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Rants from January to December 2008.....

12/29 - Your friendly webmaster has chatted with some local radio and TV gurus who gave us their forecasts for the next year. What we're hearing ain't good. Lots of layoff and budget cuts in the broadcasting biz both in 2009 and 2010. At historic, never-before-seen levels. Several local AMers will go dark, especially those stations who find that their transmitter site real estate is worth more than they are. Three local radio owners are set for meltdowns - Citadel, Nassau, and Clear Channel. Look for substantial sales, with Citadel possibly pulling out of the DC market. Look for Bonneville, which doesn't rely on credit financing, to make a major expansion in DC, Baltimore, and possibly even Philadelphia. We're told that Bonneville could pick up Clear Channel's WBIG, CBS's WLIF and WWMX, and Citadel's WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW. Satellite radio is in for a very rough year, although Sirius XM shark Mel Karmazin could defy the odds and keep his recently-merged firm afloat with a skeleton staff. No such hope for iBiquity's HD Radio, which will probably go the way of AM Stereo. Most-likely local radio format change candidates: WBIG, WTGB, WJFK, WLZL, WQSR, WCHH, WJZW, and WAVA. On the TV side, massive local cuts from NBC, Fox, and Gannett. Some replacement of local newscasts with syndicated programming. More infomercials, even during top-viewing hours. Might slumping Gannett put 9 up for sale? We already know that NBC is quietly shopping 4. Might CBS buy or trade for 4? Might 5's owner Fox sell 20 and buy 9? Could DC lose one of its four local TV news operations? We're hearing that the February digital TV switchover will be a huge fiasco, with many thousands of local TV sets going dark, and a significant loss of audience - particularly in the inner city and fringe reception areas - for the already slumping local stations. Look for big cuts at cable TV firms as customers cut back their level of services with the slumping economy. So, guys and gals, time to hunker down. Think 2008 was bad? It's going to get much rougher out there. 2009 will be a "game changer," we're told. The broadcasting biz will be a different beast when it's all over. "Happy New Year".....

12/26 - I hear that CBS Radio DC honcho Michael Hughes went to bed on Christmas Eve, and was visited in his dreams by the ghosts of Jake Einstein, Frank Zappa, and Root Boy Slim who commanded him to restore the heritage progressive rock WHFS on one of CBS's local FMers by David Bowie's birthday on January 8th. On 94.7 or back to 99.1? Hughes awoke to find Ian Dury's "Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part Three)" playing on his bedside clock radio. Hmmm. Better do it, Michael. You don't want "the universe" against you. Happy Holidaze everyone!.....

12/25 - Yeah, it's another Christmas. I kinda stopped "celebrating" Christmas in 2004 after my ma died. With both parents gone, all four grandparents gone, me single and no kids, I just kinda find this particular holiday kinda depressing. Kinda "hammers home" the losses, you know. Yeah, I still got family. A sister and her two kids, and one of those kids with kids. They're all local and I see them many times during the year. But, when I get together with the family at Christmas, I come away kinda "blue." So, last year I changed things. I started a new "personal tradition" - "going out" with friends on Christmas. No gifts, no cards, no Santa stuff, no candy canes. My friends are kinda like me, grown tired of all the "hoopla," both familial and capitalistic. Surprisingly, there are quite a few restaurants open. And it's a big day for movies. I find the less "up" I get before Christmas, the less "down" I get afterward. Yeah, I "play down" the holiday and "get through it." So, if you still like Christmas, great! But if you're kinda like me, don't feel so bad on 12/25 - 12/26 will be here before you know it.....

12/22 - DCRTV hears: "Last Thursday, all of the managers at WRC left at 5 PM for 'a meeting outside of the building.' Turns out it was a holiday dinner for managers only, nothing for the staff. This in the wake of layoffs and buyouts on Nebraska Avenue. Also, Nissan has cancelled their sponsorship of the 11 PM "Nissan Sports Desk" due to the bad economy after only three months. The Nissan contract was to last a year, netting WRC close to a million dollars".....

12/22 - CBS has four major FMers in the DC market. And in the latest PPM radio ratings it was urban WPGC in 15th, Spanish WLZL 16th, classic rock WTGB 20th, and guy talk WJFK 21st. I think it's fairly obvious that we'll be seeing "big moves" from CBS Radio/DC in early 2009. Format changes? Station sales? Could be quite huge. Stay tuned.....

12/19 - That mysterious two-day suspension of DC101 morning man Elliot Segal last week. Could it be because Elliot joked about running over the station's general sales manager with a bus the day before he got yanked off the air? "Baiting a listener into killing a fellow co-worker and then expressing joy in the thought of their death probably didn't go over so well," Josh at show fan blog EITMfans wonders. DC101 owner Clear Channel has remained silent about the incident.....

12/18 - DCRTV hears that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski did their radio show from WMAL's Jenifer Street broadcast complex today. Could that mean that the DC Citadel talker is giving serious thought to running the new "Morning Joe" radio show in late mornings? Like WMAL's NYC talk sister, WABC-AM? Stay tuned.....

12/17 - Nevermind that his old (now defunct) 3WT (previously Washington Post Radio) radio show didn't garner the ratings gold he'd hoped, longtime Washington Post sports columnist and ESPN "Pardon The Interruption" co-host Tony Kornheiser (left) now says that he won't return to local radio until he steps away from the football broadcast booth at ESPN's "Monday Night Football." He tells Dan Levy's On The DL podcast: "I mean, I don't want to yo-yo. don't want to do it five months on and six months off, or five months on and seven months off, whatever the math is... I'm not gonna do radio until I can do radio forever. There is no radio as long as I'm doing football, though I'll happily be a guest on anybody else's radio show whenever they want me.... If I'm doing 'Monday Night Football' I can't take a paycheck from (Redskins owner) Dan Snyder (who owns ESPN 980)... But it also seems to me troubling that if his company owns the radio station and I'm employed ostensibly doing commentary on the National Football League teams, how can it not be a conflict?" For the past few years, Kornheiser had been doing his local radio show from January to June, leaving from July through December to do his "MNF" duties.....

12/17 - Titanic righty radio talker Rush Limbaugh (left) revealed today that he was missing from his national show on Tuesday, heard locally on WMAL, WCBM, and WFMD, because he was in DC attending a White House Christmas party with President George Bush and other GOP biggies. With Barack Obama and the Dems taking over in January, Rush added that he seriously doubts that he'll be invited back to the White House in the "foreseeable future... other than for an interrogation"......

12/16 - DCRTV first tipped you yesterday. And now it happens. Baltimore radio veterans and one-time WERQ morning partners Marc Clarke (right), who recently got canned from Radio One's WERQ, and Troy Johnson (left), who recently got canned from CBS's WHFS, are back together on the internet. The two have kicked off a new blog - "Troy And Marc Off The Mic" at baltimoresun.com. Writes Clarke in one of his first posts: "A few days after America did something I did not think would happen in my lifetime - elect an African-American president - my employer did something that I had been waiting on for a few years: Fired me. People always ask me was I surprised and the answer to that question is no. They also ask me am I mad or bitter and the answer to that question is also no. In the nine years I worked at my job I made a lot of money, touched a lot of people, had fun, started a family and probably grew up a little." Look for a podcast and video coming soon.....

12/16 - A DCRTVer tells us: "Elliot (right) referred to his days off last week as that 'stupid suspension' on the air this morning... What happened at DC101? Why was Elliot apparently suspended for two days? Why does Clear Channel, or whoever is trying to run DC101, suspend their biggest, most popular personality for two days? Why suspend your morning drive DJ for two days? What's going on over there?" Clear Channel suits, who never talk to DCRTV anyway, remain silent about Elliot Segal's mysterious absence last week. The morning man says via his show's website at eitmonline.com: "Thursday and Friday, I was kicked off the air. Part of my being kicked off the air and suspended and then being allowed to come back in here today was that I can't say why." One listener tells DCRTV that the suspension could be because of a "Holocaust" joke recently made on the show. More as we hear it.....

12/16 - CBS Radio local sources are shooting down a flurry of new rumors we got late Monday that guy talker WJFK might soon flip to sports talk with a whole new line-up. The station's seen its ratings dip with the new preliminary Portable People Meter electronic radio ratings, which debuted in the DC market in September. The way DCRTV's reading it is that the local CBS Radio suits like the Junkies (right), Big O and Dukes, and Mike O'Meara and want to give the current line-up another PPM chance when the official electronic numbers are unveiled in January, with a new 106.7 antenna in place. However, CBS Radio's NYC suits may not be as patient. They've already flipped FM guy talkers, the last remnants of the old post-Howard Stern "Free FM" outlets, to sports in Baltimore, Dallas, and Detroit.....

12/15 - Where in the world is Bob Sellers (right), a morning news anchor at Fox's Channel 5/WTTG who got "let go" in July? DCRTV hears that he's now working as an investment consultant for a money manager in NYC. We're told that Sellers, a high-profile anchor who jumped to DC's Fox5 from sister Fox News Channel, saw the non-renewal of his contract as a news budget cut, despite rising AM ratings with him, Tony Perkins, and Alison Seymour in place. By the way, DCRTV hears that Sellers' departure will not be the last cut at Fox5, with a number of additional on-air and behind-the-scenes pink slips coming in early 2009.....

12/15 - So, Clear Channel is picking up WQSR from CBS. And what format is missing from the Baltimore radio dial? A full-blown contemporary hit format like what CC runs in DC via Hot 99.5. Looks like a likely bet for Charm City's 102.7.....

12/14 - On Inauguration Day, 1/20, the Washington Post will run a special "Welcome To The White House" section to celebrate the new president, Barack Obama. And it's accepting classified-type line ads from readers at $10 for two lines. However, WMAL listeners be warned. According to a full-page color ad on A28 of Sunday's Post, "Ads must be congratulatory in nature... The Washington Post reserves the right to edit, revise, or rejected any notice".....

12/14 - Sports media columnist Jim Williams at dcexaminer.com: "It is time for the Nationals to move to WJFK-FM 106.7 and make them their flagship station. The CBS radio outlet could serve the team with plenty of promotion on all of their shows during the day. Players and management could appear on the programs and the marketing of the team could be front and center. The station has been good for the University of Maryland as well as Virginia sports. It certainly would be an upgrade from WFED. WJFK-FM can make a great partner for the Nats. They have the demographics - men 12 to 34 - which is just the audience the team is looking for in a flagship station".....

12/10 - DCRTV hears that Kevin Klose, former president of DC-based National Public Radio, could very well soon be named dean of the Philip Merrill College Of Journalism at the University Of Maryland.....

12/10 - DCRTV hears that Alan Hay, who was vice president and general manager of alternative rock WHFS from 1988 to 1995 and the Ravens Radio Network from 1996 to 2001, has been named the advertising sales director for the Catholic Standard newspaper of the Archdiocese Of Washington. Since 2005, Hay served as the director of advertising networks for the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association.....

12/10 - The National Associaton Of Broadcasters recently backed a plan to hike the power of digital "HD Radio." Why? Because the power levels of HDR signals are so low that you can't hear them reliably on HDR radios more than five or 10 miles from a station's transmitter. Here in Fairfax County, it's tough to hear all of the DC area FM HDR signals, forget the HDR signals from Frederick, Winchester, or Baltimore. But, the reason those HDR signals are so low is that they produce an audible "buzz" on regular radios on either "side" of a station's analog signal. And that noise can make it difficult to listen to more distant signals. For example, the buzz on DC's 101.1 can black out signals from 100.7 to 101.5 in some parts of the metro area, making it impossible for some to hear analog stations from Baltimore and Fredericksburg. Clearly, it was a mistake for the FCC to approve a plan years ago to clutter the FM band with digital signals. However, it's obvious that the NAB is not terribly concerned with radio's listeners. It's marching to the tune of a small band of corporate interests. Perhaps, it would be better to "start over" with American digital radio to give it its own band somewhere else, separate from the 88-108 FM broadcast band, as is being done in the UK and other nations. One interesting plan calls for the allocation of the 76-88 FM band segment (now currently occupied by analog TV channels 5 and 6) for the exclusive use of digital radio signals. The FCC must not let HDR interfere even more with reliable analog FM radio reception.....

12/9 - CBS Radio is down to only two non-sports-oriented FM guy talkers - the DC area's WJFK and LA's KLSX. Just today, CBS flipped another remnant of the old "Free FM" post-Howard Stern FM talkers to sports talk - Dallas's KLLI. Coming not long after it ended the guy talk format in Baltimore - then WHFS, now sports talk WJZ-FM, 105.7. With a like move in Detroit, too. Don't forget, CBS previously replaced the guy talk format in NYC and Philadelphia with restored rockers. With WJFK's less-than-impressive Portable People Meter radio ratings, and lack of a strong FM sports talk outlet in DC, could the Nation's Capital be next in line for a CBS FM sports talker? Heck, the morning Junkies could easily go back to their original Sports Junkies slant. 106.7 FM, WJFK, already runs University Of Maryland and University Of Virginia sports. UPDATE: A mysteriously planned recent meeting of CBS Radio's DC and national suits was a hot topic on Tuesday's Mike O'Meara afternoon show on WJFK. Stay tuned.....

12/8 - OK, so media giant Tribune may file for bankruptcy protection (see our Sunday newsblurb below). And what if it decides to sell some of its TV properties to raise some much-needed cash? Who would buy Tribune's DC TVer, Channel 50/WDCW? Channel 4/WRC owner NBC? Nah. NBC is looking to dump many of its stations and WRC is reportedly on the market. Channel 5/WTTG owner Fox? Nah. Fox already has two TVers in DC with Channel 20/WDCA. Fox would be more interested in buying another DC VHFer and ditching 20. Channel 9/WUSA owner Gannett? If we weren't in an economic slump, it might be a real possibility. Slumping Gannett does own TV duopolies in other markets, but credit's tight right now for a major purchase. How about Channel 7/WJLA owner Allbritton? Hmmm. Now there's a real possibility. Since JLA is Allbritton's flagship, the addition of 50 could cement its dominant foothold in DC with its added ownership of NewsChannel 8 and the Politico. What would Allbritton do with 50? Keep it an indie or CW affiliate? Maybe. Put currently cable-only NC8 on the broadcast band? Maybe. Start up a Spanish language station? Maybe. Could someone from out of the market eye 50? A religious network, perhaps? Maybe another major network like ABC or CBS? Stay tuned.....

12/8 - Over the weekend, DCRTV told you that Channel 7/WJLA was planning to launch high-def local newscasts today. Well, it seems that the takeoff was somewhat aborted. A local viewer tells us: "WJLA completely botched the HD launch at noon. The HD signal did not work for the pre-show tease or the show open, after some scrambled video, the standard-def video was used. Then about three minutes into the show, there was no video at all for several minutes, just a black screen with the time and temp logo and audio. After the first commercial break, squeezed HD video with wings was on for a couple of minutes, finally the HD signal was found, but no audio for the rest of the block. About 12:20, they did manage to get audio, but it was with an echo which lasted until the end of the show. Let's see if they can manage to get it on clean for the 5 PM show".....

12/6 - I enjoyed watching Citadel-owned WMAL honcho Chris Berry on Saturday evening's Chris Core-hosted "Weekend News" on Channel 50/WDCW. And, yes, I do agree with Berry that a re-imposition of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" would be wrong. The government, including the Federal Communications Commission, should not be in the business of regulating program content on radio and TV stations - period. I've said it before, and I just said it again. But, maybe we wouldn't even be having this discussion if radio management suits like Berry (who canned longtime MALer Core earlier this year) made a half-assed attempt to have some sort of diversity of opinion on their stations. Take WMAL. Every single talk host on the station, from 5 AM to 1 AM, is a middle-aged or older white man who leans to the right. No women, no blacks, no lefties. Perhaps, instead of foolishly asking the government to regulate which opinions should be heard on 630, listeners should instead take the issue to WMAL's local advertisers. If WMAL's sponsors start to bitch and pull their dollars, you can damn well be sure that Berry will jump.....

12/5 - Baltimore radio sports talk host Anita Marks (right) shoots down rumors that her move to co-host afternoons with Scott Garceau on the new sports talk WJZ-FM (105.7) is a demotion. "That's the way people perceive it because I'm in the second chair, but it's equal billing," Marks tells Ray Frager at baltimoresun.com. "It's perceived as a step down for me, but that's not the case at all." She also shoots down rumors that she and Garceau don't get along. And as for rumors that she'll soon be off the air? Her contract runs through the end of the Ravens season, she said, and CBS station management has been talking to her agent about a new deal. "As far as I know, they'd like me back," Marks adds, "and I want to come back".....

12/5 - "I have two different birth certificates with two different names on them." Citadel's WMAL late morning host Chris Plante, talking about his own situation during his Friday show. Which focused on the possiblity that Barack Obama's Hawaii birth document is invalid and that the president elect is not a US citizen.....

12/4 - DCRTV hears from a source at 1801 Rockville that the morning man at 97.1 was almost about to make a donation to DCRTV until - oooops - he read this morning's jestful rant about how Cheap Channel could cut either Loo or Lori from the morning show to save some dough. How many times have we heard that one: "I was just about to make a donation to DCRTV until I read (such and such)." Pleeeeease. Hey, we love you Loo, but maybe not quite as much as we now love Jack. Although, we've never gotten a "lawyer letter" from Loo..... Talker WMAL is running an ad for a product that will remove up to 25 pounds of "spackle-like" crud from one's intestines. Aired during Rush Limbaugh's show. Yeah, WMAL is the perfect place to advertise that product, doncha think..... Oh, newser WTOP is calling itself both "Your Bailout Station" (regarding an economic bailout contest) and "Your Inauguration Station." Isn't there an FCC rule that prohibits a station from calling itself more than one of "your" stations at a time. Hmmm. Ha ha ha.....

12/4 - The radio industry is in big trouble with the slumping economy. I was tuning up and down the local radio dial and figured that many on-air personnel cuts could be made - and listeners probably wouldn't even notice. Take WASH. Why have both Loo and Lori in mornings? Loo alone would be fine. How many people does it take to announce Christmas tunes? Actually, Loo probably makes more than Lori, so maybe it would be better for Cheap Channel, er, Clear Channel to cut him and keep her. Likewise at the classic rock Globe. Do listeners really need DJs to tell them that they're listening to some overplayed band like Queen? We really don't need Marci to talk up "Bicycle Race." CBS doesn't have DJs on Baltimore's oldies Jack, why on the Globe? Over on WJFK, do we really need four Junkies. Would listeners really notice if there were only three? Or even two! And what about firing either Chad or Oscar and add midday co-host to Robb's duties? Does DC101's Elliot really really need Flounder? Over at WMAL, dumping Andy Parks and having Fred Grandy and Bryan Nehman as co-hosts would actually improve the show. At Hot 99.5, keep Kane in mornings, minus a few crew members, but have syndicated Ryan Seacrest run over and over and over the other 20 hours of the day. Would anybody really notice? Clear Channel could easily get rid of alt rock 104.3 in Baltimore and plug in DC101's audio. Ditto with country WMZQ on Baltimore's 93.1 in place of WPOC. How about making it "The Sports Reporter" (singular) on ESPN 980?.....

12/4 - DCRTV hears that DC rock radio veteran Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert (left) will be doing a very special "The Weasel Who Stole Christmas" holiday music special on classic rocker WTGB, the Globe. On Christmas Eve from 7 PM to midnight. Within 94.7's special classic Christmas programming from noon Christmas Eve through Christmas day. You'll recall that Weasel hosted his rockish Christmas music special on the old progressive/alt rock WHFS in the 1970s and 1980s. Look for "Run Run Rudolph" by Keith Richards and Chuck Berry, the Beatles' Christmas messages, plus Christmas and Chanukah parodies from the likes of Bob Rivers, Adam Sandler, Stan Freeberg, Weird Al Yankovic, Spike Jones, and Dr. Demento.....

12/2 - Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com mentions DCRTV's rumor yesterday that all-news WTOP-owner Bonneville is looking to expand its radio presence in DC, and that a swap between it and CBS and/or Clear Channel may be in the offing. Taylor speculates that CBS could swap its two LA AM newsers, KFWB and KNX, for Bonneville's KSND-FM, which was recently purchased from the DC area's Radio One. "If CBS could somehow add another FM (in LA), then Bonneville's long-rumored interest in the Washington DC and/or Baltimore markets could lead to a mutually agreeable swap. Clear Channel is also rumored - by DCRTV, among others - to be motivated to lighten up its own holdings in DC and/or Baltimore. One thing's for sure - Bonneville's Bruce Reese loves considering deals, especially swaps. He swapped out of LA once before, and Bonneville's the only big-market group with the financial capacity to swing deals right now. Bruce surely senses great opportunity in today's markets".....

12/2 - DCRTV hears that WMAL/WRQX/WJZW owner Citadel is not only capping vacations at 2 weeks for all employees - except those with a personal services or union contract, it is also taking away free parking at its Jenifer Street DC broadcast complex. Beginning in January, all employees will have to pay $125 per month to park. Shouldn't be a problem for WMAL Program Director Paul Duckworth, who doesn't own a car, we're told. Citadel is facing a severe cash/credit crunch and could be selling some of its stations in 2009, we hear.....

12/2 - "How can you avoid... WMAL news..." Heard on WMAL at 12:02 PM today. Apparently, someone running the board at the DC talker mistakenly punched up an ad from local financial guru Ric Edelman ("How can you avoid the lies about money?") which got cut off in mid-query, just as newsman Mark Weaver started 630's local newscast.....

12/1 - DCRTV's already told you that CBS Radio is trying to sell its five Baltimore stations and that WTOP-owner Bonneville is interested in picking up possibly WLIF, WQSR, and maybe even WWMX. But, now, we're also hearing that the CBS-Bonneville deal could also involve the sale or swap of both firms' stations in other markets. CBS has announced that it's selling a batch of stations in middle and small markets. However, DCRTV hears that the agreement could still be a ways off - like summer 2009. We're also hearing that, while Bonneville wants the Baltimore stations, it wants more DC stations even more. And will wait to see if Clear Channel and Citadel, both of which are facing serious financial issues in 2009, might be selling some of their DC properties. The former has been rumored to be putting WBIG on the market, with talk that the latter, which owns WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW, could pull out of the market completely. Also interested in picking up some more DC stations? CBS. Even though it's selling its Baltimore stations. Stay tuned.....

12/1 - DCRTV hears that DC radio veteran Don Geronimo's Great Falls VA home recently sold for $1.22 million, below the $1.399 early November listing price. Geronimo and his late wife Freda bought the house in 1992 for $645,000. Geronimo, who retired in April from his long-running afternoon show on WJFK, has said he plans to relocate to a residence he owns in Ocean City MD.....

11/29 - This Thanksgiving, DCRTV's held its first "Who's The Biggest Turkey In Local Radio And TV" contest. Voting took place Wednesday through Friday - and the winner was WJFK afternoon man Mike O'Meara (right) with 25 percent of the approximately 1,500 votes cast. Coming in 2nd was ESPNer/Washington Postie Tony Kornheiser with 13 percent. Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael received 9 percent for 3rd place, while his boss, Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who also owns ESPN 980, took 4th with 7 percent. Taking 5th place with 6 percent of the vote were WJFK middayers Big O and Dukes. Tied for 6th place with 3 percent of the vote each were WMAL morning man Andy Parks and CBS Baltimore radio exec Dave Labrozzi. Tied for 8th place with about 2 percent of the vote each were FCC head Kevin Martin, Sirius XM head Mel Karmazin, CBS Baltimore suit Bob Philips, and WJFK's morning Junkies. Rounding out the final 26 percent of votes cast were several dozen other local TV and radio personalities, each receiving less than 1 percent of the vote. Due to space considerations, we won't list all of their names. Thanks for voting. And stay tuned for our second annual "turkey" contest next Thanksgiving. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity.....

11/29 - "He's Jack Bauer. He's everyone's hero." So proclaims Fox5's Tony Perkins in a currently-running WTTG promo, which aims to benefit those real anti-terror "heroes" who don't get so much media hype. Ah, Tony, "Jack Bauer" doesn't really exist. He's played by an actor. "24" is only a TV show. Time for a "reality check" for Mr. Perkins.....

11/26 - DC's Ted Koppel divorced yesterday from DC's Discovery Communications. So, where does DC's Post get its Wednesday article (page C7, not on its website) from? Ah, LA's Times. Those buyout cuts are showing..... "Joe The Plumber" has partnered with a website to make videos about how to hook-up digital TV converters. That's right. Got a TV problem? Call a plumber. Sheesh..... How about the classic rock Globe getting former morning man Weasel to do an HFS progressive rock holiday flashback show on 94.7 on Christmas Eve? Oldsters will remember Weasel's wonderful rockin' Christmas shows on the old freeform WHFS back in the 1970s and 1980s..... Oh, rotten old Borders is reporting a $175 million loss in the latest quarter. You know, put newspapers behind the counter and readers will go to Barnes And Noble to browse the news, instead. Inept retailers like Borders, who treat their customers with penny-pinching contempt, deserve to suffer in the slumping economy.....

11/25 - From today's "Pop Culture" Q&A at washingtonpost.com: Washington DC: "Any word if Tony Kornheiser (left) will return to radio after this year's 'MNF' gig is up? With no obligation to the Post, he's free to go to Red Zebra without any conflicts of interest if they'll have him, besides it's affiliated with ESPN anyways. I'd scrap Colin Cowherd in a heartbeat for Tony"... Paul Farhi: "I got nothin' for ya there. But your reasoning makes sense to me, on all counts." DCRTV adds: Kornheiser can't return to Bonneville, which owned his most-recent local radio home of now-defunct talker 3WT. And while the Washington Post would prohibit, as a conflict of interest, one of its employees from working at Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra-owned ESPN 980, WTEM, Kornheiser did recently take the Post's buyout offer and is no longer a fulltime employee. Some DCRTV sources say that veteran sports columnist Kornheiser could do an exclusive Sirius XM satellite radio show next year, after his ESPN "Monday Night Football" chores are done. Stay tuned.....

11/24 - Some local radio gurus are looking into their crystal balls for 2009. And they see a lot of station swaps. Look for companies like Clear Channel and CBS to swap stations in some markets. We have heard rumors that CC wants to sell low-rated classic hits WBIG. So, could that go to WPGC/WJFK/WTGB/WLZL-owner CBS? Or might WTOP-owner Bonneville do a swap with CC, picking up WBIG by unloading a station in another market to CC? Or will Bonneville buy WBIG outright, without a swap? Also, we're told that WMAL/WRQX/WJZW-owner Citadel will be selling some of its stations in order to reduce its heavy debt load. Maybe a DCer? Stay tuned.....

