcasting arm runs in the DC area. He will be flipping WXTR, 730 AM, to ESPN Deportes on 9/1. That signal has been relaying Snyder's new sports talk ESPN 980, which will remain on 980 AM, 92.7 FM, and 94.3 FM. The new "ESPN Deportes 730" will air Redskins games in Spanish.
August 15, 2008
Big Don Gone From WINX
Area radio veteran "Big Don" O'Brien is no longer with Annapolis/Cambridge area country outlet WINX (94.3 FM), where he'd been doing the morning show. We're told that his dismissal involved the content of his program not being "family-oriented."
August 14, 2008
New Look For 50
DCRTV's told you that Channel 50/WDCW is changing its imaging. The former "CW Washington" moniker is being scrapped. And we get a first look at the new "DC50" graphic (right). With a new website at dc50tv.com.....
August 13, 2008
Henry Sampson Dies
Baltimore radio announcer Henry Sampson, "The Roving Disc Jockey," passed away recently in Baltimore County. Sampson worked at the old WSID (1010 AM), WWIN (1400 AM), and the old WEBB (1360 AM). "Henry loved his rhythm and blues records and gospel music," Baltimore radio veteran Jack Edwards tells us. Sampson's funeral will be Friday at New Shiloh Baptist Church, we're told.
August 11, 2008
Bonneville Kills 3WT, Expands WTOP & FNR
Bonneville will be killing off low-rated talker 3WT, WWWT. And will use 3WT's old 107.7 FM Warrenton/Manassas signal to relay all-news WTOP, which will remain on DC's 103.5 FM and Frederick's 103.9 FM. With 3WT's old DC area 1500 AM and Frederick's 820 AM going to Federal News Radio, WFED, now on DC's low-ish powered 1050 AM. The Washington Nationals will continued to be heard on 3WT's old signals. The team is under contract to Bonneville through the 2009 season, along with the Washington Capitals, Naval Academy athletics, and George Washington University mens' basketball. The 3WT morning team, "The Inner Loop" with David Burd, Jessica Doyle, and Victoria Jones, is gone. The last show was on 8/11. Starting 8/12, WTOP's morning show will air on 107.7 and WFED's morning show will air on 1500/820, with the syndicated talkers remaining on the former 3WT signals for several more weeks. Also gone from 3WT - weekend car show guy Pat Goss and Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser, who was due to return in January after his ESPN "Monday Night Football" duties. With the demise of 3WT, syndicated hosts losing their Washington radio home include Stephanie Miller, Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Randi Rhodes. DC-based Jim Bohannon's evening and early morning shows and Phil Hendrie's overnight program will continue to be heard on WFED's frequencies. 3WT was born in September 2007 from the remains of another failed talker, Washington Post Radio.
August 11, 2008
WUFO No Longer On 49
DCRTV previously told you that low-power DC TVer Channel 49/WWTD will be flipping to a relay of Channel 7/WJLA, providing an analog feed of the ABC affiliate after the switch to digital TV come February. Now, we hear that WWTD's current programming deal with the "WUFO.TV" network has ended as of 8/10. The sci-fi, other-worldly network founded by Michael Gravino and picked as the "Best Local TV Channel" by Washington's City Paper, is gone. "We are glad to have completed a 284-day run in DC and we thank the hundreds of thousands of viewers in this region who loved our programming format and told us so each week," says Gravino, who programmed his network from a small studio in Connecticut. "The quality of the signal of 49 is vastly over-rated and is stomped on by many other stations. While we would like to think it was the 'Men In Black' conducting electronic warfare on us, and some of it looks it actually was that, 49 could not deliver the DMA to us that we really wanted." Gravino says he hopes to continue WUFO.TV via digital TV, cable, satellite, and/or via the internet.
August 8, 2008
Ragan Henry Dies
Ragan Henry, who once owned Baltimore's "top 40" outlet WITH, Baltimore soul-formatted WWIN, and DC area oldies outlet XTRA-104, died on 7/26 after a long illness. He was 74. Henry, who also owned radio stations in Philadelphia and Atlanta, was the first African American to own a TV network affiliate. He was named as one of the Library Of American Broadcasting's "First Fifty Giants Of Broadcasting" in 2003.
August 8, 2008
Emry To Globe
DCRTV hears that Chris Emry, the former morning man on Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, the Bay, was heard on DC classic rocker WTGB, the Globe, yesterday evening. We're told that he did an "on-air demo" for part-time, fill-in work at the CBS station.
August 7, 2008
Ron Smith To Pen Column For Sun
WBAL radio afternoon talk host Ron Smith will become an "opinion columnist" for the Baltimore Sun. We're told that his column will appear on the op-ed page on Wednesdays, and via baltimoresun.com and wbal.com. Smith, a right-leaner who often disagrees with Bush administration policies, will also have his writings appear in sister Tribune newspapers across the country. Apparently, Smith and WBAL insisted the powers that be at the Sun understand that his column may be critical of the newspaper, which tends to lean left. It was also made clear that Smith will continue to be "fair but often critical of the Sunpapers" on his 1090 AM radio show, we're told.
August 7, 2008
B'cast Union Negotiator John Krieger Dies
John Krieger, 81, a retired union negotiator with the broadcast employees and technicians sector of the Communications Workers Of America, died of congestive heart failure on 8/1 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He was a Germantown resident. After an early journalism career in Buffalo, he moved to Washington in 1981 to work as the international representative for the CWA's National Association Of Broadcast Employees And Technicians. In 1995, he become the union's network coordinator. He negotiated agreements for network coverage of the Olympics from 1996 through 2004. He retired in 2005.
August 6, 2008
Scott Brady's Back
DCRTV hears that DC-Baltimore radio veteran Scott Brady is back in the area. He's been doing fill-in work at Annapolis's WNAV, and just landed the Sunday 10 AM to 3 PM slot. Brady worked at Baltimore's Mix 106.5 and at DC's WASH, doing the pre-Loo Katz morning show before heading to a Phoenix radio gig.
August 6, 2008
Top 2 Engineering Gig To Paul Wilkerson
Channel 2/WMAR promotes Paul Wilkinson from chief engineer to director of engineering. A native of Catonsville, Wilkinson received his electronics training in the US Army in Aberdeen and began his TV engineering career at Maryland Public Television. During his 35-year career, Wilkinson has worked at Channel 13/WJZ, Minneapolis's WCCO-TV, and at several Maryland video production firms. He joined WMAR in 2005.
August 6, 2008
DC Times To Move Printing To Baltimore Sun
The Washington Times will be printed by the Baltimore Sun starting in September. Also, the Times will outsource its commercial printing come October. The Times says its aging New York Avenue printing plant has become "inadequate" and "untenable" for planned growth. And Times management doesn't want to spend the dough to upgrade the presses. By moving to the Sun's presses, the Times can expand to six sections, plus feature more color pages and zoned sections. No word on how many Times press workers will lose their jobs.
August 5, 2008
94.7 Back To Classic Rock
After a year-and-a-half of no ratings traction as the alternative rockish the Globe, DCRTV hears that CBS is transitioning DC's 94.7 back to classic rock. What it had been as the Arrow prior to February 2007. So it can run smack up against Clear Channel's better-rated classic rock hits WBIG? "We are always evolving the Globe to reflect what our listeners want to hear. New music moves in and out as well as some of the gold," a station official tells us. In any case, the Globe name stays, we hear.
August 5, 2008
Kapugi Exits Clear Channel DC
Jeff Kapugi has resigned his position as operations manager of Clear Channel's DC-Baltimore radio cluster. And his gig as program director of contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT. He'd been with CC and its predecessor Jacor for two decades. Kapugi claims that he wants to jump into a new life opportunity and have more time for his family. But, with the always budget-cutting CC, you've always got to wonder: Was he pushed? "My gut is telling me that he will land at Tribune with all his 'buddies,'" says a former CCDCer who Kapugi canned. Currently, three of CC's five DC stations - WIHT, WASH, and WBIG - don't have program directors. Meg Stevens, program director of WMZQ, will temporarily assume operations manager duties for the cluster. While afternooner Toby Knapp will temporarily assume program director duties for Hot 99.5.
August 5, 2008
Oldier Oldies For 950
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) has signed back on with older middle-of-the-road oldies, as DCRTV had predicted last week. The Win Broadcasting station had been silent after its transmitter "blew up" in mid-July. It used to broadcast Spanish language programming. Still no word about whether the new nostalgic standards format is permanent or is just a filler until the station can find brokered programming.
August 4, 2008
Geronimo "Fired" From WOCM
A DCRTVer tells us: From the lady who answered the business line at WOCM, Ocean City, "Don Geronimo (right) is no longer with Ocean 98." Earlier, we reported that the DC area radio veteran and former WJFK-FM afternooner did not do his oldies show at 1 PM today. Says the mysterious Mr. Sorce: "They fired me for talking too much and adlibbing during live reads. Oh, and I wanted more than $10 an hour. All true, gotta love radio... Next move maybe sooner before later... but I did have fun for a month." WOCM Program Director Skip Dixxon will now extend his midday shift from 10 AM to 3 PM. Geronimo is rumored to be heading to Sirius XM.
August 3, 2008
James McKenna Dies
James McKenna, 90, a Washington communications lawyer and manager of several radio and television stations, died of congestive heart failure on 7/23 at the Meadow Lakes retirement community in Hightstown NJ. He lived in Chevy Chase for more than 50 years. In 1952, McKenna founded the law firm McKenna And Wilkinson in Washington, a partnership that lasted until 1985, when he retired. One of his earliest clients was the fledgling ABC network, which he began representing in 1946 while he was with another law firm. ABC stayed with McKenna until his law firm dissolved. He owned controlling interests in AM and FM radio stations in Minneapolis, Harrisburg PA, and Madison WI, and a minority interest in a Cleveland television station until the 1980s.
August 3, 2008
VOA Vet Leonard Reed Dies
Leonard Reed, 90, a Voice Of America journalist whose belief in a more independent editorial policy led to his departure from the broadcasting agency, died of colon cancer on 7/25 at his home in Chevy Chase. Reed joined what would become the US Information Agency in 1946. He later moved to the VOA America, where he became the Munich-based European bureau chief. He conducted some of the first VOA broadcasts from Warsaw and Moscow. Returning to the US in 1965, he became chief of VOA's worldwide English-language broadcasting. After a policy dispute regarding coverage deemed insufficiently supportive of the Johnson administration's Vietnam War policy, Reed was removed from his post. He retired from the USIA in 1973, and devoted himself to volunteer work teaching English to Asian refugees and to freelance writing.
August 1, 2008
Post's Ad Revenue & Subs Continue Slumping
The Washington Post Company reported a second-quarter loss of $2.7 million today, as the education and media company absorbed the cost of early-retirement packages offered to employees at the Post earlier this year. In the second quarter, the newspaper division - the flagship Post, the suburban Gazettes, Express, and El Tiempo Latino - reported an operating loss of $96.7 million, compared to $17.8 million in the same quarter of 2007. Print advertising revenue at the Post was down 22 percent for the second quarter, compared to the same period last year, and was down 17 percent for the first six months of the year. Advertising revenue at the company's online units - including washingtonpost.com and the Slate Group - was up 4 percent for the quarter to $29 million. For the first six months of the year, Post daily circulation was down 2.6 percent, with Sunday circulation dropping 3.7 percent.
August 1, 2008
Former 9 Announcer Dies
Chris Clausen, who was an announcer whose voice was heard on promotions and public service spots for many TV stations, including Channel 9/WUSA a few years ago, died on 7/29 in Orlando after suffering a stroke.
July 30, 2008
Sun's Kubatko To MASN
Baltimore Sun sports columnist Roch Kubatko is jumping to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. His popular "Roch Around The Clock" sports blog will be moving to masnsports.com. Where Kubatko will continue to rant about the Orioles and the Ravens. Also, Kubatko will appear on the "O's Xtra" and "Ravens Xtra" shows, the "Orioles Hot Stove Show," and with Anita Marks. During baseball season, Kubatko will also co-host selected pre- and post-game shows for the Orioles Radio Network and WHFS. After 21 years at the Sun, Kubatko is taking the Tribune newspaper's employee buyout package.
July 29, 2008
Good Ratings News For 88.5
Because it's a public radio outlet, DC news talker WAMU (88.5) is not included in Arbitron's quarterly list of local radio ratings. But the American University station today brags that it's the 5th rated station in the market, with a 5.3 audience share. In morning drive, with "Morning Edition," WAMU says it ranks 2nd, with a 7.2 share. And Diane Rehm's Friday morning "News Roundup" is tied for 1st place locally, with a 5.5 share, according to WAMU. The station also says it does well with its Saturday morning line-up, including "Car Talk."
July 28, 2008
MG's PW Rags To Merge
The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger, both Media General daily newspapers in Prince William County, will combine to become the News And Messenger in October. The two already produce a combined edition on weekends and holidays. The new paper will assign reporters to cover specific areas of the county. The new combined organization will also control Media General's free county weekly, the PW Pulse. The News And Messenger will have a projected circulation of more than 24,000 paid daily readers. The PW Pulse is delivered to more than 88,000 homes. The Potomac News was founded in 1957; the Manassas Journal Messenger in 1869.
July 28, 2008
7 Launches Retro TV
Channel 7/WJLA launches its Retro TV Network schedule on its "RTN7" digital channel, in place of Local Point TV, with "Ironside." Also on the sked: "Adam-12," "Dragnet," "Marcus Welby," "Emergency," "Simon And Simon," "Leave It To Beaver," "Quincy," and the "Rockford Files." Oh yeah, paid infomercials run from 1 AM to 10 AM daily.
July 23, 2008
Satellite Radio Merger Approved
The long wait is finally over for satellite radio customers as the FCC approves the satellite radio merger of DC's XM and NYC's Sirius in 3-2 vote. The news comes after word spread Friday afternoon, 7/23, that a snag had developed, as some feared that FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate had not given Chairman Kevin Martin "absolute assurance" that she would vote in favor of the merger.
July 25, 2008
Radio Vet Paul Curtis Leibe Dead
Local radio veteran Paul Curtis Leibe, 60, passed away this week. Complications from a stroke, we're told. Known on the air as "Paul Curtis," he most-recently worked weekends at WNAV in Annapolis, and for many years was heard via old DC area oldies outlet XTRA-104, on old Annapolis "top 40" outlet WYRE, and at WPTX in Lexington Park. He also was a photographer and writer at the Enterprise newspaper in Southern Maryland. Back in the 1970s, Leibe worked as a police officer. "He was a gentleman, a very good guy, and sounded great on the radio," a colleague tells DCRTV.
