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DCRTV Mailbag - October 11 to October 20, 2000

Latest messages listed first.....
\/ October 20 Messages \/


In response to Rusty and his questions/comments about Rolf Hertsgaard, I did the morning show on WITH-AM from 1994 to 96, then moved to afternoons. Eventually Salem bought the station at auction in '97, and it's been all religion ever since. So much for the background. We didn't exactly coax Rolf Hertsgaard out of retirement--we pried him out kicking and screaming all the way. It was his second stint with the station. He received a good salary--more than I'm making as a public radio GM today--and we set up a home studio for him, so my morning news came from Rolf's bedroom for two years! The station let him go in the summer or fall of 1996 because of money problems, so he just went back into retirement. Except for his little dog, he lives alone these days. You can write him c/o Oak Crest Village on Walther Blvd. in Baltimore. The Polack Johnny's era for Rolf came after WBAL-TV axed him in 1973. After a couple years in radio (his first go-round at WITH in the mid-70's), he actually bought the PJ's franchise on Greenmount Ave. and ran it for about 10 years--said he wanted to do something totally different--then he moved to Pennsylvania, only to return to Baltimore some years later, as he has kids here. Rolf was and is an excellent writer, having started in radio way back in 1939. His son Mark Hertsgaard is an accomplished author himself and National Public Radio's environmental reporter. I believe he teaches at Johns Hopkins. You mentioned Dave Stickle. I can remember watching WMAR as he read the story that George Reeves, TV's Superman, had died by apparent suicide back in June of 1959. As a kid I thought he was nuts--Superman couldn't die! Jack Dawson (real name Doober, but I don't think that's the correct spelling), is retired but still lives in the area. I know he goes to a church in Towson. Jack Edwards, who I worked with at both WFBR and WITH, started with Dawson at WWIN in the late '50's. Edwards (real name John Herbert) told me Dawson was some sort of traveling saleman who called on the station, and they just offered him a job one day--no experience or anything! Cool, eh? And to the person commenting about 104.3 WOCT, does anyone remember when it was WITH-FM? It was Baltimore's, perhaps Maryland's first FM station, signing on in 1948 I believe. Jack Wells told me he was the first announcer, doing a daily 8-hour shift! Wells, who lives next door to Charleton Heston in Beverly Hills these days, said only his mother and the Hecht Company had an FM radio back then! Of course, WITH-AM and FM had some great people over the years--Jack Wells and Jack Edwards, Buddy Deane, Hot Rod, Rockin' Robin (Fred Robinson), Willard Scott, Danny Sheelds, Long Lean Larry Dean, Ed Graham, Bill Lefevre, Rolf Hertsgaard, and Gene Rayburn among others. Gotta run--I'm filling in on the air this evening. Gary Helton, Station Manager, WHFC-FM, Bel Air. (October 20, 2000)

Can't Mega make up its collective mind on networks and dial spots? It's like a bunch of little kids bickering over what Lego blocks go where. Or a housewife rearranging her living room. ("This goes here....No, move it over to there....Bring it a little to the left....A little more....No, no, doesn't look good there, I want it on the other side....") Well, satellite radio should take care of that problem, and we will develop into one big gray, monolithic, centralized, dull broadcasting society. Jeff (October 20, 2000)

As much as I would love to see AM 1260's problems fixed, it would make no sense to move DC-101's tranmit site. FM is bigger business than AM, and DC-101 has had the best signal in the region, by far, for quite a whie now. 99.5's signal is close, but not as good. If anything, they should put AM 1260 at a new site and put the other co-owned FM's on the DC-101 tower. Now that regional channel AM's can be up to 50 kw, a site farther out could be selected such that the Charlottesville null did not affect Fairfax coverage as much, nor did the Newark, DE null affect Baltimore too badly. Something very directional and somewhere north of Germantown would probably work. ...Sam (October 20, 2000)

An obvious suggestion to improve 92.7 coverage would be to turn off the stereo. That way the listeners' radios would do a better job of rejecting 92.5 MHz. At least the Mega people ought to give it a try and drive around the heavily Hispanic areas N, NW, and W of DC with and without the stereo on and see if it make the difference I would expect. (October 20, 2000)

DCRTV AM@Night: 1160 WSCR CHICAGO IL sports: WSCRved to 670 AM.... (October 20, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) Dave, could that fax you got be a hoax ? How could WMAL, the once mighty station of Harden & Weaver, and Trumble & Core, fall to 26th place at night behind non-Metro radio stations ? It doesn't seem possible. Anybody out there with access to Arbitron who can confirm or deny ? (October 20, 2000)

Dave's response: How dare you insinuate that I would allow info on the DCRTV mailbag that I could not confirm to be 100 percent accurate!?!?!...... Back to reality. I am pretty sure the info about MAL's poor evening performance is accurate since I have heard the same general info from others. Sad but true, I'm afraid. But, you know how statistics can be manipulated. I am waiting for someone from MAL to e-mail me that Victoria Jones is number one with "Baltic men over 50 who live in Prince Georges County trailer parks."

Greetings! How do you top last week's program? Vell, you add an intriguing interview with one of America's finest Mask Sculptures! You'll also find: An Incredible List Of TV & Cable Halloween Specials..... The Correct Answer & Winner Of The Mystery Movie Contest..... Chapter 7 of The Phantom Creeps..... And More! It all begins Saturday Night at www.countgore.com - Creature Feature with Count Gore De Vol. - Dick Dyszel (October 20, 2000)

I can confirm that 92.7 FM's signal has improved on the NW side of DC. Not dramatically by any means, but it's there. Yesterday I did a signal check along I-270 between Rockville and Germantown. Before the change in transmitter and location, there was always some bleedover from WINC-FM in and around Rockville, and from there 92.7 was listenable but just barely. When you got to Gaithersburg, the station became completely smothered under WINC. Now, 92.7 is bleedover-free in Rockville, and even in Germantown there is some WINC blood but not enough to completely drown out 'BZS. If you're out that far and are that desperate to listen to 92.7, best solution is to park your car at a point where WINC is partially nulled, and it should be smooth sailin'. BTW, I own a '93 Toyota. - Jeff (October 20, 2000)

Dave's response: I am wondering if Mega is making a mistake in removing the 730 AM simulcast of WBZS next week (leaving only 92.7 FM). There are still lots of places in NW DC, southern Montgomery, Arlington, and Fairfax County that get a much stronger signal on 730 than on 92.7. A while back, Mega broadcast its "Amor" format on 1390 AM out of Arlington. Then it moved it to 94.3 FM in Warrenton and probably lost some listeners in DC, Arlington, and Mongtomery who can't hear 94.3 very well. Well, at least Mega plans to start the "Amor" AM feed once again, this time on 1050 in Silver Spring.

Regarding Bob C.'s idea of moving FM antennas of the WGAY site, there's one problem: four stations have construction permits to add back-up facilities there! I guess the problem's only going to get worse... - Dave (October 20, 2000)

I traveled up I-83 north of TV hill and down I-695 towards Washington around 11 AM this morning. Reception was decent though not great at the intersection of I-83 and I-695. It faded to almost nothing in Owings Mills but picked back up in Woodlawn where I had previously reported there was no signal (I supposed the weather may have contributed to that). Since you had a report from Dundalk on reception, that should just about cover your inquires about Baltimore. - Steve McIntosh (October 20, 2000)

What's going on at WMAL in the evenings? Last nights' topic for the first two hours of the Victoria Jones Show was, "What is your favorite variety of apples?" Then, her third hour last night was devoted to a listener poll, "Who is your favorite Beatle?" However, at the end of the Beatle polling she failed to announce the results of the poll! My all time favorite Victoria Jones topic of discussion on WMAL so far, "The propriety of women spitting in public." The quick fix from the WMAL programming department would be to move Charlie Warren into her slot and stick her in 10pm-1am. Find myself lately drifting over to other alternative talk radio choices - Gary Nolan on WWRC, WAMU/NPR talk show repeats or trying to catch WABC out of NYC. Is this the best that ABC's talk radio O & O in Washington, D.C. can do? Talk Radio Fan (October 20,2000)

Dave's response: DCRTV received an anonymous fax this afternoon featuring the DC metro Arbitron radio ratings for the 25-54 demo, weekdays 7 PM to midnight, and WMAL ranked 26th (!) behind even WFLS, WPLC, WOL, and WGAY-AM, even Baltimore's WIYY. I think, maybe, liberals have just given up on MAL - period - and don't even listen when they put a token liberal on during the evenings. I fear this poor showing by Ms. Jones may lead MAL to do only local AM and PM drivetime programs, with the rest of their airtime either Limbaugh/Dr. Laura or Limbaugh/Dr. Laura reruns.

Now that Clear Channel is concentrating the FM studios in one location and the AM in another, the next thing they __NEED__ to do is move the WWDC-FM transmitter to some other location. It seems to me that the tall WWDC-FM tower as the middle tower in WGAY-AM's array contributes to the AM pattern/coverage problems. With the WWDC-FM xmtr moved, they could cut that central tower back to the correct size for the AM. AM stations have to control their pattern at various angles above the horizon, and that tall tower must give them pattern design problems. I don't see any insulators in it part-way up, which would be one way to solve the problem. My guess is that whatever they are doing is the cause of the intermittent signal strength in the nulls during windy weather. They've greatly improved that problem, but it still exists to some extent. While the Channel 20 River Road tower can't support adding big DTV antennas, I'd think it could stand one more FM antenna, to join 94.7 and 99.5 - maybe WWDC 101.1 could even multiplex on co-oened WJMO's 99.5 antenna. Or multiplex on the 100.3 WBIG antenna which is colocated w/ WAVA-FM in Virginia. Bob C. (October 20, 2000)

Anyone know the whereabouts of Randy Hilton formerly on WLPL FM in Baltimore back in the days with Jim Tice 1969 or so. Sure miss those good old days. (October 20, 2000)

Anybody watching Channel 9's 5 AM (!) newscast these days. The pace of the Mike/Andrea newscast seems a bit more "hyper" than the old cast with Gerald and Peggy. And then they keep reminding us that "every 9 minutes" we will get such and such. And lots of "here's what you need to know." Is this an improvement? (October 20, 2000)

Ref. Denny's query on WEEO. WEEO is still listed in my 1990 copy of "Broadcasting Yearbook", but I think they went dark shortly thereafter. I know the towers are gone but don't know where. If I remember correctly, the transmitter is in a ham's basement and may now be putting a signal out on 160m (1800kHz). Howard (October 20, 2000)

The former WMJS - 92.7 signed on in the early 70's as WESM which stood for "We Entertain Southern Maryland" by a couple of engineering types who are probably rolling over in their graves over the $5.2M selling price earlier this year! Anyway.. Mel & Ada Gollub purchased the station in the mid 70's, along with sister frequency 92.7FM, in Rehobeth Beach, DE which is now known as WGMD ( the "D" stands for David Schoumacher, former news anchor on WJLA-TV 7 (1976-85 I guess it was WMAL for some of David's stint there), who is one of three partners who purchased the station from the Gollubs in 1980. The former WMJS-92.7FM The "MJS" stood for Mark, Judy, & Sue, children of Mel & Ada Gollub who recently sold the station to Mega. Mel has a long list of radio experiences.. starting out at WIP, in Philly (in the old union days) as a back-up announcer to Dick Clark! Mel also signed on, as owner, the first FM in Atlantic City, NJ ( I don't know the calls). I was employed at WMJS as an announcer from 1980 to 1984. I currently work for Comcast (we keep your website column buzzing) and do a weekend airshift at WWZZ. I was employed at WMJS from 1980 to 1984. Thanks! - Joe Lehan (October 20, 2000)

/\ October 20 Messages /\

\/ October 19 Messages \/

You've been posting WUSA's afternoon numbers, but what are the morning news ratings for WUSA and WRC. (How's that third hour of "Today"? Is there really a hankering for a 10am news?) - Wes (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: Looking at the numbers for Wednesday 10/18 - at 6 AM 4's news is first, 9's news is second, and 5 and 7's newscasts are tied for third. At 7 AM, 4's "Today Show" is first, 5's news is second, "Good Morning America" on 7 is third, and CBS's "Early Show" on 9 is fourth. At 9 AM, Maury Povich on 5 is first, the extended "Today Show" on 4 is second, "Live With Regis" on 7 is third, and 9's new newscast is fourth. At 10 AM, 5's "Divorce Court" is in first, Channel 4's new newscast is second, "Hollywood Squares" on 7 is third, and 9's Sally Jesse Raphael is fourth.....

To Gary Helton: I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! Was glad you were able to coax Rolf out of retirement though unfortunately, I'm unable to pick up your broadcasts living way out here in Fauquier County. Does he still endorse the legendary Pollock Johnny's restaurant? That place was always a must visit either on the way to or from Memorial Stadium. Some of my earliest memories of Baltimore television include him. Like many, I recall George Rogers doing national ads but not quite sure for what company. Ah yes..WMAR with George Rogers, Dave Stickel, Stu Kerr and Jack Dawson. Speaking of Jack, does anyone know what he's up to these days? I remember back in '89, he was still the sports director at 'MAR (at the time, the O's TV flagship station). That year, the Orioles were headed into the final week of the season battling for the division title in a winner take all series against Toronto. The TV guide indicated that other programming was scheduled (no baseball). After reading that in the paper, I placed a call to Channel 2 to complain and was transferred directly to Jack who said "not to worry, we'll have the birds on the tube". To me, he just had the most reassuring voice over the phone, which matched his "yes I'm an Oriole fan" demeanor when he was on the air. To P. Kenny Burns, you guys (the Redskins) did the job and I tip my cap to you. It sure was an exciting game. To Dave Statter: I watched Hillary with Mike Buchanan this morning (Hillary was singing weather songs) and they seemed to have a good rapport together. It was great seeing her back on the air and I hope it works out for everyone. Thanks, Rusty (October 19, 2000)

Hi, I'm just writing to let you know that I have completely re-vamped my website, The Jersey Shore Radio Guide at www.angelfire.com/nj2/njradio. The new site is easier to navigate and has several new features. (October 19, 2000)

I love your site !!! I read it everyday. Was turned on to it by Weasel. I am the PD at WOSC on the Eastern Shore and I do part-time on HFS. Just thought I'd mention that we are now owned by Clear Channel (along with the rest of the world) and so is WQHQ, WSBY, WWFG,WLVW,WLBW, WTGM, and WJDY. Thanks again for the wonderful site, keep up the great work. Smiles, Paula Sangeleer (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: One of these days I will get caught up on all the changes/additions (etc.) to the Eastern Shore stations page. Thanks!

