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Rants from 2006.....

12/31 - One last Rant of 2006. We should all be very thankful to Dan Snyder for putting his Redskins on three radio stations that can't easily be heard throughout the DC region. In light of the team's miserable 5-11 season. Is a loss that isn't heard really a loss? Hmmm. Anyway, Happy New Year everyone.....

12/28 - We chatted with some top radio sources and they tell us that they doubt the rumbling, which DCRTV recently reported, that Clear Channel's WBIG (100.3) may go to Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his Red Zebra broadcasting outfit. It's more likely that CC will unload its Frederick (WFMD and WFRE) stations than any of the DC eight, we learn from someone in-the-know. "WBIG alone probably makes - profit, not billing - $6 million a year," one conjectures. The "WBIG for sale" rumors "may well be floated by Red Zebra types." Says another: "Think about it. (Red Zebra's) back is to the wall. Advertisers now all 'get it' that they have poor signals. They aren't buying the stations, hence the recent layoffs. Even fans of (afternooner John) Riggins no longer check in because it is such a pain to find a signal as potential listeners drive around. Red Zebra has to get a better signal to survive." Plus, we're told, it doesn't help that the Redskins had a lousy season. Last year, with CBS's WJFK-FM as the team's station, Snyder was collecting $10 million in radio rights fees. This year, with the team on his stations - Triple X rimshots 92.7 and 94.3 and weak night powered AMer 730 - he collects $0 in fees "and he has to subdsidize a money-losing collection of poor signals." Yet another source tells DCRTV: "Maybe the way (for Snyder) to try to get the price lower on WGMS (104.1 and 103.9) is to make (WGMS owner Bonneville) think Red Zebra has other options, which they may not." Adds another: "Or maybe (Snyder) exits radio altogether, and gets a radio station with a decent signal to pay some cash to carry the Redskins next year?" Stay tuned.....

12/26 - This morning, WMAL's newscasts were trumpeting a story that appeared exclusively in the Washington Post, about how federal agencies are moving facilities to places like Winchester, outside the 50-mile fallout zone, if DC were to be nuked. It's funny. Righty WMAL seems to use the alleged lefty (gasp!) Post as much, sometimes even more, as a news resource that does its rival talker WTWP, the official Washington Post Radio station. Only with WMAL, they don't credit the Post as the source of the story, and there's no chance of having on-air praise heaped on the Post reporter.....

12/22 - Caught Matt Damon and Robert DeNiro in "The Good Shepherd." Great flick. But the audience was a bit "spooky," this being a "company" town. Let's just say it was like catching a flick about the car industry in a Detroit theater. Best line: Why put "the" in front of "CIA"? You don't put "the" in front of "God." Wish they had continued the timeline beyond the early 1960s to today, to include Faux News. Just a "joke." No hate mail, please.....

12/18 - Washington Post columnist Marc "The Listener" Fisher was doing the late morning slot on Washington Post Radio with Hillary Howard today. And the topic of discussion was the probable demise of commercial classical radio station WGMS. Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who is buying the station for his sports talk format, was painted as the evil, anti-arts, anti-culture culprit. However, no mention was made of the decision by Bonneville, which produces Washington Post Radio and owns Washington Post Radio's two WTWP signals, to sell WGMS to Snyder. It takes two big media behemoths to tango, er, waltz.....

12/9 - For many years, I've been calling for Bonneville, owner of all-news WTOP, to start an FM sports talker. And, for many years, I thought it should be on 104.1 and 103.9, where "modern music" Z104 used to be. Well, well, well, look at what's happened! We will have an FM sports talker on 104.1 and 103.9. But it won't be Bonneville bringing it to us. Oh, I bet Redskins owner Dan Snyder's better-signalled Triple X sports talker, with maybe James Brown and Tony Kornheiser in the mix, is causing a mad dash for the antacid tablets at CBS's WJFK-FM. It's a torpedo aimed right at the young male demos that JFK has been struggling to rebuild since Howard Stern defected for satellite a year ago. And having JFK's popular afternoon team on hiatus for two months can't help matters. Might this be the year that the once "superstation," former home to the Redskins, finally sinks? That might just give Snyder a chortle or two. And, what will happen to Clear Channel's sports talk WTEM? Will the AMer, which has trouble reaching the western suburbs after dark, finally move to FM, as I've long been calling for? Or, after getting walloped in the ratings by Snyder, will TEM abandon the format for some kind of news talk sound? Whatever happens - this will be fun to watch.....

12/4 - The Washington Post recently cut its 5 PM newscast on its WPLG-TV in Miami, replacing it with "Dr Phil." And, guess what? The station's ratings rose. We're wondering if the suits at Baltimore's Channel 2, which is often rated 4th in the Charm City TV news war, are paying attention..... Oh, President Bush heads once again to friendly territory for tonight's sit-down interview with Brit Hume, of Fox Comedy News..... Also, Rush Limbaugh today revealed that his middle name is "Hudson." In honor of "Baby Jane Hudson," the Bette Davis character in the classic flick "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane".....

11/22 - If they've already done loads of cool shows for WJFK-FM over the years, why should El Jefe and J-Dubs need to do a week of "test shows"? In short, the ratings-slumping CBS talker is in desperate need of fresh talent. Dammit, CBS Radio, hire the guys back and give 'em the evening slot. Get off "the pot" JFK General Manager Michael Hughes and "just do it." It's a friggin' "no brainer." Jeeeeeesus. And see if you can get Ron and Fez back, too. Sheeeeesh...... From our Say That Three Times Fast Department: From a Washington Post article today about a toy recall. Wouldn't you just love to hear Barbara Harrison read this on Channel 4: "The play sets being recalled are: Polly Pocket Polly Place Hangin' Out House; Polly Pocket Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse; Polly Pocket Spa Day; Polly Pocket Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Boutique; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset; and Polly Pocket Totally Zen Playset".....

11/20 - Finally. The Washington Post has done something really smart with its Washington Post Radio station and put the crazy David Burd in morning drive. Oh wait, he was just filling in for the under-the-weather Mike Moss on Monday. Nevermind.....

11/17 - I have long contended that Rupert Murdoch is rotten to the core. And now DC Post columnist Eugene Robinson confirms my belief with his piece on the media baron's plans to use OJ Simpson to rake in big bucks and juice up the ratings for Murdoch's floundering Fox broadcast network.....

11/16 - I hear that Rush Limbaugh will be appearing tonight at the Warner. His DC station, WMAL, was hawking tickets for $75 and $100 a piece. So, what's he going to talk about? His failed multiple marriages and relationships? How he got out of the Vietnam War draft because of some sort of anal condition? His addiction to Oxycontin and how he got his maid to get him pills, and how he didn't really "doctor shop"? How he got caught smuggling a vile of Viagra, issued in his doctor's name, back to the USA after a "golfing outing" with the guys in the Dominican Republic? How he singlehandedly lost the Senate for the GOP with his Michael J. Fox "Parkinson shake impersonation" on the "dittocam"? How he gives away "free" access to his paid-for website to military personnel after listeners have "donated" the subscription fee? The fact that he owns 12 (count 'em) flat screen TVs and you don't, not to mention a fleet of fancy Mercedes, a personal jet, a mansion in West Palm, a luxury pad in Manhattan, and state-of-the-art Mac computer gear? How he's completely blind to the political warts of anyone with an "R" by their name? If Rush had any class, he'd have "exited stage right" along with fellow "company men" George Allen, Rick Santorum, Mike DeWine, and Donald Rumsfeld last week. But noooooo, not Rush. A "hero" in his own mind, at least. So, Rush's in town tonight. Enjoy the "show".....

11/16 "Ammo, ammo, and more ammo!" You've got to hand it to WTOP owner Bonneville. For moral reasons, you won't hear lottery ads on the airwaves of DC's top radio station. But the Salt Lake City firm has no problemo taking ad dollars for gun shows which tout mucho bullets. Guess how many DC area residents each year are pelted to death by lottery tickets? Right. I'm not arguing for a ban on gun show spots, but it would be nice to see WTOP inject some logic into its ad policy..... Oh that Washington Post! On the front page of today's rag we get a color picture of a 20-year-old-ish dude from Frederick who is camped out waiting at the Rockville Circuit City for a PlayStation 3, linking to a 25 paragraph biz piece. And on page A23 we get a five paragraph wire service account about six more young US soldiers, probably a lot like that guy from Frederick, who've been killed fighting in Iraq. Is something wrong with the Post's news priorities? Hmmm.....

11/15 - As editor of this popular website, I get hundreds of e-mails a day. It's often quite difficult to keep them all straight. But I seemed to recall one particular message from last summer. And, sure enough, it was from Jack Alix, who passed away today. As the Google Mail search produced the resulting e-mail (below) at about 8 PM this evening, the railing along the stairs leading up to my office here at the DCRTV World Headquarters vibrated for about a minute. Very strange. Was that you, Jack? I did not know Jack, but I sure wish I'd called that phone number on his message and chatted with him. Jack was kind enough to send me a pile of cool clippings and a CD, and I'll get those up on the site real soon via a tribute page. A tip of the old DCRTV "rabbit ears" to you, Jack. I bet that's one helluva radio station up there in Heaven.....


11/10 - "They died, and now you can save big bucks!" As you rush around to all those "Veteran's Day sales" at the stores today and this weekend, please take a moment or two to remember all the folks who have fought and died for your freedom as an American. And those in uniform today. That's what this "holiday" is really all about. Sometimes capitalism gets a little tasteless. A good place to start is at "Faces Of The Fallen" in the Washington Post.....

11/9 - Heard on WTOP today. Really big news. David Burd (yup Burd) reports that a chicken can live for up to 18 months without its head.....

11/8 - Locally, the Repubs lost, big time - Ehrlich, Steele, even Allen. The DC area is "bluer" than ever. The Dems now rule even in places like Loudoun in Northern Virginia. It's time that righty WMAL admitted that it's not only a ratings failure, but also a cultural failure. It's time that parent ABC pulled the plug on the conservative bombast of Grandy, Rush, Hannity, and Levin, and flipped the 630 signal to syndicated classic country or "Music Of Your Life." Or sell it to Redskins owner Dan Snyder for his ESPN sports talker. Turn out the lights over there on Jenifer Street. Trash all those "Spiro Agnew 630" coffee mugs and Joseph McCarthy lapel pins. It's "done." More Dunkin' Donut time for Andy.....