July 25, 2008
Spring Radio Ratings
Adult contemporary WASH breaks into "top 5" again, which is usually all-news WTOP and four urbans. Urban WKYS falls out of the "top 5." Gospel Praise 104 drops a full share point. Contemporary hit Hot 99.5 continues to do fine. WTOP still owns morning drive, but urban adult WHUR has a very strong book. The adult alt-ish rock Globe ain't going anywhere. Mike O'Meara continues his post-Geronimo rise on talker JFK, taking 1st among males 18-49, and 5th among adults 25-54. The Junkies edge ahead of rocker DC101's Elliot among men 25-54, placing 3rd. Oldies WJZW is down from its smooth jazz days. No traction for talker 3WT. The spring quarterly radio ratings. DC, full day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMZQ, 9) WMAL, 10) WRQX, 11) WWDC, 12) WLZL, 13) WBIG, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WPRS, 16) WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WAVA, 21) WFLS, 22) WWWT and WOL, 24) WBQB and WWXX and WTNT. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WIHT, 6) WPGC-FM and WMAL, 8) WWDC, 9) WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WMZQ, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WLZL, 14) WBIG, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WJZW, 18) WAVA and WWWT and WTEM and WFRE and WOL, 23) WFLS and WWXX, 25) WBQB, 26) WTNT. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WMZQ, 8) WKYS, 9) WMAL, 10) WJFK-FM, 11) WWDC and WRQX, 13) WLZL, 14) WBIG, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB and WJZW, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS and WWXX, 22) WBQB, 23) WWWT and WAVA, 25) WTNT, 26) WOL and WACA. Baltimore, full day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WMMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WIYY, 8) WCBM, 9) WQSR, 10) WCAO, 11) WZBA, 12) WHFS. Former smooth jazz WSMJ took a big drop to 14th place with its new alt rock format as WCHH.
July 23, 2008
Big Changes For 50: Rebranding, New Digs
Look for Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW to rebrand itself from "The CW Washington" to "DC50." With a website change to DC50TV.com. We also hear that the CW affiliate will be moving from its current northwest Wisconsin Avenue digs to Tribune's downtown DC news bureau. WDCW has already shifted its entire master control operations to a Tribune "hub" in Indianapolis, with sales, accounting, traffic, and promotion making the across-DC move. Also, we hear that WDCW is planning to launch a daily newscast - not yet sure if it'll be morning or evening.
July 22, 2008
Chris Core To Do News Show For 50
Veteran DC broadcaster Chris Core will headline a new weekly news program for Channel 50/WDCW - "Weekend News With Chris Core." Premiering Saturday, 8/30. The half-hour show will air at 6 PM, with a Sunday repeat at 9:30 AM. Core, who spent more than three decades at talker WMAL, and who does "Core Values" commentaries for WTOP and fill-in work for XM's POTUS '08 election channel, will provide news and analysis of both local and national events on his new WDCW show. The program will be taped at WDCW parent Tribune Broadcasting Company's national news bureau in downtown DC. Look for many of Tribune's newspaper reporters, including those from the Baltimore Sun, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune to guest on Core's show. Core vows that the program "will not be another Sunday morning talking heads show. This will be compelling television that at times may get controversial as well."
July 22, 2008
Lara "Vibegrrl" Dua is gone from Hot 99.5. The Clear Channel contemporary hit station will be putting Raven at 10 AM and running Ryan Seacrest's new LA show from noon to 3 PM. Come 8/4. Dua had worked at WIHT for seven years.
July 21, 2008
92Q's K-Swift Dies
DJ K-Swift (right), also known as "The Club Queen," has died at age 29. She hosted the nightly mix show at Baltimore urban outlet WERQ, 92Q. Her real name was Khia Edgerton and she joined the Radio One station at age 18 and worked her way up the ranks from producer, to on-air mixer, to on-air personality. Her "Off The Hook Radio" show was top-rated. A Baltimore native, she owned Club Queen Entertainment, a production and management firm. A source tells DCRTV that she suffered a head injury in a swimming pool mishap. WJZ reports that K-Swift was found early Monday morning at her northeast Baltimore home in the 4300-block of Arizona Avenue. K-Swift was giving a pool party and had been drinking extensively before getting into the pool, WJZ reports. She was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where a crowd grew. 92Q first mentioned K-Swift's death at noon Monday. Her death is being investigated by Baltimore City police as suspicious, WJZ adds. WERQ middayer Neke Howse acknowledged that the staff was grieving and would honor her memory by running without personalities for the rest of the day and running audio clips of K-Swift. Howse worked with K-Swift early in her career when she produced Howse's night show. "She grew to become one of our most popular personalities at 92Q," Howse reportedly recalled. "She leaves behind a mother, a sister, and a large extended family. This is a terrible loss for 92Q and the whole community." "Her love and passion for everything she did was the key to her success," said Howard Mazer, general manager of Radio One Baltimore. "She is truly a person that both the radio and music industry will miss."
July 20, 2008
Anthony Amey Joins 5
Anthony Amey has joined Channel 5/WTTG as a weekend sports anchor, replacing Lou Holder. Amey anchored sports on ESPNews from 2004 to 2007.
July 20, 2008
Baltimore "Golden Age" Radio Buff Dies
In February 1972, Owens Pomeroy and five of his friends gathered around Pomeroy's dining room table to find a way to preserve the "Golden Age Of Radio." Two of the men decided to form a club and named themselves and four others the "founding fathers" of the Golden Radio Buffs of Maryland, now thought to be the oldest active radio club in the country. Pomeroy, one of those two co-founders, died of heart failure Friday at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore, leaving behind a legacy of old-time radio preservation. He was 78. Although founded in Baltimore, the Golden Radio Buffs has attracted members from around the country.
July 18, 2008
Post To Buy Miami NBCer
The Washington Post's Post-Newsweek broadcasting arm has agreed to buy WTVJ-TV in Miami from NBC. Terms were not disclosed, although published reports set the price at around $350 million. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and will give Post-Newsweek two TV stations in the Miami market, since it already owns ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.
July 18, 2008
John Quale Dies
John Quale, a nationally recognized authority in communications law, died on 6/29 at age 61. He was a partner in Skadden's DC office. A cum laude graduate of Harvard College in 1968, Quale earned his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1971. Before joining Skadden as a partner in 1996, he worked at the law firms Kirkland And Ellis and Wiley Rein, where he was a founding partner and head of Wiley's mass media communications group.
July 18, 2008
NPR's Gary Smith Dies
Gary Smith, the services coordinator for facilities at DC-based National Public Radio, has passed away. He had been battling health problems for the past few months and died unexpectedly this week. NPR is holding a private memorial service for him today. Smith was in charge of the NPR front desk at the 635 Massachusetts Avenue lobby since 2003.
July 16, 2008
Snyder To Make 980 His Sports Talk Flagship
Redskins owner Dan Snyder plans to run one sports talker among his batch of DC area stations, using newly-acquired WTEM, 980 AM, as his flagship. WTEM's programs will be carried on four of the six stations that Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm controls. Including the three signals of Snyder's current Triple X sports talker - 92.7 and 94.3 FM and 730 AM. Also, the Post reports that Red Zebra will drop the John Riggins show, which had aired on the three Triple X outlets. Plus, Red Zebra will move ESPN's nationally-syndicated radio shows from Triple X to the WTEM quadcast. Including "Mike And Mike," which will bump WTEM's current syndicated morning program, "The First Team." Colin Cowherd will displace a syndicated midday program hosted by former ESPN personality Dan Patrick. The changes will leave WTEM's three local call-in shows intact, with former Redskin Rick "Doc" Walker airing in mid-morning, former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson hosting in mid-afternoon, and "The Sports Reporters," with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban, carried during late-afternoon drive. The Post adds that Red Zebra has made no decision about changing the political talk formats of its newly-acquired WTNT, 570 AM, and WWRC, 1260 AM. Plans are for all six Red Zebra stations to carry Redskins game broadcasts simultaneously.
July 15, 2008
WWIN Asks For Power Hike
Radio One has applied with the Federal Communications Commission to double the power of its Baltimore area adult urban WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9, from 3,000-watts to 6,000-watts, and to change its city of license from Glen Burnie to Arbutus. No word about how that plan will be received by Fredericksburg's classic hits WGRQ or Hagerstown's classic hits WICL, both also on 95.9 FM, or DC's rival adult urban WHUR, not far away frequency-wise on 96.3 FM.
July 15, 2008
Buyout Hits Sun
Even though at least three dozen journalists at the Tribune-owned Baltimore Sun have applied for buyout packages, the paper will still need to lay off employees to achieve its goal of eliminating 60 newsroom jobs by August. According to Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Co-Chair Tanika White, 34 Guild members and a rumored 10 more non-Guild members applied for the buyout by this Friday's deadline. White stressed that some buyout applications could be rejected - that Sun leadership may decide it cannot afford to lose certain skill sets, which would add to the number of layoffs. Judy Berman, senior vice president of marketing for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, said the company is "staying with their original process and timeline" for buyouts and layoffs, and would not confirm the total number of buyout applications received from the newsroom. But an unofficial list of those who have applied includes reporters, photographers, and editors whose service at the paper ranges from less than a year to more than 25 years.
July 15, 2008
Emry Gone From ZBA
Chris Emry has left the morning show at Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, The Bay, 100.7 FM. The Shamrock station is in the process of putting together a new morning show and, in the meantime, Emry's co-host Michael Fillipelli will continue onward solo. Didn't we hear that former DC101 Program Director Cruze is now consulting for ZBA?
July 12, 2008
Tony Snow Dies
Former White House press secretary and TV-radio news show host Tony Snow (right) has died at the age of 53 after a second battle with cancer. He passed away at 2 AM Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital. Snow, a DC area resident, who had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a recurrence of the disease, left his White House job last September and joined CNN in April as a conservative commentator. Before taking the White House job, Snow worked for Fox News, first as a TV news anchor, commentator, and host of its "Fox News Sunday" program, and later as a talk radio show host. Snow, once a speech-writer for the first President George Bush, was first diagnosed with colon cancer in February 2005. His colon was removed, and, after six months of treatment, doctors said the cancer was in remission. A recurrence of the illness was diagnosed 11 months after he began the White House media job. Snow also led a DC area rock band, "Beats Workin'."
July 8, 2008
Bob Sellers Gone From 5
Morning newsman Bob Sellers has been let go from Channel 5/WTTG. His contract was not renewed, we're told. His last day was yesterday. Sellers came to DC's Fox5 from sister Fox News Channel a few years ago. We also hear that Sellers has been erased from WTTG's website.
July 7, 2008
New PD Named For DC101 & Channel 104.3
Dave Wellington is the new program director at Clear Channel DC rocker DC101 and sister Baltimore alternative rocker WCHH, Channel 104.3. He comes from CBS Radio's alternative rock WBCN in Boston, where he worked four years. He replaces DC101 PD Cruze, who left in April. Prior to WBCN, Wellington held programming positions at rockers in Las Vegas, Cleveland, and Detroit.
July 4, 2008
Charles Kavenagh Dies
Charles Kavenagh, 83, a former head of graphics at the ABC News bureau in Washington who then worked as a graphic artist for DC's Channel 9, now WUSA, from 1981 to 1990, died on 6/25 at the Washington VA Medical Center. He had pneumonia. Early in his career, Kavenagh was a cartoonist and sketch artist for the New York Herald Tribune. He later joined ABC News in NYC and transferred to its Washington bureau in the late 1960s.
July 1, 2008
Zier To Be CEO On AirAm Media
DC radio management veteran Bennett Zier will become the chief executive of lefty talk radio network Air America's media division. In late June, Bill Hess, who programmed WASH at DC's Clear Channel complex, which Zier used to head, also has jumped to NYC-based Air America. Zier, who also used to head Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm and was most-recently forming the DC area management and marketing firm of Umansky-Wyatt-Zier, will continue to be based in the DC area. Among his new Air America duties, Zier will handle on-air, online, and video projects.
June 27, 2008
Garceau Gone From Nightly Sports At 2
Channel 2/WMAR announces that Sports Director Scott Garceau "says goodnight to his nightly sportscasts." Come 7/3, Garceau will continue to be associated with ABC2 on "special projects," including play-by-play for college lacrosse, as well as special Ravens, Orioles, and Preakness coverage. "The move will allow Garceau to pursue other broadcast opportunities, both regionally and nationally," according to a statement from the Scripps station. DCRTV hears that the Baltimore sports vet could make a move to one of the city's sports talk radio stations or perhaps a regional cable sports network like Comcast SportsNet or MASN. Garceau has been part of the Orioles broadcasts for 13 years, first as host of the pre-game show, and later as a play-by-play broadcaster with Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer. He's also been the voice of the Ravens for 10 years, since their debut in Baltimore in 1996.
June 27, 2008
O'Meara Doing OK Post-Geronimo
WJFK-FM afternooner Mike O'Meara, post-Don Geronimo, is up to second place among adults age 25-to-54 and in third place with men age 18+ for the month of May. In the latest monthly "Trend" DC radio ratings, out today. Not bad. The full-day numbers for DC, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ and WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMZQ, 9) WMAL, 10) WBIG, 11) WRQX and WWDC, 13) WLZL, 14) WPRS, 15) WJFK-FM, 16) WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WAVA, 21) WOL and WBQB and WWXX and WWWT, 25) WACA and WTNT and WFLS. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WIHT, 6) WASH and WPGC-FM, 8) WWDC, 9) WMAL and WMZQ, 11) WRQX, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WBIG, 14) WLZL, 15) WPRS, 16) WOL and WTEM and WTGB, 19) WAVA, 20) WFRE and WJZW, 22) WWWT, 23) WWXX, 24) WFLS and WBQB, 26) WTNT, 27) WACA. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WASH, 5) WMMJ and WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMZQ, 9) WMAL and WBIG, 11) WRQX, 12) WJFK-FM and WWDC, 14) WLZL, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WJZW, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WWXX and WBQB, 22) WTNT and WAVA and WWWT, 25) WFLS, 26) WACA, 27) WOL. Baltimore, age 12+ full-day: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WWMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WIYY, 8) WCBM, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO and WZBA.....
June 27, 2008
Korny Bids Adieu To 3WT
Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser bid a low-key farewell to 3WT radio this morning, before leaving for his annual "Monday Night Football" duties on ESPN. He also confirmed rumors that he'll be returning to the Bonneville talker in January, after his "MNF" seasonal chores are completed. Come Monday, the 3WT morning team of David Burd, Jessica Doyle, and Victoria Jones will expand into the 8 AM hour where Kornheiser had aired. Kornheiser sidekick Marc "Nigel" Sterne will join them as in-studio producer. Stephanie Miller will take Korhneiser's 9 AM hour, with Neal Boortz moving from evenings to Kornheiser's re-play slot from 2 PM to 4 PM. Jerry Doyle will air in evenings.
