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DCRTV Mailbag - February 9, 2016 to March 2, 2016

Latest messages listed first.....
\/ March 2 Messages \/

The stations that are for sale/lease on the radio/tv deals site are Bruce Houston's stations. 1460 for 900k and 730 for 2.5mm. Salem wouldn't sell their AM's - they make too much brokered money, plus they've just moved to new studios. Red Zebra isn't selling their AM's, the board of directors isn't willing to take that much of a loss. (3/2/16)

W282BT 106.9 FM from Essex in the swamp of Back River will have no effect on anything in Western MD. No signal like that could ever pass the 1st mountain range, even the smaller ones. For instance WHAG 25 for the most part even as a full power TV station has never been able to be received regularly around Baltimore, maybe at times analog on the west side of town, but not now. (3/2/16)

The movies that Get-TV runs may be older than the hills, but on Monday Nights, they run Variety TV shows, a genre you don't see on Cozi TV, Antenna TV, Retro TV or even Me TV. You get shows hosted by Judy Garland, Jack Benny, and others, and most of them are hit or miss. The best ones they show, in my opinion, are the ones hosted by Andy Williams. The Andy Williams Show was the best variety show in the 1960s, and The Carol Burnett Show was the best variety show in the 1970s. Unsigned Retired Non-Suit (3/2/16)

WSPZ is going for $900K and WTEM is going for $2.5MM. Next up will be the FM’s, although there’s more enthusiasm for them than the AM’s. The Zebra isn’t dead or even dying. It just wants to shed some stripes. But, the preferred buyer by the current owner wasn’t interested as they have debt problems already and can’t swallow even this “little” bit of new financing on their ledger even though a more attractive confidential offer was made to them before the broker was brought in. This also affects the sale of another property. And, the most logical buyer isn’t interested as they won’t let their bigotry allow them to bargain with Snyder. There will be more in a very convoluted transaction. (3/2/16)

Attention Troy Johnson on Newsradio 1090. Please put in a little effort to become a journalist. Several times today, you started a story with "It's disturbing video..." Oh yeah? Disturbing to who? Apparently disturbing to you since you didn't attribute your statement to anyone else. Learn now that it's not your job to tell listeners what YOU think. No one cares. When you make statements like that, you'd be better served attributing them to someone other than yourself. Beginner's mistake on what used to be a highly-respected 50,000 watt news talk station. (3/2/16)

At Jeopardy's First DC appearance, about 18 years ago, on Saturday's taping, we decided to have some fun, and asked Alex "How many suits do you own?" during the Q&A over the commercial break. The entire audience laughed at the question. Alex said he had never been asked that question before, and he really didn't want to answer it, but, the answer is probably about 850. Entertaining question, interesting answer. The next day, on Sunday's taping, someone else asked Alex the same question (COPYCAT!), and Alex said he was asked it the night before and said about 850. But, he continued, when he got back to the hotel that night, he thought about it and concluded the answer is more like "over 900." Six years or so later, Jeopardy comes back to DC, and someone asks Alex "How many suits do you own," at both Saturday and Sunday's taping. We were getting pissed at that point-you had like six years to write your own silly "Rated G" question for Alex , and you still rely on our joke to get laughs???? You JackAss!!!! We are not your joke writers! Write your own joke questions for Alex! Alex then said, DC was the only place he is ever asked that question, so, he knows to come prepared with an answer when planning a road trip to DC. So, if you go to the Jeopardy taping this time around, and someone asks Alex, "How many suits do you own?" you will know, what Paul Harvey called, "The rest of the story, " and you will know that person is a joke stealing jackass, who is using material that is as old as many Seinfeld episodes. (3/2/16)

Hi Dave and Everyone, Dave You are correct when talking about GET-TV and carriage on cable systems. It does depend on how retransmission contracts between stations and cable companies are written. We have FIOS by Verizon at our home here in Baltimore County and get all the sub channels from all the Baltimore stations however Get-TV now on 24-4 is not up yet from WUTB but we do get it from WFDC I guess 14.3 from DC. I assume that as soon as Verizon and Sinclair reach an agreement on carrying 24-4 it will be on the service. Thanks Dave. (3/2/16)