11/24 - Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth in an Aspen Institute roundtable discussion today - on the current state of Washington Post Radio: "The short answer is: It's over... It ended about six months ago. I guess you missed it a lot!" Ah, perhaps someone ought to tell Weymouth that the plug got pulled on WaPo Radio in September 2007. That's something like 14 or 15 months ago.....

11/23 - Back in the days when there was a Tower Records in Fairfax, I spent many hours talking music with the man who worked mornings and middays at the store. All I knew, back then, was that his name was Bill and he lived in Reston. He was an older guy, kinda strange for Tower, where most of the employees were definitely younger than me. But we grew to be good casual friends. Bill left Tower a year or so before it went belly-up in late 2006. And I ran into him several times while walking around Lake Anne in Reston, as he was walking his dog. And I'd stop and we'd have another long talk about music. Well, imagine my surprise today when I saw a "Missing Persons" poster for him on the door of the Lake Anne Pharmacy. According to Fairfax County Police, his full name is William Eustace (left), he's 70, and he left his Waters Edge Lane townhouse on foot at about 3 PM on October 25th and hasn't been seen since. A police helicopter and search dogs scanned the area around Lake Anne, which Eustace's home borders. He is described as white and 5-feet 7-inches tall, with white hair, and blue eyes. He was wearing a brown leather jacket, a t-shirt, and bluejeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax Police at 703-691-2131. Wow. Isn't life strange?.....

11/20 - Chris Plante, who just finished voicing an ad for GM's OnStar on righty talker WMAL, launched into a major slam of the big automaker's attempts for a government bailout on his late morning show today. Hey Chris, if you're gonna slam 'em, don't take their money, too. It makes you just as "bad" as they are. Hypocrite.....

11/19 - If you tuned into Citadel's WMAL this morning, you got the feeling that it was going to be President Biden come January, with all the hype about Barack Obama's allegedly doctored birth certification. Yeah, according to nbcaugusta.com, former presidential candidate and Marylander Alan Keyes has filed suit to prevent California from giving its electoral votes to Obama until more evidence is provided to prove that Obama is a natural born citizen of the US. During the campaign, Obama did provide a "Certification Of Live Birth" that showed he was born in Hawaii in 1961. Yeah, I guess Keyes' filing is "news" and that WMAL should report it. But was it really necessary to spend so much time on it? Come on Grandy and Andy. The election's over. Move on.....

11/18 - We chat with a prominent independent local radio guru, who tells us that WTOP's Portable People Meter numbers are "astounding. I never thought I would see double digit shares again (in DC) - but we have them in overall, 25-54, AM Drive, PM drive. Wow!" Meanwhile, WTOP talk rival WMAL is sinking in the PPMs. We're also told: Look for MAL owner Citadel to sell some of its signals in 2009 "to try to save themselves." Over at MAL sister oldies WJZW: "Dumping smooth jazz has had two effects - driving the numbers on that signal down by half. Imus gets no ratings." Plus, the move makes Clear Channel's adult contemporary WASH a "powerhouse 'at work' station".....

11/18 - A DCRTV spy on Jenifer Street tells us that Mix 107.3 morning man Jack Diamond (right) was heard ranting about a certain website today. Something about how this site is "mean-spirited" by not mentioning that his WRQX show was in 2nd place in morning drive in the new Portable People Meter weekly ratings. He also allegedly said that all we, er, this particular site does is "diss people." According to the latest batch of weekly PPMs that we have, age 12+, morning drive, Jack's show is in 3rd place, which is damn good. Behind only 1st place WTOP and 2nd place WAMU, and ahead of 4th place Loo Katz on WASH, who was tied with Kane on Hot 99.5.....

11/17 - Hey, with the news that Winchester's 610 is shutting down to sell its tower site to a real estate developer, what about the same thing happening to DC's 630? I don't know how many acres are there just off the Beltway in North Bethesda, but that plot of park-like land is probably worth more than the righty talk radio station. We once told you that WMAL's previous owner ABC did explore a decade or so ago the option of selling the land for a development of "mini mansions," with the 630 transmitter relocated to less expensive ground in Poolesville, in Northern Montgomery. To WMAL's current owner Citadel, which is in dire financial straits with its recent stock plunge of 95-ish percent, might a like deal be resurrected? Maybe move MAL to co-owned FMer 105.9 and shut down 630 for good. Might make cents, er, sense. Grandy and Andy in stereo! Hmmm.....

11/13 - Is that former WMAL News Director John Matthews hanging out at his old station today? DCRTV hears that he's doing fill-in reporting duties at the Citadel talker. You'll recall that Matthews got cut in that Citadel bloodbath back in February, after two-plus decades with the station. Might Matthews be returning to old 630 on a more permanent basis? Hmmm.....

11/13 - So why are all-news WTOP and news/talk WAMU doing so well in those new Portable People Meter electronic radio ratings for DC, while more talk-oriented stations like WMAL and WJFK are doing so poorly? We asked around, and the consensus was that in the old diary world people remembered the names of strong personalities - a la Rush or Don and Mike - so they wrote them down. But an all-news station is a "utility," with no real strong personalities, just reliable non-stop traffic, weather, scores, and news. And, with the old diaries, listeners did not remember to write down the all-newser, while they were more likely to write down a talk personality that they might not have listened to as much as they said they did. Plus, with a presidential campaign and a financial meltdown happening at the same time, all-news and news/talk radio are attracting even more listeners than usual, we're told.....

11/13 - If those new Portable People Meter electronic ratings don't show a quick improvement for the classic hits format at WBIG (100.3 FM), Clear Channel might sell the station or flip the format come 2009. That's what DCRTV told you yesterday. Today, we learn that two possible new formats that CC's DC suits are strongly looking at for BIG include rhythmic hot adult contemporary, a la WKTU in NYC. And a softer, rock-less adult contemporary sound. Softer and more nostalgic than CC's adult contemporary WASH.....

11/13 - One single DC radio station sells more ads than all of nationally-oriented satellite radio, with its dozens of ad-supported channels. That's right. According to Radio-Info.com, in their first two months of married existence, Sirius XM did a grand total $5.1 in ad revenue - putting it on target to bill about $35 million for the year. DCRTV has reported that all-news WTOP billed $51 million in 2007.....

11/12 - DCRTV hears that DC radio veteran Randi Martin, who once worked at adult contemporary WASH, is the latest layoff casuality at DC's XM Satellite Radio. She'll be gone from her morning show gig at adult contemporary channel The Blend by the end of 2008, we're told. Approximately 100 XMers have been given pink slips since mid-October. With more to come, we're hearing.....

11/12 - DCRTV is hearing industry rumblings late Wednesday that WTOP-owner Bonneville has submitted a bid or bids for the up-for-sale CBS Radio stations in Baltimore. As we've reported, Bonneville is especially interested in WLIF, 101.9 FM, and maybe also WQSR, 102.7 FM - stations that also cover a significant portion of the DC metro.....

11/12 - DCRTV hears that area radio vet Kathy Whiteside was seen strolling down Jenifer Street this morning arm-in-arm (figuratively) with her old radio buddy Steve Allan. You may recall that she once worked with Allan, who once programmed Clear Channel's WBIG, back when it was a killer warm-body oldies outlet. Allan now makes sure the "Scott Shannon True Oldies Automation Plug" is firmly plugged in at Citadel's oldies WJZW, which is on Jenifer Street. DCRTV just reported that Whiteside got budget cut from her midday gig at CBS's adult contemporary WLIF in Baltimore.....

11/12 - CBS is shooting down rumors that Anita Marks may soon be gone from new sports talker, WJZ-FM, 105.7 in Baltimore. She has been co-hosting the afternoon show with Scott Garceau, and, before that, had been solo-hosting the afternoon show on CBS's old sports talk ESPN 1300, now WJZ-AM. Several sources tell us that she'll be gone in December when her contract expires. There have been rumors that she and former ABC2 sports anchor Garceau don't get along. However, CBS Radio/Baltimore honcho Dave Labrozzi says it ain't so. He tells DCRTV: "Anita is (currently) in her office preparing for her show with Scott Garceau. There is no truth to the story and it should be noted on your site that Anita is enjoying working with Scott Garceau on the 'New Sports Radio 105-7, The Fan.' It is amazing how much interest Anita garners. Scott and Anita are enjoying the show and are excited about '105-7, The Fan'".....

11/12 - We know that all-news WTOP owner Bonneville is on the prowl for more good-signaled FMers in DC (and Baltimore). And we're hearing more rumblings that Clear Channel is again looking at selling "weak sister" classic hits WBIG, the lowest-rated of its five FMers in the market. Might lightning finally strike? Our sources tell us that even if WBIG does not get sold due to the tightening credit market, the old music format is pretty much a gonner. Look for some form of talk, maybe even sports talk, to come to 100.3 in 2009. Stay tuned.....

11/11 - DCRTV hears that DC-Baltimore radio veteran Kathy Whiteside has been released from the midday shift at CBS's adult contemporary WLIF, 101.9 FM, because of budget cuts. Diane Lynn will replace her on Baltimore's Lite 102.....

11/11 - There are rumblings that WMAL is planning to put Curtis Sliwa in the 9 PM or 10 PM to 1 AM slot. Syndicated from Citadel sister talker WABC in NYC. Sliwa used to do the morning drive show on WABC, before Don Imus took the slot in December 2007. More soon.....

11/10 - If those new Portable People Meter ratings continue to show a major slump for CBS's Spanish FMer El Zol, and don't show a predicted jolt for the recently-resurrected classic rock format on CBS's 94.7, the Globe, then how about this in early 2009: El Zol to 1580, the new "Big Talker" to 94.7, and the resurrection of the dual market "real progressive rock" WHFS on 99.1? If CBS sees fit to "park" those legendary calls on 1580 for the time being, it must be thinking about putting them to good use sometime soon. Hmmm.....

11/10 - Today's New York Times listed the top 10 cable TV shows for a recent week. And most of the slots were filled by either Fox News' Bill O'Reilly or Nickelodeon's Sponge Bob Square Pants. I don't know what says about American culture. But, then again, maybe I really don't want to know.....

11/7 - A DCRTVer tells us that Don Geronimo's Great Falls VA home is back on the market. Listed for $1.399 million at redfin.com. The contemporary pad featuring "Geronimo's cave," an office full of high-tech wiring, a private phone line, built-in bookcases and cabinets, and a cigar humidor, was originally listed for $1.6 million. However, it was mysteriously pulled from the market in mid-October. Geronimo, who retired in April from his long-running afternoon show on WJFK-FM, has said he plans to relocate to a residence he owns in Ocean City MD.....

11/7 - Radio One's decision to cut a top-rated local show on a top-rated local station is downright scary and should send shockwaves through the local broadcasting community. If 92Q morning man Marc Clarke can get canned due to a budget-cut by a financially troubled radio firm, then nobody's really "safe." Not Elliot at Clear Channel's DC101. Not the Junks at CBS's WJFK. Not Ron Smith at Hearst's WBAL. Now, I'm not saying that all of the above will be on the unemployment line soon, but it seems clear that the radio biz is going to be making some very deep cuts in 2009. Local radio personalities like WKYS's Russ Parr and WJFK's Mike O'Meara will probably be in better shape since they have syndication deals as insurance polities. The stock prices of many media companies, including Radio One, have plunged, in some cases by more than 90 percent. And the upcoming recession is killing ad sales. If a mainsteam retailer like Target is posting significantly lower sales, watch out. It's going to be more cost-effective for stations to plug into a satellite and pick up a nationally-syndicated show, like WERQ will soon be doing with Rickey Smiley in mornings. And music stations will increasingly go for voice-tracking as opposed to a live and local DJ. Having live bodies at a local radio station is expensive. There's salaries, health insurance, unions, and retirement benefits. All that can and will get chopped by corporate radio "bean counters" when the axe starts to seriously swing. Run for your life.....

11/5 - Luckily, I get my Washington Post delivered via subscription to my doorstep. Because there were no local or national newspapers at any of the newsstands in my Reston neighborhood on Wednesday morning. No Washington Post or Washington Times. No USA Today. No New York rags - Times, Post, or Daily News. No Baltimore Sun. Obviously, snatched up by profiteers hoping to peddle the historical "Obama victory" editions on Ebay. The Washington Post will produce 350,000 copies of a "commemorative edition" that will available at local retailers this afternoon. Oh, I did find a copy of today's freebie Washington Examiner at a local library. Anybody want to buy it? I thought not.....

11/5 - Boo hoo hoo WMAL. What a bunch of losers! Despite the 18-hours-a-day of anti-Obama radio every weekday (minus the overnight George Noory show) for months and months, old 630's whole coverage area went for the Democrat. Even Virginia's Loudoun and Prince William. Fred Grandy, Andy Parks, Mark Levin, Bryan Nehman, Chris Plante - all complete failures. Time for those cheap bastards at Citadel to issue a batch of pink slips and pull the plug on righty talk and replace it with polkas or opera or Gregorian chants. Ha ha ha. But seriously, folks. Is it too much to ask Citadel to give us a little diversity on WMAL, to reflect the DC area! I'm not saying that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity shouldn't be heard, but how about a lefty or two, some women, younger voices, and a few African Americans on 630's airwaves? Change is coming to America. How about it coming to WMAL, too.....

11/5 - Talk on 1580? Bad idea. Look, I've heard Michael Smerconish on Philly's WPHT and on cable news and he's great. But CBS's DC suits are making the same mistake that Bonneville made with now-defunct talker 3WT - they have a bad signal. It's AM, which is practically dead in the DC market, and it has weak night coverage. OK, so the new "Big Talker" 1580 will be battling Dan Snyder's talk WTNT for 28th place in the radio ratings. Ho hum. With the 1580 talk thingo coming right after the 94.7 mis-launch and crash of the alt-ish rock Globe, things aren't going too well for CBS Radio in DC. CBS needs to do this: Put talker JFK on 94.7, which better reaches the Maryland suburbs and move it in the sports talk direction. Then put El Zol on 106.7, which better reaches the heavily Hispanic neighborhoods of Northern Virginia. Restore the heritage progressive rock WHFS on the dual-market signal of 99.1 - the musically-intensive station it was in the 1990s, not the alt rock/talk mess it was in the early 2000s.....

11/5 - DCRTV hears that commercial all-newser WTOP and public radio news talker WAMU are seeing big ratings surges in the early round of those Portable People Meter radio ratings. The just-out "pre-currency" trend for the electronic PPM method, which was debuted in the DC radio market in September, show the following rankings in overall weekday numbers, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WASH, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WKYS, 7) WPGC-FM, 8) WRQX and WETA-FM, 10) WWDC and WMMJ, 12) WGTS, 13) WPRS, 14) WMAL, 15) WBIG and WMZQ, 17) WTEM, 18) WTGB, 19) WJZW, 20) WLZL and WJFK-FM. DCRTV's take: Stations higher in the PPMs when compaired to the old diary method include WTOP, WASH, WAMU, WIHT, WWDC, WRQX, and WGTS. Stations lower in the PPMs when compared to the diaries include urbans WPGC-FM, WHUR, and WMMJ, Spanish WLZL, plus WMAL, WMZQ, and WJFK-FM. In other markets using the PPMs, there has been some concern that urban and Spanish language stations don't perform as well with electronic measurement.....

11/3 - With the flip of Baltimore talker WHFS (105.7 FM) to sports talk WJZ-FM today (newsblurb above), DCRTV hears that the WHFS calls will be "parked" on CBS Radio's co-owned 1580 in the DC area, currently WPGC-AM. Might CBS have plans to someday resurrect the legendary DC progressive rocker? You'll recall that the WHFS calls graced the 102.3 frequency during the 1970s and early 1980s when it was a freeform progressive rocker. And later on 99.1, as the progressive rocker became an alternative rocker. That lasted until 2005, when CBS flipped 99.1 to Spanish WLZL and the WHFS calls moved to the Baltimore area's 105.7, which was then talk by day and alternative rock at night. CBS/DC did try to get the WHFS calls from CBS/Baltimore in early 2007 for 94.7 when that station became the alt-ish rock Globe, but the call transfer never happened. DCRTV has reported rumblings that CBS is planning to put political talk on 1580, currently a relay of urban WPGC-FM. Stay tuned.....

10/31 - Today, Rush Limbaugh yammered that the reason that the Washington Post and other newspapers are seeing huge financial slumps is because they endorsed Democrat Barack Obama. Utter and total horseshit. Even newspapers who've endorsed Republican John McCain are facing the same slump. It has nothing to do with the current presidential campaign and everything to do with the sagging economy and readers' migration to the internet in search of "diverse" and "instant" news sources. Duh.....

10/31 - "Circular motion was involved." WMAL's Chris Plante jesting this morning with morning men Fred Grandy and Andy Parks about his interview with Sarah Palin. The GOP VP taped chat aired on Plante's late morning show Friday.....

10/30 - During his show today, heard via WMAL, Rush Limbaugh let out a cheer of glee upon mentioning that McLean-based media giant Gannett is cutting upwards of 10 percent of its workforce due to the slumping economy. We all know that Rush hates the lefty "mainstream" media - fine and dandy. But many of those losing their jobs are just ordinary folks who do non-media-related tasks. Folks with kids, aging parents, piles of bills, soaring health care costs, and devalued retirement investments. And soon - no job. That's an especially heartless thing for a very wealthy man like Limbaugh to say. Someone who has an estimated $35 million radio contract.....

10/30 - "We have turned a corner. He has found his 'voice' on 'Monday Night Football'." One of WJFK-FM's Junkies (we can never tell which one's talking) this morning during an interview of Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon on the broadcasting fate of fellow Postie Tony Kornheiser, who does color commentary for "MNF"..... "I know family trees are truff (sic)." Rush Limbaugh today attempting to describe Obama's extended heritage. Heard via WMAL.....

10/29 - DCRTV has reported rumblings that Bonneville, which owns DC's all-news WTOP, is interested in buying some of the up-for-sale CBS radio stations in Baltimore. And, DCRTV has also reported that those five Baltimore stations may not sell due to the slumping stock and credit markets. However, Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com quotes Star Media Group broker Peter Handy: "It's very difficult for any company outside of Bonneville to make a meaningful acquisition." Bonneville is said to be an "all-equity player" and less-reliant on obtaining credit. Which means that at least some of those CBSers in Baltimore could still change hands. We've reported that Bonneville is particularly interested in adult contemporary WLIF (101.9 FM) because its signal also covers much of the DC area. And classic hits WQSR (102.7 FM), which also covers a wide swath to the south.....

10/29 - So, what is CBS Radio going to do with 1580, WPGC's AM side? It's got a killer 50,000-watt daytime signal. Last month, the low-rated "inspirational talk" format got dropped for a relay of the FM urban contemporary signal. But, we were told that something "new" would be coming to the frequency. So what? How about talk! A DCRTVer has dropped a rumor that the slogan "The Big Talker" could soon be coming to DC's AM band. Well, that just so happens to be the slogan of CBS's Philadelphia talker WPHT, whose "big" signal on 1210 AM easily covers the DC area most nights. What if CBS was to put some of PHT's local talkers, like morning man Michael Smerconish, a frequent "Hardball" guest, on 1580, and replace WPHT's syndicated talkers (already heard on other DC stations) with talkers not currently heard here, like some from the now-defunct 3WT? Since 1580's night signal is on the weak side, CBS could locally market the station with the night signal of 1210, and also relay 1580 via the HD digital subchannels of either or both WPGC-FM and WJFK-FM. Interesting.....

10/29 - That ABC News Radio two-minute news report that WMAL ran at 7 this morning included the results of ABC-TV's "Dancing With The Stars." If ABC's top journalists really believe that reporting the results of an ABC-TV show merits "space" in the top two minutes of a national radio newscast - up there with plagues, terrorism, and election news, I trust their news judgment. I really do..... Oh, as for 94.7's return to classic rock. Why AC/DC every hour and almost no Beatles? Did CBS Radio take a poll of DC's radio listeners and they screamed for more AC/DC? You mean, all those gray bearded guys now in their 50s (who were in their 20s in the 1970s), clad in tight leather gear (ouch), actually rode their motorcycles to CBS Radio's Lanham HQ and staged a protest for more AC/DC on DC's airwaves? I find that really hard to believe.....

10/28 - WAMU has not quite given its blessing to that new Northern Virginia FM relay of its Bluegrass Country, but a station source does acknowledge that the American University news talker is "experimenting with a low-power analog alternative for BGC local listeners." Last month, the independent 250-watt Great Falls VA 105.5 FMer stopped relaying Towson University's adult alternative rock WTMD in favor of WAMU's bluegrass stream, which is carried on the web and on WAMU's 88.5 HD2 digital signal. We "don't want to raise listener expectations by formally releasing the information until we are sure we intend to stick with it. We should know something more definitive in early November," we're told.....

10/27 - "We don't get good ratings." So said Chad Dukes today on WJFK-FM. His partner, Oscar Santana, did admit that the midday team gets better ratings than any other recent midday show on the CBS talker. But, Dukes revealed, the two remain employed because they act as a programming bridge between the more highly-rated morning Junkies and afternooner Mike O'Meara. Plus, he added, he and "Big O" "work cheap," have a loyal audience, provide "bonus content" on the internet and via iPhones, and do loads of personal appearances, which advertisers like.....

10/27 - Last week, DCRTV told you that Erich "Mancow" Muller (left), longtime Chicago shock jock, got hired by Citadel to do the late morning, pre-Rush Limbaugh slot on its Chicago talker. Now, we're hearing rumblings that Citadel's DC talker WMAL (630 AM) may pick up Mancow for the same slot or evenings. By early 2009. And possibly even groom him as an eventual replacement for Limbaugh on Citadel's stations. Right now, Mancow's syndicated show is heard on Red Zebra talker WTNT (570 AM). However, DCRTV hears from several local radio gurus who tell us that such a Mancow move to MAL won't happen, and he's committed via his Talk Radio Network syndicator and a multi-year deal to remain on WTNT. We'll see. And, some more WMAL news: DCRTV hears that WMAL morning men Fred Grandy and Andy Parks aren't going anywhere, as they've just been signed to new contracts.....

10/24 - Great to hear DC radio veteran Chris Core guesting on Mark Plotkin's politics show on WTOP this morning. Might not be a bad idea to make the former longtime WMALer a permanent co-host of the show..... Frankly, WMALer Chris Plante gives me a headache. But they sure play some cool bumper music during his show. Including Canadian classic progressive rockers Martha And The Muffins' "Echo Beach" at 9:35 this morning. Now, if we could get a local station that would play the whole tune. Where is the old 102.3 WHFS when you really need it? Like Echo Beach: "Far away in time".....

10/23 - You've got to hand it to WMAL's Grandy and Andy (right). Yeah, they're right-leaning talkers on a right-leaning station. But they had the guts this morning to bring up the controversy of Sarah Palin using Republican National Committee political money to buy $150,000 worth of clothes. Many other righty talkers/webbers have practically ignored the Palin duds issue. I just wonder how Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge would have hyped it if it was Michelle Obama instead of Palin who'd bought the clothes on the donors' dime.....

10/22 - From Gawker: "Matt Drudge, (the) nutty conservative weather-obsessed Miami queen blogger... (has) been an embarrassment. He highlights completely misleading bullshit and can't get anyone but the dumbest of bloggers to pick up on his pet stories".....

10/21 - Two weeks ago, the Washington Times did a lengthy article about the sale of former WJFK-FM afternooner Don Geronimo's Great Falls home for $1.6 million. Then, several days later, DCRTV reported that the home got yanked off the market, according to what several local real estate gurus told us. Well, now the Washington Post has gotten around to reporting the news of the now-off sale. "We couldn't reach him, and his listing agent did not return several calls," the Post says in its 10/21 edition (page C3, not on the website). DCRTV guesses that Geronimo got mad when he saw so much personal information about himself and his late wife in the Times' real estate section piece.....

10/21 - DCRTV first tipped you on Monday. Now, a correction in Tuesday's Washington Post: "An old photograph was mistakenly published in the October 20 Style section with a Reliable Source item about Saturday's National Italian American Foundation gala. The photo of the late Jack Valenti with Mel Brooks and Alan Alda was from the 2006 gala." No correction for reporting that Valenti, who headed the Motion Picture Association Of America and died in April 2007, "mixed and mingled" at the dinner. Oh, the mistaken photo and caption were still up on the Post's website on Tuesday morning (right).....

10/20 - DCRTV hears that DC radio and TV veteran Barton Eckert hasn't been doing his business news reports for WTOP and the Washington Business Journal lately. That's because he had surgery on his right foot in early October and is in a hard cast. Actually, Eckert injured his foot more than a year ago when he tripped on some cables in WTOP's "Glass Enclosed Nerve Center," which was being renovated. And the injury never completely healed. With Eckert only recently finding out that his foot was indeed broken and that surgery was needed. He expects to be out for about six weeks.....

10/20 - If Sirius XM is facing a huge credit crunch next year, how could it raise cash for survival? One of DCRTV's reliable sources tells us that the recently-merged firm has several major disposable assets - its DC real estate and its satellites. All would generate some cool cash for the struggling satradder. We already pretty much know that XM's music and talk channels will be replaced by their Sirius versions soon, so there'll be no need for the state-of-the-art XM New York Avenue broadcast complex. And, our source tells us that it's not out of the question that XMers would have to eventually trade in their incompatible receivers for Sirius versions, too. XM's birds, "parked" over the equator relative to the Earth's rotation, would be more valuable to other data and TV service applications than the constantly "moving" Sirius birds would be. Stay tuned.....

10/19 - Pardon me for delving into the political arena, but it's that time of the year and my concern is media-related. Agree or disagree with Sarah Palin, the reality is that if McCain, 72 and a cancer survivor, wins, there's a real chance that she could be required to take over the presidential duties in some form in the next four years. And, yet, during the campaign she has not appeared on any of the four major Sunday morning DC talk shows. Not "Meet The Press." Not "Face The Nation." Not "Fox News Sunday." And not "This Week." Yet she found the time to appear on the latest edition of a comedy show - "Saturday Night Live." I make no secret that I'm voting for Obama because I feel he'd make a better president than McCain would. However, I feel that McCain is qualified to be president, too. But the prospect of Palin running this country really scares me. And, what's even scarier is that her "political handlers" obviously agree with me by not letting her face the customary grillings from Brokaw, Schieffer, Wallace, and Stephanopoulos. If she's so afraid of the nasty American press, how's she going to handle real threats from the real bad guys like Iran, North Korea, and Al Qaeda? Whoa..... From the Politico: "Matt Drudge was long one of McCain's worst tormentors, but now he's become something of an ally. Perhaps most notably, (drudgereport.com webmaster) Drudge has in recent weeks seized upon any national polls that show the race close".....