June 25, 2008
Nats Start Spanish Radio Broadcasts
The Washington Nationals will be starting Spanish-language radio broadcasts of their "beisbol" games come Friday, 6/27. Via Spanish-language brokered outlet WZHF (1390 AM) in Arlington. The team has partnered with the Spanish Beisbol Network, which also produces the radio broadcasts for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. Angel Castillo, Carlos Guillen, and Luciano Rodriguez will be calling the games. Saturday games will also be broadcast on Gaithersburg's WMET (1160 AM), a brokered multi-cultural format station. Select Nationals Spanish games will be carried on XM Satellite Radio's "MLB En Español" channel (XM-174).
June 24, 2008
New Deal For Diamond
Mix 107.3 morning man Jack Diamond (right) has renewed his contract with station owner Citadel. "This is my life. It's not only what I do professionally - it's what I love doing for fun," says 18-year WRQX vet Diamond in a company press release. "I was born and raised here in DC and my first radio job was in Rockville, Maryland when I was 16-years-old. Being part of this community and this station is very special for me and my family. It's our home. This is our life. We share it with our listeners everyday and they share their lives with us." There's no word on the terms of the new deal, although we hear it's a five-yearer.
June 24, 2008
Kelson Nabs 92Q MD Gig
Radio One appoints Vernon Kelson as the music director of urban WERQ, 92Q. A Baltimore native, Kelson joined WERQ in 2002 as a programming intern. He eventually got his own air shift. In 2003, he became assistant music director, and has been acting music director since December 2007.
June 24, 2008
Geronimo To Do OC Radio Gig
Starting 7/7, former WJFK-FM afternooner Don Geronimo will be working for eclectic rocker WOCM (98.1 FM), Ocean 98, in Ocean City each weekday from 1 PM to 3 PM doing "an up-tempo show" with "hit music that doesn't suck" from the 1970s and 1980s. There'll be jingles and he'll "talk up" the records. Geronimo, a three-decade radio vet who retired as half of "The Don And Mike Show" in April, has been spending the time since at his Ocean City beachfront condo, we hear. Geronimo guested this morning on WOCM's "Bulldog In The Morning Show" to discuss his future radio plans. When Geronimo left CBS-owned WJFK-FM, he was told that his non-compete contract allows him to work in markets where there are no CBS radio stations, a la Ocean City. Geronimo, a former "top 40" DJ at WPGC, is a big fan of classic pop tunes.
June 23, 2008
Adios For Downie
Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie announced his resignation today. As has been expected. At a 4:30 PM meeting at the subscriber-slumping rag. He'll retire from his editorial position on 9/8, but will stay on to write books and guide changes at the company. "A new young publisher needs a new young executive editor," he reportedly said at the meeting. No word on his replacement, but lots of speculation.
June 23, 2008
Bill Hess Leaves CC DC For AirAM
Bill Hess is leaving Clear Channel's DC radio complex. He's been with CC DC five years, most recently as program director for adult contemporary WASH and classic hits WBIG. He recently gave up the operations reins for CC's three AMers - sports talk WTEM, and talkers WTNT and WWRC - with their impending sale to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Hess will head to NYC to be senior vice president for programming at lefty talk radio network Air America.
June 23, 2008
Veteran Area Journalist Bob Endicott Injured In Car Crash
Robert Endicott, 76, experienced life-threatening injuries in a 6/4 traffic crash in Northern Florida. He remains in the ICU at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. Endicott was NBC-TV's White House correspondent, covered the 1968 presidential campaign for NBC, and mentored a generation of reporters and editors as executive editor of the Reston Times newspaper group in Northern Virginia in the 1980s. During the 1970s, he covered the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations, and also oversaw the newsroom at NBC's WRC-TV. Early in his career, Endicott was editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel, the Kentucky Post, and a reporter for United Press. Says a colleague: "He's a crusty old fart, and if anyone can spit in the angel of death's eye it'll be Bob."
June 19, 2008
Monique To MMJ Afternoons
Radio One does an afternoon radio deal to syndicate Maryland comedian Monique "Mo'Nique" Imes to a dozen of the Lanham-based urban radio giant's stations, including DC's WMMJ (102.3 FM). She'll be syndicated via Radio One's Syndication One arm and will also air in LA, Philadelphia, Houston, and Detroit. Plus Columbus OH, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Cincinnati. Imes, the main host of the "BET Awards," is from Woodlawn, near Baltimore. She's also appeared on comedy shows via Oxygen and VH1, and on UPN's "The Parkers." The show will feature Sonny Andre as announcer and sidekick. He first teamed with Monique in the early 1990s during his stint as morning drive host at Baltimore's WWIN-FM, Majic 95.9.
June 17, 2008
Wayne Nesbitt Dies
Wayne Nesbitt, 45, passed away early 6/14, after collapsing. No cause of death has been announced. Nesbitt began his television career right out of college with stints at CNN, WUSA, WRC, and Home Team Sports. For the past five years, he was a television director for the Federal Judicial Center in DC. "Wayne loved being a part of the television community," a colleague tells DCRTV.
June 17, 2008
Layoffs At RLTV
DCRTV broke the news in mid-May. Now, the Baltimore Sun confirms that Retirement Living TV, the Columbia-based seniors' network, has placed four shows on hiatus and laid off 47 workers, though some layoffs are expected to be temporary. Executives at the network, which launched in September 2006, say the move is not a sign of trouble there but rather a typical process for a start-up television channel experimenting with different programming. The network, which can be seen in 30 million homes nationwide, can be found on Comcast CN8 and DirecTV as well as small cable providers. Currently, Retirement Living TV has 102 employees, although the work force is expected to get smaller when the rest of the affected workers leave in August, the Sun reports. A number of media celebs appear on RLTV shows, including WMAL's Fred Grandy and former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite.
June 16, 2008
Western MD Radio Vet Tom O'Rourke Dies
Tom O'Rourke (left), 66, a sports radio personality at Cumberland MD's WCBC, died on Monday at the Western Maryland Health System's Memorial campus after collapsing at his home from a cerebral hemmorrhage on Saturday. O'Rourke has been a fixture in Cumberland sports for three decades on both television and radio, broadcasting everything from high school football and basketball to Allegany College basketball. In addition, he provided coverage of events featuring the Orioles, Pirates, Steelers, Redskins, and Ravens. O'Rourke once hosted the "Timeout With TO" sports show on WCBC. "Known for his down to earth, folksy style and numerous popular game catch phrases, O'Rourke has been one of the most identifiable and distinctive voices in local radio for decades," says WCBC.
June 13, 2008
Tim Russert Dead
Tim Russert (left), the Democratic operative turned NBC commentator who revolutionized Sunday morning television and infused journalism with his passion for politics, died this afternoon. Russert, 58, suffered a heart attack while working in his office on Washington's Nebraska Avenue, at the Channel 4/WRC complex. DC paramedics responded to Russert's collapse. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was attempted but not successful, according to a DC EMS statement. He was transported to Sibley Hospital. Russert served as NBC's Washington bureau chief and the host of "Meet The Press," the top-rated Sunday talk show, which had an enormous influence on politics and was marked by his aggressive style of interrogation. As a frequent commentator on the "Today" show, "NBC Nightly News" and other shows, Russert wielded such clout that when he declared that Senator Barack Obama had wrapped up the Democratic nomination last month, his pronouncement was treated as a news event in itself.
June 12, 2008
Sun To Shrink Staff & Page Size
DCRTV hears that another round of cost-cutting employee buyouts is coming to the Baltimore Sun. As many as 28 people, about 10 percent of the newsroom staff, and as many top-level managers are targeted. We're told: "Mother Tribune is about to lower the boom again on all its properties, but the biggest axe is likely to fall on the LA Times. LAT is non-union, so no negotiations are necessary before buyout packages are distributed. And after counting bylines the Zell people are convinced they could turn out as good a product on the West Coast with many fewer bodies. We're being told the number in LA could be 200, or 25 percent of the newsroom staff." Also, the physical size of the Sun is about to shrink again. The paper will be about 1 and 1/2-inches narrower once the presses are reconfigured, we hear.
June 10, 2008
AFTRA Attorney Tom Powers Dies
Tom Powers, the American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists attorney, agent, and friend to many Washington area broadcasters, died this morning after a long battle with cancer. His wife Pat O'Donnell is the executive director of the local AFTRA union. Says DC radio veteran Chris Core: "Tom was not only a terrific labor lawyer, he was also one of the kindest, most caring men I ever met. It's rare in broadcasting to find someone who is feared at the negotiation table, respected, and liked by all sides. Tom was, perhaps, one of a kind. Many of us in AFTRA owe Tom more than we could ever express in both having our backs and being our friend."
June 7, 2008
MD Native & ABC Sports Legend Jim McKay Dies
Jim McKay (right), 86, the longtime ABC sportscaster who hosted "Wide World Of Sports" for more than 30 years, died Saturday of natural causes at his country estate in Monkton MD. After graduating from Loyola College in Baltimore, McKay covered the police beat for the Baltimore Evening Sun newspaper before becoming the writer, producer, director, and star of Channel 2/WMAR, the city's first television station. He was thrust into the role of news anchor when Israeli athletes were taken hostage at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. McKay's son Sean McManus is president of CBS news and sports.
June 7, 2008
WUSA, WBIS, WAGE Owner Edwin Tornberg Dies
Edwin Tornberg (right), 82, owner of a Washington area broadcasting company that provides multilingual programming for ethnic communities in Washington and Philadelphia, died of pulmonary fibrosis on 5/23 at his home in Potomac. For the past 15 years, Tornberg served as chairman of New World Radio, which owns and operates radio stations WUST (1120 AM) in Washington, WBIS (1190 AM) in Annapolis, WAGE (1200 AM) in Leesburg, and WNWR (1540 AM) in Philadelphia. "Mr. Tornberg was regarded as something of a pioneer in the Washington radio-TV market," said his business partner, James Weitzman. "He went against conventional wisdom in 1992 by founding Washington's first and only exclusively multicultural broadcast station, WUST."
June 5, 2008
BIG's PD Gone
In a cost-cutting move, Dan Michaels is out as program director of Clear Channel's classic rock hits WBIG (100.3 FM). Along with WBIG Promotions Director Kelli Sartwell. Bill Hess, who programs CC's adult contemporary WASH (97.1 FM), and Kathy Lennhoff, who handles promotions for WASH, will now add WBIG to their list of chores. Michaels came to WBIG in July 2006, after programming classic rockers in Denver and Philadelphia.
June 5, 2008
Steiner Lands WEAA Show
Marc Steiner will be doing a weekly show on Wednesdays at 9 AM for Baltimore public radio outlet WEAA (88.9 FM) starting 6/11. And moving to a daily slot on the Morgan State station this fall. As you'll recall, Steiner got canned from his midday gig at another Baltimore public radio outlet, Your Public Radio's WYPR (88.1 FM), in February.
June 4, 2008
Snyder To Buy WTEM & Two Talkers From Clear Channel
Redskins owner Dan Snyder formally announced that he is purchasing SportsTalk 980, WTEM (980 AM), and talkers WTNT (570 AM) and WWRC (1260 AM) from Clear Channel. His Red Zebra broadcasting arm will take control of the stations on 7/1 and he's promising no "near term" format or programming changes. No purchase price was announced. The acquistion will give Red Zebra six stations in the DC area. Snyder currently programs sports talk Triple X ESPN Radio on Alexandria's WXTR (730 AM), Prince Frederick's WWXT (92.7 FM), and Warrenton's WWXX (94.3 FM). No word yet what Snyder will do with those three signals.
June 2, 2008
Peggy Phillip To Be 2's ND
Peggy Phillip, who recently Friday as news director of Barrington Broadcasting's WSTM-TV, an NBC affiliate in Syracuse, will start 6/24 as news director of Scripps-owned Channel 2/WMAR. According to NB, Phillip was in Syracuse just 15 months after leaving Raycom's WMC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Memphis, where she had been news director for eight years. She began her TV career as a news photographer and has worked as a news manager in Chicago, Boston, and Miami.
June 2, 2008
Burd & Korny Up, Grandy & Andy Down
Another round of those monthly trend radio ratings for DC. In the age 25-to-54 demo, 3WT's morning programming - Burd and his angels plus Kornheiser - beat WMAL's Grandy and Andy. Also, talker 3WT breaks into the top 20. Imus debuts with a 0.7 share (not great) on new oldies WJZW. Urbans PGC, HUR, MMJ, KYS all up big. News and talkers WTOP, WMAL, and WJFK-FM all down a bit. A 4.3-to-3.1 share dip in adults age 25-to-54 for the now-solo O'Meara on JFK, but 106.7ers say they ain't worried. Full day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WKYS, 6) WASH, 7) WIHT, 8) WMZQ, 9) WBIG, 10) WLZL, 11) WRQX, 12) WMAL, 13) WPRS and WWDC, 15) WJFK-FM and WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WWWT, 21) WAVA, 22) WACA and WWGB and WWXX and WBQB. Up in Baltimore, full day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WBAL-AM and WWMX, 7) WIYY, 8) WSMJ, 9) WCBM and WQSR, 11) WZBA, 12) WCAO, 13) WRBS, 14) WHFS.
May 31, 2008
Herman Washington Gone From HUR
Howard University's adult urban WHUR (96.3 FM) has released longtime newsman Herman Washington. Washington, host of the station's "Daily Drum" news program, had been employed with WHUR for more than 23 years.
May 31, 2008
Fisher Quits "Listener" Radio Column
Marc Fisher pens his last "The Listener" radio column in the Washington Post: "Writing this column in recent years, I could have easily done nothing but chronicle the departure of radio's most talented voices, as the Greaseman, Don Geronimo, Dennis Owens, Chris Core, and Cathy Hughes left their microphones. Or I could have profiled all the stations that once sounded like Leesburg, the Eastern Shore, or the District, stations that silenced local programs, choosing instead the cheap route of taking nationally syndicated music and talk shows off the satellite... Radio's troubles have tracked the broader national decline of locally distinctive popular culture, as big media companies sought to save money by spurning the medium's uniquely local nature and instead serving up whatever programming was least offensive to the largest possible coast-to-coast audience... Radio, shedding talent as fast as it loses audience, is rapidly becoming irrelevant to the younger generation... As always, the future lies in the past."
May 30, 2008
DC101's Downtown DC Sign Comes Down
Workers have removed the DC101 sign at 1150 Connecticut Avenue in downtown DC, near the Farragut North Metro station. Where it's been for more than 20 years. The station's studio hasn't been at that location since the 1980s, when Howard Stern was DC101's morning man. For many years since then, the rocker had been studioed at facilities on Silver Spring's Brookville Road, near the 101.1 FM tower. The sign will be temporarily relocated to DC101's current studio at the Clear Channel broadcast complex on Rockville Pike in Rockville, until a permanent location is found.