In answer to the question about Fred Manfra: “105.7 The Fan will again broadcast all 162 Orioles regular-season games this season. Longtime Orioles broadcaster Joe Angel returns for his 17th season and will be joined by veteran broadcaster Jim Hunter for most games. Fred Manfra also returns for his 24th season and will call select games.” www.baltimoresun.com. Editorial Comment (Not Dave): Well that sucks….I can’t stand Hunter. (3/2/16)

[RE: Orioles Radio Team] Jim Hunter and Joe Angel will be the primary broadcasters this year as Fred Manfra will cut back to 40-50 games: baltimoresportsreport.com. Personally, I'm not a fan of Manfra or Angel - I really liked Joe Angel when I was growing up and listening to him and Jon Miller doing the Orioles games on WTOP 1500AM but, damn, his voice just grates on me these days. Nats fans are lucky to have a great radio team in Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. (3/2/16)

I meant that COMCAST does not carry GET TV practically anywhere in either market that I can see. And Comcast ignores several sub channels. They don’t seem to be carrying COMET TV either, at least not in Baltimore, which is Sinclair’s HOME HQ market! Now that is embarrassing. I mean how do you market a channel to markets around the country when you can’t even get it carried in your home market? That must be driving Sinclair crazy. It’s not like Comcast doesn’t have the space. They just cleared out the 200 range of most duplicate channels, so it’s like lack of space is a valid excuse. Comcast doesn’t even carry the new WMDE 5 on the eastern shore and it should be a must carry in Delaware right? Is Soul of the South shown in DC? The FCC is going to have to tighten and change its policies regarding sub-channels in the TV compaction of the dial process because some of the bigger networks are going to end up on sub-channels in small markets now, maybe even big markets too. As far as ATSC 3..0, the FCC has already conditioned all of America into realizing they will need a “BOX” to get anything on TV at this point. The term “Cable Ready TV” is now a term for the history books. Sure the HDTVs could be cable ready, but the FCC has let the cable companies run amok with various “box” charges and “HD Technology Fee” bullshit. All of this is unnecessary. It’s basically a scam. Any HDTV you buy today has the ability to receive all HD channels and QAM channels and new TVs will soon have built in ATSC 3.0. It’s the whole DMCA law that opened this can of worms and I hope that is re-written too since it is VERY anti- consumer allowing all manner of price gouging. (3/2/16)

Dave's response: I think it depends on the retransmission contract the cable company has with a certain station as to whether it carries some or all or none of its subchannels. Comcast, in DC at least, seems to carry all of the subchannels of 4, 5, 7, 9, 20, 22, 26, and 50. But none of the subchannels of 14 and 66. As a previous poster said, the two latter signals may be "must carry" stations without retransmission contracts. Up in Baltimore, you have one Sinclair-owned station, 45, and two Sinclair-operated stations, 24 and 54, which technically have different owners. And there's probably different types of contracts for each which complicate the subchannel carriage issue.....

Is Fred Mantra gone from the radio broadcast team for the Orioles? Just got a tweet from Jim Hunter saying that he and Joe Angel are the new radio broadcast team this year. Dave, do you have any info about this? (3/2/16)

Looks like Baltimore get another FM signal via translator - Family Stations' WFSI 860am approved for 110 watts on 106.9 from existing tower in Essex. Should cover east half of Baltimore quite well - link to FCC info fcc.gov (3/2/16)

Dave's response: If it doesn't interfere with Hagerstown's Eagle, WWEG, in the western suburbs.....

Rubio won the Hispanic vote in Virginia yesterday. He did not spend any money in Virginia on radio. (3/2/16)

Is this for-sale AM combo possibly the Red Zebra cluster? Or maybe WAVA's AM properties? www.radiotvdeals.com (3/2/16)

Fans of Dilbert in the WashPost may notice the artwork looks kinda goinky this week. Scott Adams is taking six weeks off for vacation and "rest & rehab" on his drawing arm. Interns and other artists have taken over the strip til then and it will have a decidedly different look for the next month & a half. At least there's that hot babe stuck in the cave in Mark Trail to get us through. (3/2/16)