11/6 - There were lots of things said about lots of different area radio and TV matters during Saturday night's Washington Quarter Century Broadcasters dinner. But one theme that kept rearing its ugly head among the hundred or so guests was "how bad" WMAL now sounds. The once great station which once featured humor, talk, and music that was uplifting and united the DC area's diverse population, has degenerated into little more than a venue for political bombast, leaning heavily to one side of the aisle. Heck, I heard that sentiment again and again. "I moved away from the DC area in the early 1990s, and recently came back. I was shocked at what happened to WMAL," one TV vet told me Saturday. It's clear that current WMALers like Fred Grandy and Andy Parks have a very long way to go to generate even a tiny fraction of the love and respect that still exists for legendary WMAL greats like Jackson Weaver, Frank Harden, Felix Grant, Bill Mayhugh, Tom Gauger, and Bill Trumbull.....

11/5 - Rupert Murdoch is one strange dude. The same righty media baron who uses his Fox News Channel as pretty much a PR arm for the Bush administration, has just dropped a "Borat bomb" on the GOP. I saw "Borat" on Saturday and the fake documentary about a dimwit reporter (right) from Kazakhstan (a backward central Asian land south of Russia) who visits America, is one of the funniest flicks I've seen in quite a while. But, this film - which is distributed by Murdoch's 20th Century Fox and has been heavily hyped by his Fox News Channel and NY Post - derives much of its humor by poking fun at Republican mainstays like Christian fundamentalists and rural southerners. There's even a scene at a southside Virginia rodeo where Borat jests about America's "war of terror," how the Jews were responsible for 9/11, and how Bush wants to "drink the blood" of all Iraqis, complete with a butchered version of the US National Anthem. Then, when the end credits roll, we learn that the film was produced by Larry Charles, who's aligned with "evil" media lefties Larry "Curb Your Enthusiasm" David and Jerry Seinfeld. This film, released on the weekend before the mid-term elections, paints American foreign policy, many of the more narrow-minded elements of our culture, and Bush in a rather bad light, to put it mildly. The Democrats, if they go on to take control of the House and Senate Tuesday, will owe Murdoch a big "thank you" for his "Borat bomb." Whatever your politics, go see it. You will laugh your ass off.....

11/2 - So, let's see. The morning show ("The Hot Morning Mess") on one of DC's top-rated (5th in the last round of Arbitrons) radio stations (Hot 99.5) gets canned Wednesday and the Washington Post doesn't make the slightest mention of it in Thursday's Style section. Anyone wonder why the frigging rag's circulation is down 3 percent in almost every quarter? Quarter after quarter? Heck, if bow-tied blue-blood Tucker Carlson had farted on "Dancing With The Stars" you just know that LA-based TV scribe Lisa de Moraes would have penned 30 paragraphs about it. Or, if she was on one of her lengthy vacations, one of the wire services would have covered it and the "Reliable Source" gals would have done a bang-up re-write job. Sheesh.....

10/19 - Yesterday, Drudge linked to a FishbowlDC blurb that was probably obtained from DCRTV, who got it from FTVLive, which originated the latest rumor about cuts at NBC. However, only DCRTV said where we got it from. Remarks FTV Live editor Scott Jones: "Website after website stole FTVLive's information and tried to pass it off as their own. Special thanks to websites like DCRTV that always gives credit where credit is due".....

10/16 - This morning, Andy Parks jested that fellow WMAL morning man Fred Grandy might stage a week-long protest outside the station's studios on Jenifer Street, like what the students at DC's Gallaudet University have been doing, if the ABC talker gets a new head. Ummm, does Andy know something? Is WMAL honcho Chris Berry going somewhere? DCRTV has reported recent rumblings that ABC may be rearranging the deck chairs at old 630 soon. Hmmm.....

10/13 - Back when Nassau bought Frederick's WAFY and Hagerstown's WARX (now WWEG), everyone was speculating that the northeastern USA radio owner had its sights set on the DC and Baltimore megaplex. And while both of the above stations do penetrate western portions of the DC-Baltimore area, neither is a ratings factor in the bigger cities. So, now, with Nassau's purchase of WRNR, are we to assume that the firm is going to run the maverick alternative "Triple A" music station as a sweet little Annapolis outlet? No way, Jose. Nassau is lusting about "getting into" the big DC-Baltimore market, and this is just another step to make that happen. Look for more Nassau local acquisitions. How about Shamrock's 100.7? Or Red Zebra's 92.7 and 94.3 after it finally acquires a "big signal" in DC, a la 105.1? Or what about Family's 107.9? Or Peter And Paul's 95.1? Stay tuned. This is gonna be fun.....

10/12 - What was that unpleasant smell in DC yesterday afternoon? Oh, Roger Ailes was in town with his fellow PR guys to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fox's GOP-TV. More from FishbowlDC. That's DC-based Brit Hume (right) last night, courtesy of FishbowlDC (again). Our troops may be dying in alarming numbers in Iraq, but those Foxers aren't going to let it stop their partying.....

10/11 - Self-defeating hype? "Several Montgomery County schools in lockdown." So said a news teaser at 9:50 AM today on talker WMAL. Gawd, imagine the horrid, stomach-churning 12-minute wait for WMAL's 10:02 AM local news to find out the details. If I was a Montgomery County parent driving around in the family mini-van, I'd have flipped over to all-news WTOP right away to try to find out more.....

10/9 - This morning, WMAL talker Chris Core, at the start of his 9 AM show, complained that he had to discuss an alleged nuclear test by North Korea without his "talking points." He complained several times that his "talking points" were missing. What? Was the fax machine at GOP Central broken this morning? Gee, I thought WMALers were better than that. Ha ha ha. Oh, after we posted the above, a WMAL source told us that Chris was "only joking." Oh. OK. Ha ha ha.....

10/6 - We just love the DC Post "Reliable Source" gals. We really do. Especially their fashion sightings around DC. Today, we get the scoop (Lloyd Grove, eat your heart out) that film director Oliver Stone was seen in Georgetown looking "fit and rugged in a dark sport jacket and open-collared shirt." Oh, yeah, we also made the column: "The creepy but studly DCRTV Dave, sporting his trademark lengthy beard, was seen downing a Hoyas Hoagie at the Georgetown Deli wearing dirty green camos, a dingy white t-shirt, and faded blue baseball cap. Lunching with him was an unidentified local radio personality." Oh my.....

10/5 - What we'd like to see: WMAL morning man Andy Parks decked out in a WMAL t-shirt at the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Herndon on Sunday. The event is sponsored by WUSA, Discovery, Cox, and Comcast (among others) - but not the ABC talk radio outlet. You'll recall that, earlier this year, WMAL led the charge to replace Herndon's mayor, who supported the construction of a taxpayer financed facility for immigrant day laborers. More on this weekend's event is at hispanicheritagefestival.com.....

10/4 - I really expected to see an item in the Washington Post's Wednesday "Reliable Source" gossip column about Fred Grandy and his Tuesday heart scare. I mean, he is the host of a popular morning drive WMAL radio show and was a former Congressman and all that. But nooooo. The dippy "RS" gals instead felt it more important to let us know that a has-been Brit actor was in town decked out in a "tan suit with a double-vented back and a powder blue tie." Maybe tomorrow. Sheesh. Also, what's the deal with the Baltimore Sun not reporting the news that DCRTV broke last week - that the Charm City's top-rated morning radio team of Marc Clarke and Troy Johnson on WERQ has been broken up. Man, you print people are getting downright lazy - or worse.....

10/1 - A couple of months ago, Herndon elected a new mayor, one who wants the town's police to enforce immigration rules. In short, that means the town's cops are now able to arrest and jail the illegal, mainly Hispanic immigrants who live there. One snag, reports the DC Post, is that, since the police in the surrounding jurisdictions don't participate in the program, police in Herndon, which lacks jail space, will have to transport those arrested to a facility in rural Rappahannock County, an hour's drive each way, tying up officers from street patrols. But there is a solution. Since WMAL led the heavily-hyped charge to get a new major elected on the immigration issue, why doesn't the ABC talk station's on-air personnel - all able-bodied macho men - get deputized by Herndon's police and spend their weekends and other off-air time helping the Herndon police round up the illegal aliens. Come on Andy Parks, Fred "Love Boat" Grandy, Chris Core, Bryan Nehman, Mark Levin, Mark Weaver, John Matthews, and station honcho Chris Berry. You've talked a good talk, now show a little action. Heck, those WMALers who are not in tip-top physical shape could, at least, drive the van, also supplied by WMAL - with the station's logo plastered all over - back and forth to Rappahannock. Imagine the press and the related ratings WMAL would get.....

9/28 - "The mudslinging continues in the Alan Webb campaign." That was heard on WMAL's 9 AM newscast Thursday. We didn't know that the former South Lakes High School runner (right) was running for Virginia's US Senate seat, but he'd probably be a better candidate than the two guys in the race. Now, maybe newscaster Mark Weaver was actually referring to the "Allen-Webb" campaign. It's kind of hard to tell spelling on the radio. Oh, nevermind.....

9/17 - If you walk in the desert long enough, you'll finally come to an oasis. Now you must know how Big 100 listeners must feel with this weekend's cool "deep cuts" Beatles "A To Z" retrospective. "I Dig A Pony." Wow! This is exactly what the "new" classic hits outlet needs to be doing all the time, not just this weekend. Giving us rock gems that haven't been played to death. Rock is a fantastic musical genre when you dig a little deeper and get beyond the well-worn sludge like "Hotel California," "Smoke On The Water, and "Babe." If Big 100 starts giving us more Beatles stuff like "Blue Jay Way," "She Said She Said," "Run For Your Life," "Hey Bulldog," and "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," there might be some ratings hope for old 100.3. Soooo..... New Order's "The Beach" on Jack 102.7 at 1:30 PM. Wow. The heck with 107.3 and 106.5, WQSR is still the coolest music "mix" of commercial stuff in the whole Baltiwash metroplex. And, whoa, listening to former Postie and the ever so pompous Lloyd Grove describing Paris Hilton in handcuffs with David Burd on WaPo Radio Sunday morning almost had me running off I-66. It sure beat the infomercials over on your granddad's station, WMAL, which did manage to stay on the air last night (wonder of wonders) for Art Bell from the Philippines. Oh, Sundance Channel is running the season two finale of Aussie import "Kath And Kim" this week, and it features a flashback to a 1980s club scene in which Kim mets her husband - with Mi-Sex's "Computer Games" playing. Just checked my vinyl collection, and I still have that platter. Filed alphabetically between Ministry and Mission Of Burma.....

