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January 2009 to December 2009

December 31, 2009
WTOP & WLIF Top December Radio Ratings
The monthly December Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC, full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WASH [L&L 6th], 3) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 4) WAMU, 5) WIHT [Kane 4th], 6) WMMJ [Joyner 7th], 7) WETA-FM, 8) WBIG, 9) WRQX [Diamond 8th], 10) WMAL [G&A 11th, Rush 3rd, Hannity 9th], 11) WWDC [Elliot 14th], 12) WMZQ, 13) WKYS [Parr 10th] and WPGC [Simpson 12th], 15) WPRS and WTEM [M&M 17th, Korny 14th, Czaban 16th], 17) WTGB, 18) WJFK [Junks 12th, Wise 18th, Arrington 18th] and WLZL, 20) WGTS, 21) WVRX, 22) WDCN, 23) WINC-FM, 24) WPFW, 25) WAVA and WFRE and WBQB, 28) WACA and WWEG and WBJC and WFLS, 32) WTNT [TWT 29th] and WGRQ and WERQ and WQSR, 38) WIYY and WJYJ and WLIF and WAFY and WKDV, 41) WPOC and WFMD and WFED and WYCB. Baltimore: 1) WLIF, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WPOC, 4) WERQ, 5) WWMX, 6) WQSR, 7) WIYY, 8) WBAL-AM, 9) WRBS-FM, 10) WYPR, 11) WJZ-FM and WCBM, 13) WZBA and WZFT, 15) WBJC and WPGC, 17) WHUR and WWDC and WAMU and WCAO, 21) WTOP and WASH and WIHT, 24) WKYS, 25) WXCY, 26) WBIG, 27) WRQX, 28) WGTS and WMAL, 30) WTEM, 31) WTMD and WLZL and WEAA, 34) WTGB and WRNR-FM and WMZQ, 37) WETA-FM and WFRE, 39) WJZ-AM and WMMJ.

December 31, 2009
More Cuts At Washington Times
The Washington Post reports that the Washington Times slashed its 170-member newsroom staff Wednesday, laying off its top editor and scores of reporters, editors and photographers at the 27-year-old newspaper. The Sports and Metro sections will cease to exist as stand-alone entities after Friday's edition, numerous sources said, and layoffs in those sections neared 100 percent. At a somber staff meeting, the newspaper's management did not give an overall number of layoffs and did not spell out the fate of various sections and areas of coverage. Instead, after hearing from Times President and Publisher Jonathan Slevin and an official from the human resources department, employees were told to pick up packets that revealed their fates. The paper's executives said in early December that impending layoffs would cut about 40 percent of the staff.

December 30, 2009
WTHU To Flip To News Talk, Adds 1520
Thurmont MD's WTHU (1450 AM) will be dropping its Christian talk and music format on 1/4 and replacing it with a news talk format as "The Source." It'll feature the Washington Times' "Americas Morning News," Dave Ramsey, Jerry Doyle, and Dawson McAllister. Dan Alexander is the station's new program director. "This new format will provide the Frederick market with programming currently missing in the area," a station statement says. Also, we hear that the station will start simulcasting on Brunswick MD's WTRI signal (1520 AM), which had sported a classic country format. That will give WTHU coverage into Loudoun, Montgomery, and Fairfax counties.

December 29, 2009
9 Cuts Martucci Loose
Channel 9/WUSA is saying goodbye to weather lady Kim Martucci (right). Her contract expires on 1/2 and is not being renewed. She's the second member of 9's weather department to bid adieu in 2009, as WUSA also didn't renew its deal with Tony Pann, who is now back at Channel 11/WBAL in Baltimore. "This has been kept very quiet, neither management nor Martucci wants to talk about it," a WUSA source tells DCRTV.

December 24, 2009
4 Legend George Michael Dies
Legendary DC sportscaster George Michael (right) died early this morning after battling cancer for two years. He was 70 and passed away at Sibley Memorial Hospital in DC. A native of St. Louis, Michael anchored the sports desk at Channel 4/WRC from 1980 to 2007. He also hosted numerous sports programs for the NBC station, including his "Sports Machine," which was nationally syndicated. Previously, he was a DJ at NYC "top 40" outlet WABC, where he was noted for his boisterous personality and energetic style. Before that, Michael was the popular evening man at Philadelphia's "top 40" WFIL radio from 1966 until his move to WABC radio, where he also did sports work at sister WABC-TV before joining WRC.

December 21, 2009
Washington Times To Weekday Only, Politics Focus
The budget cutting Washington Times announced that, as expected, it's scaling back to Monday-through-Friday-only print editions, plus its website, that will focus on national and world political news and commentary. Gone - much of the paper's metro, entertainment, and sports coverage. The paper's last Sunday print edition will be published on 12/27. The Times no longer publishes on Saturday. The weekday paper will be offered as a "combination controlled market and paid general interest newspaper" at a price of $1. The new print edition will launch on 1/4 and be available at retail outlets and newspaper boxes in the DC area, without home delivery.

December 21, 2009
Longtime 7 Reporer Jim Clarke Dies
DCRTV hears that longtime Channel 7/WJLA reporter Jim Clarke (right) has died. He was 75. Clarke suffered an apparent heart attack Sunday in his sleep in his Annandale home after helping his neighbors shovel snow after Saturday's two-foot storm. Clarke worked for Channel 7 from 1962, back when it was WMAL-TV, until his retirement in 2003. He also worked at WJLA's Allbritton sister NewsChannel 8. His reporting took him to the Middle East, Europe, including the Balkans, eight national political conventions, and innumerable primary and caucus states. During the Vietnam War, Clarke anchored a nightly newscast that he wrote himself.

December 17, 2009
2 Vet Carroll Hebbel Dies
Carroll Hebbel died on 12/4. He was the "film lab" for Baltimore's Channel 2/WMAR during the "pre-video" years. Hebbel was fondly known as "Big Lou From TV 2" and "Heb."

December 14, 2009
Jim Keating Dies
Jim Keating, who was the vice president and general manager of DC's 94.7 back when it was adult contemporary W-Lite, WLTT, has died. He passed away on Sunday from cancer, four years after he retired as Clear Channel's market manager in Ft. Myers/Naples FL. He started his career in Philadelphia in the 1960s with CBS. He also worked with ABC Radio Network and Beasley.

December 10, 2009
Martinez Leaves Orioles TV Team
Buck Martinez is leaving the Baltimore Orioles TV team on MASN for a gig with Rogers cable in Toronto to call the Blue Jays. "He is a great broadcaster and will be missed, but Jim Palmer and Rick Dempsey will all no doubt fill in his spot. MASN has a talented and deep bench of broadcasters," Washington Examiner sports media columnist Jim Williams says.

December 6, 2009
Roy Hoopes Dies
Roy Hoopes, 87, a longtime Washington journalist who was the author of an acclaimed biography of crime novelist James M. Cain and more than 30 other books, died December 1 of pneumonia at the AAA Atrium Classic assisted living facilty in Silver Spring. He lived in Bethesda.

December 4, 2009
Lambda Rising To Close
Lambda Rising, Washington's gay bookstore since 1974, will close its remaining Dupont Circle and Rehoboth Beach locations in January. Deacon Maccubbin, Lambda Rising's founder, said that he has accomplished all he had intended when he opened the gay-oriented bookstore in 1974 and that "it's time to move on" and plans to shutter the store in January. The news comes less than a month after DC's gay newspaper of 40 years, the Washington Blade, stopped publishing when its parent company went bankrupt.

December 3, 2009
WTOP & WLIF Top November PPMs
The November monthly Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC, full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WIHT [Kane 4th], 4) WAMU, 5) WASH [L&L 9th], 6) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 7) WETA-FM, 8) WBIG, 9) WRQX [Diamond 8th] and WWDC [Elliot 13th], 11) WMAL [G&A 10th, Rush 3rd, Hannity 8th], 12) WPGC [Simpson 12th] and WMZQ, 14) WPRS and WTEM [Korny 16th] and WKYS [Parr 13th], 17) WTGB, 18) WJFK [Junks 10th, Wise 18th, Arrington 18th], 19) WLZL, 20) WGTS, 21) WVRX, 22) WINC-FM, 23) WAVA, 24) WBQB and WPFW and WFLS and WDCN, 28) WBJC and WFRE, 30) WAVA and WWEG and WAFY and WERQ, 34) WTNT [TWT 27th] and WIYY and WQSR and WGRQ and WILC and WFMD and WJYJ, 41) WLIF and WWGB and WRNR-FM and WFED and WKDV and WPOC and WYCB, 48) WOL and WRBS-FM and WGRX and WBAL-AM and WZBA and WTOP's stream and WWMX and WZHF and WYPF and WCBM and WTEM's stream. Baltimore: 1) WLIF, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WPOC, 4) WWMX, 5) WERQ, 6) WRBS-FM and WIYY, 8) WQSR, 9) WBAL-AM, 10) WCBM, 11) WYPR, 12) WCHH, 13) WJZ-FM, 14) WZBA and WBJC, 16) WIHT and WTOP, 18) WPGC, 19) WCAO and WHUR, 21) WAMU, 22) WWDC, 23) WKYS, 24) WTEM and WBIG, 26) WRQX and WXCY, 28) WASH, 29) WMAL and WGTS, 31) WLZL, 32) WEAA and WMZQ, 34) WRNR-FM and WFRE, 36) WTGB and WTMD and WETA-FM and WJZ-AM, 40) WMMJ and WWIN-AM and WPFW, 43) WAVA-FM, 44) WVIE and WVRX and WAFY and WOLB and WWEG.

December 3, 2009
104.9 & 105.5 Become "The Bone"
Centennial is making some changes to its classic rock duo-cast in the Winchester area on 104.9 and 105.5, WWRE/WWRT. We now hear that the station will stay a rocker, with some hardish tweaks and a new identity: "The Bone." With the WXBN/WXNB calls. "The Bone" will focus on rock music from the 1990s and 2000s. "We'll still make room for a Zeppelin song from time to time" says Program Director Brian Beddow, "but I think listeners will find the new station much more enjoyable."

December 2, 2009
Washington Times Slashes 40% Of Workforce, Cuts Local & Sports Coverage
TalkingPointsMemo reports that the beleaguered Washington Times announced "significant" reductions to its staff of 370 today. In response to "marketplace realities", "the company is aggressively working to achieve efficiencies of scale that must include significant staff reduction of its 370 personnel," said Publisher Jonathan Slevin. Including the elimination of all of its local news and sports news staff. The Times statement does not give an exact number of layoffs. The release went out to reporters as Times staffers attended a hastily called meeting in the newspaper's ballroom this afternoon. Several people packed up their desk photos in anticipation they could be laid off with limited notice. Also, some staffers have been avoiding parking in the parking lot in case the gates are closed to force them to return equipment. The Politico says that upwards of 40 percent of the TWT's staff could be pink-slipped. The paper is also instituting "controlled-market local circulation," with the local print edition free in certain areas of Washington with a premium price for home-delivery. The Washington Post reports that the TWT will continue to produce and syndicate its morning radio show, which is heard locally on WTNT (570 AM)

November 30, 2009
Nat Wright Dies
Nat Wright (right), 82, died on 11/26 after a career in Washington DC at the old WWDC and at Philadelphia's WIP. In the late 1950s at WWDC, 1260 AM, Wright did a popular personality-based music program. He moved to WIP in 1961 and got the "Dawn Patrol" all-night shift in 1967. He also had worked at WEEU in Reading PA and WDOV in Dover DE.

November 28, 2009
WTTR's Dwight Dingle Dies
Longtime WTTR radio personality Dwight Dingle died on 11/26. Dingle was the station manager at Pat Sajak's WTTR (1470 AM), but was perhaps best known as a sportscaster for the Westminster MD station.

November 24, 2009
Kirk McEwen Joins 105.9
Baltimore radio veteran Kirk McEwen will do the 2 PM to 7 PM shift on Citadel classic rocker 105.9 The Edge, WVRX, and Suzanne Ansilio from LA classic rocker KLOS will be music director and midday personality. Come 11/30. After a night stint at DC101 in the 1990s, McEwen was part of the "Kirk And Mark" morning team on 98 Rock, WIYY, and later on the now defunct Live 105.7, WHFS.

November 24, 2009
Terry Owens Leaves 2
After 17 years of covering city government and anchoring the news at Channel 2/WMAR, Terry Owens (right) is leaving the Baltimore ABC affiliate. Owens, who along with Mary Beth Marsden is the second high-visibility anchor to take a buyout offer from the Scripps station in recent days, said his last day at Channel 2 will be 12/4.

November 24, 2009
Carl Kasell To Leave NPR News Duties
Longtime National Public Radioer Carl Kasell (right) will leave his newscasting job at the end of the year. He will continue his role as judge and scorekeeper of the NPR news quiz "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Kasell has been in broadcasting business for more than 50 years. He joined NPR as a part-time newscaster in 1975 and was on staff by 1977. He did the first newscast during the debut of "Morning Edition" in November 1979, and has been with the program since. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Kassel was a newscaster on the old WAVA radio, one of the first all-news radio stations in the country.

November 23, 2009
Dene Hallam Dies
Dene Hallam, who was program director in the 1980s at the DC area's country WPIK/WXRA, died suddenly at age 56 on 11/20 in Atlanta. Over the years, the award-winning radio veteran had also worked at country and contemporary hit stations in Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and Kansas City.

November 23, 2009
Allan Barker Dies
Allan Baker, 81, a former division chief at the Voice Of America, died at his home in Rockville on 11/9 of congestive heart failure. Baker was responsible for introducing Pashto broadcasts to Afghanistan and reinstituting a Farsi program to Iran.

November 19, 2009
Mary Beth Marsden Leaving 2
Mary Beth Marsden (right) is leaving Channel 2/WMAR after 21 years. Marsden, who now anchors the Baltimore ABC affiliate's 5 PM, 6 PM, and 11 PM newscasts, said her last day will be December 2. The 48-year-old newscaster said the reason for her departure now is that she is taking a Scripps buyout offer made to employees of the low-rated news station, according to the Baltimore Sun. Marsden's departure from Channel 2's anchor desk will mark a major changing of the guard in local TV, with Sally Thorner's already announced retirement from Channel 13/WJZ on December 18, the Sun adds. Marsden was the anchorwoman tapped to replace Thorner as the lead anchor in 1993 when Thorner jumped to WJZ in a highly publicized move. Before coming to WMAR as a reporter for its morning show, Marsden worked at TV stations in Scranton PA, Washington DC, and Harrisonburg VA. She started at WMAR in May 1988.

November 16, 2009
Washington Blade Closes
The Avalon Equity Fund, a majority shareholder for DC's gay-oriented freebie weekly, the Washington Blade, and its Window Media parent, has been forced into liquidation. The Blade, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is affected and has been shuttered. The closings also hit other gay publications, including Atlanta's Southern Voice, the Houston Voice, and the South Florida Blade. Blade editor Kevin Naff, who is not authorized to speak for the company, but can do so now as an independent citizen, says: "The Blade staff is united and ready to continue the paper's long-standing mission. The first meeting for our new venture is Tuesday and we welcome the community's input as we move forward." The Blade staff is planning to relaunch as DCAgenda, with a print newspaper and a website.

November 15, 2009
4 Cameraman Don Stumpo Dies
Longtime Channel 4/WRC cameraman Don Stumpo died of a heart attack on 11/14.

November 13, 2009
ZBA Changes Morning Show
Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, The Bay, has canned the syndicated-from-Indianapolis Bob and Tom morning show due to low ratings. Starting Monday, the station will debut the "More Music Morning Show" with Michael Filippelli. Says WZBA Program Director Harvey Kojan: "The importance of this being a music show cannot be overemphasized. There will be no extraneous banter. The only talk will be providing the important elements of news, traffic, and weather. We will consistently deliver on the promise of more music."

November 7, 2009
Ed Walker Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
Congratulations to DC radio legend Ed Walker - getting a smooch from former Joy Boys partner Willard Scott (right) - on his induction into the Radio Hall Of Fame in Chicago. In his acceptance speech, Walker told how he used to handle delivering a five-minute newscast by listening to a rival station that subscribed to the same news service and memorizing it - but he got crossed up one day when the station threw on a religious program instead. Walker's radio career began in 1951 as an American University freshman and one of the founders of WAMU-AM, the campus radio station that preceded the current WAMU-FM. The same year, Walker met fellow AU student Willard Scott. In the 1950s, they became the comedy duo Joy Boys on WRC radio until 1972, when WWDC added the show to its schedule. WWDC aired the last Joy Boys show in 1974. Walker has also worked at WPGC and WMAL and at Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8. In December 1990, Walker returned to WAMU to host vintage radio program "The Big Broadcast" on Sunday evenings. Also inducted on Saturday, "Queen Of All Media" Wendy Williams, who got her start at DC's WOL.

November 6, 2009
The monthly October Portable People Meter radio ratings for the DC market. Full-week, full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WAMU, 4) WIHT [Kane 4th], 5) WASH [L&L 9th], 6) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 7) WBIG, 8) WETA-FM, 9) WKYS [Parr 8th], 10) WRQX [Diamond 10th], 11) WWDC [Elliot 12th] and WMZQ, 13) WPGC [Simpson 14th], 14) WPRS, 15) WMAL [G&A 15th, Rush 13th, Hannity 14th] and WGTS, 17) WTGB and WTEM [Korny 16th], 19) WJFK [Junks 11th, Wise 15th, Arrington 18th], 20) WLZL, 21) WVRX, 22) WAVA, 23) WPFW. More: 24) WDCN, 29) WACA, 32) WILC and WKDV, 35) WTNT [TWT 28th], 39) WYCB and WFED, 46) WXTR and WMET and WWGB and WTOP's webstream. In the battle of the DC sports talkers, in the key male age 25-54 demo, full-week, WJFK placed 4th and WTEM ranked 7th. The Baltimore Portable People Meter monthly radio ratings for October, full-day, cume, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WLIF, 3) WPOC, 4) WWMX, 5) WERQ, 6) WRBS, 7) WIYY, 8) WBAL-AM, 9) WQSR, 10) WCBM and WCHH, 12) WJZ-FM, 13) WYPR. More: 16) WZBA, 17) WCAO, 19) WBJC, 33) WEAA, 35) WRNR and WJZ-AM and WTMD, 40) WWIN-AM, 47) WNST and WOLB and WVIE.