Sad to hear of the passing of Craig Windham. The Post omitted that Windham likely got his career started as an award-winning news director for WFMD back in the 70's before he left for WASH. He broke big stories there and built it into a real local news powerhouse and, of course, Craig had that great delivery, even back then. RIP Craig. (3/2/16)

Dave, have you gotten an earful of the latest Mike O'Mearabortion? "Political Persuasions". Pro-tip, if you have to tell your listeners it's "Radio Entertainment" you are not on the radio and whatever you are doing is not entertaining. I've had stools that were more entertaining. It was so tedious from the getgo that I punched out at the 1 minute 8 second mark. It's a wonder this buffoon isn't required to have a sign in his yard. Gus in Gaithersburg (3/2/16)

/\ March 2 Messages /\

\/ March 1 Messages \/

"GET TV is not carried in either the DC or Baltimore markets, but yet is a sub channel in both markets." Not sure what you mean, but it's Channel 817 on Cox cable in Fairfax. You ain't missing much: Nostalgia programming with very long commercial breaks advertising various snake oils and insurance scams. Also appears to be on FIOS in FFX County. (3/1/16)

Some posts on FOX5's website are asking the whereabouts of Will Thomas. Noticed that he hasn't posted anything on his Twitter or FB page since the beginning of February. Other than someone like Jim Vance, anchors usually only take a week off for vacations. (3/1/16)

Does Cooley still work at 980? (3/1/16)

So now Emily wants to come clean (after suggesting it was a rumor) with the news that was broke a few days ago about her leaving. Although Emily Miller has her supporters, I personally was not impressed with her work. Hopefully she will find a station where she will be a good fit for her type and style of reporting. (3/1/16)

The 4K HDTV standard will be able to support subchannels because it will used advanced modulation and codecs to double the data rate. The current ATSC uses the very old MPEG-2 format on 8VSB modulation (or 265-QAM on cable TV). If you have a TV made after 2008, it supports some profiles of the much newer H.264 format at these same modulations, but I'd doubt H.264 is used over the air because it limits the audience to people whose televisions were built after 2008. For 4K we have ATSC 3.0 which will use H.265 which, depending on what parts are going to be required, will fit double the data rate into the same over-the-air channel space, up to 36 megabit. Thankfully, it will use OFDM modulation which is what these dopes should have used in the first place. COFDM modulation actually benefits from multipath and stations won't have to protect each other so much anymore. It can also be received in a moving vehicle (ATSC 1.0 mostly can't). On the downside, very large areas will need far more power to cover their DMA. Because of this change in the modulation mode ATSC 3.0 will not be compatible with the older receivers; you will absolutely need a converter box or a new TV. -Chainsman (3/1/16)

In all honesty, it’s a wonder Kane still has a job with iHeart. Granted his ratings are well, but with these constant absences being blamed on “studio issues” and whatever excuse they pull out of their ass for the day, would never be tolerated at another job. In the event the studio issues were real, wouldn’t it make sense to do the show from their Baltimore affiliate? I’m sure with modern technology it wouldn’t be a problem. (3/1/16)

GET TV is not carried in either the DC or Baltimore markets, but yet is a sub channel in both markets. What’s up with that? (3/1/16)

Anyone know why the not so great anymore Kane Show was in re-runs today? With the voice of Danni too. ????? (3/1/16)

Scott Smith leaves Channel 5/WTTG as the Fox outlet makes cuts in its sports department, including the removal of its sports director position. A trend we're seeing across the country at local TV news departments. Also, news organization Vice starts a cable TV channel, Vicenews. And why I think that's a mistake. As I head to the Polls on Super Tuesday to vote against Donald Trump..... (3/1/16)

[RE Scott Smith:] you mean Fox5 sports director/news anchor/storm team field reporter. Never could figure out what he was supposed to be... (3/1/16)

To Unsigned Retired Non-Suit, the "must-carry" law does not apply to digital subchannels. Cable and satellite TV providers are under no obligation to carry anything but the primary HDTV channel. As it stands today, most of them do carry the subchannels, but they are under no legal obligation to do so. I'm not sure how this applies to the MHz Networks channels, probably the "first" channel on each station is a must-carry but the other subchannels are not. In our region, it looks like everyone carries all the MHz Networks channels and subchannels. -Chainsman (2/1/16)

Dave's response: Last time I checked, Comcast carried 10 of 12 MHz's channels. Go figure.....