10/18 - DC TV and radio legends Mac McGarry and Ed Walker (left) reminisced about their years in broadcasting on Saturday during a National Press Club co-sponsored event at the Radio And Television Museum in Bowie MD. Walker, host of WAMU's "The Big Broadcast," worked with famed NBC broadcaster Willard Scott in the 1960s on radio outlets WRC and WWDC. They were known as the "Joy Boys Of Radio." McGarry is host of the long-running television program "It's Academic" on Channel 4/WRC, now in its 48th year.....

10/18 - Looks like DC radio legend Doug "Greaseman" Tracht is selling his Montgomery County digs, which feature a radio studio, now that he's landed the afternoon gig at a classic rocker in Jacksonville. The asking price for the Potomac pad is $1.495 million, according to local real estate records. However, we hear that the Grease may be staying in the DC area and merely "downsizing" his residence. Also, sources say that the Grease's house was on the market long before he landed the Jacksonville job.....

10/17 - Got a great idea for WMAL: "Andy The Plumber".....

10/16 - All Access tells us that 18 boxes of company books, "Clear Vision: The Story Of Clear Channel Communications," arrived at Clear Channel's DC broadcast complex on Rockville Pike and a mass e-mail went out to everyone in the cluster to come get their complimentary copy. Rocker DC101 morning man Elliot Segal wasn't going to miss out on a great bit. Today is "The Elliot In The Morning Book Burning." Segal tells AA: "Apparently there are a lot of 'agencies' in DC that don't really like the idea. And, some of the Kool Aid drinkers tell me there is an agency in San Antonio (where CC is HQed) that won't like it either. What else is new? If I could get it sponsored they'd be doing flips." Update: Elliot used a wood chipper to dispose of the books.....

10/16 - Sometimes Drudge is a little too dippy for his own good. Witness a screaming headline on his site on Thursday afternoon: "Gallup's 'traditional' likely voter model shows Obama with a two-point advantage over McCain on Thursday, 49% to 47%, this is within poll's margin of error... Developing..." Ah, if Drudge had bothered to check realclearpolitics.com, he would have discovered that the Gallup Wednesday (!) "likely voters/traditional" poll gave Obama just a two point advantage. But two other Gallup polls, at the same time, show Obama up by six. Take your pick.....

10/16 - Speaking of the Washington Post, this is the first time I can remember that the paper didn't do an article on a quarterly Washington radio ratings report on the day after it was released. The "summer" book got released on Wednesday, and no Post article on Thursday. Granted, there was no earth-shattering news in yesterday's numbers, but that was something we could always have expected from the area's "paper of record." With Marc Fisher's recent decision to give up his regular "The Listener" radio column, and the long-ago demise of regular weekly radio round-ups by reporters like Jeffrey Yorke, the Post's coverage of local media clearly ain't what it was.....

10/15 - Today's DC Post tells us that Beatle Ringo Starr will no longer answer his fan mail. But it has nothing in the print edition on yesterday's bloodbath at DC-based XM. And, even more shocking, nothing on the website as of early today. Oh, we'll probably get a Paul Farhi piece later this week. Whenever. Yeah, the news will wait. But will the readers? The captain of the Titantic will tell you - it's hard to avoid the iceberg. Update: Marc Fisher did finally get something up later this morning about the XM cannings via wapo.com..... Speaking of the Post, there's a four-page ad spread in this week's TV Week for Ashby Ponds, a retirement community in Ashburn. The ad features several photos of people, all white, enjoying the life there. And a pic of two black cooks in the complex's restaurant. Oooookay.....

10/14 - A number of DCRTVers have recently noted that weatherman Tony Perkins (right) has been given a more prominent news anchoring role on Channel 5/WTTG's morning newscast. You may recall that DCRTV strongly hinted that Fox5 had much more in store for local TV/radio vet and American U grad Perkins upon his 2005 return to WTTG after doing the weather for ABC's NYC-based "Good Morning America." However, Perkins tells DCRTV that he is merely filling-in for Steve Chenevey. "It just so happens that, during a relatively short period of time, Steve has been out sick, has had jury duty, and now has a couple of vacation days. He will be back Thursday," Perkins adds.....

10/14 - Fox5's Tony Perkins. We all know he's a good buddy of WJFK-FM afternooner Mike O'Meara since their days as students at American University. And Perkins is a frequent guest on O'Meara's show. So, your friendly webmaster has a cool suggestion! Why don't Perkins and O'Meara change places for a day, with Perkins hosting the afternoon show on JFK and O'Meara doing the morning weather on 5? Hmmm.....

10/14 - DCRTV hears that the DC market office of Metro Traffic in Silver Spring will soon take over traffic reporting functions for Richmond VA and Greensboro NC, as parent Westwood One implements a round of consolidations. With Norfolk VA to be added to the DC office's duties by mid-2009. No word on the fate of Metro's Baltimore office, which is rumored to be shuttered in the wave of budget cuts.....

10/13 - Reliable industry sources tell DCRTV that the sale of those CBS radio stations in Baltimore and other mid-sized and small markets won't happen. At least until maybe late 2009 - at the earliest. Because of the current stock crisis, and the severe tightening of the credit market, radio companies that have been and are still solid - a la Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, and Greater Media - can't secure the backing of big lending institutions for a purchase. That's not to say there won't be some more cuts at CBS Baltimore, but folks still working at WHFS, WWMX, WLIF, WQSR, and WJFK-AM will still be working for CBS for a good while longer, we hear.....

10/13 - The Washington Times reported Friday that DC radio great Don Geronimo was selling his Great Falls VA house for $1.6 million, as he relocates to Ocean City MD. "Adjacent to the living room is... Geronimo's cave, an office full of high-tech wiring, a private phone line, built-in bookcases and cabinets, and a cigar humidor." However, DCRTV hears that the real estate listing was withdrawn without a sale on Friday. Geronimo retired from his WJFK-FM "Don And Mike Show" radio gig in April.....

10/10 - We've heard that WTOP political guru Mark Plotkin has been having health troubles of late. But he sounded quite bad on Friday's 10 AM show. Slurring words, stammering. Really shouldn't have been on the air..... WMAL, which just loves to play thematic music tunes during its morning news items, played the Doors' "The End" during a economic assessment and stock market update on Friday morning.....

10/9 - DCRTV hears that Jessica Doyle, who did the morning show on Bonneville's now defunct 3WT talker, is now a DC-based freelance reporter for CNN Newsource, the CNN local TV affiliate news service. So you may see her on Channel 7/WJLA or NewsChannel 8.....

10/8 - So, I make my weekly visit to the Salvation Army store in Herndon today. (I find some neato cheap t-shirts there.) And I hear some way cool rock oldies on their sound system. Including a George Harrison classic. And I think, man, 94.7 is sounding better! They always play 94.7 in there, even when it was alt-rockish! The song ends and I find out it's 100.3 they're playing. I have never heard BIG in that store before! I guess they got tired of "Black Betty" every hour.....

10/8 - DC area voice great Dude Walker does a "retro" promo for ABC's new "Life On Mars" time-warp cop show. "It was a lot of fun emulating Ernie Anderson, you know - the old 'Loooove Boat' guy," Dude tells us. Check it out at YouTube.....

10/8 - Washington Post sports media columnist Len Shapiro has collaborated with ESPN 980's Andy Pollin on a book, "The Great Book Of Washington Sports Lists," which will be in stores on 10/15. Shapiro tells us that it includes "Dan Snyder's 10 greatest blunders, the top 10 all-time list of Washington TV sportscasters, (and) the top 100 all-time Washington 100 athletes." More at amazon.com.....

10/7 - DCRTV hears that Channel 45/WBFF has a job posting for a weekend sports anchor/reporter on its website. Does that mean that Amy Fadool is leaving her job as Fox45's weekend sports anchor/reporter? Could she be heading to Philadelphia, to work with Comcast SportsNet? Stay tuned.....

10/7 - "Herndon blows. I'll never live in Herndon." So said Jason "Lurch" Bishop, one of WJFK-FM's Junkies, on Tuesday morning. During a Junks' discussion comparing the alleged "ghetto" reputation of Herndon with its allegedly more upscale neighbor of Reston (which is where the DCRTV World Headquarters is located).....

10/2 - DCRTV has reported that Nassau Broadcasting is rumored to be a potential purchaser of some of CBS's five for-sale radioers in Baltimore. However, Nassau, which owns a batch of radio stations in the Northeast USA, including Hagerstown's WWEG and Frederick's WAFY, has been unable to close on its recent $22 million purchase of a Reading PA station to "due to certain dislocations in the credit market," according to an FCC filing. So, maybe we should cross Nassau off the CBS radio suitor list for Baltimore, which includes Bonneville, Emmis, and Entercom.....

10/2 - Was that DC radio great Al Santos seen hanging around his old station? DCRTV hears that Santos, who got canned along with the rest of the staff of Smooth Jazz 105.9 back in February, is back at now-oldies WJZW doing behind-the-scenes board work.....

10/1 - DCRTV already told you that WJFK-FMer El Jefe was leaving his Saturday evening "Hideout" show, which he and J-Dubs do from Tampa. Now, we hear that El Jefe is heading to Atlanta rocker WKLS, where he'll join the "Giant Show" with former Ron and Fez producer Giant Brian and old Michigan friend Shafee.....

10/1 - My most vivid Olsson's memory? Election Day 1980. A couple months out of college. Had some friends over to my Reston place. Headed out to vote that morning and then into to DC. Stopped by the Olsson's in Georgetown to pick up Kate Bush's new album, "Never For Ever." Back when music was on vinyl (and cassette). Still one of my all-time favorite albums, which I now have a CD copy of (the vinyl's long gone). That night, I came back to watch Ronald Reagan upset Jimmy Carter (who I voted for) on TV.....

10/1 - If you were watching an excellent "Nova" early "space race" documentary on WETA-TV last night, you missed about 10 minutes. You see, there was a thunderstorm that passed over South Arlington, where the PBS station's broadcast complex is. WETA didn't go off the air, but it lost its PBS satellite feed for a short time. Affecting WETA's main analog signal, one of its standard-def digital subchannels, and its high-def signal. This is not the first time that a thunderstorm has knocked out the PBS feed from WETA. Look, a thunderstorm in northwest Washington doesn't knock out the network feeds for Fox on WTTG, NBC on WRC, CBS on WUSA, or ABC on WJLA. It shouldn't black out PBS on WETA either. Unless it's one helluva big boomer. Sheesh.....

9/30 - Ah, did anyone notice that financially-strapped Circuit City has just opened a new store in the Fairfax Town Center space formerly occupied by Tower Records, which went belly-up in late 2006. That storefront has been vacant almost two years. That can't be good karma for the electronics outlet. Oh, the former Tower space at Tyson's Corner is now a discount shoe outlet. Probably a better "fit" for the economy. With your investments in the dumps, you'll still need shoes. But you can take a pass on that HD Radio or Blu-ray player.....

9/30 - A source tells DCRTV: "Word on the street is that Sam Zell is planning to can another 100 people at the Baltimore Sun (and) baltimoresun.com in November. The rumor has been circulating around the marketing and advertising offices on Calvert Street".....

9/29 - Regarding the bids last week for the five CBS Radio stations in Baltimore, which are for-sale. DCRTV hears that several are "new to the region." Could that mean Emmis or Entercom? However, our top radio gurus still expect WTOP-owner Bonneville to go after Charm City's 101.9 and maybe 102.7. One guru tells us: "There are no doubt a few good people left at CBS Baltimore. I feel sorry for those poor bastards... Believe it or not, most suits still have a touch of humanity about themselves. It hurts to have to tell people they are now jobless because of the economy or trimming costs before a sale. And, of course, you can't tell them that part." As for Bonneville buying in Baltimore. We're told that the firm "is itching to build another sports talker (it just announced one in St. Louis) and an oldies powerhouse somewhere. Baltimore would be ripe for either".....

9/29 - Regarding the bankruptcy filing of the DC City Paper's parent, you could tell things weren't quite right with the freebie rag because it was getting more difficult to find. At least here in the wilds of Fairfax County. The freebie DC Blade is available at local libraries, at Barnes And Noble, and at Borders. But CP is only available at the latter. And, CP's distributor has been delivering fewer and fewer copies to the Borders locations. Often, the Thursday-delivered rag is gone by early Friday - even before the weekend's started. Advertisers have got to love that. And, advertisers have got to love the paper's new push toward the web. Ahhh, how many ads can you fit on a webpage? Nowhere near what you can cram on a hundred or so print pages. So, will the Washington Post continue its quest to dominate all local media and buy CP? And make it a freebie extension of its Friday Weekend tab? Hmmm.....

9/28 - I live in a condo complex. And, on Friday, some truck must have backed into my group mailbox, causing it to lean. That afternoon, I saw my trusty mailman filling the boxes and started to talk to him about the incident. No big deal, he said, as he used his strength to lean the mailboxes back upright. "You're name is Hughes, right? You do that website." At first, I wondered how he knew my name, but then I realized that he handles my mail, so he must know. Yes, I told him. He revealed that he was a big fan of Don Geronimo, and how he enjoyed the radio god's feud with your friendly webmaster a few years ago. Now, flash back a month ago, and I was in a Subway sandwich shop and introduced myself to a lady in front of me in line who was wearing a Count Gore De Vol t-shirt. "Oh, you're the guy who runs that website," she said. Yeah, it's a big world out there. But, then again, no it's not. We're all "connected" in one way or another. That's what I love about doing DCRTV all these years - it brings a whole bunch of strangers together. As one big cyber "family." We wouldn't recognize each other on the street, but, in a very real sense, we all kind of "know" each other! Amazing! Oh, my mailman? He said he really loves Mike O'Meara's new show, too.....

9/28 - A DCRTV source tells us that Allbritton's Channel 7 "WJLA eliminated five positions from their promo/graphics department on Thursday - two from promotions, two from graphics, and the director of creative services. News Director Bill Lord will now run the much smaller department (cut by one-third), with the promo manager and art director reporting to him. They also do promos and graphics for NewsChannel 8, and some stuff for Politico, so what was already a very busy department is gonna be even more overburdened. Tough to see a station that has grown so much start to tear itself apart".....

9/27 - A DCRTVer tells us that DC area radio veteran Ed Rodriguez, who has been rumored to have returned from a recent radio gig in South Florida, was heard on country WMZQ on Saturday afternoon.....

9/26 - Redskins great and former "Monday Night Football" personality Joe Theismann (right) on current "MNF" personality and Washington Postie Tony Kornheiser (left): "I still think Tony's out of place. Tony was hired to do a job in a football booth that, first of all, didn't suit him. And it didn't suit the venue, the venue being football, period. Tony doesn't belong in a booth. What he adds and what he brings, OK, has a place. But it doesn't have a place in the booth, and I think he's gonna retire after this year. And you've got to remember, I got fired from ESPN because I talked about football. And now, their main emphasis after two years of trying to do it the other way, is going back to talk about football." From Dan Steinberg's Sports Bog washingtonpost.com.....

9/26 - "Sarah Palin's face has been carved into a cornfield." A news item this morning from WMAL's Bryan Nehman, who also spends his time voicing car dealer ads for his Citadel station. Shortly thereafter, when Nehman reported about that $700 billion financial buyout plan being doomed, his station played the ominous opening credits music from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." And it played the Mighty Mouse "Here I Come To Save The Day" tune to news that John McCain was returning to DC to solve the financial crisis. And it played "Money" by Pink Floyd underneath news that WaMu got taken over.....

9/24 - A reliable source confirms to DCRTV that DC radio veteran Doug "Greaseman" Tracht is alive and well. Despite the announcement of his demise on his station, Clear Channel rocker DC101, yesterday afternoon and a video on YouTube and wording on a Greaseman fan website that alluded he was a gonner. "Doug is still trying to put the pieces together," a source close to Tracht tells us. "Family members were in tears not knowing his true fate. He was making calls all night just to put things right. He was on his boat and found out about the story last night. He had nothing to do with the rumor and is not too pleased." And, Tracht told a radio trade pub today: "At first I was pissed and then I figured an overzealous Grease fan, or as I like to say, one of our Branch Doodadians, thought I needed extra publicity. But Good Lord, that's the last kind of publicity I'd want to have... This was misleading and twisted, and I'm really saddened about it - and have been on the phone for the last 24 hours telling everyone, including my family, that I am alright. I just did a bit with Elliot this morning on DC101 to dispel this rumor. Why can't I just put on my headphones like anyone else and go to work".....

9/24 - Your friendly webmaster, DCRTV Dave, who is not known for his "social schmoozing," did make it out of the "cave" today to do a media panel discussion at the Trade Association Luncheon at Tyson's Corner. Talked about local radio and the new PPM ratings. Actually had a few nice things to say about WMAL, but not a word about the Globe (a big sigh of relief from CBS, I'm sure). Anyhow, I ran into some very cool people, including Frank Zappala, a local radio consultant, who has worked all over the local radio dial, including at the old "top 40" WLPL in Baltimore in the 1970s. He tells me that he advised former WTOP owner, when he worked at the then-Outlet Company station in the 1980s, to move from 1500 AM to FM. In the 1980s! Further proof that there are some forward-looking area radio folks out there, in addition to Jim Farley. And thanks to Marty Valentine for inviting me to the event.....

9/23 - Smells like a publicity stunt to us. But a DCRTVer tells DCRTV: DC radio veteran "Grease is DEAD according to DC101. Roche just went on the air at 5:24 (PM on 9/23) and announced it. UNBELIEVABLE. Words cannot express this fan's loss." Check out this video at youtube.com. "The Greaseman Remembered." And "Doug 'The Greaseman' Tracht... 1950-2008." Posted on 9/22. However, a Wikipedia entry, which was modified on 9/23, listed Tracht's mysterious demise as occurring on "September 23, 2008." However, at 6:36 PM (ET) on 9/23 the profile was modified again, and the death date was removed. Tracht has been doing Saturday mornings on rocker DC101. He's worked at many DC area radio stations over the years, including as Howard Stern's replacement on DC101 in the 1980s. A DCRTVer tells us that he drove by Tracht's Potomac MD home Tuesday evening and everything looked "normal".....

9/23 - DCRTV hears that Clear Channel will announce a new program director for classic hits WBIG at any moment. A source tells us that CC is going to do a "last stand" push for the classic hits format, which is slumping in the ratings, up-against CBS's even lower-rated classic rock WTGB. Look for a major marketing campaign for WBIG, in hopes of boosting the station with the debut of the Portable People Meter electronic ratings system this fall in the DC market. The PPMs have been known to jolt the ratings of rock-ish stations. But, if, next spring, BIG's ratings are still stuck in the dumps, it's widely-rumored that CC will sell the station.....

9/22 - DCRTV hears rumblings that some top Hearst radio suits are pushing for Baltimore AM news talker WBAL to do a simulcast on FM. Might this mean something besides rock on Hearst's Baltimore FM frequency of 97.9 in the not-too-distant future? Or, might Hearst be looking at picking up one of CBS's four up-for-sale Charm City FM frequencies for that purpose? However, a top 98 Rocker tells DCRTV that he's heard nothing about Hearst wanting to put BAL on FM or about his firm buying more Baltimore FMers.....

9/22 - DCRTV hears that WTOP-owner Bonneville is really interested in picking up CBS's up-for-sale 101.9 frequency in Baltimore. And may just be planning to keep the adult contemporary format on WLIF. But maybe tweak the signal to the south to put better coverage into the DC metro. Of CBS's four Charm City's FMers, 101.9 best reaches the DC area. To make it a dual-market signal, like the old alternative rock WHFS on 99.1 once was. And challenge Clear Channel's DC adult contemporary WASH. Stay tuned.....

9/22 - "The Political Browser"? Really dumb name. But a good idea. Kinda late, though. The Washington Post, which once "owned" national coverage of Capitol Hill, should never have let the upstart Politico get as big and important as it's gotten since the Allbritton entity launched its feisty website in early 2007. The big question is the Post's timing. Why now, as the crazy 2008 presidential campaign is coming to a crescendo? Why not have done the Post's political web expansion a year ago? Could it have something to do with new publisher Katie and new news editor Marcus? Well, better late than never, I guess. The Post, in many respects, is still a giant bureaucratic ocean liner in an internet full of speedboats. It must change and adapt to survive. Faster.....

9/20 - Murdoch's "pillar of journalism" endorses McCain. So, News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said he doesn't regret his New York Post endorsing John McCain, even as some say the Republican ticket is the weaker choice for voters concerned about the economy. More from The Live Feed. By the way, Saturday's edition of Murdoch's "venerable" New York Post featured a picture of rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs stepping in dog shit (right) on an NYC street. Ah, that's news? Oh, Murdoch also owns Fox News, plus DC's WTTG/5 and WDCA/20, and Baltimore's WUTB/24.....

9/19 - DCRTV broke the news. Now, the radio trades confirm the departure of Jeff Shamrock, the morning sidekick and executive producer of the morning show on Baltimore's CBS talker WHFS (105.7 FM). Due to budget cuts in preparation for the widely-rumored sale of the cluster. A Baltimore radio guru tells DCRTV: "The Kirk and Mark show is another one of (CBS Baltimore honcho) Bob Philips' expensive... pet projects. Sadly, Shamrock's former salary and benefits package dollars now becomes another towel to blot up some of the red ink." And the guru adds: "Corporate has recently invoked a CBS Baltimore hiring freeze blocking new hires, part-time to full-time promotions, and salary increases other than those guaranteed contractually. Those who leave - for whatever reason - are not replaced, which saves the company salaries, commissions, and health and benefit compensations... The tasks once performed by exiting employees are subsequently hoisted onto those still on site without remuneration." And, DCRTV hears that there may be some more budget cuts at WHFS come February, when Kirk and Mark's contract comes up for renewal.....

9/18 - Dear radio suits at that big radio convention down in Texas: It's OK to give Grandy and Andy an award. They're old guys and it wouldn't hurt to give them a nice little statue for the fireplace mantle at the end of the careers. Although, Grandy probably wouldn't have room due to all those "Love Boat" Emmys he got years ago. But, please, radio guys, don't give their station an award. WMAL is a crappy talk station. It only runs talkers that are conservative, white, middle-aged, and male. It's pretty much gutted its news department. And merely plugs into a satellite for much of its programming. It doesn't even do a local afternoon drive show. Thanks for listening, and don't eat any raw chili. I did that once at a broadcasting convention in Texas and was sick for a month. Hugs, Davey.....

9/17 - DCRTV hears rumblings that Kirk and Mark morning show producer and sidekick Jeff Shamrock is gone. Victim of a CBS Radio budget cut at Baltimore talker WHFS (105.7 FM).....

9/16 - From the Over The Top blog: The ever-alert folks at Pro Football Talk were wondering about the joke that ESPN's Tony Kornheiser made on the air about the Spanish-language version of "Monday Night Football." The website notes that following a replay of the Felix Jones kickoff return for a touchdown with audio from the Spanish-language call of the game, Washington Post sports columnist Kornheiser said, "I took high-school Spanish, and that either means 'nobody is going to touch him' or 'could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning.'" Wondered Pro Football Talk: "Did Tony just make a back-handed slap at Mexican immigrants, characterizing them generally as folks who come here only to do jobs like pick up our dry cleaning in the morning?... We're not sure whether the remark crossed the line. But it was too close to the line for Tony's own good... Regardless of whether he shouldn't have said it and what will happen next, Kornheiser offered up a bland, generic apology late in the game".....

9/15 - "Do you listen to Kirk and Mark?" One of WJFK-FM's Junkies inquired of a Baltimore area listener this morning. When the response was in the negative, the Junkie replied: "You and everybody else." K&M replaced the Junkies in mornings on Baltimore CBS sister talker WHFS in early 2007.....

9/15 - "Too bad it's on ESPN. ESPN does not televise games. They televise those three clowns in the booth talking about the game." Radio talk titan Rush Limbaugh via WMAL today on tonight's Eagles-Cowboys game. Oh yeah, one of those "clowns" is DC media superstar Tony Kornheiser.....

9/15 - I just can't believe that the DC radio audience is crying out for "Cat Scratch Fever" every frigging hour, like what 94.7's playing. You know, classic rock doesn't have to be so mind-numblingly dull and turgid, as CBS seems to think. Considering the age of its target demo, it won't be long before 94.7 gets played in the hallways and public areas of area nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. You know, there is a way to make classic rock interesting and fun - and young. Like playing more "deep tracks" and more "current classics," such as alternative stuff from the 1980s and 1990s. Think Baltimore CBS sister Jack-FM without the disco-y tunes.....

9/14 - Is it really that difficult for a "world class newspaper" like the Washington Post to get the line-up of local radio stations that carry Redskins games correct? Sheesh. For last week's game, the Post told us that the Skins would be on DC's WBIG and Frederick's WFRE, like last year. Wrong. (And I never saw a correction.) For this week's game, WBIG is no longer listed, but WFRE still is. If someone at the Post had gone to the trouble of checking redskins.com, the Frederick area station is now WWEG. Plus, no mention in the Post that the team can also be heard on DC area outlets WTNT and WWRC. Not a big deal, but oh so very easy to get right - the first time. Takes just a minute to check via a Google search.....

9/12 - DCRTV has been reporting rumblings of big cuts coming to Westwood One's Metro Network operations. Now, we're hearing that the staff of the traffic and news service could be slashed by 15 percent, with the firm's 60 operations centers being consolidated into 13 regional hubs by early 2009. For a total savings of about $25 million. Says a local radio guru: "My guess is DC or Philly will be a 'hub.' If DC's the hub, then I don't expect many changes. If Philadelphia's the hub, I might think some of our favorite traffic reporters might be on the street, post-haste." But, another local radio guru tells us: "I am pretty darn sure DC remains. Jim Russ is too valuable a manager for Metro to lose. Don't expect any negative impact on (local clients of Metro's) traffic or sports. Metro in DC is going to be just fine." And a reliable local radio source adds that both DC and Philadelphia will be hubs in the Metro reorganization plan. However, DCRTV has been hearing rumors that Metro's Baltimore operations could be merged with the DC market facility in Silver Spring. UPDATE: DCRTV hears that a first round of cuts took place on Friday in Metro's DC office.....

9/11 - Kudos to WMAL "newsman" Bryan Nehman on his newest gig - voicing car dealer ads on the Citadel talker. You know, I think Nehman's finally found something he's really good at. What next, Bry? Public television pledge breaks?.....