November 4, 2009
104.3 Drops Alt Rock For CHR
Clear Channel dumped the alternative rock format from its WCHH, 104.3 FM. The Baltimore station switched to contemporary hit radio as "Z104.3" - "Baltimore's New Hit Music Channel." No word of an air staff yet. It'll be running commercial free for the first 10,000 songs. Playlist includes Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Jay Z, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. In a real sense, the new format is a flashback to the old "top 40" B104 days in the 1980s on the same frequency. Baltimore has lacked a full-fledged CHR outlet, with CBS's hot adult contemporary Mix 106.5, WWMX, being the closest thing to the format. In 2008, Charm City's 104.3 flipped to alternative rock as "Channel 104.3" after many years with smooth jazz as WSMJ. Also, DC101 morning man Elliot Segal will no longer be heard on WCHH.

November 4, 2009
Veteran DC Reporter John Mashek Dies
John Mashek, a political reporter who covered every presidential election from 1960 to 1996, died of a heart attack Tuesday while watching his granddaughter's high school soccer game in Maryland. He was 77. Mashek started out as a local reporter with the Dallas Morning News in 1955 and five years later joined its Washington bureau to cover the Texas congressional delegation. He left to become Houston correspondent for US News And World Report, returning to Washington in 1974 for the magazine to cover Congress and then the White House. After serving as US News's national political editor, he worked briefly for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and then became a member of the Boston Globe's Washington bureau, where he worked for seven years before retiring in 1995.

October 30, 2009
Billy Zero Gone From WTMD
Billy Zero is out as program director at Towson University's adult alternative rock WTMD (89.7 FM). Before joining WTMD, Zero had been PD for XM's XMU indie rock channel.

October 30, 2009
Michael Flinn Leaves 4
Reporter Michael Flynn is leaving Channel 4/WRC for a gig as the director of communications at the Meals On Wheels Association in Alexandria.

October 29, 2009
Valerie Johnson Leaving 5
Valerie Johnson is leaving Channel 5/WTTG after 30 years of service. Johnson started with WTTG in 1979. Her position was eliminated as part of the June budget cuts, but she's been allowed to stay in traffic until she qualified for retirement.

October 28, 2009
Allbritton To Start Local News Site
Allbritton, the parent company of Channel 7/WJLA, NewsChannel 8, and the Politico, is starting a new DC area local news website. It will employ 50, which will share content between the two TV operations. Former washingtonpost.com executive editor Jim Brady is planning the venture with Frederick Ryan, vice chairman of Allbritton and president of WJLA, and Bill Lord, station manager of WJLA and NC8.

October 26, 2009
Peter Rohrbach Dies
Peter Rohrbach, a veteran DC-based communications attorney, died on 10/25 following a bone-marrow transplant. He joined Hogan & Hartson 30 years ago, and his work with communications clients included Clear Channel, XM Satellite Radio, and Qwest. The firm says he "played a major role in many of the key regulatory developments" in developing businesses such as satellite and information services. Rohrbach made partner in 1987 and was a member of H&H's executive committee. He became ill with lymphoma.

October 23, 2009
9 Names D'Ambrosi As ND
Channel 9/WUSA has named Fred D'Ambrosi as its new news director. He was ND at Milwaukee's WISN-TV from 1986 to 1997 and at KFMB-TV San Diego from 1997 to 2009. D'Ambrosi replaces Lane Michaelsen, who left DC's Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in August to take the ND job at NBC-owned WTVJ-TV in Miami.

October 22, 2009
WCTN Says Adios To Oldies
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) is back to Spanish language music and talk. The station, which is owned by Win Radio, which is headed by a Korean-American executive from the New York City area, has been running older pop oldies, a la material by Frank Sinatra and Patti Page. At the old format's website, 950wctn.com, we're greeted with the fateful message: "WCTN says adios."

October 21, 2009
Jack Nelson Dies
Jack Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who covered the civil rights movement and the Watergate scandal for the Los Angeles Times, died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday at his home in Bethesda. He was 80. Nelson spent more than 35 years with the LA Times, stepping down as its chief Washington correspondent in 2001. He joined the LA Times in 1965 and in 1970 began working in its Washington bureau. He was bureau chief from 1975 to the end of 1995.

October 13, 2009
Joe Boxer To MZQ Mornings
Clear Channel country outlet WMZQ (98.7 FM) moves Jenni Chase to middays, replacing Jeffrey "Jeffro" Mason, who got axed in August. She had been co-hosting mornings with Brian Egan, who got axed in September. Joe Boxer will now host WMZQ mornings. He comes from Clear Channel's WCOL, a country outlet in Columbus, Ohio.

October 13, 2009
Chris Plante Returns To WMAL
Citadel news talker WMAL (630 AM) announced this morning that Chris Plante will take back the 9 AM to noon slot starting Monday. Back in April, WMAL removed the locally-based Plante in order to air Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezeninski's syndicated 10 AM to noon NYC-based show, with WMAL's local morning team of Fred Grandy and Andy Parks extending the end of their show from 9 AM to 10 AM. DCRTV hears rumblings that Grandy and Andy, who start their show at 5 AM, absolutely hated doing the fifth hour at 9 AM.

October 13, 2009
4's Keith Garvin To Dallas
Keith Garvin (left), who has spent the last three years at Channel 4/WRC, will be the new co-anchor of a 7 PM nightly newscast for KTXA-TV in Dallas. Dubbed "TXA21," it's the CBS sister station of Dallas's CBS affiliate KTVT-TV. Bark says that Dallas's CBS11 hasn't officially announced the hire yet. Garvin joined NBC's WRC in 2006, and has been a weekend anchor for "News4 Today." He also worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor on other WRC newscasts.

October 8, 2009
TOP Again Tops DC Radio Heap
No big surprises in the September monthly Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC. Alt rocker WWDC, DC101, continues to slump. New sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, and new hot adult contemporary WTGB, 94.7 Fresh FM, continue slow upward trends. While new classic rocker WJZW (now WVRX) shows no significant upward tick - yet. The numbers, full-week, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WAMU, 4) WASH [Loriloo 8th], 5) WIHT [Kane 4th], 6) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 7) WBIG, 8) WETA-FM, 9) WGTS, 10) WRQX [Diamond 8th], 11) WKYS [Parr 10th] and WMZQ, 13) WPGC [Simpson 16th], 14) WWDC [Elliot 14th], 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WMAL [G&A 15th, Rush 11th, Hannity 12th], 18) WJFK [Junks 13th, Arrington 17th], 19) WTEM, 20) WLZL, 21) WJZW (now WVRX), 22) WPFW and WFRE and WAVA, 25) WBQB, 26) WFLS and WAFY and WWEG. More: 30) WFED and WILC, 34) WKDV and WTNT [TWT 27th], 38) WACA and WYCB.

October 6, 2009
Steve Allan Gone From 105.9
Steve Allan, program director and afternoon man at the old oldies WJZW, is out of a gig. The DC radio veteran, who once programmed Clear Channel's WASH and WBIG, was kept onboard when Citadel made the WJZW flip to classic rock, as WVRX, in August. Also out at 105.9, Charlie Maxx, who did morning traffic and board work. Citadel DC's operations manager, Kenny King, is doing the PD work at 105.9 The Edge, we're told.

October 5, 2009
Sun's Tim Wheatley Killed In Car Wreck
The Baltimore Sun's managing editor for business news, Tim Wheatley, 48, was killed in a car accident in the northern Baltimore County area of Hereford this morning. His 9-year-old daughter was with him in the vehicle. We're told that she has survived and was taken to the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center. Baltimore County Police spokesman Bill Toohey tells DCRTV that the accident occurred at 8:54 AM. Wheatley, who was a resident of Monkton, was turning onto southbound York Road when his vehicle was hit by a UPS truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter was taken to Sinai Hospital and then on to JHCC, in critical condition. The UPS truck driver was not seriously injured, police say. The investigation continues. Before joining the Sun's business coverage earlier this year, Wheatley had been a managing editor for the Sun's sports section. He'd been with the Sun since 2006.

October 1, 2009
Washington Ear Founder Dies
Margaret Pfanstiehl, who founded the nonprofit Metropolitan Washington Ear in 1974, died Monday. The Ear provides free services for blind, visually impaired, and physically disabled people who cannot effectively read print. It's available via several sources, including telephone, the internet, and via a subchannel on WETA-FM, 90.9. Pfanstiehl lived in Silver Spring.

October 1, 2009
WaPo & LA Times End News Service
The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, a syndicate with more than 600 clients around the world, is being dissolved with the agreement of both sides. The two newspapers, which each owned 50 percent of the venture, will now compete to provide their articles to subscribers to the joint service. Executives at the Times and Post were tight-lipped about the split, but it clearly had its roots in Tribune Company's 2000 takeover of the Los Angeles paper's parent company. That takeover included the Baltimore Sun, Newsday, and the Hartford Courant, whose articles were also offered by the news service.

September 29, 2009
Brian Egan Gone From MZQ
Brian Egan is gone from WMZQ's morning show and is no longer working at the Clear Channel country outlet. Jenni Chase will host solo, while a new MZQ morning show is sought. No word from Clear Channel DC for details about Egan's departure. He came to WMZQ in 2002 with radio partner Ben Campbell from a Phoenix country station. Teir "Ben And Brian" morning show on 98.7 lasted until 2007, when Campbell left. He's now part of the "Ben And Matt" morning team at Clear Channel country outlet KNIX in Phoenix. During his seven years in Washington, Egan spend a lot of time hosting fundraising efforts for leukemia, a disease his wife was diagnosed with in 2005.

September 28, 2009
Michael Hughes Leaves CBS DC, Launches Radio Consultancy
Michael Hughes is leaving CBS Radio's DC cluster to form MHMedia, a radio management consultancy handling sales, programming, staffing, profit generation, and asset value enhancement. MHMedia will be headquartered in Annapolis at Empire Broadcasting's WRNR-FM. Says Hughes, who has been overseeing programming at CBS's DC stations, including Spanish WLZL, hot adult contemporary WTGB, and sports talk WJFK: "My 10 years at CBS Radio, and 25 years total in our industry, in various senior management roles, across a variety of formats, has perfectly prepared me for this next phase in my career. I will most certainly miss the terrific pros in Washington DC. I've had the good fortune to work alongside, but the time seemed right to put my skills to work for other operators in multiple areas of concentration." Hughes' resume includes management and programming gigs at AM/FM and Jacor, both of which got gobbled up by Clear Channel. Back in 1999, when AM/FM bought DC101, Hughes helped consult the rocker. His programming team hired Elliot Segal and Jon Ballard, who's now at WWDC sister WBIG. Longtime WJFKer Mike O'Meara tells DCRTV: "I enjoyed my time working with Michael. He was always honest and up front with me during very difficult times. I wish him the very best and I would work with him again in a minute. He's one of the good guys."

September 22, 2009
Newseum's Max Page Dies
Max Page, a former television journalist who led the team overseeing the design and construction of DC's Newseum, died after a heart attack at his Vienna VA home on 9/15, his 60th birthday. He had worked for the Freedom Forum and the Newseum since 1992, most recently as vice president for government and community relations. The Newseum, a museum focused on the news media, opened its new building last year.

September 20, 2009
Bernard Brenner Dies
Bernard Brenner, 87, a longtime farm editor with the United Press International wire service, died at Inova Fairfax Hospital on 9/17 of lung cancer. He lived in Gainesville. Brenner wrote a daily column, "On The Farm Front," throughout much of his time in UPI's Washington bureau and provided daily broadcast reports on Washington developments of interest to farming communities.

September 18, 2009
New President For NAB
The DC-based National Association Of Broadcasters names Gordon Smith, who was a Republican US Senator from Oregon, as its new president. He's been on the Commerce Committee, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission. He succeeds David Rehr, who left in June.

September 17, 2009
WaPo To Merge Print & Website On 1/1
The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com have set a wedding date. The print and online operations of the newspaper will merge as of January 1, 2010. Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth says that it's important to create one organization for print and online operations that would mirror the perception of readers, users, and advertisers. Washington Post Digital employees responsible for washingtonpost.com will become employees of the Washington Post at that time. Website leadership will remain in place. Current washingtonpost.com leader Goli Sheikholeslami will be the head of digital operations and digital product development at the Post.

September 17, 2009
Veteran WH Photog Jack Kightlinger Dies In Car Wreck
Jack Kightlinger, a retired White House photographer who worked for five presidents, was killed along with his wife following a fiery wreck. He was 77. Jack and his wife, Adele, were in a collision Monday in their hometown of Flat Rock in southwest North Carolina when a truck crossed the center line. Jack died at the scene. Adele, also 77, died a day later at the hospital. Kightlinger took behind-the-scenes photos of presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan over a 19-year span ending in 1985.

September 16, 2009
New Calls For 105.9
Citadel's new classic rock 105.9 The Edge will be dropping the WJZW calls for WVRX at midnight tonight. The WJZW calls have been on the DC area's 105.9 since 1994, when the smooth jazz format debuted on the then-ABC station. Citadel flipped the format to oldies in early 2008, but kept the WJZW calls. Last month, Citadel flipped 105.9 to classic rock, a format the station had pre-1994 as WCXR.

September 16, 2009
Lord Promoted At 7 & 8
Bill Lord, vice president of news at Channel 7/WJLA and Allbritton sister NewsChannel 8, has been promoted to "station manager." His expanded responsibilities will include the coordination of sales and marketing as well as news, promotions, and technical operation of the two outlets.

September 16, 2009
Marc Clarke Gone From 24
The Marc Clarke morning show is no longer on Baltimore's My24, Channel 24/WUTB. The economy has again dealt Clarke a bad hand but he says he is launching a project that will specialize in producing original audio/video content focusing on the Washington DC/Baltimore area. Clarke, who'd been heard on urban WERQ (92.3 FM) for many years doing the morning show until he got budget cut last year, started his morning TV show at Baltimore's Fox-owned My Network TV outlet WUTB earlier this year.

September 15, 2009
Anna Marcus Dies
Anna Marcus, 93, a columnist for the old Wheaton News community newspaper, died on 8/16 at Holy Cross Hospital of pneumonia and emphysema. She was a Wheaton resident. Marcus worked for the Wheaton News from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was also a contract typist for the Wheaton Kiwanis Club, typing, mimeographing, and distributing its newsletter, and wrote for the Montgomery County Sentinel, among other local papers.

September 15, 2009
IDT has spun off its media interests into a new wholly-owned subsidiary, CTM Media Holdings. Including brokered ethnic WMET (1160 AM), which is licensed to Gaithersburg. There had been rumors that WMET was up for sale.

September 14, 2009
MPT To Pink Slip 18
Maryland Public Television will cut 18 positions or 10 percent of its current fulltime workforce as a part of an effort to deal with a budget shortfall. "The staff reductions at MPT, while extremely painful, will result in no loss of programming and no on-air talent will be affected," said MPT President Robert Shuman, according to wbal.com. "We realize that there will be an end to the current fiscal crisis we and our sister-stations are facing at some point in the future," Shuman said, "but, for now, we have been forced to make a difficult decision that I'm sorry to say impacts the most important resource Maryland Public Television has - its people." The layoffs will include staff who work in technology, content, institutional advancement, communications, and administrative units of Owings Mills-based MPT.

September 11, 2009
Jeremy Settle Out As NC8 ND
Allbritton has parted company NewsChannel 8 News Director Jeremy Settle, less than a year after he was hired as news director of NewsChannel 8. He joined WJLA sister NC8 in October 2008 from Gray Television's Charlottesville TV triopoly of WCAV, WVAW, and WAHU. Bill Lord, vice president of news for WJLA and NC8, says that Settle's separation was "voluntary. He resigned. I accepted."

September 10, 2009
CBS Happy With JFK's Target Demos
Despite a slump in its overall numbers since flipping from "guy talk" to sports talk in mid-July, CBS suits are pointing out gains for WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, within its target male age 25-54 demo. In the weekly breakdowns for August, the morning Junkies are solidly in 3rd place, with middayers Mike Wise and Bill Rohland up from 9th to 5th place since the flip, and afternooners Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes rising from 7th to 2nd place in the demo. The monthly August Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC, full-week, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WAMU, 4) WASH [Loriloo 9th], 5) WIHT [Kane 5th], 6) WGTS and WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 8) WBIG, 9) WRQX [Diamond 8th], 10) WETA-FM, 11) WKYS [Parr 11th], 12) WWDC [Elliot 13th] and WMZQ, 14) WTGB, 15) WPRS, 16) WPGC [Simpson 16th], 17) WLZL, 18) WMAL [G&A 18th, Rush 17th, Hannity 18th], 19) WTEM, 20) WJZW [Imus 22nd] and WJFK [Junkies 13th, Arrington 20th], 22) WPFW, 23) WBQB and WFLS and WFRE and WAVA. More: 31) WTNT and WFED and WKDV and WILC. Since debuting in April, CBS's 94.7 Fresh FM, WTGB, is up to 8th place in afternoon drive in the monthly numbers.

September 9, 2009
Simpson & Lyders To Be Co-Anchors At 7 With Harris
Cynné Simpson (left), the niece of WPGC morning man Donnie Simpson, has been named interim 5 PM news anchor with Leon Harris at Channel 7/WJLA. Simpson, a Howard University graduate who arrived from WGCL-TV in Atlanta 18 months ago, replaces Kathleen Mathews, who left for a public relations position at Marriott almost three years ago. Also, Caroline Lyders has been named interim 11 PM news anchor, also with Harris. She joined the Allbritton ABC affiliate as a reporter in 2008. Harris had been anchoring solo at 11 since Maureen Bunyan semi-retired to work on her novel.

September 8, 2009
13's Sally Thorner To Retire
After more than two decades at the Baltimore TV anchor desk, Channel 13/WJZ newswoman Sally Thorner (right) said on Tuesday that she is retiring. The 54-year-old anchorwoman said her last day at the CBS-owned station will be December 18. "I love working at the station, and everybody has been great," Thorner said in a Baltimore Sun interview. "But this the right time... and I am going to grab it." When Thorner came to Baltimore in the early 1980s, she worked as a reporter for Channel 2/WMAR, but jumped to WJZ in 1993. In a memo today, WJZ General Manager Jay Newman said: "I have worked with Sally for more then a decade and will miss seeing her everyday. I want to thank her for all her hard work and her many contributions to the success of WJZ. I am sure you all join me in wishing her well. She will be missed."

September 6, 2009
WETA, PBS Veteran Lewis Zager Dies
Lewis Zager, 58, a broadcast engineer who had been an independent consultant helping public television stations transition from analog to digital television since 2007, died on 8/16 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. He had acute myeloid leukemia. From 2002 to 2007, Zager worked for PBS in Northern Virginia as the director of the Digital Television Strategic Services Group. He started his broadcast career in 1979 as a cameraman and sound engineer for WETA. He later became a technical director for shows including "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and "Washington Week in Review." Zager was a vice president of technology when he left WETA in 2002.