/\ March 1 Messages /\

\/ February 29 Messages \/

Sounds like the DBC transfer of power went through. Apparently EJ Foxx has made the move to the new company. Stay away from the devil. You go girl! (2/29/16)

Hello, Fellow Posters. Condolences to Bob Schilling’s family. When the Baltimore had those overnight blizzards in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, I would wake up to Lee Case. Bob Schilling and Lee Case would have talk-a-thons during the early morning part of the snow talking about the accidents and cars turned upside down on the main arteries. Not much has changed as far as the accidents during the snow storms. Not that it was funny, because lives were lost during those accidents, but Bob Schilling and Lee Case would talk about the way people were driving in those treacherous conditions (and not much has changed in that either), was entertaining. They would talk about how people would drive with mounds of snow on their cars, people driving with snow with all the windows covered except the windshield. When I heard Bob Schilling do the news on WCBM, it usually was when he was filling in for Dave Humphrey, who I enjoyed listening to doing the news. Even though it’s been years since Mr Schilling was on the radio, those are the memories, and good memories I have of him. Ed Jones, Bel Air MD (2/29/16)

Nation article on Melissa Harris Perry. www.thenation.com (2/29/16)

I learned something about ATSC compression and sub-channels last night. Both WMDT & WBOC have 2 sub channels and both suffer from occasional frame skip and periodic screen freezes. However for the Oscars last night WMDT must have scared to have any problems during the huge broadcast, so they ran only ABC and CW last night, shutting down MeTV for the evening. It had to be done on purpose unless there was some equipment failure, but it seemed too well timed to be accidental. Speaking of sub-channel tests, about 7 years ago Sinclair did some experimental tests to see if they could do two HD channels on the same signal reliably. They tested WNUV running the CW at 1080i along with FOX 45 running at 720p, along with a 3rd channel all on channel 40 to see if it was possible. This will be necessary during the compaction of the TV band. And then, how will the FCC handle 4K video? Currently it takes up an entire ATSC channel without room for any sub-channels. That’s going to be a real problem when network stations are sharing ATSC channels. (2/29/16)

Tribune stations - www.adweek.com - Could we see Sinclair or Tegna venture into the top few markets? Never mind the cap. Stations can be traded or sold. (2/29/16)

[From DCRTV's Job Ads:] Work with some of the best radio sales talent in the country, right here in Baltimore! Great place to work, become a member of a truly effective radio sales team. If you have experience in sales, we’d like to talk with you. You will receive a salary and a client list when you hit the ground. We are a locally owned, family operated group of stations. All inquiries are confidential. Please send resume to radiosalesmanager@gmail.com (2/29/16)

"Don’t shit where you eat 101: Melissa Harris Perry broke Golden Rule" True...but she's also moonbat nuts. Bottom line honey, your show had awful ratings as did other programs on MSNBC that where whacked. (Schultz, Sharpton, Farrow) Give the suits at NBC some credit for working to pull their rating from the bottom of the sea, among the whale excrement. They know the majority of American's will not watch hours of the craziness they have been trying to peddle. (2/29/16)

"The Kane Show is as real as it gets." except for all the fake bits he does. (2/29/16)

For 19 years -- first as an award-winning reporter and later as news director at WCBM -- Bob Shilling was a consummate professional. Some of his best reporting was during breaking news events, especially the multi-alarm fires which for a while were frequent in Baltimore. He was a friend and mentor to many young journalists. During the 70s and early 80s when the AM dial was the medium for radio listeners, Bob directed an elite WCBM News staff that produced the kind of compelling and informative radio we will never hear again. Those were great Baltimore radio days when WCBM, WCAO, WFBR and WBAL were fiercely competitive in the news arena. Bob was a friend, colleague and boss during my 17 years at WCBM and I will miss him immeasurably -- Dave Humphrey, Hilton Head Island SC. (2/29/16)