9/8 - I heard it. The best radio news investigative piece for 2006. David Burd's "Fido is stoned" look at how pet pooches are gobbling up their owners' stashes of pot and other illegal mood altering agents. Via WTOP on Friday. Veterinarians are seeing an increase in the number of dogs that are staggering with bloodshot eyes and dry mouth, so reports Burd.....

9/5 - You got to hand it to Katie Couric and the suits at CBS by giving righty talk radio titan and Viagra user Rush Limbaugh a regular commentary slot on the "new" CBS newscast. The move, which will result in the first of Rush's pre-taped commentary pieces to air on Thursday, has essentially neutered Limbaugh as a critic of the DC lefty media pixie's debut tonight. Let's face it - Katie has ever so sweetly and delicately lopped off Rush's balls. And the rotund radio ranter, who probably hasn't seen his genetals without the aid of a mirror in years, won't even miss 'em.....

8/31 - The US government is going to be spending $20 million of your tax dollars to get something that it already gets for free from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. In the DC Post.....

8/30 - I like Katie Couric. I really do. Even in her late 40s, she's the "pixie" of DC TV. Raised in Arlington, she got her start on DC area electronic media. She was working at Channel 4 when "Today" called. Now, she's about to be hype-launched into the top anchor job at CBS News. And she will fail. Big time. Crash and burn. And the media - particularly the righty variety (Rush Limbo, Drudge, the NY Post, and Faux News) - will bask in joyous glee. Oh, I don't know how it will happen. A big guffaw or a slow ratings slump. But, mark my words, it will happen. Sometime in 2007, CBS's suits will come to their politically fiscal senses and realize that America is not yet ready for an "uppity lefty chick" as a mainstream network news anchor superstar. And they'll put a good-looking white heterosexual apolitical male in the news throne. Someone fatherly and as dull as Wonder bread - someone like Charlie Gibson. As it should be. So they say. Good night and good luck, Katie. My guess is you'll have plenty of time in the latter half of 2007 to kick back on a Caribbean isle, hoist a strong drink with a hot stud by your side, and warm your bare feet in a mountain of dollars. You deserve it, sweetie.....

8/28 - Let's see. WMAL, WCBM, WFMD righty talker Rush Limbaugh thinks the "drive-by media" is over-hyping Ernesto, a borderline low-level hurricane that's projected to hit south Florida's Atlantic coast mid-week. Yet, Rush is doing his show from NYC this week, instead of doing it from his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Admittedly because of possible disruptions from the storm. Hmmm..... I loved "Little Miss Sunshine" a few weeks ago, but my Favorite Film Of The Year So Far has been replaced by "Quinceanera," which I caught at the notoriously dumpy Cinema Arts theater in Fairfax over the weekend. A wonderfully touching coming-of-age look at an extended American-Mexican family living in LA's Echo Park. The dialogue bounced seamlessly between Spanish (with subtitles) and English, and, guess what, the country and its social order didn't collapse. It's must-viewing for all employees at righty talker WMAL, which loves to hype the "kick their asses back to Mexico" sentiment in their shameless quest for radio ratings. I can just see an MALer approaching Heaven's Gate. "Is this Heaven and are you Jesus?," he (obviously a white male Anglo) asks. To which the bearded man in a white robe replies: "Yes. And it's pronounced 'hey-zeus'." Now that would be cool. More at imdb.com.....

8/22 - Another in my occasional series of "How I'd Fix" local stations. Today, it's ABC's DC cluster. I'd take WRQX back to Q107, make it music intensive, a lot like Hot 99.5 with current hits. But, unlike Hot 99.5, I'd "mix" in "HFS-ish" stuff from the 80s and 90s, a la alt rock like The Cure, The Clash, and Depeche Mode. Hire Albie and KT. Basically, if WASH plays it, RQX won't. No sappy shit. I'd move Jack Diamond to talker WMAL mornings with Fred Grandy, and send Andy Parks a-packing. I'd take Carson from RQX afternoons and give him the 6 PM talk slot on WMAL, and move Mark Levin to 9 PM. Over on WJZW, I'd supplement the "smooth jazz" with some of the best R&B and Motown tunes (once heard on Big 100), and reposition the station as more of an "active" destination for listeners, not simply a Beltway "de-stresser." Make Al Santos the superstar he was meant to be.....

8/13 - Tom Davis (left), can you spare a few bucks for your constituents? MASN took out a full-page color ad in Sunday's Washington Post to thank Northern Virginia Congressman Davis and DC Councilman Jack Evans (among other politicos) for their efforts to get the sports network, which is owned by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, carried by area cable giant Comcast. As an area Comcast subscriber, you may want to ask the media savvy Davis (who is running for re-election this year) and Evans to help pay the $2 monthly rate hike facing you and the other 1,599,999 area Comcast subscribers for the privilege of seeing six months of Canadian football and Orioles "best-ofs" until the next Washington Nationals season in April 2007.....

8/8 - "There's gonna come a time when we drop the big one on a city. And that's gonna end it." That's a rather intense Andy Parks via a WMAL on-air promo. Jesus, Andy, chill! You're just the sidekick on a radio station morning show. Sheesh.....

8/5 - I took local film critic Willie Waffle's advice this morning on David Burd's WaPo Radio show and went to see "Little Miss Sunshine" at the Landmark Bethesda Row. And, dammit, if it wasn't the best and most hilarious film I've seen all year. Run, don't walk, to one of the handful of area theaters showing it. Wow. Give Steve Carell and Abigail Breslin (who plays the little girl) their Oscars right now. More at imdb.com.....

8/2 - Right now, my Comcast system in Northern Virginia carries 12 channels of HBO, plus an "On Demand" channel and a high-def channel. However, at the end of August, Comcast will be dropping five of those channels - all west coast feeds. So, if they'll be delivering 35 percent less HBO, will Comcast cut its HBO subscription rate? Nah.....

7/31 - On WMAL this morning they were debating who killed Jesus. And over on WTOP they were advising you to check your kids' urine. If it looks dark yellow and thick like apple juice they need to drink more fluids. I punched up Hot 99.5 for some bass-thumping relief from the blab. Ah, the dog days of summer on DC radio.....

7/24 - I didn't move to the DC area until the early 1970s. Before then, in my youthful years, I was glued to Philly's TV stations when my family lived in suburban NJ. And Sally Starr on Channel 6 was one of a colorful cast of kiddie show characters I watched. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ms. Starr is still around and in good health at age 83. Oh, stuffy old trade pub Radio And Records claims that it "first reported" news of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's purchase of the Norfolk area's WWHV on 7/19. Simply not true. Our sister site, VARTV (relayed via a DCRTV newsblurb), broke the news three days earlier.....

7/20 - Andy Parks wants the government to have the power to arrest people even if they're suspected of possibly committing a crime in the future. And Rush Limbaugh wants the media muzzled so that it can't criticize the current administration. Sounds like these guys ought to move their heard-on-WMAL shows to Russia where they'd fit in just fine.....

7/15 - Something is definitely wrong with this picture. This afternoon, everyone in the Washington DC TV market, whether they have cable or not, will have the freedom to watch the Baltimore Orioles play. The game's on DC's Channel 50. But tonight, the Washington Nationals will not be available on the DC market's TV airwaves or be able to be viewed by those 1.3 million subscribers connected to Comcast cable systems in DC, Montgomery, Prince George's, Arlington, Alexandria, Reston, or Prince William. For the sake of all Nats' fans, it's long past time to settle this incredibly annoying and disgraceful dispute. Sheesh.....

7/13 - Dear Citadel: I know you're going to make job cuts at news talk WMAL, which you're acquiring in that big deal with ABC. May I ask that you please put Andy Parks at the top of your "pink slip" list. Fred Grandy could easily handle 630's morning show on his own or with a "news guy" like Bryan Nehman. The rotund fuddy-duddy Parks gives me (and I'm sure many others) a serious headache. The steel doors of his mind have long ago slammed shut and there's no hope of prying them open. And Parks takes up valuable airtime from the multi-talented and debonair Grandy. Oh, please don't touch smooth jazz WJZW, but a shakeup at WRQX wouldn't hurt. Thank you for listening. God bless.....

7/10 - During the Grandy and Andy morning show, sometimes goofy news talker WMAL used Chris Isaak's "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing" to play behind news that more US soldiers are being charged with committing murders and other crimes in Iraq. Too often, WMAL's choice of music beds "beneath" news stories is distracting. And sometimes it's just plain strange. Sometimes, maybe, silence is appropriate. Sheesh.....

6/27 - There when you need it (right). At 12:38 PM Tuesday. At the height of several days of flash flood fun. Way to go WJLA....

6/27 - The new White House press secretary, DC-based former radio host Tony Snow, used to work for Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. And, as we all know, Murdoch hates the New York Times, which directly competes with his New York Post, which tends to feature front page "scoops" about "meaty" stuff like Brad Pitt's baby. So, now we have Snow leading the charge for Bush against the Times for reporting about a secret Bush program that attempts to monitor the funding of terror groups. Never mind that a bunch of other papers also reported the news. And never mind that someone employed by the federal government, and very possibly the Bush administration, leaked the classified information to the press. Rather than trying to "shoot the messenger," the very ethnically compromised Snow ought to advise Bush to take a good gander at his own White House staff.....

6/26 - Another installment of "Oh That Post." In my Metro section today, the weather report lists that "88.30" inches of rain have fallen, so far, at Dulles this month. It might seem like that much, with almost six inches alone yesterday, but I suspect the total is more like 8.3. And, the forecast local map grid is screwed up. Ocean City and Atlantic City are placed far out into the Atlantic Ocean, DC is down in southern Maryland, Hagerstown is in Loudoun County, and Virginia Beach is now in North Carolina. Oh, WMAL's new slogan is "Your Free Gas Station." Yes, the righty talker is great for free gas, but it's not the kind you get at the gas station. Unless you down a microwaved burrito from the Quickie Mart at your local Exxon.....

6/22 - Would someone please get WTOP afternoon driver Shawn Anderson some new glasses. Just before 4 PM Thursday, he proclaimed the stock market to be down "94." It was down only 54 and change. Down the dial, WMAL was running an "I'm Full" promo, in which men are revealing their news condition after listening to Fred Grandy's right-leaning morning show. A take on those Taco Bell ads. Ah, I think WMAL left off two words (one you can't say on the radio) from the end of that utterance.....