September 3, 2009
Havre De Grace MD religious talker WJSS (1330 AM) gets sold by Benjamin-Dane LLC to CRS Radio Holdings for $750,000. Benjamin-Dane paid Peoples Broadcast Network $350,000 for WJSS back in 2004.

August 31, 2009
Janice Ockerhausen Leaves WMAL
Thirty-year-vet Janice Ockershausen has resigned from Citadel news talker WMAL (630 AM). She was WMAL's top-billing sales person for years. She began her career as an intern, and for a while was producer of the Harden and Weaver show. She is married to Andy Ockershausen, the man who guided WMAL to its glory years under Washington Star and ABC ownership, creating such teams as Harden and Weaver as well as Trumbull and Core.

August 31, 2009
BAL Debuts All-News Mornings
Baltimore news talker WBAL (1090 AM) is transforming its morning talk show into four hours of all-news radio. Re-branding the 5 AM to 9 AM weekday slot as "Maryland's Morning News." Current morning host Dave Durian remains onboard. He'll be joined by WBAL news anchors Bill Vanko and John Patti. The program will feature "traffic and weather together" every 10 minutes, sports, money reports, and live newsmaker interviews. "The media landscape has changed dramatically in the past year," says WBAL News Director Mark Miller. He adds, "With this unheard of economic downturn we're all enduring, most of our listeners have had to modify and change their lifestyles. We're changing our format to all-news in the mornings to better serve them." Says Durian, "The Baltimore market is crying out for an all-news morning show. This just seems to be a natural evolution for our mornings."

August 29, 2009
Kornheiser To WTEM
Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980, WTEM, has announced that Tony Kornheiser will be heard on the sports talk station in the 10 AM to noon weekday slot, starting 9/8.

August 28, 2009
Lindsay Murphy Joins Fox5 Sports
Channel 5/WTTG names Lindsay Murphy (right) as weekend sports anchor and reporter. She'll do Fox5's sports reports on Fridays and Saturdays, and serve as a sports reporter during the week. She comes from Channel 29/WVIR in Charlottesville. Before that, she worked at Channel 4/ WRC as a sports producer and as an intern for George Michael's "Sports Machine." She also interned at Harrisonburg's Channel 3/WHSV.....

August 28, 2009
Former VOAer Tanya Dooher Dies
Tanya Dooher, 86, a Russian-born radio newscaster for the DC-based Voice Of America's Russian broadcasts, died on August 16 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda after a single-car accident in Chevy Chase. Dooher, a Chevy Chase resident, joined VOA in 1961, where she read news reports that she translated into Russian from English. After 32 years, she became a media personality in Russia, often receiving letters from listeners in the former Soviet Union. She retired in 1993.

August 28, 2009
Ted Patterson Retires
Longtime Baltimore sports broadcaster Ted Patterson is retiring. Heard mornings on WCBM (680 AM), his last day is today, Friday. An on-air tribute is planned. His future plans include organizing his extensive sports memorabilia collection and freelance sports reporting, we're told.

August 26, 2009
105.9 Gets An Edge, Imus Out
DCRTV told you that Citadel was planning to pull the plug on True Oldies 105.9. Well, it happened at 10 AM today, with the arrival of "The Edge," a hardish classic rock/alternative rock format. Slogan: "Classic rock that rocks." Look out Clear Channel's classic hits/rock WBIG. DCRTV hears that DC radio veteran Steve Allan, who programmed the 1960s/1970s-based pop oldies format, is staying. DCRTV also hears that the syndicated Don Imus morning show is toast. Last song on True Oldies 105.9: "Windy" by the Association. First song on 105.9 The Edge: Aerosmith's "Living On The Edge." Playlist includes the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Stone Temple Pilots, the Doors, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, AC/DC, the Who. Commercial-free through Labor Day. Currently jockless. Website at theedge1059.com. Citadel's DC Operations Manager Kenny King calls the format "Mix 107.3 for guys," in reference to sister hot adult contemporary WRQX and its female orientation. The Scott Shannon-syndicated "True Oldies" format was installed in February 2008 and never achieved any ratings traction. In the latest ratings round-up, the station, WJZW, placed 20th. "Will be interesting. This market has always had very soft tastes," says a local radio guru. "Will be curious to see if it flies." By the way, CBS pulled the plug on its classic rocker, The Globe 94.7, back in April after playing more hardish tunes. CBS "saw limited return on 94.7 when it turned up the tempo" in its final months, a local radio source tells DCRTV. WJZW's HD2 remains smooth jazz, its pre-True Oldies format. Trivia: 105.9 was classic rock back in the 1980s as WCXR.

August 25, 2009
Hedge Fund Wins City Paper B'ruptcy Battle
Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason has lost control of the company his parents founded in 1972 to the NYC hedge fund from whom he borrowed $30 million to buy the Washington City Paper and Chicago Reader. Atalaya won the auction with a $5 million cash bid. Michael Bogdan, managing partner of the winning NYC-based hedge fund, said he is committed to keeping the newspaper chain's 230 employees and 400,000 readers in six cities. "We are here for the long haul and we want to make this work," Bogdan said minutes after Federal Bankruptcy Judge Caryl Delano accepted Atalaya's bid. Creative Loafing bid $2.32 million in cash and securities.

August 24, 2009
Carl Grossman Dies
Carl Grossman, 60, the Leesburg man who pleaded guilty in Fairfax County Court in May 2007 to a misdemeanor charge of stalking in connection with a January 2007 incident in which former WJFK afternoon host Don Geronimo (aka Michael Sorce) received a letter that allegedly contained threats to himself and his family, has died. Grossman, who had been a frequent caller on the Don and Mike O'Meara show, was given a one-year jail sentence with 10 months suspended, followed by a year of probation and a period of supervised mental health care. Grossman's sister, Sara, tells DCRTV that her brother's death "was very sudden and unexpected. Of course, my family blames Don Geronimo for his death in a weird way." She adds: "Our view is that if Don had accepted Carl's written apology, or allowed Carl to pay a fine and be on probation instead of insisting that no plea could be reached unless a jail sentence was attached, then Carl would not have been fired from his job, would not have been denied unemployment benefits, would not have lost health insurance, could have gone to see doctors and afford medications for his asthma, and would not have died uninsured and with respiratory failure that he could not afford to have treated properly." She says that Carl went to an emergency room last Wednesday. He was released from the hospital on Friday and was found dead of an apparent asthma attack on Saturday morning after placing a 911 call at 5 AM. Geronimo placed a statement on his website maintaining that Sara's comments are "wrong." He added: "I committed no crime against the stalker. It was he who violated my family." Geronimo also said that it's false to assume that he could "have simply snapped my fingers and made it so he wouldn't go to jail for his crime."

August 24, 2009
26 Seeks Western Metro Relay
Washington's main PBS outlet, Channel 26/WETA, is asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to put a relay operation in far western Montgomery County on channel 31 in order to fill-in a western metro area coverage gap it says it has via its DC-based digital signal on channel 27. The new channel 31 signal would also cover Loudoun and Frederick counties.

August 21, 2009
Diane Rehm Falls, Cracks Pelvis
Susan Page, filling-in today for Diane Rehm (right) on WAMU (88.5 FM), told listeners this morning that Rehm fell yesterday while crossing a street, and cracked her pelvis. Page wished Rehm a speedy recovery. Kay Summers, a WAMU spokeswoman, tells DCRTV that Rehm "caught her heel in the hem of her slacks while dashing across the street... and cracked her pelvis when she fell. She'll be recuperating for next several weeks." You can send get-well wishes to her at drshow@wamu.org. Substitute hosts for Rehm's nationally-syndicated 10 AM to noon show will include Page, Frank Sesno, and Steve Roberts.

August 19, 2009
Craig Lee Hennige Dies
Craig Lee Hennige, 60, of Waldorf, died on 8/15 at the Braddock Health Center in Cumberland. He was the owner of Motorsports Promotions for more than 25 years. Hennige worked for WBIG, then Oldies 100, from 1993 through 2006 as the voice of the Rolling Oldies Show, and appeared at more than 1,000 events. A life-long car enthusiast at local tracks, he raced the "Whooppee Car" from 1971 through the 1990s. "Craig was one of the finest professionals that I ever worked with. I'm sure a number of your readers have met him over the years," local radio great and WBIG vet Johnny Dark tells DCRTV.

August 18, 2009
Post Axes LoudounExtra
The Washington Post is pulling the plug on its hyper-local news and commentary LoudounExtra.com site for Virginia's Loudoun County. Kris Coratti, the Post's director of communications, says: "While the Washington Post remains dedicated to maintaining a high level of coverage of the counties surrounding Washington DC, we found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model. According to Coratti, LoudounExtra.com will be turned off in September, while its content will migrate over to the paper's main site at Washingtonpost.com, ending a rare endeavor by a major daily to present news online in such a local and targeted way. When launched in 2007, the Post promised the site would be geared solely toward Loudoun residents, organizations, and businesses and feature community news, events, and sports sometimes reported on by county residents and local bloggers.

August 13, 2009
TOP Is Tops In July
The monthly July Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC, full-week, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WAMU, 4) WASH [Loriloo 11th], 5) WIHT [Kane 5th], 6) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 7) WBIG [Ballard 10th], 8) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 9) WGTS, 10) WMZQ, 11) WPGC [Simpson 14th] and WETA-FM and WWDC [Elliot 13th], 14) WKYS [Parr 12th], 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WMAL [G&A 16th, Rush 14th, Hannity 19th], 18) WLZL, 19) WJFK [Junks 14th, O'Meara 16th], 20) WTEM, 21) WJZW [Imus 22nd], 22) WAVA, 23) WPFW, 24) WFRE and WBQB. More: 33) WYCB and WILC and WKDV and WACA and WFED, 39) WTNT, 43) WZHF and WKCW and WMET.

August 12, 2009
MPT's Margaret Sullivan Dies
Margaret Sullivan, 62, a producer at Maryland Public Television, died Tuesday after a short illness. She began her career as an actress and stage manager for the newly-formed Center Stage in Baltimore in 1969. Sullivan began her television career in the early 1970s as a camera operator and director of commercials for Channel 45/WBFF. She left for MPT in 1976 and worked on shows such as "Crabs," "The Critics Place," and "Weeknight Alive." She also was an associate producer for MPT's "On Stage At Wolf Trap." Working with Julia Child in the late 1990s (right), Sullivan produced "Cooking With Master Chefs," "Baking With Julia," and "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs." Says MPT veteran Rhea Feikin, via the Baltimore Sun: "She was one of the most professional and generous producers I have ever worked with - and one of the nicest human beings I have known."

August 12, 2009
Ira Apple Dies
Ira Apple died Tuesday in a hospice in Reisterstown after suffering a series of aneurysms in early July. He was 74. Apple programmed a number of radio stations, including Baltimore's WBAL, Pittsburgh's KDKA, and Boston's WBZ, before his current job with the Traffic Directors Guild Of America. He also served as a sales manager with CBSI.

August 11, 2009
Michaelsen Out As 9's ND
8/11 - Lane Michaelsen has resigned his news director gig at Gannett-owned Channel 9/WUSA in order to go "back" to Florida. Where he'll be news director at NBC-owned WTVJ-TV in Miami. WTVJ's general manager is Ardyth Diercks, who had been general manager at WUSA. While Gannett searches for someone new, Jay Mishkin will be the interim news director at WUSA. Lane's last day at WUSA will be 8/19. The Washington Post made an unsuccessful attempt to buy WTVJ last year and run it as a Miami duopoly with its WPLG-TV.

August 10, 2009
Post Cuts Nat'l Weekly
The Washington Post's National Weekly Edition will cease publication at the end of the year, a victim of the bad economy and declining circulation. NWE editor Sharon Scott confirmed that the tabloid, started more than a quarter century ago, will be shuttered. Circulation, which she said peaked at about 150,000 a decade ago, is now about 20,000.

August 10, 2009
Heart Surgery For BAL's "Detour Dave"
WBAL radio traffic reporter "Detour Dave" Sandler collapsed Sunday afternoon on a Baltimore area ballfield. And he will be undergoing heart bypass surgery at the University Of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. From his hospital bed, Sandler told DCRTV that he blacked out while rounding third base to score the winning run for his amateur softball team, the Kings. It just so happened that cardiologist Scott Katzen is also a member of the team. Katzen came to Sandler's aid until the ambulance arrived.

August 10, 2009
Bill Burton Dies
Legendary outdoors writer Bill Burton (right) died early this morning, losing his lengthy battle with cancer, his family said. Burton, 82, was a newspaperman through and through, who wrote about fishing and hunting in the Chesapeake Bay for more than 50 years. He spent decades at the Baltimore Sun and more recently wrote for the Annapolis Capital and Bay Weekly.

August 9, 2009
Retired 4 Engineer Arthur Page Dies
Arthur H. Page III, 89, a retired radio and television engineer for Channel 4/WRC, died on July 25 at his son's home in Washington. He had pancreatic cancer. Page graduated from the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute in the late 1940s and then began his career in radio and television at WRC. As an engineer, he participated in the station's TV coverage of presidential inaugurals and White House events, and he was a radio engineer for popular local shows such as "The Joy Boys," starring Willard Scott and Ed Walker, which aired on WRC radio. He retired in 1982.

August 7, 2009
Theismann To TEM
Redskins great Joe Theismann will be returning to the Washington radio airwaves on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980. "The Joe Theismann Show" will debut on Friday, 8/14, in the 8 AM to 10 AM slot. And then, starting on 8/17, it'll air on Mondays in the same time slot. It'll originate from Redskins Park in Ashburn. Theismann will be joined by WTEM's Kevin Sheehan. In addition to his Monday show, Theismann will play an "integral role" on WTEM's Redskins pre-game show and be a frequent guest on other ESPN 980 shows throughout the week.

August 5, 2009
Ed Walker To Hall Of Fame
DC radio legend Ed Walker (right) has received enough votes during the past few weeks and will be inducted into the Chicago-based national Radio Hall Of Fame in November. "This is the culmination of a lot of years in broadcasting, and I'm very grateful," says the 77-year-old Walker. "It hasn't really sunk in yet, but thanks to everyone for the support. It's a great honor to be recognized by all the people who have listened to radio over the years." Adds WAMU General Manager Caryn Mathes, "I am thrilled that Ed has been elected to the Radio Hall Of Fame. He is a legend in Washington radio, and this is a richly deserved honor." Walker's radio career began in 1951 as an American University freshman and one of the founders of WAMU-AM, the campus radio station that preceded the current WAMU-FM. The same year, Walker met fellow AU student Willard Scott. In the 1950s, they became the comedy duo Joy Boys on WRC radio until 1972, when WWDC added the show to its schedule. WWDC aired the last Joy Boys show in 1974. Walker has also worked at WPGC and WMAL and at Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8. In December 1990, Walker returned to WAMU to host vintage radio program "The Big Broadcast" on Sunday evenings.

August 5, 2009
Thomas Schroth Dies
Thomas Schroth, who helped expand and deepen political coverage of Washington as the editor of Congressional Quarterly and a founding editor of National Journal, died on July 23 at his home in Sedgwick, Maine.

August 5, 2009
Bill Phelps Dies
William Issiah Phelps, 53, an internet radio and low-power television station entrepreneur, died July 21 at his home in Greenbelt after a heart attack. Phelps began his career on local radio stations WOL, WMMJ, WINX, WSID, and WJMO (now WIHT) under the air names of Billy Dee, Alexander Goodfellow, Tom Collins, Bill Clark, Bill Fox, and Bob Scott. He moved into radio station management in Georgia and South Carolina. He returned to the Washington area in 1990, founding Hyattsville's Segway Media, a media production company. In 2003, he founded a multimedia advertising company, Radio Music Productions, and began broadcasting over the internet, where he developed the "Billy Dee's Timeless Classics" show and the "Higher Ground" gospel show. His Jammin' 99.5 (then WJMO) internet radio station featured music and interviews with top singers. Phelps acquired three low-power television stations, WIAV (Channel 58) in Greenbelt, WRAV (Channel 8) in Ocean City, and WQAV (Channel 34) in Atlantic City.

August 3, 2009
95.1 Gets Shiny
Baltimore Christian talk and music outlet WRBS is now "95.1 Shine FM." The Peter And John Radio Fellowship outlet has dropped its old "95-One" moniker. It's also unveiled a new website at 951shinefm.com and, we hear, it's emphasizing the Christian contemporary tunes.

August 2, 2009
WAGE Goes Silent
DullesDistrict.com tells us that tough economic conditions have claimed another area media outlet, as Loudoun County's only radio station - AM 1200 WAGE - shut down this morning. If you tune to the frequency on the AM dial, you'll now only hear dead air. The management of Leesburg's WAGE indicated this is only a temporary suspension, as it is continuing plans to make the station into a 50,000-watt regional outlet that can be heard throughout the Washington DC metro area. WAGE's owner - New World Radio - purchased the station in 2005, and it was never a secret their goals were to power the station up to 50,000-watts to go after advertisers outside of the Loudoun borders. Getting the regulatory approval to build a tower, however, turned into a much longer and difficult process than originally thought.

August 2, 2009
George Taylor Morris Dies
George Taylor Morris (left), who was the morning host on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Deep Tracks classic rock channel and did the "XM Artist Confidential" series, has died at his home in Reston from throat cancer. He was 62. Over the years, Morris, nicknamed "GTM," worked at the NYC area's WHLI, WWDJ, WPIX-FM, as well as Boston's WCOZ, NBC's young adult radio network "The Source," and at the Westwood One Radio Network. In 1984, Morris was recruited by the Global Satellite Network to write, produce, and host "Reelin' In The Years," a weekly syndicated album rock show that was a mix of music, interviews, commentary, vintage commercials, plus film and TV clips.

July 28, 2009
BAL To Become Newser In AM Drive
Come 8/31, Baltimore news talker WBAL (1090 AM) is transforming its morning talk show into four hours of all-news radio. Re-branding the 5 AM to 9 AM weekday slot as "Maryland's Morning News." Current morning host Dave Durian remains onboard. He'll be joined by WBAL news anchors Bill Vanko and John Patti. The program will feature "traffic and weather together" every 10 minutes, sports, money reports, and live newsmaker interviews. "The media landscape has changed dramatically in the past year," says WBAL News Director Mark Miller. He adds, "With this unheard of economic downturn we're all enduring, most of our listeners have had to modify and change their lifestyles. We're changing our format to all-news in the mornings to better serve them." Says Durian, "The Baltimore market is crying out for an all-news morning show. This just seems to be a natural evolution for our mornings."