Hey Dave, right church, wrong pew. The most played song last year on "Classic Rock" stations was Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," not "Dream on" by the same band. The most played song on "Classic Hits' Stations was "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey. Local and radio connections; Journey guitarist Neil Shon married anorexic White House State Dinner crasher, and Real Housewife of DC, Michaele Salahi, who worked as a receptionist at Classic Hits WKRZ in Wilkes Barre, in the late '80's, before moving to Tyson's Corner to work at a make up counter at Nordstrom. (2/29/16)

The Oscars were very boring last night. Too much emphasis on Diversity. The country seems more divided now than it was 30 years ago. "Spotlight" is a great movie and deserves to win "Best Picture". Did you notice what was really missing last night? No Hispanics. (2/29/16)

On a website devoted to legal low-power AM broadcasting, a poster revealed that Buzz Burbank recently granted permission for his "News & Comment" (RELM Network) feature to air on Part 15 AM stations. These are legal, license-free micro-broadcasters that air a low-power signal, usually on the top end of the AM dial, with coverage of typically less than 1/2 to 1 mile. In our immediate area, "Annandale Terrace Radio 1170" (1999-2001) was one such known operation. With most program syndicators not willing to reply to any queries from unlicensed stations, this is a refreshing and generous gesture on the part of Burbank. If you've never heard News & Comment, it fills the hole left on the dial when we lost Paul Harvey and is well worth the 15-minute window it occupies. (2/29/16)

Regarding Russ Ptacek, his Facebook page (www.facebook.com) teases an international trip to Bangkok ("DCA-DFW-HKG-BKK"). It doesn't say anything else. It teases that the staff on the plane knows why he's making the trip, but no one says anything specific. Thought you'd like to know. (2/29/16)

Hi Dave, Bob Shilling was also a longtime member of the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association and was currently the scholarship committee chair on our board of directors. (I'm president of the board this year.) The board is making a $100 donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in his name. There's a tribute to Bob on our FB and website. I've copied it below. You can pick out what you want from the Tribute or link to our FB. Thanks. Carolyn Bob Shilling was a 42-year member and past president of the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Coming most recently from Fox45 in Baltimore, Bob brought his credible, old-school journalism to the board. When it came time for him to retire from Fox45, CAPBA changed its bylaws to create a director-at-large position – a professor emeritus -- for him. No one was more dedicated to our association and to the journalism it embraces than Bob. He was our historian, our conscience, and our scholarship committee chair. As head of the committee, he always enjoyed reading the applications, organizing the judges, and meeting the winners. He continued to mentor the recipients long after our annual awards banquet. Every year, Bob would arrive a few days early in Ocean City to soak up the first few days of summer prior to the convention. He would sit on his striped beach chair, in the sand at the ocean’s edge, with a cooler beside him. And poking out of his beach bag, a scanner would be squawking. The former lifeguard would explain riptides, lifeguard arm signals, and the rigorous training to anyone who cared to listen. Friday, he would mill about the lobby of The Dunes as people arrived to register, greeting old friends and giving a shy smile to new ones. On Friday and Saturday night, it was Bob who was reminiscing in the hospitality suite. It was Bob who provided the alternative to the bar scene – good old-fashioned socialization. But his favorite part of the weekend was the awards banquet, when he introduced all of us to the scholarship winner. It was his time to show his love to the new generation who would take journalism to the next level. Rest in peace, Bob. We miss you. We love you. We know your presence will still be felt with us. (2/29/16)

Emily Miller is saying on her FB page not to believe posts on random blogs regarding her parting ways with FOX5. Said she'd share news directly if she had news. (2/29/16)

Dave's response: The "news" of her leaving 5 is credited to FTVLive, which often gets things wrong. Just sayin'.....

