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January 2017 to Present

February 22, 2017
WAMU & WWIN Top January Radio Ratings
The Washington market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WAMU, 2) WTOP, 3) WHUR, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH and WBIG, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WPRS, 10) WKYS, 11) WIAD, 12) WPGC, 13) WMZQ, 14) WGTS and WRQX, 16) WWDC, 17) WETA-FM, 18) WJFK-FM, 19) WLZL and WFMD, 22) WTEM, 23) WFRE and WAVA-FM, 27) WPFW and WACA, 30) WDCN and WOL, 34) WWXX and WKDV and WDCH and WWXT, 39) WTNT and WAFY and WSPZ and WBQH, 47) WMET and WSMD and WFED. Baltimore, Hagerstown, Winchester, and Fredericksburg stations are not included in this list. The Baltimore market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WPOC, 5) WIYY, 6) WJZ-FM, 7) WBAL-AM and WCBM and WQSR, 10) WZFT, 11) WRBS-FM, 12) WWMX, 13) WZBA, 14) WYPR, 15) WBJC, 16) WCAO, 17) WLIFHD2, 18) WQLL, 19) WJZ-AM and WWIN-AM. Only Baltimore market stations included in this listing.

February 22, 2017
AP Makes DC Cuts
AP Radio cuts 16 of its 28 DC-based positions, affecting night-time and weekend newscasts. Effective March 1, Associated Press will continue to offer top-of-the-hour radio newscasts Monday through Friday, from 5 AM to 10 PM, but will no longer provide newscasts on the weekends, or between the hours of 11 PM to 4 AM. "This change will allow us to refocus our audio resources to the critical Monday-Friday drive times, and will allow us to improve the quality of the newscasts with a better mix of content," according to an AP statement.

February 21, 2017
Mary Walter Joins WMAL Mornings
Mary Walter (right) has been named co-host of Cumulus news talker WMAL's "Mornings On The Mall" show, joining Brian Wilson. Wilson's former co-host, Larry O'Connor, moved to WMAL's afternoon slot at the beginning of 2017. Walter has been a frequent guest host on the station for the past several years and recently concluded an assignment as evening host at WHAS radio Louisville KY. "I really am excited about joining 'Mornings On The Mall," says Walters. The station's program director, Bill Hess, "has built WMAL in to a powerhouse and this is an opportunity I just couldn't pass up," she adds. Walters has served as a regular fill-in host for talk programs on Fox News Radio and on Sirius XM's Patriot Channel. She also served two stints at Trenton NJ talker WKXW.

February 17, 2017
Andy Pollin To WJFK
DC sports radio veteran Andy Pollin, whose contract was not renewed last month by Red Zebra sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980, has jumped to rival CBS sports talker 106.7 The Fan, WJFK. Where he will serve as a show guest and a fill-in host. He made the announcement with WJFK's "Sports Junkies" on Friday morning. According to the Washington Post, Pollin will also team with another ESPN 980 exile, his former "Sports Reporters" guest Thom Loverro, to host a three-hour Saturday morning program on WJFK, starting February 25. "It just gives us more great talent," WJFK Program Director Chris Kinard tells the Post. "You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing. He hasn't been available for 25 years, because he's done such a good job. So to have someone like that available, we'd be crazy not to work something out with him."

February 16, 2017
Danni Starr To KYS Mornings
Danni Starr (right) joins the "Fam In The Morning" crew on Radio One's urban contemporary WKYS, 93.9, as a co-host. "Radio is my first love and I can't wait to hit the mic on Tuesday and re-engage DC with my brother Quicksilva," she says. Starr left iHeart's contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT's "Kane Show" in March 2016. She's been in the radio business a decade and is the face of "TLCme" on the TLC network. She also currently serves as an ambassador for the Department Of Health And Human Services' Office On Womens' Health.

February 15, 2017
WMAL To Carry Redskins
Cumulus news talker WMAL, 105.9 FM/630 AM, will carry Redskins games starting this fall. Games will continue to be carried on Red Zebra's sports talk ESPN 980, WTEM, which is owned by team owner Dan Snyder. "The broadcasts represent a homecoming of sorts, as the Redskins will return to the same WMAL airwaves on which the team's broadcasts aired as early as 1942," according to a Redskins statement. WMAL carried the team through the early 1990s, when the Redskins moved to WJFK until 2008. "In addition to carrying game broadcasts, WMAL will carry an hour of the Redskins Radio Network pregame show as well as an hour of Redskins Radio Network postgame programming" on game days, the statement adds. WTEM is also heard on 92.7 FM and 94.3 FM, in addition to 980 AM. "We are very excited to be partnering with WMAL to provide Redskins fans enhanced coverage of our games," says Terry Bateman, Redskins chief marketing officer. "WMAL and the Redskins organization have a long history together spanning six decades of the station carrying Redskins games. We have maintained a strong relationship over the years and now look forward to working together again to provide comprehensive coverage of Redskins football for the Washington market." Adds Jake McCann, DC market manager for Cumulus, "We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again. The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team's three glorious Super Bowl winning seasons. We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership."