July 27, 2009
Longtime Post Carrier Dies
Gertrude Monaco, 93, who delivered the Washington Post for 22 years in Prince George's County and who was a tireless volunteer for her church and community, died on 7/19 of a heart attack at her home in New Carrollton. Mrs. Monaco lived in Washington for 15 years before moving to New Carrollton in 1959 to raise her six children. She was already active in her church and scouting before she began delivering the Post to customers in New Carrollton in 1966.

July 27, 2009
Nan Billingsley Hurt Dies
Nan Billingsley Hurt, 90, of Lexington Park MD, died on 7/20. We're told that during the years leading up to World War II, she was a writer for the Free Lance Star in Fredericksburg as well as "Miss Fredericksburg." In the 1940s, she was a radio announcer at WFVA in Fredericksburg and WINX in Washington DC.

July 25, 2009
Tony Pann Jumps From 9 To 11
Channel 9/WUSA weatherman Tony Pann is leaving the DC Gannett station. His contract was not renewed. He'll be leaving WUSA at the end of September and heading up to Hearst's Channel 11/WBAL in Baltimore to do morning weather reporting. Pann worked in the Baltimore TV market before coming to WUSA.

July 24, 2009
WERQ Tops Baltimore Radio Heap
The quarterly spring radio ratings for Baltimore, age 12+, full-week: 1) WERQ, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WPOC, 4) WLIF, 5) WBAL-AM and WWMX, 7) WCBM, 8) WJZ-FM, 9) WIYY, 10) WQSR, 11) WZBA, 12) WCAO. More: 14) WRBS, 18) WCHH, 25) WRNR, 28) WNST and WWIN-AM and WXCY, 31) WJZ-AM. CBS Radio execs are doing cartwheels over latest quarterly ratings numbers for the new Baltimore FM sports talker, 105.7 The Fan. WJZ-FM launched last fall. And it's now in 3rd place among men aged 25-54, going from a 3.9 to a 6.1 demo share since the winter diary-method radio ratings. Also, in the same demo, the station placed 1st in afternoon drive with the Scott Garceau and Anita Marks show, 3rd in middays, and 4th in mornings with Ed Norris.

July 24, 2009
Loverro Joins WTEM
Washington Times sports columnist Thom Loverro will pair with sports radio personality Kevin Sheehan on WTEM, ESPN 980, for a midday show called "Sports Fix." No mention in the Times article that the noon to 2 PM show on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's station will be directly up against Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise's new show on rival sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan. CBS launched the new format Monday with Wise paired with Bill Rohland in the 10 AM to 2 PM slot. The Washington Times' new nationally syndicated political talk morning drive radio show is also heard on a Snyder-owned station, talker WTNT, AM 570.

July 23, 2009
Loudoun Easterner Closes
Another local newspaper bites the dust. At easterner.com: "Effective today, July 22, 2009, we have suspended publication of the Loudoun Easterner. This was a difficult decision. We appreciate the years of reader, advertiser, and employee loyalty to the publication." The Loudoun County newspaper, based in Sterling and later Ashburn, was a freebie weekly tabloid and had been operating since 1968. At its peak, it had a reported distribution of almost 150,000 copies.

July 22, 2009
Beauchamp To Be Consultant For BAL Radio
Jeff Beauchamp is leaving his day-to-day work at WBAL radio (1090 AM) after almost 34 years. The vice president and station manager of the Hearst-owned Baltimore news talker will become a consultant for the station. He's taking a package offered by station owner Hearst. "This has been a great company to work for," Beauchamp tells DCRTV. "This was their decision. They have that right and privilege and I'm moving forward." Says WBAL General Manager Ed Kiernan: "WBAL radio is the most influential voice in Maryland and one of the most honored stations in the country. Jeff's track record of success is second to none. There is no way to overstate his leadership in the formidable history of WBAL radio. On a personal level, Jeff and I have worked together for over 18 years. He's opinionated, loud, and proud with outstanding instincts. His attention to detail is legendary. Jeff taught me, and many of you, how the job should be done and I am eternally grateful."

July 17, 2009
Jim Whittemore Dies
We hear: "Jim Whittemore dies. Jim was an outstanding cameraman and floor manager at WTTG/Channel 5 and WBAL/Channel 11 in the 1970s and then moved to Ocean City to pursue his dream... a radio career. He was best known as "Captain Jim" - the sidekick to Hitman McKay on WKHI/Ocean City in the late '80s and early '90s. Jim was also heard on WRXS, WTGM, WJDY, and WKHZ. Jim called the Delmarva Shorebird games for quite some time, and was also the stadium announcer at Delmarva Downs. He also had an unsuccessful mayoral bid in the late '80s".....

July 17, 2009
TOP Tops June PPMs
The June monthly Portable People Meter radio ratings for DC show all five of Clear Channel's FMers (WASH, WIHT, WBIG, WWDC, WMZQ) in the "top 10." While CBS's four FMers (WPGC, WTGB, WLZL, WJFK) are all outside the "top 10." As usual, Bonneville's WTOP takes the crown. Here are the age 12+, full-week numbers: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 3rd] and WASH [Loriloo 7th], 4) WAMU, 5) WIHT [Kane 5th], 6) WBIG, 7) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 8) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 9) WGTS, 10) WWDC [Elliot 12th] and WMZQ, 12) WETA-FM, 13) WKYS [Parr 13th], 14) WPGC [Simpson 15th] and WPRS, 16) WTGB and WMAL [G&A 17th, Rush 9th, Hannity 18th], 18) WLZL, 19) WJFK [Junks 14th, O'Meara 14th] and WTEM, 21) WJZW [Imus 22nd], 22) WFRE and WBQB, 24) WPFW, 25) WAVA. More: 28) WFED, 33) WKDV, 36) WILC and WYCB and WTNT, 41) WWGB.

July 14, 2009
WJFK Flips To Sports
CBS Radio made the official announcement today that "guy talker" WJFK will become "Sportsradio 106.7 The Fan" at 6 AM on Monday, 7/20. CBS suits met with advertisers at noon Tuesday at the Verizon Center. As expected, the Junkies, now the Sports Junkies, will remain in morning drive. And, as we've reported, Mike Wise will be paired with Bill Rohland in middays, with Chad Dukes and Lavar Arrington doing afternoon drive. There will be a website at 1067thefandc.com. And, as we've reported, the Wizards will air on JFK this fall, with Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor calling the games. Plus, as we've hinted, JFK will be carrying Westwood One's NFL "Primetime" package of Thursday, Sunday, and Monday games, plus the playoffs and the Super Bowl. That package had aired on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980. We also get confirmation that longtime afternooner Mike O'Meara is a gonner. His show is in reruns this week. We hear that O'Meara will do a farewell segment, but not a full live show, on Friday, 7/17.

July 13, 2009
Charles Barbour Dies
Charles Barbour, 89, an assistant sports editor at the Washington Star from 1954 to 1977, died on June 25 at Inova Loudoun Hospital Center in Leesburg of pneumonia. Early in his career, Barbour, a Washington native, was a sports editor for the old Washington Times-Herald.

July 9, 2009
Ken Mellgren Retires From AP
Ken Mellgren (right) is taking early retirement after after 14 years with Associated Press Broadcast in DC. He tells DCRTV: "Working with AP in affiliate relations and new product development has been a terrific experience. My 25 years in Washington broadcasting has been extremely rewarding and I have no plans to move. I look forward to some consulting and volunteering." Before joining AP, Mellgren spent five years as regional operations manager for Metro Networks and six years as program director for the old WRC radio, when it featured a talk format under Greater Media. He plans to continue to chair the Broadcast Committee at the National Press Club, as well as his post as director of the Radio And Television Museum in Bowie.

July 6, 2009
Leinwand Jumps To CC
Alan Leinwand, who was once general manager and general sales manager of CBS Radio's WJFK in Washington - back in its "superstation" days with Howard Stern and the Redskins, becomes general sales manager for Clear Channel's NYC radio cluster. Leinwand was most-recently vice president for sales at CBS's WXRK in NYC.

July 3, 2009
Alan Etter To Leave DC EMS
Alan Etter, public information officer for the District Of Columbia Fire/EMS Department, is leaving the agency after 10 years. He's joining the University Of The District Of Columbia's communications office. Etter started his career as a reporter with Richmond's WRVA-TV. In 1991, he came to DC as a reporter for WTOP radio and CBS News, covering news stories in the city and across the USA.

July 2, 2009
Whitney To Seattle
We told you that DC101's Whitney is leaving her midday gig later this month. Now, we hear that she's heading to Seattle to do her own morning radio show at alt rocker KNDD. Whitney Knoerlin will begin the gig in August.

June 29, 2009
Don Brooks Dies
Baltimore radio veteran Don Brooks has died. He was on WCBM's airwaves in the 1970s, and later went on to be general manager of WWIN before moving to Atlantic City, where he owned several stations.

June 29, 2009
WTNT Debuts Washington Times Radio Show
The nationally-syndicated Washington Times morning radio show, which launched via Talk Radio Network on 6/15, got its DC debut this morning via Red Zebra talker WTNT (570 AM). John McCaslin and Melanie Morgan co-host the new "America's Morning News" from the Washington Times HQ on New York Avenue. It airs from 6 AM to 9 AM, bumping Chicago-based Mancow to the 3 PM to 6 PM slot. Also, look for WTNT to launch new imaging, and carry Washington Times newscasts during some hours, with Fox News newscasts still airing in some dayparts. The Washington Times show is reportedly airing on 20 stations around the country, but TRN won't provide a list of stations because they're probably in very small, unimpressive markets.

June 29, 2009
Mary Lou Forbes Dies
Mary Lou Forbes, 83, the commentary editor for the Washington Times for the past 25 years, has died after a brief battle with cancer. Forbes' career spanned more than six decades as a reporter, news chief and opinion editor, guiding hundreds of journalists from future Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein to nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, whose column debuted in the Times 25 years ago under her tutelage.

June 29, 2009
WERQ Tops Baltimore Radio Heap
The latest late June monthly trend ratings show WERQ in the top spot in the Baltimore radio heap. WPOC takes 2nd, WWIN-FM 3rd, WLIF 4th, WWMX 5th, WCBM 6th, WIYY and WBAL-AM 7th, WQSR 9th, and WJZ-FM 10th. WZBA places 11th and WCAO 12th. More Baltimore numbers: WRBS 15th, WCHH 17th, WRNR 21st, WWIN-AM 25th, WNST 27th, WJZ-AM 31st.

June 27, 2009
WYRE Back To Spanish
The classic "top 40" format that had been airing on Annapolis's WYRE (810 AM) is no more. WYRE has returned to its former format of brokered Spanish programming, while Ocean City's WKHZ (1590 AM) is continuing the format, which had been heard on both stations. Local radio great Paul Bicknell, aka "Davy Jones," did a midday show on WYRE/WKHZ, but that has ended.

June 25, 2009
Bob Kwesell Dies
Bob Kwesell, a local radio veteran who once did "call-in" talk shows at the old WRC radio and at WCBM, died on 6/20.

June 22, 2009
Sher To Resurrect "Square Off" On 2
Baltimore TV veteran Richard Sher (right) made his debut on Channel 2/WMAR this morning to announce the return of the local news and talk show "Square Off" this September. The show previously ran on Channel 13/WJZ for 19 years, and has been off the air for 12 years. This morning, Sher also talked about his recent Ted Yates Award, presented at this year's local Emmy ceremony, and about being the only person who knew Oprah Winfrey was going to show up at the event to everyones' surprise. Sher, who did the "People Are Talking" talk show with a pre-famous Winfrey in the 1970s at Channel 13, also said some of the old "Square Off" regulars will return to the new WMAR show. He also wants new pundits and panelists.

June 18, 2009
TOP Tops May PPMs
No big surprises in the monthly May Portable People Meter radio ratings for the DC market, age 12+, full-week. All-newser WTOP remains solidly in the top spot. No significant traction for CBS's new hot adult contemporary WTGB, Fresh FM, which actually places lower in the overall numbers than it did with its classic rock Globe format, which was ditched in early April. Here they are: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 2nd], 3) WASH [Loriloo 8th], 4) WAMU, 5) WBIG, 6) WIHT [Kane 5th], 7) WMMJ [Joyner 7th], 8) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 9) WGTS, 10) WWDC [Elliot 11th] and WETA-FM, 12) WMZQ, 13) WKYS [Parr 11th], 14) WPGC [Simpson 13th], 15) WPRS, 16) WMAL [G&A 16th, Rush 11th, Hannity 18th], 17) WJFK [Junks 14th, O'Meara 15th], 18) WTEM and WLZL, 20) WTGB, 21) WJZW [Imus 21st], 22) WFRE, 23) WWEG, 24) WBQB and WPFW and WAVA. More: 33) WFED and WTNT, 36) WILC and WACA and WYCB and WKDV.

June 16, 2009
Murdoch Sells Weekly Standard To Anschutz
Righty media baron Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns the Fox News Channel and DC's Fox5, is selling his DC-based Weekly Standard righty political magazine to righty media baron Philip Anschutz's Clarity Media, which owns the Washington Examiner. No price announced.

June 16, 2009
Kirk McEwen To OC's WOCM
Baltimore radio veteran Kirk McEwen will be joining Ocean City eclectic rocker WOCM (98.1 FM) in the 7 PM to 11 PM shift, starting 6/22. Formerly part of the long-running "Kirk And Mark" radio duo, he's been sidelined since getting canned from CBS Radio's 105.7 last year, before it flipped to sports talk. Before that, Kirk and Mark had been doing mornings on Hearst's WIYY, 98 Rock.

June 15, 2009
Marc Clarke Resurfaces On 24
Baltimore radio veteran Marc Clarke (left) will be kicking-off his new morning TV show on Charm City's Channel 24/WUTB on Monday at 7 AM. "The Marc Clarke TV Show," which we've rumored would be coming, marks the return to the Baltimore airwaves of Clarke since he got dumped by Radio One's urban WERQ (92.3 FM) last fall in favor of a cheaper syndicated AM show. We also hear that Channel 45/ WBFF's "Tabloid Tuesday" reporter Brandi Proctor is leaving Fox45 for Clarke's entertainment-based TV show. She will host a segment called "The Gossip Grapevine." Also, DCRTV hears that Clarke's former 92Q co-host Troy Johnson will be on the WUTB show. Clarke is married to longtime Channel 5/WTTGer Allison Seymour.

June 10, 2009
CBS Launches New HFS
"This is not a nostalgia trip," so said DC rock radio veteran Cerphe Colwell at noon's relaunch of "WHFS" on the HD2 signal of CBS Radio's WTGB, 94.7 FM. He said the digitally broadcast progressive rock station, with a webstream coming to hfs2.com soon, plans to "look forward" as much or more than looking back. First song: "Like A Stone" by Audioslave, from a live perfornance at a previous HFStival. Streaming at whfs2.com. A number of HFS alumni will be doing shifts, including Weasel. Next up: Pat Ferrise. Then Oscar Santana. Still no plans to put the WHFS calls on 94.7, WTGB, which airs the female-oriented Fresh FM on its main signal. The heritage calls remain "parked" on 1580 AM, a CBS talker. WHFS lived on Bethesda's 102.3 until 1983, when it moved to Annapolis's 99.1 until 2005, when it moved again to Baltimore's 105.7.

June 5, 2009
Tony Dill Dies
Tony Dill has passed away. When NBC started its News And Information Service radio network in 1975, Dill was hired from WTOP. At NIS, we're told that Dill worked with a young Jim Farley, one of the original NIS producers, who moved over from NYC all-newser WINS. Anthony P. Dill, 56, of Pasadena CA, died on 5/24. He worked in broadcast journalism as a network news producer for NBC for 28 years.

June 3, 2009
Bonneville Leases 1050 To Air America
Bonneville has signed a deal to lease the signal of 1050 AM, currently a relay of all-newser WTOP (and currently sporting the WTOP-AM calls), to political lefty talk radio network Air America. "We are looking forward to bringing all-new, progressive news/talk programming to 1050 AM and actively engaging listeners across the most politically-influential radio market in the United States," says AA's CEO Bennett Zier, a former DC radio suit. "This agreement and our full-time entry into the Washington DC market are an integral part of Air America's strategy to expand our listening audience." The station's new call letters, on-air launch date, and programming line-up will be announced shortly, says AA's head of programming Bill Hess, also a former DC radio suit. AA's been without a DC outlet since Red Zebra's WWRC, 1260 AM, flipped from "progressive talk" to business news last year. "It's a good deal for both sides," says Joel Oxley, head of Bonneville's DC radio cluster. AA "will be using the old WFED studio space on the first floor as well as some of the office space adjacent to those studios. The sports play-by-play programming that is on 1050 AM will continue to run on the station." The 1050 signal had relayed Federal News Radio, WFED, before its move to the more powerful 1500 AM last year. AA's line-up includes Rachel Maddow, Montel Williams, Lionel, and Ron Reagan.

June 1, 2009
Don Dillard Dies
Don Dillard, 74, a freewheeling deejay who helped introduce rock-and-roll to the DC area from his tiny Wheaton station, WDON, died on 5/28 at his home in Annapolis after an apparent heart attack. Writes Ben Stein on Dillard at American Spectator: "He was my disc jockey... He was one of us. When I was 12, he was only 23. If you think of Wolfman Jack, only with no bad attitude and totally accessible to us listeners, that's Don Dillard. He would offer 45s to the first person who got to the station - a storefront on Georgia Avenue - and once in a while I got one. Usually Don was the only guy there. My next door neighbor and pal, Carl Bernstein, was also a fanatical fan... This loss of Don Dillard. The day the music died. The day youth itself died." Dillard, whose parents owned WDON in the 1960s and 1970s, was a DJ on the "top 40" pop and, later, country station.

June 1, 2009
WERQ Tops Baltimore Radio Heap
The latest Arbitron monthly radio ratings for Baltimore, out 6/1: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WWMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WCBM, 8) WIYY, 9) WQSR, 10) WJZ-FM, 11) WCAO, 12) WZBA, 13) WCHH and WHUR, 15) WTOP, 16) WRBS, 17) WIHT, 18) WWDC, 19) WKYS and WPGC, 21) WASH and WRQX, 23) WRNR.

May 29, 2009
Ken Dermota Dies
Ken Dermota, 53, a journalist and former union organizer who specialized in issues involving Latin America, died on 5/11 of cancer at Washington Hospital Center. For 10 years, Dermota was an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in New York before moving to Colombia in 1990 to work as a freelance journalist. He wrote for Business Week, the Christian Science Monitor, Le Monde, the Boston Globe, and the Toronto Globe And Mail, and reported for National Public Radio and NBC Radio.