With Election Day fast approaching, Channel 7 demonstrated its earnest committment to informing viewers about the key issues facing America on last night's 11 P.M. newscast. Their investigative team's "exclusive" interview with pornography publisher Larry Flynt, who offers megabucks to anyone who can unmask sexual misconduct on the part of prominent politicians, clearly served that purpose. Forget health care reform; forget education; forget foreign policy - what prospective voters really need now is a reprise of the Monica Lewinsky circus! Not only was this report a flagrant example of tabloid journalism at its worst, but it straddled the line between objective reporting and partisanship by giving public airplay to Flynt's suggestion that only one of the two presidential candidates has always been faithful to his wife. Will 7's next "investigative" report take the high road? Hardly - they promoted a psychological profile of boxer/felon Mike Tyson! Kathleen Matthews and Maureen Bunyan, two highly respected and distinguished journalists, should tender their resignation from this miserable excuse for a Washington, D.C. local news operation right now! - Mike, Fairfax (October 19, 2000)

(Regarding a message concerning a "search" function at DCRTV:) Most browsers have an Edit/Find function on their menu that allows you to find each occurrence of a name like "Howard Stern" on a page. --Bob S. (October 19, 2000)

Contour plots of radio station's signals only provide a rough "guesstimate" of a stations reach since allot of other factors come into play. WBZS's transmitter move and power change, theoretically, should have had a minute effect on WINC's signal. However, WBZS's signal seems to carry much better than it did previously. I discovered traveling from Baltimore to Washington last night that there was slight splatter onto WINC's signal. Ironically with the way WINC has been performing lately, it's not as much of a loss as it would have been several months ago. Not even the $500,000 contest keeps me listening anymore. - Steve (October 19, 2000)

I wanted to find out when 1130 WEEO in waynesboro went off the air and what happen to the studios and towers. - Denny (October 19, 2000)

I thought I had a good memory, but Dave Statter's is better (or we both watched too much TV growing up). You're absolutely right--George Rogers voiced Bell Telephone's national TV spots in the '60's. And the backward-writing weatherman at WMAR was Ron Maroney, who also did those great live "Park Circle Chevrolet" ads with the $39 cars during "The Twilight Movie." If I'm right, Rhea Feiken, now of course with MPT, also actually had to write backward on a transparent weather map at WBAL-TV in the days before J.P. Puppet. They didn't shoot a mirror image of her. Speaking of WBAL-TV, their classy anchor from 1958 to 1973, Rolf Hertsgaard, now makes his home at Oak Crest Village off Joppa Rd. in Baltimore. Rolf's 77 or 78 now, and we chat on a regular basis. WITH brought him out of retirement in '95 and he did newscasts on my morning show. Also at Oak Crest is Jim West of WBAL radio. Jim also did Cubs and Blackhawks play-by-play for many years in Chicago. And on an earlier question, John Mason hosted "Baltimore Movietime" weekdays at 1 PM on WJZ, but I don't remember any sort of giveaways. Channel 13 ran that against the successful "1 O'Clock Show" a.k.a. "The Quiz Club," on WBAL, which was hosted by Brent Gunts and the late Jay Grayson. I was in the audience once in 1958 when the station was located on N. Charles St. in Baltimore. - Gary Helton, WHFC-FM, Bel Air. (October 19, 2000)

I don't know if you can answer any of these questions, but you seem to be the best source of this type of information...... 1. Will dcrtv ever cover the stations on the eastern shore of MD?..... 2. What's the status of 92.7 WMJS? I read that it was supposed to go to Spanish speaking in the spring. Has that fallen through? I wish it would go back to it's previous format or something different that isn't already a re-hash of what's already available on a number of other stations...... 3. When did WGAY FM go away?..... 4. Is there no market in the area for either an easy listening or a country classic station? We have many contemporary and regular country stations in the area, it would seem that we could have at least one each of the format I asked about. We have too many stations vying for the same market space. Why doesn't someone do something different?..... Thanks for your help! - Russ Moorhouse (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: 1. we do, ESRTV..... 2. WBZS 92.7 with a tropical/Spanish urban format was born on Monday 10/16..... 3. WGAY-FM died in mid-1999 when it flipped to "Jammin' Oldies" and later became WJMO; the WGAY calls were moved to nostalgic 1260 AM..... 4. a good question I don't have an answer for.....
"WMAL where you don't miss a thing." Except listeners. Anybody with access to Arbitron on-line should check out their numbers for 7pm-midnight. (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: My sources tell me that MAL's numbers aren't too great in PM drive either and downright miserable (like equal to Frederick's WFRE!) in the evenings. Poor Victoria. But then again, maybe all this political talk you now hear is turning people off. I am really sick of hearing all this Bush/Gore crap (both sides!). I can't wait for Nov. 7 so it will all be over. (As I have said, Bush will win; it was pre-determined by the corporate forces last year. Yes, I will vote - I always do. But why? I am not so sure anymore.) By the way, Baltimore news/talker WBAL also took a big slide. Maybe it's a trend.
Talked to Duck last night...he is in very good spirits. I told him he got a 1.1 and he was elated. (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: Tell Bob Duckman that WGAY would get much better than a 1.1 (which is great for 1260 by the way) if Clear Channel would drop the business talk and simulcast the nostalgic stuff on 570! That would provide great coverage to the western suburbs, something that 1260 does not provide..... Glad to hear Bob is doing well!

Whatever happened to the two Baltimore TV performers, Stu Kerr and [I forget his real name] "Captain Chesapeake?" I grew up watching that stuff and I was wondering if they're dead, or what. Are there any articles about them anywhere? I'd love to see a picture of the Captain and the sea monster again someday. Memories... -- Craig (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: Just scan down this page for more on both Stu and George Lewis (Captain Chesapeake). By the way, DCRTV could use a pic or two of the both. If you got something please send it to dcrtv@hotmail.com.

(to answer the post about George Rogers)I believe George Rogers did spots for Baltimore Gas & Electric for many years while also an anchor. /sean hall (October 19, 2000)

WBZS-AM 730 will change calls/format next week. The frequency will switch to the Central American/Mexican format "Radio Capital" which is currently on WKDL 1050AM. The calls/slogan will be WKDL "Radio Capital 730 AM." The 1050 AM frequency will simulcast WPLC-FM "Amor 94.3." It will also change calls to WPLC-AM. Regarding an all news format comparable to WNNY, I am currently in conversation with another DC frequency exploring the possibility of such a move. On a final note I wanted to share the latest Arbitron results; WPLC-FM captured the 24th place overall with a 0.9 AQH share 12+. In the stations target demo 18-34 year olds WPLC scored a 2.1 AQH share. Regards, (Mega CEO) Alfredo Alonso (October 19, 2000)

Have you guys ever thought about doing a search field so that we can search by personality names to see what is being said about them indivudually?? Just wondering!! =) Thanks-- Kristen (October 19, 2000)

Dave's response: Interesting idea.....

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\/ October 18 Messages \/

(Regarding DC's cable TV system:) It seems that TCI has removed the Sci-Fi channel from it's line-up and replaced it with TNN. Other changes may have been made. (October 18, 2000)

Dave's response: TNN, by the way, is no longer the country music-based Nashville Network. It is now "The National Network" with a new line-up of movies, sitcoms, and professional wrestling. By the way, when Comcast gets hold of the DC cable system in the near future prepare for many changes.

(Regarding the previous message:) Ben, Try clicking "refresh" on your browser. The MFM info was removed from the traffic page early Tuesday morning. You're right: nothing like being up to date. - Steve Dolge, Managing Editor, wtopnews.com (October 18, 2000)

It's Wednesday, the 18th of October, and I just logged onto WTOP's new highly-touted traffic page. At the top, it still has an advisory for the Million Family March two days ago. Nothing like being up-to-date. - Ben (October 18, 2000)

Dave Statter mentioned a link to a history for WJZ. After scrolling don, I couldn't find it. Any chance you could display it again? Thanks, Rusty (October 18, 2000)

Dave's response: It's www.wjz.com/now/story/0,1597,1650-367,00.shtml.

Dave, Thanks for the link to Channel 13's history. It mentioned "Johns Hopkins Science Review" . Like Channel 2's "The Port That Built a City", an episode of WAAM's "Johns Hopkins Science Review" is also available at the "Museum of Television and Radio" in New York. Anyone interested in the early days of broadcasting will greatly enjoy the museum. There are a lot of old local shows available along with the network programming. - Dave Statter (October 18, 2000)

I read the online article about Jason Owens a DJ formerly of WINC-FM from your main page and all I have to say after reading it is "What the hell was he thinking?" (October 18, 2000)

Oops again! If you're listening to WGAY/1260AM for anything other than the good music, turn elsewhere...the weather report one hears this morning for "today" and "tomorrow" is actually 24 hours old. This type of inattention, plus the terrible signal, indicate that owner Clear Channel does not consider the potential value of the format in this region--IF properly broadcast and marketed. Tim (October 18, 2000)

Dave's response: Hey, nostalgic GAY plays the great songs of yesterday. And the weather too!

Dave, check out xpn.org - its member supported WXPN-Philadelphia - they simulcast to Worton MD 90.5 and are on the web - probably the biggest part of philly that i missed(besides cheesesteaks) after i moved to DC 4years ago... (October 18, 2000)

Dave's response: You can listen to XPN's 90.5 FM WKHS/Worton MD relay on DCRTV's ListenNow feature at the bottom of our main page.

Great to hear the news that Bob Duckman will not have surgery and will instead, go into rehab. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Duckman but have heard nothing but good things about him. And yes, he has been big into radio since his days at the University of Maryland, including PD of WMUC. If you can get your hands on some old Terps yearbooks from the 60s, you can find some good pics of him at the old station. Jon (October 18, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) Dave Marsh is still very much involved in our new/local music initiative at WHFS. In fact, we've just launched "Land Your Band II," a nationwide talent search of unsigned alternative bands, in conjunction with our sister stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston and San Francisco. Dave anchors that effort locally on 'HFS. In last spring's "Land Your Band" competition, Annapolis band "Laughing Colors" beat out competitors from all over the country to win the grand prize, and Dave played them first on "Now Hear This." The show airs Sunday nights at 9:00. Dave works full-time as production/imaging director for World Space in D.C. - Phil Zachary (October 18, 2000)

Folks, WVEP's site is the westernmost point on the DCRTV transmitter site map that covers Frederick/Martinsburg/Winchester. How can they claim to be a Martinsburg station? The city-of-license coverage regulations for noncommercial stations is much more flexible than for commercial stations. Where commercial stations must serve 80% of the city of license at 70 dBu or greater, a non-commercial station simply has to deliver 60 dBu or greater (the signal level that is protected from any interference) to some part (no percentage mentioned) of the city of license. The map you get from Bob C.'s link shows WVEP's 60 dBu contour just making Martinsburg. BTW, I pointed this out a while ago when folks in places like Shepherdstown were squealing about WETH's interference to WVEP and suggesting that there must be some sort of conspiracy. Nothing of the sort, really, as WVEP's 60 dBu does not reach the Potomac. Why did WV Public Radio put 88.9 so far south? Remember that WV Public Radio tries to cover all of West Virginia, so, to me anyways, they tried to catch as much of the eastern panhandle as possible with this station. NOTE: The link that Bob C. mentioned includes data up to July 7, 1998 only. However, you can access the engine that created these maps at www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd by clicking on the HAAT button. That's how I did the WINC-FM/WBZS-FM study. - Cheers! Dave Loudin (October 18, 2000)

To Howard Dicus: Don't be surprised that some people don't like Sonny, Sam and Frank- they're a very polarizing bunch. It seems that the people who love them, truly love listening to them and have been Skins fans for quite awhile. As a relative newcomer to the DC market (going on 4 years now), I cannot stand to listen to a word they say. I find them haughty, abrasive, but most of all, utterly predicatable and boring. It seems that people either really like them or really hate them. Still, the likes far out-number the dislikes, for now. - Brad (October 18, 2000)

I am a former writer at WRC now working at KNBC-TV. A familiar looking guy was in our newsroom last weekend, only to return again yesterday and today (Monday and Tuesday). Since I have been gone from the DC area for about two years it took me a while to figure out who he was. Finally, it dawned on me that it was Steve Rudin. He is supposedly going to replace Paul Johnson on the "Mid Day Report" and weekend evening editions of "Channel 4 News." Just a tidbit for you column. (October 18, 2000)

hey I know the ratings come out on the 18th for DC, if WFLS fredericksburg and WGAY get above a one (1.0) share, I think Frank Ahrens should mention that in the Post on Friday- Both WFLS and WGAY have a good chance at a 1.0 judging by the last two Arbitrends (October 18, 2000)

Steve is right.I to noticed on the way home from work in downtown that WBZS-Fm was basically non-existant until I got close to home. I do get a lot of reflected signals from the water,and rermember I am facing east.These same principals are the reason I'm able to pick up alot of the Philly stations,I imagine. Thanks to you and Steve and everyone for the imput. Dave on a different subject I had a chance to check out the Hawaii Radio site link and enjoyed it! Thanks. Nick L. (October 18, 2000)

At 4:17 PM (10/17) I received a call from Eddie Gallaher who had just (talked to) Carolyn Duckman. News Update: Bob (Duckman) is not going to have surgery!!!! Doctors have decided to put him in a rehabilitation center until Thanksgiving!!! (October 18, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) WVEP 88.9 is on the mountain straight west of Winchester, VA, quite a way south of Martinsburg. Their coverage is hemmed in by cochannel WEAA Baltimore, a 5W translator on 88.9 in Frederick, WCVE 88.9 in Richmond, 88.9 in Johnstown, PA, and WETH with its sharp elbows on 89.1, the first adjacent channel, from the mountain next to Hagerstown. WVEP runs only horizontal polarization...... In response to the recent question, the FCC has a site which will give you a map of the primary (protected) coverage of any FM station. www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Databases/mmb/fmdb/index. - Bob C. (October 18, 2000)

/\ October 18 Messages /\

\/ October 17 Messages \/

Dave(and/or anyone else out there),are there any websites that can be used to look up maps of FM signal contour patterns(preferably showing areas of strong as well as "fringe" strength)? I'm just curious about that...plus,how far can WVEP(88.9 Martinsburg)be generally heard,heading toward DC? They have some programs that may be of interest to some listeners(as "Mountain Stage" & "Hearts of Space").... - Frank (October 17, 2000)

Dave's response: First of all, you can check out DCRTV's FM Power Plots but we don't have WVEP. However, I can hear WVEP here in Wild West Fairfax if I put my receiver's antenna in just the right place. So, I'd guess the extreme reach of VEP would be western Fairfax/Montgomery-ish.

