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Rants from January to December 2009.....

12/31 - DCRTV's top 10 local TV stories of 2009. (1) Hefty cuts at many local TV stations, especially deep at Channel 2/WMAR, Channel 4/WRC, Channel 26/WETA, Channel 7/WJLA, Channel 45/WBFF, and Maryland Public Television, (2) The digital broadcast TV conversion in June and how many viewers survived it with no problems, but others, especially those who relied on antenna reception, lost some of their favorite stations, (3) The changing cable TV landscape with the rapid expansion of Verizon's all-digital FIOS system challenging dominant provider Comcast, and Comcast's continuing push to take its systems all-digital to compete, (4) Area cable TV giant Comcast buying Channel 4/WRC owner NBC Universal, (5) The death of longtime Channel 4/WRC sports anchor George Michael, (6) The retirement of a number of local TV news greats like 13's Sally Thorner, 2's Mary Beth Marsden, and 5's Patrick McGrath, (7) Lots of turnover at low-news-rated Channel 9/WUSA, including yet another news director, (8) Fairfax's MHz Networks rounds out its lineup of foreign news network relays to 10, with the addition of Al Jazeera English, (9) How NBC's Jay Leno show nightly at 10 PM is hurting the 11 PM news ratings for dominant Baltimore TV newser Channel 11/WBAL, and (10) MASN launches its fulltime high-def network.....

12/30 - DCRTV's top 10 local radio stories of 2009. (1) CBS's WJFK drops its longtime "guy talk" format for sports talk as 106.7 The Fan and sends Mike O'Meara packing, creates a two-way battle with Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980, (2) Bonneville's all-news WTOP continues its winning ways as a top ratings getter and as a top revenue producer, (3) Once a top station, CBS's DC urban mainstay WPGC continues to flounder, (4) Four sports talkers, including CBS's new WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan, battle each other in Baltimore, (5) CBS yanks classic rock from 94.7 for hot adult contemporary Fresh FM, (6) Clear Channel's contemporary hit Hot 99.5 WIHT soars to new ratings heights, (7) WMAL, WRQX, WVRX owner Citadel prepares for bankruptcy filing, (8) Clear Channel kills alternative rock WCHH, Channel 104.3, in Baltimore for contemporary hit Z104.3 WZFT, (9) Citadel's WJZW dumps "True Oldies" for hard classic rock as WVRX, 105.9 The Edge, (10) Clear Channel picks up Baltimore's "Jack" oldies WQSR 102.7 from CBS.....

12/29 - DCRTV hears that Murray Schweitzer, consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw's producer since 1993, is leaving Channel 4/ WRC as of 12/31. Schweitzer helped create Crenshaw franchise stories, including "Does It Really Do That?," "Tricks Of The Trade," "Liz Quiz," "Taste Tests," and "Ask Liz." Schweitzer jokes that he's written the words "I'm Liz Crenshaw" so many times that those words should be placed on his tombstone. Also leaving DC's NBC4 on 12/31, longtime video editor Joe Hearn, longtime video editing supervisor Tommi Childs, and longtime graphic artist Lou Bargmann.....

12/29 - DCRTV hears that CBS Radio is giving serious thought to relaying its NYC (WFAN), Philadelphia (WIP), Baltimore (WJZ-FM), and/or Boston (WBZ-FM) sports talkers on the digital HD Radio subchannels of DC's WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, come early 2010. Ditto with like relays, including WJFK, via the HD Radio subchannels of Baltimore's 105.7 The Fan. Stay tuned.....

12/28 - DCRTV tipped you a few weeks ago. Local rock radio veteran Kirk McEwen returns to his old haunt of Baltimore's 98 Rock, WIYY, to do fill-in morning show hosting today and tomorrow. DCRTV told you last month that McEwen just landed a permanent gig doing afternoon drive on DC classic rocker 105.9 The Edge, WVRX. McEwen's temporary 98 Rock gig is being done with 105.9's blessing since the stations are in separate markets and not direct competitors.....

12/28 - Today's another perfect example of what's wrong with the Washington Post's dreadful Style section, which I've dubbed the Stale section. Today, like many days, it's eight pages of nothing much to read. The front page feature a huge half-page graphic featuring Tiger Woods and Jon and Kate to accompany a lengthy diatribe from Howard Kurtz about all the changes in the media biz in the past 10 years. I honestly thought Kurtz, who churns out copy like a machine and has to be the hardest working media writer in the whole world, might take a week off between Christmas and New Years. Apparently not. The page 2 jump of Howie's piece also contains a third of a page of pics. That's almost two full broadsheet pages for one Kurtz piece. I like Howie, but this is a bit ridiculous. Another huge half-page graphic takes up page 8 with another overly-long piece. The Movie Directory, now with "public service" listings of all local movie theaters every darn day, takes up most of a broadsheet page. Plus, there's two pages of comics, and a half page of TV listings, plus a half page of rewritten gossip blurbs in the "Names And Faces" column. That leaves nothing much else. It's a shame that the Post can't reduce its Style section to just two or four pages on slow news days like today and give those pages over to the deserving news section and business sub-section. Perhaps the Post should expand its "opt-out" option, which allows readers to "not get" the TV Week section, to its tepid Style section, too. Maybe give subscribers a few bucks break on their rates, or, at least, save a couple of trees. I still think the Post is a great newspaper. The "A" news, the editorials, the business news, the Metro, and Sports are all great. But Style continues to suck, big time. Maybe it's time to clear the decks and start over with that sorry section. Well, at least one bright spot today - no Salahis in Style.....

12/26 - Local radio veteran Don Geronimo, who's been off the DC airwaves since April 2008, when he gave up his afternoon shift at then-guy talker WJFK, did a holiday fill-in shift on NYC oldies outlet WCBS-FM on Saturday evening, also via wcbsfm.com. He'll be doing another fill-in shift on Friday, New Years Day, at 3 PM.....

12/24 - DCRTV broke the news in late 2006 that George Michael was planning to retire from Channel 4/WRC in early 2007. We beat everybody, even the Washington Post. Actually, the station's owner, NBC, had ordered him to make massive budget cuts in its sports department. And George told his employer of 27 years - no way, Jose. George told me that he would rather leave than have to tell many of his beloved co-workers that they'd be losing their jobs. OK, I got maybe one little thing wrong in the DCRTV piece, and I paid for it. At 6 AM on a holiday morning, there was George Michael blasting me on the phone to tell me off. "Dave, Dave, Dave," he'd say like a scolding father to his misbehaving son. Yeah, George liked DCRTV, but he was oh so quick to tell me if I made the slightest error in coverage about himself. As a kid in the Philadelphia area in the late 1960s, I listened to George spinning the Grass Roots, the Supremes, the Monkees, and the Beatles on WFIL, Famous 56. I never could have dreamed, back then, that some four decades later, George and I would cross paths. I won't get into all of George's maverickness in the TV sports media biz. But I'll always remember him as a great guy. God bless you, George. One of the best.....

12/23 - While the Junkies are away on Christmas vacation, the programmers at new CBS sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, seem to be doing some show test pairings during the morning slot. Yesterday, it was Scott Jackson and Brian Mitchell. Today, it's Al Koken (right) with Jackson and Mitchell. We've heard that former Redskin Mitchell is in-line for a JFK show. It sure sounds like the station's suits are trying to determine a radio partner for him. Stay tuned.....

12/23 - We got plenty of reaction to our story yesterday that the Washington Times morning radio show, "America's Morning News," might be moving to the Politico. Or might be discontinued if the troubled newspaper has more financial woes. Phil Boyce of syndicator Talk Radio Network says that the show, which has 70+ affiliates, including DC's WTNT (570 AM), will continue even if there "are problems at TWT." He adds: "TRN, which is the largest independent producer of syndicated talk radio shows in the nation, is not going to pull the plug on this show... The radio show is a hit." A source at the show tells us the same thing: "I can assure you that TRN would never let 'AMN' fold, regardless of whether TWT or Politico, as you hear, is interested. 'AMN' is kicking ass - we're now approaching 75 stations in only six months' time, and in numerous major markets to boot." While that source did not deny that the show could be taken over by the Politico, a Politico source tells us that there have been "no talks with Washington Times about anything." However, another source points out, the Politico could be talking to TRN and not TWT. More as we hear it.....

12/23 - As for those changes at the Politico's Allbritton sister NewsChannel 8 that DCRTV's hinted, we're told that no tweaking of the local news channel will come before spring. Management is satisfied with the morning schedule, but the daytime lineup could get more of "wheel" format - "think WTOP with pictures." Look for "more community stories to come from the Jim Brady (Politico local news) web project." Plus, more regionally "zoned" programming from noon to midnight. "NewsChannel 8 needs to get back to basics - reporting community news, and look more like its roots." Allbritton management "think it looks too much like WJLA junior." Allbritton also owns Channel 7/WJLA. "Look for more 'community reporters' (one man bands) to dig up stuff from the suburbs." And look for more Politico reporters to be seen on NC8. More as we hear it.....

12/23 - A local newspaper guru wonders what will happen to all those lucrative legal ads carried by the Washington Times when it switches to its new weekday-only, less local news format come 1/4. Since it will no longer have home delivery, will those advertisers, who are responsible for millions of dollars of revenue for the TWT, get "poached" by the Washington Post and other community newspapers? "It's a huge business and one of the only bright spots in the Times' revenue stream. They are gambling that their strategy will work. What they are not taking into consideration is that you and the other media outlets will see through this and raise holy hell when the paper is no longer general interest but a shell of a real newspaper," we're told. Update. On Wednesday afternoon, the Times issued the following statement: "This week, the Washington Times announced changes that will lead the company to a stronger position in the Washington media marketplace. Legal advertising has been, and will continue to be, of paramount importance to the newspaper and its legal advertising base of government officials, investors, bankers, auctioneers, and interested readers. The Times will retain circulation and distribution throughout the market and continue to provide relevant general news content to maintain an excellent environment for legal advertisers".....

12/22 - I am seriously sick of reading about those White House State Dinner party crashers and malignant PR seekers Tareq and Michaele Salahi in the Washington Post during the past month. Yet another looooong another piece at washingtonpost.com on Tuesday. Day after day after day. It never stops. Like a dripping faucet. Enough already! Isn't there other important news the Post can fill its Stale section with? Like maybe fashionista Robin Givhan analyzing Tiger Woods' post-scandal outfits? Sheesh.....

12/22 - President Barack Obama called into WTOP's "Ask The Governor" show in the 10 AM hour today to congratulate Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for the job he did steering the commonwealth through the past four years. He surprised the outgoing Democratic governor. Obama was first introduced as "Barry from DC" and wanted to complain about traffic in Northern Virginia. Obama went on to joke that both of their wives probably enjoy more popularity than either of them. By the time the POTUS hung up the phone, WTOP was two minutes late for "traffic and weather together on the 8s." Listen here.....

12/22 - DCRTV hears from sources at the budget cutting Washington Times that there are plans in the works to possibly transfer the paper's morning radio show, heard locally on WTNT (570 AM), to the Politico, which is owned by Allbritton. The show, "America's Morning News," is hosted by Melanie Morgan and John McCaslin and is produced at the Times' New York Avenue HQ and syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network. It focuses heavily on political news and commentary. We also hear that there's some "tension" between the Times and TRN over contractual issues. If a deal with Allbritton, which owns Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8, can't be worked out, the plug could be pulled on the radio venture, which was launched earlier this year. The Politico is busy developing a local news/TV arm, which could result in a repurposing of NC8, DCRTV has reported.....

12/21 - One of our technical gurus tells us that Channel 9/WUSA has asked the Federal Communications Commission for an "experimental" power hike to improve its digital TV reception. More at fcc.gov.....

12/18 - DCRTV gets confirmation that Beverly Kirk is out at NewsChannel 8 and that more cuts are coming as the Allbritton-owned local news operation gets transformed in the company's efforts to launch a local news website from the sister Politico operation. Also, we hear that Kirk is doing fine after a rush to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington this week. She was suffering from severe abdominal pain and had her gall bladder removed. Sources tell us that she's out of the hospital and feeling much better.....

12/18 - Former WMZQer Jeffrey "Jeffro" Mason has landed a new gig at CBS's country KMLE in Phoenix, Camel 108, where he'll be doing afternoon drive come 1/11. You'll recall that middayer Mason got the budget cut boot from DC's Clear Channel country 98.7 back in August.....

12/17 - Todd McDermott, who was abruptly clipped after four years as primary 6 PM and 11 PM news anchor at Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA in September 2008, has been hired as the new morning and noon news anchor at Cox's WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. He debuts January 4.....

12/17 - CBS Radio's Mark Zinno responds to the 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM Scott Garceau and Anita Marks "dump button malfunction" on Tuesday in his latest blog entry at cbsradiobaltimore.com - and yes somebody got fired over it 10 days before Christmas. A caller to the Baltimore sports talker managed to get on the air with a rude question about whether Ms. Marks performs oral sex on Mr. Garceau. Update: Zinno's blog post disappeared by midday Thursday.....

12/17 - DCRTV hears that the Washington Times laid off most of its advertising sales staff this morning. And its graphics department seems to be on the way out, too. It looks like the Times will actually scale back its staff some 70 percent, and not the 40 percent it previously said publicly - in order to keep the remaining advertisers. And will try to be like Politico and focus on online political news. More: We hear that the paper's marketing department was also included in today's layoffs. "Some people were asked to go today, others were given dates that their employment would end," a source tells DCRTV. "Remember that the whole company was called to a meeting in early December and given warning that the company would downsize. This was done to comply with the WARN Act. Newsroom is supposedly next".....

12/17 - DCRTV hears that IDT has sold brokered talker WMET (1160 AM), which is licensed to Gaithersburg. We're told that the sale price was $4 million, but no word yet on the buyer. Salem? More soon.....

12/16 - DCRTV hears that there's turmoil-a-plenty at Allbritton's NewsChannel 8. We hear that Beverly Kirk is probably out as anchor. And a complete "restructuring" is taking place. There's even a few wild rumors floating around, a la NC8 is "history," maybe replaced by Allbritton's Politico TV - which is back on - possibly even with soon-to-be-former ABC anchor Charlie Gibson. In any case, "lots of layoffs are coming. Everyone here is running scared," we're told. More: "The restructuring is tied to the launch of the Jim Brady-led 'local Politico'," another source tells us. "I hear the new site/publication/project will make use of the NC8 airwaves, and will likely mean a rethinking of the channel's focus, schedule, and personnel".....

12/16 - As DCRTV tipped you. Today, CBS officially flips the calls on DC's 94.7 from WTGB to WIAD. No change in the hot adult contemporary Fresh format. Yet. The WTGB calls debuted on the station in early 2007, when it became The Globe, with an alternative rock format. Over the years, the frequency has also sported the WARW, the WLTT, and the WJMD calls.....

12/14 - Angus Phillips (right) writes his last outdoors column for the Washington Post after more than 30 years at the paper. A local media guru tells DCRTV: "He never said why he was stopping, or what he was going to do now. The Post also did not say if the paper was going to have a new full-time outdoors writer in the Sports section - which it should. Any major sports section at any major paper should have a full-time outdoors writer like Angus Phillips, no argument".....

12/11 - DCRTV hears that construction on a new high-definition control room at Channel 4/WRC will begin in January, allowing the NBC station to join DC TV news rivals 5, 7, and 9 by offering HD local newscasts by spring 2010. We're told that there's a new digital router already at 4001 Nebraska Avenue ready to be installed. It's expected to be on the air sometime in March or April.....

12/11 - DCRTV hears that area radio veteran Albie Dee (right) is back on the local airwaves. He'll be doing weekends and fill-in work at CBS's Mix 106.5, WWMX, in Baltimore. His last local on-air gig was mornings at CBS's DC classic rocker WTGB, 94.7, but that ended in April when it flipped to the hot adult contemporary Fresh format. Mr. Dee will continue to do his national morning show on XM's POP2K channel (XM-30).....

12/10 - A tricky trick by the folks at Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980. If you go to 1067thefan.com in hopes of going to rival CBS sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, you'll end up at WTEM's espn980.com website. WJFK's website is at 1067thefandc.com, with a "dc" at the end. The "non-dc" version used to belong to a sports talker in Nashville that has since flipped format. Update: By Thursday evening, the 106.7thefan.com address linked to a "For Sale" offer.....

12/9 - DCRTV hears that ESPN has informed DC-based Atlantic Video that it's made "a strategic financial decision" to move "Pardon The Interruption," hosted by Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, and "Around The Horn" to studios at the ABC News bureau in DC when the contract with Atlantic Video expires in early 2010. ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney. Atlantic Video is owned by the Unification Church, which owns the Washington Times.....

12/9 - The area's AMC theaters are back in the Washington Post's Style section movie listings today. AMC dropped out last summer in a dispute with the Post over the hefty ad rates for its classified ad-type movie showtime listings. Now, Post ombudsman Andy Alexander tells us that the Post has decided to provide the listings for free, as "a public service." The result is a sizable loss of advertising revenue for the Post. Newspaper officials declined to say how much. The straw that broke the camel's back? Alexander says that theater owner Regal was planning to join AMC in cutting its paid movie listings in the Post.....

12/8 - DCRTV tipped you over the weekend that there've been more cuts at the Baltimore Sun. And now we get confirmation that six employees were laid off - three in advertising sales, two ad designers, and one classified ad telephone rep. "The Guild was unable to get assurance from management that there would ne no more layoffs," according to a Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild bulletin issued this morning. "At the same time, the Guild does not anticipate widespread staff reductions, if any." Also, the bulletin urges "anyone in any department who would like to be considered for a layoff and severance package, please let a Guild leader know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE." The caps were in the bulletin. "The company is closing out the books for the year, and anyone who volunteers and is accepted would have to be out the door and off the books by the end of this month." The buyout deal is the same as before, as spelled out in the contract - one week of pay for every six months of employment. Interestingly, a Sun source tells us, management - for the first time - is allowing the Guild to announce the possibility of voluntary layoffs. The Sun, which let go more than 60 workers last spring, is owned by the Tribune Company, which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.....

12/8 - DCRTV already tipped you that Channel 50/ WDCW has hired all-news WTOP investigative reporter Mark Segraves (right) as its new weekend public affairs show host, replacing DC radio veteran Chris Core. Now, we hear that the new show will be called "News Plus With Mark Segraves" and will air at 5 PM Saturdays and 10 AM Sundays, starting 12/12. Segraves, who worked at Channel 7/WJLA for many years, will continue his WTOP duties. Core, a longtime veteran of WMAL radio, will also continue his WTOP duties, including his weeknightly "Core Values" commentaries.....

12/7 - The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the television home of the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles, will launch a high-definition overflow channel in the spring of 2010. MASN2-HD will allow the network to televise every Orioles and Nationals game live and in high-def throughout the season. The majority of MASN's cable and satellite affiliates will be prepared to carry the channel for the 2010 MLB campaign throughout the network's seven-state television territory, MASN says. Nationals and Orioles game replays will still appear on the network's flagship high-definition channel, MASN-HD. "O's Xtra" and "Nats Xtra," the network's exclusive pregame and postgame shows, will be televised in HD live and on location from the ballpark during every home game for both teams. In 2010, MASN2-HD will carry 130 live baseball games, with another 190 on MASN-HD.....

12/7 - Steve Czaban (right) says his contract for his national sports show with Fox Sports Radio is not being renewed. He says there's new management at FSR and that he's been informally told he sounds too much like ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike. His last FSR show will be on 12/23, with Steven A. Smith replacing him. However, Czaban will continue to be heard during afternoon drive on ESPN 980, WTEM.....

12/7 - Kaiser HMO is hitting your friendly webmaster with a 20 percent (!!!) rate hike for health coverage in 2010 - in the middle of a nasty recession. It's nothing personal, mind you. Everyone in my age group and plan coverage type gets hit with the same increase. You know, I just can't help but notice that Kaiser does spend an awful of money on ads for itself on a wide variety of DC area TV and radio stations and in newspapers. That "thrive" campaign, for example. Perhaps Kaiser should cut back on its public relations ad spending and give its HMO members, who are really struggling in these difficult economic times, a bit of a break on its soaring rates. Anybody on Capitol Hill or in the local statehouses listening?.....

12/4 - Yesterday, we reported a rumor that Salem's 105.1 has been quietly put on the market. A rumbling strongly denied by Salem's WAVA execs, by the way. Still, might a deal be in the works for Salem to swap 105.1 for Redskins owner Dan Snyder's 980 and maybe his 570, 730, and 1260, too? Sources confirm that something's in the works between the two radio parties. We know that Salem would like to get a DC signal for its righty political talk format. Such a swap would give Snyder's sports talk WTEM an inside the Beltway FMer to better compete with CBS's rival WJFK and provide Salem with more signals and a pile of cash.....

12/3 - DCRTV hears that Salem is quietly shopping around its 105.1 WAVA-FM signal, which is licensed to Arlington. A reliable local radio guru tells us that the market-blanketing-signal stick could fetch $25 million or more. California-based Salem programs a Christian/conservative talk format on 105.1, ever since it picked it up from Emmis in 1992, when it was a contemporary hit outlet. DCRTV also hears that Salem's possible sale of 105.1 may be part of an overall strategy to pick up a second or third AMer in the DC market, in addition to its WAVA-AM, 780, which is also licensed to Arlington and also features Christian/conservative talk. Update: DCRTV hears from some execs at 105.1 who insist that the signal isn't for sale. "Salem has been selling some 'non strategic' stations, but not stations like WAVA. WAVA is one of Salem's most successful radio stations," we're told.....

12/2 - DCRTV hears that Redskins veteran Brian Mitchell paid a visit to CBS Radio sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, today to guest with midday man Mike Wise. Could Mitchell's presence at the Fairfax station mean that he might be talking to suits there about a regular on-air presence? Mitchell, who has been working for CBS Radio sports talker WIP in Philadelphia, got canned a while back by Redskins owner Dan Snyder's sports talker, WTEM, ESPN 980, after he slammed his old team on the air. Stay tuned.....

12/1 - A source tells us that there was a morning show in place for Citadel's classic rock 105.9 The Edge - but it fell through. A local radio guru speculates that the longtime feud between Jack Diamond, the legendary morning man at Citadel sister hot adult contemporary WRQX, Mix 107.3, and former WJFKers Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara could have had a part to play in the decision. O'Meara was supposedly in-line for the 105.9 morning spot. If O'Meara had gotten the gig, he would have been just down the hall from 107.3's Diamond. Last week, Citadel announced that Baltimore radio veteran Kirk McEwen would be doing the afternoon shift on 105.9. Update: Via their Twitter/Facebook pages today, both Geronimo and Diamond claim that they aren't feuding. In fact, Geronimo says he and Diamond regularly communicate with each other.....

12/1 - DCRTV hears that the radio personality who was supposed to do a recent weekend kids' charity on-air "remote" fundraiser for Clear Channel's country WMZQ couldn't do it at the last minute. And guess who just happened to be wandering the area mall at the same time? DC radio veteran Tom Grooms, who works at Citadel classic rocker WVRX, 105.9 The Edge. Our source tells us that Grooms, donned in his Edge jacket and t-shirt, manned the mic and even managed to get a promo or two in for his Citadel station on the Clear Channel station. We're told that Grooms told passer-bys, "It's all about the kids," on his spur of the moment decision to do it.....

11/30 - DCRTV hears that there's some stomach churning going on among the staff at CBS Radio's Baltimore sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan. A number of "unhappy campers," we're told, including morning man Ed Norris, the former Baltimore top cop who has been told to talk more sports and less politics. Also, "four or five" staffers are up for contract renewal soon, and they fear the worst from a budget-cutting CBS. Plus, there's some concern about the station's ratings, which have slumped a bit since the spring and summer.....

11/30 - So, WJFK's Mike Wise, who spent much of his show today talking about the Tiger Woods scandal (crashing his car and allegedly fighting with his wife over the long holiday weekend), says he doesn't like talking about the Tiger Woods scandal. You know, a private matter, blah blah blah. Hey, Mike, it beats another boring Monday droning endlessly on about those awful Redskins. Now, I must again re-assess whether the Washington market really really really needs two FM sports talkers. Maybe 106.7 would do better as a good solid oldies station or maybe a resurrected progressive rock WHFS? How about Amp 106.7? Sheesh.....

11/25 - Your friendly webmaster has conjectured that Baltimore might no longer be able to support four TV news operations - 2, 11, 13, and 45. And that the lowest-rated local news department, at Channel 2/WMAR, will see more cuts and could disappear completely. And now, Charm City TV critic David Zurawik pens this as a comment to a posting on his "Z On TV" blog at baltimoresun.com: "Markets like Baltimore (26th) can no longer afford three or four major news operations. Money is too tight, and technology creating many more outlets for local news. So outside of the top two stations or possible a third with a strong niche, they are slashing news budgets. I am sad to say that will be more leaving WMAR in coming days and weeks. Maybe a few at other stations, too".....

11/24 - Ever since Citadel flipped 105.9 from "True Oldies" to hard classic rock in August, it has shown virtually no ratings traction. Add to that a rumor that DCRTV reported a month or two ago that the station was conducting interviews for an air staff. Heck, in this recessionary environment, it's the only area station that is actively seeking talent. But, so far, no news on who 105.9's hiring. A number of area rock radio vets say that they haven't heard back from the station. Now, we hear that former WJFKer Mike O'Meara is planning to make a big announcement on Friday about a possible new radio show with fellow old show pals Buzz Burbank and Robb Spewak. What does all that add up to? Perhaps O'Meara on 105.9, doing morning or afternoon drive? The radio veteran has proved that he can attract male demos, something that Citadel desperately needs for 105.9, WVRX, even if it plans to sell the station next year as it faces a corporate credit crunch. If O'Meara's going to end up back on the DC radio dial, all signs point to 105.9, me thinks. We will know for sure on Friday! Stay tuned.....

11/23 - Radio-Info.com editor Tom Taylor's hearing more rumors about WTOP and WFED owner Bonneville picking up stations in the DC market. The latest rumbling involves a "multi-market swap involving Atlanta, Washington DC, and St. Louis.... One (that) would make Bonneville even bigger in Washington DC and St. Louis." DCRTV has reported previous rumors about Bonneville possibly picking up stations from Citadel in DC (WRQX, WMAL, WVRX) and CBS in Baltimore (WLIF). Stay tuned.....

11/22 - A second correction in the Washington Post for sports columnist Mike Wise in less than a week. First, this on 11/18 and then this on 11/22. I like Mike and I like his radio show on WJFK. But I don't know how he finds the time to pen a whole batch of columns for the Post AND do a daily four-hour radio show. Yeah, the corrections weren't for big things, but two of them in a week should be a warning to maybe rethink one's media priorities.....

11/22 - Today, Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander pens a puff piece on Post food critic Tom Sietsema. At washingtonpost.com. Which gets me to thinking - maybe the Post's ombudsman needs an ombudsman. A few weeks ago, Alexander did a piece on your friendly webmaster's criticism of sports columnist Mike Wise's dual role as a critic of Redskins owner Dan Snyder in the paper and on the airwaves, on WJFK, a station that competes with Snyder's WTEM. Yet, Alexander didn't have the balls to mention that criticism came from me at DCRTV, a site that directly competes with his Post in the local media news arena. The impression one gets is that Alexander someone hesitant to deliver anything too harsh about his Post employer. He knows that most Posties don't like to mention DCRTV in print or on the web - and he won't either. Alexander too often turn his "light of truth" on his fellow Posties, and then ends up defending them in a round-a-bout way. He's often more of a public relations agent for the paper than a real, impartial ombudsman.....

11/19 - Clear Channel alternative rocker DC101 fills its midday slot with Ty, who was heard on Baltimore's WCHH, Channel 104.3, the alt rocker that Clear Channel blew up for contemporary hit Z104.3 earlier this month. Ty, who will call herself Bailey on DC101, begins on 11/23. She replaces Whitney, who now does mornings on Seattle alt rocker KNDD. Ty, er, Bailey will also host a regional new music program, "Local Lix," on Sundays at 10 PM starting on 12/6.....

11/18 - We're told: "Former network radio reporter and longtime spokesman for the Baltmore County Police Department, Bill Toohey, is leaving the department. Good and fair man who elevated the position of spokesman to an art form with his style and vocabulary. Bravo, and job well done, Bill." He's married to WTOP weekend anchor Rosemary Frisino Toohey. Mr. Toohey, the public face of the BCPD since 1996, has been dismissed and will be replaced by a uniformed officer.....

11/18 - A Baltimore area resident tells DCRTV that area cable TV giant Comcast is in the process of removing some expanded basic cable channels from its analog service and replacing them with an announcement that tells subscribers to obtain a digital converter box from the firm. Comcast says that the change to all-digital will allow it to offer improved service and more channels to better compete with Verizon's FIOS system, which is already all-digital. Critics charge that Comcast customers who watch on "cable ready" analog sets will now have to pay extra for some of the digital boxes. Comcast is reportedly making the conversion on many of its Maryland systems, including those in the Baltimore area, but not Baltimore city and Howard County. So, far, no changes - yet - in DC and Northern Virginia.....

11/16 - "Thirty-years-ago today, Bob Marbourg (right) opened a microphone at WTOP radio and hasn't stopped talking since. He talks about the topic he knows best and is most passionate about: traffic... Bob is unique. He is truly one of the rare people you meet in your life who is a master at their craft," writes Channel 9/WUSA reporter Dave Statter in his blog at statter911.com.....

11/16 - Earlier today, DCRTV told you that Channel 4/WRC, which also serves at NBC's Washington news bureau, suffered power problems on Sunday. Now, we're told that the problems continue on Monday. With newsroom computers and video servers down, and a non-functioning control room. Pepco attempted to switch back to main power around 3 PM and more equipment was affected, a source tells DCRTV. An audio operator even got shocked when this switch was made, we hear. NBC's MSNBC is doing live Washington shots from the lawn at WRC's 4001 Nebraska Avenue facility, using a satellite truck, instead of from Capitol Hill or the White House, we're told. Update: Channel 4 aired Ellen DeGeneres at 4 PM and MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews live from LA at 5 PM, instead of its local newscasts.....

11/16 - The DC suburb of Herndon, Virginia, tops the list of "Most Obscene Cities In America." Its Fairfax County neighbor (and home of the DCRTV World HQ) Reston was 5th. That's according to Business Insider. The list is based on Google Trends data for each of the "seven dirty words." The two DC area towns are joined in the "top 10" by Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Orlando, Tampa, Boston, Louisville, and California's Irvine. More at switched.com.....

11/16 - Channel 5/WTTG reporter and anchor Will Thomas was robbed at gunpoint as he got out of his car in Georgetown, near Wisconsin and N, on Wednesday night. Lost a wallet to the mugger - no injuries, but "as you can imagine, I'm still a bit shaken up," he told the Washington Post in a statement through a station rep. No arrests yet, he said, but "I'm very thankful to the police department for their diligence in this investigation".....

11/15 - In his Sunday Washington Post review of the remake of the British TV drama "The Prisoner," which debuts tonight on AMC, Tom Shales writes: "Strikingly photographed in starkest black and white, the '67 'Prisoner' was a curious and rather tantalizing melange of counterculture imagery, traditional paranoid fantasy and even a bit of Cold War spy thriller, with the spy stuff mostly expunged from what AMC calls its 'reinterpretation' of the story." Ah, Tom, the 1967 version was filmed in glorious "colour" (as the Brits spell it). Patrick McGoohan's previous series, "Secret Agent," aka "Danger Man," was filmed in starkest B&W.....

11/14 - Look, there's simply no way a major daily newspaper can survive in a market of 4-to-5 million people with a paid circulation of less than 70,000. That's the basic problem facing the Washington Times. The Washington Post, even with more than 10 times (!) that circulation, is bleeding cash in this recessionary environment. Luckily, it has a parent company that's in pretty good shape. Even before the slumping economy hit, with a circ of about 100,000, there's no way the Times could have survived on its own without a constant infusion from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Moon and some other very rich men have come to Washington, over the years, to become publishers in the most powerful political city in the world. Look at Philip Anschutz, the Denver billionaire who runs the Washington Examiner. While that paper is a freebie that doesn't have the staff of the Times, it's still never going to make any money, having recently cut its home delivery days down to two per week. Even Robert Allbritton started the Politico to make himself a national political powerplayer, something he couldn't do by owning a local TV station. I can't imagine the Politico makes any money, despite the claims from Allbritton suits. It's clearly subsidized, in part, by WJLA's revenue. Now, it looks like Mr. Moon and his family are starting to complain about the never-ending serious sucker of cash the Times has become. John Solomon was brought on a few years ago to get the paper into the black by sprucing it up, revamping and expanding washingtontimes.com, plus starting a national radio show and a conservative website. But one small problem - the organization is certainly losing more money than ever. Now, with the ouster of Solomon and three Times suits in the past week, it looks like big changes are coming to the rag. Either it will fold, or, more likely, become primarily a website with a small, much scaled-down newspaper companion. My guess is that the Moon family will continue to subsidize the Times, but not as massively as before. Or perhaps sell it to another billionaire "wanna-be Washington publisher." Perhaps Anschutz. South Korea's Mr. Moon is probably starting to believe that owning a newspaper in Washington, and the access to Capitol Hill power players, isn't worth as much in a world where China, with its 2+ billion people, is quickly becoming the most powerful economic force.....

11/12 - WTOP political investigative reporter Mark Segraves will replace DC radio veteran Chris Core on Channel 50/WDCW's weekend local politics and public affairs show. Segraves will continue his WTOP duties. Core, a longtime WMAL veteran who got budget cut in 2008 and who currently does daily "Core Values" commentary pieces for all-newser WTOP, has hinted that he's got a new gig up his sleeve, but he's being tight-lipped about it.....

11/12 - In ads this week in local newspapers, Fairfax County's Cox cable system warns that it hasn't yet completed negotiations with MTV Networks and Scripps to continue carrying a batch of channels beyond the end of 2009. Including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, TV Land, BET, and Food Network. Cox says that it is "optimistic that agreements will be reached prior to the current expiration of midnight on December 31." But it is running the ad as formal required notification to its subscribers in case the channels get dropped.....

11/10 - The charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest were dismissed on 11/5 by a Delaware court for a now-former Channel 16/WBOC sports anchor. Dewey Beach police officers arrested Yianni Korakis in mid-September after he refused to vacate a motel room when ordered to do so, according to WBAL.com. Authorities say Kourakis and another male suspect would not leave the room when asked by motel security. Kourakis announced via his Twitter account later that month that he and Salisbury's WBOC were parting ways.....