May 28, 2009
Clarke Courier Calls It Quits
The Clarke Courier, a weekly covering Clarke County VA (between Leesburg and Winchester), printed its last edition Wednesday. The 140-year-old newspaper was purchased nine months ago by the Winchester Evening Star from the Arundel family's Times Community Newspapers chain. Courier Publisher Thomas Byrd stated in this week's edition that struggling ad sales was the culprit. Just last week, Times Community Newspapers announced the sale of its Fairfax County Times weekly to the Washington Post-owned Gazette Newspapers chain.

May 28, 2009
Morgan & McCaslin To Host DC Times Morning Radio Show
The Washington Times announces that Melanie Morgan and John McCaslin have been selected as co-hosts for its new nationally syndicated morning drive radio show, which will originate from a "state-of-the-art broadcast facility" at the Times' New York Avenue complex. The show, set to debut on 6/15, will be carried by Talk Radio Network. Morgan worked for 23 years as a correspondent and host on ABC television and radio in San Francisco, including 14 years as morning driver on righty radio talker KSFO. McCaslin, whose work in radio includes serving as an occasional substitute host for righty radio talker Rush Limbaugh, has been a reporter and editor at the Washington Times for 25 years. No word yet if the new show will be carried in the DC area. The Washington Times' new radio newscast service is being carried by CBS righty talker WHFS, 1580 AM. A CBS source tells DCRTV that 1580 will continue carrying the Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish in mornings.

May 27, 2009
Felix Grant's Widow Dies
June Deeds Grant, 87, the wife of late WMAL jazz show host Felix Grant, died on 5/11 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital near Rockville. Felix died in 1993 after an almost 50-year-long local radio career.

May 27, 2009
Gladstone & Levine Gone From 45
Channel 45/WBFF morning news anchor Jennifer Gladstone is gone. A victim of a Sinclair-owned Fox45 budget cut. Gladstone joined the morning news in April 2006 after three years as primary news anchor on Sinclair's national NewsCentral operation in Hunt Valley. For now, Patrice Harris is anchoring solo on Fox45's morning news. Also, we're hearing that WBFF investigative reporter Steve Levine has been "transferred" to a Sinclair TVer in Columbus, Ohio.

May 27, 2009
Another News Director Change At 2
After just one year on the job as news director of Scripps-owned Channel 2/WMAR in Baltimore, Peggy Phillip is moving to Scripps sister station KSHB-TV in Kansas City. The move, she says, will allow her to be closer to her parents in South Dakota. Phillip will be replaced at 2 by Assistant News Director Kelly Groff, a longtime employee who has worked her way up from producer. ABC affiliate WMAR continues to suffer from low TV news ratings, frequently in third place behind WBAL and WJZ.

May 23, 2009
Gentzler To Spend Summer Away From 4
Doreen Gentzler, co-anchor of Channel 4/WRC's top-rated weekday newscasts, will take a leave of absence from the station and will be off the air until after Labor Day. Gentzler, who has teamed with Jim Vance on News4 at 6 PM and 11 PM for nearly 20 years, last month signed a new long-term contract with the NBC-owned station. She said that the leave was included in her new contract and that she intended to spend more time with her family during the summer months. A WRC spokesman said the station hasn't finalized its plans, but that Gentzler probably will be replaced during her absence by Wendy Rieger.

May 23, 2009
Arthur Gladstone Dies
Arthur Gladstone, 97, a retired lawyer with the Federal Communications Commission who helped shape a number of telecommunications regulations and rulings, died May 8 at his home in Reno, Nevada, after a heart attack. He was a former Alexandria resident.

May 22, 2009
Post's Gazette Buys Fairfax County Times
Times Community News, which owns the Loudoun Times-Mirror and other Northern Virginia weekly newspapers, has sold the Fairfax County Times group of weeklies to the Maryland-based Gazette newspaper group. The Gazette chain of local papers is part of the Community Newspaper Group of Post-Newsweek, a division of the Washington Post Company. The sale goes into effect June 1. TCN Publisher Peter Arundel said he has no plans to sell the Times-Mirror or any of the company's other four Northern Virginia newspapers. The Fairfax County Times, which originated with the Reston Times, which dates back to the 1960s and was purchased in the 1970s by Peter's father, Arthur Arundel, who owned WAVA radio in the 1960s and 1970s.

May 21, 2009
4, 5 & 9 To "Pool" News Footage
Three DC TV stations will create a common newsgathering operation that will share daily news footage, in another sign that the financially pressured industry is moving swiftly to reduce costs. Channel 4/WRC, Channel 5/WTTG, and Channel 9/WUSA said they will begin operation of the local TV news service next month. Each station will contribute two news videographers to produce "pool" footage of breaking news stories and press conferences. The stations will then be free to use the commonly produced footage on their newscasts, which will continue to maintain their own separate newsgathering operations. No reporters or anchors from each of the stations will be involved in the cooperative. Channel 7/WJLA, which has the largest newsroom among local TV stations, is not participating in the pool service. The operation, which will be called Local News Service, will be housed in WUSA's building.

May 21, 2009
TOP Tops April PPMs
The Portable People Meter radio ratings April "book" for DC, age 12+, full week: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WHUR [Harvey 3rd], 3) WAMU, 4) WASH [Loriloo 8th], 5) WRQX [Diamond 4th] and WIHT [Kane 5th], 7) WBIG, 8) WETA-FM, 9) WWDC [Elliot 9th] and WGTS, 11) WMMJ [Joyner 7th], 12) WKYS [Parr 13th], 13) WMZQ, 14) WPRS, 15) WPGC [Simpson 13th], 16) WMAL [G&A 13th, Rush 9th, Hannity 16th], 17) WLZL, 18) WTGB, 19) WJZW [Imus 23rd] and WTEM, 21) WJFK [Junks 18th, O'Meara 20th], 22) WFRE, 23) WAVA, 24) WPFW. More: 32) WACA and WTNT and WMET and WFED. Although the monthly PPMs don't show much of a gain for CBS Radio's new female-oriented 94.7 Fresh FM via WTGB, company suits say the replacement for classic rock is showing a healthy trend upward among its target demos. We're told that WTGB jumped from 18th to 8th in middays with women aged 25-54 since the early April launch of Fresh. The hot adult contemporary station is now skewing 60 percent female, exactly the opposite of 60 percent male when it was classic rock. The new Fresh format is also showing a big jump among women aged 25-34 and women aged 35-44, and even beats chick tune rivals WASH, WRQX, and WIHT among women aged 25-34 in middays, we're told.

May 18, 2009
Kornheiser Gone From "MNF"
Former Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser is out as the color commentator on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." He'll be replaced by Jon Gruden, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach. According to ESPN, Kornheiser "decided to step down after three years" on the Monday football show. "I am totally grateful for the 'MNF' opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons," Kornheiser said. "I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would've frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself." Kornheiser, who recently left his longtime gig at the Post, will continue do the weekday late afternoon "Pardon The Interruption" show for ESPN. Commented longtime Postie and media commentator Howard Kurtz in his Q&A at washingtonpost.com: "Tony was very popular as a Washington radio host (and very good at it, I say as someone who was a guest a few times). He basically gave it up because of the travel required for 'Monday Night Football,' and I think he could make a deal for another DC or national radio show in a second if that's what he wants to do. I never thought 'MNF' was the perfect fit for Kornheiser, but he certainly got better at it."

May 18, 2009
WashTimes To Do News For CBS's 1580
The Washington Times debuts its new Washington Times Radio News service today on CBS righty talker WHFS (1580 AM). According to the Times, the deal features "hourly newscasts plus 30-second features that showcase exclusive content and original, investigative reporting from the Times' newsroom. The segments will feature the voices of more than a half-dozen Times staffers." Dubbed "The Big Talker 1580," the former gospel WPGC-AM flipped to syndicated talk late last year with Michael Smerconish, Fred Thompson, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Dr. Laura. It has yet to even show up in the DC area radio ratings. Several months ago, DCRTV reported that the Washington Times was working on the development of a morning news show, which is set to debut on 6/1. No word, yet, if that will be carried on 1580.

May 13, 2009
Jean Fangboner Dies
Jean Hatton Fangboner, 91, an assistant to radio commentator Fulton Lewis in the 1930s and 1940s and a volunteer with many organizations in the Washington area, died of cancer on May 2 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney. She was a resident of Leisure World in Silver Spring and had lived in the area for nearly 75 years.

May 9, 2009
980 Moves Walker To Replace Mitchell
Brian Mitchell gets the boot from Red Zebra's ESPN 980, WTEM. Now, Rick "Doc" Walker will replace Mitchell and the recently-cut Al Koken on John Thompson's 2 PM show. Both Mitchell and Koken are contract non-renewals, we're told. Kevin Sheehan, who had hosted with Walker, will now do the noon "Locker Room" show solo. Redskins owner Dan Snyder's RZ is cutting staff and its personnel budget due to the sluggish ad market and due to WTEM's sluggish ratings - 20th place in the latest PPM numbers.

May 7, 2009
Bill Ashley Dies
DC area radio engineering veteran Bill Ashley, 66, died this morning at his home in Warrenton, after a battle with cancer, which was diagnosed just weeks after his retirement from Frederick's Bradley Broadcast/Pro Audio in February 2008. Ashley began his career in 1957 at the age of 15 at a small station in North Carolina doing "top 40." In 1968, he 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, from 1988 to 2008, Ashley had been a sales representative with Bradley Broadcast/Pro Audio.

May 1, 2009
WaPo Reports Q1 Loss
The Washington Post Company reported a loss for the first quarter Friday, dragged down by hefty impairment and restructuring costs and a 33 percent decline in ad sales at its namesake newspaper. The company, whose properties also include Newsweek magazine and Kaplan education services, lost $19.2 million, compared with a profit of $38.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The Post's Monday-to-Friday print circulation during the first quarter of this year rose 0.7 percent, bolstered by strong home-delivery and inauguration sales, despite an increase in the cover price to 75-cents. Average Sunday circulation, however, dropped 1.7 percent.

April 29, 2009
60 Cut At Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun has laid off 60 people in its newsroom, including veteran editors and managers, columnists, photographers, and designers. A spokeswoman for the newspaper says managerial-level employees were laid off at the end of the day Tuesday, and union-represented employees were informed Wednesday afternoon. The Sun did not disclose how many people lost their jobs, but the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild says 37 people were let go Wednesday. Staffers who were laid off Tuesday say about 21 managers were let go. Maryland's largest newspaper is owned by bankrupt Tribune Company.

April 29, 2009
MHz Adds Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera English joins MHz Networks' international channel line-up. As with the Fairfax-based non-commercial broadcaster's other international network relays, AJE programming will be added in two forms. Beginning 4/29, DC area viewers will be able to watch an evening newscast, anchored from AJE's DC news bureau, at 10 PM on MHz's primary local channel known as MHz Networks 1/MHz Worldview DC. It's broadcast locally on WNVT, digital channel 30. Then, beginning on 7/1, AJE will be broadcast fulltime as MHz Networks 5, joining nine other international networks that MHz broadcasts and cablecasts in the region. "It was important for us to broaden the range of world news that we bring to Washington DC," says Frederick Thomas, chief executive of MHz. "AJE also fits perfectly inside of our mission and I think viewers are going to find it a reliable and top-quality source for news." Al Jazeera English launched in 2006 as the world's first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. The network has broadcast centers in Kuala Lumpur, Doha, London, and Washington, and nearly 70 bureaus around the world. After two years on the air, the channel is available in more than 140 million households worldwide in more than 100 countries. The MHz channels are available on most DC area cable systems, including Comcast channels 271-280. Worldview is on Comcast channel 271. In July, AJE will replace the Dutch BVN network on Comcast channel 275.

April 28, 2009
Clear Channel Makes More Cuts
More on those Clear Channel cuts today. Hitting DC. At WBIG: "Assistant PD and afternoon drive guy Scott Struber," we're told. As well as at least one weekend WBIG on-air personality. "Part-time engineer Ed Cole is out as well." Also: "Longtime DC101 commercial production guy Shock is out. (And) part-time WASH DJ Trish Mahoney." CC axed 600 nationwide today. We're told: "The rumor around Winchester is that Clear Channel has cut 10 there but nobody is saying exactly who got the ax." More: Longtimers Elwood King and Chuck Carroll pink-slipped at country WUSQ, Q102. One of our Eastern Shore radio sources tells us of some serious pink-slipping going on today at CC's Salisbury cluster. Including Rich Drake "PD/MD of WOSC/96 Rock and the PD/MD of Kiss 105.5... Also let go were Greg Fentress, PD of WQHQ/Q105, Kemosabi Joe PD/morning of WLBW/The Wave... JJ Roth, morning co-host of 96 Rock..." Plus "an office person."

April 27, 2009
Olivia Fox Awaits Kidney Transplant
DC radio veteran Olivia Fox (left) suffers from end-stage renal failure and pursues a life-saving transplant. And she launches "Hope For A K," a "docu-series" that will include celebrity appearances, community outreach information, and "unfiltered conversations" with some of the 80,000 people awaiting a kidney transplant. "If we can inspire people to turn up in record numbers at the voting booth, then we can also inspire people to help raise awareness about chronic kidney disease and save lives," states Fox, who was initially diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in 1996, and remission of the disease had started after 10 years of treatment. In 2007, Olivia became very ill and was hospitalized for two weeks because her kidneys began to shut down due to scars and minor damage from a virus. Fox, who does middays on WMMJ, has been on and off dialysis treatment for the past two years and still has some functionality of her kidneys, but eventually, she will need the "gift of life."

April 23, 2009
TEM Cuts Koken
Sports radio veteran Al Koken has been pink-slipped by Red Zebra sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980. Contract non-renewal, we're told. And boy is WTEMer Rick "Doc" Walker pissed. Koken, a Comcast SportsNet regular, was most recently co-hosting the 2 PM WTEM show with John Thompson and Brian Mitchell.

April 23, 2009
TOP Tops DC Radio Heap
The Portable People Meter radio ratings March monthly "book" is out for DC, age 12+, full-day: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WASH [Loriloo 6th], 3) WAMU, 4) WHUR [Harvey 3rd], 5) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 6) WIHT [Kane 5th], 7) WETA-FM, 8) WWDC [Elliot 10th], 9) WMMJ [Joyner 7th], 10) WBIG, 11) WPRS and WGTS, 13) WPGC [Simpson 9th], 14) WMZQ, 15) WKYS [Parr 14th], 16) WMAL [G&A 11th, Rush 5th, Hannity 15th], 17) WLZL, 18) WTGB, 19) WJZW [Imus 23rd], 20) WJFK [Junks 12th, O'Meara 21st] and WTEM, 22) WFRE, 23) WAVA. More: 25) WPFW, 30) WTNT, 35) WACA and WMET and WILC and WFED and WYCB.

April 15, 2009
NBC's Les Kretman To Retire
Les Kretman (right), a producer for NBC's DC news bureau, is leaving after 30 years. He'll be retiring at the end of April. Kretman has been producing NBC's White House news reports for the past eight years. Before that, he was NBC newsman Bob Hager's producer. Also, Kretman was deputy bureau chief in the 1980s. Before joining NBC, Kretman worked in Boston as assistant news director for WBZ-TV, and was executive producer at WHDH-TV and WCVB-TV. DCRTV's Tricia Barba talks to Kretman as he prepares to leave 4001 Nebraska Avenue for the last time.

April 15, 2009
Mike Handley Dies
DC area freelance announcer Mike Handley died in Sacramento last Friday of undisclosed causes. Now in his 60s, he worked at the easy-listening WGAY in the late-1960s and 1970s. And later at the like-formatted WEZR.

April 14, 2009
Comcast Adds MPT-HD In DC, Shuffles Public TV Subchannels
If you live in the DC area and subscribe to Comcast cable's digital service, you can now get Maryland Public Television in high-def on channel 219. Until today, the area cable giant carried only the standard-def signal of the Annapolis area's Channel 22/WMPT on its basic services in the DC area. As of today, that's been replaced with a SD digital feed of WMPT, so, if you don't already have one, you'll need a digital box to continue watching 22 on Comcast. Also, Comcast adds WMPT's two digital subchannels, MPT2 on channel 268 and Spanish v-me on channel 269. Also today, Comcast reshuffles the digital subchannels of two other public TV outlets - WETA's Create, Kids, and TV26, and WNVC's nine MHz international network relays - to the 265-280 channel range in the DC area. In addition to its changes in the DC area, today Comcast adds the high-def channel of DC's public TV outlet, WETA, on its Baltimore area systems. Via channel 219. And it's making the basic cable standard-def signal of Channel 26/WETA digital-only. Also, Comcast is adding WETA's three digital subchannels to the digital basic service of its Baltimore area systems.

April 13, 2009
Dance Format Coming To 87.7 In DC Area
It looks like DC will be getting a dance-formatted "radio" station. Mega Media says it's signed a "multi-year air lease agreement" with Signal Above, the firm which runs a low-power TV station on Channel 6 in Arlington. That current Spanish outlet will be rebranded as WDCN, Pulse 87.7, and feature a dance music format like a similar Channel 6, Pulse 87.7 operation in the NYC area. The Channel 6 audio carrier is on 87.7 FM, and receivable by most FM radios. WDCN will start broadcasting during the 2nd quarter of 2009, according to Mega. "The diversity of the Washington DC market will work well for our unique lifestyle music format," says Mega Media CEO Alex Shvarts. Unlike full-power TVers, which will be going digital in June, low-power TVers can stay in analog.

April 13, 2009
Phillies Broadcasters Collapses At Nats Stadium, Dies
Just hours before the Phillies played in the Nationals' home opener in DC on Monday afternoon, legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas died. He was 73. Kalas collapsed in the press box at Nationals Park and was found at about 12:30 PM by Rob Brooks, the Phillies' director of broadcasting. Emergency medical personnel were called and took Kalas to George Washington University Hospital. The Phillies contacted the White House and said they are not going to visit with the president tomorrow. The 3 PM game continued as scheduled, with a moment of silence for Kalas.