Gary, didn't WMAR allow George Rogers to do national commercials for Bell Telephone (or some big account) at the same time he was a local news anchor? I also remember in the 60's that Channel 2 had some sort of see through weather map where the weather guy would appear to be writing backwards. The camera would actually be shooting the reflection of the map and the weather person in a mirror. The numbers and the map looked fine, but you would notice little things like the weather person's wedding band was on the wrong hand. Who was the weather guy? I think his first name was Ron. Dave Statter (October 17, 2000)

Let me get this straight. My father-in-law sold WKIK-AM (1370) to Dick Meyers. Dick Meyers later sold the license for 102.9 in California, MD to Somar. Somar brought back the WSMD and WKIK calls to Southern Maryland. Dick Meyers currently broadcasts on WPTX. When I mentioned the possible sale of PTX/MDM to Somar, my wife looked skyward and said, 'Dad, maybe you'll enjoy this one.' (My father-in-law disliked the 'sneaky but smart business' tactics employed by Key Broadcasting's WPTX (and pending WPTX-FM). He sold KIK as he knew he would have trouble competing with an additional station in the market.) Would a BayMedia sale include the rights to 920 AM where WPTX previously broadcast? - Doug (October 17, 2000)

It was fascinating to read the post that said Sonny, Sam and Frank "should have hung it up years ago" because I never would have guessed that anyone felt that way. Most cities yearn for the kind of coverage and entertainment they provide. Both the friendship and the bickering that characterize the complex relationship among the three of them adds to every broadcast. The chemistry would be forever altered if any one of the three were to leave. As for Larry Michael, I worked with him at Mutual a long time ago and he's a perfectly good, hard-working sports guy, nothing not to like. -Howard Dicus, WTOP. (October 17, 2000)

Well, it looks like WOCT has changed its name once again. I sent a mailbag item last week stating that they didn't seem to be using the 'OOOCT' in their name anymore. Sure enough, the OCT has disappeared from their logo now. It's just the 104.3 text inside of the black and white oval. Check it out at www.1043oct.com. Let's see, over the past 8 years, it's been B104, Variety 104.3, Soft 104.3, 104.3 The Colt, Classic Hits 104.3, 104.3 OCT, and now just Baltimore's Classic Rock 104.3. Have I missed any? Can it sink any lower? (October 17, 2000)

Hi, I saw the newsflash on the homepage about Mega flipping 730 to a new spanish format. Do you know what day/time they will do that? If you don't know right now please post the info whenever you find out! Also when that happens is 92.7 going to be back broadcasting in Stereo as it was from friday till like yesterday or so when it became Mono relaying 730? I can see the point if 92.7 is in mono because the signal on 730 that they are relaying is also mono, but when 730 gets changed and 92.7 is by itself with Spanish Urban music, it would be kinda stupid staying mono, because as I said before it is possible they could broadcast in stereo because we heard it when it signed on last friday! Thanks! DLP (October 17, 2000)

Dave Statter's memories of Stu Kerr remind me that while I was at WITH in Baltimore, I produced Eddie Applefeld's talk program on Saturday afternoons. I guess this was 1993 or 94. Anyway, we did the last interview of Stu Kerr. It was about 6 weeks before his death. When I called him, he sounded so sick, but once Eddie put him on the air, he perked up and sounded like his old self. I grabbed a cassette about 2 minutes into the interview and taped what I could. Stu did everything at WMAR, and they screwed him big time. On Dialing for Dollars, Stu would let the phone ring three times then count to 10 ever so distinctly before hanging up. Then on those occasions when someone actually answered the phone, he'd ask "Are you listening to your radio or watching television right now?" If the answer was yes, his follow-up question was "And what station?" My dear late mother watched every morning with count and amount written down and phone in hand, but of course it never rang. Now the real old farts out there remember when George Rogers was asking viewers about "the count and the amount" on Dialing for Dollars. Yes, the venerable news anchor was also Mr. Fortune before he left WMAR for a few years to host "Shell's Wonderful World of Golf." As I recall, Rogers died several years ago after a heart attack in the lobby of BGE's headquarters in Baltimore where he served as PR director after leaving Channel 2 the second time. You can catch reruns of his golf program on the Golf Channel. Here's a little known Stu Kerr factoid: the same WMAR employee played "Somerset" on the Bozo Show, and "Miss Spiderweb" on Professor Kool and his Fun Skool. He's still there today. It's John Zieman, an excellent floor director and founder of the Baltimore Colts/Ravens Marching Band. I saw John last month at the Memorial Stadium "going out of business" sale. - Gary Helton, Station Mgr., WHFC-FM, Bel Air, MD. (October 17, 2000)

Hmm......Does anyone remember? A few weeks ago when I predicted the outcome of 9's "big change"? Well i was right! I said the 4 and 7 would be big winners...and who are the big winners.....Chris, Largo (October 17, 2000)

Dave's response: Well, to be fair, we've only had one day of ratings to look at so far. But I'll make a prediction - in less than a years' time Channel 9 will restore its 4 PM newscast (probably when its current news director says "goodbye"; news directors at 9 usually don't stay more than a year or so), but the CBS News will stay at 6:30 PM, with 7 PM remaining non-news, but not necessarily "To Tell The Truth." Just my wild guess.

DCRTV got a nice plug in Frank Ahren's on-line radio chat today. Congrats ! Also, posters chastised the Post for their lack of local DC radio and TV coverage. (October 17, 2000)

From All Access - "MXB (B103)/RICHMOND PD BENDER checks into ALL ACCESS to announce that CHARLIE PADGETT is new to nights from WFNX/BOSTON. And the new B103 lineup goes like this: 5:30-10a -- JACKIE & BENDER..... 10a-3p -- REBECCA WILDE..... 3p-7p -- JON BARRY..... 7p-12mid -- CHARLIE PADGETT..... 12mid-5:30a -- DOC MARTIN..... Meanwhile, B103 morning duo JACKIE & BENDER are throwing a first birthday party for B103's littlest DJ, and their son, JORDAN. Check out the line up for the NOVEMBER 11th show: KEANU REEVES & DOGSTAR, SHAWN MULLINS, and RICHMOND band, LEON MILMORE. Finally... B103 has been added to the VH1 RADIO NETWORK." - Robert F Corbin (October 17, 2000)

Hi Dave. I wanted to let you know that Comcast Communications in Baltimore County started airing Fox News Channel this past Sunday (10/15) on Ch.63. Also, when WBAL aired NBC's coverage of the presidential debate two weeks ago, Comcast in Baltimore County showed NBC's baseball coverage feed on Ch.8, which is normally used for CN8, the Comcast Network. Hopefully, they'll do the same tonight(10/17)! Finally, in agreement with Steve McIntosh's comments, I'd like to say that Z104 needs to play hits from the past 10 years during the week (not just weekends), instead of repeating the same 20 songs. In addition, a return to the original all dance mix format for "The Disc Drive at 5" and "The Party Zone" would be nice. I used to enjoy listening to the club music on my way home from work every afternoon. Take it easy. -Greg (October 17, 2000)

Very well written Radiozack! - Mike Navier (October 17, 2000)

Did anyone else hear G.Gordon Liddy at about 11:15 this morning? He sounded like he had had a stroke. This guy is really losing it. I wouldn't be surprised to hear him off the air soon. As far as WJFK's Redskins broadcasts go... they are horrible. The production is terrible, the pregame show is awful, Sunny, Sam and Frank should have hung it up years ago, and I don't know why they insist on shoving Larry Michael down my throat. Who is he, anyway? You'd think they'd want to have the Sports Junkies, one of their main talents, more involved in their broadcasts. Instead they only have two of them on after the postgame show, and the show sucks. (October 17, 2000)

Regarding the guy in Dundalk's comments on WBZS reception in Baltimore, he probably gets a good signal since it's shooting across the water to him. Bodies of water tend to have that effect. The reception here is actually spotty. It's marginal in downtown and Mt. Vernon, decent around the Catonsville/Arbutus line, nonexistent in Woodlawn, almost nonexistent around the intersection of I-95 south and the Beltway, and fairly decent in Ellicott City. Also, they aren't broadcasting a stereo signal. - Steve (October 17, 2000)

Harrisonburg radio wars...I like your comment Dave. A couple of things to stir the pot a bit further...what's the difference between the contests aired on QPO and BHB? Some weeks you are qualifying for the same prize (pop secret race tix)...the same game is on SVA and WAMM - just different cash amounts. All the ratings talk continues to inspire me as well. Are we talking about 12+ numbers here? Geez! Ask the people that sell based on numbers in the building. Many locals don't - but some do and the majority of the nat'l biz too depends on what numbers? 25-54 persons...not split women or men. It's market 260+ for pete's sake (remember your five more back in the pack after arb adds their 5 new markets). To the comment a few day's back...the reason QPO couldn't decide on a format during the '90's was because "they" kept screaming for 25-54 numbers - kept chasing them around the market. Then, the oldies and rock stations hit and QPO couldn't get that cell playing "Lucky" or the boy bands. True the station does OK in the demo based on it's format - and for the most part - except for the deja Q songs - sounds good...but let's be real here...if you've been in the biz anytime at all and have a concept of the business -you know that 12+ numbers are pretty worthless. - Radiozack... (October 17, 2000)

Attention Jason Spencer: Never once did I state your station/s weren't successful. Do you comprehend anything posted on this news group? As far as management goes...I really don't care. Regardless-it sounds bad to run the same promotion or slight variations of it on all stations. I listen to D.C. radio most of the time and don't recall any of the D.C. market stations doing it! One more time!!! Never once did I state your station/s weren't successful. O.K.-got it? Mike Navier P.S. I love this site and hate to rant on your time and web space...but people should 1. Do some research before posting statements they can't support and 2. Try to comprehend & fully understand a post before sending a reply. Am I asking too much?????? (October 17, 2000)

You quote that "WETA management indicates that some of its listeners don't give a hoot if classical music is cut at 90.9." Of course that is true. And some of its listeners would like to go back to the Bill Cerri days. And some of its listeners would like .... Really does sound as though WETA is heading for all-talk, most of the time. In some cities there are two commonly-owned 88-92 MHz FMs, one talk, the other classical, to cover both bases. We seem to have two (WAMU/WETA) that both want to be mainly-talk. Different owners, though. Bob C. (October 17, 2000)

Dave's response: I think WETA-FM would just love to go all talk/public affairs. Just like Philly's WHYY-FM did a few years ago. HYY used to be all classical. The problem here in DC is that WAMU is mostly talk already (except for the bluegrass each afternoon). In Philly, the other major non-comms are WRTI (jazz/classical) and WXPN (eclectic/alternative/folk). There isn't a second all-talk non comm up there. Plus, here in DC we have a successful commercial classical outlet in WGMS, whereas Philly lost its commercial classical station years ago (it has since gone a disco-ish, urban oldies route to varying degrees of ratings non-success). The success of GMS may give the suits at ETA more "fuel" for the argument of making a switch to talk all-the-time. Well, in any case, we'll still have WBJC.

Mike- The reason why WQPO, and all the other stations, sell so many commercials to pizza places and such is because (for some reason) Harrisonburg sells more pizza per capita than any other place in the U.S. I don't know why..I don't even think the pizza places know why. As far as the same promotions being run on the same stations..that has happened before. However, this book, it isn't happening. WQPO and WBHB are running a variation of the same contest, as is WSVA AND WAMM. It has happened upon management that it works the best because people associate all of Verstandig's stations when contests are all run the same on the stations. If it wasn't working why would every station have seen an increase in 12+ numbers last book. Most of the stations saw an increas in W25-54 as well. It is aint broken, don't try to fix it. -Jason Spencer-didn't feel a need to write my name, but there ya go! (October 17, 2000)

Dave's response: I mean, a pi**ing war between MAL and TOP is one thing, but about QPO?

(Regarding a previous message:) How will SOMAR be able to get around the ownership limitation? If they purchase WMDM/WPTX, won't they be in violation of the no more than 40% of advertising in that region? My understanding of the law is that in a small market, one company cannot have more than 40% of the ad market. With the exception of WBZS in Prince Frederick and the religious station on 1030 in Indian Head, SOMAR will dominate Southern, MD. As far as half the employees staying, unlikely. They (SOMAR) are big into voice-tracking/automation. In fact, I believe only their morning show is live now. (October 17, 2000)

/\ October 17 Messages /\

\/ October 16 Messages \/

WMDM-FM and WPTX-AM in Lexington Park, MD, currently owned by Patuxent Radio Partners LLP (who are also a part of the New River Valley Radio Partners in Blacksburg, VA), are being sold. Employees were notified Thursday that the contracts were expected to be signed sometime the week of 10/16. There are reportedly two interested buyers: one annonymous non-broadcasting entity; and SOMAR Communications, which owns rival stations WSMD-FM and WKIK-AM/FM in Mechanicsville, MD. If the SOMAR purchase goes through, only about half of the station's employees will be retained (the other possible buyer has expressed interest in retaining all of the employees). Purchase price was announced at $2.3 million. Employees were told the stations were for sale on a "first-come, first-served" basis, meaning whomever gets the contracts signed first. Other components of what is now known as the "Bay Media Network," which include an Internet service (www.thebaynet.com) and Bayvision Channel 10 on Western Shore Cable TV of St. Mary's County are not going to be included in the deal. (October 16, 2000)

Ravens play-by-play is nothing short of an embarrassment. They broadcast a game almost as if they were provding TV coverage, and not thinking that many listeners are either in their cars or, for one reason or another, are transient listeners. I was in the latter category recently - not of my choosing - and was extrememly frustrated at not even hearing what the score of the game was during the 10-12 minute "listening window" that I had. The broadcasts feature a lot of emoting, ("Oh my!", or "wow")but very little information. Many plays where we don't hear how much yardage was gained. or where the ball is on the field. Reports of injuries with no indication if it is serious, or how the player looks on the sidleine. I could go on, but you get the idea. - Mel W. (Columbia, Md.) (October 16, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) Q101(WQPO) What do you mean set straight? No one brought up WSVA and the % of all the Verstandig stations. And on that note let me express how NOT impressed I am that the same giveaways/promotions are run on all of the stations. Please read and comprend statements posted to DCRTV. And I did mention WQPO tied for 2nd, so what are you trying to set straight. As an occasional listener of Q101 - pizza commercials/sponsorships are all over the air. I've heard Dominos in the morning and Papa John's at lunch, dinner and nights! Did I miss a time of the day? Mike Navier-never afraid to sign my name! (October 16, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) Dave Marsh of WHFS has been the Production Director at WorldSpace Digital Radio in DC since late in 1999. He imaged most of the Branded Services Formats for them...and did a remarkable job giving each of the eight channels a distinctive sound and feel with his production expertise. Quite a talented guy... - Steve Ray WBIG-FM/formerly with WorldSpace (October 16, 2000)