11/10 - After yanking their late morning show last month in favor of local talk radio rabble-rouser Chris Plante, news talker WMAL (630 AM) has restored half of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski's syndicated NYC-based radio show to the 9 PM hour weeknights, tape-delayed.....

11/10 - DCRTV hears that Team Broadcasting, the contractor that provides broadcast services to the Springfield VA-based Al Hurra Arabic language network, is busy handing out pink slips. The company lost its contract with the US-backed Middle East Broadcast Network. And we're told that senior techs and production department personnel are currently taking "a big hit." Supervisors and master control ops are next, our source says. The DC Biz Journal says 96 jobs are being cut.....

11/10 - Apparently, the WMAL morning team ran out of its anti-Obama rhetoric today and decided to focus on a problem suffered by show newsman Bryan Nehman, who can't get his young son to sleep in his own bed. Several times a night, the kid wants to jump in bed with his parents. So, MAL's Grandy and Andy played the issue for humor, and, yeah, many of suggestions were kind of funny. But others were downright mean. A la knock the kid out - what, with a punch or slap? Give him booze. Slap duct tape on his mouth. Lock him in his room. Marginally humorous on one level, but kind of perverted on another. Just another sad day of crappy radio from a once-great station. Citadel, please sell old 630 - and 107.3 and 105.9 while you're at it! And get out of the DC market. Maaaaan.....

11/10 - Three days after DC radio legend Ed Walker's official induction into the national Radio Hall Of Fame in Chicago and still not one damn word about it, including his reuniting at the event with former Joy Boys radio partner Willard Scott, in the Washington Post's dreadful "Reliable Source" column. Apparently Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger feel that we needed more re-written copy today about Levi Johnston, who fathered a child with Sarah Palin's daughter, and the "breaking news" about the pregnancy of a former "Saved By The Bell" actress. Sheesh.....

11/8 - While, in an ideal universe, we wouldn't have a sports columnist employed by a major daily newspaper also doing a show on a radio station that is a direct rival to a station owned by the owner of a team he covers, I do commend Mike Wise for putting up a disclaimer, as promised to DCRTV and to the Washington Post's ombudsman. In his Sunday Post commentary piece on the Redskins, Wise does write - "Full disclosure: I host a radio show for a station that competes with Snyder's sports-talk station." Skins owner Dan Snyder owns WTEM, and Wise does his show on CBS's rival sports talk WJFK. As you know, I think it is a major conflict of interest to have a sports team owner also own the radio station, WTEM, that his team is carried on - and to have a Washington Times sports columnist, Tom Loverro, doing a show there. But, at least Wise's disclosure is one teeny-tiny step in the right direction.....

11/6 - I've been reading that CBS Radio is now relaying some of its sports talkers in other, distant markets. For example, NYC sports talker WFAN is being relayed on the digital HD subchannels of some of its FMers in Florida, where many New Yorkers spend the winter. CBS's new Boston sports talker, WBZ-FM, is being relayed on the digital subchannel of an FMer in Hartford. So, how about this? Why doesn't CBS put its Baltimore sports talker, WJZ 105.7 The Fan, on the HD2 of its DC sports talker, WJFK 106.7 The Fan? And vice versa. That way, Baltimore could listen to the Junkies and Mike Wise, and DC could listen to Scott Garceau and Anita Marks, plus Ed Norris. Good idea, huh! Wasn't it me who long long ago suggested that CBS start a Baltimore sports talker co-branded with its WJZ-TVer? Does CBS have to get all its good ideas from me?.....

11/6 - So, DCRTV has reported that former Don and Mike show regular Robb Spewak just started a show on former D&M show affiliate KCJJ in Iowa City, Iowa. And, according to station owner Steve Bridges, the Friday show, which can be heard on the internet, is doing gangbusters. So, we're also reporting that Mike O'Meara will be free of his CBS/WJFK contract come December, and there are rumors that he and Robb and another former D&Mer, Buzz Burbank, will have some big news to announce soon. Could it be that all three will be doing a show for guy talker KCJJ? When asked for comment, Bridges simply says: "All I can say is that everyone is looking forward to the future." No denial. Hmmm. Robb does his KCJJ show from the DC area. So, there's no need for Mike to move to "flyover country." With a show on KCJJ, plus a podcast and internet stream, and maybe even a radio syndication deal, we could see O'Meara's new "launching pad." The only thing missing is another former JFKer, Don Geronimo, who's still handcuffed to CBS until October 2010. Stay tuned.....

11/5 - DCRTV hears that Cox cable of Fairfax County suffered a massive outage on Wednesday evening, during the final game of the World Series, affecting many of its addressable converter boxes. A source tells us that "a major power disruption occurred just past 5 PM, lots of equipment affected. They are now bringing things back online slowly, major channels should be back in a few hours, will take longer to restore complete service." A Cox spokesperson tells DCRTV that the system was back up and running by about 10:30 PM. With more than 200,000 subscribers, Cox Fairfax is the largest single cable system in the DC-Baltimore area.....

11/5 - We're hearing more rumblings about former WJFKer Mike O'Meara's (right) return to the media world. A source tells us that Robb Spewak and Buzz Burbank are involved, in addition to "another individual who is familiar" to the audience of the old afternoon show, which got axed in June when WJFK flipped to sports talk. And "no, it's not Don," we hear. Still no word if it's a new local radio show or something via the internet. Look for a "formal announcement" some time after Thanksgiving. We've told you that O'Meara's contract with WJFK owner CBS expires in December. More soon.....

11/4 - With all the talk that area cable TV giant Comcast is buying NBC, with a deal to be announced any day now, there come rumblings that Comcast could consolidate its regional sports networks with the sports departments of local NBC-owned TV stations. And Jim Williams wonders how this could impact Bethesda-based Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC. This is "very much in the talking stages at this point, but (we're in) in a marketplace where TV stations are cutting back on sports or doing away with sports departments." More at washingtonexaminer.com.....

11/2 - According to FishbowlDC, there was a fight in the Washington Post's newsroom on Friday. Veteran features editor Henry Allen reportedly threw a punch at features writer Manuel Roig-Franzia after Roig-Franzia allegedy said: "Henry, don't be such a cocksucker." FBDC adds that WaPo top editor Marcus Brauchli "was then forced to intervene." At washingtonian.com, Harry Jaffe adds that it should be noted that Allen is nearly 70, but he served in the Marines in Vietnam. He also won a Pulitzer prize in 2000 for criticism. Both apparently came into play when Allen jumped Roig-Franzia. Apparently, Allen didn't like Roig-Franzia's "charticle" dealing with members of Congress being investigated for ethics violations. After the brawl, Brauchli called Allen into his office and closed the door. Allen's contract is up later this month, Jaffe notes.....

11/2 - So, I go to the Washington Post's website this morning. And the very first thing that happens while at the front page - an animated car airbag suddenly inflates and obscures the screen. An intrusive ad for Liberty Mutual. OK, no problem with the Post taking ad revenue from a auto insurance firm. But must the Post whore out everything about itself, including the very first few precious seconds someone spends at its website? Oh, I think I'll stick with Geico, unless they decide to put an exploding gecko on the Post's front page.....

10/31 - DCRTV ranted on 10/21 about a potential conflict of interest at the Washington Post. And now the paper's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, pens this for Sunday's edition: "Sports columnist Mike Wise (left), who often writes about the Washington Redskins and owner Dan Snyder, recently began co-hosting a show on WJFK (106.7 FM), which competes directly with Snyder's ESPN (980 AM). Some readers have questioned whether Wise can be fair in his writing and on-air commentary. Sports Editor Matt Vita, who said he's 'aware of the potential conflict, or perception of a conflict,' has asked Wise 'to be perfectly transparent in the columns he writes on the Redskins and their management.' Indeed, a recent column on the Redskins carried this: 'Full disclosure: I host a radio show for a station that competes with Snyder's sports-talk station'." Alexander also looks at potential conflicts with other Posties, including media columnist Howard Kurtz, who often writes about CNN, where he also does a Sunday TV program.....

10/30 - DC rock radio legend Cerphe Colwell (second from left in pic, right) is back with a new online progressive rock music show that "has a lot of the original HFS mojo." There's a new Eco Planet Radio "Cerphe's Progressive Show" every Friday at ecoplanetradio.com. This week it has a Halloween flavor. Narrated by Vincent Price, the show features music from Tom Waits, Kate Bush, Jeff Beck, Death Cab For Cutie, Jimi Hendrix, and more. "Witchcraft, magic, vampires, and rock 'n' roll," Cerphe tells us. Cerphe, who has worked at DC101, plus old rockers WHFS and WAVA, lost his latest broadcast radio gig when CBS's WTGB dropped classic rock back in April.....

10/30 - DC radio veteran Steve Ray will be the producer of the Premiere-syndicated Randi Rhodes radio show, starting Monday. He'll also do fill-in engineering work for the show. "Since leaving Bonneville after six years in June, it's been a patchwork of freelance gigs at WJFK and WMAL," Rays tells DCRTV. "The irony of this new fulltime job is that I will go from producing a clearly progressive show during the day to handling one of Randi's most-hated shows in the evening, the conservative Mark Levin program at WMAL." Rhodes' show originates from Clear Channel's DC radio cluster HQ in Rockville.....

10/29 - Poor print page design in the Washington Post this morning. In the Virginia Voter's Guide tabloid, page 3, there are five columns - two for the two candidates for governor, two for the two candidates for lieutenant governor, and one for attorney general, which features Republican Ken Cuccinelli. His opponent, Democrat Stephen Shannon, is featured when you turn the page to page 4, all by himself. And, to make it seem to the casual reader of the guide that he has no opponent, there're the words "running unopposed" below Cuccinelli's piece. It sure makes it look like Cuccinelli has no opposition. Do Posties turn on their brains before doing such distorted page design? Maaaaan!.....

10/28 - DCRTV ranted about it earlier this week. And now we hear that Washington Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander is taking a look at potential conflict of interest situations between Washington Post sports writers and local sports talk radio stations. Particularly, Mike Wise, who pens Post pieces on the Redskins and team owner Dan Snyder and who also hosts a show on CBS sports talker WJFK, which is a direct rival to like-formatted WTEM, which is owned by Snyder. Look for a piece by Alexander soon. Wise has told DCRTV that he plans to put a disclaimer on his future Redskins columns reminding readers about his WJFK employment.....

10/28 - Your friendly webmaster, DCRTV Dave, chats about local radio on this week's edition of "The DC AM" at thedcam.com.....

10/27 - Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com tells us that Bonneville's Bruce Reese still harbors a deep desire to own many of the 23 former ABC Radio stations. There have been many rumors over the summer, and Taylor says he's hearing more rumblings of late. Bonneville, which owns DC's top-rated WTOP, was a disappointed suitor back in the final days of Disney's auction of most of its ABC Radio assets, including 23 major market stations, including DC's WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW (now WVRX). With Citadel's Farid Suleman the winner. Fast-forward three years, and Citadel's had a roller-coaster ride with the ABC stations. Everybody inside and outside the company expects - or dreads - the corporate "event." Something's gotta give by January 15, when Citadel's lenders expect it to pony up $150 million in cash. Will there be a full-out pre-packaged Chapter 11 filing? Will the lenders-turned-equity holders choose to leave Suleman in place? Or will Bonneville finally attain its goal, and then do some serious station-swapping with other operators? So wonders Taylor. DCRTV also hears that CBS Radio is also lusting after Citadel's stations in DC. Stay tuned.....

10/27 - I spent most of yesterday listening to local radio sports talk and only sports talk. And I survived. But it wasn't pleasant. The Junkies, Mike Wise, Thom Loverro, Lavar Arrington, and Tony Kornheiser. All the above hosts are just fine and entertaining - no problemo. But it was pretty much 8-ish boring hours of how much the Redskins suck. And then more about the sucky Redskins. And yet more about how horrible the Redskins are. So, what else are my talk radio options? Flip over to righty talk radio to hear 8-ish boring hours of how much Obama sucks. You know what? I really miss the old "guy talk" format that WJFK used to do. Chat that covered a whole bunch of cultural trash and personal bullshit - not just the Redskins and Obama. Yeah, I know, I can still get it on satrad with Opie, Anthony, Ron, Fez, and, of course, Howard. But there's a "hole" on the local radio dial without Mike, Don, Buzz, Robb, Big O, Dukes, El Jefe, and J-Dubbs, even Kirk and Mark. Wah!.....

10/25 - If you rely on antenna reception and wanted to watch Channel 4/WRC on Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM, you were out of luck. The NBC station was doing "routine maintenance" on its UHF channel 48 digital TV transmitter and wasn't broadcasting during the six-hour period. However, if you were watching via cable, you didn't see an interruption in 4's signal, since they get it via landline. Update: We're told that NBC4 returned to the airwaves at about 12:30 PM. Another update: We're told that 4 was again off the air late Sunday evening.....

10/23 - On his radio show today, heard locally on WMAL, righty talker Rush Limbaugh said that the Washington Post's credibility is "on the line" if Democrat Creigh Deeds loses the race for Virginia governor. Limbaugh pointed out that the paper endorsed Deeds last Sunday and, this morning, reported that the Obama administration has already written off the behind-in-the-polls Deeds as a loser to Republican Bob McDonnell. The Post has reported that Deeds has rejected fellow Democrat Obama's help and advice in the campaign.....

10/23 - I'm a longtime Windows user and I love this ad.....


10/21 - Back when Mike Wise was "just" a reporter for the Washington Post, it was perfectly OK for him to write in the paper about the Redskins and the team's owner Dan Snyder. But now, he also does a radio show for CBS-owned sports talker WJFK, which directly competes with Snyder's sports talker, WTEM. So, Wise is officially working for and taking a paycheck from a company, CBS, that is trying to beat the pants off Snyder on the local radio dial. So, should Wise be penning stories that deal with Snyder for the Post, a la this morning's lengthy interview with previous team owner John Kent Cooke? Is that a conflict of interest? Perhaps the Post's ombudsman, Andy Alexander, should take a gander at that. Look, I like Wise and his radio rants, but I kind of think his radio gig might just create the appearance of a dilemma for his newspaper. Do journalistic ethics matter at the Post anymore? With Snyder a player on the local radio dial, perhaps Wise should make a decision - the Post or WJFK. Not both. UPDATE: We hear that the Washington Post will run a disclaimer on Wise's future articles about Snyder that Wise has a radio show on Snyder's sports talk rival.....

10/20 - A DCRTV tech guru tells us that the Federal Communciations Commission has approved a request from Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra-owned WWXX (94.3 FM), which is licensed to Warrenton, to move its city of license a bit closer to DC, to Buckland, which is near Gainesville in Prince William County. The Virginia signal relays sports talker ESPN 980, WTEM.....

10/20 - If you're gonna go out on Thursday and spend $120-ish bucks for Windows 7, go get a Magic Marker and, right now, pen "SUCKER" on your forehead. You might want to stand in front of a mirror when doing it, so you don't write it backwards. Every time Microsoft releases a major upgrade to Windows, it's fraught with problems. Way back with Windows 3.1, and on to Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, and the current Windows Vista. It takes Microsoft at least a year after each release to fix all the bugs. And yet we, the poor sap "PC" computer users, willingly pay Microsoft hefty fees again and again for each wave of this crappy software. If Microsoft honcho Bill Gates had an ounce of decency, he'd be giving this new version of Windows away for free for all the headaches he caused to folks who splurged for the error-prone Vista. I got Windows Vista when I bought a new PC back in March 2008. And after months of tweaking and downloading countless upgrade patches, it's working pretty good. Not great. But OK. You think I'm going to pay Microsoft and install what will certainly be a bugfest on top of Vista? No way, Billy boy! Yeah, I'll probably be forced to get Windows 7 some day. But I'm going to wait at least six months to a year and then buy it fresh on a new computer. I ain't no Microsoft sucker - at least not too much of one. Maaaaaaan.....

10/19 - DCRTV hears that DC radio vet Albie Dee was spied at Citadel's northwest DC radio complex this morning. Could he be signing a deal to be heard on new classic rocker WVRX, 105.9 The Edge? More as we hear it.....

10/17 - DCRTV hears that, after launching new classic rocker 105.9 The Edge in late August to little ratings success, Citadel is actively looking for an airstaff for the currently jockless station, which plays everything from the Stone Temple Pilots and AC/DC to Alice Cooper and Foghat. "I know they've been running a lot of folks thru the station in the last week or two. Most of the big interviews are done off site so no one figures it out," a local radio guru tells us. More as we hear it.....

10/14 - We now know where former Hot 99.5 night man Pat "Grooves" Cerullo is headed. He's joining CBS's new "Amp" contemporary hit outlet in Detroit, WVMV. Doing nights as well as assistant program director and music director duties. So far, no permanent replacement for him at the DC Clear Channel contemporary hit outlet.....

10/13 - TV ratings for the Baltimore Orioles pretty much held steady during the past season, when compared with 2008. A slight uptick in households watching, but a slight decline in overall ratings. The Washington Nationals were the biggest gainer, posting a 67 percent increase from last year, even though the team had the worst record in baseball. Still, the Nationals attracted only about 14,000 households per game, dead last among MLB teams, while the Orioles averaged 34,000. In fact, we're told that the Orioles attracted 16,000 households from the DC market, 14 percent better than the Nationals did in their home market. Both teams are carried by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.....

10/12 - DCRTV hears that former Hot 99.5 morning man Mark Kaye, who now does the morning show on Jacksonville's WAPE, headed down to Miami today to audition to replace the recently departed Billy Mays as the new ad spokesperson for Mighty Putty, the "super powered epoxy that does it all".....

10/12 - This month, DC-based Bob Edwards celebrates his 5th anniversary hosting "The Bob Edwards Show" on satellite radio's XM Public Radio. "Bob's unique, award-winning, top-quality content exemplifies the great public radio content available on Sirius XM," said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer of Sirius XM. "We congratulate Bob on five years of excellence here, and look forward to more for years to come." Prior to joining Sirius XM predecessor XM, Edwards hosted "Morning Edition" for nearly 25 years on National Public Radio.....

10/12 - DCRTV hears that Dennis Israel, who has been general manager of brokered talker WMET (1160 AM), is heading to Ethiopia to teach graduate communications and journalism at at the Addis Ababa University. He'll also work to start a campus radio station. In 2007, Israel helped establish the first independent, non-governmental radio station in the country, Sheger 102.1 FM, in Addis Ababa. With worldwide communcations experience, Israel has been an advisor to the Voice Of America and the US Information Agency. He's taught at New York University, and at Florida's Barry University and City College in Ft. Lauderdale.....

10/12 - Scott Struber, who used to be assistant program director and afternoon man on DC's classic hits WBIG, has been named music director and on-air host at classic hits KKSF in San Francisco. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel. Dave Pugh, who used head CC's DC radio cluster, now heads CC's SF radio cluster.....

10/12 - Former WJFKer Don Geronimo says he's quit his 9 AM to noon gig at Rehoboth Beach talker WGMD, which he's been doing since June.....

10/11 - A local DC TV tech tells DCRTV: "Fox5 sources report that the signal problems during the first quarter of the Redskins game were caused by a faulty Nielsen encoder that affected both the HD and SD signals. This device puts out an ID signal in the video so that ratings meters know what station they are tuned to. The outage lasted approximately 45 minutes before engineers located the problem and patched around it." Between 1:30 and 2:15 PM Sunday, the Fox-owned WTTG signal repeatedly froze, pixilated, went blank, and shifted between high-def and standard-def modes.....

10/9 - DCRTV hears that Metro Traffic/DC has parted ways with Byron Kerr, who did sports reports for WTOP radio. A source tells DCRTV that Kerr is too busy with his TV sports work. However, another source tells us that Kerr was axed. Kerr will still be heard on WFED radio's George Washington University basketball play-by-play, we're told. And, we hear that George Wallace is now Metro's new sports director, and will be heard on WTOP. WTOP's sports director remains Dave Johnson. Also, we hear that DC radio veteran Dave Brown is no longer with Metro. But he'll still be doing weekend news shifts for WTOP.....

10/2 - During last night's Washington Nationals game in Atlanta, MASN's production truck lost power. But quick-thinking production staff switched to the Fox Sports South feed so viewers didn't miss an inning, a MASN spokesman tells DCRTV.....

10/1 - Katy Daley (left), host of "The Katy Daley Show" on WAMU's Bluegrass Country, has been named "Broadcaster Of The Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association. "Katy's career in bluegrass music, which began right here at WAMU 88.5 and spans three decades, has been a true testament to the mission of Bluegrass Country - enlightening a worldwide audience about the past of bluegrass music, and supporting the future of bluegrass culture," said Caryn Mathes, WAMU's GM.....

9/30 - DCRTV hears that Jay Lang is the new station manager at Hampton University's WHOV in the Norfolk area. Lang will continue to do his fill-in work at Howard University's WHUR. You'll recall that Lang was one of the jocks on the old Smooth Jazz 105.9, WJZW, before it got blown up by Citadel in February 2008.....

9/29 - Baltimore WERQ radio personality and author LaDawn Black debuts "LaDawn's Loft," a "love, sex, and relationship" show on 9/30 at 2 AM on Channel 24/WUTB. Black says: "So many of my listeners really wanted to put a visual component to the radio show. They wanted to see the show guests, view the products, have the opportunity to be guests and even experience a few of the off the air show moments and 'LaDawn's Loft' offers all of that".....

9/29 - More Baltimore TV cuts, this time at Channel 2/WMAR, where Mary Beth Marsden is now anchoring the 11 PM newscast alone, and station mangement says it has no plans to add a co-anchor. With the recent departure of Rob Carlin, the station no longer has a fulltime dedicated sports reporter, and is using freelancers for coverage. And, as DCRTV has already told you, don't look for any late news at all on Saturday nights on Channel 2 this fall. With ABC football games running late, General Manager Bill Hooper says there is not enough of an audience available to justify the newscasts.....

9/28 - When the Skins suck, the Junkies really shine. Like this morning with the loss yesterday to the lame Lions. If it's going to be "one of those seasons" with the now 1-2 Redskins losing more often than winning, I predict it'll be a very good year for the "loyal opposition" of CBS's news sports talk WJFK, 106.7 The Fan. Redskins owner Dan Snyder is, already, not the most popular man in town for his high ticket prices, penchant to sue bankrupt season ticket holders for non-payment, and questionable talent picks for the hometown team. If the Skins suck this season, WJFK will be able to channel all that fan rage to high ratings and crush Snyder's sports talker, ESPN 980, WTEM. Sure, we'd all like to see the Skins win. But in a classic case of "schadenfreude," the worse the Skins are, the better JFK's gonna do.....

9/27 - Verizon is running an ad that touts that its fiber optic FIOS TV system runs "straight to the home." OK. But, from a box on the back of your domicile, the Verizon TV signal is carried via old-fashioned coaxial cable to the box on top of your TV set. Comcast and other local cable TV firms also operate fiber optic systems. But theirs, instead, doesn't quite make it to your home. Theirs run to a box somewhere in your neighborhood, and from there via coax into your domicile and to the set-top box. But, if truth is really important, no one, not Verizon, Comcast, or anyone else locally actually runs their fiber optic cable straight to your set-top box. That last "leap" to reach you, whether it be a few dozen feet or a few hundred feet, is via old-fashioned copper-based coax. No matter who you get your cable TV service from. So there.....

9/23 - At washingtonpost.com, Leonard Shapiro talks with DC sports TV legend George Michael (right), 70, who is largely missing these days from the local media scene. Longtime NBC4 veteran Michael said he shopped "Redskins Report" to stations all around town in an attempt to keep it on the air, and came close to striking a deal with Fox-owned Channel 5/WTTG. In the end, as always, "it came down to money, and that's just the way it goes in television these days. "The problem is, if I'm going to do it, I'm only going to do it right," Michael said. "I wanted to do it with Sonny (Jurgensen), (John) Riggins, and (Michael) Wilbon, but (Channel 5) did not want to spend the money it would have taken to do it. We took so much pride in that show, things like the Jim Zorn show, and I wasn't going to compromise the product".....

9/22 - Salon takes a look at "The Making Of Glenn Beck," a book coming out next year about the controversial Fox News personality. Part 1 of 3 Salon previews of the book focuses on Beck's radio roots, "from the alleged suicide of his mom to 'Top 40' radio to the birth of the morning zoo." Including a gig at then contemporary hit WPGC in 1983, working with Joe Theismann, Bruce Kelly, Scott Shannon, and Dave Foxx. We're told that Part 3 (not up yet) will feature Beck's days at Baltimore's then contemporary hit outlet WBSB, known as B104, in the 1990s.....

9/22 - In the age 25-54 male demo for the second week of September's Portable People Meter radio ratings, new CBS sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, makes a solid 5th place showing, one full ratings point ahead of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's rival sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980, which is in 9th place. Bonneville all-newser WTOP takes the top spot in the demo. In the more-tightly-targeted age 18-34 male demo, we're told that JFK's morning Junkies placed 1st, with the Mike Wise midday show and the Lavar Arrington afternoon show both in 4th. Also, with both JFK and TEM now ahead of righty talker WMAL, 630 AM, in the male age 18+ demo, it's "gonna make selling WMAL (to advertisers) really hard," a local radio guru tells DCRTV.....

9/21 - DCRTV hears that CBS Radio's suits in NYC are pleased with their two new sports talkers in the region - Baltimore's 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM, which flipped to the format last year, and DC's 106.7 The Fan, WJFK, which flipped to the format in July. Both stations, we're told, are showing impressive gains in their target male 25-54 demo, along with impressive ad sales and reduced personnel costs. CBS NYCers are also smiling at JFK's recent hype of Redskins ticket scandals, and how their station bested the coverage of rival sports talker WTEM, which is owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder.....

9/21 - DCRTV hears that "talks" between Bonneville and Citadel, for the former to pick up some of the latter's radio stations, seem to have come to a halt. Our source tells us that Bonneville definitely wants some choice Citadel properties, including DC's hot adult contemporary WRQX, 107.3 FM, to bolster its DC radio cluster, which includes all-newser WTOP, 103.5 FM, and fed-newser WFED, 1500 AM. But Bonneville does not want a lot of the "baggage," including a batch of slumping AMers, a la DC news talker WMAL, 630 AM, that debt-ridden Citadel is looking to unload in the potential deal. Look for little or no more progress until early next year, when Citadel faces another debt financing deadline, we're told. More: The WSJ reports that Citadel has made an overdue interest payment and has avoided technical default - for now. More: A local radio source tells us that no "talks" between the two firms have recently taken place.....

9/17 - Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com writes this morning: "Ah, those Citadel-Bonneville rumors. The latest twist is from one Citadel market, where the gossip is that Bonneville folks were being asked about specific format plans for a Citadel station there. And not just hypothetically. So perhaps what's been discussed is a one-station deal, and not a wholesale package for the former ABC Radio stations? The rumors have been all over the place, and I have to say that several Citadel people (former ABC Radio folks) tell me they're praying something happens." DCRTV's been reporting that WTOP owner Bonneville wants either or both Citadel's WRQX (107.3 FM) and WJZW, er, WVRX (105.9 FM) here in DC, which a top Bonneviller made a point of shooting down yesterday. Which probably means that something's up. Stay tuned.....

9/17 - Rant. Just a crazy thought. Why did Citadel pick the WVRX calls for its new classic rocker on 105.9, to replace WJZW? They sound an awful lot like WRQX, its hot adult contemporary Mix station on 107.3. Both have an "R" and an "X" - in that order. Because, maybe, if Citadel sells the 107.3 signal to Bonneville it could move the "intellectual property" (Jack Diamond as "intellectual" - ha ha ha) of WRQX to WVRX? I know, just a crazy thought.....

9/16 - Six months after CBS launched 94.7 Fresh FM, we hear it'll have its first live jock. Nikki Landry joins the female-oriented hot adult contemporary outlet from KBWF, a country outlet in San Francisco. Landry has done a few weekend test shifts at the station since it flipped from classic rock in April. She did brief stints in the DC area in the early 2000s at WBQB and WMZQ. She'll do nights and then transition to a "more prominent daypart." Still no word on a live and local morning show for 94.7 Fresh, WTGB. Stay tuned.....

9/16 - DCRTV gets props from Baltimore City Paper and its "Best Of 2009" edition, "News And Media" category....


9/14 - September 2009 marks 60 years since Central Virginia's country and bluegrass WJMA first signed on the air on 1340 AM in Orange, halfway between Charlottesville and Fredericksburg. "Now This," a documentary on the first 35 years of WJMA, now on 103.1 FM, will have its debut public showing at the 9/28 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society.....

9/13 - CNN reports that Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, blurted out an "f-bomb" during a live radio interview on Friday. On Bonneville all-newser WTOP, McDonnell was sparring with political guru Mark Plotkin on the topic of transportation funding. Plotkin asked if McDonnell would consider an increase in the state gasoline tax to help fund the transportation budget. McDonnell said no, and uttered the expletive during his response. So no tax will be raised during your four-year term?," Plotkin asked. McDonnell answered: "I'm going to find other ways to be able to fund transportation. I've outlined 12 fucking funding mechanisms that are creative, that are entrepreneurial." However, Jim Farley, who programs WTOP, disputes the report. He tells DCRTV: "No, he didn't. I've listened several times. He stumbled on two words, but it was not an expletive. Not true." The "blip" on the radio waves was first flagged by the Virginia Democratic blog NotLarrySabato.....

9/11 - Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com notes that, with yesterday's August radio ratings, public radio stations account for a rather substantial "15 shares of listening" in the DC market. Three non-comms currently reside in the DC radio "top 10" - American University news talker WAMU (88.5 FM), Columbia Union College's Christian contemporary WGTS (91.9 FM), and classical WETA (90.9 FM). And just think, Taylor writes, in 2007, Columbia Union College seriously contemplated taking a rumored $20 million offer from American Public Media in Minnesota to create a rival news talker to WAMU. That would be a bargain price for a "top 10" FM performer in a "top 10" radio market.....

9/11 - The Coast Guard conducted a training exercise in the Potomac River near the Pentagon amid 9/11 commemorations Friday morning, sparking confusion that scrambled FBI agents and led nearby National Airport to briefly ground flights. Coast Guard Chief Keith Moore said that no shots were fired as part of the exercise in the river. Media reports, led by CNN (right) and followed by the other cable news nets, suggested that shots had been fired in the river and showed vessels circling in the water, near the bridge where President Barack Obama's motorcade passed as he traveled to a 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. The White House has criticized CNN for its reporting about the incident, according to the Politico. Congressman Jim Moran, who represents Arlington, wondered to WMAL why the Coast Guard was holding a training exercise at the same time as a presidential motorcade was heading to a nearby 9/11 ceremony. "CNN was out of control with this story," a DC TV news guru tells DCRTV. "You never take something straight off the scanner and go with it. This was poor journalism, no ifs, ands, or buts." According to the Washington Post, live coverage of the incident on CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets cited police radio transmissions in which officers allegedly ordered shots fired. Television anchors and analysts speculated on-air as to whether a "suspicious vessel" confronted by the Coast Guard could be linked to the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.....

9/10 - DCRTV hears that McLean-based Gannett is initiating a new cost-cutting measure will bring about a big batch of firings. At least four employees at its Channel 9/WUSA have been told that "Pearl Harbor Day" (12/7) is their last day at Gannett. Each of these employees has more than a dozen years' at the DC CBS affiliate. Also, we're told that Gannett is consolidating its technical operations and will run the WUSA master control from a remote site. More: Another source tells us that WUSA will be master controlled from a Gannett CBS affiliate hub in Greensboro NC. And, we're told that three, not four, techs were laid off, one with two years seniority, the other two had 13 years each on the job. Also, the final cut numbers at WUSA could get bigger.....

9/10 - Redskins great John Riggins joins Bonneville all-newser WTOP to contribute a regular "Riggo Report" throughout the upcoming professional football season. It will air every Friday afternoon at 2:20 and 6:20, after each Sunday Redskins game, and every Monday following a Sunday game at 7:20 AM and 12:20 PM. Since retiring from football, Riggins has worked as a sports commentator on television and radio, including his last gig doing afternoons on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Triple X ESPN Radio. He lost that when Snyder purchased WTEM in mid-2008.....

9/9 - A DCRTV source tells us that NBC recently "tested" a new locally-based show for Channel 4/WRC's 3 PM slot. "The local news honchos gathered with the news honchos from New York and shot a 'pilot' in the NBC4 news studio," we hear. For now, as we've reported, DC's NBC station will air a newscast in the 3 PM hour, starting next Monday, after "Dr. Phil" moves to Channel 5/WTTG. Another source tells DCRTV that 4's new 3 PM newscast "will not be a normal news show," but will something called "LXTV - Lifestyle Televison," which will be "mostly fluff and features." The half-hour national version of "LXTV" has been running on Saturday nights (early Sundays) after "Saturday Night Live" on WRC. "The news will only be in first block of the 3 PM newscast, then it's just anchors leading to packages," we're told. "The idea is to kind of have a lifestyle 'PM Magazine' with local hosts intro-ing national stories and some local content".....

9/9 - At washingtonpost.com, Leonard Shapiro wonders why TV sports reporters Lindsay Czarniak of NBC4 and Kelli Johnson of Comcast SportsNet were wearing Redskins polo shirts during pre-season games. Shapiro quotes an unnamed source from CSN who said that it was the Redskins decision for announcers and sideline reporters to wear the shirts with the team's emblem. Shapiro also alleges biased Redskins coverage at WTEM, and he rips WJFK's Sports Junkies. "I wonder why they're allowed on the air, or more germane, why I've even bothered to listen. And their totally inappropriate, mocking denigration of the late Senator Edward Kennedy the day after he died may have been the final straw for me." At 9:30 AM today, the Junks fired back, calling Shapiro "a gross pig." They added that the Post won't even put Shapiro's pieces in the print edition, "relegating" him to the website. "He can't control his big fat mouth".....

9/8 - OK, I've been listening to "105.9 The Sludge" for two weeks now. It's a darn shame that Citadel isn't doing on WJZW what CBS's HFS2 is doing now on 94.7's HD2. We need hardish alternative rock, instead of hardish, oh-so-over-played classic rock. You'd think alt rock would attract more younger men, which are more appealing to advertisers. Citadel should be doing on 105.9 what Clear Channel is doing in Philly on 104.5, WRFF, and in Baltimore on 104.3, WCHH. All 105.9 is gonna get is 50-plus-year-old "geezers." Boring. WJZW may "soar" from 21st place to 17th place, just where CBS's equally turgid classic rock Arrow/Globe was when it got the plug pulled on it back in April.....