6/20 - What if, 35 years ago, my dad had said "no" to a job change that would have moved his family from New Jersey to Virginia. I'd probably have gone to Rutgers instead of JMU and stayed up north. There'd almost certainly be no DCRTV. And all the many thousands of people who've visited the site in the past decade would be spending their time elsewhere. Think of how many people's lives would have been transformed by small ripples causing huge changes. Just look at the automotive side of it, alone, involving the absence of DCRTV. Over the years, thousands, maybe millions of people would have arrived at intersections earlier or later than they actually did simply because they wouldn't have been spending that certain amount of time every day reading DCRTV. Think of how many accidents that could have been prevented or caused. Think of how many millions of people would have arrived at places - grocery stores or dentist appointments - minutes earlier or later and missed that "chance" encounter with someone they may have eventually married or later murdered. Think of how many people's lives would be different today if only my dad had only said "no" to his boss 35 years ago. And this is just one infinitely small "slice of time" we're looking at it. Try to imagine all the other seemingly insignificant ripples of out there - those ordinary day-to-day decisions we make many times each and every day. And how they play into the endlessly complex fabric of what has become "reality".....

6/15 - Over the years, many FMers in nearby places have become major players in the DC radio market. Take 106.7 licensed to Manassas (WEZR, WBMW, WJFK). Or 105.9 licenced to Woodbridge (WPKX, WCXR, WJZW). Or 99.1 licensed to Annapolis (WHFS, WLZL). Or 107.7 licensed to Warrenton (WTOP, WTWP). Well, what about 99.9 licensed to Frederick? Clear Channel's country WFRE gets killer ratings in Frederick but has never been a major player in the DC market as a whole. Perhaps Bennett Zier, the former Clear Channel suit who now runs Red Zebra, has a vision in which 99.9 could become a DC metro "local." With sports talk on a signal-tweaked FMer, it just might.....

6/8 - In Thursday's Washington Post, TV columnist Lisa de Moraes gives us something like two dozen paragraphs about how Rick Kaplan is out as head of little-watched NJ-based cable news net MSNBC. Apart from maybe a few dozen TV insiders inside the Beltway, do the vast masses of area TV viewers from Gaithersburg to Greenbelt, from Manassas to Upper Marlboro really give a shit? Nah. Yeah, I guess it merits a blurbish mention in the region's "newspaper of record," but isn't it about time the Post returned to the days of the great John Carmody (Lisa's predecessor) and started spending more time covering the wacky and wild word of local TV. Stuff like Jim Vance's contract talks, a possible 11 PM newscast at 5, and, heck, Holly Morris's hair extensions. As Daryl Hall sang it: "You're out of touch, you're out of time." And, as the Post's subscribers continue to say: "Adios, amigo".....

6/7 - Chris Core, repeat this several times: "I'm not a politician. I'm just a radio talk show host." I write this in response to this via 630wmal.com: "Stop by Beltway Chevron in Silver Spring this Thursday from 12 noon -1 PM and say hi to Chris Core. Pick up your free sign (right) for your place of business." I know, the AM 630 host is seeking to promote his late morning show. But, Chris, be careful. It's one thing to moderate a radio forum, even to take political positions, but you come dangerously close to alienating large chunks of your audience (not to mention the public in general) - I won't even get started on those nagging journalistic ethics issues - if you start making "personal appearances" to promote political causes and issues. It's one thing to report and comment on the news from behind the mic. It's quite another to "make" the news. That's a concept that your former radio talk buddy Michael Graham didn't quite grasp.....

6/5 - In Monday's more expensive (now 75 cents, at least in the DC area) NY Post, TV critic Linda Stasi hits the "Sopranos" nail on the head (again) regarding the latest disappointing season of the Mafia family drama. Also: In the NY Times David Carr wonders why we're seeing so little of the recent increase in Iraq war carnage in the American press.....

6/2 - It sounds like DC's manly WMAL is going after listeners in Baltimore. Old 630 is running a promo mentioning how "that other station" has dropped Rush Limbaugh. And that could only mean Charm City's mighty but fey 1090, WBAL. However, Baltimorons who love El Rushblow can probably better hear him on his new home market radio outlet - WCBM, which has a Viagra-powered 50,000-watt daytime signal on 680. WMAL's tower erection sports only a limpish 5,000-watts that, frankly, doesn't hold up in much of Baltimore.....

6/1 - Some big boomers were rumbling through the area on Thursday evening. So, I tuned in Doug Hill's ABC 7 Weather Now (via WJLA's digital signal) on Comcast 204. And what did I get? A trivia question about "Bonanza." A live shot from sunny Las Vegas. The Channel 7 program guide for tonight. A bunch of gibberish about WJLA's committment to childrens' programming. The local lottery numbers. A big mugshot of Jimmy Kimmel. A newsblurb about Frito Lay's potato chips. Baseball scores. Today's personal milestones (Happy Birthday Morgan Freeman). Something about the Panama Canal in "Today In History." And, guess what, even occasionally a glimpse of the local weather radar. Sheesh.....

6/1 - I went to a DC Examiner box yesterday - Wednesday 5/31 - to pick up a paper. However, the red container was filled with papers from Tuesday. Not Tuesday 5/30, but Tuesday 5/23. Advertisers, your "message" is not being delivered. And the freebie paper, which has been around for more than a year, still can't get its delivery shit together. And that's nothing short of pathetic.....

5/30 - This (right) is the actual size of the image on the front page of CNN.com today. There is no question that Natalee Ann Holloway is/was a beautiful young woman. But is the Alabama teenager's mysterious disappearance in Aruba one year ago today really worth the thousands and thousands of hours of cable "news" coverage over the past 365 days? At the expense of the thousands of other young girls and boys (not all so beautiful) who have gone missing across the USA in the past year? Judging by the ratings boost received by the likes of Nancy Grace and Greta Van Susteren, the answer is a resounding yes. Can we read something into the fact that CNN was using such a large image of Holloway on its site today? Something about Natalee's importance to the corporate financial "bottom line" of CNN owner Time Warner and the owner of Fox News Channel, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, in the non-stop rabid quest for ratings and ad revenue? Yes, I'm sure. And that's what make this whole issue so incredibly distasteful.....

5/24 - "Bryan and Andy without Fred Grandy." That's what Andy Parks jested this morning on WMAL. I have a better suggestion. How about Fred Grandy without Bryan and Andy? Now who could we pair Fred with? Great idea - someone else from the old "Love Boat" TV show, where Grandy was the purser. What about the ship's doc Bernie Koppell (who also played Siegfried on "Get Smart")? Or the captain, Gavin MacLeod (also Murray on the old "Mary Tyler Moore" show)? Isn't he a "born again" Christian? Perfect for MAL's righty target demos. Or what about bartender Ted Lange, and lending some "color" to MAL's too-pale line-up? Or what about a female voice from cruise director Lauren Tewes? That might be a welcome addition to W-MALE. Hmmm.....

5/19 - Before moving to the DC area in 1972, my family lived in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. And, in my youth, I was a big fan of Famous 56, WFIL. In fact, it's where Channel 4/WRC sports anchor George Michael got his start. Well, I read today that classic WFIL personality Long John Wade (aka Carl Wehde) has gone to the great top 40 radio station in the sky. The days of those cool AM hit stations, juiced up with reverb and killer jingles, are far behind us. And now we're losing many of the great radio personalities, too. A shame. Oh, the old WFIL and Long John Wade live on at famous56.com.....

5/18 - I hate to say this. But where do I find my morning radio dial tuned to in these post-Howard Stern days? Old 630. It's a default kind of thing. Look, there's nothing better to listen to, at least when it comes to talk. Grandy and Andy (right) are, frankly, boobs. But they're boobs with "personality." I like Mike Moss. He's a great guy and a wonderful journalist. But mornings on new talker WTWP are, well, dull. The friendly Moss interviews a bunch of party-line Posties about what they wrote about in this morning's paper. Time to hit the snooze button. Moss was just fine as WTOP's morning news reader. But on a talk station, he just doesn't cut it. Not enough "personality" - splash, fun, verve, controversy. WTWP can start to fix its morning show by replacing Moss with the funny and irreverent David Burd. And it would help to "mix it up" with talking heads from other newspapers and media outlets. But that might not sit too well with those "radio experts" at the pompous Washington Post.....

5/17 - If Taylor Hicks is the future, then the music scene is in serious trouble. And I want no part of it. I'll smash my radio, unplug my internet connection, and sink into a fetal coma with a pile of Gang Of 4, Clash, and early David Bowie CDs. Look, I don't get "American Idol." Never did. Waiting for great Hugh Laurie in "House," I sometimes catch the last few minutes of Tuesday's installment on Fox 5. This bunch of bad balady blowhards make the Partridge Family and the Monkees looks like top-flight maestros.....

5/15 - "My daughter was touching her pearl." That was heard Monday morning on the Junkies' outing on CBS Radio's WJFK-FM. A great show which discussed dealing with how to talk to your kids about sex. Frank and very funny. But - guys, guys, guys, guys - you better be mucho careful. Or you're going to have to write a $325,000 check to the feds and head off to the FCC's Indecency Prison where Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is going to throw away the key. Satellite-bound Howard Stern was right about one thing - those pompous pols and their "thought police" are ruining broadcast radio. It used to be certain words that got you into trouble. Soon, a thought or an idea will be enough. As long as George W. Bush takes away our freedom in small increments, no one will notice. Right?.....

5/14 - Anyone see the remade "Poseidon" over the weekend? I took a girlfriend (surprise!) to see it on the big screen at Fairfax Corner and, frankly, it wasn't half as bad as I'd feared. But I couldn't help drawing a radio analogy. The mighty Arbitron wave hits the USS WJFK-FM, flipping it over. Most of the passengers are toast. But a handful, including Richard Dreyfus (who looks amazingly like "you know who"), climb "up" through the bowels of the vessel and crawl out through the (Howard) stern of the ship onto the Sea Of CBS. Besides Richard's character, only Buzz, Peter, Pat, and one Junkie (JP) make it to safety. And, guess what, they get rescued by two helicopters, aptly named the "XM Opie" and the "XM Anthony".....

5/10 - It wasn't lost on us that "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads was being used as "bumper music" at 9:35 AM on Chris Core's Wednesday WMAL show. What was Core talking about? The overall availability of guns relating to the 18-year-old kid who shot up a Fairfax County police station on Monday, killing one officer and severely wounding another. A tasteless choice of music? Probably.....