(Harrisonburg VA's) WQPO sells more than pizza commercials, if you'd listen. Throughout the entire building, Verstandig has a 47 share of the market. WSVA is number one in the ratings, followed by a seocnd place tie between Q101 and Country KCY. Thought that needed to be set straight. (October 16, 2000)

Regarding previous messages about Ravens/ Redskins Radio coverage ( and the Eagles get thrown into the same family as well) ... .. While I don't work for CBS / Westwood One directly, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of being the "Senior Producer" for both of the Ravens Affiliates on the Eastern Shore since they came from Cleveland. I have also worked Eagles games on occasion, and heard the Redskins coverage on local affiliates. I can honestly say that Westwood One Sports is the WORST network, bar none, in the history of radio if you are not the flagship station. (Yes I know that CBS owns them, but THEY won't even lay claim to these monstrosities... affidavits all read Westwood as of last year). The Ravens Games are all originated from WLIF in Baltimore. The production quality is normally rotten as far as levels are concerned, but I think they had the same studio engineers for most of the time I was affiliated with them, so it's not from lack of experience. And as far as working for one of their affiliates, they run the game so close as far as their music beds, and commercials, that it is almost impossible for an affiliate to break in cleanly! I have always thought the whole group would be better off if CBS would take the reigns, and run them like they run their other sports programs , with a little consideration for the affiliates(Monday Night football is a breeze to run cleanly). I lump Redskins/ Eagles into the same group, because it seems that Westwood has instructed their Football Flagships to make the affiliates universally sound like crap. It's nice to know that some people find the flagship coverage of the regional NFL teams just as "enjoyable"... ... coastraven (October 16, 2000)

Hey Dave! I got this from a pal of mine up in Canada with the CHUM group. It's probably been around before but this is the first time I've seen it..... "A man knocked at the pearly gates, His face was scarred and old. He stood before the Man of Fate For admission to the fold. "What have you done," St. Peter asked, "To gain admission here?" "I've been in radio, Sir," he said. "For many and many a year." The pearly gates swung open wide; St. Peter touched the bell. "Come in and choose your harp," he said, "You've had your share of hell." - Author Unknown - Jason Veazey (October 16, 2000)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think WLIF-FM in Baltimore is either the Ravens flagship station or the co-flagship station of the Ravens broadcasting network along with WJFK-AM. When I go to the Ravens Radio website at Ravensradio.com, it redirects me to wlif.ravensradio.com. The Ravens games are simlucasted on both WLIF-FM and WJFK-AM, as well as the pre and post game shows, the only Ravens talk show not carried by WLIF on Ravens game days is the post-post game with Tom Matte show which is carried on WJFK-AM only.
Like your web page -- an impressive effort. Do you have any idea what happened to Dave Marsh at HFS? Is he still there, or just not on Now Hear This anymore? (the only thing they air worth hearing, IMO.) I was wondering if his absence was at all related to NHT's airing of the entire Radiohead album. I heard from someone who should know that NHT's Radiohead special predated the actual release of the album to radio -- meaning that HFS or Marsh must have gotten it off Napster. Which is, of course, illegal. Hmm. BTW: I write for a trade publication you might enjoy. It's called Current, and it's all about public broadcasting. I write about public radio. The URL is www.current.org. Yours, Mike Janssen (October 16, 2000)

Dave's response: I have forwarded your message to Phil Zachary of HFS.

To follow-up on yesterday's comments of the Washington Redskins' flagship station, WJFK-AM is The Baltimore Ravens' flagship in Baltimore. There problem is not so much a technical one ... but rather a 'quality content' one. There Raven's 'open-form' talk programming just goes on and on and on ... forever. They just keep taking the same calls, from different callers, for unnecessary hours. This is obviously due in part to the fact that football networks have only 16 weeks to make revenues; you have to make the most of it. In your opinion, now that The Ravens are in their fifth and final year on WJFK, will The Ravens resign with WJFK, giving them unlimited programming on a station with a terrible signal? Or, does a quality station like WBAL (with Baltimore's best AM signal) have a chance to pick-up the contract ... considering the fact that they also have The Orioles as a client, as well as other quality programming that they will air? (October 16, 2000)

Here's a follow-up on my post from a few days ago defending John Matthews of Brand X about delaying broadcasts to get the biggest audience. It's Monday morning and my story on WTOP is an enterprise story. The sound is with the guy responsible for computer security at the Agency for International Development. That's the federal agency that hands out foreign aid. He's an advocate of all federal agencies sharing their ideas for repelling hackers, in part on the theory that hackers share THEIR ideas so why not? I interviewed him last week but held it for this morning for two reasons. One is that a national conference on computer security which this guy will attend is starting this morning in Baltimore. But the more important reason is that Monday is usually a comparatively slow news morning, so I can count on an enterprise story not getting bumped by breaking news. The reports are not live. But it's a perfectly good story on a substantive issue. It's even moderately interesting if you're into this sort of thing. So what the hay? Elsewhere in the Mailbag, Dave Statter is right, I believe, about John Mason also doing a contest during his movie shows. And finally, does anybody remember when Captain Chesapeake's principal sponsor was Drink-Me Pop? -Howard Dicus, WTOP. (October 16, 2000)

Today (10/15) I listened to the Post-Game show on WJFK. I believe the jock's name was Larry Michaels(?) This is the first time I've ever heard this show. I was mesmerized by how technically horrific it was. I'm curious to know - are there always technical problems of that magnitude and frequency? Every 2 or 3 minutes there was a new nightmare. Several times people weren't there when they were introduced, then two different ("live") tapes ran simultaneously (in separate channels!) for at least a minute before they bailed out of that, then interviews ran for almost a full minute at a level that couldn't be heard even if you turned your volume up all the way, there was lots and lots and lots of dead air...then several incidents of more than one thing running at once. And it all went on for at least 20 minutes. That's when I finally gave up. Up until that point I felt like a driver passing a dead animal on the road - it made me feel a bit nauseous, but morbid curiosity kept my attention for those 20 minutes. I seem to recall reading on this message board that the folks producing shows on WJFK are paid only minimum wage. Is that the explanation? It seems like CBS would be shamed into coughing up enough money to get decent producers after something like today's fiasco (if that's the problem). Or was there just something horribly wrong today only, and usually that show goes well? I sure hope so. (October 16, 2000)

Dave's response: JFK has its problems. I listened to the Skins pre-game show on JFK and at 11 AM they announced that the game was the Skins versus the Eagles (last week's) and then when Don Geronimo came on you couldn't hear him for about 20 seconds because the background music was so loud.

Hi Dave, I really love this site! It's one of my favorites.The first place I go when I want to get the latest news(Radio/TV) in the D.C./Baltimore market area! You were asking about how reception of the new WBZS-FM is in Baltimore.The station puts in a very strong signal into this area. My house is located in the southeastern part of Baltimore,about 4 blocks from Dundalk WBZS-FM comes in solid on the Denon tuner hooked up to an outdoor fm antenna.The signal is best when the antenna is pointed south to southwest towards D.C.generally the same direction you would point the antenna to receive the old WMJS-FM. The station comes in on the C.Crane portable with a whip.It also comes in very clear and solid on my DX-398 portable,(this radio is also known as the Sangean ATS-909). This radio again is a portable with a whip antenna and gets the 92.7signal very strong.I wonder what the ERP is?..... Dave I have a website for you and the rest of the folks who like radio from the U.K. homepages.enterprise.net/PaulBaker/london_radio/listening.html.... enjoy. - Nick Lemonakis, Baltimore (October 16, 2000)

Dave's response: Thanks Nick. As for British radio, while the various (non-commercial) flavors of BBC radio are great, I find the commercial stations over there are sounding more "American" (boring and bland) lately.

(Regarding DCRTV's quote of last week from Mike Buchanan:) I don't know if you saw this, but here is the quote for this week, also from Mike. At the end of the 11am special newscast (on Channel 9) on Sunday, Andrea said we will see you again "at 5am tomorrow morning". And with perfect comic timing and a startled look on his face, Buck screamed "What!!??". (October 16, 2000)

Dave's response: Poor Buck. But, look on the bright side. There'll be no traffic jams on I-270 on his way to work.

/\ October 16 Messages /\

\/ October 15 Messages \/

It's inexcusable that Channel 9 did not break away from its Redskins chest beating,sky shots and puff pieces to air LIVE coverage of our injured sailors returning to Norfolk Naval Air Station! Even a 2 or 3 minute look would have done the trick, because only the cable channels were covering it. We were, instead, treated to yet another detailed wrap of the game from Jess Atkinson. Enough already...be a NEWS organization...don't miss the MAJOR stories, especially when there's such a strong local interest as well. (October 15, 2000)

Thanks to Dave Statter for being the voice of reason on the name calling. (October 15, 2000)

(1) You would think there would be intertie capacity on NVCC's analog microwave system to carry TV56 to Loudoun County's Adelphia cable TV system..... (2) This morning WINC was off for a hours so I heard 92.7 in Sterling. A weak signal . Once 92.5 fires up you have to be inside the beltway to make it usable. BTW, their promo talks about a roll-out at 12 noon Monday..... La Mega se pega..... (October 15, 2000)

Dave's response: You'd certainly think WNVC could arrange a terrestrial link to continue carriage of their signal to Loudoun and Prince William's cable systems, two rather sizeable population-wise areas of their coverage area. Yes, if Northern Virginia Community College can do a relay to Loudoun and Prince William, you'd think WNVC could do one too.

I am a serious Redskins fan living in Santa Barbara, CA. My husband won't let me get Direct TV Season Ticket (think I should leave him?) sooo, I want to try and find the Sonny Jorgenson, Sam Huff broadcasts so that I could possibly get it over the internet. When I lived there (McLean, VA) I used to turn down the volume and listen to their blissfully biased reporting! Can you help? Madeline (October 15, 2000)

Dave's response: Sorry, but the Redskins' main station, WJFK, does not allow internet streaming of its signal. Despite the beauty of the Santa Barbara area, there are still one or two reasons to live near the Nation's Capital. And Redskins radio coverage is one of them.

Howard Dicus and Mark Rockman, you have made my day. Howard, I did scream "Yes! Yes! That's it!" as soon as I saw the words '"Uniformed Custodian". It is a phrase I only remember hearing on "Dialing for Dollars". When you are 5 or 6 years old, phrases like that and people in uniform catch your attention. I remember Sylvia Scott doing a variety of "women's programs" on Channel 2. Another woman involved in the early days of WMAR was Helen Delich Bentley. Bentley, later to be elected to congress for four terms, had a career as a reporter and the maritime editor of the Sunpapers. An installment from her series on Channel 2, "The Port That Built a City" is available at the "Museum of Television and Radio" in New York. Getting back to Rusty's original question: Was Stu Kerr "Mr. Fortune"? I know one of the shows MPT did on early Baltimore TV had a segment on Kerr and probably has the answer to that question and many other questions. One of my other goals, while off from work, is to find the box in my basement that contains the videotapes from the MPT shows. I do recall the cut up Baltimore telephone directory in the drum. It was a pretty common practice in those days. As for "three from the bottom" I remembered the phrase, but completely forgot the concept. At one time I thought the term meant the slot in the "Golden Cash Box" where the money was kept. At least that is what the imagination of "little" David Statter came up with. I also remember hearing the simulcast on WCBM. Stu Kerr, like many of the staff announcers in those days, was a talented guy. I may have mentioned before that the only time I met him was when "Bozo" paid a visit to Campfield Elementary School in Baltimore County. I was in 5th or 6th grade at the school. Stu Kerr was not happy when, along with a friend, I climbed up on a trash dumpster and spied on him putting on his clown makeup in the gym teacher's office. Didn't John Mason at WJZ also do some sort of "cash call" with the afternoon movie he hosted? Dave Statter (October 15, 2000)

WNVC 56 ran an alert on air today at 2PM noting that their over the air signal would be suspended from October 23rd to November 23rd, so they could do transmitter work necessary to allow for future digital broadcasts. During that month, they intend to continue their broadcasts to cable systems, but apologized in advance to people in Loudoun, Prince William, Clarke, all of West Virginia, and StarPower subscribers, as the cable signal will not be available to people in those areas. The same organization runs channel 56 and channel 53, so presumably channel 53 will be off the air either at the same time or for an equivalent amount of time in the future. - Benjamin (who lives in Prince William County, doesn't have Cable, and was watching more and more of WNVC's programming. Guess that leaves time to read.) (October 15, 2000)

Dave's response: Channel 56 has for many years supplied its signal via a terrestrial link to the Cox cable system of Fairfax County.

Regarding Dave Statter's reference to Stu Kerr's routine on "Dialing for Dollars" on Channel 2, Baltimore. The phrase "2 from the top" or "3 from the bottom" referred to names and phone numbers on little slips of paper created by shredding the local phone book. If the slip had five phone numbers on it, one would count them off "the top, 1 from the top, 2 from the top" to select a listing. Somebody would reach into a rotating bin of the slips and Stu would announce the last 4 digits of the number on the selected slip that would called. It seems to me that special rules applied when business listings contaminated a slip. The called party would have to repeat the pattern, like "2 from the bottom," to prove that he or she was watching WMAR-TV or listening to WCBM radio. Most of the time nobody was at home so Stu did his best to keep it interesting. After dialing he'd announce "clickover and first ring." That was back in the days when electromechanical telephone company equiupment audibly began to connect the call. The call audio was never put on the air. Eventually Stu would have announced so many rings and no answer. The jackpot amount would increase and the million dollar movie would recommence. What a concept! Stu Kerr was a fine performer. Best regards, Mark Rockman (October 15, 2000)

Everything you are about to read is the almost four-decades-old memory of a child and I welcome corrections. "Dialing For Dollars" was co-hosted by Stu Kerr and Sylvia Scott. She was the wife of an executive either with WMAR-TV or with the Sunpapers, which owned the station. The program was 15 minutes long. It was simulcast on Channel 2 and on WCBM. The program was probably logged as public service because a minor role in the contest was played by a guest, different each day, who got a brief opportunity to speak about a charity or civic event. The "Uniformed Custodian" brought out the "Golden Cash Box" (right now Dave Statter is crying "Yes! Yes! That's it!") which allegedly contained the jackpot. To win, one had to know "the count and the amount" when called. "The count," which would be "three from the bottom" or "two from the top" or something like that, referred to which phone number would be called on a scrap of paper. You see, they had cut a Baltimore phone directory into scraps of paper. The guest's role was to select the scrap from a cage or wheel or whatever they kept it in. I'm fuzzy on that. So Stu and Sylvia would interview, say, the head of a garden club that was about to hold a rose fair, then ask her to select a strip of numbers. I distinctly recall that Stu would make jokes and Sylvia wouldn't laugh. She would merely offer a sickly smile, and occasionally it was clear she didn't get the joke at all. Stu would dial the number and then converse with someone if there was an answer, but you couldn't hear the other side of the conversation. Stu would start a joke while dialing and often would not be able to finish it. I should also mention that he frequently reached someone who was not "listening or watching," as he put it, but who did know of the show and recognize Stu. So this is how it sounded: "So to win you'll need to know the count is two from the bottom and the amount is $60. I'm dialing now. So this man walks into a store and he asks for three pencils. The clerk says, why three pencils? The man says, my wife has a fever. So one pencil's for me, one's for my wife, and- hello? Mrs. Bovina Milkdud of- Uh, huh. I wanted to ask if- yes! Uh, huh. Uh, huh. Yes! Well, are you listening or watch- Uh, huh. Uh, huh. Yes! Oh, that's too- Uh, huh. Uh, huh. Bah-bye! Well, that was Mrs. Bovina Milkdud of Jupp Road in Harundale, and unfortunately she was NOT listening or watching, so we add another ten dollars to the jackpot...." -Howard Dicus, WTOP. (October 15, 2000)