May 29, 2008
45 To Debut HD Local News
Sinclair's Channel 45/WBFF will be the first station in Baltimore to air local news in high-definition. Come 6/2, Fox45 will debut HD via its 5:30 PM newcast, with the 10 PM and 11 PM newscasts that day to follow. And on Tuesday, 6/3, WBFF will premiere its HD morning newscast. Also, the station's unveiling a new news set that will "showcase the crisp and clean imagery inherent in high-definition television." It'll feature a rotating desk with two different back drops, 35 HD televisions, new HD studio cameras, HD graphics, a traffic monitoring system, and the "highly-advanced" HD "SkyWatch" Weather Center. That's in addition to a new remote satellite and microwave truck and a new HD master control. Soon, Fox45 news photographers will transition to the new 16:9 HD video format.
May 28, 2008
Sophie Altman Dies
Sophie Altman, the "mind behind" the long-running "It's Academic" quiz show on Channel 4/WRC. Altman, 95, died on 5/24 of heart disease at Georgetown University Medical Center. She was a District resident. Altman produced the high school brain competition since 1948. "We are all determined to get it right," said Mac McGarry, host since the show's start. "She was fixated on getting it right."
May 28, 2008
Clem Florio Dies
Clem Florio, the former official horse-race handicapper for the Washington Post and the old Baltimore News American. He died on 5/25 at a hospice in Florida from cancer at age 78.
May 27, 2008
Robert Blatchley Dies
Robert Blatchley, an attorney and former news reporter who was an accomplished Baltimore raconteur, died on 5/22 at Union Memorial Hospital of complications from earlier open-heart surgery. The Towson resident was 68. From 1964 to 1968, he was a WBAL radio reporter and visited Vietnam twice to tape Christmas interviews with soldiers. He also worked at WITH radio. From 1973 to 1980, he was a News American reporter and worked beats on the paper's city desk. He also did spot news reports for WTOP radio and was a Baltimore magazine contributor.
May 23, 2008
104.3 Flips To Alt Rock & Elliot
Clear Channel flipped Baltimore's Smooth Jazz 104.3 at noon Friday to alternative rock, with a relay of "Elliot In The Morning" from sister rocker DC101 in morning drive. Now known as "Channel 104.3," the station is aiming at the heavily male demographics of Hearst active rocker WIYY, 98 Rock, and Shamrock classic rocker WZBA, The Bay. The first song on the new 104.3 was "No Way Back" by the Foo Fighters. WSMJ will change calls to WCHH on 5/29. New website at channel1043.com. So, how does a top 98 Rocker react to the news? "Just another 'corporate' rock alternative. Guys with ties don't understand Baltimore. We are a rock town. And with over 31 years of rock under our belt, I am looking forward to another 30 years being the rock of Baltimore," WIYY Program Director David Hill tells DCRTV.
May 23, 2008
4 Takes DC TV News Crown, Just Barely
Channel 4/WRC stayed on top with viewers in May, although just barely. Once-dominant "News 4" has been losing viewers for years, but it had enough to win again at 11 PM and 6 PM. WRC led up-and-coming Channel 7/WJLA by a margin of just 3 percent. The 11 PM race was so close that it was in doubt until Wednesday, the final night of the rating period. WRC also had the leading local news programs at 5 AM, 6 AM, and 5 PM, although its leads were relatively narrow. WJLA said it actually eased ahead of WRC at 6 PM and 11 PM in household ratings, a measure that does not reflect the total number of people watching a program. Channel 9/WUSA's news remains stuck in fourth place overall at most hours. The region's most popular local newscast remained Channel 5/WTTG's program at 10 PM, which attracted an average of 219,000 viewers each night during May.
May 21, 2008
1250 Goes Classic Country
Vienna-based Metro Radio has flipped Warrenton's WKDL (1250 AM) from Spanish talk and music to classic country music. The station, which once been a long-running religious outlet as WPRZ, had most recently been simulcasting the "La Kaliente" Spanish language programming from Metro's WKDV (1460 AM) in Manassas. Metro also programs Spanish on Warrenton's WKCW (1420 AM), which used to be "Big K" classic country. Metro says the new Classic Country 1250 "is not 'Big K' but an improved classic country format." More at 1250classiccountry.com.
May 21, 2008
7 To Lease 49 For Analog Feed After Digital Deadline
Channel 7/WJLA owner Allbritton will lease low-powered Channel 49/WWTD, which currently runs the "WUFO" network's science fiction-ish shows. WWTD, which broadcasts from the WRC-TV tower on Nebraska Avenue, will carry WJLA's signal, we're told. We hear that Allbritton wants to have an analog broadcast signal for DC's ABC affiliate after full-power JLA joins all other full-power stations in flipping to a digital-only signal come February 2009. Low-power stations like WWTD will remain in the analog mode. More as we hear it.....
May 16, 2008
Elizabeth Hurley Dies
Elizabeth Ann Hurley, 46, programs coordinator at the Newseum and a former USA Today editor, died of breast cancer on 4/29 at her home in Falls Church. She joined USA Today in 1986 to work on the newspaper's international edition. She also worked in USA Today's Money and News sections and rose to the position of night national editor.
May 15, 2008
Deena Blake Leaving MZQ
Deena Blake will leave her night slot and music director gig at Clear Channel's country WMZQ (98.7 FM) on 5/27. She plans to move to Chicago having recently married a Chicago man. WMZQ assistant program director and afternoon man Jeffrey "Jeffro" Mason will assume MZQ's MD duties.
May 14, 2008
Craig Melvin To Anchor For 4
Channel 4/WRC has hired Craig Melvin, 28, to be a weekend news anchor and weekday reporter. He comes from Columbia SC's WIS-TV, where he's worked since interning as a high school student. WRC weekend anchor James Adams is going to be a weekday reporter. He is not leaving the station.
May 14, 2008
7's Fred Reed Dies
Longtime Channel 7/WJLA audio tech Fred Reed passed away yesterday. Not many details, but he had planned to fly to Florida, where he was to join his family on vacation. "Fred was a good guy and will be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family," says a station source.....
May 14, 2008
Kornheiser Takes Post Buyout
Tony Kornheiser announced on his 3WT radio show Wednesday that he's taking the Washington Post's employee cost-cutting buyout. His last day at the paper will be 5/31. He's been a sports writer and columnist, and, before that, a features writer with the rag for almost 30 years. He will continue his work with ESPN - via its "Pardon The Interruption" and "Monday Night Football." Kornheiser is expected to leave his 3WT show at the end of June to return to his "MNF" duties for the upcoming football season. Executive editor Len Downie said Kornheiser will retain a desk in the Post's offices and will continue to appear on the website. "By and large what he was doing before he will continue to be doing," Downie said, "but he will no longer be a full-time employee."
May 13, 2008
Jonetta Barras Fired From WAMU
Resident political analyst Jonetta Rose Barras (right) is leaving WAMU (88.5 FM). Since 2002, Barras has provided analysis and commentary on "The Politics Hour With Kojo And Jonetta" at noon Fridays. The weekly local political round-up now will be called "The Politics Hour," and the show's host, Kojo Nnamdi, will be joined by guest analysts until a new political analyst is hired. No word on Barras's future plans. The Washington City Paper's Erik Wemple confirms that Barras has been fired. Barras tells Wemple that her dismissal was prompted by her persistent appeals for better pay, not to mention a rocky relationship with WAMU Program Director Mark McDonald. "My problems were with the program manager, who had no appreciation for the amount of work I did, the quality of that work, and my reputation, and believed that I should be paid less than a senior career person," she adds.
May 12, 2008
O'Meara's Hit With Booze Fines
The Potomac News reports that O'Meara's restaurant racked up $26,000 in Virginia Department Of Alcohol And Beverage Control fines and administrative costs between September 2006 and April 2007. The ABC charged the Manassas restaurant with 26 violations. The documents didn't specify if the fines were paid. The restaurant, which is owned by WJFK-FM afternoon personality Mike O'Meara, closed in April. Seven of the violations were for allowing the consumption of alcoholic beverages by a person the licensee knew or had reason to believe was intoxicated. The restaurant was charged with seven counts of making gifts of alcoholic beverages in violation of Virginia law and eight counts of holding happy hour between 9 PM and 2 AM. On his Monday show, O'Meara said he is in the process of selling the restaurant.....
May 12, 2008
WAMU Places 5th Locally
American University's WAMU (88.5 FM) is touting its fifth place overall finish in the DC radio ratings. Usually, public radio outlets, like WAMU, are not included in the commercial radio ratings. WAMU says its broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" ranks third, with 353,000 weekly listeners. The evening drive, anchored by NPR's "All Things Considered," placed second, with more than 214,000 weekly listeners, according to WAMU. The station, which programs news and talk on weekday, and some music programs on weekends, also touts its top-rated Saturday morning and Sunday lineups. When compared with public radio stations in other markets, WAMU says it ranks third nationwide, with 534,100 DC metro listeners, and a weekly total audience of 621,600, including the Baltimore metro. This places WAMU behind only San Francisco's KQED-FM and NYC's WNYC-FM in public radio listenership. Also, WAMU has signed a new contract with the Radio Reseach Consortium, which allows it to use Arbitron ratings data.
May 10, 2008
New ND For 4
Camille Edwards becomes news director at NBC's Channel 4/WRC. She comes from NBC's WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where she was news director. Early in her TV career, in the early 1990s, she produced the 6 PM newscast at Hearst's Channel 11/WBAL in Baltimore. Edwards has also worked at ABC's WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, ABC's WLS-TV and at CBS's WBBM-TV, both in Chicago. She replaces Vickie Burns, who left her news director gig at WRC in March for the news director gig at NBC's WNBC-TV in NYC. Burns had been with WRC since 2003.
May 9, 2008
FCC OK's Upgraded 88.1 In Lex Park
A Lexington Park church has received licensing from the Federal Communications Commission to build a 30-meter tower in St. Mary's City that will carry a 1,900-watt signal across most of St. Mary's County and to the Eastern Shore. William Ruckman, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington Park, said his church has been broadcasting low-power radio programming for the past nine years on the FM frequency of 88.1.
May 6, 2008
WOLer Joe Madison Joins XM
Joe Madison leaves Radio One urban talker WOL (1450 AM) to do mornings at DC-based XM's The Power black talk channel, XM-169. Madison, aka "The Black Eagle," spent 10 years at WOL, with his show being simulcasted on The Power. But, starting 6/2, Madison will be doing his show from XM's New York Avenue studios from 6 AM to 10 AM. It's still not certain whether he will continue to be heard on Lanham-studioed WOL, although some radio trade publications seem to suggest that he won't. "The addition of Joe Madison to our in-house team underpins XM's commitment to outstanding African-American talk programming," said XM President Nate Davis. "The Black Eagle delivers for his listeners everyday. His engaging style is driven by his unmatched curiosity and awareness of the key civil rights issues around the world."
May 6, 2008
Once Heard On WGTS, Walter Camp Dies
Walter Camp Jr., 79, who once hosted a German music show on Takoma Park MD's WGTS (91.9 FM), died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 5/1 at his home in Silver Spring. The son of German immigrants, Camp was a member of the Washingtonia Schuhplattler Verein, which performs traditional Bavarian Schuhplattler dances, German drinking songs, and Alpine bell-ringing. He and his brother, Ronald, hosted "Musical Memories Of Germany And Austria" on WGTS for 20 years.
May 1, 2008
Payne To Program KYS
Radio One names Al Payne as program director of urban contemporary WKYS (93.9 FM), as well as vice president of the nationally-syndicated Russ Parr morning show, which originates at WKYS. Payne comes from Radio One's Detroit radio cluster, where he'd been operations manager. He replaces Steve Hegwood, who became operations manager of Radio One's Atlanta radio cluster last November.
May 1, 2008
O'Meara Closes Restaurant
WJFK-FM afternoon man Mike O'Meara's Manassas eatery is now closed. O'Meara's Irish Pub had been open only on weekends since mid-March. The slumping economy, Virginia's stringent booze regulations, and the demands of launching his new JFK show, since the recent retirement of partner Don Geronimo, have all contributed to the demise of the restaurant, we're told. We also hear that O'Meara would like to get back into the restaurant business someday - if the economy improves and he has the time.
April 30, 2008
TOP Tops Winter Radio Heap
Those quarterly winter radio ratings are out. DC. Age 12+ demo. Full-day: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ and WPGC-FM, 5) WKYS, 6) WASH, 7) WIHT, 8) WLZL, 9) WMZQ, 10) WPRS and WRQX and WMAL, 13) WBIG, 14) WJZW and WWDC, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA, 20) WFRE, 21) WFLS and WWXX and WWWT, 24) WWGB and WYCB and WBQB. Morning drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WWDC and WIHT, 8) WASH, 9) WMAL, 10) WLZL, 11) WRQX, 12) WJFK-FM [Junkies 1st in men age 18-49] and WMZQ, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WJZW, 17) WWWT, 18) WTGB, 19) WAVA and WTEM, 21) WWXX, 22) WFRE, 23) WYCB and WFLS and WBQB. Afternoon drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WLZL, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WMMJ, 6) WKYS, 7) WMZQ and WIHT and WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WJFK-FM [D&M 4th in men age 18-49], 12) WMAL, 13) WBIG, 14) WJZW, 15) WPRS, 16) WWDC, 17) WTEM, 18) WTGB, 19) WWXX and WFRE, 21) WAVA and WFLS and WBQB, 24) WWGB and WWWT and WINC-FM. In Baltimore, full-day same demo: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WBAL, 6) WWMX, 7) WIYY, 8) WSMJ, 9) WCBM, 10) WZBA, 11) WCAO and WQSR, 13) WHFS, 14) WRBS and WHUR.
April 29, 2008
Chris Core To Do WTOP Commentary
DC talk radio veteran Chris Core joins all-news WTOP, where he will do a daily commentary, "Core Values," which will air weekdays in afternoon drive and will also be available on the station's website. Core, who spent 30-ish years at talker WMAL until he was budget-cut on 2/29, has been doing work for DC-based XM Satellite Radio's POTUS '08 presidential election channel for the past few weeks.
April 28, 2008
"Big Ron" O'Brien Dies
Philadelphia radio veteran "Big Ron" O'Brien, who worked at DC's "top 40" WPGC in 1976 and 1977, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. O'Brien, 56, had been ill for nearly two months. O'Brien worked at Philly "top 40" outlet WFIL in the 1970s, and later at that city's oldies WOGL. He'd also worked in LA, St. Louis, and Denver.
April 25, 2008
Heart Surgery For Jim Lehrer
Jim Lehrer, the longtime anchor of PBS's signature evening newscast, underwent a successful heart valve procedure on 4/23. "Jim plans to be back at full speed and on the program within a few weeks," the network said in a statement. A spokeswoman for Lehrer said he first felt ill last week. Lehrer, whose program is produced by DC's WETA, checked into the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for the procedure.