9/8 - DCRTV hears that it's official. Channel 4/WRC will be running news in the 3 PM hour starting next week. To fill the space that's been occupied by "Dr. Phil," after he moves to Channel 5/WTTG next Monday. NBC4 already has an hour jump on 5, 7, and 9 with its 4 PM local newscast.....

9/4 - This morning, NewsBlues reported a rumor that former NBCer Steve Schwaid, currently news director at Meredith's WGCL-TV in Atlanta, had made a second recent visit to DC, where he has reportedly been interviewing for the news director gig at Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA, a vacancy created last month when Lane Michaelsen shuffled off to NBC-owned WTVJ-TV in Miami. However, later this morning, NewsBlues Editor Mike James told DCRTV that he received a message from Schwaid which said that, while he was in DC on other business just once in the past six months, "I have NOT met, talked to, or been in any contact with anyone from WUSA or Gannett".....

9/4 - Thanks to all who voted for me!




9/2 - Imagine if Bonneville, which already owns DC's top-rated and top-billing all-news WTOP, bought Citadel's three DC stations. Bonneville would get get control of one of the market's top female-oriented stations, WRQX, Mix 107.3, plus a great Virginia signal via new classic rocker WJZW, 105.9 The Edge, and the market's top righty talker, WMAL (630 AM). My guess is that Bonneville would keep RQX and MAL pretty much the same, but would transform JZW to a sports talker with both the Nationals and the Capitals. If a sportsy JZW was paired with 1500/820 AM, it would have superb coverage in all corners of the DC metro. By buying Citadel's DC cluster, Bonneville could go from having just the DC area's top-rated news station to also having the market's top-rated female music station, top-rated righty talker, and the top-rated sports talker (or sports rocker, whatever). Bonneville wouldn't just have the top-rated station in the DC market, it could very well dethrone Clear Channel, and its five FMers, as the top-rated radio cluster in the DC market.....

9/2 - In the DC Examiner, Jim Williams confirms what we're hearing, that WTOP-owner Bonneville is seriously interested in snatching up both WRQX (107.3 FM) and WJZW (105.9 FM) from Citadel and putting the Nationals on one of them, probably WJZW. The addition of an FM outlet that reaches Northern Virginia is a top priority for Bonneville to extend its deal with the Washington Nationals into the 2010 season and beyond. DCRTV is also hearing rumblings that Bonneville might even start its own FM sports talker, perhaps on 105.9, with the Nationals and the Washington Capitals, which recently re-signed with Bonneville. Bonneville carries both teams on WFED, which has two Maryland-based AM signals. DCRTV reported that Bonneville came close to starting a sports talker on its 104.1/103.9 signals two years ago, but, instead, sold 104.1 to Radio One.....

9/2 - Heavy rain last week damaged the studios and offices of Towson University's adult alternative rocker WTMD (89.7 FM). According to the station's newsletter, "Morning show host Erik discovered three inches of muddy water in the community room when he arrived at the station at 4 AM Friday. The water made its way into our air studio, stopping just short of our computers and transmitter equipment. The flood then seeped into our music library, and then across the hallway into our administrative offices. It's a mess. But our valiant staff is keeping the music playing amid the chaos of torn up walls, waterlogged carpeting, and roaring fans. We want to thank the Towson University Facilities Management for their quick response".....

9/2 - A report at nbcwashington.com confirms that a man carrying a sign at Tysons Corner last week (right), and begging his wife to take him back after he cheated on her, was indeed a stunt from a local radio station. While the station isn't mentioned, we've been told that it's Clear Channel's Hot 99.5. The sign-carrying man was interviewed at length by Hot 99.5 morning man Kane. The story got picked up by a number of national and international media outlets.....

9/2 - DCRTV hears that Sirius XM's Holden Kushner is at the top of the heap to be named host of WJFK, 106.7 The Fan's new 6 PM to 10 PM live and local show. He's been heard on XM's Home Plate Channel.....

9/1 - Anji Corley is the winner of WPGC (95.5 FM) morning man Donnie Simpson's "Next Top Jock Contest." Each of the five finalists had a one-day tryout with Simpson last week. Corley, former midday host at Pittsburgh's WAMO, goes on to be co-host of Simpson's show.....

9/1 - A local radio guru tells DCRTV that WTOP owner Bonneville is rumored to be talking to Citadel about purchasing 105.9 WJZW and 107.3 WRQX. If it happens, Bonneville would use one of the signals to hold on to its contract with the Washington Nationals. Bonneville's Nats deal expires after this season, and it's also rumored that the team isn't happy about being heard on Bonneville's WFED, which features two Maryland-based AM transmitters, and provides poor coverage into Northern Virginia, particularly at night. Might the Nats end up on new classic rocker 105.9, which features a Fairfax County transmitter? Stay tuned.....

8/31 - WBAL radio's move to do all-news in morning drive is a good one. Baltimore needs an all-newser like DC's WTOP. Now, old 1090 should expand the all-news to afternoon drive, too. And move Ron Smith's talk show to middays. Something like this: 5 AM to 10 AM news, 10 AM to 2 PM Ron Smith, 2 PM to 6 PM news, 6 PM to 10 PM sports talk. That would work. And that would better compete with the line-up of righty bombast, including Limbaugh and Hannity, from talk rival WCBM.....

8/30 - I'll admit it. I often tune in Glenn Beck on Fox News at 5 PM. And I'm a big liberal! I usually watch for the first few minutes, until he settles down. But his crazy rants are quite entertaining. In the same way that Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh's were/are. I don't watch Beck, or listen to the above radioers, because I agree with or even like him/them. I make them part of my daily life for a few moments because they're wild and crazy, and, yes, a fun "diversion." There's something rather voyeuristic about watching someone "melt down" on the air. The "problem" with Beck is that he's so far "over the line" - What next? The Martians are controlling Obama? - that he's only going to serve to reduce whatever credibility that notoriously right-leaning Fox News Channel has left. Over on Comedy Central or Spike or Bravo, Beck's show wouldn't be a problem. But on a "cable news channel," the wilder Beck's rants get, and the higher his ratings rise, the more damage he'll be doing to some of Fox's real journalists, like Bret Baier, Major Garrett, and Chris Wallace. I often pitty Baier, who follows Beck at 6 PM. He reminds me of the poor schmuck who has to push that big shovel to clean up the massive piles of poop after the elephants have performed. Fox News czar Roger Ailes is one mean carnival barker. He's put together a bizarre circus of colorful and crazy characters who know how to delight and enrage - and get ratings. Now, if Ailes could only figure out how do a "fair and balanced" news network - and get ratings with that.....

8/28 - The clueless cluckheads at Mediabistro today tell us that Fox5's Will Thomas was also part of a "sea of skin-tight cocktail dresses and sky-high stilettos," including CNN's Jessica Yellin, CNN's Michelle Jaconi, and NBC4's Lindsay Czarniak at a DC event on Wednesday night. Wow. Will Thomas in stilettos? Hmmm. No mention of Thomas in drag in the DC Times coverage of "Ladies' Night Out".....

8/28 - Whoops. An "Editor's Note" in Friday's Washington Post: "A story in Thursday's Style section reported that Bob Dylan was negotiating with two automobile companies to become the voice of an in-car navigation system. The story was based on wire reports about a BBC broadcast this week of Dylan's weekly satellite radio program, 'Theme Time Radio Show.' The Post story did not report that the show originally aired December 3 (2008); the Post failed to confirm the timing of the broadcast." The Paul Farhi-bylined piece appeared in yesterday's Washington Post.....

8/27 - OK. So, the DC area's got a new rocker, Citadel's 105.9 The Edge. Sounds good, so far. A nice mix of hardish, up-tempo classic and alt rock. The station will do well if it gives us a diverse mix of "deep cuts." Not just the same three Stones or Zep tracks like we hear over and over and over again (at least it seems so) on Clear Channel's classic hits/rock WBIG, Big 100.3. To make 105.9 a success, Citadel will have to put a "local feel" on the new station. It'll need to find a way to put some DC-based talent on air without breaking the salary bank in these recessionary times. At the very least, it'll need a live and local music-based morning show. How about Cerphe Colwell or Mike O'Meara? Both will be coming to the end of their CBS Radio contracts soon. Cerphe would probably be the better choice since he's clearly the top rock radio DJ in the DC area, having done stints on WHFS, DC101, old rocker WAVA, and, most recently, the Arrow/Globe. He knows music. He knows radio. He knows DC. If 105.9 doesn't snap him up, then maybe WBIG should - it'll need to fight 105.9's challenge. O'Meara would also be a good choice for 105.9's morning show. But he'd probably bring more of a "zoo type" show to the station, which probably needs more of a music-heavy show. Let's hope that the rumors are true that Steve Allan is staying aboard as program director. He knows DC radio - period. And let's hope that maybe WHFS veteran Tom Grooms gets to stay at 105.9 and be given a more prominent on-air role. Two years ago, CBS was in a like position when it launched a cool alt rocker on 94.7, as the Globe. But after a couple of months, for whatever reasons, the momentum was gone. If Citadel plays it smart and keeps it "fresh" (sorry, bad local radio pun), it could have an Edge success on its hands.....

8/27 - DCRTV gets confirmation that Jeffrey T. Mason, aka Jeffro (right, in happier times), is gone from Clear Channel's country WMZQ (98.7 FM), as we strongly hinted yesterday. A budget-cut-based contract non-renewal, we're told. His 9 AM to 2 PM slot was reportedly the highest-rated daypart on MZQ. "I am ready to kick ass immediately," Jeffro tells us as he joins the next-gig job-hunt. "Airchecks and contact info are at jeffreyt.com".....

8/26 - DCRTV hears that CBS could be hiring its first flesh and blood human being for its female-oriented 94.7 Fresh FM soon. By early fall. The hot adult contemporary station, which launched in April, is still running jockless. Perhaps a live morning show for the station, which has seen its ratings slowly rise over the summer. In the latest ratings round-up, Fresh was 14th, the top-rated of CBS's four DC market FMers, and is chipping away at chick tune rivals Mix 107.3 and WASH in key female demos, which advertisers love. Stay tuned.....

8/24 - Record traffic day for DCRTV on Friday. Four times (!) our previous best traffic day so far this year, which came in July during the WJFK sports flip. The only "big" story Friday was WAMU's Diane Rehm cracking her pelvis. Hmmm. By the way, you could have gotten the news first from DCRTV on Friday morning about Rehm's unfortunate fall. Or you could have gotten it today third-hand on All Access, which credited a Saturday WaPo article. You know who covers DC area radio news best, and it ain't that dude in Malibu. Ha ha ha.....

8/24 - DCRTV broke the news last week. And now Tom Taylor's Radio-Info.com has more: Robb Spewak, sometimes called the "Third Man" on WJFK's old Don and Mike show, gets to headline his own show. From his home in the DC area, he'll create a four-hour weekend show for River City Radio's "Mighty 1630" KCJJ in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. KCJJ was a loyal affiliate of the Don and Mike syndication from Westwood and the Mike O'Meara Show that succeeded it. That show's now gone, with CBS Radio's conversion of WJFK (106.7 FM) to sports talk.....

8/21 - Today's Weekend section in the Washington Post features a review for an indie movie called "Cold Souls" starring Paul Giamatti, which is listed as playing at only the Landmark E Street theater in DC. Ah, it's also playing at the AMC Shirlington. Could that editorial omision be because AMC recently pulled its movie showtime listings out of the Post? Could the mighty Post be that petty? Sure!.....

8/21 - AT&T and CBS Radio's DC cluster unveil a "live studio" in the Chinatown DC flagship AT&T store. The facility features several big screens, including an outdoor jumbo, and will soon host musical performances and celebrity interviews. CBS touts: "It's like Times Square in your own backyard!" The first "big event" will be the Donnie Simpson "America's Next Top Jock" auditions next week. You can hear and see all five finalists as they audition with the WPGC morning man.....

8/21 - DC radio veteran Steve Ray debuts on new sports talker WJFK (106.7 FM) tonight doing the top-of-the-hour sports news updates from 6 to 10 PM.....

8/20 - DCRTV hears that the ad sales staff turmoil at Clear Channel's five-station DC radio cluster isn't over yet. With four administrators leaving last week and a "major hitter" said to be "getting ready to depart" the DC CC sales staff, are still more changes coming before Labor Day? Stay tuned.....

8/20 - Sportscaster Nick Charles is battling bladder cancer. Charles, the blow-by-blow announcer for Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" series since its inception in 2001, who'd worked at CNN before that, has taken a leave of absence from the pay cable network. Charles was the top sports anchor on Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ in the 1970s. He's also worked at DC's Channel 4/WRC and at WTOP.....

8/19 - I just want to know what Pepco thinks about its ad running on Citadel talker WMAL today at 12:55 PM, just after Rush Limbaugh did another one of his comparisons of President Obama to the Nazis. Again, Limbaugh went into a rant about how Democrats are more like Adolph Hitler's old party than Republicans are. Disagree with Obama's health care reform plans - that's fine. But comparisons like this are just plain nuts - and insulting to many, when considering the Nazis' unimaginable horrors of the 1930s and 1940s. If I was Pepco, and some of WMAL's other local sponsors, I'd call up my ad rep at old 630 and, at the very least, get a refund on spots aired during Rush's Nazi rants. Do I really want my ads associated with talk like that? Something to ask Pepco spokeswoman Debbie Jarvis.....

8/19 - A correction in the 8/19 Washington Post: "A July 8 Metro article credited an incorrect DC television station with first reporting that video footage apparently showed a Metrorail operator text messaging while his train sped along the tracks. WJLA-TV (Channel 7) was first with that news, not WUSA-TV (Channel 9)".....

8/19 - Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Metro transit system, slams a Washington Examiner story claiming that ridership has fallen. WMAL is running a tape of her saying that the freebie tabloid got the number from "up their (bleep)." Farbstein says that Metro ridership, while down from a year ago, was up in July when compared to June, according to WMAL.....

8/19 - You probably know that Baltimore radio veteran Brian Wilson is program director of WSPD, a talker in Toledo, Ohio. Well, we hear that Wilson is giving a radio show to Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe The Plumber," a right-leaning Ohio resident and John McCain-backer during the 2008 presidential campaign. "JTP" will be guest-hosting a one-hour daily show on Wilson's station. Wilson tells a radio pub: "There's a possibility radio and WSPD could be part of his future".....

8/18 - In its "Names And Faces" column in today's Style section, the Washington Post mentions Steve Harvey's new reporting gig with ABC's "Good Morning America." While the piece includes info about his national morning radio show, and even mentions ads for it in the Metro system, would it have hurt the Post to tell us that he's heard locally on WHUR? Sheesh.....

8/17 - Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com reveals that a recent rumor in which one firm would buy all 23 of Citadel's former ABC Radio stations - including DC's WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW - involves WTOP-owner Bonneville. "More than one person has said they've heard this deal was in the oven, but that it had recently been sped up," Taylor writes in his Monday morning newsletter. "I'll repeat the counter-arguments I researched for you last week - financing a deal of this magnitude would be exceedingly hard. And if Citadel sold off the 23 stations it acquired from Disney in mid-2007, it would be stripping out half of its own cash flow, money it needs to service its debt. But every now and then you get a 'Rumor That Won't Die' - and right now, this is one of 'em." DCRTV has previously reported rumors that Salt Lake City-based Bonneville is interested in buying Citadel's DC stations, particularly the FMers, Mix 107.3 and True Oldies 105.9. A local Bonneville source was tight-lipped on the rumor, which probably means that something's "up".....

8/16 - A DCRTVer heard former Channel 7/WJLA reporter Elliott Francis doing a WAMU (88.5 FM) newscast yesterday. DCRTV recently told you that Francis had signed-on to teach media courses at American University, which owns WAMU.....

8/15 - CBS's new Baltimore sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan, is getting great afternoon drive ratings with hot, young, and pretty Anita Marks as part of its afternoon drive team. What if a DC sports talker put, oh, let's say, 4's Lindsay Czarniak (right), who's also hot, young, and pretty, on its afternoon drive show? Good idea, huh!.....

8/15 - On Saturday, a last-week recap from those douchebags at TVNewser: "We confirmed that Don Imus could be bringing his radio show to Fox Business Network by next month." They "confirmed" that he "might"? OK. And, after about a dozen other blogs and websites did so the week before.....

8/14 - DCRTV hears that a medical malady caused Maynard Edwards to go missing for a few days from the Ed Norris morning show on Baltimore sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan. After a whole bunch-o-tests, the docs ruled out anything serious and he'll be doing the show solo next week while Norris is on vacation.....

8/14 - Looks like new sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, could have an afternoon drive disaster on its hands. For some strange reason, JFK's audience has always been very vocal here on DCRTV. And, while there was a lot of buzz the week of the debut of the new Lavar Arrington-Chad Dukes show, it's definitely died down to dead silence. And I'm assuming that means that a lot of people are coming to the conclusion that they don't much care for what they're hearing on 106.7's afternoons and are "drifting away." We will see. I expect WJFK to show an afternoon drive surge in PPM listening for that third week of July, when the sports switch was made, due to listener curiousity. But it will be interesting to see if it continues into the August PPM weekly numbers. I bet it doesn't. Meanwhile, we've reported rumors that Redskins great Joe Theismann's jump to rival sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980, could be a "tryout" for a new morning show. I think that's a great idea. Theismann is a wonderfully compelling personality who doesn't only attract sports junkies. Like Tony Kornheiser, he'll also attract more casual or even "non-sportsies" to his show. The problem that TEM has is signal, signal, signal! All three suck. Two FM rimshots and a grunky old AMer, with crummy night coverage. Until WTEM can find an inside-the-Beltway FMer, it'll be at a disadvantage in its war with JFK.....

8/13 - A new editor at Washingtonian and the Washington Post does a front page Style section write-up this morning. But, two days ago, DCRTV broke the news about the news director at Channel 9/WUSA leaving for a new gig in Miami. Yet, nothing (so far) in the Post. Two big local media stories. One covered by the Post. One not. One was about an up-and-coming "beautiful journalist" at a very well-connected magazine, with probably a press release. The other about a "not-so-pretty" manager at a budget-cutting TV station with low-rated newscasts, with probably no press release. Whatever.....

8/13 - Examiner sports media columnist Jim Williams tells us that tonight's Redskins versus Ravens preseason game will be in high-def via Comcast SportsNet. However, the over-the-air broadcast game on Channel 4/WRC will be in standard-def. Just the opposite with tonight's Ravens versus Redskins preseason game, which will be in high-def on Channel 11/WBAL but in standard-def on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network - because of baseball on the MASN-HD channel, with football over on MASN2. MASN will air the game in high-def on its later replays. Also, Williams tells us that Lindsay Czarniak joins Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Keli Johnson on Redskins TV coverage. Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff, and Rick "Doc" Walker will call the game on ESPN 980, WTEM.....

8/13 - My heart skipped a beat this morning when I saw this in my e-mail box: "Marty Bass is now following you on Twitter." I have a reached a milestone in my career to be followed at twitter.com/dcrtv by the legendary Baltimore TV weatherman. I am truly honored. I presume that it's the "real" Marty Bass at twitter.com/MondoBasso. You never know.....

8/12 - Yesterday, four sales administrators tendered their resignation at Clear Channel DC, with rumors of additional sales assistants and sales people to leave this week, we're told. Also, DCRTV hears that Inside Radio is running an ad for a sales director for CC's Washington/Baltimore radio cluster. Is CCDC's traffic/continuity department next in line for cuts? Hmmm.....

8/12 - Radio-Info.com reports more rumors that slumping Citadel may sell all of the 23 radio stations that it acquired from ABC several years ago - including DC's WMAL, WRQX, and WJZW. And a top rumor is that all 23 stations would go to just one buyer. However, RI says financial dudes shoot down the possibility of such a big deal because of the slumping economy and tight credit market. Plus, giving up the former ABC station group would mean selling off about half the cash flow for Citadel. DCRTV has reported rumors that Citadel might sell some - but not all - of those former ABC stations to a variety of buyers. We know for a fact that WTOP-owner Bonneville, which is privately financed, is interested in Citadel's FM properties in DC - Mix 107.3 and True Oldies 105.9. Stay tuned.....

8/12 - DCRTV hears that Fox-owned Channel 5/WTTG will be expanding its morning news to 10 AM, and dropping the 11 AM-to-noon newscast. Possibly as soon as next week. More as we hear it.....

8/11 - After about half a dozen broadcasting trade pubs/sites reported it last week, dumb old clueless TVNewser lumbered onto the scene Monday and chatted up a PR person somewhere only to breathlessly report that morning radioer Don Imus might, just might be moving his TV simulcast to the Fox Business Network. Golly! Then, on top of that, TVNewser's Chris Ariens claimed that some blog broke the story last Friday when big old Newsday had reported the Imus rumor at least two days earlier. And, when informed of that silly little inconsistency, he didn't even bother to correct his site's mis-info, which was regurgitated without question by TVN's silly DC blog. Ah, Mediaite is looking better every day.....

8/11 - More turmoil at Clear Channel DC's ad sales department. Last week, DCRTV broke the news about lots of unhappy campers among the sales staff. Now, we're hearing that a top sales administrator at 1801 Rockville Pike called it quits on Monday. More changes coming, we're told, as CCDC suits return from vacation to get recessionary sales up at the five-station cluster. In just-out second quarter results, CC's radio ad revenue was down 20 percent nationwide.....

8/11 - Mega Media, the firm that had planned to put a dance-oriented radio station on the DC area's 87.7, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company uses low-power TV stations on channel 6's audio frequency to attract listeners to its dance-formatted "Pulse 87," a la WNYZ in NYC. Court filings show Mega owes creditors more than $3.5 million. The DC area's 87.7 will remain Spanish music and religion.....

8/10 - DCRTV hears that the Columbia School Of Broadcasting will open new studios in Vienna VA this month. With a glass-enclosed facility facing the main thoroughfare at 301A Maple Avenue West. Students can be seen in the studio by pedestrian passer-bys and vehicle traffic.....

8/10 - Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has penned a "multi-year agreement" with the Washington Redskins to expand their media and marketing partnership. CSN will be "the exclusive local Redskins HD provider for preseason games," including contests against the Ravens on 8/13, the Steelers on 8/22, and the Jaguars on 9/3. The Redskins' preseason game on 8/28 is being telecast nationally on CBS. Plus, CSN adds an interview with Coach Jim Zorn every Monday at 5:45 PM. Also, CSN will continue to air its "Redskins Kickoff" and "Redskins Postgame Live" shows, plus the daily "Redskins Nation." CSN's Redskins broadcast team includes Chick Hernandez, Kelli Johnson, Trevor Matich, Brian Mitchell, Antonio Freeman, Doc Walker, and Doug Gansler. For home games, CSN will broadcast from the set at Comcast SportsNet Gate at FedExField. Coverage will originate from CSN's Bethesda studios for away games.....

8/10 - Media baron Rupert Murdoch wants more of your money. Soon, you'll be paying a fee to access his website like FoxNews.com. And, if you love buying used DVDs at places like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, Rupy may end that discount. Apparently, his Fox movie studio doesn't like video outlets renting just-out DVDs and then selling them on the cheap. Soon, rental outlets may get DVDs weeks after they're available for purchase and have destroy them when they're done with them.....

8/7 - DCRTV hears from some local radio sources who say that Joe Theismann's new weekly radio show (above blurb) on ESPN 980, WTEM, could be a "tryout" for a full-blown locally-based morning drive show hosted by Theismann on the Redskins owner Dan Snyder-owned station. Possibly in place of WTEM's airing of the nationally-syndicated "Mike And Mike" show from ESPN Radio. With a Theismann-based show in direct competition with the locally-based Sports Junkies on new CBS sports talker WJFK, 106.7 The Fan. Also, DCRTV hears that Tony Kornheiser has not yet signed a contract with Snyder to do a late morning show on WTEM, as has been rumored.....

8/7 - The Washington Post frequently hypes Mike Wise's show on WJFK, 106.7 The Fan. And the Washington Times is busy doing the same about Tom Loverro's show on WTEM, ESPN 980. But, Jim Williams, a sports media columnist for the Washington Examiner, wonders: "I really think that it would be great if The Fan and ESPN 980 showed some love to the fine sports staff of the Examiner. There has to be room on the new outlet for the fine talents of the duo of Rick Snider and John Keim both who have covered the Redskins longer than any other writers in Washington".....

8/7 - Yes, you did hear syndicated talker Phil Hendrie on two different stations in the DC market at the same time earlier this week. On Monday, Red Zebra's WTNT (570 AM) put Hendrie in late nights to replace Dennis Miller, who jumped to CBS's WHFS (1580 AM). But, due to an "automation" problem, Hendrie continued to be heard on Bonneville's WFED (1500 AM), even though he'd been officially pulled off the schedule a few months back. "Everything (is) squared-away now," we're told by a Bonneviller. Overnight, WFED, Federal News Radio, will now be re-airing the locally-produced midday block of federal news and talk programming.....

8/6 - We've been telling you about about some upcoming tweaks to CBS Radio's urban contemporary WPGC (95.5 FM). And now, we hear from a source: "WPGC is now more rhythmic like its sister station WZMX/Hartford. They are getting rid of some of the deep soul cuts. Playing more BIG hip/hop and R&B songs. A lot of watered down (not too 'black sounding') R&B stuff." WPGC, usually a top-five performer, has been languishing the 12th-to-15th ratings range of late. Some sources have predicted an "Amp" or "Now" contemporary hit makeover for the station. More soon.....

8/6 - Not a lot of happy campers over there among the ad sales staff at 1801 Rockville Pike (right). We're hearing rumblings of a mass walkout or a mass firing, as relations between staff and management deteriorate, and threats fly, at Clear Channel DC. "I do know they have major morale problems in sales," we hear from a local radio source. "Now with bad morale and people making less money it could be a perfect storm." Another local radio guru tells us that Clear Channel may expand the management reach of John Rohm, who heads its Philadelphia and Pittsburgh radio clusters, southward to DC and Baltimore, to bolster ad sales revenue. Despite the solid ratings of CCDC's five FMers, sales revenue is flat or down a bit, we're told. "The excuse of a slumping economy will only get you so far with the suits in San Antonio," we hear. Stay tuned.....

8/6 - This morning's Style section in the Washington Post: 31 paragraphs on Paula Abdul quitting "American Idol," 15 paragraphs on the Washington Post pulling the plug on its own "Mouthpiece Theater" allegedly funny political videos, but just one measly paragraph on radio legend Ed Walker getting inducted into the Radio Hall Of Fame - news DCRTV broke yesterday.....

8/5 - This is friggin' news? Gawker yesterday linked to an MSNBC clip of the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart scarfing down a bagel in between on-air segments. A bit of which aired on the network. It actually got 6,000-ish views and even got linked to by some idiot DC area blogs hard up for "news." What next for Gawker? A camera over the urinal in the MSNBC men's room so we can watch Capehart taking a pee? Ha ha ha! Not! I know that Gawker pays its bloggers extra if they generate lots of web traffic. This time I take pride in not linking to them. Sometimes it's best to just say "no" to crap like this.....

8/5 - Casey Willett, formerly with Baltimore sports talker WNST (1570 AM), has jumped over to 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM, and is working as the CBS station's sideline reporter at Ravens training camp, we're told.....

8/3 - In her 50-plus (!) paragraph TV Column in this morning's Washington Post, critic Lisa de Moraes went into a lather about documentary maker Ken Burns' longwinded comments at a recent PBS press conference about the fall TV season. Hey, Lisa, it takes one to know one.....

8/2 - I don't know how many times I've seen articles in the Washington Post lately dealing with how to save money and cut one's personal budget in these recessionary times. Advice like having your "nails done" less often, not going "out to eat," buying store-brand products, cutting back on cable TV service (that's gotta make Post advertisers like Verizon and Comcast happy), unplugging appliances that use energy even when turned off, yadda yadda yadda. Again, the Post has more penny-pinching advice (filler copy) on page G3 of its Sunday edition. But, why, oh why, does the Post never suggest cutting one's newspaper subscriptions? Stopping delivery of the print Post alone will save you more than $200 a year! And you can get still get the whole paper - and more - for free via the website! I guess Posties don't give a rat's ass if the little old Korean lady down at the strip mall nail salon goes broke. Just as long as a bunch of pompous "journalists" continue collecting their fat paychecks. Sheesh.....

7/31 - Yesterday, those Washington Post gossip re-write gals, Amy Artsinger and Roxanne Roberts, penned in their Reliable Source column that Kate Gosselin, star of TLC's "Jon And Kate Plus Eight," might be buying a condo in Rockville. They quoted a report from RadarOnline.com. Turns out the report was wrong. Whoops! Well, at least Amy and Roxanne admitted the error in today's column. Come on, Posties, we readers deserve better-sourced gossip.....

7/31 - If, back in the 1970s and 1980s, you got your jollies by watching TV preachers on UHF outlets like Channels 20 and 45 - a la Gene Scott and Jim Bakker - you might also have caught "Reverend Ike," who drew millions of followers with such proclamations as "Jesus was a capitalist." F.J. Eikerenkoetter II (left), 74, died on July 29 in a Los Angeles hospital. He had a stroke in 2007 and never fully recovered. "Reverend Ike" appeared on more than 1,700 TV and radio stations across North America. His followers not only tuned in to his message of divinely ordained consumption and "positive self-image psychology" but also responded to his incessant pleas for financial support.....

7/30 - A DCRTV source tells us: "Major changes coming to Hot 99.5. Sarah Fraiser, who is on the Kane show every morning, is getting her own show from 10 AM to noon, starting Monday. I don't know what they are doing to Raven," who currently occupies the late morning slot. More soon.....

7/30 - Creative Loafing fears a bankruptcy auction next month could break up the company. On Wednesday, representatives of Ben Eason, whose family started Creative Loafing more than 30 years ago, appealed to a judge to block its largest creditor from winning the auction. Eason borrowed about $30 million in 2007 from NYC hedge fund Atalaya Capital Management to buy the Washington City Paper and the Chicago Reader. Eason fears the deep-pocketed Atalaya could blow away other bidders, including Eason, and begin liquidating the company for cash as early as September. Eason's team asked Judge Caryl Delano to consider that Atalaya's potentially decisive bid might hurt Creative Loafing and its employees. Delano said she would rule on such matters on the auction day - 8/25. Creative Loafing filed for bankruptcy last September, a little more than a year after buying the Washington and Chicago papers.....

7/30 - So, where is the cast from the Mike O'Meara show, now that it's been off the air for almost two weeks? No word on Mike, whose contract with WJFK owner CBS runs until December, we're told. Robb Spewak is said to be still working for JFK, as he's responsible for handling the syndicated O'Meara show, which is still re-running on the Westwood One radio network until mid-August. Plus, he's reportedly working on his own radio show. Beth Ann McBride is said to be back in North Carolina doing a non-radio sales job. Buzz Burbank is writing for the Huffington Post, as we've already reported, working on a website, and doing ad voiceovers. And, Joe Ardinger is working on a podcast show, we're told. We hear that it's very likely that Mike will get back on the radio when his contract is up, maybe even doing a national show from Florida, but it's very unlikely that he'll reunite with Don Geronimo, who's now doing a late morning radio show on Rehoboth Beach talker WGMD. We talked to an O'Meara crew member, who didn't want to be named, who told us to remind folks that WJFK was a significantly important station - for almost two decades the best "guy talker" anywhere. "I don't want people to forget that".....

7/30 - On Tuesday, DCRTV first told you about WBAL radio going all-news in morning drive come late August. About midday Wednesday, the Baltimore Sun's website got the story. On Thursday morning, trade pub All Access got the news by linking to the Sun's piece. Neither credited DCRTV for breaking the news. Just a reminder that you get local media news first here on DCRTV. Not sloppy "seconds" or "thirds" like the other guys dish out.....

7/29 - So, let's see. We've got Fox Newser Glenn Beck calling President Obama a "racist." But, hey, Obama's now got control of the FCC, and the FCC can "mess up" the license renewals for Fox News owner and righty media baron Rupert Murdoch's many broadcast TV stations, including Channels 5, 20, and 24 in the DC-Baltimore area. There's always someone who files a petition to deny a TV or radio station's license renewal. Maybe the FCC can now "carefully review" those petitions of license renewal denial. Or screw up Murdoch's future plans to sell or buy stations. Then Murdoch will gin-up the anti-Obama rantings on his channels, maybe even on the Fox broadcast network's football coverage. Heck, I did notice a Fox Newser yesterday referring to the Dems as "comrades." This could get fun!.....

7/28 - We reported the rumblings on Saturday. Now, Dan Steinberg at washingtonpost.com talks to Tony Kornheiser about his return to the local airwaves come 9/8 on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980, WTEM. It'll be a two-hour late-ish morning show, as we pretty much suspected. Plus, sidekick/producer Marc "Nigel" Sterne will be there to hold his hand. Still no exact time slot announced.....

7/28 - Fox News host Glenn Beck, heard locally on CBS Radio talker WHFS, 1580 AM, dialed up his rhetoric against President Obama Tuesday, branding the president a "racist" in an appearance on the Fox News morning show "Fox And Friends." Beck charged that the president's handling of the controversy over the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates displayed a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." According to the Politico, Beck also said, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist".....

7/28 - KTVT in Dallas has gotten permission from the FCC to move its digital TV signal off VHF channel 11, its longtime analog signal home, due to poor coverage. KTVT will be putting its digital signal back on the UHF band, where it was during the pre-6/12 digital transition phase. No word yet if Baltimore's WBAL-TV will make a request to the FCC for the same kind of move. WBAL, which also moved its digital signal back to its longtime analog home of VHF channel 11 on 6/12 from UHF channel 59, has reported significant coverage problems, too. Stay tuned.....

7/28 - Doug Hill's Weather Now on WJLA's digital channel 7.2 has dramatically changed. Forecasts are now provided by AccuWeather with Super Doppler 7 radar only making appearances every five minutes or so. All-news WTOP's audio is gone, too. WJLA's forecast is in the cycle.....

7/28 - A while back, Citadel started relaying the signal of talker WMAL, AM 630, on the digital FM subchannel of sister WRQX, 107.3, which airs hot adult contemporary tunes on its main signal. Now, WMAL is including the WRQX HD2 availability on its legal top-of-the-hour ID. And, there are rumors that Citadel may put WMAL on the main signal of its 105.9 FMer, which currently airs the low-rated "True Oldies." (There are also rumors that Citadel may put another music format on 105.9.) Some local radio gurus say that if WMAL wants to attract younger listeners to its steady output of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity-type talk it'll need to offer an FM alternative in the heavily FM-oriented DC market. Stay tuned.....