5/10 - Yesterday, DCRTV reported rumors that Dan Snyder is talking to Salem about putting his Redskins on big-signaled 105.1, WAVA, this season. As we all know, Snyder recently purchased three area stations (two FMers and one AMer) but they all have significant coverage problems. And, as we all know, Snyder has burned his bridge to CBS/Infinity, which carried the team on WJFK-FM for the past decade. Snyder has also burned his bridge to Clear Channel by stealing a boatload of their execs, including DC radio czar Bennett Zier, for his new Red Zebra broadcasting arm. Plus, nabbing ESPN programming from CC's WTEM hasn't won him any Brownie points. And, the word is that Snyder, who hates the Washington Post, ain't about to do business with Bonneville, who's now in bed with the Post via Washington Post Radio. So, where does that leave Snyder if he wants to get his team on a full-powered signal in 2006? Radio One? It does have one "killa" signal in the DC market - WKYS. But would rap and the Redskins go together? Or how about ABC, which is being bought by the cheapskates at Citadel? The Redskins return to AMer WMAL? Or jump to smooth jazz and not-so-great-signaled WJZW? Or to female-skewing WRQX? That leaves Salem's Christian WAVA as his remaining radio "savior." Great FM signal. Will Snyder buy time on the station or buy the station? With the Lord on his side and a good Christian as coach, maybe Snyder's Redskins will go "all the way" this season. Let us pray.....

4/30 - If you turn to page A9 of Sunday's Washington Post, you'll find a picture (right) of Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine with six (count 'em) WTOP logos behind him. Was that the only picture the Post had of Kaine to run with the article? In fact, the caption indicated that the picture was taken "last month." Didn't the Post have something more recent? Or, perhaps, did that particular picture get picked because it was a "favor" to WTOP owner Bonneville, which is partnered with the Post via Washington Post Radio? This innocent little news "plug" could be seen by some as a further cheapening of the Post's journalistic standards. When you "jump into bed" with other area media organizations, you'd better be a little more "careful".....

4/27 - Did I miss it? I did a search of washingtonpost.com today and couldn't find anything on what WTOP reported yesterday (and covered in a DCRTV newsblurb). About how the union representing Washington Post employees has filed an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board regarding allegations that not all reporters who get interviewed on Washington Post Radio are getting paid for their "appearances." A big giant "hmmm".....

4/26 - Poor Peter Rosenberg, the late morning man on JFK-FM. Looks like he had to buy an ad on his own station's website.....


4/25 - NY Post TV critic Linda Stasi hits the nail on the head - this season of "The Sopranos" is f*ckin' horrible. After an attack on Lauren Bacall (playing herself) in the latest episode, "Who's next in line for an assault cameo? Carol Channing? How about breaking Kitty Carlisle's legs? Or taking Debbie Reynolds for a ride? And really, does Angela Lansbury still need her thumbs?" HBO ought to give its subscribers an across-the-board rebate for this season's Mafia soap opera slop. We had to wait two friggin' years for this? Shame on you, show creator David Chase. The first two seasons were non-stop brilliance, the next few seasons had their shining moments. But this one's dog food all the way.....

4/21 - So, Michael Hughes (right, actually actor Jeffrey Jones who is said to look like him), what are you going to do? Next week, the huge national publicity machine - free publicity, by the way - will be all over Opie and Anthony's return to broadcast radio. And where's WJFK-FM going to be? Sitting on the sidelines? It's time to be bold. In with the new and out with the old. Give us O&A live in morning drive. They still have a strong local audience base from a few years back, when they aired on JFK. Let the Junkies sleep in and do the afternoon shift. They've got a great show, but it's made for later in the day. Michael - the moment is here. And it may never come again. The USS WJFK is sinking, but the ship can still be saved. Drastic measures are needed now. Lock up young male demos in morning and afternoon drive. That's what advertisers crave. The publicity "wave" is approaching. Now, ride it to ratings success and record high revenue. Michael - be the CBS Radio "hero" you were meant to be.....

4/21 - Breaking news on WTOP this morning, in between all those sadistic little "teasers" about a possible gasoline shortage in our area: According to a podiatrist being interviewed, if you experience pain in your foot, the first thing you should do is to see if there's something like a pebble in your shoe. Duh. Oh, it would be nice if the on-air staff over there at WMAL would spend a little more time covering the visit of China's leader to the USA rather than cracking "who" jokes about Mr. Hu. The 630ers were having almost as much "fun" as Rush Limbaugh does mangling the names of black folks with African-sounding names. Tip-toe right up to that "racist" line, ah, but don't cross it. More radio to be proud of at MAL.....

4/20 - "I don't need a man sexually any more." A female being interviewed made that statement on Hillary Howard's late morning Washington Post Radio show on Thursday. Hillary promised "another show" to explore that issue. Hmmm. We're waiting.....

4/14 - Regarding the NY Times wanting to sell its Discovery Times Channel venture with the locally-based Discovery Communications (above newsblurb), why doesn't the Washington Post buy it? We now have Washington Post Radio, why not Washington Post Television, too? Programming would come cheap. Just televise WTWP radio. Then, Posties and Bonnevillers could become TV stars, too. David Burd on television! David Burd on television? Maybe not such a good idea. Nevermind.....

4/12 - There are two solid, undeniable "truths" about DC. Take it from someone who's lived here since 1972. First: This is an FM market. And, second: DC is not a great "sports town." Sure, we love our Redskins, especially when they win. And, sure, while there is a handful of rabid fans who worship the Capitals, the Wizards, DC United, and, now, the Nationals, white collar DCers are more interested in the federal budget and the race for the White House in '08. This is good news for Comcast and bad news for MASN. Comcast can pretty much hold out as long as it wants and refuse to carry the Nationals on MASN and the vast majority of DC area cable subscribers simply won't care. Oh, yeah, there'll be a tiny niche that'll bitch and moan, but most won't. Witness the couple dozen citizens who bothered to show up at that RFK rally for MASN a few weeks back. Witness the several thousand unsold tickets for the Nats' home opener yesterday. Witness the lackluster ratings the Nats generated on broadcast TV last season, and the fact that Channel 20's carrying only a few dozen games this season. The folks who run WDCA know they'll get better ratings with Tyra Banks and "Everybody Loves Raymond" reruns. Now if you want to make DCers mad, take away their C-SPAN and Federal News Radio - or close Whole Foods. Two words: Wonk Riot.....

4/11 - I was going to get all bent-out-of shape about Rush Limbaugh's charge Tuesday that yesterday's immigration reform marches were backed by "Commies." But then I saw in this morning's DC Post which claimed that President Bush's poll numbers are at an all-time low, despite Rush's never-ending cheerleading efforts. Hey Rush, whatever you're doing, keep it up.....

4/8 - A fable. There's a guy in Crabtown who distributes widgets (left) to both Crabtown and Wonkville. But, along comes another guy who plans to distribute his own widgets in Wonkville, potentially taking some business away from the Crabtown guy. So, the Crabtown guy strikes a deal with the Widget Association to handle the Wonkville distribution of the Wonkville guy's widgets. He knows the biz, right? He can be helpful, right? But, golly gee, guess what? The giant Widget Store, which has outlets in both Wonkville and Crabtown, won't carry the Wonkville guy's widgets because the Crabtown distributor is asking too much money and making unreasonable demands. Could the Crabtown guy be trying to control the distribution of all the widgets - in both Wonkville and Crabtown - to preserve the market share and profitability of his Crabtown widgets? Or is the Widget Store too much of a monopoly by trying to crush rival widget distribution on its own turf? And, lookie here, the Crabtown distributor is now threating to pull the widgets he distributes from the Widget Store's locations in Crabtown when the contract comes due next year. All of this leaves the poor widget-lovers in Wonkville, for the time being, with no Wonkville widgets at all. Giving everyone a pain in the belly.....

4/7 - DC-based Fox News Radio talker Tony Snow has developed a speech impediment. Every time he says an "s" it sounds like a "shhh." Oh, it might be jussht be that audio sschignal compresshion sscheme that XM Sschattelite Radio'ssh usshing.....

4/5 - Memo to Mike Moss, the morning man on the new Washington Post Radio: Please tone down the glowing praise of just about every Washington Postie who comes on the air with you. "That was a great piece in this morning's Post," and stuff like that. It's downright nauseating. And it makes WTWP sound too much like an infomercial for the rag.....

4/3 - CBS's classic rock WARW gets a 2.0 share for 17th place in the latest batch of DC radio ratings. So, it appears, with the "evolution" of Clear Channel's Big 100 to "classic hits," which is pretty much another name for classic rock, we'll have two stations waging war for that skimpy 2.0 share. These days, you don't hear too many people referring to the brilliance of Clear Channel's programmers. Now you know why. So, how will CBS respond to this attack? By taking WARW more in an adult alternative direction? How about a rebirth of the old progressive rock WHFS? Or maybe something completely different? Cerphe, Weasel, Schelby (and her husband), and those empty CBS suits over in Lanham - the ball's in your court.....

4/2 - With the Washington Nationals games now heard on Washington Post Radio, the Washington Post is probably very happy that Comcast isn't carrying the Nationals games via the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. If no cable TV deal is reached, that'll mean that 1.3 million area Comcast subscribers will have to tune to Washington Post Radio if they want any game at all. No MASN deal with Comcast equals better ratings for Washington Post Radio.....

4/1 - DCRTV's annual April Fool's Day gag:

Murdoch Buys WMAL - 4/1 - Rupert Murdoch (left) has made a deal with Citadel, which has already announced that it's buying ABC's radio properties, to acquire news talker WMAL (630 AM) to air Fox News Radio. And DCRTV hears that the entire local air staff, management, and news department will be dismissed during a "big meeting" slated for Monday, 4/3, the same day the new line-up goes into effect. WMAL will keep Rush Limbaugh at noon and Sean Hannity at 3 PM, but the rest of the day will be devoted to Fox News product. A relay of Fox News Channel's "Fox And Friends," featuring former Channel 4er Steve Doocy, will air in morning drive, followed by Tony Snow at 9 AM. John Gibson will air at 6 PM and Alan Colmes at 9 PM. "We needed a powerful DC outlet now that our former station, talker WMET, has changed format," a Fox Radio source tells DCRTV. Fox plans to flip 630 to the WKRM calls to honor its boss, whose real name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. Fox has received a waiver from the FCC to continue ownership of its two local TV stations - Channel 5/WTTG and Channel 20/WDCA - with the acquisition of the radio outlet.....

4/1 - Memo to WTWP: Put "Bonneville bad boy" David Burd on seven mornings a week, not just weekends. Fantastic Saturday debut show on WP Radio. A perfect mix of news and humor. Just what the DC radio dial needs more of. Memo to WMAL: Why the hell did you let Burd go? Sheesh.....