April 25, 2008
McLaughlin From 4 To 9
John McLaughlin, the progenitor of TV's longest-running political talkfest, is taking his group to a new venue. "The McLaughlin Group," which has been seen on, and produced at, NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC, will move next week to Gannett's CBS affiliate, Channel 9/WUSA. The change ends McLaughlin's 26-year association with NBC. The roundtable show's Sunday-morning time slot, at 11:30 AM, will not change. The move follows a new agreement between CBS and McLaughlin's production company, Oliver Productions. In addition to airing on WUSA, weekly chat show will be seen on WCBS-TV in NYC, ending its run on WNBC-TV. "The McLaughlin Group" will continue on 315 PBS stations across the country. McLaughlin, 81, also hosts a weekly interview program, "John McLaughlin's One On One," that will move to the two CBS stations and continue on PBS stations.....
April 21, 2008
Glenn Hollis Returns To WASH
4/21 - Glenn Hollis has rejoined WASH (97.1 FM). He'll be hosting the Clear Channel adult contemporary outlet's new Sunday "Jazz Brunch" program, from 8 AM to noon. Hollis created and spent 12 years as host of WASH's "After Hours" nationally-syndicated nightly love songs show. Until CC pulled the plug on the show in March 2006. For the past two years, he's been running a picture-framing shop in the Frederick area with his wife.
April 21, 2008
PGC-AM Debuts New Lineup
4/21 - CBS Radio recently flipped WPGC-AM (1580) from gospel music to inspirational talk. And now we're hearing more about the new programming lineup. "The Breakdown" airs during mornings and is hosted by Todd B. He used to host "Love, Talk, And Slow Jamz" on sister urban outlet WPGC-FM (95.5). Marsha Sumner hosts "Crosstalk/Urban Style" in middays, with comedian Akintunde airing from 1 PM to 4 PM. Veteran broadcaster Jim Allen hosts news program "The Signs Of The Times" in afternoon drive, with "The Takeover" with JT from 6 PM to 8 PM.
April 21, 2008
Donielle Flynn To RNR
Former DC101 midday maven Donielle Flynn can now be heard doing weekends on Annapolis adult alternative rocker WRNR, 103.1 FM. Metal mama Flynn got suspended from DC101 last year when she was heard uttering an expletive on Elliot Segal's morning show. And then she got the boot soon afterward due to differences with management.
April 20, 2008
Stephanie Drummond To 11
Stephanie Drummond, longtime producer for Kirk, Mark, and Lopez, then the KMS show at WIYY, 98 Rock, has taken a position with Channel 11/WBAL in creative services. Drummond was replaced with another producer when Mickey and Amelia moved to mornings, when Kirk and Mark left for WHFS. Drummond's most recent job was as producer for WIYY's "Irresponsible Radio," with Theo and Joe in evenings.
April 18, 2008
DC101 PD Gone
Cruze is out as program director at rocker DC101. He's been with the Clear Channel station about a year - and the fourth PD at DC101 in as many years. Cruze had worked at rockers and classic rockers in Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, and St. Louis before coming to DC. CC DC suit Jeff Kapugi will be DC101's acting PD while he searches for a replacement..
April 17, 2008
Adkins Replaces Pugh At CC DC
Clear Channel has promoted Hartley Adkins (right) to president and market manager of its DC-Baltimore radio cluster, replacing Dave Pugh, who left in March to oversee the company's San Francisco properties. A 15-year radio veteran, Adkins previously served the cluster as director of sales. His first responsibility will be to find a replacement for his old position. "It is a dream job to be able to continue to work with the team I respect and appreciate," said Adkins. "It is the perfect scenario to be promoted to a position that allows you to surround yourself with talented Clear Channel people, successful advertisers and agencies and an innovative, unstoppable spirit that takes radio to the next level." Adkins began his career with Clear Channel predecessor Jacor. He has also held sales positions in Tampa and Jacksonville. In his new role, Adkins will manage 11 stations, including WWDC, WMZQ, WASH, WBIG, WIHT, WTNT, WWRC, WTEM, WPOC, WSMJ, and WCAO.
April 14, 2008
Sun Launches Freebie Tab "b"
The first edition of "b," a free, daily newspaper created by the Baltimore Sun for readers in their 20s and 30s, hits Baltimore streets today. "b" will be distributed Monday through Friday, with updates online at bthesite.com. "b" offers a mix of news, sports, pop culture and reader-generated content, distributed via 1,000 bright orange newspaper boxes in downtown Baltimore, Federal Hill, Canton, Towson, Cockeysville, Bel Air, Westminster, Columbia, and Annapolis. In addition, "b" is available at local campuses, including Towson University and Loyola College, and at local retailers. The paper will ramp up to 100,000 copies by the end of 2008. The website will feature blogs on news topics by "b" editors and writers, as well as reader comments, photos, and videos. "b" has also teamed with other local media outlets, including WTMD and WNST, for content and promotion.
April 11, 2008
A Big Fat Farewell From Geronimo
"Don is keeping his plans for the last show under wraps," a top DC CBS Radioer tells DCRTV. "One thing I can virtually guarantee, it will be compelling radio!" Don Geronimo (left) wraps up his life-long radio journey today, from 3 PM to 7 PM on WJFK-FM. The Rockville native, aka Michael Sorce, started his career in the 1970s at small Wisconsin "top 40" outlets in his teens. Over the years, he's worked as a DJ in Pittsburgh, LA, Providence, and at his idolized WLS in Chicago. After a tour at the then "top 40" WPGC in DC, he transitioned to a "morning zoo" host in the 1980s at then contemporary hit WAVA and partnered with Mike O'Meara. After that station went Christian in 1992, Don and Mike moved to talker WJFK-FM, to afternoons. DCRTV first told you in mid-2007 that Geronimo was planning to hang up the headphones in the spring of 2008 - still deeply mourning his wife and frequent show guest Freda, who died in a tragic 2005 car accident. And, after an original late May retirement date, he moved up the day to today. Look for the nationally-syndicated "Radio God," who turns 50 this year, to head to Ocean City, maybe marry his new girlfriend, and, just possibly, dabble his toes back in the radio biz before too long. Come Monday, O'Meara will go solo on JFK-FM with the show's usual cast of characters, plus the return of producer Beth Ann McBride. UPDATE: On the final show, Geronimo jested that his non-compete contract with CBS will allow him to work for radio stations in Ocean City or in England, via the BBC. He said that CBS Radio promised to keep the door open if he wants to return someday. Geronimo revealed he may return to radio, but he's doubtful that he'll ever do a comedy/talk show like he's been doing with O'Meara the past two decades. He also said that a main reason for his leaving the show a month early is to attend his son Bart's graduation from Clemson and to head to Minnesota to be with his daughter for her expected surgery. MORE: "I love radio, I've loved every second of it... It does not happen without you... It used to be, you needed a microphone and a box of records. Now, you need a microphone and two lawyers." The loves of his life: "Radio, my family, God, the Green Bay Packers." The order does change. A choked-up Don Geronimo on his final show on Friday. On CBS Radio President Dan Mason, who used to program WPGC, where Geronimo once worked: "One of the few men in this business who is not a total dumbass." And then there's Michael Hughes, who heads WJFK-FM, Geronimo's current station. According to Geronimo, on his last day today, Hughes hugged him and said: "I've got a wonderful gift for you - it's just not arrived yet." Typical, Geronimo jested. And he ended it: "I am very sad it's ending like this. It will continue. Someday. Mike, don't 'f' it up... And if you think me leaving will stop these guys from talking about 'American Idol' - you're nuts." His final tune: The Beatles' "In My Life."
April 11, 2008
Tantum Says Goodbye To 3WT
Greg Tantum (left), program director of Bonneville's new talker 3WT, has penned his resignation. In a Friday memo to staff of the Bonneville station: "You may have read rumors about me returning to California. Well not immediately but after long and serious consideration I've resigned as program director at 3WT. Many of you know I came to DC specifically for Washington Post Radio. 3WT has a great future but after more than 35 years of all news and live and local talk, I decided to explore some opportunities out west. I love everyone in this building and have been so impressed with the hard work and dedication on all levels. " Bonneville hired Tantum from then-ABC news talker KGO in San Francisco in 2006 when it launched Washington Post Radio. That folded up shop in September 2007 to become 3WT. DCRTV has been reporting rumblings that Tantum would be leaving 3WT and returning to California.
April 8, 2008
TOP Tops Local Radio Revenue heap For '07
Bonneville all-newser WTOP again places atop the local radio revenue heap, generating some $51M in revenue in 2007, up from $46M in 2006. Placing 10th nationwide. That's according to just-out figures from BIA Fiancial in Chantilly. "This is the first time I can recall - maybe ever - that a Washington station (market #8) broke into the top ten nationally," a local radio guru tells DCRTV. However, many stations reported lower revenue in 2007 from the year before. The average station saw a 2.3 percent decline. Placing 2nd locally and 42nd nationally was CBS's urban contemporary WPGC-FM with $28M in '07 revenue, down from $30M in '06. Ranking 3rd locally was Citadel's hot adult contemporary WRQX at $23M. Howard's WHUR and Radio One's WMMJ, both urban adult, tied for 5th locally with $22M each. With Radio One urban outlet WKYS 7th with just over $20M. The top Baltimore station, Radio One's urban WERQ, placed 8th locally and 88th nationally with $20M in '07 revenue. CBS talker WJFK-FM was 9th locally with $19M, down from $23M the previous year. Baltimore Clear Channel country outlet WPOC placed 10th with just over $17M. More: WASH $17M. WMZQ and WLIF $15M each, WBAL-AM and WJZW and WIHT and WWIN-FM and WMAL $14M each. WWDC and WBIG $13M each. WLZL $12M.
April 7, 2008
Bram Weinstein To ESPN News
American University grad Bram Weinstein, who has spent eight years covering the Redskins for local radio and TV, including SportsTalk 980 and Triple X ESPN Radio, will be joining the ESPN News TV network in May.
April 4, 2008
4 Sells Tower
NBC has sold the northwest DC transmission tower for its Channel 4/WRC to Richland Towers of Tampa. The stick also features the radio transmission facilities for Radio One's WKYS (93.9 FM). Richland says it won't impact any operations as they plan to continue leasing space to the stations.
April 4, 2008
Surgery For 11's Jayne Miller
Channel 11/WBAL is reporting that their investigative reporter, Jayne Miller, is recuperating after surgery for a "serious medical issue," reportedly a subdural hematoma, a la a blood clot on the brain. She's been a reporter with the Baltimore NBC affiliate for more than 25 years - first as a general assignment reporter, then as the consumer advocate with "11 On Your Side," and now as the chief investigative reporter with the "11 Investigates I-Team."
April 3, 2008
Brian Wilson Returns To Baltimore Airwaves, Ed Norris To PM Drive
We get this from a Baltimore radio source: "The (midday) Ed Norris show on WHFS (105.7 FM) is moving to afternoons and Brian Wilson will return to the Baltimore airwaves." Norris will replace the new Mike O'Meara show, we're told. Charm City radio veteran Wilsonwill move from his gig as a radio talk show host in Toledo. Another source tells us that, starting Wednesday, 4/9, it'll be Troy Johnson at 10 AM, Wilson at noon, and Norris from 3 PM to 6 PM. DCRTV hears that HFS offered shows to Dan Rodericks and Marc Steiner, but got turned down by both.
April 2, 2008
Geronimo To Retire Early, O'Meara To Host Show
We got this from CBS Radio, which owns talker WJFK-FM: "Don Geronimo has chosen to accelerate his retirement and step down from his current position as co-host of the Don and Mike program. Co-host Mike O'Meara will continue the show with familiar cast members - Buzz Burbank, Robb Spewak, and Joe Ardinger. Additionally, Beth Ann McBride is returning as executive producer of the program and will have an on-air role. During the week beginning Monday, April 7, Buzz and Robb will host a series of retrospective clips, highlighting the program's immense success over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, Don will return on Friday, April 11, to host a farewell show and thank his legions of listeners for their continued support over the years." O'Meara's show starts on Monday, 4/14. WJFK general manager and CBS DC radio boss Michael Hughes tells DCRTV: "We will most certainly miss Don's presence on the air and wish him a wonderful retirement. Not many can compare to the achievements he's made for the past 20 years with Mike and partners, and before that, in this market and others. He raised the bar for all of us with his passion, focus, and energy. At the same time, we are welcoming an evolution of afternoon drive on WJFK. Mike O'Meara, Buzz, Robb, Joe, and now Beth Ann are primed and ready to deliver a show that is both familiar and provides a sense of continuity but also evolve to add new dimensions to the show." As DCRTV has reported, O'Meara will be returning the show to WJFK-FM's Fairfax studios from the old WARW studios in Rockville. We are "looking forward to integrating with the entire WJFK line-up, which is now, live, local and in one location in all prime dayparts," Hughes adds. Westwood One has announced that it will continue to syndicate the new O'Meara show.
April 2, 2008
Surge For Kornheiser
We hear from a WWWT/3WTer: "With a full month of Tony (Kornheiser), 6-10 AM, (mornings on the Bonneville talk station) hit a 2.9 in the critical (age) 25-54 demo ahead of, among others, WMAL and WTEM." Big gain for Spanish El Zol, WLZL. WPRS, gospel Praise 104.1 grows. Talker WMAL slumps a bit. Plus, a solid uptick for JFK-FM middayers Big O and Dukes. Another round of those monthly "trend" radio ratings. DC. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WLZL, 8) WIHT, 9) WMZQ, 10) WMAL, 11) WRQX, 12) WPRS, 13) WWDC, 14) WJZW, 15) WBIG, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA, 20) WACA, 21) WFRE, 22) WILC, 23) WFLS and WWWT, 25) WYCB and WWXX. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WWDC, 5) WKYS and WPGC-FM, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL and WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WLZL, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WMZQ, 14) WPRS, 15) WJZW and WBIG, 17) WAVA, 18) WWWT and WTGB, 20) WAVA and WILC and WTEM, 23) WFRE, 24) WWXX, 25) WYCB and WFLS and WTNT. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WLZL, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WMMJ, 6) WASH, 7) WIHT, 8) WKYS, 9) WMZQ, 10) WJFK-FM, 11) WMAL, 12) WRQX, 13) WWDC, 14) WPRS and WJZW and WBIG, 17) WTEM, 18) WTGB, 19) WAVA and WWXX and WFLS and WFRE, 23) WTNT and WBQB, 25) WACA. Baltimore. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WLIF, 3) WPOC, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WWMX, 7) WCBM, 8) WIYY, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR and WZBA, 12) WCAO, 13) WHUR, 14) WHFS, 15) WIHT, 16) WRBS, 17) WPGC-FM, 18) WRQX and WTOP, 20) WJFK-AM and WKYS and WWDC.