9/11 - FishbowlDC tells us that DC media celeb "Tony Kornheiser's car was stolen from the ESPN garage in DC last week causing 'mad drama,' to quote one source. He dropped his keys in the garage, someone took the car, and now he's demanded extra security because he claims it's a stalker".....

9/9 - Channel 5/WTTG morning news anchor Gurvir Dhindsa, and her husband, former Fox5 weatherman Tom Sater (all those rumors on DCRTV proved true), are just now announcing that she gave birth to twin girls back in late June. Virginia Grace and Lena Caroline were born 10 weeks prematurely and spent their first months in the neonatal ICU at Inova Fairfax Hospital. The now-healthy babies came home to the couple's Fauquier County home earlier this month. Sater, who got canned from Fox5 a few years ago, now works as a salesman at a farm supplies and tractor store in the Warrenton area.....

9/8 - "The word of my untimely demise circulated by your posters was erroneous bullshit. We were all at FM Talk 105.7 this morning. Kirk McEwen, Shamrock, and myself (right). Back from our 'unscheduled vacation' that we scheduled in February. Rested, tan, and still employed," Mark Ondayko tells DCRTV. That's in response to a trouble-making DCRTVer telling us that "Kirk McEwen was back on the air at 105.7 this morning, but no sign - or mention - of Mark." DCRTV first reported rumblings last week that CBS, which owns Baltimore talker WHFS (105.7 FM), is having "closed door" meetings about the future of the longtime Charm City radio duo due to their lack of ratings traction. Stay tuned.....

9/7 - DCRTV hears that the main signal of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980, WTEM, had been off the air from Saturday to midday Sunday. We're guessing that tropical storm Hannah did something to cut power to the AM 980 station's Hyattsville transmitter site. ESPN 980's two far-suburban FM transmitters on 92.7 and 94.3 were still working during the period. DCRTV has reported that Snyder's DC radio organization lacks a chief engineer.....

9/7 - "Magic." DC radio legend Donnie Simpson (right) in a word-association response to the word "radio." During a "The Inner Loop" interview on Channel 50/WDCW on Sunday morning. No, Donnie doesn't work for Magic 102.3, he works for rival urban outlet WPGC-FM, 95.5. He added that he never seriously thought about doing a nationally-syndicated radio show, preferring to make his top-rated local morning show the best that it can be.....

9/5 - We've heard that there's been a very nice response to the new nostalgic adult contemporary tunes being played by Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM). There have actually been senior citizens from Montgomery County's Leisure World who've shown up at the station's Rockville studios to praise the format, we're told. But, we also hear rumblings that a brokered deal is in the works to put Korean religious programming on the signal later this month. Clearly, there's a radio audience in the DC area for Perry Como, Pat Boone, and Frank Sinatra. Might another area AMer pick up the format? What about Bonneville's 1050 AM in Silver Spring, soon to be without Federal News Radio, which is moving to the more powerful 1500 AM? You mean that one smallish AM station out of about 50 stations in a major market like DC can't program to seniors? That says something really sad about the radio biz.....

9/5 - Clear Channel's focus remains with rocker DC101 and adult contemporary WASH, the two top billing stations in the CCDC radio cluster. "Everybody else has been left to fend for themselves as far as support from 'on high' in the company," a CC source tells DCRTV. Classic hits WBIG "has always been viewed as the lowest priority station in the building," especially with the sale of the AMers to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. "Despite (WBIG) having a really strong signal, the company sees no value in it... and I'm not sure that the strength of the signal even factors into the company's decision of whether or not to sell".....

9/4 - DCRTV hears that Bonneville is lusting after CBS's 101.9 FM in Baltimore. And maybe even Clear Channel's 100.3 FM in DC. CBS is reportedly selling all five radio stations in its Baltimore cluster, including adult contemporary WLIF. And Clear Channel has been rumored to have put classic hits WBIG on the market. Bonneville owns top-rated DC all-newser WTOP. Stay tuned.....

9/4 - Originally, Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he was planning to put his team on the six radio signals he now owns in the DC area: the three of ESPN 980 (980 AM, 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM), plus Spanish sports talker WXTR (730 AM), and talkers WTNT (570 AM) and WWRC (1260 AM). However, according to the Thursday Washington Post listing of radio stations carrying tonight's season debut, Clear Channel's classic hits WBIG (100.3 FM) will again be part of the team's radio line-up. Not so, says Bruce Gilbert, head of Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting division. And, no, the Skins won't be on Clear Channel Frederick country outlet WFRE (99.9 FM), as the Post also listed.....

9/4 - DCRTV hears that Clear Channel performed a mass execution at its Salisbury MD radio station cluster today. Market manager, head of ad sales, many more suits - all gone. We're told that Chuck Peterson has been brought in from CC's Winchester VA cluster to run things in the interim. More soon.....

9/4 - Interesting to hear Fred Grandy and Bryan Nehman talking up last night's heavily-hyped Sarah Palin speech on Citadel righty talker WMAL this morning. They did a fine job, but they sounded like they were reading the 'Prompter. Nice words of praise - but no fire in their bellies. Perhaps it's because neither is a true conservative. Where's real righty Andy Parks when you need him? On vacation?!?! On vacation the same week Citadel big boss Farid Suleman visits his DC subjects? Hmmm.....

9/3 - A source tells DCRTV that CBS Radio suits in Baltimore are conducting a series of "closed-door meetings" to discuss the future of the Kirk and Mark - Kirk McEwen, Mark Ondayko, and producer Jeff Shamrock. The morning show at talker WHFS, 105.7 FM. K&M are taking an "unscheduled vaction" this week, we're told. Might K&M be soon gone from HFS? We're told that they've been unable to gain ratings after leaving Hearst's 98 Rock in late 2006. And a budget-cutting CBS may see their contract renewal as simply too expensive. K&M jumped to WHFS in early 2007, replacing the Junkies, who were relayed from CBS talker WJFK-FM in the DC area. Which makes us wonder: Might the Junkies get returned to Baltimore? A CBS DCer shoots down any rumors of that. More soon.....

9/3 - Speaking of CBS Baltimore, DCRTV hears that management has informed the key staff of all five Charm City radio stations that they're definitely for sale. Over the summer, DCRTV had reported that CBS Radio is selling its stations in middle and small markets, including Baltimore. Including FMers WHFS, WLIF, WWMX, and WQSR, and WJFK-AM. We're told that the stations "will be sold once a suitable buyer is found." However, one longtime CBS Baltimorer tells us that he hasn't heard anything specific about a sale. Stay tuned......

9/2 - DCRTV hears that Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm is heading into a Redskin season with no chief engineer on-board. We're told that the new CE it just signed is gone. Snyder plans to carry the Skins on his six DC area signals, including the three of ESPN 980.....

9/2 - DCRTV hears that Citadel head Farid Suleman is in town today touring his new acquisitions - talker WMAL, hot adult WRQX, and oldies WJZW. Might we be seeing more duties for WMAL General Manager Chris Berry, who's been seen smiling a lot lately around the Jenifer Street broadcast complex? Stay tuned.....

9/1 - A "Libertarian Republican" my ass. Bryan Nehman (left) is a friggin' Democrat! When I heard him this morning on righty talker WMAL talking up McCain's pick of Sarah Palin I almost upchucked my Cheerios. I realize that Bryan needs to "talk the talk" to keep his Citadel job, but come on, sometimes you just gotta stand up and say what you believe! Right Bry? I also feel that former Republican Congressman and Hollywood celeb Fred Grandy is no dyed-in-the-wool conservative, either. Maybe a "Giuliani-ite," which is basically a slightly righty-of-center Dem. Yeah, I do think there are some "real" righties at WMAL - Andy Parks (for sure), Chris Plante (reads those GOP talking points so well), and (the always crabby) Mark Levin, plus the syndicated talkers piped in from elsewhere. But the 630 morning show's Nehman and Grandy?!?! You may fool MAL's listeners but you don't fool me!.....

8/29 - DCRTV hears that Clear Channel might just sell classic hits WBIG (100.3 FM) if the upcoming electronic Portable People Meter radio ratings, debuting in DC in September, don't show a serious surge for the station. In other markets, the PPMs have been good for rock-ish outlets. CC just sold its three DC area AMers to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who, along with WTOP-owner Bonneville, would be the most-likely candidates to pick up WBIG. There are rumblings that CC almost sold WBIG to Snyder earlier this year, when he bought sports talk WTEM and talkers WTNT and WWRC. By the way, CC almost flipped WBIG to a Spanish format a few years ago, back when Bennett Zier ran the cluster. But that plan got nixxed by Zier's successor, Dave Pugh, we're told.....

8/26 - Well, learning that next-to-nobody's listening to the Nats (above newsblurb) via 107.7 FM and 1500 AM is not really a surprise. It does confirm that Bonneville's pairing of an AMer in a market where the AM band is almost dead and a rimshot far-suburban FMer only worked when the incredibly popular all-news WTOP was on the signals. With anything else, including talkers Washington Post Radio and 3WT, the pairing is ineffective. Bonneville is/was smart to put WTOP on FM-only, especially the inside-the-Beltway 103.5 signal. And Bonneville is making the best of a bad situation by breaking up the 1500/107.7 pairing, by putting Federal News Radio on the former and WTOP on the latter. More problematic is the radio future of the Nationals. The team is signed with Bonneville for the 2009 season. And again on the infamous 1500/107.7 pairing. And if the team stinks again, the radio numbers will continue to be dismal. Yeah, the Nats could negotiate their way out of the B'ville deal and move to Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980, another pairing of a low-rated AMer with rimshot FMers. Bad news. Or maybe the Nats could move to CBS guy talker WJFK-FM, the former home of the Redskins and current home of University Of Maryland sports, which does need original programming in evenings. In my view, that would the "best bet" for the team's immediate radio future.....

8/25 - Was that former 3WT/Washington Post Radio Program Director Greg Tantum spied in Silver Spring lately? Still hanging around the DC area? We thought he was headed back to California, where he came from in early 2006 to program the heavily-hyped WaPo Radio, which lasted a year-and-a-half before sinking. Is Tantum still dabbling in the local news biz? Stay tuned.....

8/22 - Just heard a radio ad for Hooters that promises free wi-fi internet at area restaurants. Ah, if you're a guy glued to his laptop at Hooters, face it, you're gay.....

8/22 - The box that arrived at WTOP's Glass Enclosed Nerve Center contained four plaques from the Radio And Television News Directors' Association. But the Bonneville all-newser was expecting only three. It seems that the RTNDA forgot to announce that sports director Dave Johnson was getting an Edward R. Murrow Award for "best writing" for his "Dave's Take" commentaries. That brings to 33 as the number of major journalism awards won by WTOP so far this year.....

8/21 - DCRTV hears that the slogan "World Class Rock" could soon be gone, as CBS's the Globe rotates from alt-ish rock back to classic rock. And, no, 94.7 won't be going back to the Arrow moniker. Long live Bob Seger.....

8/21 - As for that rumor floating around that former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick has made a financial investment in Baltimore sports talker WNST (1570 AM), a local radio guru tells us: "Why would Brian invest in WNST? He does not live here any longer. He works for Fox sports and has a platform to do whatever he wants. If he really wanted drive the Ravens nuts he could command a big contract with WHFS-FM and ESPN 1300 AM. So while at this point the report might be right it makes no real business sense." DCRTV is told that Billick does still live in the Baltimore area. More as we hear it.....

8/21 - DCRTV's take on the DC-Baltimore area's top 10 radio rockers:
1) erockster - via DC101's HD2 - "wow"
2) 98 Rock - "solid"
3) WTMD - "progressive"
4) DC101 - "generic"
5) Indie 979 - via 98 Rock's HD3 - "cool"
6) WRNR - "HFS heritage"
7) WBIG - "robotic"
8) WZBA - "pretty good"
9) Classic 98 Rock via 98 Rock's HD2 - "uh huh"
10) Channel 104.3 - "hmmm"
Somebody missing? Yeah, "disappointment".....

8/20 - If 94.7, the Globe, is to be a success with its tweak back to classic rock, it needs a better morning show. Look, I absolutely love Weasel. All the way back to his days at the old 102.3 WHFS when it was progressive rock in the 1970s. But how about moving him to evenings to do a musically-intensive show, free of 94.7's playlist? Then, how about putting DC radio veteran Albie Dee in mornings! To do a banter-based topical show. Kind of like a "Mike O'Meara in the AM" or maybe a "Kane for folks in their 40s"..... Oh, I swear I heard Andy Parks let out a yawn at 8:10 this morning. See! Even he agrees that WMAL's morning show is way too often boring.....

8/20 - "He's the mayonnaise on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." A Washington radio programmer on Fox News superstar Bill O'Reilly. And his failure to generate any ratings on local radio.....

8/20 - With his local radio station - talker 3WT - going away, and his old local radio station - sports talk WTEM - now under the control of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, perhaps Tony Kornheiser (right) is looking to jump to Sirius XM satellite radio when he finishes his "Monday Night Football" gig for ESPN early next year. That's what Jim Williams is suggesting in the Examiner.....

8/19 - What was Pat Goss doing this morning in downtown Fairfax? Perhaps talking to CBS talker WJFK-FM about bringing back his Saturday car show after losing his slot on soon-to-be defunct Bonneville talker 3WT? Stay tuned.....

8/18 - DCRTV hears: "Surprise. (NBC News President) Steve Capus cannot tell a lie. BS! Not that Russert's passing hasn't gotten enough coverage. Word at the NBC News campus is that that Tim Russert's office - supposedly to be left intact - was demolished to make way for a new conference room. Word further confirms all the furniture in Tim's office was busted up so that no one in the bureau could use it or sell it on Ebay - nor was is offered for donation to the Smithsonian or the Newseum. Strange! The new bureau chief, Mark Whittaker, is having the old conference room built-out as his new office." That's at the NBC DC news bureau at the Channel 4/WRC complex on Nebraska Avenue.....

8/18 - Congrats to the Baltimore area's Michael Phelps and his eight Olympic gold medals. To be sure, you'll be seeing a lot more of Michael in the weeks and years to come as he appears on just about every TV show and in countless commercials. I'm not saying that Michael doesn't deserve the praise of all Americans for his amazing achievement. He certainly does. But, when you see Michael all over the media, take a moment to think about the thousands of young men in uniform who are Michael's age who have given their lives for their country in Iraq and elsewhere in the world in the past few years. These men and women have shown as much, if not more, courage as Michael has. And they've sacrificed even more. And yet most media outlets haven't even mentioned their names.....

8/17 - We realize that the Washington Post's readers are gradually abandoning the print rag. But, does the paper have to deliver such silly "filler" fluff on Sundays to attract younger demos? Like a piece on Channel 9 "news" anchor Lesli Foster singing karaoke in a Dupont Circle restaurant? Or yet another write-up on already way too over-exposed talk show host Larry King's secret of TV longevity? Or, how about more on the February 2009 flip to digital broadcast TV? This time, a somewhat hipper version. Whatever.....

8/16 - The time has come. News talk WMAL needs to move to FM. And now! Citadel must put the station on its 105.9 if it is to survive. Yeah, keep on it on 630 AM, but there is no longer any doubt that the AM band here in the DC market is near death. The traditional poor signal patterns, the product of the placement of DC's AM transmitters long before the rapid suburban sprawl of the 1960s through today, have become obsolete. Add to that the increasing electronic "buzz" of modern life, which makes AM unlistenable in many offices and homes. Witness the radio ratings. WMAL is the only DC AMer to register a significant audience. If the station is to survive and grow, it must move to FM. And the most-likely candidate would be Citadel's sister WJZW, 105.9, with its low-rated canned oldies format. All-news WTOP has already moved from 1500 AM to 103.5 FM. And sports talk WTEM is halfway there, with its 980 AM signal now available on two far-suburban FMers, 92.7 and 94.3. It's official: The AM radio band in the DC market is no longer a viable economic delivery method for major stations. OK, sure, it can continue to deliver niche stations - brokered and ethnic - to tiny audiences. But it's time for WMAL to make the move to FM.....

8/15 - Man, what's up with WMAL? Yeah, we know they're repainting the towers and the station's operating at low-ish power. But the night signal here in Wild West Fairfax, which was once absolutely flawless, now kinda sucks. I'm about seven miles from the transmitter and I can hear some other station underneath it on 630! And on Friday morning, the once-venerable news talker went into a "stutter" mode, with the transmitter blinking off and on at 8 AM for about 10 minutes. Jeez! Citadel - not quite ready for major market radio, quite obviously. And driving MAL into a big muddy ditch. You know, WMAL is the only DC market AM radio station that gets decent ratings. And, with the way things are going at MAL, in the not too distant future DC radio listeners simply won't need AM radios any more.....

8/14 - It's Masturbation Thursday! First, the Junkies on JFK-FM this morning revealed how long they go between JO sesssions. Six long days for Lurch, apparently. Less in-between time for the other (mostly married?!?!) guys. Then, our pal Marty Davis has a Chickaboomer clip from actor Ernest "McHale's Navy" Borgnine whispering to former WRCer Steve "Fox And Friends" Doocy about his secret for looking so young (not a day over 70) at age 91. Yup, you guessed it. He masturbates a lot. Way to go, Ernie!.....

8/14 - Columbia MD radio ratings firm Arbitron is preparing to launch its electronic Portable People Meter system in four cities this week, including the DC market. The first round of DC PPM data will be available in December. In other test markets, the PPM data has shown a dramatic decline in the ratings for radio stations that program to black and Hispanic audiences. So, it remains to be seen if the heavily African American DC market will continue to have four "urban" stations - WMMJ, WPGC-FM, WHUR, and WKYS - among its typical top five. Rock and adult contemporary stations, as well as white-oriented talkers, have benefited from the PPM methodology. And that could result in a ratings jump for stations like DC101, WASH, WBIG, the Globe, WJFK-FM, and WMAL. Stay tuned.....

8/12 - What's better than sex? "Listening to WMAL and drinking pina coladas." So said WMAL morning man Fred Grandy this morning. By the way, season one/volume two of "The Love Boat" gets released on DVD today. Grandy played the ship's purser, Burl "Gopher" Smith, on the 1970s romantic comedy/drama.....

8/12 - Is Rush Limbaugh sounding fainter? It's not your imagination or your radio. Our FCC guru tells us that Citadel news talker WMAL (630 AM) will be operating for the next month at only 25-percent power - just 2,500-watts - due to their Bethesda towers being re-painted.....

8/12 - When WJFK-FM canned Fox News talker Bill O'Reilly's radio show last year, station owner CBS got one - you heard right - one single e-mail of protest. That's what I'm told, anyway. Now, it looks like Bill's lost his post-JFK DC radio home, with yesterday's announcement of the demise of Bonneville talker 3WT. Obviously, low (no) ratings are the culprit. So, where will Bill end up next on the DC radio dial? Maybe one of Dan Snyder's weakish AM talkers, WTNT or WWRC? Hey, Bill, yeah, you get great ratings on TV cable "news," but nobody's listening to your radio show down here in the DC area. Noooobody. A little good news for the Keith Olbermann crowd.....

8/11 - Capitol Hill gossip blog FishbowlDC continues to hype its goofy "hottest" in DC contest, touting on Monday that more than 750,000 votes have been cast since last week. However, as of mid-day, 219,000 of those votes were for Media Consortium's Brian Beutler. That's 30 percent of the contest's votes for just one of the several dozen candidates among six categories. With many other poor saps receiving fewer than 100 votes. Of course, voters can vote as many times as they care to for themselves or their friends. Whatever.....

8/10 - Maryland court records show that former WJFK-FM afternooner Don Geronimo, real name Michael Sorce, got hit with a $290 fine for doing 90 in a 55 zone on eastbound Route 100 in Glen Burnie on 6/12 at 10:15 AM. A guilty plea was entered for the offense on 7/11, records show.....

8/10 - Lowered expectations. As a plain old classic rocker, 94.7 The Globe is pretty good. As we've reported, CBS has just tweaked the station from its alternative rockish stance to a more traditional classic rock niche. And, not bad, with the Clash, U2, Springsteen, the Pretenders, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madness, Stone Temple Pilots, and David Bowie. Apparently, gone are the handful of more adventurous alt-rockish tunes by the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, the Kooks, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Modest Mouse. The big mistake that CBS made was unfairly getting our hopes raised for the station. When it launched in February 2007, CBS DC radio honcho Michael Hughes promised us something with a musical sensibility in the tradition of the old free-form progressive rock WHFS. And we believed him. Silly us.....

8/8 - Capitol Hill gossip blog FishbowlDC is doing one of those "Hottest" contents. And in one category, one guy has, so far, racked up more than 78,000 votes, while some of his competitors have tallied somewhere in the 100-or-fewer vote range. Either he is supremely sexy and his rivals are hideously ugly or the FishbowlDC vote is something of a bad joke. Gee, you can hit the back button on your browser and vote many times for the same person. You know, when DCRTV does its Hottie contests, we make it a point to trash repeat votes from the same person. No, our system ain't perfect, but it ain't a complete fraud like FishbowlDC's is. Sheesh.....

8/7 - As I predicted in July, the Soviet Borders in Fairfax has put all of its paid newspapers behind the armed guards at the cash registers as of 8/1. Leaving only the freebie rags for folks to browse and read while sitting in the comfy chairs by the mag racks or at the Seattle's Best coffee bar. However, I noticed that the freebie Examiner is not available at the Fairfax bookshop. Why not? A prime opportunity to "get read" for the upstart tab..... Oh, I had a clandestine meeting in a DC area parking complex yesterday with a top local radio guy. And he revealed that I didn't appear "as scary" in person as he thought I'd be. Hey, I'm just a lovable bearded fuzzball with a shaved-head, combat cap, and camo shorts.....

8/5 - Loved listening to a bunch of JFK-FMers pretending to be local yokels in a spot for the Prince William County fair, you know, with a tractor pull and all. Including the voice of Mike O'Meara show producer Beth Ann McBride. Now, how about MAL's Andy Parks as an ICE agent checking citizenship status of fairgoers at the main gate?.....

8/3 - Here's a way for CBS to become the dominant TV/radio provider in DC. First: Flip 94.7 to headline-based all-news radio, like WINS in NYC. Second: After 94.7 has seriously damaged all-news WTOP's revenue and ratings in about a year, buy it from Bonneville and make it DC's more conversational all-news source, a la WCBS-AM in NYC. Oh yeah, also buy 1500 from B'ville and make that a relay of either 94.7 or 103.5. Then, third and finally: Buy Channel 4/WRC from NBC, which wants to sell it, and turn it into the "new" WTOP-TV, DC's CBS station. Now, CBS will own DC's top local TVer (4), two top radio all-newsers (94.7 and 103.5/1500), the top talker (WJFK-FM), the top urban outlet (WPGC-FM), and the top Spanish station (WLZL) in the Nation's Capital. There, wasn't that simple?.....

8/1 - Yesterday, DCRTV told you that CBS Radio announced that it'll be selling about 50 "mid-market" radio stations in the near-term. Today, radio trade pub All Access tells us that the five CBS stations in Baltimore are on an unofficial list of "likely" properties to be unloaded. Including adult contemporary WLIF (101.9 FM), hot adult contemporary WWMX (106.5 FM), classic hits WQSR (102.7 FM), talker WHFS (105.7 FM), and sports talker WJFK-AM (1300). Baltimore is the 21st radio market in terms of size. CBS's five DC market radio stations - WPGC-FM/AM, WTGB, WLZL, and WJFK-FM - were not on the unofficial list of spin-off candidates. DCRTV hears that if CBS does sell its Baltimore stations, Clear Channel could be a likely candidate to pick up some of them, to add to its cluster of WCAO, WPOC, and WCHH. Other potential CBS Charm City suitors: Greater Media moving down from Philadelphia, Nassau moving eastward from Frederick/Hagerstown, Bonneville or Red Zebra moving up from DC, maybe Entercom. Stay tuned.....

8/1 - Citadel news talker WMAL just loves to play cutsie pop musical introductions to news stories during its Grandy and Andy morning show. And that's fine with the lighter, somewhat amusing stuff. But not when you're heading into a story about female soldiers being sexually abused, like was heard this morning. Argh.....

7/31 - The best talk radio in the Nation's Capital? It ain't WMAL, which is an extention of GOP Central. It ain't WTNT, which carries a bunch of syndicated political loudmouths. It ain't 3WT, which is, well, just plain mixed-up. It ain't SportsTalk 980 or ESPN 980 or whatever it's being called these days. Or WAMU, which does offer some dense talk. No. It's WJFK-FM. CBS's 106.7 has one of the most engaging talk lineups in town. Or anywhere. Now, these guys on JFK aren't the same fat ego-bloated gasbags you hear and see all over cable TV spewing their bunkish bombast about politics, sports, and celebs. No. They're all actually, pretty much, regular guys. But if you listen, you'll find that they're much smarter than "talk radio superstars" like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Bill O'Reilly. WJFK-FM's Junkies, Big O and Dukes, and Mike O'Meara - local and live radio from 5 AM-ish to 7 PM-ish - will surprise you. Yeah, sure, they talk about sports, cars, boobs, and booze. But if you pay attention, you'll also hear some very smart discussions about politics, the economy, relationships, and race relations. But what's surprising, is how interesting those "dry" topics are with the JFK treatment. For example, just today, Big O and Dukes were discussing the issue of how domestic car production affects the international balance of trade. But with their casual and conversational chat, you were probably fooled into thinking you were listening to a bunch of ordinary guys BS-ing. One of the reasons WJFK-FM's talk is so much more engaging than the other guys at the other stations is its "outside-the-Beltway" take on the DC area. You get the feel that the Junkies "know" what it's like to live here - to sit in endless traffic, to que for junk food, to get cut off on the Beltway by a mini-van driven by a distracted housemommy with a cell glued to her ear. They're not cheauffered around or invited to National Press Club fetes. Chad Dukes doesn't "panel" on "Hardball." Mike O'Meara doesn't spend weekends with Dick Cheney or do cocktails at Greta Van Susteren's. Look, I bash CBS Radio all the time. Like how it can't give DC a decent rock station with the Globe. But GM Michael Hughes and PD Chris Kinard really shine with WJFK-FM. It's not going to be the top station, but it will grow steadily. It's honest talk without the pomposity. Communication, not propaganda.....