3/30 - First impressions. The first ad I heard on Washington Post Radio was for a senior-oriented housing community in Loudoun. Good-sounding station. Lots of news and talk. Solid journalism. Sounds like what you'd get if you took what public radio talkers WAMU or WETA-FM do and throw in a bit more local content, some ads, and lots and lots of plugs for the Washington Post. If I was 88.5 or 90.9 I'd be a bit worried. And, I do think there's a good chance that much of WTWP's audience will be coming from sister all-news WTOP. But I'd be breathing a sigh of relief if I was 630, as bad as WMAL is with the "Two-And-A-Half Stooges Morning Show." Listeners who want righty-charged propaganda aren't going to get it from WTWP. My guess is that the Post and Bonneville will need to perform some heavy-duty tweaking if they want to attract the under-35 set, which advertisers crave. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in a newspaper-backed long-form radio news talker in any other American market, but in wonk-infested DC it might just work. Now, which public radio station will "blink first"? When will WAMU or WETA-FM become DC's XPN? Now, that'd be cool.....

3/27 - So, on Monday, Rush Limbaugh went on about how the USA is becoming "less American and more Latin American." OK. Wouldn't it be funny if DC's Hispanic community started boycotting the advertisers of Rush's DC station, WMAL? Hmmm.....

3/26 - One of my pet peeves is when media organizations compare DC's stats to the stats from 50 states. Usually it involves a sensationalist article about how DC "leads the nation" in murders, poverty, or some other bad thing. On Sunday, the Washington Post, which should know better, did it again: "The District has the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the country." DC's figure of 179.2 per 100,000 was way more than the 39.7 of second place NY state, which includes large swaths of lighty-populated rural areas upstate. The Post is comparing a city to states, which are, overall, much less urban and have much more diverse populations. It would be more accurate if the Post compared DC's AIDS stats to other big cities like NYC, Chicago, and SF. But, then, the Post would have a bit more difficulty hyping the story.....

3/24 - Bulletin: I actually agree with Fred Grandy. This morning, the WMAL talker said that Fairfax County Police officer Deval Bullock should, at the very least, have to answer to a jury regarding the allegedly accidental shooting of an unarmed Fairfax man in January. Details in the DC Post. By not charging the cop - even with a lesser-degree manslaughter count - and requiring him to face a jury of his peers, it makes it seem as though the police department is above the law. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Horan's ruling yesterday to essentially sweep the matter under the carpet may have salvaged the career of a valuable member of the department's SWAT team, but, more importantly, it has damaged the collective reputation of Fairfax County's law enforcement officers in the eyes of many citizens.....

3/24 - Once again, I went to a red Examiner box on Friday morning (behind the Silver Diner in Reston) and found it full of Wednesday's papers. When will this freebie rag stop showing such contempt for its readers and advertisers? Is it that difficult for the Examiner to get its delivery sh*t together? Hmmm.....

3/23 - I got this e-mail this morning: "Thanks for tipping me off on Wednesday that I would be fired the following day." Jeez. Are DCRTV's Rumorama sources a little "too good"? I mean, we're getting the news about a firing before the "firee" does.....

3/22 - Listening to WTOP in the 4 PM hour the other day, I heard the happily upbeat, almost clownish David Burd jesting about the "March madness" basketball playoffs. He reminded me of a modern day Nipsey Russell, with a tad of Liberace mixed with Don Rickles. Then, minutes later, Burd, the former PGC and MALer, was followed by biz guy Barton Eckert whining and moaning about the slumping stock market. Downright Elmer Fuddish, with a hint of "Laugh In" regular Henry Gibson. That got me to thinking. How about pairing Burd and one-time Channel 5 news anchor Eckert as a radio team? Happy and sad. Upbeat and downbeat. Comedian and straight man. Funny and glum. The next Abbott And Costello? Laurel and Hardy? Harden And Weaver? The new "odd couple." If Bob Kur doesn't click doing afternoons on the new WTWP, I'd give the "Burd And Bart" team a shot. It'll be a big hit.....

3/21 - On his Tuesday show, Rush Limbaugh classified Bob Schieffer's "Face The Nation" Sunday DC-based political talk show as being "little watched." That CBS show gets 3 million viewers each week. That's more audience than most shows on the Fox News Channel get. So, are we to assume by that logic that Rush's buddies at Fox are "little watched," too? Hey, Rush, stop picking on the great Bob Schieffer. Bob's got more journalism smarts in the little toe on his left foot that you have in all the folds of fat on your gigantic flabby ass.....

3/20 - "Fox And Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade, subbing for Fox News Radio's DC-based talker Tony Snow, revealed that Snow wasn't on Monday's show because he's "on vacation or breaking a story." Well, Brian, would it be too much trouble to get off your fat ass and find out? Isn't that what Fox News is about - "the truth"? Ah, poor Tony. He's losing his DC radio outlet this week when WMET (1160 AM) drops a bunch of Fox Newsers for paid ethnic programming. Snow's late morning show can still be heard on XM and Sirius.....

3/16 - Today's DC Post shows the latest population estimates for the DC area. I live in Fairfax County, with more than one million other people, the most populous jurisdiction in the region. And yet, at night, I can get only a handful of local AM stations on my radio. WMAL and WTNT, and a very weak WTEM and WTWP (formerly WTOP). Forget about WMET and WWRC, and the Redskins' new WKDL. And just about everything else. As I've said before, those AM night patterns were formulated decades ago, when DC's suburbs extended to "way out" Bethesda and Falls Church. Today, how are people much "farther out" than Fairfax - in fast-growing counties like Loudoun (population 255,500), Prince William (population 348,600), and Stafford (population 117,900) - supposed to hear any of DC's AM radio stations? It's no mystery why the AM band in the DC area continues to hover near death.....

3/9 - Creepy overdose. Creepy conservative Brit Hume interviewing creepy conservative Ralph Peters about all the great stuff going on in Iraq today on creepy conservative Rupert Murdoch's Fox "News" Channel.....

3/6 - Remind me never ever to watch an Oscar telecast again. What a boring piece of crap last night's show was. A old "Star Trek - Next Generation" on G4 would have been more interesting. I haven't watched an awards show in ages, but I decided to force myself to watch this year's Oscars because I had seen all five "best picture" nominations. And, they were all great films. But, as luck would have it, my least favorite, "Crash," won the top banana. So what. Who cares. As for the show, I'm a big Jon Stewart fan, but he was rather flat. As was the show, which needlessly stretched out the hideously dull production numbers and filmed tributes to well past three hours. Never again. Sheesh. Tom Shales hits the nail on the head.....

3/2 - I tuned in WMAL at 7:10 today only to hear the three morning show clowns bloviating about the Clintons during one of those 20-minute ad-free zones. Come to think of it, I'd rather have heard ads. They'd be more informative and entertaining.....

3/1 - I tuned in WMAL at 7:10 today only to hear the three morning show clowns bloviating about W's foreign policy during one of those 20-minute ad-free zones. Come to think of it, I'd rather have heard ads. They'd be more informative and entertaining.....

2/28 - I'm sure that Bob Kur is a hell of a nice guy. And a top-notch NBC journalist, to boot. But I just can't see how an afternoon drive show hosted by him is going to make a serious dent in the ratings war on the DC radio dial. I still see talker WTWP, the Bonneville-programmed Washington Post Radio station, stealing listeners primarily from sister all-newser WTOP. Most NPRers are satisfied with WAMU and WETA-FM. Sean Hannity's righty faithful won't be turning away from WMAL. The balding guys who are addicted to SportsTalk 980 and WJFK-FM are going to stay where they are, for now, anyway. So, where's that new, youngish, increasingly "ethnicly urbane" audience that WTWP needs and advertisers crave going to come from? Bonneville and the Post need to attract at least some of those "young demos" who are listening to DC101, WPGC-FM, and Hot 99.5 to get on a talk diet on the drive home. Including women, blacks, and Hispanics. WTWP must do something hip, something edgy, something "MTV-ish" in PM drive. Something that isn't being done on the airwaves today - blazing a trail into the unknown. Bob Kur? To many potential WTWP listeners, Kur's old enough to be their father. Maybe these "young skulls full of mush" (as the flatulent Rush Limbaugh derisively calls them) should listen more to "dad," but that's not who they're going to want to "punch up" on their car radios.....

2/25 - A reader's comment about yesterday's Rant: "Psychotic despots filled with hate and rage will not stop their assault until all in their path is killed or dominated completely. Stand up to tyranny, look it in the eye and smash it like the cockroach it is. Nazi, al Queda, Taliban, Cossack, Southern Slave owner, gangbanger... a bully by any other name is still a bully. And, ALL bullies are cowards. Now, if the two sides want to engage in an idealogical civil war, you're right. It's time to step out of the way and allow the people that WE HAVE FREED to determine their own course by their own means....." My response: The bottom line, me thinks, is that there are two courses for Iraq - and both are bad. One - a brutal dictator (like Saddam) holds the three major religious/ethnic groups together as the artificial "nation of Iraq." Or, two - a bloody civil war breaks the nation into three (or more) parts. For reference, see "Tito" and "Yugoslavia." George W. Bush isn't a bad guy, but he and his foreign policy team are just not all that smart. The USA has become involved in a bad situation (a trap perhaps?) that we cannot get out of without creating a situation far worse than before we invaded Iraq. Unless Bush can get out of this very sticky wicket, history will judge him very harshly.....


2/24 - I was eating lunch at a local diner today, reading my stack of newspapers. As usual. And I came upon the above images. That's 30-year-old Al-Aribiya reporter Atwar Bahjat in her last television report from Iraq (left) and hours later (right) after she was found murdered. Killed by members of some rival religious group. I won't get into all of the specifics. But when I saw the pictures I felt like crying. You know, in between the car chases in LA, the latest endless roundtable discussion of that pretty teenage girl who went missing in Aruba last year, or some government scandal, we get the almost obligatory reports of "cleansed" carnage in Iraq. Six students killed. Four more "bad guys." A dozen US soldiers in a copter crash. More civilians. A hundred here, ten more there. Terrorists. Insurgents. US government "contractors." A bomb in a mosque. Or a village square. Sometimes reporters. But most of the reports don't seem to register. They're just numbers. Too often, no names or faces - no human beings - are associated with the onward march of headlines. If we do get pictures, they're often sanitized to show generic bodies in a hazy distance. So as not to take up little more than a few seconds in our collective consciousness before the next headline - with latest on "American Idol" or the Olympics. I don't know if that's because of some propaganda arm or just because of a way "too busy" news media. I never saw any of Atwar Bahjat's reports. I don't speak Arabic or watch Arabic TV networks. But her life and death images will remain in my mind as a haunting reminder of what's really going on over there. In human terms.....