7/27 - It looks like WJFK newsman Buzz Burbank (aka Michael Elston) has found a new gig after the demise of the Mike O'Meara show. He's now penning political commentary for the Huffington Post.....

7/27 - More changes at the Washington Post. A source tells DCRTV that the paper is planning to eliminate the stand-alone Extra regional news tabloid sections and make them part of a new Thursday section that "apparently will absorb some other special section material." The unnamed editor will report to Assistant Managing Editor Garcia-Ruiz Emilio. More soon.....

7/27 - We're hearing more rumblings that veteran sports media personality Tony Kornheiser will return to the local radio airwaves on September 8 via Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980. Kornheiser worked at then-Clear Channel-owned WTEM years ago before his radio show at Bonneville's now-defunct Washington Post Radio and 3WT. More soon.....

7/25 - "Get f*cked you c*nt." "Take the bitch out and shoot her." "F*CK THE B*TCH." "Get out the brass knuckles. A beating that would require an overnight stay at the hospital should work - broken jaw, broken nose, eyes swelled completely shut." Just a few of the reader comments on a story posted late Friday via Mediabistro's FishbowlDC. I don't care what the topic is, there's no place for stuff like this, including what seem like downright death threats. FBDC's comment boards were almost dead all week, as usual, until a story got posted late Friday about the alleged sexist comments a female Miami Herald reporter made to a male Pentagon employee. And then Miami-based Drudge linked to it. Even after someone reported some of the comments to a "moderator," they remained on the Mediabistro site many hours later. Now, I'm not saying that I haven't missed a tasteless thing or two that got posted in DCRTV's moderated (by me) Mailbag, allowing what seem like physical threats to remain up on an internet comment venue - even after complaints about them - is downright irresponsible and possibly even legally actionable. Someone at Mediabistro should get seriously "f*cked" over this. Man!.....

7/24 - More rumblings that Citadel is about to pull the plug on its "True Oldies 105.9" WJZW. The 1960s/1970s oldies station has had trouble cracking 20th place in the overall radio ratings, and its morning show, with NYC-based Don Imus, ranks even lower. The latest rumblings have Citadel putting a talk format on 105.9, possibly a full or part-time simulcast of AM talker WMAL. One rumor making the rounds has Mix 107.3 morning man Jack Diamond doing a talk show on the new station, however our Citadel sources are quick to shoot that down. Even though he's a pricey talent with a large on-air staff, Diamond's WRQX show ranks a very healthy 4th place in the latest morning drive numbers. "Citadel would be crazy to mess with that," we're told.....

7/23 - DCRTV hears that afternoon man Matt Anderson has gone missing from the website for gospel WPRS, Praise 104.1. Another cut from Radio One? Stay tuned.....

7/22 - The hockey Capitals will sign a "multi-year" radio deal to stay with Bonneville on WFED's 1500 AM and 820 AM signals. Steve Kolbe will continue to serve as the team's radio play-by-play voice. Williams adds that the baseball Nationals are waiting until this season's over before they made a decision on their radio home next year. Currently on WFED, they could jump to CBS's new WJFK sports talker or to Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980. The basketball Wizards have already announced that they'll be on WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, this fall.....

7/22 - From Romenesko: "It's over" for DC City Paper owner if auction rules don't go in its favor. The key date for bankrupt alt-weekly chain Creative Loafing isn't when the equity auction is held, says CL CEO Ben Eason. That's August 25. He contends the date that counts is July 27, when the judge sets the rules of the auction. If they don't go in his favor, "it's over," Easton tells DCCP sister, the Chicago Reader. "It's the same thing as a foreclosure".....

7/21 - WJFK rumor of the day: Is former WTEMer Brian Mitchell in-line to host an evening show on the new CBS sports talker? Since leaving Dan Snyder's station, the former Redskin/Eagle has been doing fill-in work at CBS's Philadelphia sports talk WIP.....

7/20 - A local radio vet tells DCRTV: "News from the KHZ network: Expansion is on the way. There is a totally new concept being put together by Bill Parris and others. On or about August 15th, KHZ plans to launch a multiple station network with a totally new concept in broadcasting. At this time they have lined up 4-6 stations including several FM signals. The network plans to blanket the DC, Baltimore, Ocean City, and other locations with a new and exciting multi-media format. Operations will be conducted at their new state of the art production facility in Pasadena MD... By the way legendary rocker Davy Jones (aka Paul Bicknell) returns to the airwaves soon. Stay tuned." Jones/Bicknell had been heard doing a midday classic pop show on WKHZ and Annapolis's WYRE, 810 AM, until a few weeks ago when he was yanked off the air.....

7/19 - Yesterday, DCRTV reported rumblings that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is talking to CBS Radio about buying WJFK. As we've reported, WJFK is flipping to sports talk on Monday, to be a direct rival to Snyder's sports talk WTEM, ESPN 980. And, with a better FM signal and a huge radio company behind it, the new "106.7 The Fan" will probably mean the eventual demise of WTEM, which currently ranks an anemic 20-ish place in the radio ratings. So what should Snyder do? Right! Buy JFK. He's got the dough and CBS is selling stations. Snyder could use 106.7 for WTEM, or a variation of it, or something else. But wait, if CBS is selling, maybe Bonneville, which owns all-newser and CBS news affiliate WTOP, might also be intererested in JFK? Privately-owned Bonneville is said to be one of the few radio players out there that can still muster the cash to buy a station in this recessionary, credit-crunching time. Don't forget, Bonneville and Snyder don't have a friendly relationship, after a botched deal to sell 104.1 a few years ago, which Snyder said was way overpriced. Might Bonneville try to block Snyder's purchase of JFK just for the hell of it? Or might CBS hold onto JFK to continue its dream of having a national network of FM sports talkers? And what will Snyder do? If JFK clobbers his WTEM, might he sell his six local radio properties and focus on his sports team's not-so-winning ways? Stay tuned.....

7/18 - More than one source tells us that Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who owns sports talker ESPN 980, WTEM, is talking to CBS Radio about buying WJFK, 106.7, which is flipping to sports talk on Monday. Over the past few years, Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm has made rumored attempts to buy a number of local signals, including 104.1 from then-owner Bonneville, 105.1 from Salem, and 100.3 and 101.1 from Clear Channel. Snyder did succeed in buying 980 (plus 570 and 1260) from Clear Channel last year, which allowed him to merge his Triple X sports talker with WTEM. CBS has announced that it is willing to sell stations in a number of small and mid-sized markets, but DC has not been mentioned. CBS did recently trade Baltimore's WQSR, 102.7, to Clear Channel.....

7/17 - As expected, WJFK afternooner Mike O'Meara (right) delivered his farewell message today. Taped about two weeks ago, the recording aired at 3 PM and 5 PM on the CBS guy talker. It turns out that this was the first time O'Meara's been canned in his long local radio career. O'Meara says that he's trying to get his show, which was nationally syndicated via Westwood One, resurrected. "That option is very much alive," O'Meara said. O'Meara took over what had been "The Don And Mike Show" in April 2008, after his longtime partner, Don Geronimo, left WJFK. Geronimo is now doing a late morning radio show on Rehoboth Beach's WGMD. CBS-owned WJFK is flipping to sports talk on Monday, 7/20, with the Junkies doing mornings, and Chad Dukes paired with former Redskin Levar Arrington in afternoon drive. Also bidding farewell: Buzz Burbank, Robb Spewak, Beth Ann McBride, and Joe Ardinger. For now, O'Meara will keep in touch with his fans via Facebook.....

7/15 - A local radio guru tells us: "Top end of the FM dial... expect call changes at 106.7, 107.3, and 105.9... There is potential of Citadel going after WAVA's righty talk by shifting WMAL's product to 107.3 in mono. Possibly a simulcast. At least at first. So, WMAL-FM may return to 107.3... The 'Mix107.3' product could become 'Mix105.9' with the WRQX call on 105.9... Also, the WJFK call could vanish with the new format, if it becomes a 'success'... Expect a deal between (JFK owner) CBS and the Capitals and Nationals after the baseball season and before the hockey season respectively. Word is (WTEM owner Dan Snyder) is pissed. He knows that a quality local/live sports talker will eat syndie sports lunch any day of the week. He wanted to emulate the 'successful' team-owned sports broadcasters in the major markets, something which DC really isn't... He overpaid for some crap signals. Signals nobody will want".....

7/15 - DCRTV hears that during its 106.7 The Fan shindig for advertisers at the Verizon Center yesterday, CBS Radio hired the Redskins cheerleaders. As the new sports talker's line-up was announced, WJFK's on-air talent came out of the tunnel to the cheers of the cheerleaders. And, we hear from a source that Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who owns WJFK's chief sports talk rival, ESPN 980, "was pretty pissed about that".....

7/15 - I've always said that a well-programmed sports talker on FM will do well in the DC market. Clear Channel had the chance to do it by moving its then-owned AM sports talker, WTEM, to one of its five FMers, but it didn't. Bonneville had the chance to do it, but it decided to pursue the Washington Post Radio and 3WT talkers instead. Both failed. And Redskins owner Dan Snyder is giving it his shot, now owner of WTEM, but with a bunch of bad signals, including a main AMer that has trouble covering the region at night in a market where almost no one listens to AM any more, he's gained little ratings traction. So, here comes CBS. DCRTV first hinted that WJFK would be flipping to sports last December. And yesterday all the subsequent mountain of rumblings was made official. No, 106.7 is not a perfect signal, with weakness in DC's northeastern suburbs, but it is a helluva a lot better than WTEM's 980. The key to JFK's success will be its drivetime shows. The Junks have long proven that they can get pretty good, not great, ratings. Will they do better with a sports talk format? If they focus on their forte, sports, and CBS provides them with better promotion, maybe they will. As for JFK's afternoon drive, former Redskin Lavar Arrington paired with current JFK middayer Chad Dukes - who knows. That's a completely untested wild card. But, with CBS now rolling out a national network of FM sports talkers, and with the Wizards signed, and maybe soon the Nationals and Capitals, too, CBS is in a very good place to make a success of the new JFK. However, the suits at CBS's DC HQ in Lanham should not underestimate the admiration longtime JFK listeners have for Mike O'Meara. He's been paired with Don Geronimo on JFK for many years and is in every respect a "radio god" in this market. And while his afternoon show was not cheap to produce, it did attract a strong stable of advertisers and had been trending upward in the latest ratings round-ups. You'd have thought that CBS could have treated Mike and his crew - Buzz, Robb, Joe, and BA - better, like maybe moving them over to the ratings-starved and currently jockless CBS sister 94.7, WTGB, where they could have done the morning show, and perhaps anchored a new, more workable format for that troubled station. Certainly, Mike deserves better than being shown the door.....

7/14 - DCRTV hears that Scott Shannon's "True Oldies Channel" 1960s/1970s pop oldies format will not be on Citadel's WJZW (105.9 FM) for much longer. We're hearing rumblings of something else coming to low-rated WJZW, which dumped smooth jazz in February 2008. No word on piped-in 105.9 morning man Don Imus's DC fate, either. Possible new formats - 1980s/1990s oldies, adult rock, rhythmic adult contemporary, maybe a relay or expansion of sister talker WMAL (630 AM). Stay tuned.....

7/13 - DCRTV told you several weeks ago that a Westwood One deal to put the NFL Primetime game package, which includes the playoffs and Super Bowl, on CBS's Baltimore sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan, was part of a package deal to put the game package on a batch of CBS sports talkers, including the upcoming WJFK in DC. Now, Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com tells us: "Has CBS scored the Westwood slate of NFL games for its new DC sports talker, WJFK? Heard that speculation over the weekend - that WTEM owner Dan Snyder (right) isn't happy to lose so much NFL play-by-play, to put it mildly. Of course the bottom layer of this - if it's true - is that Snyder is an NFL team owner as well as a radio station owner in the DC, Richmond, and Norfolk markets. He's used to getting his own way. Everybody expects WJFK to ditch talk for sports sometime in the next week. That would put it head-to-head with Snyder's WTEM".....

7/10 - The rumor that DCRTV reported yesterday that CBS Radio is talking to Dan Snyder about running his Redskins on soon-to-launch sports talker WJFK, is being denied by sources at both Snyder's Red Zebra, which owns WTEM, which currently carries the team, and at CBS. However, yesterday's rumbling came from a high-level reliable source at JFK. DCRTV wonders: It's not out of the question that CBS Radio is just trying to "stick it" to Snyder on the eve of the launch of a major rival to his low-rated station. If the Skins were to move to JFK, they'd be on a major, closer-to-DC FMer and CBS would probably be paying Snyder a fee for the rights to air the games. Right now, the Skins air on a batch of Red Zebra outlets, with the flagship, ESPN 980, an AMer with an after-sunset directional signal that misses parts of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Montgomery. And Snyder pretty much pays himself the rights fee, since he airs the team on stations he owns. Stay tuned.....

7/9 - Today's WJFK sports flip rumors. The biggie is that the Redskins could return to WJFK. We hear that CBS is talking to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who owns sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980, about putting his team back on 106.7, where it was from 1995 to 2005. Also, we hear that WJFK's flip to sports could come next week, instead of 7/20, as predicted. Maybe Monday 7/13. We also hear that Jim Weiskopf, general sales manager of WJFK, is gone. He'll be replaced by "a guy from JLA." And we hear that Mike O'Meara's syndicated show, which is fed to several dozen stations across the country via Westwood One, will be discontinued.....

7/8 - Someone forwarded us a copy of this invite (below). Something to do with WJFK's flip to sports? Stay tuned.....


7/7 - The latest WJFK sports flip rumors we're hearing: The CBS station could flip from guy talk as soon as this Friday or Saturday, and not the 7/20 date that we've heard. The Junkies would be doing mornings. Chad Dukes would be paired with former Redskins Lavar Arrington for afternoons. The Washington Post's Mike Wise had been mentioned in middays, but that's not a certainty. Current afternooner Mike O'Meara and his crew are out. The show's in reruns this week, but he may have taped a "farewell message" that could air on the show's last day, we're told. We're also hearing rumors about a big shake-up in management of CBS Radio's DC cluster, with at least one major exec walking the plank. DCRTV also hears that several sports reporters/producers from Westwood One's Metro Traffic are heading over to JFK to do part-time work. And we're hearing more talk about a major format tweak at urban WPGC, possibly the installation of CBS's Amp/Now contemporary hit format, now airing in LA and NYC. Currently, none of CBS's four major DC area FMers are anywhere near the top 10 in the radio ratings.....

7/7 - Oh, oh, oh, Sarah Palin might land at Fox News now that she's given up the keys to the Alaska governor's igloo. Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz. Any politically-aware dipshit with half a brain (like me) could guess that. But MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Scarborough had to officially blurt it out yesterday, leading a whole batch of those ass-kissing blogger suck-up types (you know, the pervy clowns at Mediabastard, FishbowelDC, and the new Mediaist, er, Mediaism, no wait, it's Mediaite - that's gonna be a hard one to remember) to rush up to plant huge schmooches on the low-rated (does anyone listen to him on WMAL?) Scarborough's posterior for being such a brilliant and well-connected sage. It makes me wanna hurl.....

7/6 - Longtime Channel 4/WRC news great Jim Vance was back in the anchor chair on Monday evening. DCRTV reported rumblings in late June that Vance had surgery for a medical condition. A source had told us that Vance would be off until mid-July. Vance was co-anchoring NBC4's 6 PM newscast with Wendy Rieger. He missed the 11 PM newscast Monday. Doreen Gentzler is taking off the summer to deal with family issues. She's slated to return in September.....

7/6 - DC media veteran Carol Joynt tells us that her Nathan's Of Georgetown restaurant and bar is closing on 7/12. Lost the lease for the Wisconsin and M location. "After 40 years of serving millions of happy and loyal customers, and opening its doors 365 days of every year," she says. Joynt, who started her career as a news writer for Walter Cronkite at CBS News in the late-1960s, and went on to number of DC TV gigs at places like USA Today and with CNN's Larry King and PBS's Charlie Rose, had been doing her "Q&A Cafe" local media celeb cable TV show from Nathan's. No word on the show's fate.....

7/3 - "This is a problem that stinks at the top." So said WMAL morning co-host Fred Grandy (right), who called for a front page apology to the Washington Post's readership about the so-called "salon" controversy (above newsblurb). He said that Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth essentially passed the buck yesterday by blaming the policy to give politicos and lobbyists access to Post and government biggies for payments as high as $250,000 on an unvetted promotions flier. Added former Congressman Grandy this morning, the Post management must say: "We have compromised our journalistic integrity." Jested Grandy's radio partner Andy Parks, "They'll probably put it in the (lower circulation) Saturday edition".....

7/3 - DCRTV hears that the DC area's low-power analog TV Azteca America affiliate, Channel 69/WQAW, has asked the FCC to allow it to move its Crofton area transmitter to UHF channel 20, to offer digital coverage improvements the DC and Baltimore metros. DC's MyNetworkTV affiliate, Channel 20/WDCA, now operates its digital signal on UHF channel 35.....

7/2 - The Redskins have hired Larry Weisman of USA Today to be editorial director of the team's Media Department. We hear that he will work on "new media" public relations, involving the web, print, and TV. Asks Dave McKenna of the DC City Paper: "Does this mean Skins owner Dan Snyder cares about improving his relationship with the media? Or just one more signal that every good newspaperman's now going or already gone to PR or government? Or both?" Some may remember that Weisman coined the phrase "FedUpField" in regards to Snyder passing along expenses to ticket holders. The comment was made during a USA Today chat.....

7/2 - Will today be the swan song for Mike O'Meara (right) on guy talker WJFK? There are rumors-a-plenty that the CBS station is flipping to sports talk on Monday, 7/20. And, we're hearing that afternooner O'Meara was due to take a two-week vacation. And, with tomorrow, Friday, being the official federal July 4th "day off" since the 4th falls on a Saturday, might today be the last day live for O'Meara on JFK? Rumors have it that JFK's morning Junkies will survive the format flip, but no word about O'Meara, who was paired with Don Geronimo until April 2008, when Geronimo left the station. UPDATE: We're told that O'Meara's been instructed not to do a "farewell show" today on JFK. Look for hints. Also: New rumors that CBS might move O'Meara to sister WTGB, Fresh 94.7, to do mornings. Stay tuned.....

7/2 - Will DC rock radio legend Cerphe (left) soon be rocking out in Rockville? Haven't heard anything specific, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him land at Clear Channel's classic hits/rock WBIG when his CBS Radio contract ends. Cerphe, who does the occasional bit for CBS's resurrected alt rock WHFS on 94.7's HD2, was last heard on "regular radio" via classic rock WTGB, which flipped to chick tunes in early April. Over the years, Cerphe's worked at WHFS, WAVA (when it was rock), DC101, and WJFK (then known as WBMW).....

7/1 - Jim Williams at washingtonexaminer.com has more on the widely-rumored sports talk format flip for CBS Radio "guy talker" WJFK, 106.7 FM. "I have confirmed that a number of Washington sports personalities have had conversations with management at WJFK about doing shows. The station has also spoken to a number of local sports producers and on air update people about the possible format change. Some of the names being floated out there are LaVar Arrington, Mike Wise, and former ESPN 980AM personalities Brian Mitchell and Al Koken. A number of Washington reporters - Examiner, Post and Times - have come up as possible show hosts or as regular guests... MASN, who already has a solid relationship with CBS Radio in Baltimore and airs the Anita Marks-Scott Garceau Show, would love to have a Washington partner and WJFK might fit that bill... Presently, the station airs both University Of Maryland and University Of Virginia sports. They also are the home of Fox Sports Radio in Washington and that would give them the rights to air the Steve Czaban (right) show as well as Dan Patrick." UPDATE: DCRTV hears that Karen Peterson, who is Patrick's affiliate sales manager, denies that there has been any new talk of him going to WJFK.....

7/1 - DCRTV hears that Ernie Fears, the general sales manager of of Citadel talker WMAL (630 AM), has quit. This follows the departure of Shari Gonzalez, local sales manager, who quit WMAL a month ago. Todd Freundlich, WMAL's national sales manager, was fired in the "bloodbath" of February 2008. Chris Berry quit his WMAL general manager gig last year. Assistant program director and promotions head Jerry Klein quit WMAL a few months ago. There is only one local show on the WMAL's weekday airwaves - the AM drive "Grandy And Andy" program. "Look for some big time selling of assets by Citadel very soon, including what is left of WMAL," a local radio guru tells DCRTV. "All these smart, talented people leaving tells me they know something is up".....

7/1 - The Reliable Source gossip gals in the Washington Post tell us today that Owen Wilson and his film crew are finally heading out of town. So, does that mean we won't get any more daily updates about what the actor's eating/wearing/dating/doing? Sheesh. The RS column has mentioned Wilson at least a dozen times in the past month.....

6/30 - From today's "Station Break" Q&A at wapo.com. "Falls Church radio lover: I need more details on the WJFK flip, please... Paul Farhi: Coming July 20. I would recommend Googling my story from early June ('Farhi + WJFK + Snyder + WTEM' ought to get you there)." You know, Paul, would it really have been so hard for you to recommend a visit to DCRTV for your questioner? We frequently give you credit here at DCRTV (see the above blurb), but you just can't stomach returning the favor, can you? Everyone knows that you probably get at least 50 percent of your local radio and TV story ideas from DCRTV. And, yet, you simply can't show us any respect. Nobody has covered the rumored WJFK format flip more than DCRTV has. And you know that, Paul.....

6/30 - DCRTV hears that Gannett's Channel 9/ WUSA is not getting out of the 5 PM news race, as some had suspected. The newly-syndicated "Dr. Oz" show will land in the 3 PM slot on 9, not at 5 PM, come this fall. With the CBS network fare at 3 PM, now a soap and soon a game show, being shifted to WUSA's late mornings. "Dr. Oz" stars Dr. Mehmet Oz, a frequent guest on the "Oprah" show, and contracts for the show prohibit it from being run up against "Oprah," which airs at 4 PM on Channel 7/ WJLA. WUSA has renewed "The Doctors" for its 4 PM slot.....

6/30 - Looking at the latest radio ratings for DC, we see that four of Clear Channel's five DC area FMers - WASH, WIHT, WMZQ, and WBIG - are in the top 10. With WWDC just outside, at 11th. Meanwhile, none of CBS's four DC area FMers is even near the top 10. The best CBS can do is WPGC in 14th place. Clear Channel may not produce incredibly unique stations, but it does know how to deliver ratings-generating "generic workhorses." Something that CBS just can't seem to do here in DC.....

6/30 - DCRTV hears that former Redskin Brian Mitchell, who recently got cut from the line-up at Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980, WTEM, for criticizing his old team, is now doing fill-in work at CBS Radio's Philadelphia sports talk WIP. Mitchell is sidekicking for WIP afternooner Howard Eskin. Mitchell did a weekly show for WIP when he was with the Eagles, before joining the Redskins. DCRTV wonders: Might this mean that Mitchell might be doing something at CBS's WJFK when, as rumors have it, it flips to sports talk in July? Stay tuned.....

6/29 - A reliable local radio source tells DCRTV: "7/20 is the start date for WJFK sports/talk... The Junkies re-branded as the 'Sports Junkies' in the morning... Mike Wise from the Post in midday... Chad Dukes and Lavar Arrington in the afternoons." Where's Mike O'Meara? No response (no denial) this morning from WJFK General Manager Michael Hughes.....

6/29 - Former Redskin Brian Mitchell says he got fired from ESPN 980, WTEM, which is owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, for his criticism of his old team. Mitchell told Michael McCarthy of USA Today that Snyder's radio arm, Red Zebra, cut him as an analyst because he was critical of the Redskins. However, RZ executive Bruce Gilbert said the move was "100 percent driven by the economy," according to USA Today. Mitchell reportedly made $150,000 per year.....

6/27 - DCRTV hears that there is serious thought at Channel 9/WUSA for ditching its low-rated 5 PM news hour and replacing it with the new "Dr. Oz" show, featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz, a frequent guest on the "Oprah" show. DCRTV hears that 9 will continue carrying "The Doctors" at 4 PM, and that the contract for "Dr. Oz" prohibits it from being run up against "Oprah," which airs on Channel 7/WJLA at 4 PM. However, a source tells DCRTV that if NBC is planning a lightweight, features-oriented 5 PM show for its local stations, including Channel 4/WRC, it might be smarter for 9 to stick with news at that hour. We're told that WUSA suits are meeting next week on programming matters and possibly more budget/personnel cuts at the Gannett station. Even if 4 and 9 abandon news at 5 PM, the DC market would have two local newscast at that hour - those from 7 and Channel 5/WTTG.....

6/26 - Citadel talker WMAL is running news reports today wondering whether middle-aged men will run to their doctors for check-ups after Michael Jackson's death like they did with "Meet The Press" host Tim Russert's a year ago. Look, the only thing Jackson and Russert have in common is that they're middle-aged men who both died of heart-stoppage. The tad overweight Russert died because his heart arteries became clogged with plaque, probably due to a not so healthy diet, high-ish cholesterol levels, and some heredity factors. Shared by many of WMAL's male listeners, to be sure. However, Jackson, who was almost emaciated and reportedly weighed under 100 pounds, probably sported a long-term diet involving a variety of pain medications, and most certainly had a serious drug addiction problem, which caused his heart to seize-up yesterday. OK, sure, WMAL is right to suggest that more of its listeners go get their hearts checked. But to compare Russert's death with Jackson's death is downright silly, if not completely whacky. Come on, WMAL! You can do better with that "crack" news department of yours.....

6/25 - WPGC, WKYS, 94.7 Fresh FM, WHUR, WASH, Hot 99.5, Mix 107.3, WMMJ, even rocker DC101 and Spanish El Zol were among the DC radioers that launched tributes to "The King Of Pop" at 6:30 PM today after news that Michael Jackson had died of cardiac arrest in LA at age 50. According to a Twitterer: "every1 is listening 2 WKYS... suv after suv, porche to hooptie... Loud music & everyone is silent w/blank stares".....

6/25 - On 6/12, my DTV started dying. Occasional grey screens evolved to grey screens almost all the time. So, on Monday, I spied a cool Vizio DTV with 1080p (not 720p like the old Insignia one) at Target and I bought it. Two days later, I visited the same Target to buy some sweat socks only to find that the same exact DTV set I had bought was now on sale for $30 cheaper. Damn! I checked with a Target suit who told me that if you buy something at Target and it goes on sale at any time within the next 14 days, you can bring in your receipt and get an "adjustment" refund for the sale price. I did that today. Target - cool store.....

6/24 - Take that Washingtonian! DCRTV Dave gets a write-up in the July issue of Northern Virginia magazine, page 29. Great piece by Buzz McClain. Although, the article gives the impression that your friendly webmaster is somewhat of a recluse. OK, yeah, he's not a party animal, but he's not quite thaaaaat "anti" human contact. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand, if you dare. Or subscribe at northernvirginiamag.com.....

6/24 - DCRTV is hearing unconfirmed rumors that longtime Channel 4/WRC news anchor Jim Vance will be off the air for about six weeks due to surgery he had last weekend for a medical condition. More soon. You'll recall that DCRTV recently reported that Vance's on-air NBC4 evening co-anchor, Doreen Gentzler, is taking off the summer to deal with family issues. She's slated to return in September.....

6/23 - Guesting on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980 this afternoon, Tony Kornheiser (left) said that he's had little serious interest from local radio stations about re-starting his local radio show. "I'm open for bids," he told WTEM's Kevin Sheehan. "I wanna do local radio... All I need are a couple of radio stations, three or four, to step up... Not enough, yet." Former Washington Post sports columnist Kornheiser has, in the past, done local radio shows for WTEM and the now-defunct Washington Post Radio/3WT, but has been busy with his ESPN "Monday Night Football" duties, which ended this year. While still doing ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption" in afternoons, Kornheiser says he's free in mornings. However, DCRTV hears from local radio sources that Kornheiser is probably asking for too big a paycheck in the current budget-cutting radio biz environment, and would not commit to at least a three-hour drivetime show. We've heard that Kornheiser has talked to WTEM, CBS's WJFK, which has been rumored to be flipping to sports talk, and Bonneville all-newser WTOP. "I was just dumped from the Post," Kornheiser said about his departure from his longtime employer. While he took a recent buyout, he said he still had a freelance deal to write for the paper's website. "All my memories are wonderful, except the ending".....

6/23 - NewsBlues tells us that local DC TV news stations temporarily abandoned their a new agreement to share news footage during coverage of yesterday Metrorail crash, which killed 9 and injured 70. The Local News Service agreement, penned earlier this year, involves Channels 4, 5, and 9 sharing news footage. Channel 7 was not part of the deal. However, a local TV news source tells DCRTV: "I think NewsBlues was wrong about sharing. They may have stopped sharing ground video. But, 4 and 5 shared chopper video. 7 and 9 stayed on maps for the first 30-40 minutes while they tried to get a single. But 4 and 5 had the same chopper live shot until their ground crews arrived." Mike James of NewsBlues adds this clarification: "In January, WRC-4-NBC and WTTG-5-Fox began sharing a news chopper. In early June, NBC-owned WRC-4, Fox-owned WTTG-5, and Gannett's WUSA-9-CBS agreed to each contribute two news photogs to produce 'pool' footage of breaking news stories and news conferences. The new Local News Service cooperative is housed in the basement of WUSA's building on Wisconsin Avenue NW".....

6/22 - DC TV newsers all over the late afternoon crash of two Metro trains. A six-car Red Line train headed in the direction of Shady Grove derailed between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations and was involved in a collision with another train at 5 PM, according to preliminary reports from Metro. Also, on its website, the Washington Post was providing a live video feed of NewsChannel 8's coverage of the mishap. The national cable newsers also provided some coverage of the accident, mainly in the 5 PM hour, although CNN seemed to offer the most coverage. The local TVers were still offering live coverage in the 7 PM hour, with 4, 7, and 9 still live in the 8 PM hour.....

6/22 - DCRTV hears rumblings that a WAMU newscaster accidently dropped the "f-bomb" on 88.5's airwaves yesterday. And the American University station issued at least two on-air apologies for "technical difficulties." WAMU spokeswoman Kay Summers tells DCRTV: "We did air an apology to the audience on Sunday. There was human error that resulted in an off-air conversation being picked up by a live mic while 'Bob Edwards Weekend' was on-air. Matt Bush was the local host who gave the apology. The matter has been dealt with internally through discussions with those involved. Not our finest hour, to be sure, but mistakes happen"......

6/22 - The NY Daily News tells us that 20 employees got cut Friday at Fox's local NYC TV operation, fueling the rumors of like cuts at Fox's DC stations, Channel 5/WTTG and Channel 20/WDCA. DCRTV has already reported about cuts in 5/20's ad sales department. However, a source tells us that additional cuts at 5/20 may not be coming because of a good response to a recent buyout package. We're told: "Eleven technicians took a buyout offer from WTTG and three technicians are going to LNS (the joint 4, 5, and 9-operated Local News Service) and, so far, there are no layoffs planned because of the buyouts and LNS staffing".....

6/19 - A few days ago, DCRTV told you that Westwood One had moved its NFL primetime pro football radio package in Baltimore from Hearst's WBAL/98 Rock to CBS's new sports talker, 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM. Now, we're hearing more rumblings that the WW1 deal is actually part of a national package deal that'll air on a whole batch of CBS's new FM sports talkers - not only in Baltimore, but in other cities, too. Like maybe even DC and Philadelphia. Lending more credence to the rumblings that CBS is about to flip its Washington "guy talker" WJFK, 106.7 FM, to sports talk. And maybe even struggling rocker WYSP, 94.1 FM, in Philly to sports talk, too, as maybe WIP-FM? The "orders" are not coming from the local clusters, but from CBS's NYC HQ, we're told. Stay tuned.....

6/19 - Rant. I'm calling on the Washington Post's ombudsman to do an investigation of Roxanne and Amy, the authors of the gossipy Reliable Source column. Again, today, there's a mention of actor Owen Wilson, who is in town to film a movie. That's something like the sixth mention of Wilson and his little movie in the past week-and-a-half in their column. Either the Source gals are getting "favors" from Wilson's publicist or they have some sort of financial interest in his movie. Please take a gander, Andy Alexander.....

6/18 - WMAL is reporting that a Vienna VA man died after a Wednesday dispute with a Verizon FIOS cable TV tech. A WTOPer tells DCRTV that the man, 79, who was not satisfied with the job the FIOS installer did, tried to keep the Verizon employee from leaving by getting in front of the van. We're told that the resident then reached into the van to grab the steering wheel and died after falling to the ground. He was not run over, we're told. No charges have been filed. Verizon says it is cooperating with police during the investigation of this "tragic accident," reports wtop.com.....

6/18 - WTOP reporter Kristi King snapped this pic (right) of a highway warning sign Thursday morning on the Virginia side of the Key Bridge, on the George Washington Parkway northbound. A spokeswoman from the Virginia Department Of Transportation says it's not a VDOT sign. However, WTOP reported that someone from the VDOT was heading over to turn it off.....

6/18 - So, did the Washington Post's repeated endorsements of Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor Creigh Deeds aid his come-from-behind victory last week in the party primary vote? According to today's Washington Post, they did. "By choosing Deeds, the one rural candidate, over two Northern Virginians, doing it on the grounds that he'd be better for Northern Virginia, repeating the endorsement several times and doing it right at the time when voters were first tuning in and trying to learn a bit about the candidates, the Post editorial board created the perfect brew to ensure the endorsement was a key to the late Deeds surge. It didn't hurt that the Deeds campaign in Northern Virginia suddenly took on a 'brought to you by the Washington Post' flavor after he snagged the editorial board's nod. By plastering the Post's banner on every sign and mail piece, the Deeds campaign made sure the column didn't get used just to wrap fish".....

6/17 - With the re-launch, this morning, of lefty talk network Air America on the DC radio dial via WZAA 1050 AM, you may want to add it to your car radio AM presets. So, you've got 1050 lefty talk, in addition to 570 righty talk, 630 more righty talk, 1580 yet more righty talk, plus 780 Christian talk, and 1450 urban talk. And don't forget Baltimore talkers - righty and lefty 1090 and righty 680, both of which cover good chunks of the DC metro. Plus urban talk on 1010. And don't forget sports talkers on DC's 980, and Baltimore's 1570, 1300, and 1370, the latter with an OK signal into the DC area during days.....