7/30 - DCRTV's hearing rumblings of change at CBS's alternative/classic "World Class Rock" WTGB, the Globe. But CBS suits are denying that anything's up. The station's pretty much remained flat in the ratings since it transformed from the classic rock Arrow in February 2007. Some have speculated that CBS might be smart to flip 94.7 to smooth jazz, since the old WJZW (now oldies) got better numbers than the Globe gets. Nope, says a Globe source. CBS is sticking with the rock format until the rollout of the electronic Portable People Meter rating system in DC in late-2008. The PPM method seems to bolster the ratings of rockers. Then, CBS will re-evaluate the Globe after a full "book" of PPM data, we're told.....

7/29 - DCRTV hears that Baltimore-DC radio legend Johnny Dark (right) is no longer with Silver Spring-based Worldspace, where he did an oldies show. He opted out of his contract, we're told. DCRTV has reported that Worldspace, which provides satellite radio to worldwide places outside the USA, has been facing financial problems of late. We also hear that late paychecks are not uncommon. No word on Dark's future plans, since most local oldies radio stations (a la WQSR and WJZW) don't seem to want to staff themselves with real human beings. Over the years, Dark has worked all over the local radio dial, including at legendary "top 40" outlets WCAO and WEAM, and, more recently, at oldies outlets WQSR and WBIG.....

7/28 - DC's Channel 9/WUSA kicked off the new high-def version of "The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" at 6:30 PM tonight. But it had no audio. After a silent 20 seconds or so, they flipped back to old standard-def version. The HD was re-instated, with audio, at about halfway into the newscast. DCRTV hears that it was a CBS screw-up. "There was no audio coming in on the HD feed. (WUSA) switched back to SD right away. They finally got it straightened out about 14 minutes into the newscast," we're told. And, we hear that Couric's HD debut didn't go much better in Baltimore, where Channel 13/ WJZ takes the 7 PM feed of the newscast. After a few seconds of black screen, the SD version came on in the middle of a news report, we're told.....

7/26 - If the soon-to-be-merged SiriusXM wants to show that it's seriously going to "show the love" for its combined subscriber base, the first thing new CEO of the expanded firm, Mel Karmazin, should do is to take a batch of Sirius's most-popular channels - Howard Stern, NPR, NFL - and make them immediately available to XM subscribers on the XM platform at no extra charge. And ditto with XM's most-popular channels - Oprah, MLB, O&A - to Sirius subs on the Sirius platform. Do it from "day one" of the new married company. Since the two satrad systems are technically incompatible, it could be quite a while before XMers get Sirius stuff, and vice-versa, via new receivers. Mel, this would be a great way to get XM and Sirius subscribers "feeling good" before the receiver, programming, and billing hassles that will undoubtedly be coming with the new SiriusXM, or whatever it'll be called.....

7/26 - Just noticed that Friday's Washington Post finally ran a corrected local radio listing, long a gripe of yours truly. The "Greaseman" format was removed from WMET and replaced with "talk/international." The Grease left WMET last fall. He now does Saturday mornings on DC101. Among the changes, we also saw 1390 changed from Chinese to Spanish - three or fours years late. Plus Spanish on 1520, and the correct WPRS calls for gospel 104.1. A great newspaper demands accuracy - even with the "small stuff".....

7/24 - DCRTV hears that Citadel DC news talker WMAL's former news director, John Matthews, can now be heard doing morning drive news on Hearst news talker WBAL radio in Baltimore. Matthews is doing fill-in work for vacationing news folk throughout the summer, we're told. Matthews got budget-cut from WMAL in February after two-ish decades with the former ABC station.....

7/24 - What I got at washingtonpost.com this morning:


7/23 - Kudos to Channel 9's Topper Shutt and Howard Bernstein for anchoring severe weather coverage on Wednesday during the 8 PM prime-time hour on WUSA's 9.2 digital channel (Comcast 203). As the rare occurence of two thunderstorm lines merged directly over the DC area, one from the west and one from the south and east. Yeah, Channels 4 and 7 both have digital weather channels, and they did flash radar warnings, but 9 went that "extra yard" with live meteorologists and it made all the difference. A solid public service from the Gannett station.....

7/19 - Beautiful sunny Saturday in mid-July. Cranking the volume on the car radio as you scoot around the Beltway. Flip over to 94.7 and what do you get? "Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton. What a frigging' downer of a tune! Oh, it's an environmentally-friendly "Low Voltage" acoustic weekend being sponsored by Sport Honda, which, of course, offers many environmentally-friendly autos. You almost wish that 94.7 would just sign off for the weekend, and save even more energy, rather that subject us to these sad, sluggish dirges about dying and death. If I was Sport Honda, I'd get my sponsorship money back. Man!.....

7/18 - DCRTV hears rumblings that this could be the last year for the Redskins game-day radio team of Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff, and play-by-play man Larry Michael. Next year it could be Mike Patrick doing play-by-play, with Joe Theismann and John Riggins adding color. At least that's what a reliable local radio source tells us. You'll recall that Jurgensen and Huff have been calling Skins' games for several decades, having previously been paired with play-by-play man Frank Herzog.....

7/17 - We had a covert mind-meeting in a toothless Fairfax parking garage with a certain PD of a certain FM talker who tells us, on weekends, he's added a one-hour racing show, a home improvement/real estate show, a two-hour mixed martial arts show, plus "The Hideout" and "Joe Radio," as well as two hours of BDK's movie show on Sundays. That's 11 hours of local programming, up from zero hours a year ago. Oh, and as for JP Flaim boxing JW Bobbitt? No. But if they do something "goofy" like that again, it'll be here, not in AC.....

7/15 - A sign that Borders Books And Music must be on its last legs. A sign in the Fairfax store proclaims that all daily newspapers will be kept behind the counter starting 8/1. Obviously, no more browsing of unpaid-for Washington Posts and USA Todays while relaxing at the Seattle's Best coffee bar or on the comfy chairs by the mag racks. Now, you'll have to buy a rag sight-unseen if you want to read it. Kind of like the way some stores treat porno mags. You know, big corporate bookstores like Borders should view their newspapers as a "loss leader" to get bodies into the store to browse for other stuff, like more-expensive books, CDs, and DVDs. Hey Borders, the clueless beancounters in your current management won't save your sorry ass with silly newspaper availability policies like that. Maybe Borders will go out of business and a batch of more-humane, locally-owned bookshops will take its place? I can hope, can't I?.....

7/14 - According to delawareonline.com: Washington Postie, ESPNer, and 3WTer Tony Kornheiser was spied at Rehoboth Beach's Big Fish Grill. While at the restaurant, Kornheiser didn't make too many friends, a source told gossiper Ryan Cormier. After announcing that he was "too famous to be here," a staffer finally found him a corner table to keep him from, ahem, all his fans. Once there, the type of crabs he wanted weren't on the menu and he allegedly said, "I want what I want when I want it." Cormier adds that his source swore he said that, but he'd be surprised if anyone could be such an "ass. Staffers had to go next door to the Big Fish Seafood Market to get Kornheiser his precious crabs".....

7/14 - "I just don't want to drive to Fairfax every day of my friggin' life." One of the Fairfax-based WJFK-FM Junkies (we can never tell which particular Junkie said what) on today's morning show, about his overall career aspirations, which include developing a show for radio stations in other markets.....

7/14 - Might Redskins owner Dan Snyder face a legal hurdle at the Federal Communications Commission for the approval for the license transfer of SportsTalk 980 WTEM from Clear Channel to his Red Zebra firm from those opposed to the name of his team? Those who claim that "Redskin" is a "racially derogatory" reference to American natives say they will take their case to the FCC to challenge broadcast licenses of stations that carry the DC team. And, now, with Snyder a station owner, could he be the group's top target? A federal judge recently ruled against a group of native Americans that was challenging the team's name in court. Snyder currently operates WTEM under a lease agreement while he awaits the FCC's OK for the license transfer. If and when the deal is approved, Snyder will own six radio stations in the DC area. More at pr-inside.com.....

7/12 - Very early one morning a few years ago, I was awakened by the ringing phone. Just as I came to my senses, I realized that it was Tony Snow. He was calling to ask questions about a report running on DCRTV that claimed that WMAL was interested in picking up his Fox radio talk show, which had been running on WTNT. This was before he got the White House press secretary gig. Despite the fact that I had good-naturedly jabbed Snow and his righty politics several times in my Rant column, he was very friendly and said he loved the site. Damn, what a nice guy. Very sorry to see him go.....

7/11 - Checked out DC101's wonderful new erockster progressive rockish HD2 channel today and found it missing from 101.1's signal. Ditto with WTOP's HD3 traffic and weather channel on 103.5. What's even more pathetic about the "here-one-day-and-gone-the-next" status of local HD Radio channels is that I'm probably the only one who's noticing the absences. Man.....

7/10 - Fire drill. So, let's see. If there was a major emergency in the DC area, where would you turn for important information? WMAL, maybe? Its 630 low-band AM news talk signal does cover most of the metro area pretty darn good. Well, something knocked WMAL off the air for five minutes this morning at 8:15. Dead air, baby. No auxiliary transmitter immediately kicked in. Probably a power outage at the Bethesda transmitter site, since its sister FMers, WRQX and WJZW, with different transmitter sites, weren't affected. If something can knock 630 off the air, even for just a few minutes, is WMAL really ready for a real emergency in the Nation's Capital? Maybe WMAL's new owner Citadel should check into that.....

7/9 - Oh, lookie lookie. Via a quarter-page ad today on page A12, the Washington Post is hyping a "12-chapter serial" starting Sunday on "Who Killed Chandra Levy." OK, sure, if there's some legitimate new development on the missing/murdered DC intern who disappeared in 2001, please do report it. But drawing out the coverage into an almost two-week editorial "campaign" sure smacks of a Greta Van Susteren-esque exploitation of unseemly personal tragedy. Let me guess, a Postie has penned a book on the topic, right? I realize that the Post's circulation is slumping, but this is not the way to fix it. Man.....

7/9 - I hate to praise the evil rotten corporate bastards at Clear Channel, or the empty company suits who run DC's generic-sounding rocker DC101, but WWDC-FM's HD2 channel is absolutely magnificent, brilliant, and fantastic. If you're looking for adventurous progressive-ish rock, mixed with other cool genres in a fuckingly cool and imaginative way, with no commercials, then erockster is for you. It makes CBS Radio's the Globe 94.7 sound like a deflated beach ball slumping in the window of a dullish beach supplies store managed by Dan Mason. If you love really "out there" alt rock on the electronic and psychedelic fringe, and love to be sonically surprised, like I do, erockster alone is worth the several hundred bucks for an HD Radio. But why do that? You can listen for free on the erockster's website. Wow......

7/9 - DCRTV hears rumblings that Fox News DC news icon Brit Hume (right) may be scaling back his workload after the current presidential campaign ends. Our sources tell us that the Rupert Murdoch-owned news channel "is doing high-level, private focus groups" to find a replacement for the Hume VA native on "Fox News Sunday." No word on whether he'll cut back his four-day-per-week hosting chores for the 6 PM "Special Report" show.....

7/8 - USA Today is just getting around to discovering broadcast digital HD Radio. With three articles in today's rag. And, yeah, it sounds great "on paper." They list a whole bunch of cool digital channels being done by stations around the country. However, the "catch" is that you'll only be able to hear the HD Radio channels in your area - if that. This ain't satellite radio, where you can hear everything everywhere. The USA Today articles didn't address the poor reception characteristics of HD Radio, although there are plans afoot to boost the power of stations' digital signals. Here in Fairfax County, I have difficulty receiving some DC area HD Radio signals some of the time. And, sometimes, area stations' HD signals mysteriously go away for days or weeks at a time. And forget about picking up the digital signals from anywhere other than the immediate DC area, like Baltimore, Frederick, or Fredericksburg. And the articles didn't mention that many stations' HD Radio signals sound canned and boring. And, still, many stations offer only their main signal in HD, with no HD2 or HD3 alternatives. Yeah, some local HD offerings like DC101's alt rock-ish mix channel, WAMU's bluegrass and news channels, 98 Rock's alt and classic channels, WHUR's World offering, and WTOP's traffic and weather channel are quite cool. But take it from someone who's been listening to DC area HD Radio for about a year. After plunking down $100 to $300 for an HD Radio receiver, the chances are quite good that you're going to be disappointed.....

7/7 - I'd like to welcome Dave Wellington to town to program DC101 and Channel 104.3. Dave, you won't have much to do on the DC end since DC101 pretty much programs itself. Plus, the pretty much generic rocker has no real competition in the Nation's Capital, unless you think that hardish hot adult contemporary "Voices Carry 94.7" is competition. Ha ha ha. You will have your work cut out for you in Baltimore, Dave, as the new WCHH is up against Baltimore's three-decade rock steamroller 98 Rock, WIYY, which does seem to be playing more alt rock of late, along with the harder stuff Baltimoreans so love. Plus, up there you'll have rock variations WRNR, WTMD, and WZBA to deal with - swarming around your face like gnats. Basically, Dave, just do what the suits at Clear Channel Central in San Antonio tell you to do. Keep the chair warm in your Rockville office and maybe wax Hartley's car every now and then. You'll soon realize that DC ain't a hot rock radio town like Boston is. And, if you're lucky, in a couple of months, you'll join the list of several dozen former PDs that DC101's gobbled up and spit out during the past few years. Can you say "revolving door"?.....

7/5 - OK, it's the start of the second half of 2008. What I'd like to see happen on the local radio dial before the end of the year: Bonneville's low-rated talker 3WT going sports talk and humiliating Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his six local stations. Base the new format on some soon-to-be-former SportsTalk 980ers... Citadel realizing that its new oldies 105.9 needs "local personality" and putting live jocks back on and ditching Imus or moving him to WMAL evenings... Ditto with CBS and adult hits WQSR about putting live jocks back on... WMAL realizing that it doesn't need three guys on the morning show. Just Nehman and Grandy is fine... CBS finally taking the Globe in a true adult alternative direction and slapping the legendary HFS calls on 94.7... A female voice on W-MALE a la Laura Ingraham... Dan Snyder starting a Spanish sports talker on some of those six area signals... CBS pairing 105.7 and 1300 as dual Baltimore sports talkers with the old WFBR calls... Nassau buying Frederick's 103.9 from Bonneville and relaying Annapolis's adult alternative WRNR for the western suburbs... All-news WBAL-AM... Salem finally realizing that it's a "sin" to have 105.1 and not do something with it that'll get ratings...JFK-FM ditching the infomercials and reruns on the weekends and going live and local on weekday evenings... CBS taking 1580 and putting a relay of its NYC all-newser WINS on it (what the hell)... Radio One putting urban talker WOL on 93.9's HD2 channel... Baltimore's 1370 going back to its nostalgic "Legends" music format with a DC area AM relay.....

7/3 - Rush Limbaugh gets a giant mountain of dough to do his radio show until 2016. Yet, he's deaf and lives alone with a cat at his series of mansions in a walled-off Palm Beach complex. Actually felt kind of sorry for him after reading Sunday's NY Times piece. There's a point where money and power become rather meaningless, at least as far as happiness is concerned. You know.....

7/2 - "Here's how radio camp works - there's the door, run!" WMAL's Bryan Nehman this morning, joking about sending his kid to "radio camp." Obviously a jestful comment on the current state of the slumping local radio biz.....

7/1 - So let's see. Bennett Zier ran Clear Channel DC for a while. OK. Then he and his cigar-chomping buds collectively bolted for Skins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra, which, of course, has done gang-busters in the radio ratings with its three (soon to be six) killer signals. And now Bennett's Boys are off to perform their magic ways at troubled Air America. Who else among the DC Radio Frat Pack will follow former CCers Bennett and Bill Hess to AirAm? Jeff Wyatt? Cam Gray? Tod Castleberry? Radio, what a damn cool biz, huh!.....

6/30 - The Washington Post, via its many daily corrections, frequently claims that it is committed to accuracy. So, why does it continue to run a radio listings chart - page C7 of Monday's Style section - that is full of errors? A la the Greaseman at WMET (gone last October), 700 is WGOP (really WDMV), 1390 is Chinese (really Spanish), 104.1 is WXGG (really WPRS), 1520 is contemporary standards (really Spanish), yadda yadda yadda. The answer is that the Post doesn't care about local media (other than itself). And that's why DCRTV is here... Oh, here's my George Carlin-ism of the day: Why is 3WT's morning show called "The Inner Loop" when all of the station's transmitters are (way) outside the Beltway loop? Shouldn't it be called "The Outer Loop"? Hmmm.....

6/28 - Some comments on yesterday's monthly radio "trend" ratings for DC. Not good news for new Bonneville talker 3WT, which is stuck in 21st, in a four-way tie with Dan Snyder's sports talker Triple X, urban talker WOL, and a Fredericksburg station. And, now, with Tony Kornheiser leaving for six months for his "Monday Night Football" duties, will the station sink even more? Tony's said he'll be coming back to 3WT in January. The only question is whether Bonneville will have blown up the station by then. Classic country plus baseball, anyone? Now that Bonneville's also blown up frequent top-fiver classical WGMS, it's down to just one major DC station, the always-successful all-newser WTOP. They've got to be kicking themselves on Idaho Avenue about the GMS blunder. And what about Citadel's blowing up smooth jazz on WJZW, and firing almost everyone, for small market-sounding "canned" oldies and Don Imus. And a slump to 16th place, with Imus even lower. At least the clowns at Citadel came to their senses and didn't do the same "automated thing" at sister hot adult contemporary WRQX, signing morning man Jack Diamond to another five years. As Redskins owner Snyder's Triple X continues to flounder, the rival station he's just bought, SportsTalk 980, continues to languish in 18th. Not a promising ratings prospect for some sort of combination of the two stations on six signals. And then there's the "new" Globe, CBS's unfocused mess of an alt rock/hard hot adult contemporary outlet. It's been around a year-and-a-half and still fails to gain any "traction." How much longer is CBS going to stick with the format? And, we're seeing a continued gradual rise for Radio One's "new" contemporary gospel WPRS. But with a Waldorf-based signal, it doesn't look like it has a strong enough upward ratings trajectory to carry it into the top 10, joining the firm's other FMers, WKYS and WMMJ. Happy listening.....

6/27 - Some "insider" jokes during the "Big O And Dukes Show" this morning on WJFK-FM about coming to work to find the CBS guy talk station's 106.7 Fairfax studios boarded-up, with a move to Silver Spring. Where? Although it wasn't mentioned, we assume to the facilities of CBS's low-rated alt-ish rocker WTGB, The Globe. We've heard rumors like that, but could they come true? It would give money-maker JFK better coverage of the DC market. For the record: "JFK is staying-put in Fairfax," a top CBSer tells us. Whatever....

6/25 - I was born in NYC in February 1958. And, with my dad in the Army, my ma took me to live with my dad's family in Hartsdale, NY, about 15 miles north of the city. That was until mid-1958, when my ma and me joined my dad at in Tacoma, WA, while my dad was at Ft. Lewis. Later that year, we moved back to the East Coast, to settle in a bunch of NJ towns as my dad started his career at IBM in Philadelphia. As a kid, we often trekked back up to visit my grandparents in Hartsdale. They lived in the house until about 1970, when my grandfather retired to a seaside town near Atlantic City. So, the other day, I punched in the old Hartsdale address on Google Maps to discover that I could virtually and visually "tour" the old neighborhood of my youth. Clicking on the arrows, you can actually "walk" from my grandparents' old house (below) down the big hill on Holland Place to downtown Hartsdale. Now, how cool is that.....


6/23 - "A new hazard of our digital age, with all the cell phones and digital cameras - drivers stopping to take pictures of rainbows." WTOP's Bob Marbourg during a traffic report at 7:28 PM Monday, just after a line of thunderboomers passed through the DC area and the sun reappeared.....

6/19 - The first month or so of the new Mike O'Meara show has been quite impressive. A good mix of comedy sidekicks and a very smart, talented host. But, Mike, you've got to watch for the landmines. Specifically, those placed by your employer, CBS Radio. Please don't turn the show into a mish-mash of product mentions and plugola for advertisers. Like yesterday's "infomercial" for some guy running a website about Lyme disease. Or your constant "casual mentions" of a cable show TV that, as we soon found out, is a sponsor. Or doing a picnic where you mention a specific brand of grill over and over. Does every comedy bit have to be a "tie-in" with a sponsor? Yeah, we know that radio ad sales are down in the dumps of late, and WJFKers are fighting like hell to return the station to its "superstation" revenue status of its Stern-Geronimo-Redskins days. Good luck. But never forget that your former radio partner, Don Geronimo, fought like hell to keep control of the show and not let the sales department or the CBS "suits" run it. You must do the same. It's not an easy thing to do, as Don would probably tell you. But, Mike, you must stand up for your listeners, and try to keep at least some little bit of integrity on the show.....

6/19 - A DCRTVer tells us that NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC yesterday evening "screwed up the end of the 'NBC Nightly News.' Just as Brian Williams had tossed to the Tim Russert memorial piece, WRC broke away to commercials, and more commercials, and more commercials. 'Nightly' actually never ended. They just went into the next program." We're told that WRC anchor Jim Vance apologized for the "mistake" on NBC4's 11 PM newscast.....

6/18 - Since Chris Matthews wasn't on today (for obvious reasons), I flipped over to Fox News at 5 PM to catch DC-based Laura Ingraham's new show. Ehhh. Not terribly impressed. She had Brit Hume on as some sort of expert on some topic. Typical Fox News. But, what up with Laura's stringy hair? Looks like she just got out of the shower. Does Roger Ailes really like her that way? Sad.....

6/17 - Good to see Laura Ingraham getting a TV gig from Fox. Don't agree with her, but like her a lot. Just as long as that asshole John Gibson never shows up on TV again, that'd be cool with me..... Oh, got a request to do a phone-in with Mancow today regarding media coverage of Russert's death. Nah. No way..... If the Junkies want to seriously beat Elliot they're going to have to cut the ad load on their show. Way too many annoying commercials. But that's how CBS does radio, right?..... It would be nice if CBS trashed the horrible classic rock HD2 Jam digital channel on allegedly environmentally-friendly Glob. A total waste of energy. Ah 94.7. Dull rock radio perfected..... I'll say it again - Grandy and Andy, a 20-minute show repeated 11 times each morning. Time for a change at 630, huh Citadel? G&A need to hit the rocking chairs on the porch..... I bitch and bitch but, guess what, I really do find myself liking "Mr. Tony" Kornheiser's radio show. Kind of a old dip, but fun to listen to. DC's version of Larry "Curb Your Enthusiasm" David. Sorry to see him go away to do "Monday Night Football." I look forward to his return to 3WT in January.....

6/17 - DCRTV hears rumors that NBC suits have delayed or scrapped high-def upgrade plans for the news studios of DC's WRC-TV and Philadelphia's WCAU-TV. Fueling rumors that the Peacock is planning to put both stations on the market.....

6/17 - DCRTV hears reliable rumblings from NBC sources that former White House correspondent and current MSNBC political talk show host David Gregory is at the very top of the list to replace late "Meet The Press" host Tim Russert.....

6/17 - "No one has." WJFK-FM Mike O'Meara show newsman Buzz Burbank today on who's tuning in to Baltimore's WHFS, which refused to carry O'Meara's show after Don Geronimo left the radio duo in April. Both stations are owned by CBS Radio.....

6/16 - DCRTV hears more rumors that NBC is seriously thinking about selling Channel 4/WRC, its longtime owned station in DC. And, we're hearing rumblings that two of the possible bidders for the station are the two other major broadcast networks. CBS has long wanted to own a TV station in DC, but the DC's CBS affiliate, Channel 9/WUSA, is owned by Gannett. And the Washington Post before that. But if CBS were to bid on 4, it could face a co-ownership hurdle, since it owns five radio stations in the DC market. Another potential bidder, we hear, is ABC, which has always lusted over ABC affiliate Channel 7/WJLA, but owner Allbritton has steadfastly refused to sell. Also, ABC just sold its three DC radio stations to Citadel. If either CBS or ABC gets control of 4, expect some sort of network "musical chairs" as NBC finds a new "home" on the DC TV dial. Stay tuned......

6/14 - Remembering Tim and losing touch. If Tim Russert is looking down from Heaven, would he approve of the superstar, blanket coverage he's getting from the TV networks, particularly his own, NBC? Would he approve of the fact that we learned next-to-nothing yesterday evening about Iraq or the presidential race or those Boy Scouts who died in that tornado in Iowa because his death was the one and only story? I've always been a big fan of Tim. I've always thought he was a top-notch journalist and one of the very best political interviewers on the tube. But I don't like how journalists have become super-celebs. OK, yeah, if you're on TV you're going to reach many people and become well-known. But, today, TV news people have become like rock musicians or movie stars. Too often, they hog the spotlight at the expense of what they're covering. And now, countless websites are devoted to stroking the egos of these "news stars." Tim was famous and he knew that. But he didn't milk it for extreme publicity like the O'Reillys and the Riveras and the Olbermanns do. From what I've heard, Tim was a nice guy and didn't like to slam others in the biz. But maybe, just maybe, we should tone down the coverage of Tim's sad and tragic passing, and also find time to remind the country that there are a lot of other fathers who are also dying this Father's Day weekend. In Iraq and on the mean streets of DC. Maybe the TV news could also spend a few moments focusing on the hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans, like those in places like South Buffalo. That's what Tim was particularly good at - putting the news in perspective. And the loss of that honest human perspective is what makes Tim's death so tragic for the increasingly sensationalist, out-of-touch news biz.....

6/13 - DCRTV hears that Clear Channel may replace middayer Lara "Vibegrrl" Dua on Hot 99.5 with Ryan Seacrest's new syndicated LA-based radio show. Stay tuned.....

6/12 - Today's Washington Post reveals how friendly, social websites like Facebook are actually in the biz of data mining, forcing you to give up tidbids of personal info about yourself in order to use to various "widgets." Just curious. What about NYC area-based Mediabistro, which runs DC gossip site FishbowlDC? The other day, WASH morning man Loo Katz responded to a query on the site about a mysterious local broadcast tower. The next day his name got featured in a FishbowlDC blurb. But, surprise surprise, now he's also got his own personal profile page at FishbowlDC. Not much on it - yet. But, does Loo, normally a kind of laidback, beneath-the-radar kind of guy, want that? Be careful out there.....

6/12 - DCRTV has been reporting rumblings that NBC might sell its longtime DC TV station Channel 4/WRC. Now, FTVLive reports that sources claim that John Wallace, president of the NBC's TV stations, has pitched the idea of having NBC News get out of the local news business at its owned stations. And reduce that number of stations to just three - outlets covering NYC, LA, and Chicago. Other NBC-owned stations, like DC's WRC, would be sold, according to the rumors surrounding a so-called "Growth Playbook" at the network. More as we hear it.....