Dave: You know, I darned near wrote you concerning the idea of Clear Channel shuttting down WCHV and improving WGAY's signal until I heard the new unannounced Sports Format there last Thursday. (GMTA). WCHV's nightime signal is so directional, that you cant pick them up here at my cabin in the country in Ivy located just a few miles west of Charlottesville. By the way, Clear Channel now is in the process of buying WKDW-AM, WSVO-FM Staunton and WINF-AM Waynesboro, VA from Douglas Communications. Strange that they didn't do that when they picked up WCYK-FM Staunton, WVAO-FM Crozet and WVSY-FM Ruckersville last year. WCYK-FM and WINF-AM were origionally WANV-AM & FM years ago. (October 15, 2000)

Larry, I just finished reading your post. Just wanted to let you know that Q101(WQPO) has never been number 1 in the market and only tied for 2 in the market once. You really should do some research before throwing out a statement you can't support! As far as the college crowd they do great with that audience. But try selling something other than pizza commercials. Mike (October 15, 2000)

John, I can only imagine the protest of 2 jocks in the Winchester area (due to lifestyle) be false. Such efforts would seemingly be better spent in other places much higher on the "market ladder," especially if travel from Kentucky is involved. Except for DCRTV, good ole market 219 (or thereabouts) is not setting the world ablaze with it's minute details. However, if it's not stepping on anyone's toes, I'd love to know the websites that started the 'lets-get-the-gays-outta-Winchester' notions. (October 15, 2000)

No surprise that VerStanding would flip 101.5 over to CHR in the Hagerstown-Chambersburg area since they have a rather successful CHR in Harrisonburg, VA, that being Q-101 (WQPO 100.7). Took them a while to settle on the format though, because thru most of the 90's Q-101 couldn't settle on anything - they tried 80's/90's AC mix, Hot AC, etc., before settling on straight-ahead CHR that scores big with the college crowd at James Madison University. Q-101 has routinely been first or second in most every Harrisonburg ratings book the past few years - - - Larry (October 15, 2000)

I have been away from the computer for a few days and want to send my wishes for a speedy recovery to the wonderful Bob Duckman. In answer to Rusty's questions, I do remember Stu Kerr as "Mr. Fortune", I am just hazy on the specifics. I seem to recall him standing in front of a vault, or something, and calling people like those other "Money Movie Features". I also think there may have been a uniformed guard (or someone playing a uniformed guard) standing by. I could be confusing this with so many other local TV money giveaway features. What exactly did they mean when they told you the answer was "two from the top" (or something like that)? Sorry to disappoint you, but I obviously don't remember that Stu Kerr character as clearly as I do the janitor from "The Early Riser" or his version of "Bozo the Clown". As for our 1983 encounter, I was still at WTOP then and didn't start at Channel 9 until 1985. As always, thanks for the nice comments Rusty, the check is in the mail...As for the rivalry between two local radio stations that is being played out on DCRTV....give me a break! (sorry Warner). It is the only part of DCRTV that I don't like. This is something I have been wanting to write for a long time. The rivalry isn't new, but the effort some people have made to pat themselves on the back, while simultaneously taking a knife to the same anatomical region on the competition, has become a bit childish. Save the energy and effort for the airwaves (and internet). Both stations have a rich history to be proud of . Some of the best broadcasters in the nation have been through the doors on Jenifer Street and on Idaho Avenue (and of course 40th and Brandywine). As the business has changed, both stations have seen a lot of ups and downs. For those who think they are on top now, all it takes is a new owner or even a new manager to change your fortune. There are wonderful posts on DCRTV coming from talented veterans at both stations. There are often interesting comments and good answers to questions that have been asked by those who contribute to DCRTV (look at Howard's post from 10/12 for an example of this). And there is nothing wrong with a lively debate between professionals who have a difference of opinion. We can all learn from this type of dialogue. When it gets into my dad can beat up your dad or my dad just beat up your dad, I move onto the next post. From my experience, there are days where I am going to beat the competition on the story and there are days when I am going to take a beating (for the sake of my job, I am hoping the ratio is in my favor). There are some talented, experienced people doing local news in Washington. When you get bested by one of them, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, I am expecting that I will get my own share of pointed jabs for getting up on this soap box. Feel free. Dave Statter (October 15, 2000)

/\ October 15 Messages /\

\/ October 14 Messages \/

The old WAYZ frequency, 101.5, is now a full-tilt CHR as "Magic 101.5". No jocks, just liners (I think it's Pat Garrett, very good stuff). Not a Hot AC or a White CHR... a dead-on CHR with a fair amount of rythmic stuff. Sounds very good. Likely to kick WIKZ's ass in P18-34... take away all their teens, too... and take away any women 18-34 that 103.7/WEEO "The Revolution" has. The Hagerstown-Chambersburg market has long been a very strong CHR/Top 40 market, beginning in '71 with 1130/WEEO (now deceased)... and continuing with 96.7/WQCM ('77 through the early 90's) and 95.l/WIKZ ('77 through the early 90's) as well as Martinsburg, WV's 97.5/WKMZ ('87 through the early 90's). They all abandoned the format around 1992-1993, but in their wake left around 20 shares unspoken for. So, we shouldn't be terribly surprised if this "done on the cheap" version blows away the market. Kudos to VerStandig and everyone associated with the decision. (October 14, 2000)

You'll need a sensitive digital receiver over in Sterling for 92.7. Even with AFC unlocked WINC overwhelms 92.7. A Magnavox DR-2999 does the trick.. If Mega was smart they would buyout WTRI and relay 92.7 over here on AM. (October 14, 2000)

Dave's response: I still think Mega should put the same programming on 94.3 and 92.7 since there isn't much overlap between them. Areas that get 94.3 well can't get 92.7 well, and vice versa. There are folks who live in Arlington and DC that used to listen to Mega's "Amor" format on 1390 (now a Multicultural station) who can't now get it on 94.3 (from Warrenton).

(Regarding listening to football via the internet:) Of course, there is the lag time of streaming audio which makes it nearly impossible to watch the Redskins game on TV and listen to Sam, Sonny and Frank at the same time unless you are listening on an actual radio. (October 14, 2000)

I want to join everyone else in wishing Bob Duckman a speedy recovery. I worked with him at WASH in the early 80's. He is a class act. As to the post about Jim Elliot you are correct(ding..ding..ding) he was one half of "Elliot and Woodside." Sean I'll let you sell tickets to the "Brian and O'Brien" reunion, If I can have a piece of the gate. If he calls me "Dip Stick" the whole things off! - Big Don O'Brien, WQSR (October 14, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I remember a program called Coming Out on Sunday nights on Magic 102.3 in 85/86 which dealt with gay/lesbian issues. In fact, the host refused to have a delay on the phone and listeners would occasionally utter anti-gay obscenities. However, the host believed that people should express themselves however they wish and that was his reasoning behind not having the delay. (October 14, 2000)

In response to the person looking for a webcast of the Redskins games, try www.wina.com. On another matter, as of last Thursday, WCHV 1260 AM in Charlottesville joined the Fox Sports Network. - Big John (October 14, 2000)

Dave's response: Hey, Clear Channel could buy Charlottesville's WCHV, shut it down, and then change the pattern of WGAY to better cover northern Virginia. Hmmmm. Remember when Inner City Broadcasting bought WOWO, a 50 kW monster in Ft. Wayne, Indiana so that it could re-do its night pattern so that it could increase the night coverage of WLIB in NYC (both on 1190). By the way, we in the DC area now get WLIB instead of WOWO at night. And WLIB has a quite nice Caribbean music format.....

I heard one of 92.7's test broadcasts this morning. It was at 8AM, and 92.7 was putting in a weak-sounding signal into Manassas, VA. 92.5 WINC, usually heard loud and clear here, was completely obliterated on 92.5, audible only on 92.4, and then only on the most sensitive radio in the house. Considering how much interference 92.7 caused, I was surprised by the poor sound quality. By 9AM, the 92.7 test was over, and 92.5 was booming a clear signal over that section of the dial again. I noticed another audio feature this morning. 89.9 Culpepper was putting in a slightly weaker signal in Manassas than usual this morning, leaving 90.1 C-Span Radio from DC with the least amount of interference it has had since 89.9 went on the ar last year..... Finally, WETA 26 was advertising an Allen/Robb debate of some nature to air tomorrow night (10/15) at 8PM. Glad to see that race finally getting coverage. - Benjamin (October 14, 2000)

WMAL did a special (pre-taped) political roundtable Friday evening. For the entire 20 minutes I could stand to listen to it, Chris Core was totally off mike ! The content was fine, but don't they know enough to do a mike check before taping a program ? I would have listened to the whole thing if he had been miked properly. (October 14, 2000)

From www.nfl.com you can access any of the nfl games being played in real audio, plus live stats and all that cool stuff....Brad (October 14, 2000)

14 ZYQ used many different companies..the kimosabe joe cut sounds like a GWINSOUND package to me which WDON also used when DON was Oldies 1540! btw....anyone have any WTBO( Cumberland )audio or stories from the 70's?????? ZYQ was a great TOP40 training farm along with WYRE,WQCM,WEEO,etc. (October 14, 2000)

RJ here, from the all-new Connecticut School of Broadcasting. I use your site every day to kickoff every class here at the newest school, within the nation's oldest and largest group of broadcast schools. [ Sorry - shameless plug there ! ] I * believe * that WAGE-AM out in Loudoun County carries the 'Skins [ along with other teams ] not only over-the-air, but on their website as well. Being a Broncos fan from way-back [ 25+ years now ], I wish I knew someone in Denver who could help me with catching Broncos games on the 'net as well. Keep at it, Dave - your site [ and the NYRTV site as well ] are awesome ! Best regards, RJ (October 14, 2000)

The following story from "All Access Radio Music" mentions a record executive named Jim Elliott. Is this the same Jim Elliott of "Elliott and Woodside" and Washington radio of the past?..... "After eight years as ARISTA's VP/Promotion, JIM ELLIOTT has left the building. ELLIOTT told ALL ACCESS: "I've had a wonderful eight years at ARISTA and my best wishes will always be with the company for continued success. I'm so proud of having been part of the team that made ARISTA a true legacy in this business. I look forward to future endeavors." (October 14, 2000)

The following message was printed by the Washington Post on 10/14 as a "Letter To The Editor".....

Marc Fisher's column Sept. 26 ["TV Stations Offer a Clear Picture of Indifference," Metro] begins with a shaky premise and uses bad information to draw an insupportable conclusion about how local television news views the Senate race in Virginia. The shaky premise is that a news organization's commitment to good political reporting can be judged by how many debates it televises. The bad information is that these stations can plug into any debate they wish. The insupportable conclusion is that we are indifferent to this particular race. WRC-TV and News4 love to report on politics, and our viewers seem to love to watch that coverage. News4 reporter Julie Carey (along with reporters from WTTG and News Channel 8) was in Richmond Sunday, Sept. 24, for the debate carried by CBS affiliate WTVR, and not only filed that night on our Olympics-delayed newscast in Washington but also prepared an expanded report for our Monday morning newscasts. That afternoon, Julie was a panelist in the Fairfax County debate and reported on our evening newscasts. News4 anchor-reporters Doug McKelway and Wendy Reiger were also assigned to debate coverage and Northern Virginia reaction. And the fact that WRC-TV committed months ago to carry the final debate Sunday, Oct. 22, in prime time should be more than a footnote in Fisher's column. --Robert L. Long (The writer is vice president of news for WRC-TV, News4.) (October 14, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) I can't believe that there that many gay people in the United States much less on radio. Are you going by the Kinsey reports? You know that those 1948 and 1953 reports have been under question for some time now. (October 14, 2000)

Dave's response: That's probably the impression you'd get by the almost complete lack of gay-themed local programming on DC area radio and TV. Anybody remember the short lived "Rainbow Radio" on WZHF back before the sale to Mega? Check out the Washington Blade's TV/radio listings. An interesting radio show the Blade lists is "The X Factor" Saturdays at 10 PM on Gaithersburg's WMET (1150 AM) - www.thexfactor.com.

You have complied a great list of radio stations. I'm looking for on-line station that broadcasts the weekly Redskins games. I'm a native Marylander who currently resides in Denver, and it has been a while since I listened to D.C radio. Any help in finding a pro-Skins channel would be appreciated. --Thanks, Dave Rodgers (October 14, 2000)

Dave's response: Sorry, but the Redskins games are carried by WJFK which is owned by Infinity which does not allow web streaming of its stations. Sometimes, I'm told, you can hunt down a station of an opponent which may carry the game on the internet. This week they play the Ravens. Anyone know of a station that carries the Ravens and also has a internet stream?

Dear Skip Groff And Dear Friends Of Bob Duckman: As I'm sure you know, our friend, Bob Duckman, has been injured in a tragically unfortunate automobile accident in Annapolis, MD this past week. At this hour (10/13/2000, 11:30pm US Eastern), his condition has been listed as, "serious but stable" by the local media. The Washington Post ran a story today; the URL follows. Simply double-click on the following line to read it: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A540-2000Oct13.html. Now, we must be optimistic that his condition will improve. In the early hours of any medical trauma, the precise diagnosis of a patient's condition is difficult to define. It is a shame that we must on these occasions only say things like what a wonderful guy Bob is, how delightful it is to hear his voice on the radio, or the fact that I told him that "Take Me In Your Arms" by Jefferson would never be a hit when we worked together at WASH-FM/97.1 in Washington, DC in 1972. You see, Bob Duckman is a Washington, DC original. He grew-up here, earned academic distinction at The University Of Maryland and became a master of the airwaves, right here in our home town. Oh no, Bob Duckman will return to his great love of radio someday soon and we'll be waiting to hear him, live with Eddie. He'll be bigger than ever --just listen! So, contact everyone you know who is a Bob Duckman fan like me and find-out exactly the day and hour when Bob will be back on-the-air. I'll tell 'ya one thing: I'll be taping it! Stay tuned, - David (October 14, 2000)

Dave's response: Hmmm, David, I thought you wanted us to call you Parnelli DeChucko.....