There was an item posted on Saturday about carriage of subchannels on cable providers and DCRTV Dave responded by saying that the subchannels of WFDC and WPXW are not on the cable. I know that the pay providers carry broadcast stations either through (1) retransmission consent (They pay the stations for carriage rights) or (2) must carry (They don't pay the stations). I believe that WFDC and WPXW are probably must carry, which may be the reason why their subchannels are not carried. Unsigned Retired Non-Suit. (2/29/16)

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\/ February 28 Messages \/

[RE Bob Shilling:] I didn't know Bob as a journalist back in the day, but rather as a devoted member of the team at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). He was such a great guy - always there to help in any way he could. I know that Bob's passing is not only a tough professional loss for you, but a deep personal loss as well. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the NFFF, and all others associated with the organization, I send love and prayers to Bob's family, to you, and to his many friends and colleagues. Rest in Peace Bob Shilling! Congratulations on a life truly well lived! (2/28/16)

Re: Emily Miller, she's still listed on Fox5's Facebook page as of a few minutes ago. I remember seeing a blurb about the story at that school that was pulled. What exactly happened that the story was pulled and is that the impetus to her "parting ways"? Kind of felt that she wasn't really a good fit anyway, especially as a CHIEF investigative reporter. (2/18/16)

Noticed Russ Ptacek dropped any WUSA mention on his Facebook and Twitter page and his WUSA bio page comes up as a server error. I take it he has left WUSA. Met him once and was nice and personable. He had a good guy persona perfect for the anchor chair. Sounds like he is going on a long vacation. Have fun!!! (2/28/16)

Washington Wizards / Cleveland Cavaliers game not being televised locally on Fios today? Anyone know? Can't find it anywhere. (2/28/16)

Don’t shit where you eat 101: Melissa Harris Perry broke Golden Rule as Fahri points out. Sheesh: www.washingtonpost.com (2/28/16)

Dave, in one of your videos you suggested that DC 101 segues into a Triple A outlet. Cumulus has a really great Triple A in the Bay Area….KFOG. World Class Rock and it has so much variety that honestly it’s just amazing. Enough of the good deep cuts and progressive along with a slight nod to the mainstream as well. Basically, it’s late 60’s through today with a 10@10 segment during the weekdays that really starts off the work day with themed songs from a different year every day. Yes, I wouldn’t mind DC 101 going down the route of Mainstream Rock ala WDVE out of Pittsburgh or Active Rock ala WIYY out of Baltimore or even as you suggested Triple A. Dan (2/28/16)

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\/ February 27 Messages \/

Got a good example today of why broadcast beats Internet on ad timing and placement. I reside in Northern Virginia and while on a slightly well-known regional media website this afternoon (12/27), I decided to click on an obviously PAC-originated political ad in hopes the site operator would at least get a few pennies from Google for it. I found the expected ad. But, unexpected was that the ad copy promotes voting for their candidate in “Today's South Carolina Primary”!!! Not only do I live in Virginia, but the South Carolina primary for that candidate's party has come and gone! Today's South Carolina primary is for “the other party”. A responsible broadcaster would've caught this immediately and contacted the client. Computers apparently are not that smart. Yet... -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/27/16)

NPR home to Diane Rehmjob and WAMU reports that PMSNBC won’t have Melissa Harris Perry to kick around anymore claiming she has been “silenced” which beckons the question “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it does it make a sound?”. Sadly, the answer is “no”: www.npr.org (2/27/16)

DISH Network will not work with TiVo for political, legal, and spiteful reasons. Charlie Ergen gambled when he basically stole not only key features of TiVo but also some of the Linux software and incorporated them into the DISH Network DVRs for many years. TiVo successfully sued and won several expensive lawsuits against DISH Network for this, and these lawsuits are the main reasons that TiVo wasn't bankrupted or bought out years ago. The Philips company made TiVo-based DVRs, ReplayTVs, and UltimaTV DVRs back in the pre-HD days, and I wonder what software the current line of Philips DVRs is using. If I could guess, it's something new or perhaps a far descendant of the ReplayTV. UltimaTV was absorbed and eventually killed by Microsoft in another one of Microsoft's not-invented-here failed products. -Chainsman (2/27/16)

Speaking of cable carriage of signals, does Comcast carry all the DC area sub channels? I know WJLA 7 has the new CometTV sci-fi channel, but Comcast doesn’t carry it in Baltimore, nor to they carry GET TV. They finally added Antenna TV and LAFF. Baltimore doesn’t get COZI TV either, yet Comcast could get that from WRC TV if they wanted to easily. Does DC get all the DC sub channels via Comcast or any of the Baltimore ones? As far as I know the FCC does not consider any sub channels as MUST CARRY even if carried by a local station. This kind of sucks to have to rely on sleazy Comcast. (2/27/16)

Dave's response: I don't have Comcast cable TV any longer, but when I did they carried the subchannels of WRC, WJLA, WUSA, WDCA, WETA, WMPT, and WDCW. They didn't seem to carry the subchannels of WFDC and WPXW. I don't know why.....