6/11 - A DCRTV engineering guy tells us that the Northern Virginia tower that transmits Clear Channel's classic rock hits WBIG (100.3 FM) and country WMZQ (98.7 FM) got hit by lightning last week that destroyed the lower half of the antenna. Substantial damage was done to the structure throughout. The entire antenna must come down for evaluation and repair, or replacement, we're told. Expect continued reduced power for both stations while repair options are considered, we hear.....

6/11 - A DCRTV engineering guy tells us that Fairfax-based MHz Networks, which runs Channel 56/WNVC, has applied with the FCC to run 160,000-watts of power for its new digital signal on channel 24. That's substantially more than the 90,000-watts that fellow public broadcaster Channel 26/WETA is running for its digital signal on channel 27. Is WNVC, which focuses on international programming fare, gunning to be the dominant public TV station in the DC market? Stay tuned.....

6/10 - Bruce Gilbert, who heads Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm, says that his firm has not yet made a decision about whether to keep two sports talk operations in the DC market. RZ currently operates Triple X ESPN Radio and is in the process of buying WTEM SportsTalk 980 from Clear Channel. The two sports talk operations may very well be merged into one, Gilbert tells DCRTV. A decision has not been made. And no decision has been made about what to do with talkers WTNT and WWRC, which RZ is also buying from CC. They may continue airing political talk, Gilbert adds. While RZ will take over operations of all three AMers from CC on 7/1, the current programming will most likely remain until RZ can ramp up its personnel levels to fully staff the outlets, Gilbert says. Gilbert stresses to DCRTV that, while Snyder will own the stations, he will not be involved in day-to-day programming decisions. Gilbert also shoots down rumblings that Snyder will buy time on a Clear Channel FMer to air the Redskins this season, like last year. The team will definitely air on RZ's six local signals, Gilbert says, and that's enough.....

6/10 - Alleged "news-talker" WMAL this morning played Elton John's mid-1970s tune "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" when reporting news that Virginia's governor had commuted the death sentence of a schizophrenic man. Gawd. Sometimes silence would be better, doncha think?.....

6/9 - Was watching "Evan Almighty" on HBO last night and was struck by how much actor Steve Carell (right) looks like Channel 9/WUSA weatherman Topper Shutt (left). You know, if they ever film the "life story" of superstar meteorologist Shutt, Carell would be the perfect actor for the part..... It seems that the WMAL morning team of Grandy, Andy, and Nehman do 20 minutes of radio. And then that 20 minutes is repeated 12 times during their four-hour show. They repeat the same bits and news stories. Over and over. Like a "news wheel" at an all-news station. But this is a talk station. You know, most people listen to WMAL in their cars. And most commutes in this area are more than 20 minutes. Much more. Meaning that many people are being "encouraged" by WMAL's morning show "format" to tune away after 20 minutes or so in search of something "new." More "brilliant" radio programming, huh.....

6/9 - We're hearing more rumblings about what Redskins owner Dan Snyder might do with his six area radio signals - the three he already has via his Triple X sports talker on 730, 92.7, and 94.3, and the three he's buying from Clear Channel, including SportsTalk 980 and talkers on 570 and 1260. It's a fairly good bet that Snyder will keep the two sports talkers, and hold on to the 570 and 1260 signals, possibly as Triple X relays. Our source says it's likely Snyder will ditch 730, due to its weak night power. And, we also hear rumblings that Snyder still wants a major inside-the-Beltway FMer, but CC won't sell 97.1, 100.3, or 101.1 But he might still do a deal with a strong FMer to air the Skins this season - either back to WBIG or maybe even via WHUR. We have a source who tells us that "Danny is also paying well above book to close the deal with Clear Channel before (WTOP owner) Bonneville can do anything." Why buy so many local stations? Snyder wants to "own" local radio sports talk because he feels that the area TV stations don't do a good job covering his team, we're told.....

6/9 - We're hearing more rumblings that WTOP/3WT owner Bonneville continues to salivate at the possibility of Citadel dumping some of their choice ex-ABC properties to raise cash. And news/talker WMAL is strongly considered to be on the shopping block. "While (Redskins owner) Dan (Snyder) would love to have it, it would be tough for him to raise the bread fast enough - with the Clear Channel (SportsTalk 980 sale) deal going down - to beat Bonneville." Also lusting over the solid 630 AM signal: WAVA owner Salem and WFSI owner Family Stations, both of which would put a religious spin on it. However, a Bonneville source tells DCRTV that his firm would be more interested in picking up Citadel's local FMers - 105.9 or 107.3 - instead of AMer WMAL.....

6/5 - So, let's see. Come September, the Redskins will be on 980, an AMer with great daytime coverage but not-so-hot night coverage in places like Northern Virginia. And the Redskins will be on AMers 570, 730, and 1260, all with severe coverage problems, especially at night. And the Redskins will be on two so-called "rimshot" far-suburban FMers, 92.7 in Prince Frederick and 94.3 in Warrenton, neither of which provides significant coverage inside-the-Beltway. Six DC area stations that will be owned by team owner Dan Snyder will carry the Redskins. And, you know what, the Redskins will still (!) have coverage problems for their late afternoon and evening games. All Snyder needed was one inside-the-Beltway FMer. Something like 100.3 or 105.1. And he'd get significantly better coverage than the six (count 'em) local stations he'll soon have. You know, maybe Snyder should just send the Red Zebra back to the National Zoo Of Bad Media Ideas and, like before, contract the radio rights for his team to a "real" broadcaster. And make money on the deal. Man.....

6/5 - A very reliable local radio source tells us that Redskins owner Dan Snyder plans to drop the political talk format from WTNT (570 AM) when he takes control of the Clear Channel station on 7/1. And that Citadel talker WMAL (630 AM) is scrambling to sign nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham for the late morning slot. Also, DCRTV has heard from other local radio sources that syndicators with other talk shows on WTNT, a la Dennis Miller and Michael Savage, have approached WMAL and Bonneville talker 3WT about picking them up. DCRTV's take: Might Snyder initially use 570 as a closer-in relay for his Triple X sports talker, which airs John Riggins in afternoon drive? Stay tuned.....

6/5 - DCRTV's been reporting rumblings about possible lineup changes at talker WMAL. Now, we get this from a 630 listener: "Not sure if I heard it correctly... but I could swear I heard a commercial for Chris Plante on WMAL at around 4 AM this morning that said, 'Same Chris, new time. Chris Plante 6 to 9 AM on WMAL.' Or something very similar. Grandy and Andy are not letting on this AM so I don't now when/if the programming changes." However, WMAL Geneneral Manager Chris Berry tells DCRTV: "The guy misheard. No such promo on the air and no programming changes expected".....

6/4 - DCRTV first reported rumors waaaaaaaay back in January. In a 1/14 Rant entry that had appeared on the Front Page: "DCRTV has a very well-placed source who tells us that Clear Channel is giving very serious thought to unloading some or all eight of its DC radio stations. And the first to go could be SportsTalk 980, WTEM, probably to Redskins-owner Dan Snyder, whose Red Zebra broadcasting arm owns Triple X ESPN Radio".....

6/3 - Today, I was e-mailing with a bigwig from the alt rockish The Globe who was touting some of the cooler stuff being played on 94.7, including "The News" by Carbon Silicon, composed of former members of the legendary Clash. Just moments later, I heard the tune on righty talker WMAL, as the music bed for a Grandy and Andy morning show promo. Proving that there is a progressive sensibility deep in the dungeon of Jenifer Street.....

6/3 - "You have the nicest, breathiest voice." On his radio show today via WMAL, Rush Limbaugh said that to "Mona," a female caller. Proving that the righty radio talker is not that much different from lefty TV talker Chris Matthews, who is prone to sexist banter. Speaking of sexist banter, this one came today from WJFK-FMer Mike O'Meara to his show producer, Beth Ann McBride: "Your breasts are large today".....

6/3 - When we asked a top 3WTer about whether the Bonneville talker was talking to afternoon righty talk radio icon Sean Hannity, we were met with dead silence. Not a denial. Which makes us really wonder if there's some truth to the rumors that Hannity may soon be bolting from Citadel's family of stations, including WMAL. Also, it appears that Hannity could be talking to Fox or Premiere or Mark Masters about taking over the syndication chores from Citadel, formerly ABC Radio. Oh, we hear from another local radio source who tells us that a number of syndicators representing talkers currently heard on Clear Channel talkers WTNT and WWRC are shopping their talent around to other stations, now that rumors are flying about Redskins owner Dan Snyder buying the stations. And they're talking to both 3WT and WMAL. That would include reps for Laura Ingraham, Bill Press, Michael Savage, and Dennis Miller. "The fact that WMAL's PD is polling his listeners right now tells me they are looking at re-arranging their line-up. (Hannity) had a poor last Trend - all of WMAL was down in the money demo, but he usually does very well for them. This would be a big loss for a struggling radio station," we hear.....

6/2 - The Radio Equalizer blog recently reported that national afternoon driver and righty talk icon Sean Hannity and Citadel head Farid Suleman don't much like each other. And that Citadel might be seriously thinking about yanking Hannity from its stations, possibly as soon as 6/12? If that happens, might Citadel DC talker WMAL move late morning local man Chris Plante to afternoons and put the syndicated Laura Ingraham in late mornings? Coincidentially, we're getting rumblings here at DCRTV that WMAL is about to make a big schedule change. "Sounds like he (WMAL Program Director Paul Duckworth) is getting ready to make changes as you are reporting," a non-Citadel local radio guru tells us. And, where would Hannity go in DC if left locally homeless by WMAL? Clear Channel talker WTNT or Bonneville talker 3WT? Stay tuned.....

6/2 - Man, even though it has a canned announcer (Scott Shannon) and is programmed from somewhere else, Citadel's True Oldies 105.9 was sounding mighty fine over the weekend. It was doing a special '60s weekend, and there were countless "wow tunes." You know, stuff you haven't heard on broadcast radio in ages. Fresh! Now, why doesn't the station just play that kind of cool stuff all the time? No, back to the old over-played '70s and '80s sludge come Monday. It's like Clear Channel's Big 100 doing a British rock weekend. And going back to its "classic tired hits" on Monday. Or CBS's The Globe doing a magnificent "eclectic weekend" and flipping back to Paul Simon and Joe Cocker and its confusing mish-mash-mix on Monday Hey, all you DC area music radio suits - how about staying in the weekend party mode all week? Tell the corporate bean counters to go chill!..... Oh, if you didn't catch it in the theater or on DVD, Cinemax is running "Talk To Me" this month. The excellent but allegedly flawed drama is about DC radio and TV legend Petey Greene and his days at WOL radio.....

5/30 - For readers of DCRTV in an alternative universe: WJFK-FM's Don Geronimo will be doing his last show today, before he retires from his 35-year radio career. As you'll recall, Geronimo announced earlier this year that his last show would be on 5/30. His longtime radio partner Mike O'Meara will debut with his new solo show on 6/2. OK. Yeah, I firmly believe that there are alternative universes with different outcomes. There's a universe where Smooth Jazz 105.9 still exists and one where Al Gore has been president for the past seven years. And one where Geronimo didn't decide to leave the airwaves early. Back to the current universe: O'Meara's new show is perfectly good and all that. But, you know what? I really do miss the Dark Lord Of DC Radio.....

5/29 - The Washington Post put its Scott McClellan bombshell book story on print page A2 today. Leaving space on the front page for an article on rape convictions in England. Oooookay. Oh, the former Bush press secretary got a darn good spanking from Rush Limbaugh today. The titanic righty radio talk show host took extra special glee in positioning McClellan's naked butt over his knee and smacking it again and again and again. OK, figuratively speaking. Still, quality entertainment.....

5/28 - Went to the much-hyped newly-designed Washington Times website at this morning and clicked on "technology" news and nothing happened. Even after a minute wait. Ditto when I clicked on "entertainment" news. Good first impression. At least the crappy old site worked. Oh, heard a "bail bonding" firm advertised this morning on the Junkies. Wonder what that says about who listens to JFK-FM? Hmmm.....

5/28 - DCRTV hears from a very reliable local radio source that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is very close to a deal to purchase Clear Channel's three DC area AM stations - sports talk WTEM (980 AM), righty talker WTNT (570 AM), and lefty talker WWRC (1260 AM). DCRTV has exclusively reported rumblings that Snyder was interested in the three stations for several months now. It's thought that Snyder, via his Red Zebra broadcasting arm, would merge the operation of his Triple X ESPN sports talker with SportsTalk 980, a Fox Sports radio affiliate. Triple X is currently heard on Warrenton's 94.3 FM, Prince Frederick's 92.7 FM, and Alexandria's 730 AM (which has a very low night power). The move to 980 would give Snyder a 50,000-watt daytime, 5,000-watt nighttime inside-the-Beltway signal. The final deal could be announced next week.....

5/27 - Channel 9/WUSA has unveiled a redesigned website. And, according to WUSA "Trackback Opinion Poll" results as of late Tuesday on the site, 45 percent of those who responded voted "yuck" and "want the old site back." Almost 30 percent like the revamping and 17 percent judge it to be merely "okay".....

5/23 - Channel 7/WJLA News Director Bill Lord has something to say about the Post's piece on the May TV ratings. He tells DCRTV: "Just for the record, the article in this morning's Washington Post totally misses a major point. WJLA won the May 'sweeps' at 11 PM. WJLA beat WRC in household ratings 5.17 to 4.95. WJLA beat WRC in the adult 25-54 demographic 2.60 to 2.29. These are the numbers that determine market leadership and advertising revenues. The Post's spirited defense of WRC uses a measurement widely ignored in the television industry which adds in the number of children who might have been in the room when their parents watched the news. It's a non-factor".....

5/21 - DCRTV hears that Cruze, former program director at Clear Channel alt-ish rocker DC101, is now in-house programming consultant for Shamrock classic rocker WZBA, Baltimore's "The Bay." CC has still not announced a replacement for Cruze since he received the steel-toed boot in April.....

5/21 - Former Channel 5/WTTG weatherman Tom Sater is now an assistant manager with the Tractor Supply Company in Warrenton. The WTTG source tells DCRTV that Sater grew up in the Midwest and is familiar with farm gear. And is really enjoying his new job. Sater got bounced from his WTTG morning weather gig in 2005.....

5/21 - From a usually reliable DCRTV source: "Got a rumor from a consultant that NBC is considering selling (its) Washington and San Francisco TV stations." Unconfirmed. NBC Universal has unloaded some TV stations in middle markets, of late. And NBC just sold Channel 4/WRC's tower at the Nebraska Avenue broadcast complex. Adds FTVLive, which also relays the 4-for-sale rumor: "Word for weeks is that NBC is looking to increase their cash flow and a number of station sales have been talked about. NBC is still looking at make some big layoffs in the near future... Insiders tell FTVLive that other NBC stations will be in for layoffs as well." Oh, the SF station is in San Jose.....

5/20 - "He's only wrong half the time." 3WTer Tony Kornheiser this morning on NBC4 morning weatherman Tom Kierein.....

5/19 - A DCRTVer tells us that WJFK-FM's Joe Ardinger, who hosts "The Joe Show" on Saturdays at 9 PM, is selling ad sports dirt cheap. Especially for a major market. A 30-second spot on his show goes for just $20. And a 60-second spot for $40. And that even includes production costs, we're told by someone who heard the offer. No word on whether Ardinger, who's also a call screener on Mike O'Meara's afternoon drive show, gets to keep the dough, or has to turn it over to JFK's ad department. "Joe was just having some fun. Our sales department represents the show for advertising," a JFK suit tells us.....

5/16 - Fifty (count 'em) paragraphs, two pics, and two charts. Almost the entire C7 full broadsheet page in the print edition of Friday's Washington Post (minus two Post promos). For what? Lisa de Moraes's rundown of Fox TV's 2008-2009 program line-up. Other than a few TV execs, does any reader in his/her right mind care that much? Man.....

5/15 - A bunch of WMAL alums turned out Wednesday at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn to honor Hal Green, "the man who largely created the WMAL sound that was to make this station the most successful operation in Washington for 20 years." So says WMAL veteran Tom Gauger, who organized the tribute luncheon to the former station manager. Back then, in the early 1970s, WMAL was a full-service news, talk, and music outlet, with the legendary Harden and Weaver on in mornings. On the guest list: Milagros Ardin, Charlie Brotman, Len Diebert, John Lyon, Bill Mayhugh, Mac McGarry, Janice Ockershausen, David Sproul, Bill Trumbull, and Ed Walker.....

5/14 - DCRTV hears that the CBS Radio suits in Lanham and NYC are not terribly concerned about the "slow growing" Globe, WTGB, 94.7 FM. The "World Class Rock" alternative rockish station was launched in February 2007, with the demise of classic rock WARW, and has seen little ratings growth since. Pretty much stuck in 17th place in the DC radio ratings roundup. "Yes, we would like it to leap to number one, but we are growing in our target demos and also adding more women to the profile which helps from a sales standpoint," we're told. We're also told that the Globe alone accounts for more than one percent of CBS Radio's online listening on any given day - on a nationwide basis. Plus, CBS is betting that the station, which attracts high-income, tech-savy demos, will see a healthy ratings lift once Arbitron launches its Portable People Meter radio ratings in the DC market later this year. In current test markets, rock and talk stations are getting big boosts in the automated PPM numbers, as opposed to the old-fashioned written diary method. "We still play more 'adventurous' new music than any other station in town and a library playlist unlike anything else on the radio," a top Glober tells DCRTV. "I wish you could applaud, in some sense, the risks we are taking. But, remember, we are still in the mass appeal business." New music currently being played on the Globe includes stuff by Duffy, Carbon/Silicon, Newton Faulker, Needtobreathe, Augustana, Mike Doughty, Jakob Dylan, Tristan Prettyman, the Apples In Stereo, the Black Keys, the Racounteurs, Radiohead, Mudcrutch, and Flogging Molly, in addition to classic rock stalwarts like the Police, REM, the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, and the Beatles, we're told.....

5/13 - "I voted for him. I'll wear that badge forever." WMAL right-leaning morning man Andy Parks admitting this morning that he voted for Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. And: On today's Mike O'Meara show on WJFK-FM, the host admitted that he likes to engage in sexual activity before the show because "it relaxes and centers me." No word about whether it's done solo or with someone else.....

5/12 - A source tells DCRTV: "Major, major layoffs sweeping through Columbia-based Retirement Living TV. Production department completely gutted, ad sales gutted, marketing gutted. Skeleton crews left within 60 days. Hearing that they're going to suspend their pay-for-carriage deals with DirecTV and Comcast's CN8. That doesn't leave them in many households, and that they may go off the air for 'up to 12 months.' For those who've worked through such situations, that's a nice way of saying the whole thing is probably about to go belly up." RLTV uses a batch of media folks to host its shows, including WMAL morning man Fred Grandy. More as we hear it.....

5/12 - My niece Kate, who lives with her three kids, a husband, and a whole bunch of animals on a Jefferson County, West Virginia farm, starts her very own blog - "My Three Monkeys" - at mythreemonkeys-cross.blogspot.com. If you visit, tell her that her crazy Uncle Dave tipped you off to it. Ha ha ha.....

5/11 - Went to a matinee (pre-6 PM) movie yesterday at a local multiplex. $8.25 for the ticket - for a matinee showing?!?! - and another $4.25 for the soda. The theater was about 97 percent empty. And the movie sucked.....

5/9 - On Thursday, DCRTV featured a link to a Wikipedia article which made a reference to Jack Diamond, the morning man at WRQX. When we posted the link, we stated that Diamond's employer, Citadel Broadcasting, had claimed that there was no truth to information contained in the Wikipedia article. On Friday, DCRTV received a letter from Nancy Ory, an attorney representing Citadel, who told us that Citadel "has made no announcement concerning plans to replace the 'Jack Diamond Morning Show' with alternative programming and has every expectation that its relationship with Mr. Diamond will continue in the future." Also, Ory's letter requested that we remove yesterday's news item that featured the link to the Wikipedia entry. We have done so.....

5/9 - "I don't need a girlfriend, ma. Where's the meatloaf?" So said Oscar "Big O" Santana on his Friday show about what he says upon returning home after his WJFK-FM midday airshift.....

5/9 - A DCRTVer tells us that Scripps' Channel 2/ WMAR does not intend to build a new digital TV facility or buy any new transmitting equipment for Baltimore's famed "candelabra" tower. WMAR is instead purchasing the existing equipment from CBS's Channel 13/WJZ. We're told that means both stations will be unlikely to be launching high-def local newscasts any time soon. Check out 2's FCC DTV filing at fcc.gov.....

5/7 - At the start of the "Ask The Governor" program today, featuring Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, WTOP reporter Mark Segraves made a shameless and brash request for DCRTV "Battle Of The Media Hotties" votes from the station's listeners (see newsblurb below). Hear his plea here (MP3).....

5/7 - FTVLive tells us that rumors spilling out of Baltimore are saying that former CNN boss Princell Hair (right) is going to be named news director at struggling Channel 2/WMAR. Sources tell FTVLive that WMAR Acting News Director Kelly Groft has been told she isn't getting the ND gig. Hair has been spotted in the hallways at the Scripps ABC affiliate. Hair once was the ND at Channel 11/WBAL, "so he knows the area," FTVLive adds.....

5/7 - DCRTV hears that Channel 7/WJLA will go to high-def local newscasts by the end of summer. New studio cameras and a new switcher are down to final bids from major equipment vendors. Field cameras are already HD-ready, and graphics are ready to go. Promotions has been shooting in HD for months. Allbritton sister NewsChannel 8 will also be in HD, but nobody will see it since the deal with local cable providers Comcast and Cox has no provisions for HD, and they have not asked for it, so NC8 will be "down converted" to standard-def. We're told that it's easier for the whole 7/NC8 facility to be HD and down convert NC8 to SD than to have WJLA in HD and NC8 in SD. Also, we also hear that NC8's will have new studio space in the former SunTrust bank space on Wilson Boulevard, just down the street from WJLA's Rosslyn HQ.....

5/7 - The DC Post's Style section. I'd like to apologize to "Reliable Source" gossip columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts for calling them "hacks" and "rewrite queens." In my eyes, they have more than proved their journalistic mettle with their investigative piece today about Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington's visit to DC. And how she managed to not drop pizza crap on her white pantsuit while dining at a DC dive. Imagine the jealousy at TMZ and Page Six for missing out on the Huffington scoop. Man!.....

5/7 - We asked you yesterday what should the alleged alt rock Globe be playing instead of Joe Cocker and Paul Simon. And you told us: Flaming Lips, Gorillaz, Old 97s, Rachael Yamagata, Matthew Ryan, Rhett Miller, the Waterboys, Wire Train, the White Animals, Jason And The Scorchers, Editors, Embrace, Hard-Fi, Kaiser Chiefs, the Kooks, Safety Suit, Monster In The Machine, Ryan Cabbera, Bjork, the Smiths, Big Audio Dynamite, Flamin' Groovies, Big Star, Let's Active, dBs, Spoon, Sloan, and King Crimson. Today, we make another suggestion. Send us your suggestions for cool Globe tunes at dcrtv@dcrtv.com.....

5/6 - We're just trying to help CBS Radio make the alt rockish Globe (94.7 FM) a better station. So, we're launching a new feature: "Music The Globe Should Be Playing." Check out our first candidate video at the top of the right column of this page. Tired of Joe Cocker and Paul Simon on 94.7? Send us your suggestions for cool Globe tunes at dcrtv@dcrtv.com.....

5/5 - DCRTVers tell us that both of DC's oldies outlets were in meltdown mode on Sunday morning. We're told that Citadel's oldies WJZW (105.9 FM) not only went for several hours without an hourly legal ID, which is mandated by the FCC, but it also featured lengthy periods of "dead air" and periods with two commercials being run at the same time. Some of which cut into the "true oldies." And, down the dial at Clear Channel's classic hits WBIG (100.3 FM), we're told that it was repeatedly playing two songs at the same time. Is this any way to run major market radio? Hmmm. Speaking of radio meltdowns, do you think that Bonneville could erect some sort of 3WT feed to the 107.7 FM transmitter in Warrenton that didn't cause repeated "hiccups." Obviously caused by some sort of internet buffering. Day after day after day, it never goes away. Once again this morning, during Tony Kornheiser's show, it sounded like the legendary sports columnist was having diaphramatic spasms. This is supposed to be a "real" radio station, right? Sheesh.....

5/2 - A tipster tells DCRTV: NewsChannel 8 is getting a new state-of-the-art news set and studio and will go high-def by late summer (presumably with sister WJLA). They are moving the "studio" out of its current space to the second floor of the Rosslyn facility to make more room for Politico TV. This should help squash some rumors about the possible demise or scaling back of the political rag/website's TV efforts. Allbritton's "WJLA/ NC8/Politico is by no means getting smaller. If anything, they are expanding".....

5/1 - We expect it from a screwed-up Clear Channel talker like WTNT. But on Bonneville's all-news WTOP? Running two audio sources at once? A CBS news background audio feed, with lots of beeps, underneath news headlines, traffic reports, even ads at about 10:30 this morning. Oooookay. UPDATE: We got this from Mitchell Miller, assistant news director at WTOP. "We determined the problem stemmed from the audio routing system that WTOP relies on. That caused audio from a CBS newsfeed to bleed through on-air. Initially, the anchor was unable to stop that from occurring because the controls on the board could not stop the feed from coming through. Engineers quickly corrected the problem".....

5/1 - Mother's Day is coming and why not get mom a full-body health scan! So shilled WMAL morning man Andy Parks the other day. Yeah, maybe mom should have a full-body health scan, but don't give it to her as a Mother's Day gift. That's like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner or a toaster on her birthday. Clearly Parks is just as clueless on human relations as is he is with politics. Sheesh.....

5/1 - Regarding DCRTV's rumblings of yesterday. A source tells us that Mix 107.3 morning man Jack Diamond "has been shopping himself around for about the last six months to various DC radio clusters. His contract is up very soon and he does not have a non-compete clause written into it." DCRTV is hearing rumors that the high-salaried Diamond may be the next one to walk the Citadel budget-cutting plank. "Jack Diamond has the day off, but he'll be back tomorrow," is what they're saying on Mix 107.3 this morning. The word is that his contact expired yesterday, and he was advised by his reps not to return until he has a new deal. Which means he may not be back. The pic at right is from happier times at WRQX, when Diamond celebrated his 17th anniversary with the hot adult contemporary station last fall.....