February 13, 2017
Shay Whiteker Dies, Known as Cougar Michaels
Shay Whiteker, whose radio name was "Cougar Michaels," died in early February. He worked at a number of radio stations in the region, including Hagerstown's WWEG, Frederick's WFRE, Fredericksburg's WFLS, and Gettysburg's WGTY. "He had a big voice and loved fishing," a former colleague tells us.

February 7, 2017
Les Alexander Dies
Les Alexander (right in 1965), 93, a WCAO "top 40" disc jockey of the 1960s and early 1970s, died January 27 at a hospice in Wilmington NC. Alexander Leslie Paternotte, who was known professionally as Les "The Beard" Alexander, began his broadcasting career at a Philadelphia radio station, WIP, and moved to Baltimore in 1950, where he hosted a game show on Channel 13/WAAM, now WJZ. He later joined WITH radio and then began a lengthy association with another AM station, WCAO, in 1957. In the early 1970s, Alexander left WCAO and moved to Charlotte NC to work as a disc jockey for radio station WAYS before moving to television on WSOC. He retired in 1982 as a weatherman at WECT, a television station in Wilmington NC. He then moved to Frederick and later lived in Talbot County on the Eastern Shore.

February 2, 2017
Entercom Gets CBS Radio Stations
Entercom and CBS announce that Entercom will take over CBS's radio assets in a "tax free merger." CBS had long been rumored to be looking for a buyer for its radio business. The price was not disclosed in the announcement. Industry observers have been watching for months to learn the fate of the historic CBS radio holdings and brand. Now, according to the announcement, "the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, with a significant ongoing presence in New York." In total, the new company will have 244 stations as well as digital assets and events; it said it will have stations in 23 of the top 25 US markets. In DC, CBS owns WPGC, WJFK-FM/AM, WIAD, WLZL, and WDCH, which it leases to Bloomberg. In Baltimore, the firm owns WWMX, WJZ-FM/AM, and WLIF. Entercom has no radio holdings in the DC-Baltimore area.

January 26, 2017
Bluegrass Country To Live On
It looks like WAMU's Bluegrass Country will continue. The American University public radio outlet has reached an agreement with the Bluegrass Country Foundation, which will take over the Americana music channel on February 6. "We are overjoyed with this outcome," says Randy Barrett, president of the DC Bluegrass Union and one of the key players in the foundation. "The outpouring of support has been inspiring." Last fall, WAMU announced that it would discontinue BGC at the end of 2016 if it could find a new owner for it. That deadline got extended into early February as talks continued with the newly-formed foundation. WAMU General Manager JJ Yore adds, "We all had the same desire, which was to have the WAMU bluegrass legacy continue. With a mutual goal in mind, we worked quickly and collaboratively so there would be no loss of service for our bluegrass community." For the immediate future, BGC will continue on Bethesda's low-power 105.5 and via WAMU 88.5's digital HD2 channel, as well as at bluegrasscountry.org. Gary Henderson, Dick Spottswood, Lee Michael Demsey, Lisa Kay Howard, and Al Steiner will remain with the station. However, Katy Daley and Bill Foster are among those leaving. The foundation is mounting a fundraising push with an April 23 concert featuring Tim O'Brien, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Danny Paisely, Larry Stephenson, Jim Hurst, and others. The venue will be announced.

January 25, 2017
As usual, Christmas tunes boosted WASH to the top of the heap in the five-week "Holiday" monthly radio ratings (late November though early January) for the DC market. Full-week, age 12+: 1) WASH, 2) WAMU, 3) WTOP, 4) WHUR, 5) WIHT, 6) WPRS, 7) WMMJ, 8) WBIG, 9) WKYS, 10) WPGC, 11) WMAL, 12) WIAD, 13) WWDC, 14) WRQX, 15) WRQX, 16) WGTS and WETA-FM, 18) WLZL, 19) WTEM, 20) WJFK-FM, 21) WFMD, 24) WDCN and WFRE and WAVA-FM, 32) WOL and WACA, 34) WPFW and WTNT and WBQH and WDCH, 40) WWEG and WKDV and WAFY, 46) WSPZ and WILC and WFED. Out of market stations (Baltimore, Fredericksburg, Winchester) are not included in this list. As usual, Christmas tunes boosted WLIF to the top of the heap in the five-week "Holiday" monthly radio ratings (late November though early January) for the Baltimore market. Full-week, age 6+: 1) WLIF, 2) WERQ, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WIYY, 5) WPOC, 6) WJZ-FM, 7) WQSR, 8) WCBM and WZFT, 10) WBAL-AM, 11) WRBS-FM and WWMX, 13) WZBA, 14) WYPR, 15) WBJC, 16) WCAO, 17) WLIFHD2, 18) WQLL, 19) WJZ-AM and WOLB and WWIN-AM. The list includes only Baltimore market stations.