6/17 - I've always been a big David Letterman fan, way back to his late late nights on NBC. I laughed and, yes, cringed at his joke last week about Sarah Palin's daughter. And I'm glad that he's apologized for it - twice. But I was more repulsed by yesterday's protesters in front of his NYC theater, some carrying signs claiming that Letterman was some sort of "sex pervert." The actions of some of Palin's supporters calling for Letterman's job and his head have made the remote chance that I'll ever vote for a presidential ticket with her on it technically nil.....

6/16 - CBS Radio's "The Big Talker 1580" gets no ratings. Zip zero nada. It doesn't even show up in the PPM numbers with its perverse parade of second-tier syndie righty talkers. Below even Red Zebra righty talker WTNT and way below Citadel righty talker WMAL. So, the 1580 signal's already got the WHFS calls, so why doesn't CBS take the resurrected alt rock WHFS signal from 94.7's digital HD2 and also relay it on 1580? It would greatly improve the new WHFS's "cache" by having it back on the "real radio," even if it is "only" AM, and it might actually get someone to listen to poor old 1580. Come on, CBS, do it! WHFS: 94.7 HD2, hfs2.com, and 1580 AM! .....

6/16 - Every morning, when I wake up, my thoughts immediately turn to Owen Wilson (right) and what he's doing today. And the Reliable Source girls in the Washington Post are always there with the answer, like today: "Owen Wilson continuing his DC rounds Saturday night - first dining on the outdoor terrace of Blue Duck Tavern with two male friends, then spotted walking in the Gibson with his pals and a young brunette in a short black dress. Last stop: private club L2 in Georgetown." Or last week: "Owen Wilson accidentally crashing a book party Wednesday night. The actor (in town filming a movie with Reese Witherspoon) apparently was drawn into Georgetown's Tackle Box restaurant by the big displays for John McCaslin's new book "Weed Man" (with its cannabis-leaf-bedecked cover); not on the list, but the clipboard girls didn't hassle him. Browsed through the book, mingled a bit but scooted out when he realized it was a private party." OK. We know he's in town for a while. Is it really news every time he takes a shit or whatever? Roxanne and Amy, isn't there a buyout you can take? Sheesh.....

6/15 - DCRTV hears that Washington Times Radio debuted its national Talk Radio Network show this morning. Former President George H.W. Bush called in for an exclusive radio interview. He touched on his airplane jump, Nancy Pelosi, "big government," and the CIA. The show can't he heard via the DC area airwaves, but, as we've reported, Red Zebra talker WTNT (570 AM) will be carrying it sometime in the near future.....

6/15 - DCRTV hears that the word out of ESPN 980, WTEM, is that Kevin Sheehan's producer, Brian Corson, is out, and former Kornheiser producer Marc "Nigel" Sterne is in. "Looks like a desperate attempt to entice Mr. Tony to come to WTEM, by hiring his old (Washington Post Radio/3WT) producer," a source tells DCRTV. "Although I've heard, there is 0 percent chance he comes back to 980 anyway," probably because the station is now owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra. Other rumors have Kornheiser going to CBS's WJFK, with a new sports format. Most recently, Sterne has been doing sports reports for Bonneville all-newser WTOP.....

6/15 - Still a bit of confusion from Friday's big digital TV switcheroo. Many still don't know what to make of WNVC/WNVT. The Fairfax-based public TVer, which runs 10 standard-def MHz foreign programming channels, is now known collectively and locally as digital TV "Channel 30/WNVC." That's because WNVT, which used to be Channel 53 in Goldvein VA, is now on digital channel 30. And has been since last year. It runs five standard-def MHz network relays on that channel. It's Fairfax sister, WNVC, used to be Channel 56. But it signed off last September, coming back on the air Friday on digital channel 24. However, WNVC is now also calling itself "Channel 30," with five additional MHz network relays, including its own Worldview TV, on DTVers 30-1 through 30-5. WNVT's channels are 30-6 through 30-10. All 10 MHz channels are on Comcast's 271-280. Oh, and then we have DC public TVer Channel 26/WETA. While it runs four DTV channels via channel 27, it's main signal is not 26-1, which is WETA's high-def-oriented signal that carries main PBS fare at night, but it still differs from what WETA calls its main signal - standard-def 26-4. So, when you're looking in the WaPo's TV grid for today's programming on WETA, make sure you're tuned to 26-4 (Comcast 26 or 267), unless your favorite evening PBS fare is in HD, then make sure you're on 26-1 (Comcast 220). Got it? Good.....

6/12 - Whoa. You'd think that MASN, which drops a ton of dough advertising in the Washington Post, would get better treatment from the rag. On Friday, we got Dan "Sports Bog" Steinberg discovering that Nationals TV guy Rob Dibble is pretty much a stooge for the Lerner family, which owns the team. Says Dibble in the Bog: "If the organization and the Lerners and (President) Stan Kasten and (acting General Manager Mike) Rizzo are happy with my work, that's all that matters." And then, we get a front sports page "Must Read" of a Nationals Journal blog post, which claims: "If the Lerners were allowed to get out of the MASN deal after the 2006 season and entered into an agreement with Comcast SportsNet, the Nats wouldn't be treated so shabbily. That's what happens when the (Orioles) owner (Peter Angelos) owns MASN and lords over the Nats' TV rights with no chance for the Lerners to exercise an escape clause - because there isn't one, thanks to (MLB Commissioner Bud) Selig." Whatever.....

6/12 - Most Washington/Baltimore area TV stations discontinued their analog signals in the noon hour today. Channel 4/WRC and Channel 5/WTTG came back on the air with so-called "analog nightlight" signals, which will provide round-the-clock digital TV info for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Channel 7/WJLA and Channel 9/WUSA have moved their digital signals from the UHF band to their old VHF frequencies. Ditto with Baltimore's Channel 11/WBAL and Channel 13/WJZ. If you have a digital TV attached to an antenna, you'll need to do a channel "rescan." If you're connected to cable or satellite, your TV supplier should handle the changes relatively seamlessly. B&C reports that 155 TV stations across the nation will end their analog broadcasts between noon and 6 PM today, with another 391 making the switch from 6 PM to midnight. DCRTV's Twittering local digital TV stuff today.....

6/12 - DCRTV hears that there's going to be a delay in WTNT's carriage of the Washington Times new morning radio show, which launches nationally via Talk Radio Network from the newspaper's New York Avenue headquarters on Monday, 6/15. However, we hear that Red Zebra talker WTNT, 570 AM, is still planning to carry the show at a later date. No reason given for the change. So, come Monday morning, it'll still be Mancow on WTNT.....

6/11 - DCRTV hears that Dave Schmidt, chief engineer at Baltimore classic rocker WZBA (100.7 FM), was let go by parent Shamrock on Thursday due to a budget cut. He was at "The Bay" for almost four years.....

6/11 - A DCRTVer tells us that Scott Shannon announced on-air this afternoon that unless DC's 105.9, WJZW, gets "better support," his nationally-syndicated "True Oldies Channel" format "might have to make other arrangements" in the DC market. However, he added that there were no local options in the DC area for another station to take over the franchise. Shannon's comments were prompted by an oldies request from a listener in Fairfax. Citadel's WJZW has received anemic ratings with its 1960s/1970s-based pop oldies format since it dropped smooth jazz in February 2008.....

6/11 - DC radio veteran Don Geronimo will be joining the airstaff of Rehoboth Beach talker WGMD (92.7 FM) to do the 9 AM-to-noon shift, starting 6/22. Now based in Ocean City, Geronimo is forbidden from working in any market where CBS Radio has a presence until his CBS contract expires in October 2010. Geronimo left CBS DC area guy talker WJFK (106.7 FM) in April 2008. There are no CBS stations in the Salisbury/Ocean City radio market. Geronimo did a short-lived music-based stint last summer at eclectic rocker WOCM (98.1 FM) in Ocean City.....

6/11 - Yesterday, DCRTV broke the news that comedian Chris Paul (right) quit WPGC's morning Donnie Simpson show without any notice, while Donnie is on vacation. Paul's been yanked from CBS-owned PGC's website and there are rumors that he's jumping to Radio One, which runs PGC's urban rival, WKYS. We're also now hearing about a lot of turmoil at PGC, a longtime urban-formatted station. The ratings have slumped, since the Portable People Meters got unveiled in the DC market last fall. PGC is no longer a reliable "top 5" performer like it had been for many years. More likely, today, it's 14th or 15th. And there has been a slump in Simpson's numbers. We're told that CBS suits are doing studies to see where the station should be format-wise. There's been some talk about "moving" the station in more of a contemporary hits direction, a la CBS's new Amp format in LA or Now format in NYC, to better battle Clear Channel's high-rated WIHT, Hot 99.5.....

6/10 - A local radio guru tells DCRTV: "It is likely that if WJFK does go all-sports they will follow the CBS format of teaming people together... A seasoned broadcaster with a local sports personality or writer. The 'big fish' remains Tony Kornheiser, who would like to do an 8 AM-to-10 AM or 9 AM-to-11 AM post. Nothing near noon because of his 'PTI' duties." Another source tells us that CBS is "seriously thinking" about "blowing up" the Junkies (right), essentially pairing the four guys differently on different shows on the potential new sports talker, rather than having all four together in mornings. A top CBS DCer denies talk about the Junks' split-up.....

6/10 - Confirmed shocker out of CBS's urban WPGC that Donnie Simpson's sidekick, comedian Chris Paul, quit the show today without any notice, while Donnie is on vacation. More as we hear it.....

6/10 - DCRTV's already reported rumors galore for about six months. Now, Paul Farhi in Wednesday's DC Post fuels the fire (again) about CBS flipping guy talker WJFK to sports talk. "When Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder added WTEM (ESPN 980) and two other radio stations to his growing portfolio of radio outlets last summer, he essentially became the region's king of sports talk radio. Now it looks like he might have some competition. CBS Radio plans to take on the Snyder-owned stations in July by switching WJFK (106.7 FM) from its guy-centric talk programs to sports talk, people involved in the change say. Bruce Gilbert, a former ESPN executive who heads Snyder's radio operations, Red Zebra Broadcasting, said he welcomed a direct challenge from CBS... Its programming lineup has not been completed, but WJFK likely will retain the Junkies program in the critical morning 'drive' hours. CBS has been talking with former Redskin LaVar Arrington and Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise about hosting daily programs," according to the Post. Michael Hughes, who heads the programming department at CBS Radio's DC cluster and is WJFK's general manager, tells DCRTV: "As I said to Paul, whether we are or are not considering anything on any of our stations, we don't discuss or play out strategic decisions through the press." In related news, there are rumors that CBS will put sports talk on an FM station in Chicago, joining its FM sports talkers in places like Baltimore, Detroit, and Dallas. Comments to the Post's article at washingtonpost.com.....

6/9 - DCRTV hears that Steve Hennessey is now gone from Baltimore sports talker WNST (1570 AM). He was the lead ad sales guy, was a blogger via the station's website, and had been with WNST since "the beginning".....

6/9 - Those big boomers that came through the DC area at about 6 this morning did some damage to Bonneville all-newser WTOP. A lightning strike near the WTOP "Glass Enclosed Nerve Center" studio complex on Idaho Avenue in DC knocked the station off the air for about three minutes and "fried" some studio equipment, we're told.....

6/8 - Steve Krakauer must have gotten tired of kissing TV "news" celeb butt for Mediabistro in his job as associate editor at TVNewser. He's gone! Like to suck up to "journalistic greats" like Beck, Olbermann, O'Reilly, King, and Van Susteren? Maybe you can be Krakauer's replacement. Pucker up.....

6/8 - Yesterday, Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander moaned about how the Post is trying to "conserve costly newsprint" and therefore running longish stories for free on the web instead of providing them to paying subscribers in the shrinking print edition. Then how come the Post, today, in the edition I received, ran a single pic of Kobe Bryant on page D5 of the Sports section that literally takes up 2/3rds of a broadsheet page? Conserving newsprint? Hey Andy, you're full of it.....

6/8 - Unconfirmed. A source tells DCRTV: "I have relatives at Congressional Quarterly who insist the Economist is buying CQ this week." More soon.....

6/7 - DCRTVers tell us that Nikki Landry, who used to be heard on Fredericksburg's B101.5, WBQB, has been heard this weekend on the jockless 94.7 Fresh FM, WTGB. Is she the station's first live on-air personality since its launch in early April? Not yet. We hear that her shift was just a "demo".....

6/6 - A couple of "Oh That Post" thingos this morning... Another big Washington Post editorial Saturday in support of Creigh Deeds, the underdog in the Dem gov primary for VA, who is now surging in the polls since the Post's endorsement a week or two ago. If he wins the three-man Dem primary Tuesday and goes on to face current poll-leader and GOPer Bob McDonnell, a few more Post editorials of support could very well make Dem Deeds VA's next gov. Doubt the Post's power? Look what it did, a few years back, to GOP superstar George Allen... The Post's guide to the local TV digital world in this week's TV Week (which is now being discontinued in Price William unless you don't "opt out") features a chart that leaves out MPT-HD and gives only passing mention to WNVC/WNVC/MHz's 10 MHz cool foreign network relays (shame they're dropping the fun Dutch channel for AlJaz). Boo..... A "right on" letter in Saturday's Post slamming the rag for putting a two-part investigative piece on the mysterious Dupont Circle area death of lawyer Robert Wone a few years ago on the Post's website for free, and not providing it to the paying subscribers in the print edition. Dumb.....

6/4 - A source tells DCRTV: "WUSA/9 is flipping the schedules of two of its meteorologists. Effective Monday, Howard Bernstein will do the 5-to-7 AM newscast, Kim Martucci will be on WUSA's noon news. Martucci will continue on WUSA's 9 AM newscast".....

6/3 - Rant. So, Radio And Records is going out of business (above newsblurb). Do you know that in the 12-ish years that DCRTV's been covering DC and Baltimore radio news, I can't recall one single time that R&R gave this site credit for any of the many hundreds, probably thousands, of local radio stories we broke over the years. I'm never happy to see folks lose their jobs, but I shed no tears at R&R's demise. As Kahn said in the "Star Trek II" movie: "Revenge is a dish best served cold." I'll leave it at that.....

6/2 - WJFK afternooner Mike O'Meara announced on his show today that he's sold his O'Meara's Irish pub and restaurant in Manassas. The money-losing eatery, which has been closed for more than a year, will be known as the Center Street Grill when it reopens under new ownership later this summer.....

6/1 - DCRTV hears that longtime DC radio duo Baker And Burd are reuniting on the web. Jeff Baker and David Burd, who did the morning show on WPGC from 1983 to 1986 and WASH from 1988 to 1994, are getting some clips up on YouTube and are about to unveil a website with audio and video content. Baker currently works as production director at WAVA, in addition to his acting and movie extra work, while Burd does commentaries at WTOP, in addition to his "dog B&B" in Maryland.....

5/31 - After a long hike on Sunday, I headed to the South Lakes Starbucks in Reston and shared a table with Shirley, a resident of the nearby Thoreau Place senior living center. The topic soon tuned to television, and she told me how she missed watching PBS programs on Maryland Public Television since the channel got "dropped" by Comcast a few months ago. I told her that while MPT was removed from the analog service, she could still watch it - plus MPT/HD and MPT2 - if she got a digital converter box. She said that she already had an analog box and would call Comcast to exchange it. The strange thing about this situation is that I had to tell her that. For some reason, Comcast's "message" about MPT "not" getting dropped from this lady's cable TV service didn't get through to her. Giant Comcast sure could use a lesson or two in "communicating" with its subscribers. Sheesh.....

5/31 - The Washington Times has realigned its ad sales team as it continues its transition from "a single medium information outlet to a multi-media news organization." According to a management memo, the reorganization provides an ad synergy between the print Washington Times and Washington Times Weekly, plus washingtontimes.com, the new Washington Times Radio network, television, social media, Twitter, e-mail and new "products" soon to be launched, such as the TheConservative.com and BaseNews.com websites. The restructuring creates a national/international sales group that utilizes outside firms that are "geographically closer to international decision-makers" rather than via an in-house sales staff. As a result of the change, the current seven-person Washington Times International Sales group has been disbanded. The Times will continue in-house with its Washington metro and Washington special markets sales groups.....

5/29 - Redskins beat writer Jason LaCanfora of the Washington Post is heading to the NFL-owned NFL Network, so reports profootballtalk.com. La Canfora will join a stable of NFL reporters that has been filling the shoes previously occupied by Adam Schefter.....

5/29 - Gee. You'd think that Northern Virginia magazine was owned by CBS Radio. In the June "Best Of NoVa" issue, Fairfax-studioed guy talker WJFK picks up three honors - best blog/website via Chad Dukes' thefukerton.com, best radio show via the Junkies (sorry Mike), and best overall radio station. (Oh yeah, and yet another "best of" honor for 4's Lindsay Czarniak, as if she needed one.) Luckily, the June issue hit the newsstands before a long-rumored format flip (to sports talk?) for good old 106.7. Oh, by the way, your friendly DCRTV webmaster is rumored to be profiled in the July issue of the mag. Stay tooned.....

5/29 - Marc Fisher (right) bids farewell to his Metro section column in the Washington Post. In a cryptic fashion, he writes: "I'm off to expand my collection of funhouse mirrors and point them somewhere new." However, DC City Paper reported earlier this month that Fisher "will soon be leaving his post for a job editing a small band of journalists with a special mission at the Post, according to several sources. Though it doesn't yet have an official name, Fisher's unit will focus on breaking news and enterprise stories in the Washington region. It'll operate under the paper's reorganized local news desk, but don't necessarily think of this beast as just a Metro thing: Fisher's people will reportedly file pieces for various sections of the paper, in a bureaucratic free agency of sorts." Fisher used to pen the occasional "The Listener" column about radio, but he gave that up last year citing the sad state of the local radio dial.....

5/28 - From the DC Examiner: A squabble broke out among DC-based Fox News Channel personalities Greta van Susteren and Juan Williams on Thursday at the Newseum at the close of a panel discussion on how the media has covered the Obama administration. As the conversation turned to whether news shows were investing in graphics and other technological tricks instead of investigative reporting, Williams leveled his fire at his Fox colleague. "People watch Greta and they think they're watching a news show," he said. "They're not." "At least people watch," retorted Van Susteren, which won her some audible gasps and "ooohs" from the audience.....

5/28 - Yesterday, DC radio veteran and current WRQX, Mix 107.3 morning personality Erica Hillary blogged at mix1073fm.com that she'd been selected as a "Real Housewife Of Washington" on the just-announced Bravo reality drama. "Taping is beginning soon. Yes, it'll be grueling. The time-management alone. Balancing a morning show schedule and all my various family duties with shooting a reality TV series of the magnitude of 'Real Housewives Of DC.'" Perhaps her blogging flight of fantasy was too good, since countless DCRTVers sent us the blog link thinking it was true. They seemed to manage to miss her line: "Discard my delusional thoughts." Yup, Hillary's posting was just "a joke" on WRQX's Jack Diamond morning show.....

5/22 - Memorial Day - another holiday that has been corrupted by capitalism. Like virtually every other American holiday, which pretty much exists as another excuse by retailers for some sort of sale. While waiting in those long checkout lines this weekend, how about taking a few minutes to remember what Memorial Day really stands for - honoring all the brave men and women who gave their lives for the American freedoms most of us hold so dear. Even if you don't get out and about this weekend, how about spending a few minutes with the locally-based Pentagon Channel, which provides programming for service members and their families. Even though the channel is offered free to cable systems, and is carried on military bases around the country and the world, Comcast still doesn't offer it in much of the heavily military DC area. You can't get the Pentagon Channel on Comcast systems in Montgomery, Reston, Prince William, Anne Arundel, Alexandria, and even in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located. Ditto with Cox in Fairfax. Come on Comcast and Cox! Show your patriotic spirit. Put the Pentagon Channel on all your DC area systems. A slot on digital basic wouldn't take up hardly any channel "bandwidth".....

5/22 - Washington Nationals fans in Northern Virginia can celebrate. They'll finally be able to hear their hometown baseball team on a relatively strong FM signal for a change, since being dropped from Bonneville's 107.7 last year. Instead of relying on two Maryland-based AMers that don't penetrate well into the Old Dominion at night. Yup, since the Nats are playing the Orioles this weekend in DC, Orioles affiliate WTEM's Warrenton relay on 94.3 will be carrying the Baltimore version of the game. OK, so Nats fans will have to put up with O's on-air propaganda, at least they'll be able to hear the hometown team on the radio. For a change.....

5/21 - When I couldn't find Lisa de Moraes always way too long piece on "American Idol," the final results from last night, in the crappy Style section this morning, I thought: "The Washington Post wouldn't put 'em on the front page of the whole paper?!?!" No. Whew! Then I spotted this teeny tiny message at the bottom of Style's front page: "'American Idol' ended too late to include the results in this edition. See washingtonpost.com/tv for complete coverage." And, when I clicked there at 7:45 on Thursday morning, I found: "'Guyliner' Looms as the Fave... With one night to go, judges declare Adam Lambert victor of the final evening of actual competition." Oh course, Lambert didn't win on Wednesday night's show. Not that I care. Oh that Post!.....

5/19 - One lightweight story about Twitter took up a whole broadsheet page and a half (!) in this morning's Washington Post Style section. Including two large, way oversized graphics and an ample amount of while space. Why does the crappy and inferior Style section (soon with better coverage of weddings) continue to remain a separate section, while the real news Business section gets demoted to a page or two at the back of the main "A" news section? Ponderous, man. Ponderous.....

5/19 - DCRTV hears that "at least three local stations," as well as ESPN Radio, are looking to sign former Washington Post superstar sports columnist Tony Kornheiser now that he won't be returning to "Monday Night Football." Perhaps the most likely possibility, we're told, is Tony's return to sports talker WTEM, where he did a radio show from 1992 to 2006. Back then, the station was owned by Clear Channel. Now christened ESPN 980, it's owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra. Another likely interested party is CBS, possibly via a new sports talker in place of guy talker WJFK. The third local radio party interested in Kornheiser? Maybe Bonneville, for Tony to do sports commentary segments or a even a late morning "Ask The"-type show on newser WTOP. From 2007 to 2008, Kornheiser did a morning show for Bonneville on the now-defunct Washington Post Radio/3WT. "I had one national radio exec tell me that Tony is the hottest name in radio," a local radio guru tells DCRTV.....

5/18 - So, will Tony Kornheiser return to local radio now that he's "free" of his obligations to "Monday Night Football"? Well, since Kornheiser is no longer working for the Washington Post (he took last year's buyout), he'd be free to go back to sports talker WTEM, even thought it's now owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The Post has an ethical prohibition on its employees working for owners of teams that the paper covers. So, would WTEM, now ESPN 980, want Kornheiser back? Sure. Why not. The station's ratings suck. Nowhere to go but up. Kornheiser could do a morning show. If not WTEM, where else could Kornheiser go on the local radio dial? His old haunt of Bonneville's WaPo Radio/3WT is gone. Maybe to CBS's guy talker WJFK? Nah. CBS ain't paying dough for new (or old) talent. Maybe replacing the low-rated Don Imus on Citadel's True Oldies 105.9? Ditto with budget-cutting cheapskates Citadel, but it would be a good move. Korny is a "true oldie," for sure. Really nowhere else that I can see Tony landing on the local radio dial, other than maybe to Sirius XM. Stay tuned.....

5/18 - Some well-connected local radio sources tell us that CBS Radio could be making a serious play to nab former Washington Post superstar sports commentator Tony Kornheiser, now that he's announced that he's leaving ESPN's "Monday Night Football" (newsblurb below). And, we're told, that there are still plans to possibly flip CBS's WJFK from "guy talk" to sports talk sometime this summer. As DCRTV has reported, there were rumors in late 2008 that CBS was planning to flip WJFK to sports talk after the station suffered a slump in the new electronic PPM radio ratings, which debuted in the DC market last fall. So far, those ratings haven't seen a significant uptick, with JFK remaining at about 20th place in the overall age 12+ demo. However, a top CBS/DCer attempts to shoot down the rumors by telling us: "I have not spoken to Tony or his agent." Also, we hear that Kornheiser was asked to leave "MNF" shortly after last season. "The airline fear was just to save face," we're told.....

5/18 - Just got around to reading a March issue of Rolling Stone which featured a piece on the demise of music retailers in the USA. As we all know, people (like me) are now buying their music digitally, often one tune at a time for a buck a pop, via the internet from places like iTunes, instead of buying CDs from brick and mortar retailers. One major cause of the demise of the "physical album" is its cost - up to $17 to $20 in some stores. Back in my music-collecting heyday, in the 1980s, most vinyl record albums costs between $5 and $7 each. And I don't know how many albums I bought because I heard one song on the radio or on MTV and, upon listening to the disc, discovered that the rest of the songs on it sucked. Well, that's OK for a $5-ish album, but not for a $20-ish one. However today, you can preview the tunes from most albums on Amazon.com or via iTunes to prevent you from picking up a $20 "one hit clunker." I like Depeche Mode. But their new album sucked. I previewed it on iTunes and didn't download any tunes or buy the CD. So, what "killed" the old "record album"? Downloading, yeah, to some degree. But I think it's more likely greedy music companies and artists who are overcharging for product that, frankly, often isn't very good.....

5/15 - Some DCRTVers have recently reported seeing Channel 4/WRC sports anchor Dan Hellie (right) on-air with his arm in a sling. Now, NewsBlues confirms that Hellie finally underwent surgery this week on his left shoulder and is back at work, wearing a sling. He severely separated his "wing" in February at the Canyons ski resort near Park City, Utah, while messing around with his daughter on the "bunny" slope. After months of unsuccessful rehab, surgeons used a tendon from his hamstring to rebuild the "ac" joint, NB reports.....

5/15 - On WMAL this morning, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace (left) told Andy Parks and Fred Grandy that he "sides" with the CIA in its dispute with a big lib, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who charges that the spy agency misled Congress regarding interrogation techniques of terrorist suspects. OK, Wallace's remark was a flippant throw-away, but it also illustrates what's so wrong with the DC "news biz" today. Whatever happened to the pretense of journalistic "objectivity"? OK, I know, don't send your hate mail. Yeah, MSNBC and CNN do it, too. Maybe even worse than Fox. But I always thought that Wallace, son of the legendary CBS Newser Mike Wallace, was a "cut above" the average cable news political propagandistic "carnival barker." I guess not.....

5/15 - One of the several things that Andrew Sullivan and I have in common is an undying love for the Pet Shop Boys. Check out The Atlantic columnist's piece on the brilliant Brit nerdy techno "band," which has done a helluva whole lot more than "West End Girls," at Out.com.....

5/14 - Don was at last night's Washington Capitals playoff game at the Verizon Center. And Mike did yesterday's show from a bar near there, and went to the game afterward. So, did we see a Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara "reunion," the first since Don left WJFK's airwaves 13 months ago, with Mike continuing on his own? Apparently not. No Geronimo surprise appearance on O'Meara's Wednesday show and no reported meeting of the former radio duo during the game. In fact, Geronimo Twittered during the Caps' 6-2 loss to the Penguins (and elimination from the playoffs) that he was watching "American Idol" on a TV in a stadium suite.....

5/11 - "FishbowlDC Predicts Demise Of Metro Weekly Without Calling Metro Weekly." Headlines Erik Wemple in the DC City Paper on a 4/22 FishbowlDC news item which claimed that gay weekly Metro Weekly was going to discontinue its print edition and go web-only. "So the FishbowlDC post, whatever its sourcing, appears dead wrong. Yet there's nothing filed on the site under 'correction' or 'retraction' or 'apology' - just an item labeled 'Update,' giving Metro Weekly's denial of the story," concludes Wemple.....

5/8 - A DCRTV source tells us that a batch of Clear Channel honchos, including Tom Schurr, visited the Rockville Pike DC broadcast complex (right) yesterday. Repeatedly he was questioned by various sales people about the implications of not being able to refinance their enormous debt. And repeatedly, Schurr "opted to deflect all such questions, much to the chagrin of the staff who continue to worry about both the continuous changes and their employment." Regarding the ever-changing budget/staff-cutting initiatives at CC, Schurr reportedly said: "If you are expecting the changes to dissipate, you need to find employment elsewhere." We're told by a source: "Needless to say, the sales staff left even more deflated than when he arrived".....

5/8 - From rawstory.com: Activist and blogger Michael Rogers is calling on NewsChannel 8 anchor Doug McKelway (left) to apologize for threatening to "punch" him because he disagreed with Rogers' take on the issue of "outing." Rogers was a guest on NC8's McKelway-hosted "Let's Talk Live" on Wednesday discussing the film "Outrage," in which he appears. The film explores the issue of "outing" - disclosing the sexual orientation of persons who work against the gay community, while those persons actively seek same-sex sexual activity. McKelway said it's a matter of privacy. More at letstalklive.tv, where NC8's Natasha Barrett voices disagreement with her co-host. Also, DCRTV hears that, as of Friday morning, NC8 had received more than 100 e-mails against McKelway's position, with only two in support. Ballot stuffing by "the extreme element of the activist gay community," one NC8er suggests.....

5/7 - Gawd. Is this the most ugly and awful-looking website produced by a local TVer? It's cluttered, jam-packed with crap, and slow to load even with a broadband connection. Channel 9's cool news video of a gas explosion at a Maryland shopping center is teeny-tiny, dwarfed by a mish-mash of ads. Congrats to Channel 9/WUSA for winning DCRTV's first-ever "Worst Local TVer Website" award. Any more nominations, radio or TV-wise?


5/7 - DCRTV is hearing rumblings about a fracture among righty radio talkers, one that's pitting more mainstream Republicans like Joe Scarborough against more conservative types, a la Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. All of whom are heard on DC's WMAL. Like yesterday, we're told, when Scarborough played a soundbite of Rush calling for moderate Colin Powell to leave the GOP. "No! No! No! No! We need Colin Powell," screamed Scarborough. "We need to win elections!" So, will WMAL's largely right-leaning audience tolerate this disagreement among righty radio talk hosts? A local radio guru tells DCRTV: "I'm wondering whether it's just the kind of radio that WMAL needs - to broaden its appeal, provoke the hardcore audience, which might just keep listening, even though they hate Scarborough, and keep the station relevant".....

5/6 - If your mom and dad are DC Post biggies, you're bound to get good placement for your engagement announcement from the gossip column's re-write gals.....

5/6 - Former WJFKer Don Geronimo's (right) latest blog post at dongeronimo.posterous.com: "I left my contract with CBS because of lingering bereavement, nothing more or less. I desperately needed to get my post-Freda life started without work getting in the way. I left, and forefeited lots of $$$s. That is OK. Lots of folks seem to think I'm still drawing paychecks from CBS. Not so. My longing to return is not financially motivated. I love radio, and am lucky enough to have made my hobby a career. CBS has no place for me, yet they will not allow me to work, for them or anyone else. I want to get back more than ever, for pure spite. I'd love the chance to take 'em on as a competitor. 'Cause I didn't quit over a contract dispute or dumb radio rules, yet they are treating me like Michael Vick... CBS is just dicking me over, 'cause they're mad I quit. 'Cause I was losing my mind, and they'd rather have a flawed me than no me. After trying to break away numerous times after Freda passed, they always said, '70 percent of you is better than zero.' One year later. I'm healed, and ready to work, but can't. 'Cause they're still pissed at me. Sorry my wife dying screwed up your plans, CBS".....

5/5 - I just don't understand what CBS is up to with 94.7 Fresh FM. Obviously, the early April transformation of WTGB from classic rock to hot adult contemporary is an attempt to get some of those young female demos and ad revenue from Clear Channel's WASH and Citadel's WRQX, Mix 107.3, but I feel that CBS has blown the opportunity by failing to put any personalities on the station. It's still jockless a month after its debut. Not even a live morning show, a la the glorious return to the market of Hot 99.5 vet Mark Kaye? How does Fresh expect to compete with the popular Loo and Lori (7th in the latest ratings) and the even more popular Jack Diamond (5th in the latest ratings) with "nobody"? The mix of music on Fresh is OK. About half of it could have aired on the old alt-ish rock Globe, which lived on 94.7 from February 2007 to September 2008. That didn't get any ratings traction for CBS, so how come CBS expects it to now? Frankly, I can't see too many young chicks switching over to 94.7 from the "soft rock" sound of WASH or the "slightly more harder soft rock" sound of WRQX. CBS is in a whole heap-o-trouble here in DC. The latest PPMs show urban PGC aging not so gracefully, guy talker JFK continuing to sag, and Spanish LZL on a signal that poorly fits the location of region's Hispanic audience. And, again, not one of its four major FMers above 15th place in the age 12+ demos. CBS would have better luck with a Jack-like oldies hit station on 94.7 and a resurrected WHFS as an adult-oriented rocker on 99.1. At the very least, WJFK needs a complete image makeover, maybe with the addition of some "manly men tunes," and maybe even a return of Don Geronimo, as painful as that might be to some of CBS's DC radio suits. And a tweak of PGC to more of a contemp hit sound to better battle CC's Hot 99.5. Hey CBS - your DC radio cluster is still broke. And no sign of a fix in sight.....

5/4 - DCRTV hears that sports media columnist Ray Frager (right), who got cut along with 60 others from the Baltimore Sun last week, has landed "a new blogging home" at sportsmediajournal.com. He filed his first post today: "Though I have to figure out what I will do with the rest of my life, one thing I immediately knew I wanted to keep doing was contribute a blog. I was fortunate enough to hear almost immediately from the proprietor of this site, Keith Thibault, who has linked to my work in the past".....

5/4 - The DC Post tells us that the folks to who organize the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, slated for Saturday at the Washington Hilton, might be feeling a bit guilty about holding such a star-studded event in this recessionary era, when hundreds of journalists are getting pink-slipped and some newspapers are closing. The WHCA knocked the usual chocolate mousse off the menu and will use the savings to donate $23,000 to a DC food bank.....

5/3 - Let's see. My recession-battered stock-based IRA is up about 7 percent in the past month. So, I wonder how WMAL morning man Fred Grandy (right) is doing with his stock investments? Which he bragged about selling on-air about a month ago - at the very bottom of the market. Maybe he put them in CDs, which are making, what, a bit under 2 percent per year? Good work, Fred. You guys at WMAL really got brains.....