4/30 - Yesterday, DCRTV told you that DC radio talk veteran and former WMALer Chris Core was joining all-newser WTOP to do one-minute commentaries. Today, the DC Post quotes WTOP programmer Jim Farley as saying Core could host a talk show on WTOP's Bonneville sister talker 3WT. Actually, Farley told DCRTV that, too, yesterday, but we thought the comment was off-the-record and didn't report it. "Stay tuned," was how Farley reacted after we suggested that Core could host a live and local afternoon drive show on 3WT, replacing the syndicated talk now airing. Farley is the de facto programmer for 3WT, with its official PD, Greg Tantum, leaving for California. Also, the Post adds that Core replaces DC TV news veteran Mike Buchanan, who had been airing commentaries on WTOP. Buchanan got bounced in a recent budget cut.....

4/30 - DCRTV hears rumblings that something big could be coming down the pike at Citadel's hot adult contemporary Mix 107.3, WRQX. Is morning man Jack Diamond soon to be on the outs? We hear that longtime DC radio vet Diamond's contract is up soon, maybe today, and station owner Citadel wants the high-priced talent gone. Citadel recently made a batch of big budget cuts at its smooth jazz, now oldies WJZW and news talk WMAL. If Diamond is a gonner, might RQX put afternoon man Rob Carson in mornings? Stay tuned.....

4/30 - CBS guy talker still ain't back to where it was a few years ago, with Howard Stern in mornings, Don Geronimo in afternoons, and the Redskins on weekends. But, after a number of years in limbo, the station is slowly working its way out of the swamp. The morning Junkies are getting fatter and older - and better. The four guys, who used to be the Sports Junkies, are actually finding their way through relationship and political topics, and are good at it. And, surprisingly, they're a lot smarter than the bombastic righty clods you hear on stations like WMAL and WTNT. The midday Big O and Dukes are also on the upswing. Yesterday's talk about how they have to kiss their crazy fans' arses, the same listeners who stalk them at men's rooms at concerts and sports events, was priceless. Despite their slacker attitude, the show touches on a lot of heavy topics. And then there's Mike O'Meara. No, he doesn't have Geronimo's "edge," but you actually feel that he's enjoying his job as afternoon "zoo" host. Something that Don, in all his greatness, did not seem to have the past few years - and quite understandably. With Buzz, Robb, and Joe still there, and BA back, the revamped show is off to a running start. Now, JFK PD Chris Kinard has got to turn his attention to evenings. The syndicated Jim Rome ain't working. A return of El Jefe and J-Dubs or Ron and Fez would be most welcome. And the weekends, which are full of infomercials and reruns, continue to be a disaster. Just thinking: Maybe music to fill the overnights and weekends. Kind of a harder-edge alt rock sound? That would be cheap and better than what's there now. In any case, it's nice to see JFK going live and local from 5 AM-ish to 7 PM-ish every weekday. Something you don't get on the DC area's other major talkers - WMAL, WTNT, or 3WT.....

4/29 - Just before 10 AM today, heard the WTOP news anchors doing funny banter on ice creamer Ben and Jerry's and their new ringtones. Gee? Was it an ad or a humorous news item? What is certain is that the all-newser credibility took a hit, at least in my mind. Bonneville works so hard to build the respectibility of WTOP's journalism, so why blow it for a couple extra ad dollars? Sheesh. UPDATE: I'm told it was not, repeat not, a paid ad. Good..... Oh, gotta love them Big O and Dukes on JFK-FM. Very funny today talking about how some of their "fans" want to stalk and kill them. Damn good radio. Nice to have some cool talk to listen to between Kornheiser and Limbaugh.....

4/28 - DCRTV held a pre-White House Correspondents' Association dinner picnic/pool party on Saturday afternoon. And there were celebs-a-plenty. Here are some pics of the fun.....

L-to-R: Paul Bicknell, Fred Grandy, Bennett Zier, Dave Pugh


L-to-R: Julie Wright, Lisa Baden, Gurvir Dhindsa


L-to-R: Michael Hughes, Jim Farley, Joel Oxley, Chris Berry


L-to-R: Gordon Liddy, Buzz Burbank, Dave Durian, Ron Smith

4/28 - Hey, WMAL "newsman" Bryan Nehman, it's the Democratic National Committee, not the "Democrat National Commitee" like you said on Monday morning. Get it "right," as in correct. The name is the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party. You don't call it the Republic National Committee, do you? Sheesh.....

4/28 - Seen at the Rosslyn HQ of Channel 7/WJLA today: Laurie Dhue, formerly an anchor at Fox News and other cable news nets. Possible new JLA anchor? You know, 7's never formally replaced evening anchor Kathleen Matthews, who left more than a year ago. Hmmm. Stay tuned.....

4/26 - The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. Tonight, many of the "elite" Washington press corps will schmooze with members of the administration of one of the most unpopular presidents in history. However, on Sunday morning they'll awaken with a hangover to the rapidly changing world of "journalism." One which merges "news" and "entertainment", exemplified by a platoon of goonish carnival barkers from the likes of Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Bill O'Reilly to Rush Limbaugh, Geraldo Rivera, and Katie Couric. One which is donimated by a handful of ultra-rich media barons who manipulate their "organs" to snuggle up to the power brokers "inside the Beltway" to obtain political and business favors to extend their corporate tentacles. All while there are declining ad revenue and ratings/circulation - and increasing viewer/reader distrust - for both the print and broadcast varieties of so-called "news." Add to that an internet which features an endless cyber-army of Drudge-like linkers who depend on a endless cyber-army of gossip blog whores, made even more goofy by legitimate news organizations, like the Washington Post, trying to get in on this silly "game." Serious journalism ain't dead, but it's seriously ill. And getting sicker by the moment. Party hardy, you beautiful "journalists." Pride cometh before a fall.....

4/24 - This morning, WMAL's Grandy and Andy were discussing businesses that want to discourage loitering by using a device that transmits a very high-pitched noice that is audible by those with superior hearing, usually kids snd teens. Hey, if these businesses want to teens to leave, why not just play WMAL's righty talk on those speakers. A few minutes listening to Old Man Andy Parks' goofy rants and nobody, even many older folks, will be loitering.....

4/22 - 3WTer and Wash Postie Tony Kornheiser said he hopes that the Caps go all-the-way this season because team owner Ted Leonsis made a promise to him. "I get a Stanley Cup ring. It's all about me," he said on the radio this morning. However, Kornheiser revealed that he'll still watch "American Idol" if it's on at the same time as a Caps' playoff game. It kind of makes you wonder, though. In his DC mansion, does Kornheiser, who turns 60 this year, have a locked spare bedroom plastered with posters of past and current "Idol" contestants? Creepy, huh.....

4/22 - DCRTV hears that there will be a unofficial "reunion" tonight for many of the fired and former employees of Clear Channel in DC. Quite a crowd. They're getting together at the On The Border restaurant on Rockville Pike, just down the street from CC's DC broadcast complex, we're told. Invitation-only. And some very well-known former CCers didn't get an invite, we hear. "Should be interesting," a local radio guru tells us. Look for some current CCers to show up, too.....

4/21 - We're still hearing lots of rumblings that CBS Radio is planning a really big shake-up at its DC and Baltimore clusters. Something that would make the recent Citadel round of slashings look like a tea party. Apparently, new CBS Radio head Dan Mason, who is a DC area native, plans to get more "hands on" with his two "home" markets and rearrange the deck chairs - behind and in front of the mic - at his "underperforming" outlets, targeting 94.7, 102.7, 105.7, 106.7, 1300, and 1580. Maybe more. Stay tuned.....

4/20 - Happy Earth Day From The Washington Post. From a DCRTVer: "I received the nicest promotional item in the Post today... a single sheet of Brawny paper towel (that's right; ONE SHEET) wrapped in a transparent plastic package. No doubt, they want to me to try and buy Brawny paper towels. So let's see... one sheet of paper, excessive plastic packaging, all multiplied by the number of subscriber households; the gasoline it took for the Brawny to arrive at the Post's assembly facility, the gasoline it took to deliver my paper... HAPPY EARTH DAY, EVERYBODY!".....

4/18 - DC City Paper is out with a "best of" issue. And it confirms that the weekly rag is pretty cluelessly brain dead about local TV and radio. The editors pick low-powered other-worldly Channel 49/WWTD as best local TV channel, Fox5 with best weathercasts, and WTEM's Phil Wood as best radio show. Not that there's anything wrong with those picks - but that's it?!?! Frank Herzog was selected as best Redskins annnouncer, even though he hasn't called a game in four years. The rag's readers pick 4's Jim Vance as best local TV personality, with 4's Wendy Rieger and 4's Lindsay Czarniak as runner-ups. Guess CP readers only get 4 on their TVs. Whatever.....

4/17 - A correction in Thursday's Washington Post: "The chart of primetime Nielsen television ratings in the April 16 Style section was from a week in November. The correct chart for last week's ratings appears today on page C7." The Post didn't mention that yesterday's chart was from a week in November 2005.....

4/15 - My first impression of the new Mike O'Meara show. He works better with a partner. Maybe he should make Beth Ann McBride his new co-host instead of returning show producer. Look, I love Robb Spewak and Buzz Burbank, but they don't interface all that great with Mike in that magical way they did with Don Geronimo. Perhaps it's that they don't fear Mike the way they did with Don. With Don, Buzz and Robb projected a fatherly respect, trepidation. With Mike, they project nothing. Mike's just a schlub to them. The substitute teacher. Plus, it seems kind of too obvious that Buzz and Robb don't like other. Maybe a masterful Mike could use that tension on the show and make it work. That's what made the Don and Mike show great - Don's dark side, his demons. His unpredictability. Howard Stern had that, too. A Stern or Geronimo "meltdown" was blindingly brilliant. Yeah, it's unfair to judge the new Mike show after one outing. It's going to take a few weeks or months to get the balance right. The seeds are there. Let's hope the vines grow in weird and unpredictable ways and make some great radio.....

4/14 - "Our ratings stink, but more people are listening." Tony Kornheiser this morning, jesting about the effect of podcasts on his 3WT radio ratings.....

4/13 - DCRTV hears that Bonneville talker 3WT is in no big rush to replace its departing program director, Greg Tantum, who is heading back to California after being brought to DC in 2006 to run 3WT predecessor Washington Post Radio. For the time being, look for 3WT to split its talk and sports programming duties among current in-house personnel, with Jim Farley, who programs Bonneville sister all-newser WTOP, keeping a watchful eye on things.....

4/10 - DCRTV already told you that CBS Radio talker WHFS (105.7 FM) in Baltimore will air Friday's Don Geronimo farewell at 3 PM, even though it has just moved Ed Norris to the PM drive slot. However, we hear that the last hour of the show - from 6 PM to 7 PM - won't get aired live in Charm City because of Orioles pre-game coverage. WHFS plans to air the full finale on tape from noon to 4 PM on Saturday. The live four-hour finale can be heard on Geronimo's home CBS station, the DC area's WJFK-FM (106.7).....

4/9 - "Not only am I stupid... I look a fright. I'm scaring the children." So jested soon-to-be-gone 3WTer Tony Kornheiser (right) on today's show. "I know I'm not handsome, but I don't want to be scary." The Washington Post/ ESPN sports commentator was talking about his plans for a facelift, particularly the area under his eyes.....

4/7 - CBS Radio's suits in Baltimore will pre-empt Ed Norris in his new afternoon drive slot on Friday to air the final live Don and Mike show, via WHFS (105.7 FM). Norris is scheduled to move from middays to afternoons on Wednesday. "We are planning to run the final Don and Mike show on Friday as our way of saying 'thank you' to a true radio icon, Don Geronimo," says CBS Radio's Baltimore Vice President Of Programming Dave LaBrozzi in a Monday afternoon e-mail to a listener. More in today's Rant. DCRTV reported last week that Don Geronimo moved up his retirement date from late May to 4/11. The show, which is based at the DC area's WJFK-FM (106.7), is running classic bits today through Thursday.....

4/7 - Like him or not, Don Geronimo is a local radio legend. In an era of fake and phoney, you know what you'll get from Geronimo - real radio. Sometimes angry, sometimes silly, sometimes outrageous, sometimes petty, sometimes irreverent, frequently funny. But always entertaining. And after a lifetime in the radio biz, first as a top "top 40" DJ and, for the past 20-ish years, partnered with Mike O'Meara as a top radio comedy team, Geronimo will be doing his last radio show this Friday. So, how does his employer, CBS, pay tribute? Well, in Baltimore they're not running his last week of classic shows plus the live farewell Friday. Instead, talker WHFS is debuting its new line-up this week, with Ed Norris in afternoon drive. We realize that Geronimo's decision to retire this Friday, instead of in late May, came only last week. But would it have been all that difficult for WHFS to delay its new line-up a week, until next Monday, and air D&M's final week of shows? Shame on CBS Baltimore. UPDATE: As of late on 4/7, CBS Baltimore announced that it will air Geronimo's last show on Friday.....

4/4 - If you're part of that diminishing crowd reading the print Washington Post, perhaps you've noticed those mysterious display ads featuring an old VW bug, a microphone, and a witty saying. Something like: "The people want less spam in their e-mail." Or: "The people want less reliance on oil." OK, I do get that the old VW bug was Hitler's "car for the people." That's what the word "Volkswagen" means. But, at the very least, the Post should identify the "ads" as "ads." If that's what they are. Most of the time, it's not necessary to ID ads because it's easy to tell if an ad is an ad. The sponsor's name is right up there. Not so in this case. Once again, the Post wrestles with a journalistic ethics issue and comes up on the wrong side.....

4/1 - Our April Fool's joke.....

D&M To Admit Gay Relationship - 4/1 - DCRTV hears that DC "radio gods" Don and Mike (right) will "come out of the closet" on today's show and admit a sexual relationship between the two. "Look, we spend a lot of time together," Mike O'Meara told DCRTV. "I'm not ashamed of that. I'm not really gay, but sometimes I prefer guys. Don is a studly stud." We hear that the two were planning to make the announcement on Monday's show, but an unspecified spat caused the show to be in rerun mode. "It's not an easy revelation to make on the air, but I want to be true to our listeners," says Don Geronimo, who still plans to marry his girlfriend. "I want to retire from the show in May and not carry any secrets. Our listeners deserve to know." DCRTV also hears that a major reason Geronimo moved the show from WJFK-FM's Fairfax studios to its own studio in Rockville was privacy, so the two could "hook up" without being noticed by other station personnel. "When we were at JFK, Mike and I would meet at those cheap motels on Route 50," Geronimo adds. "I love Mike, I really do." Oh, happy April Fool's Day.....

3/28 - According to a poll on the trueoldies1059.com website of Citadel's True Oldies 105.9, 67 percent of the 1,278 voters as of early Friday were not happy to have Don Imus back on the air in DC. Just 33 percent were. In early March, NYC-based Imus was piped-in for mornings on the station, which flipped from smooth jazz to oldies in late February. In another poll on the site, 28 percent said they wanted more '60s tunes on the station, while just 15 percent wanted more '70s tunes.....

3/28 - Nice to hear Tony Kornheiser come out of his "Idol coma" today and chat some funny shit with 3WT show sidekick, and fake Brit, Marc "Nigel" Sterne, who did a walk from RFK to the Nats' new stadium with about 50 (probably all) of 3WT's listeners. Tony was absolutely stupified that Nigel's trek was uneventful, other than being joined by a few homeless people. Oh, Nigel won't be camping out at the stadium until tomorrow night's first game - an exhibition outing with the O's - as promised. Bummer. Hey, Tony, cut back on the "Idol" crap and keep thinking: "What would Andy Pollin do?" Never forget your former WTEM producer. That'll at least get this radio trainwreck hobbling along through June and your departure at MNF Station. Oh, nice to hear the recant about your hatred of David Bowie. I almost believed you.....

3/24 - In my view, this isn't a merger. This is a satellite radio takeover. Mel Karmazin's NYC-based Sirius has gobbled up DC's XM. Yeah, consumer interest in a national satellite radio service isn't intense enough to support two competing firms. There's no debate about that, as witnessed by the fact that neither firm has yet to make a profit. One of these days, one would have probably pulled the plug, anyway. With XM being assimilated into Sirius, radio vet Karmazin will now have to tackle his real rival - consumers' lack of demand for the medium. Look, they've got iPods and iTunes, cable/satellite TV, HDTV, internet streaming and downloading, video games, DVDs, HD Radio (ha ha ha), and regular radio - all vying for their limited time. And in most major metro areas, you can easily get between 30 and 50 over-the-air "old fashioned" radio stations. Plenty enough choice for most folks. The big losers here are the hundreds of talented workers who trek to New York Avenue and toil for XM, most not for much dough. I can't imagine why Karmazin will need a DC branch that's largely duplicating his NYC operations. And so it goes.....

3/20 - Call it the Dan Snyder DC Radio Rule: You need a solid signal before you even think about programming. A la his Triple X sports talker on three weak stations. But the rule should also be applied to Bonneville talker 3WT. Twice, when I've been listening in the past two days, the 107.7 signal from Warrenton has suffered outage "hiccups." Obviously, the transmitter is fed via some internet feed which frequently goes into rebuffering mode, resulting in silence and a chirping sound that can last for 15 or 20 minutes, like it's doing right now as I write this, during Tony Kornheiser's show at 9:15 AM on Thursday. It's an effective way of getting listeners to tune elsewhere. Even more effective than the Globe playing old Paul Simon.....

3/19 - DCRTV hears that media baron Rupert Murdoch plans to make a big deal of it this spring when he launches high-def local newscasts on his Fox5. DC's Channel 5/WTTG will be used as an HD showcase for Fox's local newscasts, which Murdoch plans to also unveil on his other big-market stations, we're told. DCRTV first told you in February about Fox5's plans to launch HD newscasts. Currently, only Gannett's Channel 9/ WUSA offers HD newscasts in the DC market. Also, we're told, don't look for HD newscasts any time soon on budget-strapped NBC's Channel 4/WRC. However, we do hear that Allbritton's Channel 7/WJLA is about halfway through its HD conversion. All cameras, decks, and graphics have been converted to HD, but they're being used in standard-def mode.....

3/19 - DCRTV hears that Redskins owner Dan Snyder really wants Elliot Segal. You've read right here about rumors that Snyder, who also owns the poor-signaled Triple X ESPN sports talker, wants to pick up Clear Channel's DC AM talkers, especially SportsTalk 980, but we're also hearing more rumblings that he wants FM rocker DC101, too. He'd keep the rock format, but put the Skins on 101.1's killer signal. While CC - which is currently in the throes of a Wall Street buyout, and with CC's DC honcho Dave Pugh gone to Frisco and no replacement yet named - is looking at ditching its ratings-starved DC AMers, it remains to be seen if it would let one of its cash cow local FMers go. And its top local radio personality.....

3/17 - Last week, your friendly webmaster suggested that Tony Kornheiser needed the guidance of Andy Pollin, his former sidekick/producer on his old SportsTalk 980 show, to help steer his frequently meandering 3WT show. Well, it was nice to hear Tony, this morning, actively wondering "what would Andy Pollie do" regarding his show topics. (Hmmm. Andy would have probably suggested that Tony not do that hurtful rant on Bing Crosby.) You know, maybe there's some slim "hope" for Tony's radio show, yet. Oh, don't forget, we here at DCRTV told you first that Tony will be leaving his 3WT show in June for "Monday Night Football".....

3/13 - Today's Washington Post. "Rocket Attack Kills 3 US Soliders In Iraq": 15 paragraphs on A12. "We Won't See More Of David H., On 'Idol' Anyway": 23 paragraphs on C1.....

3/11 - "That's the stupid thing we're forced to do against our will." That's Tony Kornheiser this morning on 3WT, apparently jesting about the Channel 4 sports show that he's a regular guest on. "Full Court Press," hosted by former WRC-TV sports anchor George Michael, airs Saturdays at 7 PM.....

3/10 - You guys and gals are the best! On Saturday, our trusty old XP computer that's been DCRTV's backbone for the past five years suffered cardiac arrest. We had to shell out $600 for a new Vista system on Sunday morning. I wrote about this on Sunday afternoon, saying that we are an independent site and don't have something like Mediabistro or Gawker to buy us new gear when the old stuff goes bad. And how now would be a great time to support DCRTV. Guess what? We got $300 in donations by Monday morning - enough to cover half the purchase. And then another $300 on Monday afternoon - enough to cover it all! Many thanks to DCRTV's wonderful readers. Thanks so much.....

3/9 - From Page A7 of Sunday's Washington Post (right). Apparently, someone at the Post doesn't know that the Post's radio operation, Washington Post Radio, ended operations last fall.....

3/8 - We hear from a reliable local sports source that Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser "will make it official" this month that he'll be returning to his broadcast booth gig at ESPN's "Monday Night Football." We're told: "That will end his 3WT career," where he hosts an 8 AM radio show. Most likely, like last year, Kornheiser will leave his local radio gig in June to free-up more time for his "MNF" duties. Kornheiser will continue with his afternoon "Pardon The Interruption" TV show for ESPN. DCRTV also hears that Kornheiser will likely return to the DC area's radio dial early next year, after the 2008 "MNF" season, but it won't be via Bonneville talker 3WT, which had expected him to be on its airwaves for a full year. Kornheiser could return via his old radio haunt of Clear Channel's SportsTalk 980, or somewhere else, we hear. But not 3WT.....

3/6 - "Over-zealous dumping issues" got WJFK-FM afternooners Don and Mike removed from the airwaves on Thursday. That's according to a 5:52 PM announcement from show sidekick Robb Spewak. A DCRTVer tells us that at 3:39 PM, "D&M (got) in a hot discussion with an 'older' lady about her sex life and the questions were getting more and more explicit when the 'technical difficulties' tape was played, then straight into commercials." After the ad break, D&M returned in rerun mode. "The show was not pulled," a top JFKer tells DCRTV. Technical issues with the show's delay or "dumping" system, which aids in the removal of questionable program content and language, were the culprit, we hear.....

3/6 - Judging by yesterday's monthly trend radio ratings, Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Triple X ESPN sports talker could go off the air and literally no one would notice. The three-station operation didn't even show up in the ratings. In metro DC, there are more people listening to either of two stations in Fredericksburg, 50 miles south of the city. Also, the numbers don't bode well for 3WT, Bonneville's new talker. It continues to trend down, even after the demise of low-rated Washington Post Radio last fall. The damn DC radio dial already has too much talk on it, and people obviously don't want more. Plus, Bonneville has painted itself into a sticky little corner. Since half of 3WT's signal is an AMer - 1500, it really can't flip the station over to a cheaper music format. I mean, who listens to music on AM any more? Or, better put, who listens to AM in DC any more? Except for a few MALers, almost no one. Anyone want to buy Bonneville's 107.7 FMer in Warrenton? I thought not. What a mess.....

3/6 - A source tells DCRTV that all of Clear Channel's construction to move its three AMers to new studios at its 1801 Rockville Pike DC area headquarters has come to a halt. This would fuel speculation that CC is about to sell sports talker WTEM (980) and talkers WTNT (570) and WWRC (1260) to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, as DCRTV has rumored, or perhaps someone else. Outgoing CC DC head Dave Pugh wanted the three AMers and five FMers on the upper floors at 1801, we're told. The AMers are now on the lower floors. Stay tuned.....

3/5 - We hear that there's a "groundswell" movement afoot at Channel 2/WMAR to get former longtime reporter Andy Barth (left) considered for the news director job. As DCRTV told you, WMAR ND David Silverstein is no longer with the Scripps ABC affiliate. Barth left 2 a few years back in an unsuccessful run for US Congress as a Democrat in the Baltimore area. We hear that he's now teaching in Mississippi but still maintains a home in Baltimore.....

3/4 - Woke up this morning to find that I now get CNN in HD! Plus Food, HGTV, USA, TLC, SciFi, Animal Planet, Discovery, and History got added overnight. In addition to the already offered A&E, Nat'l Geo, Discovery Theater, Mojo, Music, TBS, TNT, HBO, Max, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, ESPN2, CSN, Universal, TLC, NFL, and Versus/Golf. Plus 4, 5, 7, 9, 20, 26, and 50. And an HD VOD channel. From Comcast. Cool.....

3/4 - Howard Kurtz and Marc Fisher "could have saved Washington Post Radio if they weren't so selfish." So jested Tony Kornheiser on his 3WT show this morning. Superstar Post sports columnist Kornheiser was talking about how superstar Post columnists Kurtz and Fisher allegedly refused to host shows for 3WT's predecessor, the now-defunct Washington Post Radio. Kurtz hosts a weekend show for CNN. Kornheiser was the only Postie to host a daily show for Washington Post Radio, which got its plug pulled last fall due to low ratings.....

3/3 - If Citadel's suits were smart, they would have debuted radio bad boy Don Imus this morning on new oldies outlet 105.9. An oldie talker on an oldies station. But they didn't. As of 3/3, the I-Man's new show still hasn't surfaced in the DC market, despite rampant rumors, since he got fired for that "ho" jab last spring. His old DC radio haunt, Clear Channel's WTNT, is still running low-rated business news in mornings. Boring.....

3/3 - The dippy gossip column in the dippy Style section in the dippy Washington Post informs us this morning that comedian Dave Chappelle was seen in casual dress at a Georgetown eatery. Not the first time the Post has reported a local siting of Chappelle, accompanied by news of what he's wearing. Ah, if a celeb who lives around here is seen around here, again and again, that's news? Hmmm. Time for Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts to go. They simply suck! Also in today's dippy Style section, another rerunning of the Post's frequently inaccurate local radio listings, which continue to claim that 1160 WMET's format is "Greaseman" - when when the Grease left the station last fall.....

3/1 - Rant. If Don Imus (right) is going to return to the DC radio dial, Monday would be a good day for it to happen. Imus, who resumed his radio show for Citadel talker WABC in NYC in December, after getting canned by CBS Radio last spring for that now-infamous "ho" comment about the Rutgers' female basketball team, was supposed to get added in January to Clear Channel's DC talker WTNT, his old DC radio haunt. But that never happened. You know, Imus has been recently touting a big announcement about his carriage in the Nation's Capital. So, it looks increasingly likely that Citadel has plans for Imus on either talker WMAL or, more likely, new oldies outlet WJZW. During yesterday's DC radio bloodbath, Citadel did not make any changes to its Fred Grandy and Andy Parks morning show on WMAL. But DCRTV did hear rumblings that a new morning show would be coming to WJZW. Imus on a pretty good-signaled FMer in the DC market would be a very smart move. Putting him up against Elliot Segal on DC101, the Junkies on WJFK-FM, and Tony Kornheiser on 3WT would be a no-risk action. But, replacing the popular - and money-making - Grandy and Andy on WMAL would no doubt raise a lot of listener anger against Citadel. So, will we hear Imus on 105.9 come Monday morning? It wouldn't surprise me one damn bit.....