2/24 - If DC101 or WJFK-FM or WMAL or WTOP (which is doing a radio deal with the Washington Post) put its local morning show on "administrative leave" earlier this week in preparation for a hot new NYC-based syndicated show, don't you think the Washington Post's Paul Farhi would have an article by Friday in the Style section about it? So, we wonder, why hasn't Farhi penned something on what's happening at WHUR? It's a major station with a big audience. Maybe Farhi's on vacation - and no one else can cover it? The news will wait, right? The Post's coverage of local media continues its mind-numbingly erratic course.....

2/22 - Two words for Randall Bloomquist: "Blaine Young." (See the WFMD Front Page newsblurb of 2/22.) Bloomquist left ABC talker WMAL late last year and now programs WGST, a Clear Channel talker in Atlanta. And, I'm sure, Bloomquist is looking for some controversial young talkers to populate his airwaves. Someone in the Michael "Islam Is Terror" Graham mode. And Young sounds like a perfect fit for WGST. The hot water generated by the Hitler comment and the apology could launch Young into the stratosphere of AM talk radio nationwide.....

2/21 - Hey, it's OK to use hallucinogenic drugs as long as you're attempting to "connect with God," the unanimous Supreme Court has ruled. So, are we heading back to the swinging '60s? More from AP.....

2/20 - Man, what a riveting morning show they got there on WMAL! I woke up just past 6 AM on this holiday Monday and flipped on old 630 and was treated to Fred Grandy doing an interview on America's seaports and who runs them. How fascinating! I quickly fell back asleep and didn't reawaken until after 8 AM..... So, Microsoft's Bill Gates is going to start charging we Windows users $50 a year to provide extra security for our computers. You know, if Gates didn't produce such a piece of crap operating system that's so ripe for hackers and data thieves, maybe we wouldn't have to pay extra for additional fixes (that never-ending parade of updates) and Microsoft's goofs. I think I dislike Bill Gates even more than I dislike Rush Limbaugh.....

2/14 - On his WMAL show today, Chris Core, talking about Dick Cheney's shotgun controversy, faulted the Washington press corps because it's always on the prowl "for scandal." OK, Chris, so isn't that what a reporter does? Look for news? And, yes, sometimes finding scandal? I guess what Chris wants is a press corps like Fox News - to do PR for the president and his administration. A whole army of White House butt-kissers like Carl Cameron. I will admit, Chris, that maybe it's a choice between two "evils." Still, I'd rather have a press corps that dishes out lurid scandal than one that feeds me government propaganda. Freedom of the press ain't always pretty.....

2/9 - Fox News host and lifelong Republican Neil Cavuto looked into righty radio talk titan Rush Limbaugh's limpid, longing eyes. And said, somewhat choked with emotion: "I love you, man." Responded a somewhat pouting Rush: "Dittos." The two hulking, powerfully rotund male beasts then embraced and kissed. A kiss that could span the ages. Never mind the conservative taboos of their collective pasts. To hell with the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells. This was lust, pure and simple. Solid passion. Rush, hot with desire, ripped off Neil's suit jacket and shirt to reveal the Foxer's heaving, sweaty chest. "I haven't had a good f*** in many many years," Rush whispered to Neil, almost tearful. Rush licked Neil's left ear. "My wives never knew how to please me," Rush moaned, "like you do." Neil simply emitted a basic, but knowing, grunt and put his well-worn hand on Rush's enormous ass, squeezing it so firmly. Neil and Rush then dropped to the ground and rolled over and over, ripping off each other's remaining clothes, expressing an urge so primal - yet, still, so forbidden. Radio And Records has more.....

2/7 - Another "proud" moment for WMAL: Rush Limbaugh's smart ass comments (a la stuff like how the Lord's Prayer was taking too much time) during televised coverage Tuesday of Coretta Scott King's funeral service. I know, as WMAL head Chris Berry would probably argue, the show's just piped in from Rush's mansion in Florida and MAL owner ABC has no control over its content. But, man, you really feel like taking a hot cleansing shower after listening to some of the trash on old 630, these days.....

2/5 - There's a new entry to DCRTV's Bad Ads Museum (BAM): Heard Sunday morning on WTOP radio. A quite stilted conversation between a mother and daughter discussing "dad's brain tumor" and a place where he can be treated and "be home the same day." (I guess that's important when you're being treated for such a major malady.) I don't know about you, but it just seems a little odd to hear so-called "last chance cancer clinics" hawking their services on area radio stations. Nice to see Bonneville generating ad revenue dough from something so incredibly dire..... Speaking of Sunday radio, was WJFK-FM operating its 106.7 signal on very low power? Man, I can practically see the tower from my location in Northern Virginia, and yet the signal sounded like crap - weak, wobbly, and hissy. Both at home and in the car. Ah, CBS's WJFK-FM: now a crummy signal to carry the crummy weekend infomercial programming (not including Pat "BG Products" Goss). They must really "love" their listeners.....

2/2 - Fifty years ago today - February 2, 1956 - two University Of Pennsylvania students left Philadelphia for Elkton, Maryland, to elope. When they found a regulation that would cause a delay, they continued southwestward to Winchester, Virginia. There they tied the knot. And, two years later, your DCRTV webmaster was born. Happy 50th wedding anniversary to my mom and dad. There will be some celebrating in Heaven tonight, I'm sure.....

2/1 - Although he's not on the ballot, DCRTV votes for Doug "Greaseman" Tracht as the new "Voice Of Metro" (see above newsblurb). Imagine this over the train's PA system: "Get your big fat tuckus away from the doors. They're closing." Or: "The train will remain stuck in the tunnel for five minutes, just enough time for some schweeeeet smoochin' with your seat partner"..... Hey, you can now get an "HD" receiver to listen to local broadcast digital radio for "only" $300. One manufacturer has dropped the price of a receiver from $500. Whoopie! (More from R&R.) Now, when the price drops to less than $100 let me know.....

1/31 - Did you know that Google keeps a record of everything you search for. So, you may want to think twice about searching for "teenage girls, bikinis" or "bondage, male." And, according to Tuesday morning's "Fox And Friends," former Channel 4er Steve Doocy is concerned, too. And he wants us to believe that lots of different people use the computer in his Fox News office, so he's not responsible for what's being added to the ever-lengthening list that Google has on him. Okay, Steve. We believe you. We really do. Ha ha ha.....

1/30 - Did Rush sound just a tad upbeat on Monday when he talked about the injury of some lefty US journalists in Iraq over the weekend? In yesterday's ombudsman column, did DC Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt sound just a tad pompous when defending his paper's potential conflicts of interest in its coverage of Nationals stadium talks in light of the paper's new radio station's deal to carry the team's games? Was that Bryan Nehman sneaking into Andy Parks' WMAL locker the other day to try on his "morning show radio shoes"? Will former WMALer David Burd be getting a plum prime time talk show gig on the new Bonneville Washington Post talker WTWP? Stay tooned.....

1/29 - In its regular Sunday "Road Trip" feature this week, the DC Post checks out Reston. But it neglects to put the DCRTV World Headquarters on the tour. We'd like to add something to the piece. Insert this as paragraph six: "As you travel north on Twin Branches Road, just before South Lakes Village Center, you'll see the impressive DCRTV World Headquarters rising on your right. Check out the front courtyard of the 25-story, art deco building, which features stone statues of many area TV and radio greats, including the recent additions of former WJFK General Manager Alan Leinwand and Channel 13 weatherman Marty Bass. The building features the 50-room Museum Of DC/Baltimore Broadcasting, Weasel's Classic WHFS Disco, JC Hayward's Wig Outlet, and a rooftop bar where, at night, you can see all of WTOP's broadcast towers - from Wheaton to Warrenton. Plus, you can sign up for a guided tour of the neighborhood, which includes the estate of WARW's Cerphe and the long-gone WOHN studio-transmitter site, now a cell phone tower and series of soccer fields".....

1/27 - "WTWP." Say that two times fast. Not so easy, huh. That's what the WTOP news anchor must have realized at 11 AM Friday when he voiced the "WPW, er, ah, WTWP" calls while doing the top-of-the-hour "WTOP Frederick, WTOP-FM Washington, WTWP Washington, WTWP-FM Warrenton" legal ID. DCRTV hears that DC's cops are going to start using the recital of WTOP's legal ID as a verbal test for suspected drunken drivers. Oh, we don't mean to suggest that the WTOP anchor had been drinking. But wait, there's more. At 1 PM Friday, WMAL mistakenly aired a Gold Bond itch powder ad as Tom Blaz was trying to do his local newscast, which he did manage to do after the ad ran.....

1/20 - Wow. It took two reporters - Barry Svrluga and Paul Farhi - to rewrite Thursday's press release from Bonneville that the Nationals will be carried on new Post Radio talker WTWP this season. And Friday's DC Post buried it way at the bottom of page E8 in the Sports section. Oh, in today's Style section, we learn in the radio listings that "The Politics Program With Mark Plotkin" airs live at 10 AM only on "WTOP-AM 1500." What, no mention of the new and improved 103.5? Or even the old and grunky 107.7? Gee, you'd think the Post would give its new media partner a little better coverage. But, then again, we all know the Post's "track record" with local media news. Oh, I checked the red newspaper box by Reston's Silver Diner Friday to pick up a copy of the DC Examiner. It was full of Tuesday's (!) papers. The paper's advertisers (fools) should make note of the Examiner's chronic horrid delivery.....

1/19 - Does anyone really want broadcast "HD Radio"? I agree that the music choices currently available on broadcast radio are pretty stinko. And even if you find a station you like, the are way too many interruptions from promos and ads. So many have turned to subscription satellite radio - XM and Sirius. For $13 a month, you get dozens of commercial-free selections of virtually any/every music format your little brain could desire. Or, you could do the iPod route and load up a "personal music device" with thousands of your favorite tunes and listen to them anywhere. Or try digital cable or satellite TV, which pumps dozens of ad-free music channels into your home, a la Music Choice. Or, the internet, which features thousands of music streams and podcasts, many free. So, why would anyone want to spend hundreds of bucks for a new car radio and/or home stereo to receive an additional music channel or two from some area radio stations? Look, many of us are already spending way too many bucks for way too many "media ad-ons" like high-def TV, Tivo, video games, DVDs, VOD and digital cable, and internet stuff like downloadable tunes and porn. Do we really need or want to spend more bucks for maybe a dozen or so digital broadcast radio music channels? Not me. Not unless there's something really special, like a resurrection of the old, free-form progressive rock WHFS.....