5/1 - It's what's soooooo wrong with "journalism" today, particularly among the celebrity "newsers" and their "wannabes" who socialize with the power brokers in government. Ass-kissing "news" gossip sites like TVNewser breathlessly buzz about the smarmy, PR-ish glam-teams of Hollywood and other celebs who'll be "guests" of the journalist celebs at the upcoming White House Correspondents Association dinner. How many stories and 'net postings are we going to get shoved in our faces about superstar, beautiful journos, many of whom wouldn't know a "scoop" unless it came hand-delivered in a silver-plated box from one of their "country club contacts"? Am I the only one who thinks this "my shit don't stink" brand of celeb journalism just reeks? It just ain't journalism. In an era of countless cuts and layoffs at newspapers all around the country (a la 60 more at the Sun this week) as a recession sends countless thousands of journalists to the unemployment line, the festivities surrounding the WHCA dinner seem woefully out of place. And downright tasteless. Shame.....

5/1 - Check out Ray Frager's Friday column for the latest sports media developments in Baltimore at baltimoresun.com. Oh, wait. Ray got canned from the Sun this week with 60 other journalists. Nevermind. One less reason to read the Sun. For me, a big reason.....

4/30 - The day after 61 personnel cuts at the Baltimore Sun. Our source says: "Greetings from inside the tomb, where you can hear the air conditioning running. There may be life on other planets, but I can safely report that there's no life at the Sun. Certain people are running around in a self-important way, giving orders and avoiding eye contact. Security guards - not the ones we know - pretend to be casually passing though the newsroom. A muffin and a Mountain Dew sit on Ray Frager's desk, just where he left them when he was called in to be fired Tuesday night. AME-level editors were writing cutlines and headlines last night because no one thought that you actually need people to do those jobs. Welcome to the Sun, where no one can hear you scream".....

4/30 - With all the journalistic cuts at the Baltimore Sun of late, DCRTV's hearing that the "neighboring" Washington Post may make a play to become "Maryland's Newspaper Of Record," taking that title away from the Sun. The Post is already giving hefty coverage to Annapolis politics that the Sun has traditionally prided itself on. Could the Post's "Baltimore intrusion" happen in sports soon, a la improved coverage of the Orioles and the Ravens? Might a few of those recently-canned Sun sportsers head to the Post? Followed by beefed-up "Baltimore Metro" local news and business coverage? That's what we're hearing. "It's a very viable possibility. It's already happening," a media source tells us.....

4/30 - It's almost always bad news that gives DCRTV "record traffic." No exception with April 29th, DCRTV's top traffic day of 2009, so far. Obviously due to our reporting about the "bloodbath" at the Baltimore Sun, in which 60 devoted journalists lost their jobs. Other top-traffic days during DCRTV's almost 12-year lifespan include the demise of longtime heritage rock outlet WHFS and the firing of its airstaff, the tragic deaths of a local radio personality's wife and a beloved Baltimore radio newsman, and, oh yeah, 9/11/01. I guess, in a very real sense, DCRTV's like other "mainstream media outlets" that "profit" from "higher ratings" during tragedies. Strange business this "news biz" is.....

4/30 - The latest on the two-day bloodbath at the Baltimore Sun: "Things are still somewhat confused at Camp Zell, Baltimore division. How confused? Seven people, who serve as slot editors on the copy desk, learned that their job classification had been eliminated when they tried to sign-on tonight (Wednesday) and received a 'account expired' notice. Then, a manager rushed from his office to herd the seven into a conference room to give them buyout packages. Baseball writer Dan Connolly was on the cut list and then off. Why? Two other reporters with less seniority volunteered to be laid off because they're going to law school in the fall. At exactly 2 PM (Wednesday), managers began calling folks into their offices to give them the 'layoff packages,' detailing what the company owes them. Each staff member was applauded as he or she left the newsroom. The dust won't settle until May 27. People with seniority who held lower Guild jobs have until that date to bump junior colleagues from their jobs. There will be a ripple effect as bumping is carried out. But one thing is certain, the publisher said the newsroom now has 144 people, about half what it had less than three years ago... Everyone - the remaining journalists and their departing colleagues - gathered at Mick O'Shea's bar just blocks from the Sun to say goodbye. Very sad. The folks who left could put out a better newspaper than the ones who are left," says a source. Oh, yeah, without mentioning any names of those who got pink-slipped, Thursday's Sun has a relatively short piece in the cuts, totalling 61.....

4/29 - DCRTV first reported rumblings back on 4/17. Now, the Observer reports that NBC is "currently exploring" the possibility of leasing out part of its headquarters in Washington to an outside organization. One possible partner? American University - as DCRTV already told you. The longtime home of NBC News, MSNBC, and Channel 4/WRC is located on Nebraska Avenue, a short walk from the university's campus in Northwest Washington. Oh, Drudge gets it wrong in his Wednesday link: "MSNBC's Washington HQ Can't Make Rent: Looking to Share Space with Local U".....

4/29 - AP is reporting that when yesterday and today's cuts are completed, the Baltimore Sun will have laid off nearly 60 people in its newsroom, including veteran editors and managers, columnists, photographers, and designers. A spokeswoman for the newspaper says managerial-level employees were laid off at the end of the day Tuesday, and union-represented employees were informed Wednesday afternoon. The Sun did not disclose how many people lost their jobs, but the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild says 37 people were let go Wednesday. Staffers who were laid off Tuesday say about 21 managers were let go. Maryland's largest newspaper is owned by bankrupt Tribune Company. Sources tell DCRTV late Wednesday afternoon about the latest round of cuts at the Sun: "Management just finished making newsroom cuts. Some people are out on assignment and haven't been told yet (that was what happened last night with knowing just 15 names). It looks like 21 people were axed, including sports columnists Rick Maese and David Steele. Metro columnist Jean Marbella (wife of Stephen Hunter) has been cut to once a week and will act as a assistant city editor the other four days. Crime columnist and blogger Peter Hermann has been reassigned as a reporter. Metro columnist Laura Vozzella also has been bumped back to a reporter. But it expected that both Vozzella and Hermann will continue in their roles as columnist without the title (it's a way around the Guild contract and senority layoff list). The photo department lost six, including several award-winning shooters." More: "WBAL Radio is reporting at 4 (PM) that an additional 37 'Guild' members have been let go today." Still more. A source tells us: "Baseball writer Dan Connolly got cut. Most of the sports guys got the word while sitting in the press box at Camden Yards, covering the Orioles." However, another source tells us: "Just talked to Dan Connolly - we're both at Camden Yards covering the O's today. For now, he's still got a job. Hasn't been told anything. The sports guys in the press box at the O's game who were called were David Steele, Rick Maese, and Childs Walker (perhaps someone mistook Dan for Childs?). Walker is being given the opportunity to move back to news (he was originally on news desk and transferred to sports). Dan says it's possible he could still get a call, but he wasn't part of the group axed remotely by cell phone today." The Sun recently reported that its daily circulation fell 9.6 percent during the six months ended 3/31. Paid weekday circulation declined from 232,360 to 210,098.....

4/29 - DCRTV first told you Tuesday about another round of cuts at the Tribune-owned Baltimore Sun. A source told us: "Fifteen mid- and top-level editors just laid off at the Sun... The casualities include: Deputy Managing Editor Paul Moore, Editorial Page Editor Ann LoLordo, Op-Ed Editor Larry Williams, Med/Sci Editor Patricia Fanning, Sports editors Ray Frager and George VanDaniker, Copy Desk Chief John McIntyre, Systems Editor Steve Auerweck, three bureau chiefs (leaving none), Regional Editor Jay Apperson, and Photo Assigning Editor Chuck Weiss. All editors were told to leave the building immediately. A security guard was stationed on the skywalk between the building and the employee parking garage. Rumor has it the Guild employees will get layoff notices this week." Another source tells us on Friday: "I just read through your brief about the 15 layoffs at the Sun and noticed you have no names for the three bureau chiefs. Their names are Joe DeCarlo, Dan Clemens, and Bill Caulfield. Also receiving a layoff was Eileen Canzian, who was one of our Metro editors and one of the brightest journalists in the room. Their experience, expertise and institutional knowledge - not to mention a genuine love for the city of Baltimore and the surrounding area - will be sorely missed." More. We hear: "On Baltimore Sun layoffs yesterday, there were actually 21 people, including Andrew Ratner, who was features editor and blogging columnist." Also: "Patricia Fanning used to be the med/sci editor, but she has been education editor since last summer. A wonderful editor and person." And: "You list Larry Williams as op-ed editor. Actually, his title was deputy opinion editor. The op-ed editor is still there for now (Michael Cross-Barnet). Also, FYI, the layoffs included literally half of the opinion staff... four of the eight people. In addition to Larry and Ann, they released ... designer/copy editor Todd Windsor and the editorial assistant (department secretary) Makeda Crane".....

4/29 - Among yesterday's Clear Channel cuts at its DC area broadcast complex: Jerry Rarden, who had worked in the 1801 Rockville Pike mailroom "since the dawn of man," a CCer tells us. "The guy was in his late 70s or early 80s and never complained about a thing. He was a throwback, telling dirty jokes and not pulling any punches. For them to can him, who couldn't have been making any more than $35K per year working in the mailroom, well that's just bullshit".....

4/28 - TVNewser kisses everyone's ass today. Take your pick! "April Ratings: FNC Beats CNN and MSNBC Combined." And: "April Ratings: MSNBC Tops CNN in Primetime Demo Again." And: "April Ratings: CNN's Best Total Day Since '03." And: "April Ratings: HLN's Grace Tops Olbermann in Demo." Maaaaaan.....

4/28 - A DCRTVer tells us that this morning on "Imus," Senator John Kerry, during his guest spot, told Don Imus that his show in DC via WJZW gets interrupted for "local and stuff." A local radio listener tells DCRTV: "I think those were the senator's words. I expected him to say 'for music,' but he seemed more upset by the ABC/Citadel news breaks. He asked Imus to look into that so-called problem, and Imus said he wasn't aware of it." Several months ago, WJZW started mixing-in oldies tunes with Imus talk segments, rather than carrying the NYC-based Imus's talk uninterrupted, in hopes of improving the station's poor morning drive ratings.....

4/27 - WMAL's Fred Grandy and Andy Parks (right) this morning accused the Obama administration of over-hyping the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, and the handful of reported cases in the US. Yet, guess what story was leading the newscasts on WMAL? And guess what was the top story on Grandy and Andy's show? The pot calling the kettle black? Hmmm.....

4/27 - DCRTV hears that Culpeper country outlet WJMA is moving its 103.1 FM transmitter closer to the DC area and hiking its power to 6000-watts. "If you live in Northern VA, expect to hear more country music on FM 103.1 soon." While directional to protect WAFY in Frederick, also on 103.1, it looks like WJMA will be providing an increased signal to Warrenton and Manassas and some other parts of Northern Virginia. "If you were getting either of the other 103.1s like (Annapolis's) WRNR, most likely you won't much anymore," a DCRTV tech guru tells us.....

4/26 - Last year, I told you that Fairfax County Police had issued a missing persons report for Bill Eustace (left), 70, who'd walked away from his Reston home near Lake Anne in late October and was not seen again. Well, I've heard several reports that the remains of Bill's body have been found in Lake Fairfax Park, about a mile east of where he'd lived. No other details. Back in the days when there was a Tower Records in Fairfax, I spent many hours talking music with Bill, who worked mornings and middays at the store. We grew to be good casual friends. Bill left Tower a year or so before it went belly-up in late-2006. And I'd since run into him several times while walking around Lake Anne, as he was walking his dog.....

4/25 - New Program Director Harvey Kojan shoots down a rumbling that DCRTV reported Friday that he's planning dump syndicated morning show "Bob And Tom" from Baltimore's WZBA (100.7 FM). Kojan tells DCRTV: "Actually, one of the first things I'm going to do when I get up there next week is start ramping up promotion of B&T" at the Shamrock classic rocker. Still, DCRTV hears that some at "The Bay" would like to see the low-rated B&T go, and be replaced with a locally-based show. DCRTV told you earlier this month that Kojan has signed-on to replace PD Cruze, who used to program DC rocker DC101. Kojan used to program WNOR, before he was downsized in January, after 16 years at the Norfolk rocker.....

4/22 - The police showed up at CBS Radio guy talker WJFK's Fairfax studios on Wednesday afternoon, after listeners complained that an 8-year-old boy was being tatooed against his will on-air on Mike O'Meara's show. Just a taped "comedy" bit, folks. Not real. All actors. Will the FCC find it as "amuzing"? Stay tuned.....

4/22 - A DCRTVer tells us: "Just saw a commercial on Fox5 for a Redskins draft show this Friday with Dave Feldman, Vinny Cerrato, Doc Walker, and GEORGE MICHAEL! Was quite surprised, but glad to see him back on TV. Wonder if this is a one time thing for him or whether Fox5 has plans to do a show similar to 'Redskins Report' that George hosted" on NBC4. WTTG top sports anchor Feldman tells DCRTV that working with Michael (left), who ended his longtime relationship with budget-slashing WRC last year, was "fun to do".....

4/22 - From radio god Don Geronimo's new blog at dongeronimo.posterous.com: "I am totally wrecked right now. After two months of talking, meeting, and more talking, it turns out there will be NO podcasting for me via CBSradio. Here's why: Content, and ON THE AIR restrictions. After we shook hands last week and I started Twittering about it, I opened a nice surprise email bundle from CBS. It contained a copy of these documents/pamphlets. 'CBS RADIO INDECENCY POLICY' and 'CBS RADIO: WORDS THAT HURT AND HARM.' Only then did I realize that CBS was going to hold an OFF the AIR podcast to the same 'standards' as if it WERE being broadcast over the FCC airwaves. The execs at CBS did tell me they didn't do their due diligence correctly. It was only AFTER we had an agreement they 'discovered' the CBS corporate policy and let me know. Don't get me wrong. I long to broadcast. When I walked away from my job and my paycheck a year ago, it was to get my shit together. Job done. I'm ready and eager to go back to work. However, CBSradio controls my rights until October 2010. After deciding there was no current slot for me on their stations, we started the podcast dance. I'm quite sure that a podcast that would be edited for content and language would not exactly be what you'd want to hear. Or I'd want to do. A watered down show would be embarrassing." Geronimo left his longtime WJFK show in April 2008.....

4/21 - Last November, CBS Radio flipped FM talk station WHFS, 105.7, to sports talk. It also "borrowed" the call letters of CBS-TV's Channel 13, WJZ, and slapped them on the new station and its AM sports sister, 1300. Now it's clear Baltimore sports fans like what they're hearing. The first few rounds of ratings for WJZ-FM have been good. According to Dave Labrozzi, vice president of programming for CBS Radio/Baltimore, the FM station is "way up" in the March radio ratings - from 15th to eighth in the key male demos, including ages 25-54. More from your friendly webmaster in the April print issue of PressBox.....

4/21 - Today's Washington Post is actually kind of fat for a Tuesday edition. Then you realize that it sports a rather hefty Classified ads section. The "G" section is a solid 20 pages. But, almost all of it is real estate property foreclosure public notices. They start on page G1 and staggeringly run to page G19. They take up almost as much space as the 24-page "A" news and business section. However, employment ads take up less than one column on G19.....

4/19 - Regarding the Washington Post dropping and then restoring a comic, I've always wondered by the modern "newspaper" even bothers carrying comics any longer? The New York Times doesn't. Even though I'm not a regular reader of comics, I have nothing against them. But why do they belong in a newspaper? OK, some drawings, like editorial cartoons and animated strips like Doonesbury that have something "to do" with news and current events, that's fine. I can see why they're carried. But why provide space for drawings centered around fictitious, non-news-oriented story-lines? Maybe it's time for them to go. Along with the horoscopes, the bridge column, and the crossword puzzles, too. You can find all that elsewhere - in magazines and on the internet. They're not "news" or "commentary." Why do they belong in a "newspaper"? Something for the Post suits to "mull over" in this era of page shrinkage.....

4/17 - DCRTV hears rumblings that cash-strapped NBC may be negotiating to sell its 4001 Nebraska Avenue broadcast complex - buildings and land - to nearby American University. NBC would lease back most, but not all, of the space from AU, according to a possible deal in the works. The NBC facility in northwest DC houses both Channel 4/WRC and NBC's Washington news bureau. AU owns and operates public radio news talker WAMU. A local media guru tells us: "If AU buys that big Nebraska Avenue complex, it takes it off the DC tax rolls. Universities do not have to pay real estate taxes to the District like NBC does now. Could be a big tax dodge... For AU, it would be a performing asset in their endowment, probabably a better return than they currently (make with) stocks or bonds... And it secures property almost directly across the street from their existing campus for future expansion." Another source tells us that NBC hasn't yet reached a deal to sell its DC building, but that it may lease out a portion of the facility that is currently unused. "Ultimately, it seems (NBC parent) GE is looking to raise cash in some way - either by leasing the space, or selling it outright and then leasing it from the new owner. Apparently, many options are on the table," we hear. "But I'm told a sale, particularly to AU, has not yet occurred." More soon.....

4/17 - DCRTV hears that longtime DC sportscaster Frank Herzog (right) gets a bit part in the new "State Of Play" Washington political thriller, which opens today. No speaking lines this time, but he plays the congressman sitting next to Ben Affleck's character in a Capitol Hill hearing. Herzog, who now anchors news on WTOP radio, has also "starred" in several other recent movies, including "Step Up" and "National Treasure: Book Of Secrets." Also, Chris Matthews, Lou Dobbs, Jim Vance, Jule Carey, Chris Gordon, Eun Yang, and Denae D'Arcy play TV "reporters" in "State Of Play," which gets reviewed in today's DC Post. It also stars Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren. By the way, several years ago, Mirren filmed a TV pilot for a CBS series based on Post grande damme Katharine Graham that was never picked up.....

4/15 - A source close to the Baltimore Sun tells DCRTV that even though the "b" freebie tabloid is one-year old, the slumping economy is preventing it from making as much money as predicted. The word from Calvert Street is that "b" has until June to hit a certain monthly sales goal. And our source tells us that "b" will take more time then that to at the very least hit projected monthly revenue. Sales reps at the "challenged" Tribune rag have been spiffed with virtually everything to entice them to sell "b," including gifts, higher commissions, and good old-fashioned cash, our source says. "However, nothing seems to help, as ad sales are still not hitting targets. Many wonder if the existence of 'b' is somehow tied to that of Sun Publisher Tim Ryan. If that's the case then paper recyclers, aggravated advertisers, and Baltimore's homeless can look forward to another year of 'b'," we're told.....

4/14 - It was first reported on DCRTV early this morning. Now, Channel 45/WBFF General Manager Bill Fanshawe blames "an unpredictable equipment malfunction in our master control operations Monday evening" for causing a mix-up in the standard-def feeds of Fox affiliate WBFF and sister CW affiliate Channel 54/WNUV which prevented the complete airing of Fox hits "24" and "House." He adds: "We are seeking network approval to re-air the affected episodes in their entirety".....

4/14 - From DCRTV's Rumorama: Former Clear Channel Hot 99.5 "Hot Mess" morning man Mark Kaye to mornings at CBS's new 94.7 Fresh FM? Stunned silence from top CBS/DCers, which means we probably touched a nerve.....

4/13 - DCRTV's News Court delivers "guilty verdicts" to the newsers involved in the recent dispute between a WAMU reporter and the Veterans Administration. The WAMU news director is "guilty of weakness," the WAMU reporter is "guilty of a missed opportunity," and WTOP's reporting is "guilty of shameless self-promotion".....

4/12 - If you read Saturday's editorial page in the print Washington Post, you'll find that the very same editorial cartoon and letters-to-the-editor appear on Sunday's editorial page. A correction in Sunday's paper: "Because of a production error, some readers received the April 12 op-ed pages in the April 11 newspaper. April 11 op-ed content can be found at washingtonpost.com/opinion".....

4/11 - Today's Washington Post: Eight big pages of news in the "A" section, two more Business pages with no ads in "A," almost no ads in Sports, and a whopping four-page Real Estate section. The Post may keep its Saturday print edition going, but it sure ain't making any money with it.....

4/10 - A DC radio guru tells DCRTV: "Bonneville 'wasn't done' when they cut Ira Mehlman and Diane Kepley (in 2007). They are keeping a stiff upper lip over there. Especially about (yesterday's cutting of) Steve Dolge... If the economy continues to tank, I wouldn't be surprised to see more go from not just Bonneville, but NBC, ABC, and CBS radio and TV." More on the TOP cuts in DCRTV's 4/9 newsblurb.....

4/10 - A DC radio guru tells DCRTV: Talker WMAL "is so depressing right now... (Citadel sister hot AC) WRQX isn't any better. Only a matter of time before they start voice-tracking some dayparts out of lower cost Citadel stations. Strange as it may sound, (oldies) WJZW could become the brightest light in the cluster of an otherwise black hole. Especially if Citadel would give (Program Director) Steve Allan full-time jocks for AM (goodbye Imus) and PM drive, evenings, and part-time jocks for weekends".....

4/10 - A DC radio guru tells DCRTV: "As for Dan Mason leaving CBS Radio. That was an in-house feint. Trying to weaken him before some serious changes which are coming otherwise. Including the DC, Baltimore cluster. Think of 'Fresh' as being (Bonneville's short-lived hot AC-ish) 'George' with spots. While not 'stunting' per se, it's not necessarily a definitive format. That's why they've not put bucks into it." Says another local radio source: "94.7 isn't wanting to invest in talent right now. CBS doesn't 'get it' when it comes to connecting with the audience." However, a CBS DCer tells DCRTV that it has mounted a Fresh ad campaign on female-oriented TV shows like "Oprah," and will be announcing an airstaff soon.....

4/9 - An Easter thought from a local radio guru: "If you pray, pray for Bill Thompson, Joan Doniger, Mark Weaver, and Bryan Nehman... Very sad. We call what's happening there being 'neutroned.' The equipment is there..." More news cuts at WMAL? Stay tuned.....

4/8 - It looks like Tony Kornheiser (right) is lightening his workload even more, as he prepares this summer to return for a fourth season as the "color analyst" on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." Not only has he shot down talk that he'll someday be returning to the local radio dial, but now we hear that he'll even stop doing work for his longtime employer, the Washington Post. Even though Kornheiser took a Post buyout last year, he has continued doing the occasional print feature, plus some online content. Kornheiser will continue doing his "Pardon The Interruption" show on ESPN with Michael Wilbon, we hear.....

4/8 - Earlier today, DCRTV told you that CBS had flipped the digital HD Radio HD2 stream on WTGB, 94.7, from alternative rock to classic rock/classic hits. Including Elton John's "Sad Songs" and Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night." CBS just dumped the classic rock format from 94.7's main signal, and replaced it with "Fresh" hot adult contemporary tunes. Are those rumors of a resurrected alt rock "HFS2" stream, formerly on the HD2 of Baltimore's 105.7, unfounded? Apparently not. A CBS Radio/DC source told DCRTV on Wednesday afternoon that the classic rockish stuff is airing because changes at the WTGB transmitter site - linking it with new studios in Lanham - caused the 94.7 HD2 digital database to revert to an "old" version. The new alt rock version will return, we're told. HFS2ers, keep hope alive.....

4/8 - Last Saturday, the Washington Post's Paul Farhi proclaimed on the front page that WTGB, which flipped to hot adult contemporary this week, was "the region's only classic rock outlet." Then, in today's Post Style section, the radio station listings listed WBIG as "classic rock." Whatever. Oh that Post.....

4/7 - A year ago, Citadel put NYC-based talker Don Imus (right) on the morning slot of two of its new "True Oldies" FM outlets, DC's WJZW and Atlanta's WYAY. Then, a few months ago, due to low ratings on both stations, Citadel started mixing in oldies tunes with Imus talk segments. Now, Citadel has found a new Atlanta radio home for Imus, via an AM talker. Might Citadel be doing the same thing here in DC? Imus continues to get poor numbers via WJZW. Says a local radio guru: "Who'd want him? WJZW is a very strong FM signal. Imagine what he'd pull on a weaker signal. Zippo. They have a good PD (Steve Allan) at that station. (Citadel) forces him to carry Imus and that is holding back the whole station." Imus recently lost stations in Norfolk and on the Eastern Shore. Stay tuned.....

4/6 - "Maybe he got off the Titanic before it hit the iceberg." So said Fred Grandy, in his new expanded 9 AM show hour on WMAL today, on the dismissal of Chris Plante, who used to air at 9 AM.....

4/6 - Another piece of pompously mindless crap from the lightweight dolts at Washingtonian. This time, we get an ass-kissy list of some of the "best blogs" in the DC area. Including WTOP's website. A "blog"? No other local radio and TVers included. And, oh yeah, piece co-author Garrett Graff includes FishbowelDC, a site he founded. An ethical "gold star" for Mr. Graff! Guess you thought that the idiots who read Washingtonian wouldn't catch that. Man! And where's DCRTV on your shitty little list?.....

4/6 - So let's see. Both the Nationals and Orioles play their season openers at 4 PM today. The Orioles are on MASN in glorious digital high-def via MASN-HD. Plus on broadcast TV via Baltimore's Channel 13. And are on hi-fi FMers in both Baltimore, WJZ (105.7), and in the DC area (92.7 and 94.3) via ESPN 980. Meanwhile, the Nats are in standard-def old-fashioned analog, on MASN2 (which shares its channel with CSPAN2 on Comcast systems), and aren't on hi-fi FM anywhere. Just via the two MD-based AMers of WFED. And no broadcast TV. Advantage? Orioles.....

4/5 - This morning's Washington Post actually ran a correction because Lisa de Moraes referred to "Eastern Daylight Time" instead of "Eastern Standard Time" when writing on Friday about the start time of next January's Golden Globe Awards. Well, if the Post is going to be that picky about its accuracy, why doesn't it run a correction for Paul Farhi's Saturday piece on DC radio vet Cerphe's last show on 94.7, which Farhi called "the region's only classic rock outlet." Well, to be totally accurate, even after the demise of WTGB tomorrow, you'll still be able to find plenty of classic rock tunes on the local radio dial. Via WBIG, which is technically "classic hits," and on WJZW, which is technically "oldies." In fact, if it wasn't for WBIG's recent ratings blip upward, we'd probably still have WTGB doing "classic rock." And I wouldn't be surprised to see WBIG tweak itself a few steps toward classic "rock" from "hits" now that TGB's gone. Plus, there are many other stations that play classic rock tunes in the "region," including Baltimore's WZBA, WQSR, and via one of 98 Rock's HD Radio channels. Plus Winchester's WWRE/WWRT, Hagerstown's WWEG, and Fredericksburg's WGRQ. And DC's XM, which features six-ish channels of classic rock tunes. Even without 94.7, you'll still find the Eagles, Stones, and Foreigner all over the local radio dial.....

4/5 - Rant. I'm not such a frightening fellow. OK, I like camo, sport a shaved head, and do have this crazy beard. But I'm just a harmless little fuzzball. I help little old ladies carry their groceries from the shopping center to the senior housing complex next to the DCRTV World HQ. I do errands for several infirmed neighbors. I even took a bundle of clothes to a friend in need. So, why is everyone in the "media" so scared of me? Northern Virginia Magazine interviewed me a few months ago but nothing appeared in the March issue. And nothing in the April issue, except for a profile of that already overexposed Lindsay Czarniak. I've been running DCRTV almost 12 years and haven't had my profile in Washingtonian. The Washington Post has pretty much ignored me, even though they're always taking news from DCRTV and making it look like they had it first. Well, maybe I do sometimes scare advertisers away from stations. And, now and then, get the occasional radio suit canned or "put on ice" with my "constructive" commentaries. But I'm a nice guy. Really. I'll gladly welcome any media person who wants to profile me. I'll even show you my basement freezer, which contains my prized collection of the severed heads of past DC and Baltimore radio program directors. UPDATE: Thanks to NewsBlues for the Monday "love".....

4/4 - CBS Radio could still have the last laugh. Last Monday's announcement and the past week of "press" regarding the demise of classic rock WTGB on 94.7 in favor of hot adult contemporary Fresh 94.7 coming this Monday could just be a "PR stunt." What if at 6 AM Monday, 4/6, Cerphe comes on the air to announce the glorious rebirth of the heritage WHFS, which rocked Washingtonians from the early 1970s until its demise in 2005. 94.7's owner, CBS, has possession of those heritage calls. Back in 2007 with the launch of WTGB, 94.7 The Globe's original alt-ish rock format, CBS Radio DC market programmer Michael Hughes promised us a station with the sensibility of the old WHFS, one where the local DJs who really love the music had a say in what gets played - not some distant corporate radio consultants. But Mr. Hughes never delivered. WTGB stuck to a rather narrow, too-well-researched playlist that grew even more conservative and limited when 94.7 tweaked to classic rock last fall. Come on Michael, give Washington's radio listeners what they have so longly craved and dreamed for - give us back our beloved WHFS. Not the standard alt rocker that existed during its last few years on 99.1, but the glorious "home grown" rocker of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. If not on 94.7, then give us back the 99.1 frequency for WHFS - and let Baltimore join in on the sonic fest. Prove to us, Michael, that CBS Radio is not just a faceless bureaucracy of beancounters, but that it actually has a conscience and a soul.....

4/3 - Earlier, we told you about Albie Dee's last morning show on classic rock WTGB, 94.7, which is flipping to hot adult contemporary Fresh 94.7 on Monday. Now, we hear that DC rock radio legend Cerphe Colwell announced on his last afternoon show for 94.7 on Friday that he may do some "music specials" at CBS's sister guy talker WJFK, 106.7. DCRTV knows that some powers-that-be in JFK's programming department want to fill some of the overnight and weekend hours with guy-attracting rock tunes, but the CBS Radio suits in Lanham and NYC have balked at the price of obtaining a "music license" for the mainly blab outlet. Maybe they'll be changing their minds. Stay tuned.....

4/3 - Albie Dee (right) in DCRTV's 4/3 Mailbag: "Dave - Thanks so much for the kind words. I also need to thank the listeners for all their warm wishes that I have been receiving the past few days. Let me tell you I had the most fun over the past four days than I have had in a long time being on the radio. I do want to thank Jay Stevens and CBS radio for picking me 40 minutes after being let go from my previous employer. Look, this Memorial Day week marks 22 years here in the DC/Baltimore markets. I'll survive and land soon. Count on it. I'll be posting my next move very shortly on both myspace.com/albiedee and Facebook. See you around the radio frequencies!" Albie did his last morning show this morning show on classic rock WTGB, 94.7 FM. On Monday, the CBS station flips to hot adult contemporary as Fresh 94.7, without the current airstaff.....

4/2 - Poor Opie and Anthony (right). They've just lost their last broadcast radio affiliate. Norfolk rocker WROX is dropping the morning radio duo, which were carried in middays, in favor of music. O&A, who continue to be heard on Sirius XM satellite radio, recently lost their NYC flagship, when WXRK dropped alt rock for contemporary hits. Several years ago, O&A had been heard on the DC area's WJFK, but got dropped for low ratings. By the way, WROX is also dropping Mancow from its morning slot.....

4/1 - Even though the signal went off the air for a short time yesterday, as WQSR 102.7's "boom box" was moved from CBS's Baltimore broadcast complex to Clear Channel's Baltimore broadcast complex, Jack remains on the Charm City airwaves. So far, no changes to the classic hits format. Everything sounds exactly the same, including the on-air imaging. The station remains mostly jockless, although Jason Kidd no longer voices mornings. He continues to work for CBS. With the change, Clear Channel ups its Baltimore radio cluster from three stations to four, including country WPOC, alt rocker WCHH, and gospel WCAO.....

4/1 - An April Fool's Day joke - or real? We report, you decide. A local media source tells DCRTV that Washington Post Publisher Katherine Weymouth is "weighing" the possibility of ending Saturday publication of the paper and experimenting with an online edition one day a week. The source says Weymouth and a team of advisers have been studying online efforts by other publications, including the Post's, for more than a year now and are attempting to decide whether to proceed with the one-day-a-week online-only experiment. Maybe "later this year." Furthermore, despite efforts by other newspapers, notably the New York Times' failed "Select" experiment, which charged users access to "select" content such as columnists and business information, the Post is weighing the possibility of charging readers for - as yet undetermined - access to its own proprietary content. The source was not certain whether this decision has been finalized, however. Late last year, the Washington Times replaced its Saturday print edition with an online-only substitute.....

4/1 - Our April Fools Day gag for 2009 on the Front Page:

JFK Sinks, HFS To Be Reborn On 106.7 - 4/1 - More changes at CBS Radio, which announced today that it's firing the entire air staff of "guy talker" WJFK, except for Big O and Dukes, and flipping the station come Monday to adult alternative rock as WHFS. Current middayers BO&D will remain onboard to host a music-intensive morning show. Cerphe Colwell, who was just canned from CBS's classic rock WTGB, which is flipping next week to hot adult contemporary, will program the resurrected WHFS on 106.7 FM. "This is a double return for me," Cerphe told DCRTV. "I worked at the original WHFS back when it was on 102.3 and at 106.7 back when it was eclectic rock and New Age WBMW in the 1980s." A statement from CBS says that JFK was simply too expensive to operate considering its slumping Portable People Meter radio ratings, especially the steep salaries of the four Junkies and one O'Meara. The playlist for the new WHFS will largely be determined by the DJs, like the old HFS. But it'll focus on core artists like U2, Bruce Springsteen, REM, and Rolling Stones, plus a wide array of tunes from bands like the Killers and Depeche Mode, to Morrissey and the Psychedelic Furs, said Cerphe. "It'll be as if the old 102.3 WHFS was still here today." He added that he's talking to some HFS vets about returning to the airwaves, including Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert, who is rumored to be taking the evening shift. No word on the radio fate of Mike O'Meara, but the Junkies are reportedly talking to Redskins owner Dan Snyder about a "promotional project" involving his Six Flags theme park chain.....