April 1, 2008
Chris Core To XM's POTUS '08
Three-decade WMAL veteran talker Chris Core, who got bounced in station owner Citadel's 2/29 budget-cutting bloodbath, has landed a gig with DC-based XM Satellite Radio. Core will be guest-hosting, at least initially, the 11 AM slot on the POTUS '08 presidential election channel, XM-130, from 4/17 to 4/28.
March 31, 2008
4's ND Vickie Burns To NYC
Vickie Burns is leaving her news director job at Channel 4/WRC to become news director of NBC's NYC sister station, WNBC-TV, which has been struggling with anemic news ratings for the past few years. Burns has been with WRC since 2003. She came from NBC's Chicago station, WMAQ-TV, where she rose from producer to news director. No word on her successor at WRC. According to the Washington Post, WRC's news-gathering staff has been weakened by budget cutbacks ordered by its corporate owner, NBC Universal. The cost-cutting moves that began in late 2006 led to the departure of such on-air talent as longtime critic Arch Campbell, news anchor Susan Kidd and sports anchor George Michael, who rejected a new contract. Those cutbacks, in turn, were prompted by NBC's continuing problems in daytime and prime-time programming. The network remains a distant fourth among broadcast networks in prime time for the second straight year.
March 31, 2008
Grease Returns To DC101
Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht, who last prowled the airwaves of DC rocker DC101 from 1982 to 1993, is returning to host a Saturday morning show come 4/5. Tracht's morning show most recently aired on Gaithersburg brokered talk and music outlet WMET, but he left the IDT AMer late last year to take a hiatus from the radio biz. After working at DC101, Tracht did mornings at then classic rocker WARW, but was fired by CBS Radio in 1999 after making a tasteless racial joke that he repeatedly apologized for.
March 29, 2008
5 Says Goodbye To Virg Jacques
Channel 5/WTTG morning news crew bid farewell to reporter Virg Jacques today. Jacques used to work at Channel 9/WUSA and Channel 11/WBAL. Jacques, who's been at DC's Fox5 for five years, is heading to his hometown of Chicago.
March 26, 2008
Neke Howse Gets WERQ PD Gig
Radio One officially names Neke Howse program director of Baltimore urban contemporary powerhouse WERQ (92.3 FM). Howse, who had been acting program director of 92Q since December, will retain her midday airshift. She's a 15-year veteran of the radio biz, 10 of those with Radio One. Howse, who's worked in Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, had been WERQ's assistant program director and music director.
March 25, 2008
WMUC Still On Air Despite WYPR Power Hike
We get an update from a top WMUCer about the University Of Maryland's low-power college radio station and its battle with Baltimore full-power public radio outlet WYPR, both of which broadcast on 88.1 FM. "Having been granted their license to cover, WYPR is now operating at - or close to - their new full power, 15,500-watts. We confirmed this earlier (Monday). As such, we can also confirm that WMUC will still be on the air despite this. Our coverage has indeed been affected - most noticeably to the north, where our signal now reaches up to the Beltway - but it looks as though the impact of WYPR's power increase isn't quite as dire for us as some thought it would be. In all its quirky splendor, WMUC is still here, serving the UMCP campus and College Park community with news, sports, and every sort of sound under the sun. DC's last true college radio station is not going off the air."
March 18, 2008
Duckworth Returns To MAL PD Post
Paul Duckworth is returning to his program director gig at Citadel news talker WMAL. He left on his own accord for personal reasons in December, saying that he was "retiring" - not resigning. Duckworth, who'll be back on the job as of 3/31, came to WMAL from a Portland, Oregon talk station in late-2005 after the departure of Randall Bloomquist. "Everyone is thrilled he is back," we're told. DCRTV hears that when Duckworth worked at WMAL, he got an apartment within walking distance of 630's Jenifer Street studios, since he didn't have a car. "Getting into the business can be tough - getting out is much tougher," Duckworth tells a trade pub. "My friends were right, I truly am a 'one-dimensional' misfit. There's nothing that does it for me like radio. I'm thrilled to be coming back to WMAL to work with such great broadcasters and great friends."
March 17, 2008
Franciotti To WCBM
Mike Franciotti, husband of reporter Jennifer Franciotti at Channel 11/WBAL, has just started at WCBM radio as the news talk station's afternoon news anchor. He reports to former Channel 13/WJZer, Brenda Carl, who is WCBM's news director. Mike had been heard DJing on The Globe and its predecessor, Arrow 94.7. He also did traffic fill-in for Dave Sandler at WBAL radio.
March 12, 2008
ABC Sports Cuts Johnny Holliday
DC area radio veteran Johnny Holliday is among those being cut by ABC Sports Radio in its decision to end its radio sportscasts. With the growth of sister ESPN Radio, ABC's suits said that the demand for its sports news updates had declined. Holliday had been with ABC Sports Radio since the early 1980s. He will continue his gig as the radio voice of University Of Maryland sports, and still be heard locally on CBS Radio's WJFK-FM and WHFS, as well as baseball programming on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
March 12, 2008
Former MALer John Callaghan Dies
John Callaghan, a longtime Boston TV sports anchor who once worked at WMAL, died in Massachusetts on 3/5 of lung cancer. He was 81.
March 11, 2008
WHFC's Joe Clingroth Dies
Joe Clingroth, who hosted the big band and jazz program "Studio J" on Bel Air MD's WHFC (91.1 FM), has died. Clingroth recently celebrated his 24th anniversary on the air, and plans were in the works for a big band dance to mark his 25th anniversary, which would have been held in September, we're told. He'd been a volunteer for the suburban Baltimore public radio station since it signed on in 1983. Two years ago, Clingroth began hosting a second show on WHFC, "The Morning After."
March 11, 2008
Lee Abrams Exits XM For Tribune
Lee Abrams (left) is leaving XM Satellite Radio. The DC firm's senior vice president and chief creative officer will join the Chicago-based Tribune Company in the new role of chief innovation officer. The veteran broadcaster and consultant will be responsible for Tribune's publishing, broadcasting, and interactive divisions. Locally, Tribune owns the Baltimore Sun and Channel 50/WDCW.
March 11, 2008
Toxic Mold At WFRE Forces West's Resignation
The Frederick News-Post reports that Linda West, an on-air personality with Frederick country outlet WFRE (99.9 FM) for 16 years, has resigned from the Clear Channel station claiming health problems due to indoor toxins. In a statement from her attorney, recent testing showed toxic mold in the WFRE building: "Ms. West's physician recommended that she not subject herself to further exposure to these adverse conditions." Says West: "I believe I was left with no choice but to leave WFRE and look for a new position once my health improves."
March 11, 2008
Former WTOPer Ivan Scott Dies
Former WTOP military affairs reporter Ivan Scott (right) died 0n 3/10. While working for WTOP, Scott was the Pentagon correspondent for a group of radio and television stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Scott had also been a correspondent and anchor for ABC and Mutual. He hosted a program on the old WRC radio, and wrote articles for Washingtonian and the Los Angeles Times. Before becoming a reporter, Scott served as a presidential appointee, first as assistant chief of information for the Navy, then as director of public affairs for the Federal Transit Administration.
March 11, 2008
TOP Unveils Newsroom Upgrade
All-newser WTOP unveiled new "Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center" at its Idaho Avenue studios. So, what's the big deal? "All digitial newsroom. Ability to record or go live from every desk in the newsroom. Much larger space, many more desks, bigger air studios. Two or three computer monitors at every desk. New maps, artwork including a mural of the First Amendment. Looks more high-tech than any radio newsroom either of us has ever seen. Work has been going on since last July. Current newsroom crammed into two tiny spaces during the construction. 7,200-square feet, $2.5 million project and no subsidy from DC like Radio One got... (Sister stations) WFED and 3WT are on another full floor." Bonneville's WTOP is the only fulltime 24/7 local commercial radio news operation in the DC market. Citadel's WMAL has a news department, but farms-out coverage to Metro Networks during nights and weekends. And Clear Channel, which owns eight DC area stations, has no local news department.
March 10, 2008
CC DC Engineer Gone
Shaun Sandoval, director of engineering at Clear Channel's DC radio complex, was let go on 3/7. With former CC DC head Dave Pugh already gone to his new gig at CC's San Francisco radio cluster, and his replacement not yet named, and the top engineer now gone, too, there's next-to-nobody in charge at 1801 Rockville Pike, we hear.
March 10, 2008
Camille Bohannon To Retire
Sixteen-year AP Radio anchor Camille Bohannon will retire. Her work in DC has included anchoring at WTOP and all-news WRC, feature reporting at WGAY, and announcing at WWDC, WETA-FM, and WHFS when it was a middle-of-the-road outlet. A veteran of more than 30 years in broadcasting, she's anchored on NBC, Mutual, and UPI. She also spent three years anchoring news at WCFL, Chicago.
March 9, 2008
Bill Bennett To WTNT
Salem's nationally syndicated DC-based "Bill Bennett’s Morning In America" gets added by Clear Channel talker WTNT (570 AM) starting 3/25 in morning drive. Says WTNT Program Director Bill Hess: "Having Bill Bennett lead-off our broadcast day, in an election year and from right here in DC, is an opportunity simply to good to pass up." Bennett served as secretary of education from 1985 to 1988, and was director of the Office Of National Drug Control Policy in the late 1980s. WTNT had reportedly been interested in carrying Don Imus in mornings, however that ended with Imus surfacing on Citadel oldies outlet WJZW (105.9 FM) last week.
March 8, 2008
Brian Wood Leaves 2
Channel 2/WMAR has let go anchor Brian Wood. Wood, who had been working without a contract since last year, is the second major newsroom figure to find himself without a job at WMAR last week. News director David Silverstein resigned Tuesday after less than 15 months on the job. In addition to Wood, two news producers and a sales secretary were laid off at the station. Wood began at WMAR in January 2002, after losing his weekend anchor position at Seattle's KIRO-TV. At WMAR, he served as anchor and managing editor of the 5, 6, and 11 PM newscasts.
March 7, 2008
Zier Starts New Business
Veteran DC radio exec Bennett Zier is starting a Potomac MD-based company, UWZ Consulting, which will be focused mainly on non-radio business promotion and development. Also involved: Jeff Wyatt, another former Clear Channel DCer. Both Zier and Wyatt left Clear Channel to work for Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm in 2006, with both leaving RZ in 2007.
March 5, 2008
Religious 1580 Drops Music For Talk
CBS Radio's WPGC-AM, Heaven 1580, is scrapping its black gospel music format in favor of "inspirational talk." It's now known as "The New Heaven 1580." The station has seen its ratings suffer since last spring's launch of Radio One's FM gospel outlet WPRS, Praise 104.1.
March 5, 2008
TOP Tops 'Trends
Another round of those monthly Arbitrend radio ratings. DC. Full week, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ and WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WLZL and WMAL, 10) WRQX. New Bonneville talker 3WT, WWWT, continued a downward trend to land in 24th place. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WKYS, 4) WMMJ, 5) WWDC, 6) WPGC-FM, 7) WMAL, 8) WRQX, 9) WIHT, 10) WASH. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR and WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WLZL, 8) WMAL, 9) WJFK-FM and WKYS. Baltimore. Full week, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WLIF, 3) WPOC, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WWMX, 7) WIYY, 8) WCBM, 9) WSMJ, 10) WQSR.
March 5, 2008
Clear Channel's Dave Pugh To SF
Dave Pugh is leaving his market manager job at Clear Channel's DC radio cluster for CC's market manager gig in San Francisco. "I want to thank each and everyone of you for an incredible experience getting to know and work with you," Pugh said in a memo to staff at CC's Rockville Pike broadcast complex. "You are the reason I love the radio business. Unique personalities, great brands, and a blast everyday."
March 5, 2008
NPR To Move To North Capitol Digs
National Public Radio is moving its headquarters from Massachusetts Avenue to North Capitol Street. The new location is six blocks away from its current location and will be near Union Station. The move will take place in 2012. The new facility will be two-to-three times the existing HQ's size.
March 5, 2008
Matt Anderson To Program Praise 104
Matt Anderson has been named program director of Radio One's gospel WPRS, Praise 104.1. He comes from CBS's gospel WPGC-AM, Heaven 1580, where he did afternoons. Anderson replaces Ron Thompson at WPRS, who will now program Radio One's urban talker WOL and gospel WYCB, Spirit 1340.
March 4, 2008
Silverstein Gone From 2
Channel 2/WMAR News Director David Silverstein is on the outs. We're told that WMAR General Manager Bill Hooper announced to staff that Silverstein has "resigned". But a WMAR source tells us: "He didn't resign, he was fired. Just another bad news director in the long line of ineffective news directors at Channel 2." WMAR remains at the bottom of the TV news ratings heap in Charm City. Kelly Groft, a nine-year veteran of the WMAR newsroom, has been appointed acting news director.
March 4, 2008
105.9 Adds Imus
Radio morning man Don Imus will resurface on the DC radio dial on 3/6 via Citadel's new oldies outlet on 105.9. Imus, who got canned from CBS Radio last spring for his "ho" remark about the Rutgers female basketball team, restarted his morning radio show via Citadel talker WABC in NYC in December. He has been rumored to be returning to his old DC radio haunt of Clear Channel talker WTNT.
February 29, 2008
105.9 Goes Oldies
Citadel pulled the plug on Smooth Jazz 105.9, WJZW, at 3 PM Friday. The entire airstaff is gone. And it got replaced with "The New True Oldies 105.9 - DC's Greatest Hits." First song - Aretha Franklin's "Respect." Rock and soul oldies. Jockless for the foreseeable future. No new calls - yet. A barebones website at trueoldies1059.com. "True Oldies" is an ABC Radio Networks service voiced and produced by former WPGCer Scott Shannon. Citadel uses that format on one of its stations in Chicago. "I'm wondering if that looks like an inexpensive and fast way to plug oldies in there in DC," we hear from a national radio guru. As DCRTV told you, automated smooth jazz will continue on 105.9's HD2 digital subchannel. Out of work at WJZW: Charlie Maxx, Al Santos, Van Niece Johnson, Jay Lang, and Tom Grooms.
February 29, 2008
Citadel Cuts WMAL's Core & More
A bloodbath at Citadel talker WMAL today. Longtime DC radio talker Chris Core has been let go and WMAL promptly erased him from its website. We're told that it was "not personal," just "part of a massive cutback country-wide by Citadel." Core has worked at WMAL more than three decades, doing the Bill "Trumbull And Core" afternoon show in the 1980s. "I'm okay with it. They were very generous with me," Core, 59, told a trade pub. "It's been a great run." Evening man Chris Plante will be moved into Core's 9 AM time slot. Plus, WMAL News Director John Matthews, a 25-year WMAL vet, got the axe along with reporter Matt Bush. WMAL already farms out its night and weekend newscasts to Metro Networks.