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\/ February 26 Messages \/

I am happy to see that the DCRTV readers are now more interested in what is happening in the radio industry. It seems before, they were primarily interested in which DJ was on in what time slot. If these large radio companies fail or default on their loans, it will effect everyone in the industry. iHeart reported that they lost $115 million in 2015. Their stock is down to $1.10 per share now. Their debt is up to $20.9 BILLION......CUMULUS management people are receiving stock as part of their compensation. At $0.27 per share, it will take a lot of stock to pay their high salaries. (2/26/16)

Radio is not dead. On a weekly basis, Radio reaches at least 65% of all people in this country on AM drive. PM drive is bumped to reaching at least 70% of all people in this country, according to Nielsen. Now, if you didn't get the report today from Nielsen, guess what was the most played song on "Classic Rock" radio stations last year. Next , guess what the most played song was on "Classic Hits" radio stations last year. (different songs). Dave, any guesses? (2/26/16)

Dave's response: "Dream On" by Aerosmith - americansongwriter.com.....

Yet more proof that Radio Is Not Dead: rainnews.com... At least not in Sweden anyway. (2/26/16)

Dave, I want to say I watched your video on the future of the Post today and Bravo. You spoke to my concerns about how newspapers today care more about clicks and page views than actual content while they're bleeding money. (2/26/16)

Re: "We've run lots of conjecture here in the Mailbag about what might be going on, but there's really little I can report on in the "news" department....." You can report conjecture, lies, pure speculation, and flat out made up sh&t, and call it 'news' It is perfectly ok to add a racist twist to to it as well. . Don't believe me? Just ask Bill Hess. (2/26/16)

Do these large companies like iHeart, Cumulus, Emmis, Radio One and Hubbard buy their stations with all debt? Are they too big to default? When they default who takes the hit? Is it the lenders who made bad loans? (2/26/16)

A few weeks ago, I wrote here that WAMU in the morning often gave the weather report without stating what the current temperature was. I have noticed (and Mrs. Olney concurs) that they have definitely increased reporting the current temperature, as in stating it in three places at a time every 15 minutes, and it seems like the town they mention most frequently is our little town of Olney. Coincidence? I don't know but thank you to WAMU for that tip of the hat, and this also shows the clout of DCRTV!!! Great job, Dave-- Carl in Olney (2/26/16)

Not only was WHAG-25 carried on Verizon FiOS in Montgomery County for a couple of year, but it had better surround sound quality on its NBC shows than WRC-4 had. But many times there were failures in getting the HD version of it to Verizon, or to getting it to them at all. I, for one, would vote for having them back on local cable systems. -- Carl in Olney (2/26/16)

Tom Taylor provides some very good insight today on two major radio companies. If these companies default on their loans then it effects the entire radio industry. iHeart debt is now up to $20.9 Billion. They have some huge payments due in the next three years. " In 2016 their payment due is $197 million. In 2017 they must pay $238 million and in 2018 the payment is $939 million." These numbers are so large they are hard to understand. RADIO ONE stock went down to $1.24 per share yesterday. The loss in the 4th Quarter was $24.3 million. The loss was attributed to "poor performance".
Danni was on the show the other day. She called in and talked about some opportunities she was doing on the side that including a TV show. Kane made mention that he was supporting her. It sounded like she just has some time off do get some of her side gigs together. The team seemed to be really supportive. (2/26/16)

Delaware to loose a Spanish language station. Delmarva Broadcasting La Exitosa 930 am is picking up ESPN. The station also operates on a Traslator at 104.1 located between Dover and Milford and is on one of WAFL 97.7's HD channels. Delmarva recently sold it's Salisbury am/fm and Pocomoke City FM, and is moving it's Ocean Pines FM to the Milford complex. (2/26/16)