January 24, 2017
Riley Couture To Co-Host With Kane
Riley Couture (right) has been named the new co-host for Hot 99.5's morning "Kane Show." She previously worked at contemporary hit WRVW in Nashville, where she served as co-host on "The Woody & Jim Show." She also served as an on-air personality at contemporary hit WWPW in Atlanta. Before that, she worked at radio stations in Grand Rapids and Memphis. Her career began with an internship in 2004 at contemporary hit WFLZ in Tampa.

January 23, 2017
George Mills Dies
George Mills (right), who was a broadcast technician at Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ, starting back when the station was known as WAAM, died January 20 at age 86. He is the father of Channel 11/WBAL sports anchor Keith Mills. George was part of WJZ's team that broadcast the first Colts game in 1954 and was a big part of the station's Orioles coverage from 1958 to 1983. Also, he was a camera operator and floor director for numerous WJZ programs, including "The Buddy Dean Show" and Oprah Winfrey's "People Are Talking," along with the station's newscasts.

January 23, 2017
Caps Add 104.7
The Washington Capitals announce a deal with iHeart to put the team's games on 104.7, a low-power 99-watt signal from Silver Spring that has been simulcasting the company's Hot 99.5, WIHT. The 104.7 signal's coverage area includes most of DC and Arlington, plus southern Montgomery, northwestern Prince's Georges, and northeastern Fairfax counties. Last season, the Caps were carried by CBS sports talker WJFK, a full-power outlet on 106.7. Capitals games are also currently carried on the 24-hour streaming channel and app, Caps Radio 24/7, and via Hubbard's AM talker WFED, 1500 - when it's not carring the Wizards. "We're very excited to have the Capitals on our airwaves," said Michael Preacher, who heads iHeart's DC radio cluster, which also includes DC101, WBIG, WMZQ, and WASH. Also, iHeart flips 104.7 to being a replay of DC101, WWDC's HD2 subchannel, which carries active rock.

January 20, 2017
CSN Ends Ravens Deal
Bethesda-based Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will not renew its media rights agreement with the Baltimore Ravens. The decision signals the end of Ravens-specific programming, including preseason games, pre- and postgame shows and "Training Camp Daily," on CSN. The network and the Ravens have had a partnership since 2010. CSN still has a media rights partnership with the Redskins, which is a longer-running and more comprehensive arrangement than the one the network had with the Ravens for the past seven seasons.

January 20, 2017
Andy Pollin Out Of ESPN 980
Andy Pollin is gone from Red Zebra sports talker ESPN 980, WTEM. "The greatest ride of my life has ended," Pollin writes on Twitter. "Two months short of 25 years, I have not been renewed and have just done my last show at ESPN 980." Pollin and Steve Czaban had been doing the afternoon "Sports Reporters" show on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's station. With Pollin's contract due to expire in February. "I'm not in any way bitter about this," Pollins tells the Washington Post. "I'm disappointed that it wouldn't continue. I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn't happen. That's life." In 1992, Pollin was there for the launch of WTEM and has held a number of management and on-air jobs ever since. Also out at WTEM: Thom Loverro, Chris Knoche, Gary Williams, and Steve Buckhantz.

January 18, 2017
MPT Carries PBS Kids
Maryland Public Television adds the PBS Kids channel to its lineup of subchannels via its stations around the state. PBS Kids is one of four stations now available as part of MPT's lineup, along with MPT-HD, MPT2/Create, and Japan's NHK World. MPT's PBS Kids is available via over-the-air on channels 22.3, 28.3, 31.3, 36.3, 62.3, and 67.3. It's also on Comcast 269, Verizon Fios 481, and on more than a dozen other cable and satellite providers. MPT also offers PBS Kids programs on its free MPT App, available for Android and Apple/iOS devices.

January 13, 2017
45 Cuts Karen Campbell
Reporter Karen Campbell is reportedly among cuts Sinclair has made at Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF, where she's been working since October 2015. Before that, she'd been at cross-town Channel 11/WBAL, Harrisonburg's Channel 3/WHSV, and Salisbury's Channel 16/WBOC.