April 13, 2009
TOP 6th Top Radio Money-Maker In '08
Bonneville all-newser WTOP surges from 10th to 6th place among the "top 10" revenue billing stations in the country. With $51.75 million in ad revenue last year, according to BIAfn, the Chantilly-based media research firm that collects and analyzes financial data. WTOP ranks among nine other stations in the nation's top two radio markets, NYC and LA. What makes WTOP's 6th place ranking even more amazing is that DC is the 9th largest radio market. WTOP beat stations in many other markets larger than DC, like San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Boston. More DC stations: 2) WPGC at $23.7 million, 3) WRQX at $19.1 million, 4) WHUR at $19 million, 5) WMMJ at $18.3 million, 6) WKYS at $16.4 million, 7) WJFK at $15.6 million, 8) WASH at $14.5 million, 9) WMZQ at $12.5 million, 10) WIHT at $12.4 million, 11) WWDC at $12 million, 12) WTEM at $11.9 million, 13) WMAL at $11.5 million, 14) WBIG at $11.4 million, and 15) WLZL at $11.2 million. In Baltimore, WERQ was top-biller with $15.3 million in 2008, for a national ranking of 124th. More Charm City: 2) WPOC at $15.1 million, 3) WLIF at $14 million, 4) WBAL at $13.1 million, 5) WWIN-FM at $12.8 million, 6) WIYY at $10.8 million, 7) WWMX at $9.1 million, 8) WQSR at $8.6 million, 9) WCHH at $7.1 million, and 10) WZBA at $5.8 million.

April 9, 2009
TOP Cuts 2 Due To Bad Economy
The sour economy is even affecting top-rated and top-billing all-newser WTOP. DCRTV hears that the Bonneville station is letting go Web Managing Editor Steve Dolge and New Media Reporter Markette Smith for what WTOP Senior VP Joel Oxley calls "economic reasons." In a memo to staff, Oxley says: "Unfortunately due to changing business conditions in this very difficult economy I felt I had to make this decision. Steve Dolge has been in the building for the last 15 years and has made innumerable outstanding contributions in many different ways for WTOP and I sincerely thank him for that. His work on our website has helped make wtop.com world class. I also appreciate and want to thank Markette for all her work as well." Adds WTOP VP/News And Programming Jim Farley: "Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that every radio and TV station in town as well as across the country has had layoffs and/or pay cuts. What irony that Steve and Markette are leaving us on the same day they scored yet another Murrow (award). But times are tough and hard decisions have to be made."

April 7, 2009
WCBM Veteran Harold Deutsch Dies
Harold Deutsch, the vice president and general manager of then full-service middle-of-the-road WCBM (680 AM) in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was owned by Metromedia, has died at age 84 of complications from liver cancer. "Hal gave many Baltimore broadcasters their first big breaks, including me," says Baltimore radio great Ken Merson. More soon.

April 7, 2009
Classic Country "Earl" To 1520
WTRI (1520 AM) in Brunswick MD (halfway between Frederick and Leesburg) becomes classic country "Radio Earl" with a website at radioearl.com. The station, which is owned by former DC101 and 98 Rock personality Buddy Rizer and his radio partner Marty Sheehan, had been airing brokered Spanish language programming. Before that, it was nostalgic Vegas Radio. Radio Earl will air country tunes from the 1950s through the 1980s by artists like George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash, plus more current tunes by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and the Judds. And, pioneers of American country music, including Hank Williams and the Carter Family. With some bluegrass. Station manager and afternoon host Ray Dinterman says: "We want the local community to see that this is their station... I've known Buddy Rizer for over 30 years. We even got our Eagle Scout awards together." Rizer will do the "Earl Lee Rizer Show" on weekday mornings. Plans include a gospel show.....

April 6, 2009
WAMD Now Relaying WAVA
Salem has replaced the locally-based oldies, talk, and sports format on Aberdeen MD's WAMD, 970 AM, with a relay of Salem's DC area Christian talker WAVA, 105.1 FM. Salem purchased the AM station northeast of Baltimore in order to tweak its signal to improve the nighttime coverage of a station it owns on the same frequency in Northern New Jersey.

April 6, 2009
CBS Launches Fresh On 94.7
CBS Radio pulled the plug on the classic rock format, and the airstaff, on WTGB 94.7 at midnight 4/6 with "Last Goodbye" by Jeff Buckley. It's now hot adult contemporary 94.7 Fresh FM. Artists like Finger Eleven, Matchbox Twenty, Oasis, Nelly Furtado. Calls still WTGB. Jockless, so far. The alt rock continues on 94.7's HD2. Fresh 94.7's studios are now at CBS Radio's DC broadcast complex in Lanham, with urban WPGC, Latino WLZL, and talker WHFS. Joining the management and sales staffs of all four stations. For many years, 94.7 had been studioed in Silver Spring, across the hall from Metro Traffic. And before that in Rockville. The new Fresh 94.7, WTGB, is still running jockless, and there is no immediate word of the new airstaff. The only DC area CBS radioer not in Lanham is guy talker WJFK, which is studioed and officed in Fairfax. And there are no plans to move that station to Lanham.

April 5, 2009
4 Again Claims DC TV News Lead
DC TV longtime new ratings leader, NBC's Channel 4/WRC, is declaring itself the winner of March ratings "sweeps" for DC, with its newscasts top-rated at 6 AM (WTTG 2nd, WJLA 3rd, WUSA 4th), 5 PM (WJLA 2nd, WTTG 3rd, WUSA 4th), 6 PM (WJLA 2nd, WTTG 3rd, WUSA 4th), and at 11 PM (WJLA 2nd, WUSA 3rd, WTTG 4th).

April 4, 2009
Tom Braden Dies
Tom Braden, the creator and co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," which pioneered the talk show format that pitted a conservative against a liberal, died Friday of natural causes at age 92. In 1977, he was co-hosting a Washington radio show on WRC (980 AM) called "Confrontation" with conservative columnist Pat Buchanan. The radio show jumped to late-night TV as "After Hours" on the old Channel 9/WDVM with Gordon Peterson as moderator. In 1982, Braden took what became "Crossfire" to CNN and served as the program's host "from the left" until 1989. In 1975, he wrote the best-selling book, "Eight Is Enough," about his eight children, which was made into an ABC television series.

April 4, 2009
WMAL Yanks Plante For Scarborough & Brezeninski
Citadel news talker WMAL (630 AM) has axed the locally-based Chris Plante show at 9 AM, and will start carrying the nationally-syndicated Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzeninski radio show from 10 AM to noon starting Monday, 4/6. Scarborough's "Morning Joe" TV show airs on MSNBC. Also, the Fred Grandy and Andy Parks "Grandy And Andy" WMAL morning show will now run from 5 AM to 10 AM, instead of ending at 9 AM. Also out at MAL: Plante's producer Geoff Holtzman.

April 3, 2009
ZGS Founder To Telemundo
Ronald Gordon, who helped turn ZGS Communications in Arlington into a major player in the Spanish-language broadcast market, is leaving later this month to become president of the Telemundo Station Group. In addition to Arlington-based Channel 25/WZDC and Laurel-based WILC (900 AM), ZGS operates 12 TV stations affiliated with the Telemundo network and three radio stations. Gordon, 54, who was born in Lima, Peru, moved to Northern Virginia with his family when he was 16. Later, he established ZGS with business partner Eduardo Zavala.

April 2, 2009
11 Claims Charm City TV News Crown
Channel 11/WBAL is bragging that it continues its news lead in the Baltimore television market, "garnering stellar ratings wins throughout the broadcast day." WBAL says its local newscasts are "the most watched in Maryland," delivering the most homes at 5 AM, 6 AM, 5 PM, 6 PM, and at 11 PM. Plus, NBC's "Today" show and "Nightly News" also won their Charm City time slots in March, WBAL boasts.

April 2, 2009
NBC's Vic Vissari Dies
Vic Vissari, a longtime editor for DC's NBC News, passed away on 4/2 at Holy Cross Hospital. He'd been suffering from cancer. "Vic was one of the great editors at NBC News. Also, a truly wonderful man who was a friend to all who knew him," says fellow NBCer Cory Haber. Vissari, who often worked mornings for the "Today" show, also served as treasurer of the local NABET chapter.

April 2, 2009
Harvey Kojan joins Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, The Bay, 100.7 FM, as its new program director. He replaces Cruze, who used to program DC rocker DC101. Kojan used to program WNOR, before he was downsized in January, after 16 years at the Norfolk rocker.

March 31, 2009
Laura Torres Dies
Laura Torres, 47, lost her fight against cancer on 3/30. Before being diagnosed in 2007, she worked at WFLS in Fredericksburg, and, before that, at the DC area's WMZQ and WAVA.

March 26, 2009
TOP Tops Feb Ratings
None of CBS's four major DC FMers (WPGC, WTGB, WLZL, WJFK) made the "top 10." Bonneville's WTOP stays on top. Clear Channel's WASH stays strong, tied for 2nd with American U's WAMU. The February Portable People Meter radio ratings "book" for DC, full-week, age 12+: 1) WTOP [1st in both drivetimes], 2) WASH [Loriloo 7th] and WAMU, 4) WHUR [Harvey 3rd], 5) WIHT [Kane 5th], 6) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 7) WWDC [Elliot 8th], 8) WMMJ [Joyner 5th], 9) WETA-FM, 10) WPRS, 11) WKYS [Parr 12th] and WGTS and WBIG, 14) WPGC [Simpson 11th], 15) WMAL [G&A 8th, Rush 3rd, Hannity 15th], 16) WMZQ, 17) WLZL, 18) WTGB, 19) WJZW [Imus 22nd], 20) WTEM and WJFK [Junks 17th, O'Meara 21st], 22) WAVA, 23) WBQB and WPFW. More: 31) WTNT [Mancow 30th], 34) WFED and WILC and WACA and WYCB.....

March 24, 2009
NBC4's Miguel Almaguer To NBC News
DCRTV hears that Miguel Almaguer (right) has been named NBC News correspondent. Effective on 4/2, Almaguer will be based in Burbank and will contribute to all NBC News properties, including "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams," "Today," and MSNBC programs. Almaguer has been a general assignment reporter specializing in breaking news coverage at Channel 4/WRC since 2006. Prior to joining WRC, he worked for TV stations in Sacramento and Salinas, both California.....

March 23, 2009
Washington Times To Launch National Morning Radio Show
The Washington Times will launch a syndicated radio show later this spring, dedicated to the newsroom's "investigative reporting" and "accountability journalism," Executive Editor John Solomon said Sunday. The three-hour morning show will feature investigations by the Times, interviews with national newsmakers, and discussions with reporters from the Times newsroom. "I think the goal here is to take what we've done so successfully in print and translate it to radio," Solomon said. "The concept is that when you tune in in the morning, it's not going to be yesterday's news." Talk Radio Network, home to such nationally syndicated talkers as Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage, will carry the show. The show will air live from 6 AM to 9 AM. Solomon said he plans to announce a host for the show in about a month.

March 18, 2009
Balto Voice TV Roberts Dies
Baltimore area voiceover talent TJ Roberts (right) has died. He suffered a blood clot after surgery to remove two fingers from his left hand. He'd been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Roberts did voice work for a large stable of regional and national clients, including Comcast, the Baltimore Ravens, the Ravens Radio Network, the Baltimore Sun, Fox45, XM Satellite Radio, and CBS/Baltimore's radio stations, including Mix 106.5, WHFS, and WJFK-AM. Among many other clients.

March 17, 2009
7 Voice Betsy Ames Dies
Betsy Ames, 66, a radio and TV voice-over narrator who sought to convince voters that "Tom Daschle has changed," that Al Gore exaggerated his accomplishments, and that George W. Bush deserved the support of independent female voters, died of cancer on 3/14 at her home in Oxford MD. Ms. Ames, who billed herself as "The Best Damn Voice In The Business," was an actress and voice-over narrator for more than 40 years. In addition to her political work, she was the exclusive female announcer at Channel 7/WJLA, the promotional voice of Discovery Channel, and was also heard on Channel 26/WETA, and was the narrator for a number of National Geographic specials.

March 16, 2009
Loudoun Media Figure Frank Raflo Dies
Longtime Loudoun County community leader and journalist Frank Raflo died Sunday afternoon. Raflo was a Leesburg business owner, newspaper publisher, editor, and columnist. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he hosted a political talk show on Leesburg's WAGE (1200 AM) called "Frank Talk." He was also featured during WAGE's morning drive with short segments called "Country Stories." Additionally, Raflo worked for Leesburg Today, the Loudoun Times Mirror, and Channel 3/Loudoun TV. In political life, he served as mayor of Leesburg and as chairman of the Loudoun County Board Of Supervisors.

March 13, 2009
Mo'Nique Leaving Radio
Mo'Nique is leaving her Radio One Syndication One radio show, which was heard locally on WMMJ (102.3 FM) and in a smattering of other cities, including Philadelphia and Charlotte. The former "The Parkers" comedian will soon be taking her stage show to DC and other cities. She's also appeared on "Nip/Tuck," "The View," and has hosted the BET awards. Her last show on radio will be on 3/18. She's already been scrubbed from the WMMJ website.

March 13, 2009
Post Shrinkage: Biz To Be Merged Into "A:
The Washington Post will fold its daily business section into the main "A" news section, further shrinking the newpaper, which has seen falling circulation and ad revenue numbers, like many other rags around the country. Also, come 3/30, the print Post will no longer run full listings of daily stock-price movements Tuesday through Saturday. Also, some changes to the print Style section: Only prime-time TV listings. And some comics will get moved to the website.

March 12, 2009
Dory Leaves 2
Channel 2/WMAR news anchor Denise Dory is gone from the Scripps station. We're told that the DC native's contract was up and wasn't renewed by Baltimore's ABC affiliate.

March 12, 2009
WTTG Namesake Dies
Dr. Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr., one of the last important figures from the old DuMont television network, has died at the age of 99. DC's Channel 5/ WTTG, once part of the DuMont network, is named from Goldsmith's initials. He was the chief of research for DuMont. Over the years, WTTG was owned by Metromedia and later Fox. The call letters were never changed.

March 10, 2009
Kay Schattner Dies
Kay Schattner (left), 89, a Washington area fashion model, radio commentator, newspaper columnist, and public relations official, died on 3/9 at Potomac Valley nursing home in Rockville after a stroke. She was a resident of Bethesda. Mrs. Schattner, who for much of her career was known as Kay Ferrell, did modeling early in her career at Garfinckel's department stores, a Washington institution that defined the city's elegant fashion tastes. She came to prominence locally as a radio personality on WFAX (1220 AM) in the 1950s. She hosted "Kay's Korner," a news and community service program that featured fashion and beauty tips as well as interviews with politicians and entertainers passing through town, including singer Johnny Mathis and comic actor Ray Bolger.

March 9, 2009
PW's N&M Printing To Richmond, Close W'bridge Office
Budget-strapped Media General has transferred printing and packaging of Prince William County's News And Messenger newspaper to the sister Richmond Times-Dispatch's production facility in suburban Richmond's Hanover County. With Monday's closure of its production operation, the N&M will put its Woodbridge office up for sale and consolidate its remaining employees into one office. Staffers in news, advertising, circulation, and the business office currently work out of the Woodbridge office, on Smoketown Road, as well as an office on Church Street in downtown Manassas. The production move is effective immediately and results in the layoff of 10 full-time and 12 part-time employees. The employees have been offered severance packages and are eligible to apply for other job openings within Media General. N&M Publisher Bruce Potter said the move is necessary because the newspaper would have had to spend several million dollars over the next few years to maintain and upgrade equipment in the 30-year-old Woodbridge plant.

March 9, 2009
Arbitron To Move HQ To Columbia
Radio ratings firm Arbitron, which has its main research facility in Columbia MD, will move its headquarters to Columbia from NYC. "I want to live and work where the operational core of our business resides," Arbitron President/CEO Michael Skarzynski says. "Columbia is home to Arbitron's state-of-the-art research campus and it's important for me and our executives to work in the same location as the teams who are creating new solutions for our current customers and new services for our expanding markets." Arbitron opened its Columbia facility in 1994, where about 770 full-time and 270 part-time employees are now based. The NYC location will remain open and continue to operate as a sales office. Arbitron operates other offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, LA, Birmingham AL, and in Kochi, India.

March 9, 2009
Casey Willett Gone From NST
Casey Willett, who had worked at sports talker WNST (1570 AM) for five years, apparently was fired by the station Friday. In a posting on Facebook, Willett said, in part: "I was let go of by WNST this afternoon. I will not get into all of the details, but was told the company wanted to go in a different direction. It was 5 of the best years of my life. There are friendships, memories, events, and times, that I will remember for the rest of my life. I made some friends that I will remain friends with forever and will be forever thankful for that." Willett joins Rob Long and the Fighting Ungers among recent departures from WNST.

March 6, 2009
DC's Metro Traffic Adds Baltimore, Richmond, More
Metro Traffic's DC office in Silver Spring will become the Mid-Atlantic "hub," as it adds traffic reports and news updates for TV and radio stations in Baltimore, Richmond, Norfolk, and Greensboro. We hear that'll put Channel 5/WTTG traffic diva and Norfolk area native Julie Wright back on the radio station that launched her career, Norfolk's Z104.

March 5, 2009
Wayne Gruehn Dies
Wayne Gruehn passed away on 2/23. He was a longtime announcer on Channel 2/WMAR, and was also heard on Baltimore radio stations WFBR and WWLG, and on many commercials. Gruehn, 75, had lived in Arnold MD.

March 3, 2009
Bunyan Gives Up 11 PM Anchor Duties At 7
Longtime DC TV news anchor Maureen Bunyan (left) will step down from her duties on Channel 7/WJLA's 11 PM newscast. She will continue to co-anchor the 6 PM newscast with longtime colleague Gordon Peterson, and will serve as substitute anchor on 7's 5 PM and 11 PM newscasts. Leon Harris will anchor the 11 PM newscast by himself "for the immediate future," according to an ABC7 statement. The move coincides with Bunyan's 10th anniversary at WJLA. "The flexibility in the new schedule will allow me more time to devote to community service and other interests." said Bunyan, who worked with Peterson at Channel 9, then WTOP/WDVM, now WUSA, since the 1970s.

March 3, 2009
Post Top Hire Sub-Reporter "Community Journalists"
The Washington Post is planning to create a new type of position to expand its local coverage: a "community journalist." According to the letter that Jay Kennedy, VP of labor at the Post, sent the Post's guild, the "primary focus of this position will be to report on stories of local and community interest for the Extras and to perform multimedia work; employees in this position may also report for the daily paper." In addition, the letter says, community journalists should not be expected to be promoted to "reporter," and the base salary would start at $653 per week, or $34,000 a year. The Post Guild says that this position "sounds a lot like the positions we already have... for a lower wage." Currently, according to the Guild, no reporters earn less than $40,000.