2/28 - Carol Joynt, who owns the Nathan's Of Georgetown restaurant, recently signed a deal with NewsChannel 8 to carry her weekly "Q&A Cafe" series of interviews on the weekends. However, she writes on her nathansgeorgetown.com website that NC8 won't be running today's interview with Channel 4/ WRC weatherman Bob Ryan on this weekend's NC8 schedule. Why? Because NC8 is owned by Allbritton, which also owns Channel 7/WJLA. And Allbritton considers Ryan's station, WRC, a rival and it doesn't want to bolster the competition.....

2/28 - Marc "Nigel" Sterne, who is an on-air sidekick and producer on 3WT, won Wednesday night's third annual Funniest Sports Celebrity Contest at the DC Improv. Sterne, a Brit, is a past successful participant in the event. The runner-up was Monica Livingston, a retired DC Divas running back. Sportstalk 980's Frank Hanrahan and Channel 9's Levan Reid, both making their stand-up comedy debuts, made positive impressions on the DC Improv crowd and the judges, but could not overtake Sterne and Livingston, we're told. The judges included Channel 4's Lindsay Czarniak and Dan Hellie, Washington Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg, and SportsTalk 980's Holly Fantaskey. Net proceeds benefit Funniest Celebrity Charities.....

2/27 - You've probably heard that Washington Post's superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser, who hosts the 8 AM to 10 AM show on new talker 3WT, has been raging against "bloggers" (including, maybe, this site) of late. But, we hear, it could very well be misdirected angst against his own station's management at Bonneville. We're hearing that the core issue is whether Tony will do his show for the full-year or return to "Monday Night Football" in June, like he did last year. And since it's already almost March, and Tony's refusing to say anything in public, many theorize that it's increasingly likely that he'll be returning to the ESPN football gig, while continuing to do "PTI" for ESPN in afternoons. We hear that Bonneville's suits were under the distinct impression, when they launched 3WT from the remains of Washington Post Radio last fall, that Tony was going to do a full-year of radio in 2008. Also, we're hearing that if Tony does slink away from 3WT in June, he probably won't be back next year after his "MNF" gig ends in December. Yeah, Tony could always return to his old radio haunt at Clear Channel's SportsTalk 980, but that gig could be in jeopardy if Redskins owner Dan Snyder buys the station, as is rumored. The Post's ethics guidelines prohibit its employees from working for the owner of a team that the rag's reporters cover. Anyhow, it looks increasingly likely that David Burd and Jessica Doyle's 5:30 AM to 8 AM show on 3WT, with Victoria Jones and Marc "Nigel" Sterne as permanent cast members, would be expanded to 9 AM or 10 AM come Tony's possible June departure. There won't be any Burd-permanently-subtituting-for-Kornheiser fiasco like last year, we're told.....

2/25 - The inside scoop at the two FMers on Jenifer Street is that management isn't handling the transition from ABC to Citadel very well. And is "crumbling under the pressure," we hear from a source. The ad sales teams at hot adult contemporary WRQX and smooth jazz WJZW are "uneasy," with plunging morale. Look for some departures to other DC area radio firms, we're told. Heck, Citadel's DC FM sales force recently lost four top account execs to competitors. Also, DCRTV wonders, could this mean there'll be some big on-air personnel and even format changes at 107.3 and 105.9? However, we're told that Citadel's problem does not cross the hall to its DC AMer, talker WMAL. Old 630 is "keeping it together and (has) a solid sales team and atmosphere".....

2/25 - DCRTV hears that Channel 5/WTTG has installed high-def cameras at their 5151 Wisconsin Avenue studios, and is preparing for a May sweeps launch of HD newscasts. When it happens, Fox5 will join Channel 9/WUSA in offering widescreen local news broadcasts in the DC market.....

2/25 - "I am not quote-unquote 'a Republican.' I may be registered that way but that's not how I think." Rush Limbaugh, heard via WMAL today. The right-leaning national radio talk titan has been feuding of late with John McCain, the Republican Party's leading presidential candidate.....

2/24 - I am a huge movie buff and saw four of the five "best picture" Oscar nominationed pics (except "Atonement") and really liked them all. Each was great its own way. So, I really don't care which wins. I'd probably give the edge to either "There Will Be Blood" or "No Country For Old Men" and the Coen Brothers as best director. Best actor: Daniel Day Lewis in "Blood." Best acress: Julie Christie in "Away From Her." Both utterly magnificent performances. My only big difference with the Academy is its ignorance of "Sunshine," which I thought was quite cool. But sci-fi films have never fared well with the Oscars. Tonight, I'll probably skip the Oscar telecast, since award shows like this are usually about 97 percent PR sludge. More of my favorite films are at Daveland.....

2/20 - There's a new rumor in addition to the one floating around that Redskins owner Dan Snyder might buy Clear Channel AMer WTEM, SportsTalk 980, and possibly its other two AMers, talkers WTNT and WWRC. Now we're hearing that Snyder also wants to pick up one of CC's FMers, too. CC owns five of 'em in the DC market, but Snyder's rumored to be kicking the tires of classic hits WBIG and rocker DC101, we're told. He's even talked-up DC101 morning man Elliot Segal, we hear. Snyder already owns three area weakish signals for his Triple X sports talker. More as we hear it.....

2/19 - DCRTV first reported rumors in early January that Redskins owner Dan Snyder might be buying Clear Channel's SportsTalk 980, WTEM. Now, we're hearing more rumblings. "I was told by a CC exec in another city that Dan was the leading candidate to buy at least one of the local DC AM stations and perhaps as many as two. He wants to keep a strong relationship with (CC's) WBIG and DC101 so that he will always a AM/FM combo for the Redskins games," we're told. Snyder already owns the DC area's Triple X sports talker, but needs a better inside-the-Beltway signal for it. In addition to WTEM, Clear Channel owns two other DC area AMers - talkers WTNT and WWRC. More as we hear it.....

2/19 - A few thoughts on Tony Kornheiser's return to his morning radio show after a half-a-year away, doing "Monday Night Football." Honestly, it sounds as though Tony's aged six years, not the six months since leaving Washington Post Radio last June, which became 3WT during his absense. The 8 AM show, resurrected in January, reminds me of a visit to Leisure World to visit gramps. It can be a rather pleasant and nostalgic experience, but not something I'd care to do every morning. Last year, it was "old guy radio." And, this year, it sounds like "older guy radio." Bonneville's 3WT is a mystery. It needs a coherent, logical morning show. Dividing time between David Burd and Jessica Doyle's under-promoted 5:30 AM show and Kornheiser's 8 AM heavily-hyped show makes no sense. Especially with the strong possibility that Kornheiser will be gone again for "MNF" come June. And to have no live and local afternoon drive show? How about Tucker Carlson or Paul Harris or Mike O'Meara! It's kind of sad to see the ratings geniuses behind all-news sister WTOP continuing to drive new talker 3WT into that muddy ditch.....

2/18 - From the Fairfax Connection: "Early on Monday morning, February 4, a woman called the DC101 radio show 'Elliot In The Morning' and identified herself as Amber Lynn Koger. Elliot Segal, the morning host told the Connection Newspapers that she sounded hysterical. She said that she had been living separately from her husband and the police had come to see her and her two children to be sure they were safe, Segal related. She said police told her they had gone to the Oak Hill home and found that someone, presumably (her husband Jeffrey) Koger, had shot up the walls and burned personal effects. Segal said that law enforcement officers and lawyers... had sought to obtain transcripts of the exchange, which was broadcast on the radio." According to the Connection, Jeffrey Koger is suspected of embezzling up to $2.2 million in funds from local homeowners' association accounts via his family's management firm and being involved in a 2/2 shootout with police.....

2/18 - Spent part of Saturday at Fair Oaks Mall. And guess what I saw? WMAL talker Chris Core wearing a goofy pink t-shirt and big fluffy yellow slippers. He was doing a personal appearance at a bed/mattress store.....

2/14 - I was driving around Fairfax today in my Volkswagen, when I noticed a dashboard indicator that a turn signal was out. I stopped by Rosenthal's Fairfax VW, where I bought the car less than two years ago. The service advisor told me that they couldn't take the five minutes to replace my turn signal bulb and he told me to make a service appointment and bring back my car at a later date. No big deal, I'll just take it to a service station instead. But - if you hear a Fairfax VW ad on the radio, remember how they didn't have a few minutes to spare for a loyal customer.....

2/14 - I watched Channel 9's 5 PM Frightcast yesterday. After scaring viewers about the horrid ice storm, which was pretty standard for DC during a typical winter, they tried to scare us about the nasty snow we would get last night and the killer high winds to follow, which could topple more trees and powerlines. Oh my God! Of course, this morning dawned to no snow and a light breeze. Man, local TV news sucks.....

2/12 - A DCRTVer tells us: "Monday afternoon, monitoring 87.9 MHz while inbound to DC on New York Avenue near XM, suddenly there appeared a very excited voice announcing that 'WSQT Squat Radio' was on the air to serve 'occupied DC.' Then a taped piece about Japenese whaling was played. A search of the internet shows some mentions of this pirate station going back to 2005. They have appeared on AM at 1680 and 1700 and on FM at 87.9. Seems they like to go on the air when there are protests like during World Bank meetings".....

2/12 - Rant. When The Globe launched in February 2007, CBS Radio's DC honcho Michael Hughes came on the air and promised the dawning of a cool new era in rock radio, one that would utilize the fundamentals of Washington's legendary alt rock WHFS in the 1980s, which played bold new music and was programmed by folks who loved what they were playing. And a station that would promote environmentally-friendly themes. A year later and what do we have on 94.7? Basically, a slightly harder version of what we already hear on Citadel's Mix 107.3. The best description of The Globe would be "rockish hot adult contemporary." Mainly safe, well-worn stuff. Stones, Police, Talking Heads. Not a terrible station, but not a great one, either. There's the occasional reminder to use energy-saving light bulbs. OK. Yeah, the station has seen some minor gains in key demos from its old classic rock days as The Arrow, WARW. But the overall ratings show The Globe pretty much "treading water" in the 16th-to-18th ranking of all local stations. It's a station that sounds like it's programmed for advertisers, with listeners free to come along for the ride, if they so choose. Over the past year, I have offered many possible "fixes" for the station, and I will not repeat them here. But I can speak for many DC area adults desireous of a rock station that plays cool progressive, alternative, and classic rock - stuff that hasn't already been overplayed. And a station that isn't afraid to play and advocate a diverse variety of cool, new stuff, too. Kind of quoting U2's Bono: "We still haven't found what we're looking for".....

2/8 - We hear that the New York Daily News is planning to launch regional editions of the tabloid rag targeted to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and south Florida. There will be a home delivery special for $1.99 per week. The Daily News, which is owned by Mort Zuckerman, apparently belives that the Baltimore Sun is under-serving the potential print readership base. "It's going to be an absolute slam against the Sun," we're told by a local media observer. The Sun is owned by Zuckerman rival Sam Zell, who now heads the Tribune Company.....

2/8 - Channel 9/WUSA meteorologist Howard Bernstein (left) "got busted in the face - walking into a door while on a live shot," a 9er tells DCRTV. It happened Thursday during a remote Bernstein was doing from the new Newseum. He wrote about it in his blog at wusa9.com. "Needless to say, his crew and everyone at Broadcast House got a really good laugh at this. Bernstein definitely got a chuckle, too, at his own expense".....

2/8 - Yesterday, we learned that CBS Radio is making a boatload of cuts. Many program directors across the country are getting the boot due to sluggish ad revenue and ratings. OK. I've got a suggestion for CBS Radio President Dan Mason. Why not get rid of The Globe's PD? The alt rockish station launched last February and didn't have a PD until fall. And, since then, I have noticed not the slightest change in the station's somewhat frustrating "mix" of classic rock, classic alt rock, and hot adult contemporary crap like 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry." The Globe's PD is pretty much getting paid and getting a reserved parking space for doing what seems like absolutely nothing, at least to my ears. Get rid of him. Easy call.....

2/8 - OK, so righty talker WMAL is suggesting this morning that Republican voters in Virginia, which doesn't have party registration, pick up a Democratic Party primary ballot on Tuesday and vote for the weaker of the two candidates - Obama or Clinton. Since McCain has pretty much locked up the GOP nomination. OK. That's fine. But I've got a suggestion for the Democrats - and I know there are quite a few who listen to WMAL. If you get a radio ratings "ballot," write down rival WTOP even though you listen to WMAL. Give the those smart asses at WMAL a taste of their own "medicine." Remember: If you listen to WMAL, write down WTOP. I'll say it again: If you listen to WMAL, write down WTOP. Got it? Good.....

2/7 - Rush Limbaugh's private jet touched down at Dulles yesterday, as the titanic righty radio talker was limoed into DC to meet with bigtime righties who are in town for the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. There are rumblings that Limbaugh had a private meeting with presidential candidate John McCain, who is slated to address the confab today. The two have been feuding lately, with Limbaugh claiming that McCain is not a true conservative. On his Thursday show, Rush mentioned the DC visit but denied meeting McCain. Limbaugh, heard locally on WMAL, WCBM, and WFMD, just happened to tone-down his criticism of McCain on his Thursday show. Hmmm.....

2/6 - A major NYC station yesterday dropped smooth jazz for rock. After 20 years playing Sade and friends. And a Philly station did the same a few months back. Looks like the relaxing format, while it gets pretty good ratings, is kind of like classical. It fails to deliver the pairs of young ears that advertisers crave. Make you wonder just how much longer Citadel is going to nurse along DC's Smooth Jazz 105.9, WJZW. With veteran DC radio programmer Steve Allan now in charge, might we be seeing a 105.9 flip to something more "youthful"? With all that debt acquired from its recent purchase of ABC's radio stations, it's a good bet we'll be seeing something new on 105.9 before too long as Citadel looks to maximize its stations' ad earnings. Also, those rumors just won't die about Baltimore's smooth jazz outlet, Clear Channel's WSMJ 104.3, doing something "new." Perhaps adult urban or rhythmic contemporary? Stay tuned.....

2/4 - We hear from a local 106.7 radio source that you can expect to see Mike O'Meara (right) work his "O'Meara's" Irish pub/restaurant more into his new post-Don Geronimo show come June. Previously, WJFK-FM management restricted O'Meara's ability to discuss the restaurant by name, citing it as free advertising and threatening to charge him advertising dollars for mentioning it, we're told. Hence the code words "Hank's Look-Around Cafe." However, we also hear from a source who tells us that CBS Radio management didn't put any limitations on the mention of O'Meara's eatery, and the "Hank's" references were merely a comedy bit. Also, we're told that O'Meara has sought greater freedom to do remote broadcasts from his Manassas restaurant and bring celebrity guests in as part of the show. However, other sources deny that, too. Also, expect to see O'Meara move the show back to JFK's Fairfax studios and patch up an alleged show feud with the Junkies, we hear. Geronimo had moved the show to WARW's old studios in Rockville to, in part, distance himself from JFK's morning team, we're told. Although still other station sources deny there even being a feud, one JFKer calls it more of a "complete separation" between the two shows.....

2/2 - In a Washington Post article about internet giant Microsoft trying to buy internet giant Yahoo, we see a quote from Joseph Turow, professor at the University Of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School For Communication. He says: "If you look behind the scenes, a few companies are aggregating their power in order to make the web into a marketing business. People's activities will be tracked and shaped by a very small number of companies who care far more about surveillance and targeted advertising than the public interest." Oh, so the internet will become just like the radio business. How else can you explain the fact that corporate giant Clear Channel owns eight radio stations in the DC market, and attracts about one-quarter of the 8th largest market's radio listeners, and yet employs not one news person.....

1/31 - In his "DC Sports Bog" at washingtonpost.com, Dan Steinberg tells us that Channel 4/WRC sports anchor Dan Hellie received 14 stitches for a wound near his left eye (right) after being "headbutted yesterday while playing pick-up hoops in Bethesda." And yes, Hellie will fight through the injury to still provide Super Bowl coverage all weekend.....

1/31 - You've seen them all over the local media - print, radio, and TV - those ads for Tony Kornheiser's 8 AM to 10 AM show on new Bonneville talker 3WT. Good ads. But why doesn't the station also mention the other "half" of its locally-produced morning drivetime - David Burd and Jessica Doyle - in the ad blitz? Burd and Doyle air from 5:30 AM to 8 AM. You know, Tony has not announced that he's leaving "Monday Night Football" in 2008, which almost certainly means he'll be returning to ESPN come June. And whatever Tony-related gains 3WT makes in the winter and spring ratings "books" will be lost in the summer and fall unless it works to promote the other occupants of its morning drive. I don't know how many dollars Bonneville is spending for its Tony campaign, but it's not getting the most 3WT ratings "bang" for the promotional "buck" - that's for sure.....

1/28 - "We're not the biggest planet, are we?" So wondered 3WT's Tony Kornheiser this morning. Hey, how about Fox starting a new show: "Are You Smarter Than A Superstar Washington Post Sports Columnist?" Oh, Tony, any second-grader could tell you that Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus are also far bigger than Earth.....

1/28 - Imagine if you heard this on the radio: "My husband went to So-And-So Hospital Center for cancer surgery. And while the doctors did all they could, the cancer was advanced. He was in a lot of pain and later died." Do you get tired of all these hospital ads in which a patient with some nasty disease quitely and oh so tastefully praises a particular hospital or prescription medication for providing his or her good outcome? Usually to a background of a sappy but tasteful solo piano score. You know what would be more honest? If they got one of those Used Car Dealer Announcers screaming: "If you go to our hospital - you'll live. If you go to 'Hospital X' - you'll die. And this week only, surgeries are discounted 30 percent and you'll get a coupon for a free liposuction or an HD Radio." Sheesh.....

1/24 - I've always thought that John Gibson, the 5 PM anchor on Fox News, is a worthless piece of crap. And now TVNewser confirms my feelings.....

1/23 - Has Lanham-based urban radio giant Radio One shopped its LA FMer, KRBV (formerly KKBT), but found no takers? That's what Tom Taylor at radio-info.com is reporting. The urban giant was allegedly asking $100 million for the urban formatted outlet, its sole station in Southern California. And, Taylor wonders, what should Radio One head Alfred Liggins do in this slumping economy? "At what point is the pain bad enough that you're willing to lop off a problem asset and just quit losing money, and sell it for less? Or do you just hang on for dear life and maybe change formats?" But wait there's more. If, as the above newsblurb indicates, Radio One is having difficulty raising cash, how's the firm going to pay Bonneville for 104.1 in the DC area? Last spring, Radio One launched gospel Praise 104.1, WPRS, on the signal, under a rental deal that was supposed to become a purchase in late 2007 or early 2008. Will the lease agreement continue through 2008 or will Bonneville take back the Waldorf-based "stick." Stay tuned.....

1/22 - Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser reminded his 3WT listeners this morning that he's so rich that he doesn't have to worry about news that the stock market had plunged more than 400 points at its Tuesday opening. Kornheiser pointed out that he's got mucho income from his Washington Post print gig, his ESPN TV gig, and, now, his new Bonneville radio gig, too. Congrats, Tony.....

1/22 - I don't know. I often wonder about subliminal messages in the media. I just caught an "open doors" ad for Towson University on MSNBC. And, at the end, there's a shot of a flagpole flying no flag (right). Could that have been a carefully calculated message from the school near Baltimore? Or maybe the pole just happened to sport no flag on the day the ad was being filmed. For some reason, the flag-less flagpole just stuck in my head. How odd. Hmmm.....

1/18 - In reporting the news - a day after DCRTV, by the way - that Opie and Anthony are getting canned from WJFK-FM, trade pub Radio And Records reports that WJFK-FM General Manager Michael Hughes "quashes rumors of troubled contract negotiations with Mike O'Meara from the Don and Mike show." And they direct quote Hughes as saying that both hosts are "on the air and doing great shows." Rumors? Um, I guess that the frequently-scooped "journalists" at R&R don't actually listen to the D&M show, because that's exactly what Don Geronimo said in quite plain terms on Wednesday's show. Like we here at DCRTV just made it up? Wow.....

1/18 - DCRTV hears more rumblings about the negotiations to get Don Imus a DC radio perch. It seems that Clear Channel talker WTNT is still the most-likely candidate. "They definitely want him - just trying to work out the business side," we're told. Still: "Despite the mistaken belief that Imus is a Washington insider type, he never had an audience in Washington. That will be the biggest problem that he has in landing a DC affiliate." The sources we talked to say that Citadel talker WMAL wants to do as much locally-based chat as possible, and that NYC-based Imus wouldn't fit the "business model." We're told that Bonneville was thinking about adding Imus to its new 3WT talker - had Tony Kornheiser not come back. But "the suits in Salt Lake thought he was too hot to handle".....

1/17 - According to the DC Post, Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican Virginia state senator from Fairfax, has introduced a proposal that would allow a boss to fire employees who don't have a proper command of English in the workplace. The measure is obviously aimed at immigrants, mainly Spanish-speaking ones. But, I'd like to see the new law applied to local radio and TV personalities who also have a poor command of English. You know, those who can't pronounce simple words like "nuclear" and "ambulance." Those who mumble and verbally stumble on the air. (A certain Channel 4 anchor comes to mind.) And those who get place names wrong, like calling McLean "McClean." Face it, Mr. Cuccinelli, there are many native-born Americans, including those on TV and radio, who can't speak proper English either. Maybe you can help fix that.....

1/17 - The scuttlebutt about what CBS man talker WJFK-FM might sound like in a post-Geronimo era: The Junkies could get moved from morning drive to afternoon drive. "It pays better and no 4 AM wake-up call," we're told by a Fairfax station source. Big O and Dukes from evenings to middays. The return of El Jefe and J-Dubs to evenings. And maybe a Mike O'Meara-hosted show for mornings? Or something "new"? Goodbye Opie and Anthony and Jim Rome? Stay tuned.....

1/16 - Apparent contract negotiations with CBS Radio kept Mike O'Meara off the Don and Mike show on WJFK-FM today. According to Don Geronimo's on-air comments on Wednesday, the management at CBS isn't allocating appropriate value for O'Meara come June 2008. DCRTV has previously reported that Geronimo is leaving the show at the end of May 2008. There's been no word about what WJFK-FM will air after Geronimo's exit - keeping Geronimo's current crew intact, with O'Meara at the helm, or running something different in the afternoon drive slot. On Wednesday's show, Geronimo said that he's protesting the treatment of his radio partner by doing a "best of O'Meara" show. And Geronimo said that he may not show up for Thursday's show. No comment from CBS Radio DC honcho and WJFK-FM General Manager Michael Hughes. UPDATE: It sounds like CBS pulled Geronimo off the air after the 3:45 PM ad break Wednesday, flipping to a standard "best of" show. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: DCRTV hears that O'Meara, if he becomes top banana of the WJFK-FM afternoon show after Geronimo leaves, wants a salary comparable to Geronimo's. O'Meara makes a lot, we're told, but not nearly what Geronimo makes. Plus, we also hear that there's a battle between show "newsman" Buzz Burbank and defacto show producer Robb Spewak about who will be the "number two" on a post-Geronimo show. Stay tuned.....

1/15 - Regarding DCRTV's "wild rumor" yesterday that Clear Channel may be selling some or all of its DC radio stations, including SportsTalk 980 to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, we hear from another source who can "confirm" that CC "is in talks - and nearing a deal - to sell all three AM stations to Snyder." Including talkers WTNT and WWRC. Snyder already owns three weakish area stations, which broadcast his Triple X sports talker. Also, we hear that the general sales manager of all three CC AMers was "re-assigned" as the local sales manager for CC's DC101. More soon.....

1/14 - DCRTV has a very well-placed source who tells us that Clear Channel is giving very serious thought to unloading some or all eight of its DC radio stations. And the first to go could be SportsTalk 980, WTEM, probably to Redskins-owner Dan Snyder, whose Red Zebra broadcasting arm owns Triple X ESPN Radio. San Antonio-based Clear Channel, currently in the midst of a buyout to take it private, has been selling stations in small markets. If true, the DC sale, in radio market number eight, would be the radio giant's largest market to be sold-off. "It just does not sound right to me," says a veteran DC radio honcho at a competing firm. Clear Channel owns five FMers here - WWDC, WASH, WMZQ, WBIG, and WIHT. And three AMers - WTNT, WWRC, and WTEM. More as we hear it.....

1/8 - This morning, WMAL's morning macho men Andy Parks and Bryan Nehman (Fred Grandy was away) speculated about how the current crop of presidential candidates would look shirtless. Both practically gagged at viewing Hillary Clinton, the only woman in the race, in that state. But both, more-or-less, verbally lusted after the men in the race. Yeah, Mike Huckabee would probably look pretty good after losing all that weight, commented Parks. Mitt Romney "looks pretty buff, don't you think," remarked Nehman. Not that there's anything wrong with that.....

1/7 - Sources tell DCRTV that Redskins owner Dan Snyder did try to unload the signals of his Triple X ESPN sports talker in 2007. But the prices he could get for the three signals - an Alexandria AMer (730) with a light bulb-ish night power, and two FMers (92.7 and 94.3), each about 20 miles outside the Beltway - were way below the prices he paid for them a few years back. Snyder reportedly paid $33 million for the three signals in 2005. The word is that he could sell the stations for $15 to 18 million today. We're told that, in late 2006 and early 2007, Snyder did try to buy WAVA's 105.1 FM signal from Salem and the 104.1/103.9 FM signals from Bonneville, but neither deal materialized.....

1/6 - One of the nice things about living in the planned community of Reston is the hundreds of miles of pathways. And you see lots of stuff while walking and running along the town's roads and through the woods. Why just yesterday, I just happened to run into Cerphe, the legendary DC rock radio DJ. He was decked out in fitness gear, with what looked like a micro iPod on his lapel, accompanied by his lovely wife. Now, how cool is that.....

1/3 - We already knew it. But now we hear it from the horse's mouth. Kind of. Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser confirmed that he will return to the radio on "the 17th or 21st... whatever that Monday is..." The Washington Post "bailed out" on its old radio station, said Kornheiser, who did admit that you'll be able to hear him "on 1500" AM. No mention of the station's name - 3WT - and that his 8 AM show can also be heard on 107.7 FM and 820 AM.....

Click here for Rants from 2007.....