January 12, 2017
Lucas & Hastings To Host NC8 Middays
Sinclair announces that veteran NewsChannel 8 journalists Dave Lucas and Melanie Hastings (right) will anchor the Washington-area cable news station's new midday show, which launches February 1 at 11 AM. Both are original NC8 anchors who have been with the channel since it launched in 1991.

January 12, 2017
DePuyt Leaves Sinclair's NC8, Lucas Staying
NewsChannel 8 mid-morning news anchor Bruce DePuyt is the latest to leave Sinclair's DC TV operation, also home to Channel 7/WJLA. DePuyt's final show will air January 31. He joined NewsChannel 8 in 1993. More: We hear that a Thursday report from FTVLive that NC8 afternoon anchor Dave Lucas is also on the way out is not true. "In fact, I'm continuing to anchor four hours of live news every weekday, and will shortly take on a new and exciting assignment at the anchor desk," Lucas tells us.

January 11, 2017
Brotman Covers Inauguration For 4
Following the news that 89-year-old Charlie Brotman wasn't asked to reprise the role he's carried out for 11 different presidents as inaugural parade announcer at the White House end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Brotman's landed a new gig - with NBC's Channel 4/WRC, as a commentator during their coverage iof the inauguration. "I will be working for Channel 4 as the 'make-believe' announcer," he says, "and I'm really looking forward to it." Also, "There are several live crowd announcers for the Presidential Inaugural Parade," says DC-based radio vet Jim Bohannon - and he's one of them. He'll be stationed at the beginning of the procession, near the Capitol.

January 9, 2017
Michael Baisden Back To HUR
Michael Baisden (right) will return to Howard University adult urban contemporary WHUR, 96.3, starting January 16, airing from 3 PM to 7 PM weekdays. From 2005 to 2013, Baisden was heard doing afternoons on WHUR until he had a dispute with his national syndicator, Cumulus. Baisden will be joined on his new show by sidekick George Willborn. He'll be syndicated by Superadio Networks, in conjunction with Urban Radio Networks. So far, Baisden has been picked up in about 40 markets. No official word on the fate of WHUR's current locally-based afternoon show, "Afternoons With Tony, Mo, & George," hosted by Tony Richards, Mo Ivory, and George Willborn

January 9, 2017
Maureen Bunyan Leaves Sinclair's 7
Veteran DC TV news anchor Maureen Bunyan (right) is the latest to leave Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA. Station management told Bunyan last week that it intends to exercise a "window" in her contract that enables either party to end the agreement before its full term. Bunyan will leave the ABC affiliate in February. Bunyan, 71, has been delivering news on DC TV for almost five decades. In the early 1970s, she started as a reporter and then became an anchor at what was Washington Post-owned Channel 9/WTOP, now WUSA. She was among the first African American women in the nation to anchor a local evening newscast. Bunyan jumped to Allbritton-owned WJLA in 1999. Allbritton sold the station to Baltimore-based Sinclair two years ago. Since then, many of the station's longtime personalities have left, most recently anchor Leon Harris, whose contract was not renewed last fall. He was joined by news anchor Gordon Peterson in late 2014 and sports anchor Tim Brant in early 2016. More: In another cutback, the station laid off several other news employees, including Alex Parker, its executive sports producer and a host of a sports-talk program on WJLA sister NewsChannel 8.

January 9, 2017
Nat Hentoff Dies
Nat Hentoff, a journalist, author, champion of jazz music and passionate defender of civil liberties in columns he wrote for the Washington Post and Village Voice, among other publications, died January 7 in Manhattan. He was 91.

January 4, 2017
El Zol Unveils New Line-Up
CBS Radio's Spanish contemporary WLZL, El Zol 107.9, will launch a new line-up on January 5 as the station celebrates its 12th anniversary with a new slogan, "Latino… And Proud." Patricia De Lima and Chepe join Rey Parker in morning drive. They previously hosted WLZL's afternoon show, "El Meneo." Sandee Bonita comes from Las Vegas to do middays. While Henry Flores' "Dale Con Flo" show moves from nights to afternoon drive. Omayra Martinez will join Flores in afternoons and then continue as host of WLZL's evening show.

January 3, 2017
Banks Says Aloha To Aloha Trust
Michael Banks leaves his gig as Frederick market manager for iHeart-connected Aloha Trust's news talk WFMD, 930, and country WFRE, 99.9, to return to Long Island, where he'd previously been a sales manager for the Connoisseur radio group. Banks will now be general sales manager.

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