/\ October 14 Messages /\

\/ October 13 Messages \/

I've only met Bob Duckman once but will never forget the story he told about getting pulled over by a police officer on his way to work at XTRA-104. The officer recognized him and Bob thought he might be let off with a warning. Instead, the officer did indeed ticket him, and his parting shot was, "Play more Elvis!" -Howard Dicus, WTOP. (October 13, 2000)

FM 92.7, the former WMJS is on with test programming. They are strong here in Laurel. A friend there tells me that the real format will begin on Monday or before. Old WMJS was about equal in strength to WINC here in central Laurel, the 92.7 almost wipes it off the dial. I hope others will tell us all how it is coming in in various locations. This is the first new frequency in Washington/Baltimore since the 70's when WPFW, WCVT(89.7), WEAA, WKHS, and WAQA(103.1) signed on and WXTR (104.1) went from only covering Southern MD to being a market station. Other stations have changed call letters and identities in the intervening decades, but for many receiving locations this will actually represent a station on the dial where previously there was none. ...Sam (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: Here in Wild West Fairfax, where WINC comes booming in on 92.5, at 6 PM on 10/13 I can get a decent signal from WMJS... er WBZS... if I tune my portable Sony to 92.7 (or even better on 92.8) and swing the antenna around a bit. It would put in a killer signal if WINC wasn't there. I wonder just how much WINC's extended coverage area will be cut when you get inside the Beltway. The new 92.7 is bound to have an effect.
for john matthews: there are two **'s in p***ing match. /sean hall (October 13, 2000)

regarding: "BTW, has Brian and O'Brien patched up their differences after all these years?" Let's just say if they ever do, I want to sell tickets to the event. /sean hall (October 13, 2000)

I am sure that there isn't anyone who's grown up here in the Washington who's not a friend of Bob Duckman. You won't find a better broadcaster or PERSON than him. I know I speak for everyone when I say "Get well soon Bobby D!". - Loo Katz (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: And get Loo back on the radio!

John Matthews does not sound very competitive. Seems to me that WMAL has been poking a finger in WTOP's eye for the past few Orioles seasons with remarks like "Aren't you sad your news station is playing games ?" Now that WTOP is no longer vulnerable (having dropped the O's) WMAL says let's not do that anymore. Tossing in the towel ? (October 13, 2000)

I remember that in the late 80s FOX45 had started the Captain Chesapeake Club. For send a self-addressed stamp envelope, you would get a monthly newsletter and a membership card. When Captain Chesapeake made his last trip on television, and became the FOX45 Clubhouse, all of the members of the Captain Chesapeake Club, became members of the FOX45 Clubhouse, which was part of the FOX network's FOX KIDS CLUB. I wish I still had the newsletters so I could post them, but my mom threw them out. I'm still glad I have my baseball cards. and memo to Rusty, ravens suck...war redskins, good night now. - P. Kenny Burns a/k/a Redskin Fan (October 13, 2000)

What p***ing match? - Mike McMearty, News Director WTOP (October 13, 2000)

Sure, Jeff, there are more people listening to the radio in afternoon drive than during the midday. They just aren't listening to WMAL. (October 13, 2000)

John Matthews should read up on Harry Truman, who said "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the newsroom." (October 13, 2000)

Sorry to hear about Bob Duckman's accident. One of the true gentlemen of the business, Bob would occasionally make public appearances on behalf of X-TRA 104 at the old Peppermint Lounge in Fairfax where I used to DJ back in the 80's. He always had a kind word for everyone, loved the music, and more importantly, cared deeply for his loyal listeners. Get well soon "Duck-Man"..... To Dave Statter, being the broadcast historian that you are (particularly Baltimore TV).could lend any credence to my previous post about Stu Kerr (not George Lewis) being known as "Mr. Fortune" back in the 60's. You must have been on assignment on this date as I came across an old program last night from the 2nd Crackerjack Old-timers Game (1983) that was held at RFK stadium that you autographed for me. I showed it my to wife who said "isn't that the guy from channel 9"?. "yes" I told her, also from WTOP radio and a frequent poster to the best broadcast website on the planet. I said it a few days ago but it bears repeating...GO RAVENS. Have a nice weekend everyone, Rusty (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: Bob Duckman is a class act, all the way back to his days with great WASH of the 70s. Our prayers are with him.

The message attributed to me that appeared on this board on 10/12/00 was a broad-brush, non-researched, OFF-THE-RECORD e-mail comment that was posted anyway by the website's owner. I wanted to keep the remarks off the record because of a long-standing desire to end an existing p***ing match between WMAL and WTOP. We have gone back and forth with each other over the past couple of years, to the credit of neither station, and I believe, much to the detriment of both. We, as professionals, should be better than that. I have spoken with radio news directors in other major cities, and have rarely, if ever, found the kind of negative bickering that we've had here in D.C. I'll be the first to say here that it has not been one-sided. We have both returned fire and "started fires" here at WMAL. I just have reached the point where I find the whole mess to be distasteful. To our competition at WTOP, please consider this an olive branch. My hope is that we can keep our rivalry clean, on the record and with attribution. To others who read this board, I hope you will continue to offer constructive criticism. Your opinions do matter to us, and in addition to DCRTV, I would welcome your comments at John.Matthews@abc.com. I am not naive enough to think that low blow cheap shots at us will not continue, but I can assure you, I will not be responding to them, either by name or pseudonym. - John Matthews, News Director, WMAL (October 13, 2000)

The person who quoted the midday vs. afternoon drive numbers for WMAL, and concluded they were wrong in tape delaying a program to reach a larger audience in the afternoon missed the point. They are interested in the TOTAL number of listeners available, not how many they had in the last book or trend. There is a larger universe of listeners in afternoon drive than midday, so they have the best chance of increasing their cume in that daypart by running something that will attract more of those with their radios on. - Jeff (October 13, 2000)

A Washington Post article from last week, Community Radio Faces 11th-Hour Battle on Hill, suggested that there was an important Low Power Radio vote in congress this week. Has anyone heard or read anything on the results from that vote? (October 13, 2000)

Greetings! This Friday the 13th brings only good news, because I get to tell you about a truly great program heading your way tomorrow night. That's when author Brian A. Hopkins gets stretched out "On The Rack" revealing all sorts of strange tales! In addition I get to bring you one of his short stories and: I Dissect The New Independent Film "Party Crasher" Delve Into The Hollywood Release of "Lost Souls" Uncover The History Of Halloween Bring You The Second And Final Week Of The Mystery Movie Contest" Present Chapter 6 Of "The Phantom Creeps" With Bela Lugosi and more! It all begins Saturday night at www.countgore.com..... Creature Feature with Count Gore De Vol. - Dick Dyszel (October 13, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I can't speak for anyone here, but I believe that the claim wasn't that WMAL's audience was bigger, it was that there was a bigger POTENTIAL audience in afternoon drive. There are more people listening to the radio between the hours of 3-7pm than there are between 10a-3p. Brad (October 13, 2000)

This is my first time here, love this website. Very well done !!! Both my wife and I live in Frederick County, Virgina and there is a rumor sweeping this area ( it has appeared on some of the local Winchester area websites ) that some church group out of Kansas is "investigating" two local radio djs in this area for a possible protest. The group is headed by (a reverend who) was the one who protested the funeral of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Sheppard as well at other funerals of gays/ lesbians or anything else they feel is pro-gay. )..... According to the rumor ,2 local radio djs in this area .... are gay and are married to each other and that this group wants to protest both outside their home and at the station where they are employeed at. They feel that homosexuals should NOT be allowed on the radio and having them on the radio promotes the gay lifestyle. I am hearing this from quite a few people in this area. I have no idea who these two men are and the fact that someone such as the (reverend) ( he and his flock are known to hold up some really vulgar signs ) may even come here is causing concerned. I am wondering if any of this is true or is it just a wild rumor. - John (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: I have deleted the "reverend's" name since I cannot confirm the above info. If the reverend wants to protest at stations where gay people work and/or are on the air (out of the closet or not), he and his followers would probably have to protest at just about every radio and TV station in the DC and Baltimore areas, I'd guess.
(WMAL's) John Matthews claims they are running their political roundtable program 6 hours after it happens today so that more people can hear it in the afternoon. That's not correct. In the Spring Arbitron, WMAL's midday (10a-3p) total audience (persons 12+) was 193,300. In afternoon drive (3p-7p), it was 174,600. In other words, WMAL has a BIGGER audience middays than they do in afternoon drive. That was also the case in the previous 4 Arbitron books. In looking at the numbers, I was struck by how many more listeners WTOP (the AM and FM combined) have in both drivetimes than WMAL. A wide margin. (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: Mr. Matthews has reponded to the several questions DCRTV has received regarding WMAL of late, but he has asked that I not run his messages on the mailbag. (I did take the liberty to use a line from his 10/12 message to answer a question in a previous "Dave's response." I apologize if that was the wrong thing to do.) If Mr. Matthews sends DCRTV a message that he will allow me to include on the mailbag - in defense of WMAL - I will gladly run it.

Today, Lisa de Moraes reports today that Channel 9 will introduce their new news teams on Sunday (yeah, breaking news there). But, but she does have one new twist. She's reporting that Monika Samtani, currently at the "overnight news desk" and former traffic reporter, will return to AM traffic duties, replacing Rona Mensah. Here's the link -- last item. www.wpni.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64634-2000Oct12.html. (October 13, 2000)

Dave's response: For the record, we beat the Post on 9's plans to promo their new news line-up at the Skins game by two days, the Hillard Howard news by three days, and we got the thing on Topper Shutt's promotion on September 26. But then again, Lisa has many other important things to cover like "Survivor" and "Big Brother" news.....
(Regarding previous messages:) I believe that the name of Captain Chesapeake's "ship" was the "Television Hall", named after the old building that housed the WBFF studios. Mike in Frederick (October 13, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I would like to chime in on the WHEN TO GO LIVE debate. Live shots are best when they are done for on going breaking events that should be on the air right away. Or on events that happened a short time before. At WTOP we often file live shots first, and then take time to produce a more detailed package with additional tape and more information,and some follow up on the story for use later in the news day or even the next day. But we are in the news business, not the history business, and sometimes if its not live, its history. Talk shows are different. Our "Ask The" shows are done live because the calls are often what makes the show. A roundtable, which frankly, can be very boring, sounds just as boring live as taped. Hank S. (October 13, 2000)

WGRQ went on the air in May of 1986 with an adult contemporary, not a hard rock format. Its signal was beamed from Leonardtown MD to Colonial Beach VA. A satellite programming service was used. The station was sold to its current owner in January 1988. The studio and transmitter site were subsequently moved to King George VA. The studio is now in Fredericksburg. My husband Bob Johnson, chose the call letters WGRQ for Get Rich Quick. Thanks. - Sharon C. Johnson, President, Potomac Broadcasting, Inc. (October 13, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I don't know what 92Q was doing between the time it came on the air in '91 and the time that B104 went off the air in '92, but when I started studying radio formats in earnest around 1992-1993, 92Q was completely urban contemporary, like V103 had been. It used to irk me to no end the way this "rhythmic CHR" format designation was bantied around. It still does! I have nothing against black radio(enjoyed it for many years when I was younger), but you can't be black/rhythmic and top 40/CHR at the same time. Neddless to say, Baltimore didn't have a true CHR station from the time B104 went off the air to the time that 102.7XYV(later B102.7) came on the air in 1997. P.S. To give you a good time signpost, 92Q was completely black/urban at the time of the B104 flip to Variety 104.3. BTW, has Brian and O'Brien patched up their differences after all these years? (October 13, 2000)

I was listening to WGAY (yesterday) morning and here is what they said: Mr. Duckman was involved in the accident on Route 50 at MD-450 while traveling to the station from his home in Annapolis. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but was describe as being fine by Eddie Gallaher. (October 13, 2000)

/\ October 13 Messages /\

\/ October 12 Messages \/

The issue of whether to broadcast something live or on tape is more complicated than it looks. In defense of our competitor, John Matthews correctly notes that sometimes one wants to time a broadcast for the greatest audience reach. At our own station, Jim Farley goes for the best of both worlds by having us record our frequent three-minute liveshots and "turn them around" for taped replay a couple times, so they reach more people. For myself, when I do an enterprise story (where it's my idea, and if it runs tomorrow instead of today it won't matter unless someone else has the same idea and gets it on the air faster) I like to hold them for slower news days so they can run more often and reach more people. Today, for example, would not have been a good day to try to get any enterprise story on the air, what with all the Middle East news breaking. Newspapers routinely hold exclusive stories for their Sunday editions if they think they can get away with it. We broadcasters like to think that live is more exciting than taped, and often it is, but I think the average listener is less impressed by live broadcasts than we insiders are, because we know how many things can go wrong. What many listeners do know is that broadcasters were going live to remote capitals in the 1930s. But experience does make a liveshot go better. The best reason to go live a lot is that you're used to doing it when it's actually necessary! -Howard Dicus, WTOP. (October 12, 2000)

Dave,do you(or anyone else reading this)have any idea why the "almighty" 'TOP on 1500 AM has their signal beamed more to the east,thus sending less toward the west(N.VA.for example)? Are they required to do this by the FCC to protect any other 1500 station westward,or what? Damn,the 107.7 facility doesn't even fully cover Northern Virginia(particularly Loudoun County)without interference from the country 107.7 over the "Mason-Dixon line" in Gettysburg...so could THAT be why the station's planning to purchase 820 in Frederick,just to try to "fill up the holes" in reception within metro area? (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: Many of the signal patterns for DC area AM stations covered the complete metro area as it existed 40 or 50 years ago. Back then there were few people in central and upper Montgomery, or central and western Fairfax, not to mention Loudoun, Prince William, Frederick, etc. TOP's coverage area back then was probably OK. TOP-AM's transmitter is in Wheaton and it blasts its signal to the northeast and southeast. I do believe TOP has to protect stations on the same frequency in the midwest (Detroit and or Minneapolis?). However, with the suburban sprawl in the past few decades to the west (suburbs now extend all the way out to Frederick, Leesburg and Manassas - and beyond), old AM patterns just don't cover the metro area well anymore. TOP is not alone. Many of DC's AM stations have coverage areas that miss large chunks of suburbia - particularly at night. The addition of Warrenton's 107.7 (and yes there is another 107.7 in southern PA) does fill some of 1500 AM's coverage "holes" in Virginia but there are still some areas that TOP wants to get a stronger signal to. That's one reason why TOP is adding 820 for northern Montgomery, eastern Loudoun, and Frederick - all areas 1500 and 107.7 don't cover well enough.