February 26, 2009
TOP Tops January DC Radio Ratings
The Portable People Meter radio ratings January monthly "book" for DC. Full-week, age 12+ numbers: 1) WTOP [1st in AM and PM drives], 2) WAMU, 3) WASH [Lori Loo 8th], 4) WHUR [Harvey 3rd], 5) WIHT [Kane 6th], 6) WETA-FM, 7) WRQX [Diamond 4th], 8) WWDC [Elliot 11th], 9) WPRS, 10) WMMJ [Joyner 6th], 11) WGTS and WKYS [Parr 12th], 13) WMZQ, 14) WBIG and WPGC [Simpson 14th], 16) WMAL [G&A 13th, Rush 7th, Hannity 17th], 17) WLZL, 18) WTGB, 19) WJZW [Imus 20th], 20) WTEM, 21) WJFK [Junks 17th, O'Meara 19th], 22) WAVA, 23) WBQB, 24) WPFW. More: 31) WYCB and WTNT and WACA, 38) WWRC and WILC, 40) WFED. Even though the overall 12+ PPM numbers aren't too favorable for "guy talker" WJFK, which has been rumored to be a possible format change candidate, we hear that both the morning Junkies and afternooner Mike O'Meara ranked 4th in men, age 25-54. JFK ranked 11th in that demo, full-week.

February 26, 2009
Cuts At WETA
WETA President/CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller announced that the DC public radio and TV broadcaster will cut 13 percent of its workforce in addition to other cost-cutting measures resulting in a more than $2.5 million net reduction in annual expenses. "Like most of our fellow public broadcasting institutions, we are facing increased competition for our audiences, decreases in membership contributions and corporate underwriting, escalating capital costs and negative returns on investments," Rockefeller said. "However, with the cost reductions announced today, WETA can and will emerge a stronger institution. Our core mission remains vital, and audiences demonstrate the deep value they place on our content on our public radio and television stations." The reduction of 29 full- and part-time positions will eliminate 15 currently filled positions, and 14 vacancies will remain unfilled. The station also plans to slow capital expenditures, and compensation for senior managers has been cut by 13-15 percent.

February 25, 2009
Earnings & Circ Down At Post
The Washington Post Company's earnings fell 77 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2007, as a large impairment charge drove down net income. The Post's newspaper division - including the Post, Newsweek, Slate, washingtonpost.com, and the Express - continued to suffer declining circulation and advertising spending, as the recession added to the declines in print advertising and readers fleeing to the internet. Excluding the impairment charges, the newspaper division reported a $24.9 million operating loss for 2008. Print advertising revenue at the Post dropped 17 percent in 2008 compared with 2007. Daily circulation dropped 2.6 percent in 2008 and now stands at 633,100. On Sundays, a 3.3 percent decline puts circulation at 872,500.

February 25, 2009
4 Intercepts Skins' Preseason
Channel 4/WRC has signed a three-year deal to carry the Redskins' preseason games, replacing Channel 9/WUSA. WRC will also provide pre- and postgame programs, plus a series of Redskins shows to air on weekends. However, the coverage will no longer be hosted by longtime anchor George Michael, who is no longer with the NBC station. He'll be replaced by Lindsay Czarniak and Dan Hellie and NBC4ers. Like last year, Comcast SportsNet will carry the preseason games on cable.

February 24, 2009
11 Fires Sanders For Gibson "Scrotum" Prank
Reporter John Sanders (left) is no longer employed at Channel 11/WBAL following a scandal that stemmed from a Fox News video he is said to have doctored. A recent report on Fox News about a monkey that escaped from a Seattle zoo described the primate's "bright blue scrotum" in an effort to help residents identify the escapee. Sanders edited another Fox clip, involving reporter John Gibson, to make it appear as though Gibson is referring to Attorney General Eric Holder's "bright blue scrotum." According to WBAL, Sanders posted his video on a "personal YouTube page" without the consent of anyone at the station. Sanders said that he meant the clip as a joke, to be distributed among friends. He claims he included annotation in the clip describing it as a spoof and making it clear that Gibson never used those words in discussing Holder. WBAL refers to Sanders as "a former WBAL-TV employee" in a statement, and stresses that he was fooling around on his own, not on behalf of the Hearst-owned Baltimore NBC affiliate. Sanders had been WBAL's technology reporter.

February 23, 2009
TMD Launches HD2 For Local Balto Musicians
Towson University's adult alternative rock WTMD (89.7 FM) launches "The Baltimore Channel" on its digital "HD Radio" HD2 subchannel. As the name suggests, it'll feature Baltimore-based musicians 24/7. You can stream the new channel at wtmd.org. WTMD says its site hosts "the largest video archive of Baltimore-based band performances."

February 19, 2009
Nostalgia On 950
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) is dropping its Korean religious format for adult nostalgic standards, a la Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. And, we also hear rumblings that the "new" format will be heard soon in Annapolis on WYRE (810 AM) and in Ocean City on WKHZ (1590 AM).

February 18, 2009
Heart Scare For BAL's Ron Smith
In his Baltimore Sun column, WBAL radio afternoon host Ron Smith (right) tells us that he had a heart scare on Valentine's Day. Waking up with a tightness in his chest, he got rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center, where docs diagnosed arterial blockage in his heart and then inserted a stent into his right coronary artery. "I'm grateful to the staff at St. Joe's, to the doctors, nurses, and supervisors for the excellent care they provided me," Smith writes.....

February 18, 2009
Kevin Klose Names UMD Journalism Dean
Kevin Klose, president emeritus of DC-based National Public Radio, has been appointed dean of the University Of Maryland's Philip Merrill College Of Journalism. Effective mid-April. Klose is a journalist - with 25 years at the Washington Post, as well as a broadcast executive, author, and lecturer. He most recently served as president of NPR, a member of its corporate board, and trustee of the NPR Foundation.

February 18, 2009
Jason Kidd Moves To WWMX Morning Show
News from CBS's Baltimore radio cluster. Jason Kidd, currently program director/morning man on adult hits WQSR (102.7 FM), will join Jenn Marino in afternoons on hot adult contemporary WWMX (106.5 FM). Marino's old co-host Fast Jimi moves to afternoons on adult contemporary WLIF (101.9 FM). Kidd will continue doing his gig with QSR for the time being until the station is swapped to Clear Channel as part of a deal announced back in December.

February 17, 2009
Empire Re-Takes RNR
Grasonville Broadcasting has terminated its lease deal with Empire Broadcasting and returned operations of Annapolis area adult alternative rock WRNR (103.1 FM) to its previous operator. Grasonville, partnered with Nassau Holdings, continues to maintain its lawsuit to recover all monies previously paid to Empire, as well as other compensatory and punitive damages. Louis Mercatanti, president of Grasonville said: "Notwithstanding over 10 months of negotiations and litigation, Grasonville was unable to complete a successful renegotiation with Empire of the LMA fees and the ultimate purchase price contained in Grasonville's option to purchase the WRNR station assets from Empire." Empire fires back that it "denies any material misrepresentations regarding expenses and revenues and wonders if (Grasonville/Nassau's) cause isn't more a matter of the today's economic environment and their inability to secure financing to comply with the terms and conditions of the (lease agreement)." No word on any changes to WRNR's format.

February 16, 2009
Examiner Publishes Last Balto Edition
The Baltimore Examiner has published its last issue. The free tabloid that launched less than three years ago as the city's second daily newspaper printed its last issue on Sunday. Clarity Media, the paper's Denver-based parent company, blamed slower-than-expected ad sales when it announced the closure last month. Clarity said about 90 people would lose their jobs. According to AP, the front page of the last issue featured a photograph of Baltimore's Inner Harbor with the Examiner building in the background with the headlines: "Goodbye Baltimore," and "Thanks for reading." DCRTV's already told you that Clarity will continue to publish the Washington Examiner, which will focus more heavily on the politics of Capitol Hill.

February 13, 2009
4's Sherwood To Be WAMU's Politics Expert
Channel 4/WRC DC politics reporter Tom Sherwood is now also the "official resident political analyst" on WAMU's Friday "Politics Hour" program hosted by Kojo Nnamdi. The 88.5 FM show has been using rotating political experts since Jonetta Rose Barras left over a pay dispute last May.

February 13, 2009
MASN Launching 24/7 HD Net
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will launch its fulltime high-def network on or about 4/1. Look for 210 baseball games, with 105 from the Orioles and 105 from the Nationals, to be televised in HD. That's up from about 80 HD games last year on the "per event" MASN-HD network. MASN's got committments from all area TV providers - including Comcast, Verizon, DirecTV, and Cox - to carry MASN-HD. Except Dish Network. Non-HD baseball games will air on the standard-def version of MASN or MASN2. New this year: Look for MASN's Orioles and Nationals pre- and post-game shows to be done live from their respective stadiums for home games. Approximately 20 Orioles games will be simulcasted on Channel 13/WJZ, with 20 Nationals games on Channel 50/WDCW.

February 12, 2009
Sun To Shutter Suburban Bureaus
In the latest sign of trouble for Tribune Company's cash-strapped newspapers, the Baltimore Sun is moving its suburban bureau employees to its downtown office and also plans another round of staff reductions, a union leader said. Sun Editor J. Montgomery "Monty" Cook announced the moves in a staff meeting this afternoon, said Brent Jones, a Sun reporter and a unit chair with the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. The Sun is ending lease agreements for its office space in Anne Arundel, Howard, and Baltimore counties, Jones said. About 15 reporters and editors will move into the newspaper's downtown office and will continue to cover their suburban beats, he said.

February 12, 2009
5's Dave Benz To SF
Channel 5/WTTG weekend sports anchor and reporter Dave Benz is heading to San Francisco to join Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

February 11, 2009
Sinclair Curs 200 Nationwide
Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is headquartered in Hunt Valley, north of Baltimore, said today that it has eliminated 200 jobs, or 7 percent of its work force, and suspended its quarterly dividend to cut costs as it expects falling advertising revenues this year amid a recession. Besides layoffs, Sinclair is cutting back on capital expenditures, freezing salaries, lowering promotional spending, and travel. Such moves are expected to save the company $19 million, but it is not enough to offset the decline in advertising, particularly in a non-election year, Sinclair said. This comes as the firm, which owns Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF and operates Channel 54/WNUV among about 60 TV stations around the country, reported flat fourth quarter 2008 station revenue.

February 11, 2009
JFK On Digital 94.7
CBS Radio is now carrying guy talker WJFK, 106.7 FM, on the digital HD3 subchannel of classic rock WTGB, 94.7 FM. For those with an HD Radio, that'll improve WJFK's coverage, including University Of Maryland sports, to DC's northeastern suburbs, including College Park, where the Virginia-based 106.7 signal battles the 106.5 signal of Baltimore's WWMX, also a CBS station.

February 10, 2009
WDMV's Birach Accuses Son Of Misrepresentation
Inside Radio reports that talker WDMV (700 AM) owner "Sima Birach says his company's a victim of stolen identity - by his own son. More than a year of mistaken identities, misrepresentations, and potentially criminal behavior has the 20-year owner of Birach Broadcasting speaking out. Birach alleges his son, Sima Birach Jr., and attorney George LeRoy created a Virginia-based company called Birach Broadcasting Corporation without his knowledge. From there they allegedly raised capital, hired staff, and built a company with people believing they were dealing with the 23-station group." IR adds: "Making matters worse, he says a BIA Financial appraisal combined the two entities and was used by his son to misrepresent the company. Birach Sr. says his Detroit-based group has since been named in several lawsuits by companies with which he's never had contact. When his attorneys approached his son to stop using the name, he refused. Police reports have been filed in Michigan and Virginia, where Birach Sr. has asked regulators to void the registration."

February 8, 2009
Tantum To Produce Thompson
Greg Tantum, program director for Red Zebra talkers WTNT and WWRC, is moving to Westwood One to produce Fred Thompson's new DC-based radio show. Before joining RZ, Tantum programmed Bonneville's Washington Post Radio and talker 3WT, both of which are now defunct. Previously, Tantum's worked at several legendary news talkers, like San Francisco's KGO, LA's KFWB, and Philadelphia's WCAU (now WPHT).

February 8, 2009
105.9 Mixes Oldies With Imus
We had several DCRTVers tell us that Citadel oldies WJZW (105.9 FM) is running a promo: "The True Oldies Channel with music in the morning. Check it out Monday on your way to work." Well, it appears that WJZW is now mixing oldies tunes with talk segments from syndicated morning man Don Imus. Instead of running Imus's uninterrupted blab straight through from 6 AM to 9 AM. We're told that Citadel is doing the same music mix thing on its Imus and oldies outlet in Atlanta. Imus's NYC-based show never gained ratings traction since getting added to WJZW last March.

February 8, 2009
Post To Drop TV Week For Some Subscribers
The budget-cutting Washington Post has informed its print subscribers in the Arlington-Alexandria area that, as of March, they will no longer get the TV Week section in their Sunday paper - unless they submit an "opt-in" request by 2/23. Subscribers can mail a coupon or call 202-334-9335 to request that their Sunday paper continue to feature the weekly TV listings. So far, the Post has only instituted the TV Week "opt-in" requirement in the Arlington-Alexandria area. However, it will probably be offered in other Post delivery regions in the weeks to come.

February 7, 2009
Nicholas Blatchford Dies
Nicholas Blatchford, 89, a Washington journalist who was considered a master chronicler of local residents whose names seldom were in the news, except when awful events changed their lives, died on 2/1 at his home in Fairfax County. He had heart and lung disease. Blatchford spent much of his career at the Washington Daily News, which the onetime Harvard oarsman joined as a copy boy in 1940. He advanced to feature writer and held top executive positions in the newsroom at the tabloid, which was swallowed by the Washington Star in 1972. He then was the "Our Town" columnist for the Star before that paper went defunct in 1981.

February 2, 2009
Jack Eden Dies
Jack Eden, 79, who, for two decades, provided gardening tips and hosted "Garden Of Eden" on WTOP radio, died on 1/17. He had colon cancer. Eden also wrote a gardening column for the Washington Post and the Washington Times. His gardening reports were heard on radio stations across the country. Also, Eden hosted a TV program on gardening in the 1990s. Since 2000, he'd taught consumer horticulture at the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg.

February 2, 2009
WWRC Drops Lefty Talk For Biz News
Washington will be losing its only lefty political radio talker. Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra-owned WWRC, recently dubbed "Obama 1260," will be flipping to business news. The station, which features shows from Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and Bill Press, frequently doesn't even show in the local radio ratings. Program Director Greg Tantum tells the Washington Post that he thought the station could work because of enthusiasm over Obama, but that ratings collapsed to a level that could not be measured after the election. But the low-ish ratings nearly doubled, he says, at Snyder's right-leaning station, WTNT, 570 AM, which features Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, and Bill Bennett. Tantum said he will move Schultz to WTNT to give him another shot. WWRC has coverage problems, and is difficult to hear in Northern Virginia at night. Back when it was owned by Clear Channel, WWRC did feature a business news format for a time, which delivered little ratings traction.

January 31, 2009
5 Launches HD Local News
Channel 5/WTTG launched its high-def local newscasts with the 6 PM Saturday show. "Everything appeared to go smoothly. The set and new HD weather graphics looked terrific. There is a slight video pop in and out of commerical breaks as the picture goes from SD to HD," we're told. Fox5 is the third major DC TVer to feature HD local newscasts. Channel 4/WRC has yet to offer them.

January 31, 2009
ZBA Cuts Randy "Rock" Johnson
Wednesday night's show was the last from Randy "Rock" Johnson, aka Jim Pitaro, on Baltimore classic rocker WZBA (100.7 FM), The Bay. Another budget cut at the Shamrock station. "This guy not only oozed classic rock, but he had the pipes to soothe the savage listener," a friend tells us. Johnson's worked at a number of stations in the central Pennsylvania region, including Gettysburg's WGTY and Harrisburg's WTPA, plus Metro Traffic. No word on his plans.

January 30, 2009
Austin Hill Loses WMAL Evening Gig
Starting 2/2 WMAL host Austin Hill will lose his evening slot on the Citadel talker. Hill, who has been at WMAL since 2006, will make way for Mark Levin's new third hour. Levin, who does his national show from a studio in his Northern Virginia home and is syndicated by Citadel's WABC radio in NYC, will air on WMAL from 6 PM to 9 PM, followed by the NYC-based Curtis Sliwa, from 9 PM to midnight. "Coast To Coast AM" will now run from midnight to 5 AM. Hill will continue working in a part-time, fill-in capacity at WMAL and will be contributing to the station's website.

January 30, 2009
TV News Vet Pat McGrath Retires
Today is longtime DC TV news reporter Patrick McGrath's (left) last day at Channel 5/WTTG. The Fox station is airing a Brian Bolter-produced tribute to the retiring McGrath and his four decades as a local TV news reporter. McGrath joined WTTG in January 1983 and, for 10 years, was the White House correspondent for Fox5 and all local Fox TV stations. McGrath launched his career in journalism in 1964 as a newspaper reporter for the Milwaukee Sentinel. He's also worked for Channel 9/WTOP (now WUSA), Channel 2/ WMAR, and Channel 11/WBAL. McGrath has received two Emmys and is a recipient of the Silver Circle Award, in recognition of more than 25 years of reporting in the Washington-Baltimore area. He has also won a Murrow Award from the Radio And Television News Directors Association and reporting awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, and Ohio State University. McGrath has been honored by the Broadcast Pioneers Of The Washington Area with its Distinguished Broadcaster Award, and the DC chapter of the Society Of Professional Journalists has inducted him into its Hall Of Fame. His daughter, Megan, is a reporter for NBC's Channel 4/WRC.

January 30, 2009
Sun Cutting Daily Delivery To Montgomery & PG
The Baltimore Sun is eliminating its "state edition" and is informing readers in Baltimore's "fringe" counties, such as Montgomery and Prince George's, that they will no longer get home delivery Monday-through-Saturday. They can, however, continue to get delivery of the Sunday paper plus access to a website that displays the newspaper's daily pages. Also, the width of the paper is going to shrink another inch in February - to save newsprint costs. Plus, we're told that the Sun's national and world news pages will be produced by the sister Chicago Tribune and "shipped" to Baltimore.

January 29, 2009
Examiner To Cut Baltimore Edition
The Baltimore Examiner newspaper will be closing after several months of looking for a buyer. The sister Washington Examiner will continue publication. The last issue of the Baltimore Examiner, which is distributed free to homes and through boxes and hawkers on street corners, will be delivered on Sunday, 2/15. The Baltimore Examiner's website will cease publication, as well. The paper's Denver-based owner, Clarity Media, expected to earn money when launching the Baltimore Examiner by packaging advertising with the Washington Examiner. "Unfortunately, those additional revenues did not materialize to the levels we had projected," Clarity CEO Ryan McKibben said in a news release. Last year, the paper scaled back its six-day-a-week home delivery of its print edition to two-days in Baltimore city plus Howard, Harford, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore counties. The Baltimore Examiner also scaled back the number of papers printed by 80 percent, distributing 335,000 Sunday papers and 256,000 Thursday papers but only 50,000 on the remaining days. The Examiner was up against "b," a rival free tabloid published by the Sun.