1/18 - WMAL "newsman" Bryan Nehman reported this morning that two of the actors who played brothers in the old "Brady Bunch" show will be playing gay lovers in a newer sitcom. He jested that it's part of a trend in which old TV show stars now play homosexuals. To which WMAL morning show co-host Fred "Love Boat" Grandy issued a "stern" denial that he won't be part of this "Brokeback" trend.....

1/17 - Listening to WMAL's 7:30 newscast this morning you'd think it should be titled "Oh Those Whacko Libs." Man, it featured every nutty thing any and every liberal said yesterday. The mayor of New Orleans claiming God set Katrina his city's way. Al Gore and his paranoia about "W" and wiretaping. How only "liberal Democrats" believe in global warming. And, oh yeah, the latest crazy thing the lefty ACLU did. I'm not saying that there aren't some comedic liberals out there, but even I could do a newscast featuring only the more bizarre things some righties say. Bryan Nehman - how about a little less "Dennis Miller" and a little more "news." Sheesh.....

1/16 - I agree with a 1/16 editorial in the Washington Post, which argues that DC's medical rescue workers bungled the case of longtime DC-based New York Times journalist David Rosenbaum, resulting in the fatally late diagnosis of his head injuries after being found in a daze following a mugging on a DC street two weekends ago. And, I agree with the Post about how an "independent review with full and complete disclosure of results" is needed. But, I wonder, would the Post be calling for this investigation if the person who was assaulted wasn't so well-connected, wasn't white, and wasn't assaulted in such a well-to-do northwest neighborhood? Does this kind of poor treatment by DC's emergency services personnel happen on a more common basis - all over the city? Maybe the Post needs to launch its investigation, too.....

1/13 - Twice in his Friday show's first half hour, Rush Limbaugh made mention of outgoing Virginia Governor Mark Warner. Rush, who's hardly ever mentioned Warner before, must have received the latest "marching orders" from "GOP Central" to start tearing down what many see as a top Democratic presidential candidate for 2008. In the upcoming months, let's see how El Rushbo paints the popular governor as an "evil whacko lefty".....

1/12 - Happy birthday to Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern! Both are somewhere in their 50s. I didn't hear Stern today since I don't have Sirius, but Rush wished himself congrats just as his show started. He then went on to describe as "offensive" and "odious" Teddy Kennedy, who, by common consensus, is the lefty version of Limbaugh himself.....

1/11 - Some WMAL notes. I do think that moving Chris Core to late mornings was a good move. He is one of the best talkers on the Washington radio band. And his show is local and very well done. Congrats to Chris, one of the best! Also, I love the overnight "Coast To Coast AM" show, which airs on WMAL from 1 AM to 5 AM. Last night, the discussion involved other-worldly creatures with human bodies and dog heads. I really wished that Grandy and Andy could have continued the discussion on their morning show. Oh, this afternoon Rush Limbaugh made some gay jokes about "Bareback Mountain." A Freudian slip? Come on Rush, come out of "the closet." How many failed marriages/relationships have you had with females? Too many to count, huh.....

1/9 - TOP & Post Deal: Fewer "Voices." Let's face it. WGMS is going to die. One of the last commercial classical radio stations in the country faces an aging audience and a corresponding lack of enthusiasm from advertisers. And the corporate entity that it is, Bonneville has realized that its powerful 103.5 frequency could be better profit maximized by relaying cash cow all-newser WTOP, instead. So, WGMS gets bounced to 104.1 and 103.9. Both signals transmit from the edge - not the center - of the DC area and don't provide the blanket coverage of the core metro that 103.5 does. OK, we realize this is a biz decision. There will always been Bach and Beethoven, but just maybe not on broadcast commercial radio. Classical music freaks will still have their records, CDs, the internet, satellite radio, and maybe even a public radio station or two. But what's kind of interesting in the past week is how little coverage the WGMS "imminent death move" has received in the press. Obviously, Bonneville isn't going to play it up. It looks bad to be murdering grandma's radio station. But what's interesting is how the Washington Post seems to be downplaying the news, apart from a short mention in a Paul Farhi piece last week. No screaming headlines in Style section moaning the demise of classical radio. No mass interviews with the Leisure World crowd. Something you might have expected in another day and time. It could lead one to the suspicion that maybe because the Post has "a hand in" the Bonneville radio frequency flip - a Post news talk radio service will be coming to Bonneville's 1500 and 107.7 frequencies in March - it doesn't want to share the blame for the eventual end of WGMS. Why not just downplay it. Yet, the Post is a "guilty party" in the decline of WGMS. Likewise, is the dominant local newspaper (the Post) going to give us "fair and balanced" coverage of Bonneville and its dominant local radio station (WTOP) now that it's jumped in bed with them? News pairing deals may be great for the corporate bottom line and increased exposure of "the brand," but maybe journalism will end up taking a back seat. Independence is a key component of freedom of speech - from the government AND from corporate entanglements. Perhaps a stand-alone INDEPENDENT all-news WTOP radio is better than one that's tied to the bureaucracy of THE major local newspaper. Don't be deceived. While there will be more "outlets" or "stations" or "channels," ultimately, there will be fewer "voices".....

1/9 - Random musings. On 1/9 I received in the mail my monthly January bill from Kaiser's HMO. It featured a 1/3 "invoice date" and a 1/1 "due date." Okay. Let's hope that Kaiser's medical services are a little less fucked up than its billing system is. And - I subscribe to one magazine: Wired. My January issue arrived in my mailbox on 1/9, about three weeks since I started seeing the issue on area newsstands. Way to go Wired. Paying subscribers receive the January issue only days before the February issue hits the newsstands.....

1/8 - Last summer, WMAL and one of its talkers, Michael Graham, were having on-air shitfits about the town of Herndon's plans to spend taxpayer dollars to build a "labor center" for mainly Hispanic men, many said to be undocumented aliens who don't speak English. These folks were gathering en masse in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, looking for day jobs, like yardwork and painting. Well, according to Sunday's Washington Post, the new labor center is, at least, a solid step to solve the problems of loitering and unemployment. The men are getting access to English lessons and help navigating the immigration maze. Oh yeah, Graham got canned in July and now works for a Boston radio station. You know, maybe, just maybe, WMAL isn't always "right." Score "01" for the "Liberals".....

1/7 - Here we go. Yeah, it's been a while. With Saturday's playoff victory, the DC area media is going to go hog wild for the Redskins. Wars, "bird flu," and Tom DeLay's troubles will take a backseat to Joe Gibbs and company. I remember back in the 1970s. My New York City area granddad visited the family in the DC area and, somewhat frustratingly after viewing a local TV newscast, wondered if the news media down here covered anything but the Redskins. That was back during the George Allen days. In a way, it's nice. Black, white, rich, poor, lefty, righty, inside or outside of the Beltway. There is one thing that unites us all - from Annandale to District Heights, from Leesburg to Waldorf, from Georgetown to Rockville. It's the Redskins. January '06. It's gonna be fun.....

1/6 - A first for your trusty webmaster. I acquired my very first Madonna album today. And I've been collecting records and CDs, and now digital downloads, since I was a wee lad who tuned into George Michael on Philly's WFIL, Famous 56, way back pre-Elton John. I caught "Hung Up" on MTV Hits yesterday evening and it blew me away. And, with today's crop of music, that hasn't happened in a while......

1/5 - I went to a DC Examiner newsbox on Thursday to see if the paper did anything on the big Bonneville radio switcheroo. But it was full of Wednesday's papers. So I picked up one and was surprised to see that sports columnist Jim Williams mentioned DCRTV. Thanks.....

1/4 - Bonneville's Blunder? It's kind of sad to see 2006 arrive with a whale of a potential blunder by Bonneville. Joel Oxley and Jim Farley's radio game of "musical chairs" today is only going to hurt classical WGMS - with a poorer signal and fewer listeners. It'll confuse WTOP's loyal audience, with the main "traffic, news, and weather" apparently getting moved to pretty much "only 103.5" by March. Will the creation of a Washington Post long-form news service on 1500 and 107.7 that will "compete" with 103.5 "cannibalize" WTOP's news ratings? And, more importantly, do we really want and/or need "more" of the Washington Post in our lives? I mean, we've got the newspaper and the website and their reporters all over the broadcast and cable TV dial. Do we really want all those Posties on the radio, too? All the time? Plus, the loss of musical Z104, which, face it, wasn't all that good of a station, will send many young demos to non-Bonnneville stations. I may be wrong, but I think that Oxley and Farley are taking a pretty big gamble here. One that could risk many of Bonneville's "chips" in the rather conservative (business-wise) DC radio market. Will the suits back in staid Salt Lake City profit from this Las Vegas-like move? I'm not a betting man, but I wouldn't bet on it.....

1/2 - Heard on WMAL. Aaron Donahue, a guest on George Noory's "Coast To Coast AM" show last night, claims that President George W. Bush is possessed by several "demons." And Bush doesn't even know it. So, I guess, if we hear it on WMAL it must be "the truth," huh? Ho ho ho. More at Donahue's website at ummo.cc.....

1/1 - Good morning. Rise and shine. It's the first day of 2006. Jump out of bed to witness a new year that promises so much "greatness" on area radio. The sophomoric Junkies replace Howard Stern. WMAL ditches local programming in afternoon drive and remains, stubbornly, largely white and male. Alt rock WHFS continues to be a gutted shadow of its former self with its part-time status on a Baltimore signal that doesn't reach DC. You still can't hear the cool progressive sounds of WRNR and WTMD on DC's airwaves. Way cool WTRI's Vegas Radio is a tough catch for most. WETA-FM sounds too much like fellow news-talker WAMU. Ron and Fez have gone to satellite. Z10Bore. The same old "shhhtick" for the Greaseman. All over the dial: so many ads, way too much clutter. Too much Larry Michael. No more Lopez. No more Freda. No more "BA." No more David Haines. Not enough Steve Rouse. Kiss Loudoun County's only radio outlet for local news and talk goodbye. Jack's just a hack. Stevens and Medley. Redskins Radio. Too tight playlists at Radio One. Is WOL still on the air? Where the f*ck is "Capital Radio"? 107.9 duplicated on 750 and 860 - why? Is anybody listening to C-SPAN Radio? Goodbye Jerry Phillips. On second thought, go back to bed. Pull the covers up over your head. And hope that it's all just a baaaaad dream.....

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