February 29, 2008
Local TVers See Slumping Viewership
The Washington Post reports that recently resolved Hollywood writers' strike took its toll on local ratings during the February sweeps period that ended Wednesday. Primetime ratings declined last month compared with the same period in 2007 for nearly all Washington stations, which because of the strike aired more reruns and reality programming. The dip in prime-time viewership in turn affected ratings for some of the station's late-night and early-morning newscasts. Channel 9/WUSA viewership dropped nearly 50 percent from last year. Channel 4/WRC, Channel 7/WJLA, and Channel 50/WDCW also had decreases in viewership. Channel 5/WTTG had the most watched "late night" newscast - at 10 PM. WTTG also improved in early-morning ratings over last year. WJLA showed increases in early-morning and late-night audiences. Except for the 5 AM hour, WRC had the top-rated newscasts throughout the day at times that it had head-to-head competition. But the station continues to lose viewership, with all its newscasts declining in audience. Its biggest drop was at 6 PM, where it lost nearly 30 percent of its audience over last year. Up in Baltimore, Baltimore Sun reports that Channel 11/WBAL increased its lead in the all-important 11 PM news slot during February's sweeps period. Channel 13/WJZ placed second and Channel 2/ WMAR third. WJZ handily won the noon news slot, while WBAL dominated the 5 PM and 6 PM news slots. Overall, WBAL and WJZ finished in a tie for viewers in a 24-hour period.
February 29, 2008
Baltimore's Lambda Rising To Close
Another locally-owned bookstore is closing. After 24 years, Baltimore's Lambda Rising, which caters to the city's gay community, is shutting its doors. According to the Baltimore Sun, store owner Deacon Maccubbin, who is 64, believes there is still a place for gay bookstores in contemporary society - he noted that even in the internet age, at least once a day he sees customers who are coming out as gay and looking for some direction. But his health has been faltering in recent years, he said, and he doesn't have the stamina to turn around the Baltimore store in the face of financial hardship. He has not set a final closing date yet, but as he liquidates the stock - everything but magazines is on sale - word is slowly getting around town. Maccubbin still runs Lambda Rising's original store at Dupont Circle in DC, and a satellite operation in Rehoboth Beach. He recently closed his store in Norfolk.
February 27, 2008
Slumping Ads & Circ Continue At Post
The Washington Post Company reported a 13 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, the result of some one-time restructuring costs and a continued erosion of revenue at its flagship newspaper. Print advertising revenue at the Post declined 13 percent in 2007. In the fourth quarter alone, ad revenue fell 11 percent, compared to the same period in 2006. Circulation fell 4 percent in 2007, and currently stands at 649,700 for daily circulation and 902,500 on Sundays. Earlier this month, the company announced plans for buyouts in the 800-person newsroom, the third round of buyouts since 2003. Online revenue generated primarily through the washingtonpost.com website increased 11 percent in 2007, but the gains do little to offset the losses on the print side. The magazine unit, which includes Newsweek, reported a 5 percent drop in quarterly revenue and a 13 percent revenue decline for the year.
February 26, 2008
Former WHFS DJ Pat Kain Dies
Former WHFS DJ Pat Kain died last week at Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He was 35. No word on the cause of his death. Kain worked at the Baltimore incarnation of the alternative rocker on 105.7 FM before its 2005 switch to talk. He'd also worked at Lancaster's WLAN-FM, where he was music director and assistant program director, and at other stations in Pennsylvania, including the State College area. Kain was a 1995 graduate of Penn State.
February 26, 2008
Classic WAVAer Bill Ashley To Retire
DC area radio engineering veteran Bill Ashley will leave the biz on 2/29. He began his career in 1957 at the age of 15 at a small station in North Carolina doing "top 40." In 1968, Ashley became the chief engineer of Arlington's WAVA, reportedly the first all-news radio station in the nation. After 16 years with WAVA, he joined the Mutual Radio Network. And, for the past 20 years, Ashley's been a sales representative with Bradley Broadcast/Pro Audio in Frederick. "We wish him all the best," a colleague tells DCRTV.
February 25, 2008
MASN To Offer 80 Baseball Games In HD
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will provide 80 high-def baseball telecasts of the Orioles and Nationals this season. The HD games will be equally divided between the two teams. And about two dozen area cable systems, including those owned by Comcast and Cox, will carry the MASN HD outings on a per-game basis on their HD tier. For example, on some systems, Comcast will carry MASN's HD games on channel 226, pre-empting programming on the Mojo HD network. Still no word from all area cable and satellite systems. But, there won't yet be a fully-dedicated 24/7 MASN HD channel. MASN's HD schedule includes key match-ups with the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Braves, as well as the Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Marlins, and Rays. The network will provide HD telecasts for all six inter-league games between the Nationals and Orioles.
February 25, 2008
Linda West Leaves WFRE
Frederick's WFRE (99.9 FM) has seen the departure of morning personality Linda West, who headed "The Wild West Morning Crew." She's been a veteran of Frederick radio for almost two decades, the last 16 years at the Clear Channel country outlet. The word is that she resigned duo to health issues involving toxic mold contamination in the WFRE studio.
February 25, 2008
Jan Fox Says Goodbye To 9
Channel 9/WUSA is losing longtime consumer affairs and general assignment reporter and anchor Jan Fox (right), who retired after Friday's newscasts. She's been with WUSA 18 years. According to a WUSA release: "Every mom and dad in America owes Jan, her consumer team, the Safe Kids Coalition, Fairfax County Police, and the Montgomery County Consumer Affairs Department a vote of thanks every time they put a child in a safety seat. They started the first car seat checks right here and now they are done the world over. (Fox) produced some of the first stories about the need for universal latches which are now mandated in all new cars, and made the lives of every parent and child who rides in a car safer." Among her many news statues, Fox won an Emmy for her coverage of a rock-throwing incident on the Beltway that severely injured a 15-year-old girl.
February 23, 2008
FCC Fines 5 For Pixilated Body Parts
The Federal Communications Commission erased nearly all of a proposed $1.2 million indecency fine against a batch of Fox TV stations yesterday, saying the Rupert Murdoch-owned network should be fined for airing an offensive television show only in markets where viewers complained about it. Instead of ordering all 169 stations that aired it to pay the larger fine, the FCC ordered 13 Fox-owned-and-affiliated stations, including DC's Fox-owned Channel 5/WTTG, to pay a total of $91,000 in indecency fines for broadcasting an episode of the long-canceled reality show "Married By America" in 2003. In yesterday's order, the FCC turned down a Fox claim that said the show, which featured digitally obscured nudity and whipped-cream-covered strippers, was not indecent.
February 22, 2008
7 To Carry Classic TV Net On Digital Subchannel
Allbritton has reached a deal to distribute Retro Television Network's lineup of classic TV programs on one of the digital subchannels of Channel 7/WJLA later this year. Allbritton has already signed to carry RTN via its TV stations in Roanoke and Harrisburg. Currently, WJLA offers two digital subchannels - Doug Hill's Weather Now and Local Point TV.
February 22, 2008
5 & 20 Veteran Angela Ashby Dies
Angela Mason Ashby, a longtime broadcast professional who co-owned a television production company based in Springfield, died on 2/3 of complications of diabetes and end-stage renal failure at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She was 55. She was senior partner and operations manager of A-Team Production, which she founded in 1985 with her husband, Wally Ashby. She began her television career in the 1970s as director of community affairs and producer of Channel 5/WTTG's "Panorama." She later was a writer-producer for the Armed Services Network, news editor and writer for Conus Communication's "First Business," and sports information director at the University Of The District Of Columbia. She spent seven years at Channel 20/WDCA as executive producer and production manager.
February 21, 2008
94.7 Veteran Bill Hamlin Dies
Former WJMD/WLTT/WARW air personality Bill Hamlin died of cancer on 2/21. In addition to his decades of being heard on DC's 94.7 frequency as it transitioned from easy listening and adult contemporary to "lite rock" and classic rock, Hamlin was an active member of the AFTRA and SAG unions. Also: "He acted in local theater and was a friend to all performers. Bill will be missed dearly," a colleague tells DCRTV. "What a true gentleman he was," says Craig Ashwood, who was 94.7's program director in the 1990s. "Multi-talented, always willing to do what was necessary for the work, and great sounding on the air... A real class act."
February 21, 2008
PGC's Dillard To NYC
Skip Dillard is leaving his operations manager and programming position at CBS's urban contemporary WPGC-FM for a like gig at Inner City's adult urban contemporary WBLS and sister gospel WLIB in NYC. Before coming to PGC, Dillard worked for Radio One in Detroit.
February 19, 2008
Sun To Launch Youthful Tab
The Baltimore Sun will launch a free daily tabloid newspaper aimed at luring younger readers. Called "b," the publication will debut in April with an initial distribution of around 50,000. Sun officials say the rag will target "Generation Y" with its coverage of news, entertainment, and music. The paper will be distributed at universities, coffee shops, restaurants, clubs, and in bright orange boxes. The newspaper will come out Monday-through-Friday and initially contain between 40-to-48 pages. Sun executives hope to double the newspaper's distribution by the end of the year.
February 15, 2008
Steve Eldridge Battles Cancer, Keeps Working
DCRTV hears from DC radio veteran and "Sprawl And Crawl" traffic columnist Steve Eldridge, who is battling cancer. A small lump he discovered on his calf this past fall has turned into advanced cancer, that's spread to his lungs. Eldridge has gone through numerous medical scans and rounds of chemo. He tells us that his health problems have forced him to give up his overnight newscaster work at the Voice Of America, but he continues to write, produce, and occasionally anchor NBC News radio feeds for Westwood One. Eldridge's Examiner traffic column ended at the end of 2007 because of budget cuts, but he hopes to restart "Sprawl And Crawl" somewhere else soon.
February 15, 2008
Fred Rathert To Retire
Fred Rathert will be retiring at the end of February after 41 years in the radio engineering biz. His career has spanned stations in Chicago, DC, and Baltimore. He's currently engineering manager at Baltimore public radio outlet WYPR, and its relays in Frederick and Ocean City. Rathert tells us: "It's been an interesting career and, for the most part, I've enjoyed it. Unfortunately, radio is not what it once was and the fun of being in the business has all but disappeared, along with YoYo's, Hula Hoops, and Soma Blocks. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone I've worked with or contacted, during the past four decades, for their support, help, and friendship."
February 15, 2008
Rudy Abramson Dies
Rudy Abramson, a former longtime Washington reporter for the Los Angeles Times who wrote a highly praised biography of American statesman W. Averell Harriman, has died. He was 70. According to the LA Times, Abramson sustained massive head injuries in a fall Tuesday at his home in Reston. He died late Wednesday at a hospital in Fairfax. A staff writer in the LA Times' Washington bureau from 1966 to 1993, Abramson was hired to cover science and became one of the first national reporters assigned to the space program. He covered the development of the Apollo 11 mission and the historic moon landing in 1969.
February 15, 2008
WTHU To Go Religious
Charles Walter is selling adult standards WTHU (1450 AM) in the Frederick County town of Thurmont MD to the Christian Radio Coalition for $150,000.
February 12, 2008
Rodricks To Replace Steiner At YPR
Baltimore public radio outlet WYPR (88.1 FM) has hired Dan Rodricks to replace Marc Steiner as host of its midday program. The Baltimore Sun columnist will start the noon to 2 PM public affairs talk, interview, and call-in show on 2/25. In addition to his more than 25-year stint with the Sun, Rodricks has worked for Channel 2/WMAR, Channel 11/WBAL, and WBAL radio. Steiner, who helped found WYPR, recently got the boot because of alleged low ratings.
February 11, 2008
ABC/ESPN Yanks Brant Off College Football
Channel 7/WJLA sports anchor Tim Brant has been removed from ABC/ESPN's college football announcer team. Brant's contract to cover West Coast games was not renewed. DCRTV hears from a 7er that "after a month of negotiations, Tim Brant refused to sign an ESPN contract. His contract for the last 28 years of network broadcasting was with ABC Sports and was originally signed by Roone Arledge. He worked three Olympic games, 'Wide World Of Sports,' and college football with the legendary Keith Jackson. Brant was named the nations top analyst in 1986 and worked the 2001 National championship game - Miami VS Nebraska." Brant will continue working for DC's ABC affiliate WJLA, which is owned by Allbritton, not ABC.
February 11, 2008
Brooke Stevens Dies
Former WMAL/WCBM/WVIE personality Brooke Stevens died on 2/10 of complications from cancer. Stevens, whose real name was Antje Kraus, suffered from Hodgkin's Disease for several years. "She opted for non-conventional treatment, against doctor's recommendations and lasted longer than her doctors predicted," a colleague tells us. "When it became evident Brooke didn't have long to go, she moved to Naples, Florida, to be with her mom and dad. That's where she died yesterday morning." Stevens co-anchored WMAL's afternoon show with Chris Core (picture at left) from 1996 to 2000, and the WVIE morning show with Michael Gabel in 2006 and 2007. Core did mention Stevens' passing during his late morning show today on WMAL.
February 11, 2008
56 To Cut Broadcast Signals Before Digital Deadline
Northern Virginia public television outlet Channel 56/WNVC has filed a plan with the FCC to make some big changes to its signals in the all-digital world. Come September 2008, the station will terminate its analog signal on 56 and its digital signal on 57, and install transmitting gear on its Merrifield tower for its move to channel 24 by the scheduled digital TV changeover in February 2009. However, Baltimore's WUTB will still be authorized to broadcast its analog signal on 24 until the 2009 deadline, so WNVC's broadcast signals will be missing in the meantime. You'll still be able to catch WNVC's MHz international programming, including a variety of foreign network relays, on local cable TV systems. The digital signal of WNVC's sister station, WNVT on channel 30, will continue as usual.
February 8, 2008
Paul Taylor Dies
Paul Louis Taylor, 66, a director of CBS news programs, including "Face The Nation," died of cardiac arrest on 1/31 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He was a Wheaton resident. In his 38-year career with CBS, Taylor directed a number of news programs, including "Nightwatch With Charlie Rose" and Washington news items for the "CBS Evening News." One of the first African-American directors at CBS, he became senior director of "Face The Nation" in the late 1970s.
February 7, 2008
CBS Radio Makes Cuts, Cheryl Jackson Gone From PGC-AM
CBS Radio is the latest radio company to slash its workforce, with a 5-ish percent national cutback annouced today. Mainly programming and promotions people. One cut we're hearing among CBS's five DC stations: Cheryl Jackson is leaving her on-air, program director, and music director gigs with gospel WPGC-AM, Heaven 1580. Still no specific word about cuts in Baltimore, where CBS owns another five stations. The local mood is downbeat. "No comment at this time," we hear from a local CBS suit.