January 29, 2009
Former 5er Tim Medina Dies
Tim Medina, who did sign language for the deaf on Channel 5/WTTG's newscasts in the 1970s and 1980s, died on 12/24 of ALS in Springfield, Ohio. He was 62. A 1972 graduate of DC's Gallaudet University, Medina also taught sign language for Gallaudet, the National Association Of The Deaf, and the Secret Service.

January 28, 2009
Christmas WASH Tops "Holiday" Ratings
The new Portable People Meter ratings feature a 13th "month" - called "Holiday." And we get to see the final "Holiday book" age 12+ full-day numbers for DC, which includes the Christmas period. Adult contemporary WASH, which featured Christmas tunes for much of the period, took 1st place, with all-news WTOP 2nd. However, WTOP placed 1st in morning drive, and took the top spot in many demos, including the age 25-54 group. Public news talker WAMU was 3rd, with adult urban WHUR 4th, contemporary hit WIHT 5th, classical WETA-FM 6th, rocker WWDC 7th, gospel WPRS and hot adult contemporary WRQX were tied for 8th, with adult urban WMMJ, urban WKYS, and Christian contemporary WGTS tied for 10th. DCRTV had reported about a technical glitch that could be responsible for a slight dip in GTS's PPM numbers. Urban WPGC was 13th, classic hits WBIG 14th, country WMZQ 15th, talker WMAL 16th, with Spanish contemporary WLZL, classic rock WTGB, and sports talk WTEM tied for 17th. Oldies WJZW was 20th, talker WJFK 21st, and adult contemporary WAFY 22nd.

January 27, 2009
Dibble To Replace Sutton As Nats' Color Commentator
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has named Rob Dibble as the new color commentator for the Washington Nationals. He will replace Don Sutton in the TV broadcast booth. Sutton, who had two years to go in his TV deal with MASN, is being released from his contract to go back to Atlanta to join the Braves' radio team. Dibble is a two-time All Star and MVP of the 1990 NLCS with the Cincinnati Reds. He was part of the "Nasty Boys" bullpen which helped Cincinnati win the 1990 World Series. Dibble's broadcasting career includes stints at ESPN, Fox, and FoxSports.com. DCRTV reported last week that Sutton might be heading back to Atlanta. Veteran baseball player Sutton started his broadcasting career in 1989 with the Braves on TBS, a position that he held through 2006.

January 27, 2009
TC Joins Donnie Simpson Show
DC radio personality TC (left) has been tapped for "The Donnie Simpson Morning Show" on CBS Radio's WPGC (95.5 FM). Monday, she came onboard with her brand of woman-targeted commentaries to be heard each morning on Simpson's show. Most recently, TC was seen on the DC Office Of Cable Television's Channel 13, hosting various productions with the city council. "As a native Washingtonian, I'm ecstatic to work with DC's legendary Donnie Simpson, and I'm excited to be a part of DC's only local, urban adult morning show. No doubt, Donnie is DC's morning man!" TC is, perhaps, best known as co-host of WHUR's morning show until it was replaced by Steve Harvey's syndicated show in 2006.

January 27, 2009
50 To Start Carrying MGM Network
Tribune has signed to carry the new MGM movie and entertainment network, This TV. Which means it will soon show up on a digital subchannel of DC's Channel 50/WDCW. The network just launched via a digital subchannel of Baltimore's Sinclair-owned Channel 45/WBFF. WDCW's digital subchannel has been dark since the 2007 demise of The Tube music video network.

January 26, 2009
BAL Radio Cuts Steve Davis
WBAL radio's sports talk host, Steve Davis, was laid off. "We done some realigning because of the economy," WBAL VP and Station Manager Jeff Beauchamp said. "This was an economic move" unrelated to Davis' performance. For the time being, Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck will fill some of the talk hours in the evening, Beauchamp said.

January 24, 2009
Mike Walter Leaving 9
Morning news anchor Mike Walter (left) is leaving Channel 9/WUSA in mid-February. No word on his plans. Said WUSA News Director Lane Michaelsen in a Friday station memo: "I have known Mike for 10 years and he is a hardworking professional who cares." And, a WUSA source tells DCRTV: "I know some people aren't fans of him on-air, but behind the scenes, you won't find anyone who won't say Mike Walter is one of the most honest, friendly, funny coworkers with an enviable amount of journalistic integrity. He will be a huge loss to the mornings at 9." Another source tells DCRTV: "Mike Walter is leaving because he was offered a 60 percent pay cut to be an MMJ (a shoot and report multimedia journalist). Everyone at 9 that makes money is being offered the same deal as their contract windows come up. Weekend anchor Jennifer Ryan is expected to be next out the door." Gannett-owned WUSA recently replaced its weekend morning newscasts with infomercials and syndicated non-news programming.

January 23, 2009
Allbritton Cuts 30 At 7
Allbritton handed out a batch of pink slips at its Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8 broadcast complex in Rosslyn this morning. We're told that at least 30 workers got cut - many in the back office, but also as many as seven on-air personalities. Including longtime reporter Andrea McCarren. Also among the cut: Weekend anchor and reporter Alisa Parenti, weekend sports anchor Greg Toland, and reporters Sarah Lee, Jennifer Donelan, and Emily Schmidt. "Some of the WJLA people will still appear on the air until their contracts run out, they have just been told they're not being renewed," we're told. Also, last year's raises are being rolled-back. "The stations are doing well in ratings, but economy is in the tank. Ad sales have fallen off a cliff," we hear. Allbritton suits expect a bad economy for three years. We're told that the cuts were designed to save as many jobs as possible. Allbritton stations across the country are also taking the hits, including 15 jobs eliminated at Harrisburg PA's WHTM-TV, 40 job cuts at its WBMA-TV in Birmingham AL, and yet more cuts at WCIV-TV in Charleston SC. Plus there are big pay cuts at the corporate office. The company will start negotiations with NABET immediately - expect either pay cuts or big layoffs and job reassignments with the union. "Some guys who have been comfortable editing for years are not going to be too happy about carrying a camera around in the cold," a source tells us. While Allbritton's Politico political news website and newspaper continues to expand, it has also cut back on other expenses - travel and some salary re-negotiations. However, another source tells us that there are no trimmings at the Politico, which is the only Allbritton division ahead of budget, we hear. "The cuts would have been deeper if Politico was not here," a source adds.

January 23, 2009
More Anita Marks On 105.7
Anita Marks is staying on the air in Baltimore for another year. She signed a new one-year contract to remain in afternoon drive with Scott Garceau at CBS Radio sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan, even though she had an offer to return to her native Miami area for a radio job. "I had some other offers, but after it was all said and done, CBS Radio made it clear they wanted me to be part of the future," Marks told the Sun's Ray Frager. "They made me feel very wanted, very needed. That was probably the one thing that put me over the top."

January 22, 2009
Michael Copps Names Acting FCC Head
President Barack Obama has named Michael Copps as acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Copps, an opponent of big media consolidation, has served as a commissioner on the five-member agency since 2001. Kevin Martin, the Republican FCC chairman under former President George Bush, stepped down on Tuesday, leaving the commission with two Democrats and one Republican, due to a Republican vacancy. Democratic sources say that technology executive Julius Genachowski will be named to head the commission, although it is unclear when it will be announced, or when Senate confirmation hearings will occur.

January 21, 2009
Laura Ingraham To BAL
Talk Radio Network announces that the DC-based Laura Ingraham adds Baltimore news talker WBAL (1090 AM). TRN says that Ingraham has recently picked up 20 new affiliates and it will offer a daily refeed of Ingraham's late morning show from noon to 3 PM, up against righty talk titan Rush Limbaugh. WBAL started running Ingraham on 1/5 in the 10 PM to 1 AM slot, but might there be plans to move her to a daytime slot, either live at 9 AM or in the new noon refeed slot against Limbaugh on news talk rival WCBM (680 AM)? "No, not being considered," a top BALer tells DCRTV. "We're committed to staying local for morning, midday, and afternoon drive. It was one of the reasons Limbaugh was dropped."

January 21, 2009
Beauty Queen Joins 4
Channel 45/WBFF has selected Kristen Berset, 27, as its new sports anchor. According to, she's a Miss Florida and Miss USA beauty queen who has, most-recently, been an anchor and producer at WJHC-TV in Panama City, Florida.

January 20, 2009
Clear Channel Makes Local Radio Cuts
Expected 9 percent across-the-board cuts at radio giant Clear Channel today. Getting pink-slips locally: Brian Graber, who was the producer for Jon Ballard's morning show on WBIG, DC101 General Sales Manager Colin Campbell, and WMZQ's "Ben And Jenni" morning show producer Bryce Johnson. WBIG General Sales Manager Eric Johnson and Local Sales Manager Bobby Wright were also handed their walking papers. Plus, at least 15 more DC sales people and all part-time promotions positions were axed. It looks like the sales departments of WASH and WBIG will merge. In Baltimore, we hear that at least six people were let go today, as well as the part-time promotions staff. Four sales reps and the local sales managers of WPOC and WCAO were among the cuts. On the Eastern Shore, Sandra Lee, who did middays WWFG, is also out. Also, DCRTV hears that Randall Bloomquist has been cut from CC's Atlanta talker WGST. Bloomquist used to be PD at DC talker WMAL. About 1,850 Clear Channel employees across the country lost their jobs today. The San Antonio-based company, which owns more than 1,000 US radio stations, is performing a complete "realignment" of its ad sales departments.

January 16, 2009
Jury Rules For McCarren In Excessive For Charge Against PG Cops
A Prince George's County jury has reached a verdict in the case of a reporter who sued the county. A jury has found Prince George's County Police used excessive force when they detained Channel 7/WJLA investigative reporter Andrea McCarren. In April 2005, police ordered McCarren and her cameraman, Pete Hakel, out of their car at gunpoint during a traffic stop (left). McCarren, an award-winning investigative reporter, was working on a tip that Cpl. Danon Ashton, the county police liaison to the Prince George's County Chief Administrator Jacqueline Brown, was driving Brown on personal trips rather than for business. When Ashton noticed that he was being followed by McCarren and Hakel, he called for back up. Video of the incident captured by Hakel's camera shows at least seven police officers surrounded McCarren's car, several with their weapons drawn. On Friday, a jury awarded McCarren $5,000 - far less than the $500,000 she was seeking. The two sides had been close to a settlement, but could not come to terms on a confidentiality agreement. The jury did not find that the officers violated McCarren's rights as a journalist.

January 16, 2009
60 Years For 9
Sixty years ago - January 16, 1949 - Channel 9, "Washington's Eye On The World", began regular television service as the new CBS affiliate. The station signed on at 7 PM as WOIC ("Oh I See!") with an inaugural program titled "The Nine Muses," featuring a variety of local and network talent. Veteran Washington showman Art Brown told the audience about the new "WOIC Amateur Hour" and sportscaster Bill Brundige outlined his plans for a nightly 15-minute sports roundup. CBS stars Morey Amsterdam, Ed Sullivan, and Arthur Godfrey showed clips from their shows and CBS News Anchorman Douglas Edwards added his greetings to the new station. Hundreds of congratulatory calls and wires were received during the program. The WOIC call letters lasted only one year, changing to WTOP-TV in 1950 when the station was sold to the Washington Post. Channel 9 became WDVM ("District, Virginia, Maryland") in 1978 when the station was exchanged to the Detroit News. Today's call letters of WUSA arrived when Gannett purchased the station in 1986.

January 15, 2009
Fire Knocks WJAL Off Air
A "total loss" fire last night in the transmitter building for the Hagerstown area's Channel 68/WJAL has knocked the station off the air. The blaze happened on the top of a mountain in Peters Township, Pennsylvania. There were no injuries. More than 40 firefighters responded, but the icy conditions of the road created a serious obstacle, according to Hagerstown's WHAG-TV. Once firefighters arrived and found a running water source, it took about 20 minutes to put out the flames. The initial cause is unknown, but officials say it's related to an electrical malfunction. WJAL is off-air and there is no word on how long its signal will be down. WJAL carries a large amount of syndicated and infomercial fare. It's offered to some satellite TV subscribers in the DC area.

January 14, 2009
Sarah Booth Conroy Dies
Sarah Booth Conroy, 81, who chronicled the homes, history, and changing personalities of the Washington elite as a Washington Post reporter, editor, and columnist for more than three decades, died on 1/12 at ManorCare Potomac nursing facility. She had Alzheimer's disease. Mrs. Conroy, who wrote more than 2,800 articles for the Post, was known for her adept reporting on the city's diplomatic circuit and for her long-running "Chronicles" column about the city's history.

January 13, 2009
WERQ Tops Baltimore Radio Heap
Urban WERQ topped the fall radio ratings "book" for Baltimore, with country WPOC in 2nd, urban adult WWIN-FM 3rd, adult contemporary WLIF 4th, news talk WBAL-AM 5th, news talk WCBM 6th, hot adult contemporary WWMX 7th, rocker WIYY 8th, gospel WCAO 9th, and classic hits WQSR 10th. Religious WRBS was 13th, classic rock WZBA 14th, new sports talk WJZ-FM 15th, and new alt rocker WCHH 21st, tied with adult alternative WRNR. While country WAYZ is probably tops in the Hagerstown radio ratings, because the station's owner doesn't subscribe to the Arbitron numbers, hot adult contemporary WIKZ is listed as first. Country WFRE is tops in Frederick, and country WUSQ leads in Winchester in the fall radio ratings "book."

January 13, 2009
Genachowski To Head FCC
President-elect Barack Obama intends to nominate his technology adviser, Julius Genachowski (right), to head the Federal Communications Commission, a Democratic source close to the Obama transition team said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Genachowski, 46, is a former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama. He worked at the FCC during the Clinton administration. More recently, he co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a DC-based venture capital firm. He worked at Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive in various executive positions for eight years after leaving the FCC. During the campaign, Genachowski served as the top technology adviser to Obama, putting together a technology and innovation plan that expressed support for open internet or "net neutrality" protections, media-ownership rules that encourage more diversity, and expansion of affordable broadband access across the country.

January 12, 2009
Cameron Gray To NRA
DC radio veteran Cameron Gray has joined the Fairfax-based National Rifle Association's "NRANews" team as an executive producer. Most recently, Gray served as executive producer of XM Satellite Radio's POTUS '08 presidential campaign channel. Previously, he's been executive producer with the Redskins at Red Zebra broadcasting, and has served as operations director and producer at CBS Radio's WJFK and with its former Redskins broadcasts. Cameron, along with fellow executive producer John Popp, will oversee "NRANews Updates" and "The Daily News," which run on NRANews.com, as well as "Cam And Company," which is heard on the NRA website and on Sirius Satellite Radio.

January 12, 2009
Long Moves To Late Mornings On 1370
Rob Long has left his afternoon gig at Baltimore sports talker WNST, 1570 AM. He resigned after his show last Friday. Long will be moving cross-town to WVIE, Fox 1370 Sports Radio, to do late mornings, 9 AM to noon, starting Monday, 1/19. WNST owner Nestor Aparacio will now be doing afternoons on 1570. No word if that's permanent.

January 12, 2009
Nats Jump From 20 To 50
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and the Nationals have a new over-the-air TV partner - Channel 50/WDCW. Under the multi-year deal, which includes a MASN-sponsored marketing package, Tribune's DC50 will carry a simulcast of 20 Nats' professional baseball games each season, which will also appear on MASN. The Nationals' TV broadcast partner had been Fox-owned Channel 20/WDCA.

January 12, 2009
WDMV Operator Files For Bankruptcy
National Radio Corporation, also known as "WDMV Radio," has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, according to a listing in the Washington Post. Liabilities: $100,000 to $1 million. Largest unsecured creditor: $70,633. The Fairfax-based company operates WDMV, a brokered talk station on 700 AM, from a transmitter near Frederick.

January 8, 2009
Phillips' "Metro Talk" Loses Radio Outlet
DC radio veteran Jerry Phillips and his longtime "Metro Talk" local interview show got cut by Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, as of the end of 2008. It had aired on a variety of stations since 1988, including WTEM, WBIG, WTWP, and WWWT. Over the years, "Metro Talk" featured hundreds of interviews with area city, state, and county leaders, plus career and consumer professionals, as well as everyday folks. No word if the program will get picked up by another station.

January 7, 2009
Kris Gamble Heads Back To DC
After 20 years in the industry, eight of them with co-host Mark Kaye (left), Kris Gamble (right) has had enough. "I just can't take it anymore!" She screams as she flees the Cox radio complex in Jacksonville. Kaye and Gamble began their partnership in 2000 at Nassau's B98.5 on the Jersey Shore. The pair quickly moved to DC, where they were the inaugural morning team on Clear Channel's Hot 99.5. In 2006, they moved to Jacksonville, where they have held down the AM slot at WAPE-FM for the last two years. Says Gamble: "Being part of the 'Morning Mess' for the past eight years has been an incredible experience, but I've ridden Mark's coattails long enough. It's time I start fending for myself. This is something I've been thinking about for awhile and the time has come for me to move on. I am planning on going home to DC to pursue opportunities outside of the broadcast industry." Adds Kaye: "I love Kris like a much older sister. It will be difficult not seeing her everyday. She is one of the most talented women I've ever known and she and her implants will be missed." Gamble's last day on-the-air will be 1/30. With Kaye to be paired with a WAPE producer.

January 6, 2009
MAL's Chris Berry To LA
Chris Berry, who left Citadel-owned talker WMAL's general manager position yesterday, is heading out west. To be general manager and VP of ESPN sports talker KSPN in Los Angeles. The AMer is owned by the ESPN Radio Station Group, which is a subsidiary of Disney/ABC. Berry came to then-ABC-owned news talker WMAL in 2002 from ABC News.

January 6, 2009
9 Cutting Weekend Morning News
Channel 9/WUSA will be axing its low-rated weekend morning newscasts. Last one: 1/18. The replacement: Mainly revenue-generating infomercials. In a staff memo, WUSA President/General Manager Allan Horlick writes: "Effective January 24th, we have decided to utilize the Saturday and Sunday morning time periods where we have traditionally produced our weekend morning newscasts, as the launch pad for a variety of new initiatives which we will now be free to develop. Some of this content may be produced under the direction of our Information Center and some by other departments in the station... These time periods will be used to directly generate sales revenue through outside productions."

January 4, 2009
11 Launches HD Local News
Channel 11/WBAL has become the second TVer in Baltimore and fourth TVer in the DC-Baltimore region to launch high-def local news. On 1/3, it also unveiled a new news set and graphics package. Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF and DC's Channel 7/WJLA launched HD local news in 2008, with DC's Channel 9/WUSA running it several years.

For news items from 2008 click here.....