3/31 - Does the DC area need three stations playing hot adult contemporary tunes to youngish female listeners? Apparently, CBS thinks so. And it's going to flip classic rock WTGB, the Globe, to Fresh 94.7 on Monday. Obviously, CBS is targeting Clear Channel's "soft rock" WASH, 97.1, which placed 2nd in the latest radio ratings. If that was 94.7's only rival, the Fresh flip would probably be a good move. But what about Citadel's WRQX, Mix 107.3? If these two well-establised hot ACers, both with solid morning drive shows (WASH's Loo and Lori, WRQX's Jack Diamond), fight back, Fresh 94.7 could be in for a tough fight. CBS's best strategy would be to try to musically place 94.7 "in between" CC's WASH and its contemporary hit WIHT, Hot 99.5, which attracts even younger women than WASH - the teenage and pre-teen set. With WASH staying with older chicks to avoid cannibalizing sister WIHT, and WRQX traditionally "mixing in" a lot of oldies, if CBS hits the mid-97.1/99.5 "erogenous zone," it could have a ratings winner on its hands. And CBS desperately needs that. In the latest Portable People Meter ratings, age 12+, none of CBS's four DC area FMers were in the top 10. Even if Fresh 94.7's a success, CBS will still have some fixin' to do. By the way, farewell to the classic rock Globe, which was pretty mediocre as classic rockers go. Good on-air talent (Cerphe, Marci, Albie), but a bland, dull, way too conservative playlist made the station virtually unlistenable. CBS should know that the classic rock could have worked, and the previous alternative rock incarnation of the Globe, launched in 2007 and tweaked away last fall, could have worked, too. It seems that too many consultants spoiled both pies. CBS missed the golden opportunity to build a very cool station on the priceless heritage of legendary DC area rocker WHFS. I'm beginning to think the "C" in CBS stands for "clueless".....

3/28 - DCRTV hears that Channel 9/ WUSA's weekend assignment editor, Alan Henney, quit this week, abruptly, and said he couldn't work for an organization such as Gannett any longer. He sent all fellow employees a long email explaining his actions and was very critical of WUSA management. "We are doing less news gathering these days and more information posting. Somebody needs to be driving the news machine at all times, actively pursuing news leads. We've lost our focus," he wrote. A copy of the memo was forwarded by a third party to DCRTV and is available in our 3/27 Mailbag. More at Gannett Blog. "He makes a number of good points about what's wrong at Channel 9 and the mainstream media as a whole," a 9er tells DCRTV.....

3/28 - You really can't blame the Washington Post for screwing up the radio listing today for the DC United game. The 7:30 PM soccer match at RFK Stadium is listed to be on 1500 AM, WTOP. Of course, 1500 is now WFED, Federal News Radio. And the game will run on 820 AM and 1050 AM, both of which are listed as WFED by the Post. OK, 820 does relay WFED but its calls are WWFD. And 1050 is now a relay of all-news WTOP and does actually sport the WTOP-AM calls, which were, for many decades, on 1500. Got it? Good.....

3/27 - DCRTV is hearing rumblings that CBS Radio will flip 94.7, WTGB, from classic rock to adult contemporary or hot AC - to battle Clear Channel's WASH, 97.1, which soared to 2nd place in the latest Portable People Meter radio ratings. Possibly by next week. Perhaps something like CBS's Fresh 102.7 in NYC. Big CBS meeting already scheduled. And CBS guy talker WJFK, 106.7, won't flip to sports talk any time soon, we're told. The key male demos aren't that far away from success, and Red Zebra's WTEM is showing a "soft" DC sports talk market in the PPMs. Plus advertisers and sales people like the "rabid" WJFK audience, we hear.....

3/27 - DCRTV's been getting a number of rumblings from Allbritton sources who tell us that some of the "news stories" involving local businesses on NewsChannel 8 are actually compensated endorsements. We're told that a certain NC8 personality has been assigned to do only these "paid-for" spots, which are "passed off" as "legit news stories." Something like that would definitely draw the FCC's concern if they were being done by a licensed broadcaster, like Allbritton's WJLA. But the FCC does not regulate cable networks, like NC8. More: An NC8er tells us that some "paid pieces" are on "Let's Talk Live," which runs at noon. "They are clearly labeled as such, and done by freelancers or employees who don't work for the news department. And they don't air any place else"......

3/26 - Earlier today, DCRTV reported more rumblings that Citadel's suits are entertaining the possibility of unloading their DC radio trio of talker WMAL, hot adult contemporary WRQX, and oldies WJZW. Just "talk" now. But: "WMAL is one of Citadel's biggest financial embarassments," a local radio guru tells us. "As is the rest of the mini-cluster. The right price to Citadel for the licenses and ABC for the (WMAL transmitter site) land, and it's gone. Citadel needs the money because they're burning through cash like crazy." Did WTOP owner Bonneville's ears just prick up? Apparently, some Bonneville bigwigs were power-lunching in DC recently with some Citadel honchos. Also, we're hearing about a "mass exodus" of sales reps at Citadel DC, including MAL. More: Another source tells us that WMAL's ad sales are down just 3.5 percent, but WJZW is "an embarrassment." Also, Citadel is prohibited from making any deals until June. Plus, we hear that ABC does not own the MAL transmitter site, which is owned by a subsidiary of Citadel.....

3/26 - Here's a way CBS's ratings-slumping WJFK could survive as a top-rated station without making too many changes to its guy talk format. Dump DC and Maryland and become a Northern Virginia-only station. WJFK could micro-serve Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington/Alexandria, Prince William, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, Winchester, and Stafford. And forget about everything north of the Potomac. If Northern Virginia was its own radio market, like the suburbs of Nassau/Suffolk or Monmouth/Ocean are near NYC, WJFK probably would be a top five station, even with its overall slumping Portable People Meter radio ratings for the entire DC area. Hey, blanket covering NOVA might just be the ticket, marketing-wise. The Northern Virginia counties, including Fairfax, which has twice the population of DC, have more people than the entire Baltimore metro does. It's not a small market, even without DC and MD. WJFK's Merrified VA transmitter shoots the signal way down the I-95 and I-66 corridors, while it has trouble reaching parts of MD's PG County. When you listen to JFK's shows, it seems that most callers come from the Old Dominion. That doesn't mean you still couldn't listen to JFK in Rockville and Waldorf and Georgetown. But, changing the radio market "rules" might just be the ticket to ensure the survival of the cool guy talk format locally.....

3/25 - DCRTV hears that Marc Clarke will soon be resurfacing on TV. To Baltimore's Channel 24/WUTB. You'll recall that Clarke got bounced from mornings at Baltimore urban outlet WERQ (92.3 FM) last fall in a Radio One budget cut.....

3/24 - DCRTV hears that DC radio/TV veterans Chris Roth, who has worked at numerous area radio stations, and Ken Forsythe, an alum of WRC-TV and Metro Traffic, are among those who have been handed pink-slips at Arbitron today. Both were IT consultants for the Columbia MD-based radio ratings firm. The trade pubs are reporting that there's a big "realignment" of the sales staff at Arbitron today. Also exiting the company is marketing guru Jay Guyther. With a upwards of 100 set to walk the plank.....

3/23 - DCRTV told you a while back that there were rumblings that CBS Radio might be resurrecting its WHFS2 alternative rock format on the digital HD2 channel of DC's classic rock WTGB, 94.7. Well, checking out the air stream today we heard Bauhaus, the Pretenders, REM, Fatboy Slim, Alice In Chains, the Offspring, and Pearl Jam. Still not identifying itself as WHFS2, though. The whfs2.com website remains dark (literally all-black). The alt rock HFS2 stream got yanked from Baltimore's 105.7 HD2 late last year, when it flipped from talker WHFS to sports talk WJZ-FM. WHFS2 had been on the Baltimore digital frequency since the demise of alt rock WHFS on the DC area's 99.1 in January 2005 for Spanish WLZL. The WHFS calls remain parked on DC area talker 1580. Stay tuned.....

3/23 - So, we reported earlier today that the Washington Times is starting a nationally-syndicated morning news-talk radio show soon. No host yet named. Whoopie! Well, it's going to have to be on the air locally. If not, that would be kind of humiliating for the DC-based rag, doncha think? So, where might we end up hearing the Reverend Moon-subsidized Times' new show on the DC radio dial? My guess is Red Zebra talker WTNT. It gets no ratings and the Dan Snyder-owned outlet could use the publicity from a partnership with the Times. Otherwise, I can't see any other station that would want the Times' show on its airwaves or could benefit from it. Righty talker WMAL? No. Christian talker WAVA? Nah. C-SPAN Radio WCSP? Come on! Guy talker WJFK? Ha ha ha. Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED? Ehhh. Hmmm. Maybe Bonneville could transform that silly WTOP 1050 AM relay into "Washington Times Radio"? Would Bonneville want to get "in bed" with another DC newspaper after catching that nasty venereal disease from the Washington Post during the infamous two-year Washington Post Radio fiasco? Probably not. If not WTNT, maybe the Times could buy time on AMers WMET, WDMV, or WCTN? Stay tuned, if anyone cares.....

3/20 - DC radio veteran Randall Bloomquist is now blogging about the talk radio biz at talkfrontier.com. The former WMAL program director recently lost his Atlanta talk radio PD gig in a batch of Clear Channel budget cuts.....

3/19 - DCRTV hears that the Washington Times has canned Randall Brant, its VP of sales and marketing. Brant, who came to DC via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was shown the door after just one year in DC. He had a hefty salary and a guaranteed contract for the next several years. A source tells us that Times management was unsatisfied because the marketing department had "no message or standing" in the DC marketplace. The Times is expected to name a well-regarded consultant to take over sales and marketing next week. Needless to say, the ad and marketing staff is waiting on "pins and needles" to see who will be let go next, we're told.....

3/16 - A Baltimore radio guru tells DCRTV that Clear Channel probably won't make any changes to its low-rated new alternative rocker, Charm City's Channel 104.3, WCHH, until late 2009, at the earliest. We hear that CC will wait to see how the station, which aims to attract young men, does in the electronic Portable People Meter radio ratings, which debut in the Baltimore market in July. In the latest round of the diary ratings, WCHH, which features DC101's "Elliot In The Morning" show, placed 21st, way below its numbers for its previous smooth jazz format, which was dropped last May.....

3/15 - Long ago, the Washington Post pretty much abandoned most coverage of local radio and TV, along with the regular "Listener" columns from Marc Fisher. And it's going to be cutting back the daily TV listings even more, come March 30. And there are rumblings that the ad-free Sunday TV Week section may soon be axed. So, why not go a step further and say adios to Lisa de Moraes? She pretty much writes about LA-based network TV stuff, and there are plenty of websites that cover that. And Tom Shales? There are mucho TV show reviewers on the web. Just Google any show. Can we live without his reviews of every presidential TV address? Yes! And how about those re-write gossip gals for the "Reliable Source," who perversely find the need to tell us what celebs are wearing while they eat at some Georgetown dive? Again, dozens of gossips sites on the web, from TMZ to Page 6. And, give the Stylish Paul Farhi the heave-ho, too. Do we really need those weekly two-plus-hour Tuesday "Pop Culture" chats and the occasional local media press release re-writes? Heck, Paul could spend his time more wisely by chauffeuring Tony Kornheiser around or going back to male modeling. And how much does fashionista Robin Givhan make? Ditto with that Freedom dude. Just pick up AP copy for fashion and music stuff. There. I've saved the Post a whole lot of bucks. Now, can you keep the stand-alone business section? That's something I will miss.....

3/14 - DCRTV reported it yesterday. Now, Howie Kurtz in Saturday's Washington Post has more about the Post's plans to move the business news to the main "A" news section. The article was featured in the Post's six-page stand-alone biz section, which contained only two display ads. Just last month, the Post hiked the subcription rate for print rag as it continues to shrink it. And shrink it more. Look at Saturday's Style section, for example. I've always said the Style section was an out-of-touch mess. Like today. There's one article on French fashion that takes up 2/3rds of the front page and jumps inside to take up another full (!) inside page. With lots of big pics. I don't give a shit about French fashion. There is literally nothing to read in today's Style section, with ample amounts of "filler crap," including stuff that used to run in the now-dead Sunday Book World. There's going to come a time, not too far away in the future, when this longtime print Post subscriber is going to come to the conclusion that the increasingly shunken print edition simply isn't worth the money any longer. I used to regularly read the print editions of the New York Times and USA Today. Now I read both rags on the web for free. I still think that the Post's main "A" news section is great. And the Metro section continues to be fine. But Sports is sliding fast, with too much day-old stuff from the free website, and Style is, too often, a piece of pompous garbage aimed an at unfocused audience. And so much of the Sunday sections just seem to be dullish "filler" - lots of big pics with a few bloated articles about stuff that few care about. The clock is ticking. Beware the clueless consultants.....

3/13 - DCRTV hears that area cable TV giant Comcast could lose the NFL Network on May 1. The contract runs out on April 30. The NFL is unhappy that Comcast won't put the network in its basic service. Comcast insists that it be part of a pay-extra digital sports tier. More soon.....

3/13 - "There's been an allegation by an anonymous flame thrower on a will remain unnamed blog that I have some sort of 'foot fetish.' For the record. I have no idea what you’re talking about." Fox5 news anchor Brian Bolter at brianbolter.tumblr.com. Bolter was reacting to a post a few days ago in the DCRTV Mailbag about his posting of shoe pictures in his blog.....

3/13 - Negotiations between the National Association Of Broadcast Employees And Technicians-CWA and NBC Universal, which owns Channel 4/WRC, are scheduled to resume on Monday, 3/16. When union and company negotiators last met in December, little progress was made. Topping the agenda: The company is trying to eliminate quality jobs by establishing a new, non-union represented "Content Producer" position at its owned stations. NABET-CWA represented workers, who have been doing this same work for decades, were told to reapply for these virtually identical jobs that would no longer include overtime pay or job security. More at nabet31.org.....

3/13 - At baltimoresun.com, Ray Frager tells us that former WBAL radio sports talk show host Steve Davis has been filling-in on Channel 11/WBAL's sports segments during newscasts this week. Davis will occasionally "pop in when called upon by the station".....

3/12 - From FishbowlDC: "What member of WUSA-9's newsroom is ruffling feathers in the community by double-dipping at a PR agency? When the culprit is wearing his flack hat, he's been said to promise potential clients five hits from Channel 9 if they sign on with his firm. While this sales tactic may have worked on one G-town establishment, others say he can't have his cake and eat it, too".....

3/12 - Is something big going to happen to CBS Radio's urban contemporary WPGC (95.5 FM) on Monday? This graphic (right) at wpgc.com mysteriously suggests that something's up. WPGC hasn't fared too well in the new Portable People Meter electronic radio ratings, which debuted in the DC market last fall. And CBS is busy flipping some of its non-performing stations around the country to an "Amp/Now" contemporary hits format. Might CBS be tweaking PGC to better compete with Clear Channel's contemporary hit Hot 99.5, which placed 4th in the latest PPMs? A source tells us: "No format change. Personality change. At least one if not more." The rumblings include: Donnie Simpson might be leaving mornings for another timeslot, afternoon man Big Tigger may be moving to mornings, and no major line-up changes at all, just a re-designed website.....

3/12 - Area cable TV giant Comcast will be adding the new fulltime high-def channel from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network on 4/1. On channel 247. MASN carries both the Orioles and the Nationals. Also, we hear that Comcast will be rolling out the HD and digital standard-def subchannels of Baltimore-based Maryland Public Television to its DC area subscribers this spring. Including Spanish public TV network v-me. Currently, only the main SD signal of Channel 22/WMPT is carried south of the Patuxent River. Does this mean that Comcast will start carrying rival DC-based public TVer WETA's HD and SD digital subchannels in the Baltimore metro? Stay tuned.....

3/12 - Uh-oh. From the Twitter account of E-Rock from the Opie and Anthony show: "Just In - April 1, bye bye WJFK." DCRTV has been reporting rumors that CBS Radio will be dropping the guy talk for sports talk next month. More soon.....

3/11 - Don't "shoot" the messenger. Just reportin' what we hear. We get this from a very well-connected DC radio source: "Look for the WJFK flip to occur in early April to a sports/talk format which was previously reported on this site. The Junkies will remain intact. Ongoing negotiations for the other drive time slot will most likely include an ex-Redskin Hall Of Fame player. His old jersey number began with a four and ended with a four." John Riggins did an afternoon radio show on the old Triple X sports talker. More soon.....

3/11 - "NPR and public radio does a good job, already," Washington Post former top editor Len Downie today on the reason for the failure of Washington Post Radio. When asked by WAMU's Diane Rehm on her 88.5 show. He also mistakenly referred to "Clear Channel" as the Post's private partner in the 2006-2007 talk radio venture, when it was WTOP-owner Bonneville. "We were making progress... It simply did not sell enough advertising..." Downie added. Listen here (MP3).....

3/10 - Rant. Remember Rover? How about Adam Carolla? David Lee Roth? Opie and Anthony? They were all among the various broadcast radio replacements to replace Howard Stern, when he left for Sirius Satellite Radio in early 2006. And with O&A losing their NYC perch with tomorrow's debut of the "Now" contemporary hit format on WXRK, they're all gone. All failures. Except, of course, for Stern's DC replacement, the Junkies (right). OK, so they lost Baltimore a while back. But they remain on the air in DC. The sole Stern "survivors." Enjoy it while it lasts, guys.....

3/7 - Even though CBS's ratings-struggling classic rocker WTGB is promising a new website at classicrock947.com, there'll be no changes to the playlist, we're told. That, in a typical hour, includes stuff like Foreigner, the Who, the Cars, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult, Queen, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Pink Floyd, and ZZ Top. Also, a new logo is on the way, and "the Globe" moniker could be given the boot. If the station continues to under-perform in the new PPM radio ratings, look for a format flip by the end of the summer, a local radio guru tells us. Possibly a contemporary hit "Now" or "Amp" sound that would challenge Clear Channel's Hot 99.5. Stay tuned.....

3/6 - DCRTV hears that a big 80th birthday celebration was held for former WMAL General Manager Andy Ockershausen (right) last night at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda. About 250 guests, including former WMAL stars Frank Harden, Bill Trumbull, Chris Core, Tom Gauger, and Bill Mayhugh, as well as a bunch of local TV-radio luminaries, including Tim Brant, Wendy Rieger, Chick Hernandez, Frank Herzog, Paul Berry, and Ed Walker. Plus several former Redskins, including John Riggins, Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff, and Rick "Doc" Walker. The tribute was recorded, and will air Sunday, 3/15, at 9 PM on Comcast SportsNet. In addition to 37 years at WMAL radio and WMAL-TV (the old Channel 7), Ockershausen has worked at Channel 50, and, for the past 15 years, has been handling ad sales at Comcast SportsNet.....

3/6 - WJFK middayers Big O and Dukes revealed today that the CBS guy talker's program director, Chris Kinard, recently lost control of his car and had a minor accident while texting on his Blackberry......

3/5 - A year ago, Citadel stock was trading at $1.10 a share. And, back then, the radio owner fired a couple hundred people across the country, including a batch here in DC at WJZW, WMAL, and WRQX, to "impress the market." Today, Citadel closed at one-cent a share. "How impressed was the market with Farid's management skills? It's a shame he (Citadel head Farid Suleman) has driven the company into near-bankruptcy with his ineptitude," a local radio guru tells DCRTV. "How does he keep his job?" Tomorrow, hose who got canned a year ago at Citadel's three DC radioers will get their back severance checks, won via a recent union arbitration hearing. "We plan to cash them right away," a former DC Citadeler says.....

3/5 - DC-Baltimore radio veteran Paul "Davy Jones" Bicknell (right) debuted today in the 10 AM to 1 PM slot on Annapolis's WYRE (810 AM) and Ocean City's WKHZ (1590 AM) and via khztv.com. Jones, er, Bicknell tells us that he was "shaking off the rust after being off air for over a decade." But still had great fun with his "40 Years Of Top 40" show. Bicknell, who now runs Read Street Sound And Video in Baltimore, has been heard all over the local radio dial over the years, including the old "top 40" WPGC and the old oldies XTRA-104.....

3/4 - WMAL morning man Fred Grandy (right) has every right to sell his stocks and get out of the slumping market. But, to use his financial decision to generate hype on his radio show is a particularly shameless radio stunt. So, what are all of WMAL's listeners to take from Grandy's revelation? Sell their stocks, too? Is Grandy a financial guru? Look, the Citadel talker is struggling in the ratings department, and there's a good reason why. Too many classless gasbags on its airwaves. I've always liked Grandy. He looked darn cute in those white "Love Boat" shorts way way way back when. But he's losing it - fast. From now on, Fred, keep your geezerish "buy high, sell low" financial dealings to yourself. You make me seasick.....

2/28 - OK, the Washington Post's announcement yesterday that it's raising the subscription home delivery price of the paper 8-cents, from 41-cents per weekday to 49-cents, isn't going to bankrupt too many of its readers, even in these recessionary times. But the psychological aspect of penny-pinching upward your rates when a "like service" is free can be devastating. Just ask the US Postal Service. Every year, including this spring, the price of a first class stamp goes up a few cents. And every year, the USPS makes less revenue. More and more folks, like myself, wonder why we should spend 42-cents per bill to mail them when we can do it for free electronically, via our bank's website. It's not that I can't afford a few cents more per stamp, but the "pettiness" of the "seemingly perpetual" rate hikes is literally forcing me to a service that is - duh - actually far superior to using the USPS. It's less time-consuming and I don't have to stand in a long line at the post office to buy stamps. Ditto with the Washington Post. This petty price hike is only going to push more people into cancelling their print subscriptions or not subscribing at all. And reading most everything for free on the Post's website. And if not there, then via some other website offering free news. And with fewer people reading it, there'll be even less ad revenue for the print Post. Even after the recession ends. A smaller paper that's more expensive. Good business model, huh.....

2/27 - Even though its circulation numbers continue to plunge, the Washington Post is raising its subscription delivery price from 41-cents to 49-cents per weekday and Saturday. Beginning Monday, 3/2. That's a 19.5 percent hike. The newsstand daily price is 75-cents. No hike in the Sunday $1.50 price.....

2/27 - Well, today Denver joins many American cities as a "one newspaper town." With the closing of the Rocky Mountain News. You know, DC is really a one newspaper town even though we have three dailies (not counting the Post's Express). The Washington Times has never made any money. Since its founding in 1982 - just a year after DC's last "second real newspaper," the Washington Star folded after operating for over 100 years - the Times has been bankrolled via Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. Its circulation of 100K is about one-seventh that of its chief competitor in Washington, the Washington Post. And there's also the Washington Examiner, a freebie tabloid that was born out of the demise of the local Journal newspapers in 2005. It's owned by Philip Anschutz's Clarity Media and has a spotty circulation of who knows - 60K? Both Anschutz and Moon are conservatives who use their papers to influence the "power players" here in the capital of the most-powerful country in the world - and to balance the lefty Post. Heck, if that big old national Capitol building was plopped someplace else - like in Pittsburgh or Kansas City, you can bet that the Times and the Examiner wouldn't be here. And that we'd be a real "one newspaper town" like many US cities. And our paper wouldn't be as good as the Post is, as bad as it sometimes is.....

2/27 - "They ought to change their name to 'Where America'." That's WMAL's Fred Grandy this morning on the 38th place finish of lefty Air America's DC talk station, WWRC, in the January radio ratings, out yesterday. WWRC has since flipped to business news. Righty talker WMAL placed 16th.....

2/26 - One year ago this week, Citadel flipped the format of WJZW (105.9 FM) from smooth jazz to oldies. And it dismissed the station's air staff, along with several more workers at sister talker WMAL (630 AM) and hot adult contemporary WRQX (107.3 FM). Well, DCRTV hears that an arbitrator has just ruled that the cut employees will finally get their full severance. A local radio source tells DCRTV that Citadel used a "totally fabricated formula" to determine what the laid off employees would receive. Not so fast, the AFTRA labor union said. The recent ruling requires Citadel to pay about $15,000 more in severance to the affected former employees, we're told.....

2/25 - DCRTV hears that local voice legend Dude Walker has just been signed to be the promo and imaging voice for news, talk, and sports WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, the flagship station of the Brewers. "I get to intro Bob Uecker," Dude tells us.....

2/24 - DCRTV hears that the Washington Post is combining its Health and Science editorial teams, and hiring someone to direct the new, merged operation. Also, it's hiring an editorial assistant who'll work in both areas, we're told.....

2/24 - DCRTV told you yesterday that the Baltimore Sun would be trimming a few inches off its width starting today. But it didn't hit home with me until I saw it on the newsstand. The Washington Post and the New York Times and USA Today and even the Reston Times looked like "real" newspapers. The poor slimmed Sun looked like a pamphlet. Just 28 stripped-down broadsheet pages in three sections. Reminded me of those weekly supermarket chain ad inserts. Sad.....

2/23 - You know, if CBS Radio was really committed to the non-sports "guy talk" at WJFK, it could signal its "confidence" in the format by putting a new, locally-based show in the 7 PM slot, formerly occupied by the syndicated and locally low-rated sports talker Jim Rome. In it for the "long run" - yadda, yadda, yadda. But nooooooooo. Instead, the station is "filling" evenings with reruns (newsblurb above) from the station's three signature shows. Like it does on its low-rated weekends. Lame! Sounds like a temporary measure until, until, until - well whatever. With the flip of LA's KLSX last week to contemporary hits, JFK is now the last and only FM "guy talker" operated by CBS. Yikes.....

2/23 - The Sun is shrinking, starting tomorrow. No, not the big yellow fireball in the sky. The Tribune-owned newspaper in Baltimore. According to a memo from Jay Judge, chief designer of the daily rag: "The Baltimore Sun will shrink its page width by 15 percent in an effort to reduce its usage of newsprint. Several newspapers, like the Indianapolis Star and the Louisville Courier-Journal, have already moved to this measure, referred to as the 44-inch web width. We currently are on a 48-inch web width and other Tribune papers are at a 46".....

2/22 - Today's Washington Post has 14 pages on the almost arrest of a suspect in the never-closed Chandra Levy murder. No, wait, that's 14 pages on the tonight's boring 45 hour Oscars. Oh, wait, that's 4.5 hours. It'll just seem like 45 hours. Sorry about that. And, there's the arrival of a new ombudsman! His "I'm here" column is now in the "A" section, with the old Outlook/Book section chock full of way-big pictures, including an image of a boot that takes up about half of the B4-B5 double-spread. Whoopie! The new ombud-dude's got his work cut out for him looking into the Jack Valenti mess. Get busy. Oh, speaking of today's Post, there's this "Editor's Note" on page A2: "The headline, illustration, and text of 'Below The Beltway,' a column in the Washington Post Magazine today, may cause offense to readers. The magazine was printed before a widely publicized incident last week in which a chimpanzee attacked and badly mauled a woman in Stamford, Conn. In addition, the image and text inadvertently may conjure racial stereotypes that the Post does not countenance. We regret the lapse." OK.....

2/21 - Looks like the Washington Post has ruffled more feathers among Jack Valenti's (right) friends and family. Last year, the Post placed the "Beltway insider" at an awards ceremony even though he'd died the year before. Now, we get this "Editor's Note" on Saturday: "A February 19 Page One article disclosed an FBI investigation into the personal life of the late Jack Valenti, former White House aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson. The piece should have stated more expressly than it did that the investigation produced no evidence that Valenti was gay or had a sexual relationship with a photographer who was mentioned in FBI records but whose name was redacted from those files. The motivation for the investigation is not clear from the files provided by the FBI. In addition, the Post should have made clear that it contacted Valenti's immediate family before the piece was published. After considering the matter, they requested that no statement from the family be included in the article. The Post should have indicated that the family knew of and was given an opportunity to address the facts presented in the article".....

2/20 - DCRTV hears that a batch of buyout/layoff letters went out today in ABC's DC news bureau. We're told that 10 employees will get cut - either buyouts or layoffs, including three editors, three in playback, and four in maintenance. The grapevine says that the company received 30 buyout applications. More soon.....

2/19 - From a reliable DCRTV source in the local ad community: "My CBS Radio account exec told me (Wednesday) that sales management has informed them of possible format changes for WJFK and 94.7. The decision on both is expected in the next three weeks. Fun stuff as always with CBS DC! My guess is they both flip." Guy talker JFK 106.7 has been rumored to be going sports talk, but what would classic rock 94.7 WTGB flip to? CBS is flipping its LA guy talker to an "AMP" contemporary hits format. Both JFK and TGB, the Globe, haven't performed well in the new PPM radio ratings. More soon.....

2/18 - There are reports today that CBS Radio is about to take an axe to its FM guy talk-formatted KLSX in LA. That would leave DC's WJFK as CBS's last remaining FM guy talker. All of the other former "Free FM" talkers, formed when Howard Stern jumped to Sirius in early 2007, have gone back to some sort of music format or to sports talk. There have been rumblings that CBS might be flipping WJFK to sports talk, but so far the guy talk continues. While JFK has struggled in the new PPM radio ratings, it has shown an uptick this year in the all-important male age 25-54 demo.....

2/17 - I'm hearing more rumblings of change coming to DC's 94.7. It was about two years ago that CBS launched the alt rockish Globe. It didn't get ratings - and I think some serious mistakes were made. And it got tweaked back to classic rock last fall. Now, we're hearing that CBS could be moving the alt rock WHFS2 stream, which had been on the digital signal of CBS Baltimore talker 105.7 until it flipped to sports talk late last year, to 94.7's HD2. Wow, wouldn't this be a great time to slap those legendary WHFS calls on 94.7 (they're now parked on CBS's 1580) and re-brand the station as something like "Washington's Rock Heritage" with deep-tracks classic rock on the analog signal and progressive-ish alt rock WHFS2 on the digital HD2. Celebrating that decades-long rock legacy once heard on 102.3 and 99.1. Hmmm.....

2/17 - Nothing against truckers. We love 'em, unless they're tailgating us even though we're doing more than 10 MPH over the speed limit. But, cutting short the wonderful "out there" sci fi-ish George Noory-hosted "Coast To Coast AM" show at 3 AM with a trucker show is a big mistake for Citadel's WMAL. Sure, you can find "CTC" all over the overnight AM dial, including on Sirius XM, it was nice to have a local outlet giving us reliable reception on those occasional insomnia nights. A trucker show? Old 630's night signal barely covers I-95 from about Springfield to about Greenbelt. Next time you see WMAL Program Director Paul Duckworth, tell him he's misguided. And next time you see a WMAL sponsor (a shrinking group), tell them you're gonna stay far away. Man, Citadel really stinks.....

2/16 - DCRTV hears that CBS Radio in Baltimore has pretty much gutted the website of alt rock "WHFS2" at whfs2.com, except for an audio link to the music stream, which used to be on Baltimore's WHFS digital HD2, 105.7, a talk station that has since become sports talk WJZ-FM. Also, there are rumblings that CBS Radio DC might resurrect "WHFS2" on one of the digital signals of its DC area stations, possibly on classic rock WTGB, 94.7. You'll recall that the legendary progressive rocker got yanked from the DC market's 99.1 back in 2005, with the birth of Spanish El Zol. The WHFS calls are now parked on CBS DC area talker 1580 AM. Might they be heading to 94.7?.....

2/16 - A Baltimore media guru tells DCRTV: "At this moment, there are no local buyers for the Sun. Despite supposed local interest in the buying the Baltimore Sun as of today no one has stepped forward to bid on the paper that according to sources inside the Tribune Company. In May, the Tribune group was able to sell the Long Island newspaper Newsday to Cablevision Systems for $650 million. The deal made sense because Cablevision is the dominate news source on Long Island. They own News 12, which serves the island as well as Westchester County and parts of northern New Jersey... However finding the right fit for other Tribune properties have not been so simple. The crown jewel of the group the LA Times has attracted some interest however no buyers once they look at the books. So where does that leave the Sun? Tribune executives have not heard from any local groups about the Sun and they have shown the books to a number of investment companies with and all coming away with the same response. There is no way the paper could make money or for that matter break even. Unlike Newsday, there are no logical partners that would make the Sun part of a multi-media force. So local buyers have not jumped on buying the Sun and unless for some reason the business gets much better then we just might see the Sun set." DCRTV adds: As recently as December, former Baltimore County executive Ted Venetoulis was on WBAL radio discussing his longtime wishes to acquire the Sun.....

2/15 - Now that former WMALer Michael Graham has been busted for running a red light and driving with a suspended license in Boston, where he hosts a talk show for a radio station, I think that all radio talk show hosts should be taken off the road. They're all bad drivers. OK, I know that sounds nutty. But that's exactly the kind of logic that Graham and many of his kind use daily on their shows. It's called stereotyping. If one, or a few people of a certain group do or say something, then all members of that group are equally "guilty." If one immigrant commits a crime, then all immigrants are to be viewed with suspicion. If one Democrat says something silly, the whole party stands behind that stupidity. Yeah, it makes great "red meat" radio, but the logic of it falls apart when you analyze it. Like when Graham got canned from WMAL in 2005 for calling Islam a "terrorist" religion. It's unfair to stereotype people that way. Something that Graham should reflect upon when paying his fines and trying to get his license reactivated.....

2/14 - Only half a page of classified ad-ish "love notes" in today's Washington Post? Page C14. Seems like there were pages and pages of them on previous VDs. I guess if folks feel like if they can't pay the bills, it's silly to buy a "love note" in the Post. Oh, we send our Valentine's Day wishes to Buzz Burbank, a legendary broadcaster with an incredible body - and mind. XOXO! Ha ha ha.....

2/13 - The Boston Herald tells us that former WMAL talker Michael Graham (booking photo at right), who now works at Boston's WTKK radio, was handcuffed and arrested early Friday morning and charged with failure to stop for a red light and operating a vehicle after his driver's license had been revoked. A cop in the Boston suburb of Framingham busted Graham, 45, driving his 2008 Jeep Patriot through a red light. The officer ran Graham's tags and arrested him after learning his license had been revoked because of "insurance issues." Graham got canned from WMAL in 2005 after branding Islam a "terrorist religion".....

2/12 - A source tells DCRTV: "TV news networks are no longer shooting hearings on Capitol Hill and will take C-SPAN feeds instead. As of yesterday, IBEW local 1200 was not even notified... Usually if a hearing has the interest of more than two news organizations it automatically becomes pool coverage. But now TV news organizations don't have to do that and there is talk of making the cut away crew assignments a pool job. This, needless to say, will greatly effect the demand for staff and freelance crews covering news on Capitol Hill".....

2/11 - DCRTV hears that there's a lot of anxiety over at 4001 Nebraska Avenue today as the management of NBC4 gets ready to advertise a whole batch of jobs involving its new "content center" news operation. News writers, producers, and editors at WRC-TV are being asked to apply for the new job descriptions, which will be posted starting tomorrow. Some WRCers tell DCRTV that they expect many of the jobs, often listed without a salary requirement, will most-likely go to younger freelancers and production assistants at the station. And not to veterans who've put in two or three decades at WRC. And some WRCers have suggested that parent NBC Universal is ultimately out to break the unions. AFTRA is meeting with WRC workers today. After this first round of job changes takes place, some WRCers predict that the "content center" consolitations will move to on-air talent, including reporters, anchors, and photographers. And include the installation of so-called multimedia journalists (MMJs), who will shoot video, write, and report. More soon.....