(RE: Z104 posting) I live out of the area for listening for Z104, but do they mention anything about being affiliated with VH-1 radio since the beginning of October? Also, has anyone figured out wether VH-1 supplies playlists for the stations, or is it simply a prep service? That could explain the change in on air direction that is being noticed... ... On a totally unrelated (and semi-tounge-in-cheek) note, Dave. It may be next to impossible, but it would be interesting to see which stations get the most mentions for each semi-monthly period in the mailbag... It seems WTOP wins hands down this marking period... ... coastraven. (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: Yes, TOP gets a lot. So does WMAL. And we can't forget WINC.

Hi, Dave, not sure whether anyone remembers Frances and the Working Girls. At any rate, we're back online (and trying to get on the air) our web address is below. Jane Hautanen (Jane Doe) and at least one other former working girl will be presenters at the upcoming AIR awards ceremony. Thanks! - Jane Hautanen (Jane Doe), home.earthlink.net/jehaut and www.geocities.com/janey20009/index.html. (October 12, 2000)

Dave, I love your site. Keeps me in touch with my past ! (October 12, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) Frank, can we guess where you work ? You sound a little bitter, fella. George (October 12, 2000)

I am currently looking for people to write columns for DC/Baltimore TV News. This is not a paying position, but you will get free exposure through website that is getting 160-240 hits a week and growing. You must have knowledge of Television News and the Washington and Baltimore Markets. For more information, contact me at producer@dcbaltotvnews.com. Also, the DC side which you can reach directly at www.geocities.com/dcbaltotvnews/washington, is having a preview weekend of new the graphics. This will be the same as the Baltimore side which is coming in the coming months. - P. Kenny Burns (October 12, 2000)

At about 1:45 PM today the major (!) TV stations in DC (4, 7 and 9), as well as NewsChannel 8, cut away from regular programming to air an announcement from President Clinton about the growing crisis on the Mid-East. Ditto with all the cable news networks (CNN, FNC, MSNBC, etc.). Guess who just ran regular programming and skipped the breaking news? Fox 5!!! OK, 20, 50 and 66 didn't break into regular programming either but they don't have news departments. 5 does. I guess Channel 5 feels that Jenny Jones was just more important. Don't you get the impression that Fox 5's news just isn't quite up to speed with the other guys? (October 12, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) I don't get your gripe about WMAL taping a roundtable and playing it back a few hours later. In Washington DC, Tim Russert and Meet The Press on NBC 4 come on tape delayed. Sam and Cokie on Channel 7 are tape delayed. CNN Capitol Gang is tape delayed - often taped Friday for playback on Saturday. I guess I'd rather hear Chris Core on tape, than "Ask The Dogcatcher" live. - Frank (October 12, 2000)

I noticed this weekend that Z104 seems to be playing a bigger variety of music including some songs from the early and mid 90's that people have forgotten about. It also sounds like the quality of the sound is cleaner and not compressed (I guess that's what you would call it). I actually was able to hear lines clearly in songs that I never have. Z, if you're reading this, this is an improvement, but you don't have to do away with the dance music. What you were doing wrong was playing about 10 or 15 songs over and over again. The dance music didn't make people run. Secondarily, your rimshot signal will always be a detriment, and your retransmitter in Frederick sounds like crap. Not only is the reception bad on 103.9, but the sound quality it too. - Steve McIntosh (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: I have also been noticing changes on Baltimore's 102.7 WXYV. I heard "Grease" this morning during a band scan. Hmmmmm......

Any idea how to get cable TV via a AT&T @Home connection? --thanks (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: @Home is a high speed internet service offered by a bunch of cable companies including Comcast and AT&T. The same cable that brings you TV signals also brings you the internet. You really can't "get" cable TV from @Home home, but you can "get" cable TV from AT&T, which also offers @Home internet. Hope this clears it all up.

So I listened to WTOP's "Ask the Redskins" program this (Thursday) morning. I'm starting to think to myself "shades of the Orioles" because they were doing a sports program while there was breaking news. But I was presently surprised at the frequent updates by both CBS News and WTOP news staffers. And they still managed to do traffic and weather every ten minutes. And Vinny Cerrato got some good questions. It seemed like TOP made room for everything by reducing their normally large number of commercials, so I say "good on you guys !" - Jo (October 12, 2000)

According to the WMAL webpage, they are doing a program at the Newseum Friday at noon and then playing it back at 6pm. 6 hours later ?!? They call themselves a NEWS station. Why can't they do it live like all the WTOP "Ask the...." programs ? WMAL is becoming a parody of a news station. (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: WMAL's John Matthews responds - "We are airing our political roundtable on a delayed basis for several reasons, including the fact that more commuters will be able to hear the special taped at 6 pm than they would taped at noon..."

Just happened to see your tribute to the "old" WHFS. Man, that brought back a ton of memories from some pretty wild and wooly times! I can remember so many nights in the late '60s and early '70s, coming home after partying and listening to Cerphe or Weasel playing all kinds of completely unrelated, insane, or just totally compatible music. But what ever it was, it always seemed to work! It always seemed perfect for the mood I was in. WHFS was like an old friend, and after I left Falls Church in the early '70s, and I'd return to visit, I never really felt like I was home until I heard WHFS on the airways. Since those days, I've lived all over the US, and other than KPIG in Santa Cruz, or KHUM in Humboldt County, I have yet to hear anything that comes close to the old HFS! Well, that's enough nostalgia. Time to return to the 21st century. Sh*t. C. Smith, Atlanta, GA (October 12, 2000)

(Regarding Jingleland:) WJOK was not on the air in the 70s as mentioned by the jingle. The station was originally WHMC and signed off in 1973. 1150 was dark until 1983 when WJOK came on. The format was short lived and in 1985, WMTG took to the airwaves on the same frequency with an AC format until 1987, when the call changed to WMET and was taken over by Beltway Communications. Just thought I would let you know. :-) Jon (October 12, 2000)

Dave, are we in some strange moon phase? First, I get billed by a collection agency for a parking ticket I paid in 1998, second, I tune in WBZ radio in Boston tonight (usually relatively loud and clear) and there is religious music and just now I tried to connect to your page and got a "my yahoo page." Luckily your tripod page is working fine. Any ideas what was going on with WBZ between 6pm-7:30 pm tonight and has anyone else not heard WBZ when they tune to 1030? It's now a little after 8pm and BZ is back. Thanks, Bill (October 12, 2000)

Dave's response: Maybe you were picking up 1030 WWGB in Indian Head MD with a religious gospel format. It signs off around sunset but I don't know at exactly what time that is this time of the year..... Yes, I have been noticing occasional error messages when trying to access DCRTV's main Geocities/Yahoo site. Usually hitting the refresh/reload button on your browser will fix the situation. If it continues, try our backup site at Tripod - dcrtv.tripod.com.

for eveyone about the 14ZYQ cut of Kimosabe Joe in jingleland... anybody have a clue what package the 2nd jingle came from... the "Kimosabe Joe....14ZYQ"? I'm guessing this clip is from '76 or so... Also, did any stations in the area use TM Propellants jingles in the 70s? thanx, Travis Sparks (October 12, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I might be able to clear up a few things about the transition of 92 STAR(WYST) to 92Q(WERQ). I was the Morning Man at 92 STAR and became the first Morning Man on 92Q.( I was also doing afternoon drive at WAVA at the time) When I started at 92 STAR it was a soft AC station that let me do a CHR style morning show until 9:00, After that they would switch back to soft AC. The feeling was that we could give the audience the best of both worlds, an entertaining upbeat show to drive to work with and then a station they could listen to at the office. After a year or so the entire station became more Hot AC. After another year or so the General Manager (a great guy who I still work with) Bill Hooper wanted to go full guns CHR. He and Bill Parris(another great guy who I have worked on of off with for 30 years) called in the best of the best Dave Tate(another great guy who has been one of my best friends for 30 years) with the help of Steve Kingston(the best program director I have ever worked for), Randy Lane, Dan Valle and a few other heavy weights to develop 92Q. They put Brian Wilson and I together to do a few promos as "Brian and O'Brien". It gave the impression that we would be doing the morning show. It's a shame that couldn't have been worked out, we still had too much bad blood between us. When the New 92Q premiered I did the morning show with Wendy Corey and Marc Driscol liners ran the rest of the day. The new PD decided they wanted to go in another direction in the morning and I was fired a few months later. The station was sold to Radio One a few months after that. The point of this whole post is to say that David Tate and Bill Parris were indeed the ones who created 92Q. I'm sorry it took so long to tell this story. - Big Don O'Brien, WQSR (October 12, 2000)

/\ October 12 Messages /\

\/ October 11 Messages \/

I don't know who "invented" 92Q, but the anonymous poster is correct. 92Q was a CHR station when it came on the air. In fact, 92-Star, which was a soft A/C, started making that transition under the 92-Star name and the WYST-FM calls. I remember it well, because it gave me a good alternative to B-104, which by that time had completely lost its way and played New Kids on the Block every third song or so. The early 92Q commercials featured someone putting together a submarine sandwich with all the pieces (representing all the hits, I guess), then the sandwich sprouted little speakers if I recall. They intially referred to themselves as a station with something for everybody, or something along those lines. I also remember hearing the artists mentioned below, as well as more "urban" artists like Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, etc. It did switch to a Urban Contemporary format after not too long, and it did wipe out V-103, although WXYV still sounds pretty "urban" leaning to me compared to mid-atlantic CHRs like Z100, Z104, Q102, and 98YCR. (October 11, 2000)

(Regarding previous messages:) I found a page on the web that gave a brief description of what skywave is. Here is the URL - www.shortwavestore.com/newsletters/3.html. (October 11, 2000)

To the guy who said he heard business talk on AM 1520 at 5:00 AM, it was more than likely that it was WWKB from Buffalo, NY. It currently has a business talk format, and at 5 in the morning skywave is pretty strong. WWKB seems to be playing musical formats, I heard it not too long ago with country, then pop, then religious, now it has a business talk format. WTRI, also on AM 1520 from Brunswick is a daytime only station. It still has instrumental music. - Travers (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: I remember back in my high school years (72-76) driving around at night and cranking up the top 40 tunes on 1520 AM, then WKBW, out of Buffalo. Some nights it puts in a terrific signal to the DC area.

(Regarding the previous message:) A popular misconception about 92Q. David Tate did not invent 92Q. Bill Parris invented 92Q. Also, 92Q came on the air as a CHR station, not an Urban Contemporary. I remember hearing the B52's, U2, Richard Marx and others on the station when it first came on. Still fact - they did kick the crap out of V103. If only UBC held onto that station...the money they could have had. (October 11, 2000)

Mr. DCRTV: I am a radio broadcasting/telecommunications executive. I have discovered your site and read a piece on a Mr. David Tate. We are aware of Mr. Tate through his work in our New York market. He was a consultant to WHTZ (also known as, "Z-100") radio in New York. I believe this was between 1983 and 1997. David Tate was, in truth, the President of a firm known as Rantel Research, which was dedicated to helping radio stations achieve and maintain leadership in the Arbitron radio ratings. I believe he did this kind of work for major market radio stations across the United States for over 15 years. Some of the other stations Mr. Tate apparently consulted are: Q-102 in Philadelphia, 98 Rock in Baltimore, WAVA in Washington DC --there are many others. I am also told that David Tate was instrumental in creating WERQ-FM in Baltimore in August, 1991. Mr. Tate stopped the station management from calling itself, "92 Crab" and changing to a Classic Rock format. Instead, Mr. Tate created 92-Q, what we know as "Urban/CHR", a Top 40 station for African American audiences. It was Mr. Tate's work at 92-Q (I am told that Mr. Tate even created the name, 92-Q). Mr. Tate's objective was to put the Urban-formatted WXYV (V-103) out-of-business and make 92-Q the number one radio broadcasting station in Baltimore. Today, V-103 is, in fact, out of the Urban format and WERQ (92-Q) is now the number one station in Baltimore by far, as David Tate had predicted. I do not know of anything more specific about this individual, but my people tell me that he is a nice, normal person. Today, David Tate apparently is a corporate web developer for a company called ADP. We use ADP to print our pay checks, so I made some inquiries at ADP and discovered the information I just told you. You have a very interesting web presence and I wish you well with dcrtv.com. Thank you, S.R..... PS: I have no idea where the "Parnelli DeChucko" issue comes from. I assume that it must be David Tate's private joke. (October 11, 2000)

OK Brad, and to let you know, I was calm when I wrote that. I also wanted to point out that I may have misread it because when you were telling Dave Hughes "If you want to pick on stations that don't serve public interest - why not WDCA and WBDC? They don't even have a local newscast." I thought that you were implying that WDCA and WBDC are not serving the public interests. So if I mis read that, let me know. And yes, I do understand the difference between Cable and Broadcasting are completely. But let's think back to the networks that didn't really serve the public intrest. I just use the average person's view, like I do with everything else. If the public is interested, then it serves the public's intrest. So I guess I should say the public was not interested in "America's Talking", nor was it interested in "Eye on People". It's not like either Broadcast Television or Cable is serving the public interests when you think about it. I'm sure Fairfax was not served by having FOX 5 getting yanked because FOX wanted channels on COX's digital lineup. Same thing with WABC-TV getting yanked because of what Disney wanted Time Warner to do. Networks pick the programming and if the network owns the TV station, then they pick which cable network (one that they own) goes on a cable system. If the choice of networks were as easy as the cable networks advertise I would have my New York, Chicago and Los Angeles Superstations, MTV2 and FxM. So I have another and new question, Do Television Stations Serve the public interest of cable subscribers who got cable so they can get that station better? I guess the same can be added for the Pizza-Dish Subscribers. P. Kenny Burns (October 11, 2000)

Dave, Do you know what's going on with WTRI 1520 AM, Brunswick, MD? This morning (5 AM) they were carrrying business news? Thanks, Tim/Leesburg (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: Who knows! I just checked (3:30 PM on 10/11) and 1520 was back to that "filler music."

