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By Dave Hughes dcrtv@dcrtv.com

Rants from January to June 2009.....

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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