2/10 - Ring ring. "Hello." "Don?" "Yeah." "Michael, here." "Hey, Michael, how's it going?" "Not too good. You read DCRTV. You know." "Yeah, I do." "Look, man, we need you back. This time mornings. Back with Mike." "Hmmm." "Come on, Don. Get your ass out of OC. Save our station. Please. We'll do a big promo campaign and give you whatever you want." "Let me think about it. I'll get back to you." "OK." "Bye." Click.....

2/9 - OK. So I decided to check out Mancow, who has just been moved to mornings on Red Zebra-owned talker WTNT (570 AM). At about 8:30 AM, I heard a bunch of ads, a Mancow promo for "Freedom 570," and then at 8:35, when we were supposed to be shifted back to Mancow's show, nothing but dead air. For five long minutes. You know, even when it was owned by Clear Channel, WTNT was always a completely fucked-up station. Often long periods of silence, or two things run at the same time. And now with the Zebra, it is still a mess. No wonder no one listens. Advertisers would best be advised to stay far away from this talk trainwreck... Well, the mixed-up Globe is trying to be a hard-ish classic rocker by playing lots of AC/DC, Bad Company, GNR, and ossified stuff like that. So, why play Fleetwood Mac, as heard on Monday morning? You could hear that on WASH, for Christ's sake! Poor old 94.7 isn't just awful, it's mind-numbingly clueless.....

2/8 - The Washington Nationals will be "striking out" on both radio and TV this season. On radio last year, the team's games were carried by Bonneville talker 3WT on both 1500 AM and 107.7 FM. The former covered much of suburban Maryland and DC, while the latter covered much of Northern Virginia. This year, 3WT is gone, having been replaced by Federal News Radio on 1500 and a relay of WTOP on 107.7. With the Nationals now only on 1500. Losing their 107.7 Northern Virginia coverage. On the TV side, now we're hearing rumblings that the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is planning to fire-up its new fulltime high-def channel, will be "sharing" coverage with the Baltimore Orioles, which MASN also carries. So, we'll get to see something like 100-ish Nats games in HD - but not all of them. Maybe what MASN ought to do is offer a Nats-only HD channel in DC and an Orioles-only HD channel in Baltimore. Or, perhaps, both HD feeds in both markets - instead of one "shared" HD channel to both markets. Look, last year, the Nats posted some really awful TV and radio ratings. And that prospect looks likely to repeat or top itself unless the team's ownership bargains for better radio coverage from Bonneville and TV coverage from MASN. Or do some new radio and TV deals at the first opportunity. If it's not too late.....

2/8 - Nice to see Bank Of America and Wells Fargo channeling some of that bail-out money today to the struggling Washington Post to buy full-page full-color A-section ads to tell us that they're not wasting those taxpayer-supplied funds. And, nice to see Kaiser-Permanente also buying a full-page Post ad on Sunday to pat its docs on the back. Glad to know that my monthly HMO health insurance payments, which got hiked more than 20 percent this year, are going to such good use. Man!.....

2/8 - Today, we have a "guest Rant." From an anonymous DC radio insider. It's a response to Bill Press's op-ed in the 2/8 Washington Post:

In his op-ed piece (Another Right-Wing Conspiracy in Washington?, Feb. 8), liberal morning talk radio host Bill Press whines over the loss of his hometown flagship station, suggesting government action to correct the injustice... This month, Red Zebra Broadcasting, the owner of WWRC (1260AM), decided to take Press's show off the air and replace it -- and all the other liberal talks shows on the station's schedule -- with financial news programming... The headline of Press's piece suggests the format change is not a necessity of the station owner's business, but a "conspiracy" designed to snuff-out "progressive voices" at a time when Democrats rule Washington... There is a remarkable irony in the fact that in this true-blue region, Press and his fellow liberal hosts proved themselves unable to attract a measurable audience, according to Arbitron, the radio ratings service. And that's despite the fact that the outlet's two owners (Clear Channel and Red Zebra), had pumped tens of thousands of dollars -- if not more -- into promoting the station, finally branding it "Obama 1260." (And what was a more popular brand last year?)... Countless articles had been written in the pages of the Washington Post about the Air America programming on WWRC in the more than three years "progressive talk" had been on the station, a timeframe that happened to culminate in a nationwide Democratic uprising. Yet Press and his fellow hosts still could not seem to attract even a half-percentage point share of the audience in this most-liberal of markets... Press points to successful liberal talk stations in Portland, OR and Madison, WI as examples where the format works. But Portland's Clear Channel-owned liberal station KPOJ-AM is not the top-rated talk station in Portland, as Press suggests. That distinction belongs to co-owned KEX-AM, which airs the Rush Limbaugh show. Similarly, in the liberal bastion that is Madison, WI, Limbaugh station WIBA-AM consistently ranks first, with liberal WXXM-FM averaging half the audience of its Clear Channel-owned conservative sister. That isn't to say that the liberal stations aren't commercial successes, but they're hardly the top-rated stations that Press makes them seem... In Washington, Press blames WWRC's "weak" signal for the station's inability to retain listeners. But the AM 1260 station has the same effective radiated strength (5,000 watts) as Washington's WMAL-AM, the Citadel-owned Limbaugh affiliate that maintains more than 100,000 listeners every 15 minutes. While WMAL does penetrate better into downtown DC, Press correctly notes few conservatives live -- or even work -- in the city. He's seemingly ignorant of the fact that as WWDC in the 1960s, the same AM signal, emanating from the same transmitter, featured some of the most-listened-to-programming in town, with Top 40 tunes and popular DJs like Johnny Holiday... In other words, Bill, the signal wasn't the problem... This city's ultra-competitive radio marketplace is cluttered with several spoken-word stations. If you don't desire conservative talk on WMAL, you can hear progressive talk on Pacifica's WPFW. If you want all-news, there's WTOP. If you want to learn more about the federal government, there's WFED. And, of course, there are several spots on the dial if you prefer National Public Radio -- a particularly popular choice in Washington, which Press reportedly criticized on his show recently, for being too "boring."... Clearly in denial of the fact that the Washington, DC audience simply wasn't interested in listening to his show, Press ends his piece suggesting there oughta be a law ensuring that liberal talk and conservative talk hosts get equal time. Even when the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" it was in place -- from 1949 to 1987 -- that was not its intent... The dated logic of the rule, instituted by Harry Truman's FCC, relied on the scarcity of broadcast stations as the nation's sole means of electronic mass communication. The Cold War-era fear was that powerful station owners would use their signals to dominate a community's discourse. But the chilling effect of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" resulted not in a profligate discussion of controversial issues, but, rather, a complete and total lack of controversy heard on the air. Station owners were frightened to have hosts voice their honest opinions, lest the owners receive countless demands for equal time... Talk radio only began to flourish nationwide when the FCC eliminated the rule in the late 1980s. Several small-, medium- and large-market radio stations would've likely gone dark long ago had Rush Limbaugh and his cohorts not been successful. How would THAT have served the public?... So, upon failing to gain an audience in his hometown, Bill Press now suggests the government should ensure that stations serve the "public interest" as he divines it -- by forcing liberal programming onto conservative stations... The tagline to Press's piece notes he is working on a book on talk radio. Perhaps he'll note, in one chapter or another, what he didn't in his piece -- that he also failed to attract a sizable audience when conservative station WMAL took a chance on him as a co-host earlier this decade. The program was, frankly, unlistenable.... Rather than thanking Red Zebra and Clear Channel for taking a huge business risk, putting so much money into promoting his program for such little return, Press uses his op-ed in the Post to cry for government intervention to force programs like his upon an uninterested audience... Strikingly, it seems that in replacing the liberal programming on WWRC, Red Zebra is not only making a decision that's not only good for its business, but also one that well-fulfills the station's service obligations... After all, what would seem to be more in the "public interest" these days than financial news?.....

2/7 - DCRTV hears more about those engineering cuts at ABC's DC news bureau. It's offering buyouts for 10 NABET engineers from certain "new" groups that had been formed late last year. If not enough buyouts are accepted then layoffs could be implemented. Back in the early 1990s, there were more than 180 engineers employed in the DC bureau. Now, there are fewer than 70, we're told. Says a DC bureau source: ABC parent "Disney may want people to think of them as a 'one big happy family,' but nothing could be farther from the truth. The only real truth about ABC News, once a proud force in the industry, is that we have become truly a 'Mickey Mouse' outfit run by rats".....

2/7 - In the Metro section in Saturday's DC Post, reporter Tom Jackman tells us that "a 39-year-old Herndon man" was convicted of something. Then, in the second paragraph, we're again told that the man's age is 39. Ha ha ha. Oh, I went to Herndon High with Tom back in the 1970s. He's way older than 39, but I'm still 39.....

2/6 - "I would take WTOP's frequency any day of the week." WMAL's Bryan Nehman reacting to a caller this morning, who claimed that lefty talkers get poor ratings because they are on stations with weak signals. Nehman was hinting that his righty talk station's signal could use some improvement, too.....

2/6 - More rumors of cuts at NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC. A new "content control system," like what NBC is installing at its other big stations around the country, would combine the role of writers and editors. The result: job cuts. So far, no more on-air reporters or photographers have been pink-slipped. But those behind-the-sceners aren't happy about having to reapply for "content center" producer jobs.....

2/3 - On Monday, DCRTV reported that Channel 11/WBAL shrunk the picture of Sunday's Super Bowl high-def halftime show featuring Bruce Springsteen to run a taped Maryland Lottery drawing. Well, on Tuesday, Ray Frager at baltimoresun.com tells us that 11's general manager has apologized. "There was an error," Jordan Wertlieb said this morning. "We have a number of options, and, unfortunately, a mistake was made." A Maryland Lottery official has said that 11 could have run the nightly drawing at another time or in another manner.....

2/3 - OK. It doesn't look like CBS guy talker WJFK is going to be making any miraculous recovery in its slumping Portable People Meter radio ratings any time soon, if the first dribble of numbers from January is any indication. Stuck in 21st. So, here's what I do to "fix" it. Start calling it "Sports & More 106.7." Put Mike O'Meara's show, just as it is, in morning drive. It's more of a traditional "zoo" show and would better compete with Kane on Hot 99.5, Jack Diamond on Mix 107.3, and Elliot on DC101. Keep the MO'M show just as "broad-based" as it is. Then, crank up the sports talk at 10 AM. Keep Big O and Dukes in middays, and move the Junkies to afternoons, and make both heavily sports-oriented. BO&D know sports, and the Junks started out as the "Sports Junkies." Easy to do. Cultivate a new evening, youth-oriented sports show, and nab all the sports play-by-play you can get. Flesh out the weekends with sports, too. Local and national. JFK already has Maryland and Virginia college sports, it could nab the Nationals next year, and maybe the Wizards and Capitals in future seasons. Then take 1580, make it WJFK-AM, "Sports & More 1580," and put a national sports network feed on it, and use it as 106.7's sports "overflow." Like what CBS has done in Baltimore with 105.7 and 1300. UPDATE: I hear that JFK did show a significant PPM uptick in the male age 25-54 demo for early January, but I still think the above changes would be beneficial.....

2/2 - I can just see righty propagandist Drudge linking to the DC Post story and creating some hype in the lack of ratings in DC for a lefty radio talker. While it's true that WWRC doesn't show up in the latest radio ratings for Washington, it often didn't show when it had righty talk on it. And when it had its previous business news format. Frankly, the signal sucks. The last PPM numbers it had when it ranked showed WWRC in 35th place full-day, age 12+. Red Zebra's co-owned righty talker, WTNT, while it may have seen its ratings rise a bit of late, still ranked 32nd overall in the latest ratings round-up. WTNT's Bill Bennett morning show was its highest-rated at 25th place. Even at the market's dominant righty radio talker, Citadel's WMAL, things are not good. It placed 16th in the latest PPMs, with middayer Rush Limbaugh in 12th. That's way down from a year ago. How about hyping that, Drudge? Hmmm.....

1/31 - More on those ABC TV cuts we've told you about. A source tells us: "From the hallowed halls of DeSales Street comes the report that part of the latest shake-up at ABC is the dissolving of the Broadcast Operations And Engineering Division. Affected employees will be absorbed into the dayparts that they serve - (including) shows, other divisions such as news." Another source tells us that there could be a "bloodbath" in ABC's DC bureau, particularly among engineers. "The building is getting to be a shell of its former greatness." More soon.....

1/30 - While in Tampa for the Super Bowl, "Nasty" Nestor Aparicio (right), owner of and host on Baltimore area sports talker WNST (1570 AM), allegedly attacked Gordon Keith, a broadcaster from Dallas. According to dallassportsfans.com: Keith went over to Aparicio with a wireless microphone to attempt to "bury the hatchet between the two" - they'd been feuding for years. When Aparicio "became angry, grabbed Gordon Keith around the throat and attempted to strangle him. The two were then separated and the police were called".....

1/29 - DCRTV hears that Clarity Media, which is shutting down the Baltimore Examiner, wants to re-channel its resources to its sister freebie tabloid in Washington, the Washington Examiner. Especially to provide more political and Capitol Hill coverage to challenge publications/websites like Allbritton's Politico. Look for a complete revamping of the Washington Examiner's political coverage, with a new website, too, to boot.....

1/29 - A source tells DCRTV: "Metropolitan Washington Ear, the radio reading service for the visually impaired, has had to layoff staff because of reduced funding from local government agencies. One full-time board op and one or two part-time board ops were 'let go.' The non-profit moved into wholly-owned digs in Silver Spring last fall. Programming cut backs mean more satellite feeds from Minnesota Talking Books. No sign of cutbacks in executive suites at for-profits." The Ear's services are available via WETA-FM's subcarrier and at washear.org.....

1/29 - DCRTV hears that the Washington news bureau will not be spared in a widely-rumored round of cuts coming from ABC. This morning, Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC television group, sent a cryptic email to all staffers informing them that today would be "an extremely difficult day," and that due to a "weakening economy," the group is "now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas." Sources say upwards of 400 jobs, or about 5 percent of the TV workforce, could get cut nationwide. With 30-ish in news.....

1/28 - DCRTV hears that the Annapolis Capital newspaper is cutting 28 percent of its full-time workforce due to the slumping economy. "Significantly lower ad revenue in December failed to give us the sign we needed that an end to flagging advertising sales was in sight. Although we took several steps last year to reduce expenses, they continue to exceed revenue," so said a staff memo from the publisher of Capital Gazette Communications, which also publishes the Maryland Gazette, the Bowie Blade-News, the Crofton News-Crier, plus the West County Gazette and South County Gazette in Anne Arundel. Cuts include the outsourcing of printing to Comprint, a division of the Washington Post. The Annapolis-based newspaper firm will lose 33 full-time and 51 part-time employees in the printing and mailroom departments. Another 27 full-time and two part-time positions were eliminated across all other departments, including the editorial offices in Glen Burnie and Bowie.....

1/28 - Even less for your $1.50. The recession continues to shrink the Sunday Washington Post. Goodbye to the weekly tabloid Book World section, come 2/22. Book reviews will be moved to the weekday Style section and the Sunday Outlook section. Book World will return several times a year to focus on "summer reading" or "children's books." Lately, advertising in the Book World section has been on the sparse side. Late last year, the Post axed its Sunday Source entertainment section. DCRTV wonders: What's next to go? The ever-thinning Sunday Travel section? Stay tuned.....

1/27 - Look, one of my favorite areas of washingtonpost.com is the Capital Weather Gang blog penned by Jason Samenow and other meteorologists. But, in today's Metro piece on the messy weather, who gets the first and prominent quote? Samenow and his Washington Post connection. There are plenty of meteorologists in DC who aren't employed by the paper to interview. That's news judgment that's as sloppy as the weather.....

1/26 - A source tells DCRTV that the axe came down today at CBS's Channel 13/WJZ in Baltimore. Longtime reporter Dennis Edwards was shown the door. Apparently, all the locks were changed at the station last week, we're told.....

1/26 - One of our technical gurus tells us that Clear Channel alt rocker WCHH, 104.3 FM, has moved its transmitter from northeast of the city to the Fox45 tower near TV Hill in downtown Baltimore. We're told the change should improve Channel 104.3's signal to the south and southwest, into Anne Arundel and Howard counties. Further south, the WCHH signal will still run smack up against the DC area's 104.1 FM, gospel WPRS.....

1/25 - Obviously, some Channel 7ers aren't only unhappy with the 30-ish layoffs performed - but unannounced publicly - on Friday. Some WJLAers are also unhappy at the generous compensation given to the top dogs at Allbritton. Says a source: "I am not part of the recent cuts that were made, this past week, but I did some searching in the SEC files and found this link to their filings and thought that it was interesting that all the execs make HUGE bonuses. Do you think that they could have taken a page from some of the Wall Street execs that cut their pay to $1 so that others could be spared being laid off?" For example, according to data at sec.gov, Robert Allbritton, chairman and CEO, and Frederick Ryan, president and COO, each took in about $1.6 million in salary and bonuses in 2008. About the same as they received in 2007. However, a WJLA source tells DCRTV that Allbritton has not been paid any bonus in more than 15 months and that he has cut his own take home pay by 50 percent. "The SEC filings that you cite are over a year old. We were making record profits back then. This crash has come quickly".....

1/25 - I love how newspapers, like the Washington Post, run articles about how to trim your expenses to deal with the current recession. Like on page F2 of Sunday's rag. You know, stuff like not buying bottled water, trimming your Netflix subscription, and picking up paper towels at the discount club. Yadda yadda yadda. But why does Post never suggest cutting one's newspaper purchases? Heck, buying the Post on the newsstand costs $6 a week or about $300 a year (about $200 if you subscribe). And much of that content can be gotten for free on the Post's website. In fact, there'a a lot of news content that the Post offers only to freeloaders on the web. The economic model to support the print newspaper is quickly evaporating. And it's happening quicker than many thought.....

1/23 - President Barack Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill that they need to quit listening to righty radio talker Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration. "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. Limbaugh's been a non-stop critic of Obama, especially during the presidential campaign.....

1/22 - In the DC market, NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC led the pack of inauguration viewers Tuesday with an average of 640,500 viewers between noon and 12:30 PM. That was well ahead of ABC-affiliated and Allbritton-owned Channel 7/WJLA, which averaged 355,000 viewers in the half hour. Fox-owned Channel 5/WTTG, with its average of 303,500 viewers. And CBS-affiliated and Gannett-owned Channel 9/WUSA, which averaged 200,500 viewers.....

1/21 - "Obama Takes Charge." So screamed the front page headline on Wednesday's Washington Post, which, again, sported a $2 newsstand price (it's usually 75-cents). "A Vast, Diverse Sea Of Humanity Celebrates The Dawn Of An Era," shouted the headline on the front of a special Inauguration section. "Where Is The Love? All Over," dittoed the Style section. Also in the Post, Tom Shales (who pretty much watched only ABC) proclaimed that the networks "find the right balance of joy and decorum".....

1/21 - Today's Washington Post features a two-paragraph wire service blurb about the 9 percent personel cuts at radio giant Clear Channel yesterday. But no mention of the - at least - several dozen cut here in the DC-Baltimore area. It seems that CC's plan - to announce the massive layoffs on Inauguration Day to get less media coverage - worked. Oh that Post!.....

1/18 - A local listener tells DCRTV that he heard DC-Baltimore radio and TV great Ron Riley doing weather on WTOP radio from the Channel 7/WJLA weather center on Sunday. DCRTV reported that Riley retired from WJLA sister NewsChannel 8 in late 2008. Freelancing, perhaps? Hmmm.....

1/18 - Sure, we now have hundreds of national TV and radio channels coming into our homes. But we're on the verge of losing an important element in American broadcasting - localism. The new Obama administration must turn the tide against the rise of "corporate" radio and TV control over the past 20 years, which has seen the gutting of countless broadcast stations, and the termination of an army of devoted broadcasters. No longer are radio stations programed and staffed by folks in local markets. Hell, only one DC area commercial radio station has a full-fledged news department. TV stations simply don't produce local shows any longer. Except for newscasts, and even they are starting to be replaced by cheaper syndicated shows and infomercials. Many radio stations devote much of their program day to satellite-delivered talk, and often those DJs you hear between the songs are non-local, produced via digital voice-tracking from a studio thousands of miles away. We must go back to the old days where one entity could own only two radio stations per market - an AM/FM combo - or just one TVer. This would not only increase diversity on the airwaves, it would improve programming in that one company wouldn't be operating multiple stations in the same market. Wouldn't DC FMers WMZQ, DC101, WIHT, WASH, and WBIG sound better if they were separately owned - and programmed as the main "showcase" outlet for a company in the DC market? Each not merely one of five programmed by a common conglomerate based in Texas. Such a "single AM/FM" combo requirement would also push broadcasters to put more resources into programming the AM band, which is nearly dead in DC. Also, as far as AM is concerned, we need to encourage stations that can't meet the local programming requirements to turn in their licenses and go dark. This would remove much of the "clutter" from the AM band and allow stronger AM stations to improve their signals. Give big tax breaks and incentives for locally-based ownership of broadcast stations - both TV and radio. And restore FCC license requirements for locally-produced programming, programming that serves a wide range of public interests. If you're a broadcaster that uses "public airwaves," you owe the public something in return. Not merely endless infomercials and piped-in network shows. Also, Obama must develop a rock-solid system of American emergency broadcasting, which, hopefully, will never be needed. We need to reinsure sure that local broadcasters will be able to function in the event of a nuclear electromangetic pulse and during extended power outages. Right now, some DC area stations have trouble staying on the air during high winds or ice storms. If the big bloated companies that currently own radio and TV stations don't like the new local rules - fine! They can sell their stations to firms and individuals that do. Oh, don't forget to check out Tom Petty's "The Last DJ" at YouTube. As John Lennon once sang: "Power to the people!" Right on!.....

1/18 - Columbia Union College's Christian contemporary WGTS (91.9 FM) took out a full-page ad in Sunday's DC Examiner (page 34) noting that President-elect Barack Obama has said that he believes in "the power of prayer." The ad adds: "We will be praying for you Mr. President".....

1/17 - A viewer wonders: "Has Comcast SportsNet cut David Lee after 2 1/2 years at the Bethesda-based regional sports network? His last appearance on CSN was last night's 'SportsNite' and his bio has been removed from the website. David Lee came over to CSN from sister network SNY in September 2006." We're told that Lee was seen on CSN over the weekend, but it's just on a "freelance" basis.....

1/16 - DCRTV hears that future episodes of local financial guru Ric Edelman's weekend show on WMAL are in question. Talks between the two for the continuation of the long-running program are "going badly," we're told. While one DCRTV source tells us that Edelman's financial advice firm some cuts yesterday due to the slumping economy, a recent edition of the Balto Biz Journal says that Edelman has expanded the size of his firm. Edelman's show is syndicated by ABC Radio to a handful of talkers around the country.....

1/15 - DCRTV hears that DC-Baltimore radio veteran Paul Bicknell (right) will be back on the local airwaves come early March. On possibly as many as three stations, and via the web. He's hush hush on the details. DCRTV wonders: Could that mean there will be a new older oldies or big band outlet in the area? Bicknell was "Davy Jones" on "top 40" WPGC way way way back when. He now runs Baltimore's Read Street Sound And Video.....

1/14 - Because of the slumping economy, Tyson's Corner-based media giant Gannett is planning to "furlough" without pay most employees for one full week between now and the end of March. Including broadcast corporate staff and department heads. Unions will be asked to accept furloughs in lieu of layoffs. Locally, Gannett owns Channel 9/WUSA, where, we're told, the furlough won't affect IBEW union techs, who have have already taken a 10 percent pay cut as of the start of 2009. The furloughs are company-wide and will also hit Gannett's newspaper division, which includes USA Today.....

1/14 - Righty talker WMAL, which pretty much blasted Obama non-stop during the campaign, is planning to hold an "Anti-Inaugural Ball" on 1/20 on Jenifer Street, outside its studios and offices. Emceed by Fred "Love Boat" Grandy and Andy "Ship 'Em Back To Mexico" Parks, the entire station line-up is scheduled to appear. Including Chris Plante, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, doing his often-requested Marlene Dietrich impersonation, we're told. Plus MAL parent Citadel head Farid Suleman on what is being described as a "Gitmo Tribute Float." Not scheduled to appear: Montgomery County head Ike Leggett and former WMAL honcho Chris Berry, who's too busy sunning himself in toasty LA. Three Doors Down and Beck will perform, both doing their versions of "Loser." Also, Grandy, in his white "Love Boat" outfit, and the WMAL/WRQX/WJZW engineering staff will perform a round of Broadway show tunes. Refreshments will be provided by an army of "illegals" bussed in from the parking lot of the Herndon 7-Eleven. The event is being sponsored by Suleman Estates, a new residential real estate development planned for the WMAL transmitter site in Bethesda.....

1/14 - Usually when Rush Limbaugh is scheduled to miss his national radio show, heard locally on WMAL and WCBM, he makes an announcement on the previous day's show. Not so with his absence yesterday. His sub host, Jason Lewis, revealed that he was called into action on short notice when the righty talk titan did a last-minute private jet jaunt to DC. Well, it just so happens that Barack Obama, a non-stop target of Limbaugh's attacks during the presidential campaign, has been reportedly doing meetings with political commentators of all stripes, including righties like George Will and Bill Krystal, who've opposed him. So, could Limbaugh have been meeting with Obama? Not so, say some media observers on the internet. Limbaugh, a George W. Bush buddy, was in town for a ceremony at the White House, they say. OK. But wouldn't Limbaugh have known about that ahead of time, and announced his planned absence on his show? Hmmm.....

1/13 - DCRTV already told you it was going to happen. Now, we hear that XM traffic and weather will conk out tomorrow at midnight, with Metro Traffic taking over in the early morning hours of 1/15. Metro does the traffic for DC-based XM's satellite radio parent, Sirius (now Sirius XM). Look for most XM traffic folks to be pink-slipped or get severance packages, with a few staying on until 1/24 to make sure there's a smooth transition.....

1/13 - DCRTV broke the news yesterday at 2:30 PM that Rob Long was moving his Baltimore sports talk perch from WNST to WVIE. Ray Frager at baltimoresun.com reported it at 5:10 PM. And later, Malibu, California radio news trade site All Access also got the story, crediting Frager as the source. As DC radio legend Tom Gavin says: "Yooooou knooooow" who gives you the local radio news first.....

1/10 - DCRTV hears that Channel 9/WUSA news anchors JC Hayward and Lesli Foster will be emceeing Virginia's Inaugural Black Tie And Blue Dominion Ball at the National Air And Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport. The event will feature many of Virginia's Democratic politicos, including Governor Tim Kaine, former Governor Doug Wilder, and Representative Jim Moran, plus soul band the Commodores. No official word if Barack Obama will appear, says former Channel 7/WJLA news anchor Del Walters, who is executive producing the affair. "Like all of Washington and Northern Virginia, we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will celebrate along with the 1.95 million Virginians who turned this once red state blue," Walters adds. Channel 9 will be running promos for the ball.....

1/9 - Fred Grandy's still "out-sick" from the WMAL morning show. Maybe he's got "Post-Berry Syndrome"... Why does the print Washington Post spend so much page space running the previous day's blogs from the website? Golly, it makes you wonder if perhaps the whole darn print rag is full of day-old news. It is really worth 75-cents per day to get reprints of what was on the free website yesterday? Hmmm... Oh, how about that Ford-provided stock photo of a town car in Paul Farhi's DC Post Style section piece on town cars in the pre-inaugural festivities. Takes up a whole quarter of a page. Couldn't the Post photogs have shot their own pic? Sheesh.....

1/9 - DCRTV hears that the DC-based XM Satellite Radio traffic and weather department is to be axed effective 1/15. A DC radio guru tells us that it's a highly likely possibility for Metro Traffic, which does the traffic for XM parent Sirius, to add XM. "If so, (Metro's DC head) Jim Russ is going to be a very popular man," we're told.....

1/8 - A DCRTV source says that there's been an unusual amount of personnel traffic and communications lately between Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW and Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA. We hear that 50's general sales manager recently took the same post at 9. Could Gannett, which has already bought one Tribune station (in Atlanta), be working on buying 50 to make a DC TV duopoly? Or maybe 9's going to do a newscast for 50? Or maybe "there's an orgy on the 2nd floor" of 9's Broadcast House. Stay tuned.....

1/8 - DCRTV hears that radio giant Clear Channel, which owns about a dozen radio stations in the immediate DC-Baltimore area, will be making an 8 percent across-the-board cut, affecting all divisions. The firm's executives are meeting this week in San Antonio. Also, we hear that Clear Channel radio sales, based in Philadelphia, had a "bloodletting" today. The majority of account execs got pink slipped, we're told. More soon.....

1/8 - DCRTV hears that Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications plans to rename its flagship Discovery Channel "Boom TV" come March. "We've done an extensive study of our largely male audience, and they want to watch things blow up," a Discovery honcho tells DCRTV. "We've found that dumbing-down our programming increases our ratings and makes our networks more attractive to advertisers," we're told. Look for more shows like "Time Warp," which shows high-speed photography of exploding small objects like soda bottles, to more episodes of "Destroyed In Seconds," which features everything from exploding tanker trucks to fireworks factories, as well as "Explosions Gone Wrong." DCRTV hears that Discovery is also planning to stage separate stand-alone specials that will feature the explosions of a 747, a series of SUVs, a barnyard of dead animals, an office building already slated for destruction, more shows where meteors and comets hit Earth and cause horrific destruction, exploding volcanos, and even a "game show" in which losers will have their homes blown up. Also look for "Cash Cab Hit-And-Run," where pedestrians are mowed-down and other vehicles are hit, and, you guessed it, explode.....

1/6 - DCRTV broke the news yesterday that Chris Berry is leaving his general manager gig. Yes, a good time to hop on a lifeboat at the USS WMAL. Look, the Citadel news talker is getting pounded by the new Portable People Meter radio ratings. Way down into the mid-teens when it used to rank 7th or 8th in the old diaries. In the latest numbers, Grandy and Andy ranked 14th in mornings, and Sean Hannity was 17th in afternoons. Last February, WMAL cut longtime talker Chris Core and longtime News Director John Matthews. The station has no live afternoon drive show, with most of the righty talk shows piped-in via satellite. It's gutted its news department, with non-rush hour reports often coming from Metro Traffic. This year, with continuing rumors that credit-crunched Citadel is planning more cuts, and possibly even a sale of its DC radio cluster, Berry would be a fool not to paddle away from the sinking ship. That's not to say that someone new couldn't patch-up WMAL. A move to FM. Live and local in both drivetimes. More diversity of opinion - to better reflect the political make-up of the DC area. Better promotion. More local news. But obviously, Berry won't be there to do it.....

1/5 - "I hate to be on the side of CAIR, but..." Fred Grandy agreeing this morning with the DC-based Council On American-Islamic Relations, which has charged that a Muslim family was discriminated against last week when they were removed from an AirTran flight at Reagan National because of an alleged security concern. As you'll recall, CAIR has frequently criticized the programming on Grandy's station, talker WMAL.....

1/2 - Examiner sports media columnist Jim Williams tells DCRTV that he's spoken to representatives of Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio and both have targeted CBS Radio guy talker WJFK (106.7 FM) for an all-sports or "nearly all-sports" format. There have been a number of conversations about the focus of the station. Both networks have made "very attractive" pitches to CBS. The two sports networks feel that an FM sports talker would be a big hit in DC, Williams adds. One scenario has WJFK, which has been battered by the new electronic Portable People Meter radio ratings, keeping the Junkies in mornings and Mike O'Meara in afternoons, but with sports talk in other time slots and a goal to make the station the flagship for the Nationals and the Wizards, and add more college sports. A sports talk WJFK would be a solid ad sales package with CBS's newly-minted sports talk WJZ-FM/AM in Baltimore, Williams adds.....

1/1 - A post by Bob Edwards might have given some the wrong impression. Not to worry, everything's fine with the DC-based public radio veteran and the XM Public Radio channel. Recently, a DCRTVer told us that Edwards "posted a message last night on Facebook referring to his 'darkest personal and professional hour.' He didn't say what it was, but one can imagine more (satellite radio) cuts are involved." However, later on Thursday we heard that all's well with Edwards at Sirius XM and that the satrad firm's execs have been very supportive of Edwards and XMPR's programming. The Facebook post, we're told, was about the slumping broadcast biz in general. Edwards left National Public Radio several years ago for XM. XMPR survived the November round of Sirius XM channel cuts.....

1/1 - DCRTV's "cracked crystal ball" radio predictions for 2009: Religious-based WAVA owner Salem will buy all of Clear Channel's DC area FMers - WBIG will become Christian talk, WMZQ will tweak to Christian country, DC101 will go to Christian rock, WIHT will become Christian contemporary, and WASH will become Christmas all-year... Loo Katz will tire of the Christmas tunes by March and move to WRQX, becoming Jack Diamond's partner... Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge will get married... WJFK will go sports talk... The out-of-work Junkies will move to Vegas and do a gambling show for Spike. It'll be a big hit... Chad will be working at an Enterprise car rental outlet in Silver Spring, Oscar will move back in with his folks (did he ever move out?)... Mike O'Meara will head up to New York state to star in CBS's new "CSI Buffalo"... Citadel will move WMAL to 105.9 and turn 630's license back to the FCC, selling off the Bethesda transmitter site for a residential development named Suleman Estates... WMAL will fire Grandy and Andy and replace them with Carson from 107.3... Hearst will buy 101.9 from CBS and simulcast news talk WBAL on FM... WBAL radio will go all-news in afternoon drive and move Ron Smith to middays... Redskins owner Dan Snyder will buy up a batch of DC area AMers, including 700, 950, 1030, 1120, 1310, 1390, 1460, and 1520, and relay righty talker WTNT on half and lefty talker WWRC on the other half. The automation system will frequently malfunction, running both stations' programs at the same time on each signal... Clear Channel will put gospel WCAO on 104.3 and flip 600 to sports, giving Baltimore its 5th sports talker... Redskins owner Dan Snyder will buy 100.7 from Shamrock, giving Baltimore its 6th sports talker... CBS will flip 94.7 to a jockless classic hits format, named "Mike 94.7" (after CBS honcho Michael Hughes)... WHFS will be resurrected on 99.1... WTOP top programmer Jim Farley will be named chairman of the FCC and he'll pass a new rule requiring an FM all-news outlet in each of the top 25 markets... The Radio Ministry Of The Calvary Chapel Of Marlton NJ will buy WRBS and move its transmitters to Essex, right next to "Joe in Essex"... Happy New Year everyone.....

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