From USA Today on October 11, page 8D, "Critic's Corner" by Robert Bianco: "The candidates take to the airwaves again for the second presidential debate. It airs on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN and C-SPAN - but not on Fox, which is busy with baseball. Then again, considering how slanted Fox's news coverage tends to be, baseball may be the best choice for that network." (October 11, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:)While I enjoy reading most of what I see on DCRTV, I stay away from participating in discussions about current events at area radio and TV stations. Instead I generally stick to broadcasting history. While not taking sides in this argument, I think it is important to point out to Kenny, at least for historical purposes, that many people consider there to be a significant difference between cable networks like FX and TNN and the networks that provide programming to stations broadcasting signals over federally licensed airwaves. Dave Statter (October 11, 2000)

Kenny, calm down my friend - if you read my post, I never said that WBDC and WDCA don't serve the public interest, I simply said that since they don't have news, maybe they shouldn't be considered serving the public interest? I think they do serve the public interest, actually - not all that well, but they offer free entertainment. My whole point was that there's more to public interest than simply airing a Presidential debate. Furthermore, you do understand the difference between broadcast and cable, right? FX, TNN and all the other networks you mentioned are CABLE networks and do NOT use public airwaves. These issues are only for broadcast networks and TV stations. Cable is not sent out on signals through the air that people can pick up with their TV sets for free. Cable networks do not have the same rules and obligations that TV stations do. The FCC is not thinking about taxing cable networks - as, again, they do NOT use the public airwaves. Let's stay on topic here. Brad (October 11, 2000)

Well thanx a heck of a lot... first thing in the morning before I even get to work, and I have the theme to Cap'n "C" running through my head! However, I only have the tune, and really don't remember ANY words to it... Just music (dit di dit di dit ... dit di dit di dit ... dit di dit di dit .. waah - waah - waah), and a picture of the boat on the bay... is my memory that fuzzy? (3 bells... it's time for Scooby Doo!!!)... BTW, no idea what the ship was called... ...coastraven (October 11, 2000)

To answer Howard R's question: The final minute of the CBS hourly newscast is where they run lesser stories. We better serve our listeners during some daytime hours by reallocating that minute to extra time for traffic and weather every ten minutes on the eights. But we never miss any big world or national stories. We carry every single CBS News update on breaking stories (violence in the Middle East, Revolution in Belgrade, the presidential campaign, etc.). - Jim Farley. WTOP (October 11, 2000)

(Regarding a previous message:) There is a very simple explanation for skywaves vs. groundwaves: groundwaves travel along the earth's surface, relying on the electrical conductivity of the ground (which explains why NY and NJ stations carry down to the Outer Banks of NC.) Skywave signals arrive out of the sky, having been reflected back by the ionized portion of the atmosphere (the ionosphere.) They're the same signal, so radios will pick either up, they just take different routes to get to you. Changes in skywave propagation are caused by changes in the ionosphere. The ionosphere is generated by radiation from the sun, so there is a basic difference between daytime and nighttime conditions (along with seasonal and 11-year-cycle changes). The lowest part of the ionosphere (known as the D-region) is a day-only phenomenon and absorbs AM broadcast frequencies, so AM skywave is weakened on the way up and on the way back down to your radio. The formation and collapse of the D region takes several hours, so that is why the FCC designated the two hours after sunrise and the two hours preceding sunset "critical hours". Many stations (WTRI and WACA are a couple examples) have to use less power, different power, or both during these times to protect other stations from residual skywave. - Dave (October 11, 2000)

a couple of unrelated things - 1: Re: Captain Chesapeake - I think it was Moandy(sp?)the Sea Monster not "moany"... 2: With WBAL using traffic.com, what happens to Detour Dave Sandler?.... 3: Re: Your Comment (about DCRTV's web visitors:) "When you say "visitors" are you talking 'hits'? Are you saying that you are getting, say, 500,000 hits a week from 75,000 visitors a week? Or are you saying you get 75,000 hits a week? They are not the same number. My understanding is that a 'hit' is not an idividual user, but rather a request for the server to "serve" something. A single user in a single visit could account for multiple (hundreds or thousands) of hits. So 75,000 hits might only represent say 7,500 visitors. (Check with webtrends.com for some more info)..... 4: Interesting that you never print anything bad about Scott Holt at WINC - is he your brother? Why the special protection for him? If it were someone at 'MAL you'd be all over him like white on rice! (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: 1. I am not a web expert. Visitors/hits/page views, etc, whatever. All I know is that traffic at DCRTV increases weekly..... 2. No, Scott is not my brother. He asked me to take a look at messages that discussed his personal (and only his personal!) situation at WINC. In the past few weeks that has involved cutting a few lines from three or four messages in total. Messages dealing with WINC, its format, and non-personal comments about its personnel have not been affected..... 3. I do edit messages (see the statement at the top of this page) on this mailbag and do remove (rare) allegations about other radio/TV folks being jerks, being gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), having criminal records, sexually harassing others, etc. Libel laws apply to websites too.

To whom it may concern Ihave been a faithful cable user for the last seven years I am now complaining about the cable service I have been recieving , Last night mycable went out and showed only cable previews on every channel i called last night and of course your office and customer service is closed and no human being i could talk to but let me tell you about my pass expirences i can never get (b-side) of my cable service it always fades out and will not stay on until i keep clicking a&b swtich several times I had one repair person come out to my home and no real satisfaction, I was told i would recieve better after new cable wires were placed underground . As I write my service is not working . - Wendell, Fort Washington (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: DCRTV does not pass along messages to cable companies. You'll have to contact Comcast directly. Sounds like your addressable box needs to be "refreshed." I hear that Comcast is doing a rebuild in your area and will soon eliminate the need for an A/B switch.

After reading that WBAL will be using a new traffic report service next year, what will become of "Detour" Dave Sandler who also reports traffic for'98 Rock? Also, a previous post mentioned that George Lewis was "Mr. Fortune" on WBFF. I believe that was one of the many monikers of the legendary Stu Kerr. He was another that wore many hats on Baltimore TV while with WMAR. "Mr. Fortune" was either from a bowling show or a daytime program that he co-hosted with Sylvia Scott (ZI don't recall the name - maybe "Dialing for Dollars"?). And of course, let's not forget "Professor Kool!!! Go Ravens this Sunday! Thanks, Rusty (October 11, 2000)

I've been a big fan of Doug Hill for a long time.... Where can I find out some bio info? Also, he reportedly went to Channel 7, but I've heard or seen nothing. What gives?? Thanks, Bob Taylor (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: Doug left Channel 9 last May but he had a non-compete clause in his contract that forbits him from being seen on any other local TV station until the end of the November ratings sweeps. Doug will emerge in glorious fashion in December on Channel 7, just in time for all those evil snowstorms. I don't know much about Doug's past except that he was raisied in the Baltimore area, and for a time was a cop in PG County..... Oh, I just discovered that the old Channel 9 link (www.wusatv.com/anchors/Doug_Hill/index.html) still works (as of 10/11 at 1:30 PM), but once the WUSA folks find out about it they'll probably remove it.

Look Brad, I hate to add my name to the number of people that disagree with you, I have to throw my ring in. Just because a TV station does not have news, does not mean that they are not serving in the public intrest. First beginning with the circumstances of WBDC. If I recall corrcetly, when Tribune took over, they were on hard financial times, I couldn't remember the last time that I watched WB50 between 1991 and 1995. Plus when you think about it, is FX serving the public. Not dump on FOX so much since I'm an equal oppritunist, but is TBS serving the public interest nationally? And how about TNN, errrr, TNN:The National Network. They may have pop but they might not serve the interest. If TBS, TNN and FX can serve as General Entertainment Networks without news, why not WDCA and WBDC? The only difference is that they are free. Although WB50 might have news soon since they are now a Tribune station. WAR FREE ENTERTAINMENT. P. Kenny Burns (October 11, 2000)

(Regarding Channel 9's news promo plans:) Not surprised by WUSA's moves on Redskins game day - its the only Redskins game they have this year and should be a high rating. They always do a post-game when they don't have a double header (same with Channel 5) - its an easy way to make a lot of money and get viewers. I'm surprised they're spending the money for the 11am- they used to do a pre-game show but quit a couple of years ago. Now 5 is the only one with any game day programs (except the National pregame shows). It will be interesting to see if anyone bothers to tune in - somehow I doubt it. (October 11, 2000)

Dave, I know how much you love to pick on Channel 5 since its owned by Fox (with your crazy obsession with Murdoch) - but come on. Showing the Presidential debate on every single channel is NOT in the public interest. I agree that broadcasters should pay a tax on the airwaves they use, they make a lot of money. However, having 4 networks air the same debate (plus PBS) is simply ludicrous. CBS, ABC, PBS were enough - then for the next debate, rotate the stations. Why should viewers be forced to watch debates on all the networks - how is that in the public interest? Actually running the debates after midnight was a great idea - not everyone has the same set schedule and some people work on shifts - so this gave them a chance to see the debate later. If you want to pick on stations that don't serve public interest - why not WDCA and WBDC? They don't even have a local newscast. Based on their ratings, no one really seems to care about them and yet they are making money off the airwaves as well. Serving the public interest can mean a lot of things, but it certainly means more than simply running a presidential debate. As far as PSAs go, they are a small part of a station's public service, but if you look at 4,5,7 and 9 - you'll see PSAs running all through their morning newscasts, daytime and evening newscasts. Brad (October 11, 2000)

In response to the individual who commented on and asked about the old "Captain Chesapeake Show," I really don't know if the show established a name for the boat. I don't think it had one. And as I recall, the show's theme was just old big band style instrumental music, so it had no lyrics that would mention the boats name, as was suggested. However, George Lewis, AKA Captain Chesapeake, probably still does an occasional community event or fair. I seem to remember him doing events in the not too distant past. If you could catch up with him at a function of some sort, he of course would be the definitive voice on whether the boat had a name. Dwight Weems and Jimmy Hearns (sp?), who were engineers at the station and who also did the voices for the characters "Bruce The Bird" and "Moany The Sea Monster," still work at WBFF. They may remember these details, or perhaps they still keep in touch with the great George Lewis, the star of our childhood TV memories. By the way, George was also "Mr Fortune" and host of "Creature Feature" too. He wore many hats at the old WBFF-TV. (October 11, 2000)

Dave, IMO you're considerably off-base in your support of some of Kennard's policies and your anti-conservative diatribe. Mr Kennard's FCC's LPFM propsal did/does not allow "ordinary, lowly citizens access to the broadcast bands." The ownership restrictions are tuned toward existing non-radio organizations. And we have seen that the applicants with any chance of meeting the technical requirements are 80-90% religious organizations. These are local branches of the same people who have flooded the FM band with "translators" carrying stations from the other side of the country which are generally very substantial businesses. And they will end up mostly playing content provided by the national organizations. Yes, Mr. Kennard has the notion that a government agency works ... for the "the people", but as the poster mentioned, he has been taken in by the expensive dream of DTV. Remember that the FCC demands that expanded-band AM stations propose/use stereo. Has this benefited __anyone__ other than a few equipment manufacturers? There are other examples. His heart may in a good place, but the end results are very questionable. The devil is in the details - which inconveniently don't match the hype. Bob C. (October 11, 2000)

About 9's Redskins thing: CHEAP ADVERTISING! come on, you are going to talk about you new NEWS Lineup when people came to see a football game! And both of them AINT NEW! Yes Hillary Howard, but every already (or should) know her from 5. And Guvir has been hyped about since she came to 9. Now it would be better if 9 brought all th anchors and weather casters and had a meet a greet session After the game, that would be GREAT! Chris, Largo (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: Hey, I got an idea - maybe Channel 9 can run a series of "crawls" during the Skins game (with a "beep beep" alert) to "remind" us that, hey, Mike Buchanan will now be on at 5 AM. I hope he has fun getting up at 3:30!

A question for anyone from WTOP. Why do you cut off the CBS network news after the first commercial break? It is not done all the time but it is rather annoying when the rest of the newscast isn't broadcast. Even worse is when stations carrying CNN radio news do this since their first commercial break is only after two minutes instead of three as with CBS. When really important news events occur, nothing else is covered when the newscast is cut short. Howard R.(October 11, 2000)

This is Cameron Gray, formerly of the G. Gordon Liddy Show. I left in the Spring to start my own radio publicity firm, Cameron Gray Communications. Is there any appropriate place on your website to post information on guests I have available to radio shows in the area? I was thinking in the Classified section but didn't know if that was appropriate. Let me know if you would rather I just not post this info altogether. BTW, GMU asked me to teach a radio class in the Spring and I am definitely placing a link to your website on my syllabus. I appreciate all the news you provide. Thanks (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: You are welcome to use DCRTV's classified ads page, and thanks!

Captain Chesapeake - A few co-workers and I were talking about capn' C today and we we trying to remember his boats name or if it even had a name. I thought they sung its name in the theme song. CAN U HELP ME? or tell me who might be able to? thanx, the_edge (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: Yes, I do believe that (former Channel 45 kiddie show host) Captain Chesapeake's song did mention the name of his boat but I can not recall it either. I am sure someone has answered that question in one of the past mailbag messages (dating back to 1997) but hopefully someone will re-answer it.

After looking at the FCC chairman's press release, I have to wonder what planet he is living on. Hopefully regardless of who wins the election he will be replaced. While the TV stations are spending millions to build new Digital TV facilities, and sometime being stymied by the government in their efforts, as in the DC and Denver tower cases, he proposes a new hurdle. This after the stations are ahead of schedule in the Digital TV rollout. This idea to eliminate the 85 percent 'loophole' ?! Who is he kidding.....do you actually think that if only say 40 percent of people have digital TV sets by 2006, it is in the public interest to black out the other 60 percent ? And at that it will disproportionately disconnect the poor who can't afford $ 2000 TVs. Talk about a 'Digital Divide.' Perhaps he should propose to penalize the source of the problem. He could just charge a fee to the people who can't produce a receipt for a digital TV. Clearly, those stick in the mud analog viewers who would dare to spend on food, car payments and their children's education instead of a new TV. The only good thing is that this stands no chance in Congress, an organization that is already angry at Kenard for other reasons. Would you want to be up for re-election and have to tell people, "Well as of January 1, I'm taking your favorite shows digital....if you don't spend a ton on a new TV you're out of business" I can hear the laughter on the Hill already. (October 11, 2000)

Dave's response: I do agree with the concept that broadcasters should pay a tax for their use of the broadcast spectrum. They use the "public" airwaves as a private resource to make lots and lots of money. Take Murdoch's Channel 5 for example (and ditto with 4, 7 and 9). Yeah, I am sure the station claims it does public service activities (PSAs at 3 AM, various health "awareness" campaigns during newscasts, etc.), but the station uses our public airwaves to rake in the dough for Murdoch's News Corp. and then can't even bother to carry the presidential debates (before midnight). I do think Mr. Kennard is somewhat mistaken, though. I guess he still has the crazy notion that a government agency works, first and foremost, for "the people" (whatever that is), and is not just a tool to promote the corporate interests of the industry that it "regulates." But I presume that when we get "W" as pres in a few months we'll get some new faces on the Commission who will dispose of all of Kennard's "nonsense." Imagine, allowing lowly, ordinary citizens access to the broadcast bands with his community FM plan. Crazy huh!

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