February 7, 2008
Slumping Post Confirms Buyouts, To Close College Park Printing Plant
The Washington Post has confirmed recent rumors that it will offer an undetermined number of early-retirement packages, or "buyouts," to Post newsroom staffers and other employees in March. The Post offered buyouts in 2003 and 2006, which culled about 120 employees. Also, the company will close its College Park printing plant over the next two years, moving two of the four presses to its Springfield plant, which will handle the paper's entire press run with six presses. The Post cited declining print circulation, as well as the slumping local economy. Post daily circulation peaked at 832,232 in 1993. It now sells an average of 638,000 papers Monday through Saturday. The Post has not decided what it will do with the College Park plant when it closes nor has it determined the status of plant's employees.
February 4, 2008
It's Official: Geronimo To Quit D&M Show, O'Meara To Continue
DCRTV told you last year that there was a high probability that Don Geronimo (right), half of WJFK-FM's nationally-syndicated Don and Mike show, would be leaving this spring. Well, Geronimo made it official on Monday's show. "I'm quitting," he said on the air. "My heart is just not in this." Geronimo's last day will be May 30. "This is a decision that I came to about a year ago." Long a trademark of Geronimo's show, he has put his private life on the airwaves. Including talk about the tragic death of his wife, Freda, in a car accident in July 2005. And, Geronimo said, he wants to continue to "explore life" with his new girlfriend and needs to "take a break" from the radio biz. Geronimo also made the official announcement that his radio partner and good friend, Mike O'Meara, will continue to do the afternoon drive show with regulars Buzz Burbank, Joe Ardinger, and Robb Spewak come June. Geronimo did not rule out a possible radio consultancy gig after he takes some time off.
February 4, 2008
Former WTOPer Don Herbert Dies
Don Herbert, a longtime Los Angeles news radio anchor who once worked at WTOP, died on 2/2 of complications from colon surgery. He was 72. Herbert, whose real name was Herbert Rosenbaum, worked at WTOP before moving to LA to become one of KFWB's original anchors upon its debut as an all-newser in 1968.
February 1, 2008
WYPR Says Adios To Steiner
Citing sagging ratings, Baltimore public radio outlet WYPR (88.1 FM) announced today that talk show host Marc Steiner has been taken off the air and will be replaced by a new program called "Statewide." Steiner has been airing on WYPR, and via former incarnation WJHU, since 1993. In 2005, Steiner stepped down from his position as executive vice president for broadcast and production at WYPR, but his show continued airing on the station.....
January 29, 2008
Wilbon Suffers Heart Ailment
Washington Post sports columnist and "Pardon The Interruption" co-host Michael Wilbon is "feeling good" less than twenty-four hours after suffering a minor heart attack. Wilbon, scheduled to cover the Super Bowl this week, "complained of chest pains to his wife who took him to the hospital. Doctors found minor blockage in his heart and performed an angioplasty, which successfully removed the blockage." Wilbon is expected to return to his Scottsdale, Arizona home tomorrow. There is no word on whether he will continue covering the Super Bowl. On Monday's edition of ESPN's "PTI," Tony Kornheiser told viewers that Wilbon was not on the show due to chest pains. On his Tuesday 3WT radio show, Kornheiser said Wilbon will have to change his diet. "Not so many McDonald's runs."
January 28, 2008
Ravens Do Deal With Hearst For Radio & TV
The Baltimore Ravens and Hearst have agreed on a new four-year contract, starting in 2008 and ending in 2011. Hearst's news talk WBAL radio (1090 AM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), WIYY, will continue to broadcast all Ravens games, and Hearst's Channel 11/WBAL now will air Ravens pre-season games and the line-up of all Ravens television shows throughout the year, including specials on the NFL draft and the team's training camp. The new broadcast team on WBAL-TV will follow the Ravens year-round.
January 26, 2008
Polish VOA Vet Dies
Peter Mroczyk, 60, a Polish radio and TV broadcaster who was active in the Solidarity movement and later worked with Voice Of America, died on 12/19 of pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Warsaw hospital. He lived in Falls Church. While at the DC-based VOA in the 1980s, Mroczyk delivered broadcasts in Polish to his homeland. He served as Lech Walesa's translator when the founder of the Solidarity movement appeared at the White House and Capitol in 1989. Mroczyk was often asked to comment on Polish political developments and appeared on "Good Morning America," "Today," and "Nightline."
January 24, 2008
News Photog Bernie Boston Dies
Bernie Boston, 74, a news photographer best remembered for his 1967 picture showing an antiwar protester tucking carnations in the rifle barrels of soldiers guarding the Pentagon, died on 1/22 at his home in Basye VA. He had amyloidosis, a plasma cell disorder. Boston, who retired from the Los Angeles Times, was working for the Washington Star on October 21, 1967, when he took the image he called "Flower Power." The man with the flowers was later identified as teenage actor George Harris. He was making a nonviolent gesture against the soldiers, who were braced for trouble as they faced 250,000 demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.
January 24, 2008
Blade To Move To National Press Building
In February, the Washington Blade plans to move its offices into the National Press Building at 14th and F. The region's gay newspaper is currently located in the U Street corridor. "This new location offers us support services for hosting community groups that we just didn't have" at the Blade's current site, says Blade publisher Lynne Brown. The 40-year-old weekly got its start in offices at 930 F Street, which later became the famed 930 Club music venue.
January 20, 2008
Washington Sun Publisher Dies
Joseph Cooke, 80, the longtime publisher and editor of the Washington Sun weekly newspaper, ied on 1/17 of blood cancer at his home in Washington. Cooke, who was widely known by his initials, JC, bought the Sun in 1968 and published it as an uplifting voice for the city's African American community for the next 40 years.
January 20, 2008
Former 4 Reporter Dies
Jean Freas, 78, who was a reporter for Channel 4/WRC in the late 1960s, died on 1/12 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She had acute myeloid leukemia. At WRC, Freas covered consumer and civil rights stories, according to the Washington Post. In 1969, she left television and moved to New York.
January 20, 2008
AP & CNN Veteran Frances Lewine Dies
Frances Lewine, a White House correspondent for the Associated Press during the administrations of six presidents, from Eisenhower to Carter, has died of a probable stroke. She was 86. Lewine, who died on 1/19, joined the Washington bureau of the AP in 1956 to cover general assignments, including White House social events and other activities of the first family. But despite her sometimes glamorous assignments, she often expressed frustration that she was relegated to social and family stories and sidebars while male colleagues covered the president. When President Carter left office in 1981, Lewine moved to the fledgling Cable News Network as an assignment editor and field producer.
January 18, 2008
Olivia Fox To Replace April Watts On MMJ
Olivia Fox replaces April Watts in the 10 AM to 3 PM slot on urban adult contemporary Majic 102.3, WMMJ. Come Monday, 1/21. Fox had been hosting her own show on Radio One's urban sister WKYS 93.9 at 10 PM. You'll recall that Fox left WKYS's morning Russ Parr show for her own morning show on a Tampa urban outlet three years ago. She returned to Radio One/DC last year. Adds Watts on her blog: "You will no longer hear me on the airwaves of Majic 102.3 FM. I was not fired. The choice to no longer be a member of the team was mine."
January 17, 2008
WJFK Yanks O&A
NYC morning radio duo Opie and Anthony will be axed from WJFK-FM. Their last show on DC broadcast radio will be Friday, 1/18. O&A aired tape-delayed in the 10 AM slot on the DC area's 106.7. O&A have lost about half-a-dozen major markets in the past few few months, including Philadelphia. Their show will still be heard on DC's XM Satellite Radio. Big O and Dukes will be moved from evenings to fill O&A's midday slot.
January 16, 2008
WEAAer Sues For Being Silences After Criticism Of Gov
From the Examiner: A former Morgan State University radio talk show host has filed a lawsuit against the university and the state, claiming officials violated his right to free speech when they ended his show after he criticized Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. "My First Amendment rights have been violated," said Tyrone Powers, who hosted "The Powers Report" on the university's WEAA (88.9 FM) from 2003 until last January. "This is about free speech and the freedom of the press. If a person can be silenced for critiquing politicians, then we're talking about undermining democratic principles." Powers, whose suit seeks $89.5 million in damages, said he has not spoken to officials from Morgan since his show was abruptly canceled.
January 15, 2008
Oprah To Start Network With Discovery
Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications is doing a deal with titanic TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey to convert its Discovery Health Channel into OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The female-oriented channel will debut in 2009. Discovery said the partnership is a cashless transaction and the service will be equally owned by Discovery and Winfrey's Harpo Productions. Winfrey was a prominent financial supporter of Oxygen, the female programming network that was purchased by NBC Universal last year. While she made some appearances on Oxygen, she did not have the editorial control that she will have through the venture with Discovery.
January 14, 2008
WHUR & WERQ Tops Radio Ratings
The Arbitron fall radio ratings "book" for DC and Baltimore got released. Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Triple X ESPN sports talker - even with the Redskins on the sked - didn't even show up, its ratings were that pathetic. DC, full week, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WASH, 5) WMMJ and WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL and WWDC, 10) WLZL, 11) WMZQ, 12) WRQX, 13) WPRS and WJZW and WBIG, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WAVA and WFRE, 21) WKDV and WBQB and WWWT. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WWDC and WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WMMJ, 7) WMAL, 8) WASH, 9) WRQX, 10) WIHT, 11) WLZL, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WMZQ, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WJZW, 17) WAVA and WTGB, 19) WTEM, 20) WFRE, 21) WWWT. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WASH, 5) WIHT, 6) WMMJ, 7) WMAL and WLZL and WKYS, 10) WMZQ, 11) WJFK-FM and WWDC, 13) WRQX, 14) WBIG, 15) WJZW, 16) WPRS, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WWWT, 20) WAVA and WFRE. Up in Baltimore, full week, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WLIF, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WPOC, 5) WBAL-AM, 6) WWMX, 7) WIYY, 8) WSMJ, 9) WCBM, 10) WQSR, 11) WZBA, 12) WCAO and WPGC-FM, 14) WRBS, 15) WWDC, 16) WHFS and WHUR.
January 14, 2008
Michaels & Harrington Out At POC
Two longtimers of Baltimore Clear Channel country outlet WPOC (93.1 FM) are gone. We're told that the Saturday morning team of Jeff Michaels, who had almost 30 years at the station, and Terri Harrington, who had more than 20, have been budget cut.
January 9, 2008
Rouse To BAL Radio
Baltimore radio veteran Steve Rouse will be heading to Hearst news talker WBAL (1090 AM) as of 2/1. We're told that he will "wear many hats at WBAL." Including WBAL's primary voice for commercial advertising. In addition, Rouse will substitute host for morning man Dave Durian and late morning host Shari Elliker, as well as pinch-hit for Keith Mills during morning sports reports. And, Rouse will return to WBAL's Ravens game day pre-game shows as the "on-site tailgate correspondent." Rouse, who has more than 35 years in the broadcasting biz, including 22 in Baltimore, got bounced from his morning gig at CBS's adult contemporary WLIF (101.9 FM) in December.
January 9, 2008
DC Approves Radio One HQ Complex
The DC City Council has approved a $23 million subsidy for Broadcast Center One in the Shaw neighborhood which will house the headquarters of Radio One, which is now in Lanham. The deal is slated to bring 103,000 square feet of office space, 25,000 square feet of retail, 180 rental apartments, and a 195-spot underground parking garage, which will provide parking for the renovated Howard Theater. Urban radio giant Radio One owns 54 stations, including DC's WKYS, WMMJ, WOL, and WYCB. It has a contract to buy WPRS from Bonneville.
January 9, 2008
24 Yanks 5's 10 PM Newscast
Baltimore's Channel 24/ WUTB has axed the 10 PM newscast relay from DC's Channel 5/WTTG. Even though it's a MyNetworkTV affiliate, WUTB is owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Fox TV network and DC's Fox5. WUTB is now airing "Two And A Half Men" at 10 PM and "Seinfeld" at 10:30 PM. The yanking also involves 24's relay of 5's morning news. The Baltimore relays of Fox5's newscasts were the brainchild of Katherine Green, who left the news director gig at WTTG in late 2007.
January 9, 2008
Zier & Wyatt Leave Twin Star
Twin Star, a new broadcasting, media, and ad firm, announces the hiring of its management team under CEO Sima Birach, Jr. Lisa Wynne will be chief marketing officer. She comes from Evolve Marketing, a San Diego firm with an office in DC. Laura Bacchus will be chief strategy officer. She co-founded Cord Caruso Capital Partners, a DC growth strategy consultancy. Leslie Savary joins as VP/finance. As previously announced, DC radio executive Tod Castleberry joins as chief operating officer. He comes from Red Zebra and, before that, Clear Channel. Twin Star also announces that two other local radio bigwigs, Bennett Zier and Jeff Wyatt, both also veterans of Red Zebra and Clear Channel, have left the firm. Twin Star has leased space at Tyson's Corner for studios and offices.
January 8, 2008
Troy Johnson To Afternoons On 105.7
Former 92Qer Troy Johnson has started a new 1 PM show on Baltimore guy talker WHFS (105.7 FM). His old 9 PM "The Back Room" show aired its last installment on 1/4. WHFS is now running Dan Patrick in the evening slot.
January 7, 2008
Ray Farkas Dies
Ray Farkas (right), 72, a legendary television storyteller and producer, died on 1/4 at the Community Hospice in Washington. Farkas documented his own brain surgery in a musical comedy called "It Ain't Television, It's Brain Surgery" in 2006, and his story was featured on "Oprah" and "Nightline." During his career, he produced hundreds of hours of prime time news and entertainment for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, HBO, and others. Three times he won Emmy Awards. His career started when he joined United Press International as a writer. He then worked for NBC News in Washington for 24 years, on the "NBC Nightly News," on the "Huntley-Brinkley Report," and on the "Today" show. For the last two decades, he's been an independent producer, and, since 2005, he was the executive producer of "Metropolitan Edition," a news magazine on Channel 7/WJLA. Farkas was "a masterful video storyteller and god to many a news videographer," a colleague tells DCRTV.
January 4, 2008
WETA Promotes Christopher Lane
Christopher Lane has been named vice president of engineering and technology at WETA. With more than 10 years of public broadcasting experience, Lane played a critical role in the early conversion to digital technology at the DC public TV and radio broadcaster. Lane joined WETA in 1997 as engineering manager and served from 1999 as director of production. In that position, he supervised WETA's production center, which is home of the national broadcasts of "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer." Lane was lead project manager for the recent "NewsHour" transition to high-def. Before joining WETA, Lane was operations manager for DC's Potomac Television, which contracted projects for CNN Newsource, MTV, BET, and MSNBC.
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