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\/ February 25 Messages \/

Re: "Steve Czaban in the first half hour of his Yahoo Sports Radio show (carried on Red Zebra's WSPZ 570) noted that WTEM and other local outlet had reported this story several weeks ago. His question: why do national outlets suddenly decide a previously reported story is now a new development? Wasn't able to listen to any of WSPZ or WTEM the rest of the day. Anyone hear an answer" Czaban is, as is so often the case, making stuff up. Neither station had any official word from the Skins, nor did the WaPo. They assumed, as did everyone else, that RGIII's departure was a done deal. But assuming isn't reporting the words of a team official. (2/25/16)

Not sure why Czaben would claim WTEM had the Redskins/RGIII story "weeks ago," or why he would act like there was some kind of national media conspiracy involved, since WTEM was among the stations presenting Allen's words to the SoCal station as Breaking News. But either way, my question remains: why does WTEM ever get scooped on a Redskins story? They have an office AT Redskins Park. Maybe try leaving your door open and listening to office chatter...? (2/25/16)

We want info on Danni and her status on The Kane Show. What is up? Say something and get digging. (2/25/16)

Dave's response: Unless Danni and/or Kane and/or iHeart's Hot 99.5 want to say something publicly, there's little I can report on. We've run lots of conjecture here in the Mailbag about what might be going on, but there's really little I can report on in the "news" department.....

Hi Dave, Something interesting for you guys.Not really affecting anybody in this area but interesting none the less. Many of you know that Direct-TV merged---bought out ATT/UVRSE. ATT/UVERSE carries a straight sat feed of Me-TV and OAN--One America News,a really great news service! Direct-TV will be phasing out the ATT/UVERSE cable service and the contracts for OAN and the straight satellite feed of Me-TV will not be carried over to Direct-TV. This is why mergers are bad---because of corporate forced compliance and loss of choices for the end consumer. If you have satellite you need an over the air antenna to go along with your service. All about money isn't it? Thanks FCC and the Republicans and Democrats for not looking out for the consumer and working for the lobbyists----Great Job! (2/25/16)

[RE: Yesterday, Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen for the first time publicly stated that RGIII won't be on the team's roster next season. Highly anticipated. Sports-wise, big news. Did he tell WJFK 106.7FM, "The Fan"? He did not. Did he tell ESPN 980, nicknamed "Redskins Radio," flagship of the Redskins gameday radio network and owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which was founded and is majority owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder?] Steve Czaban in the first half hour of his Yahoo Sports Radio show (carried on Red Zebra's WSPZ 570) noted that WTEM and other local outlet had reported this story several weeks ago. His question: why do national outlets suddenly decide a previously reported story is now a new development? Wasn't able to listen to any of WSPZ or WTEM the rest of the day. Anyone hear an answer? (2/25/16)

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\/ February 24 Messages \/

WILC is now being programmed out of the Wheaton studios of WACA. Here are two Youtubes - both in Spanish: youtu.be (long format interview) youtu.be (short promo) From Odenton.... (2/24/16)

Shomari Stone out in the field reporting on the rain conditions. So he brings a guy up to interview and tells him that he's on live tv, NBC4, the #1 news station. Why such drama with him?. Why can't he just say he's from channel 4? (2/24/16)

Further evidence that Washington's two Sports Talk stations suck: Yesterday, Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen for the first time publicly stated that RGIII won't be on the team's roster next season. Highly anticipated. Sports-wise, big news. Did he tell WJFK 106.7FM, "The Fan"? He did not. Did he tell ESPN 980, nicknamed "Redskins Radio," flagship of the Redskins gameday radio network and owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which was founded and is majority owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder? No, he did not. He fed the scoop to a San Diego radio station. And it's not the first time the team has snubbed DC media, including, I repeat, the team's own radio station. Why is that? There are a few logical explanations, and they all point to two lousy radio stations, one poorly operated sports marketing company and an NFL owner who turns everything he touches into shit. (2/24/16)

To the poster asking -"How do you use a third party DVR to receive DISH programming? Is there a DISH receiver involved?" -- I think you're addressing that to me; I had said the other day that I use my DVR for both Dish & over the air programs. Yes, the Dish receiver I have is how I get their programming. My Phillips DVR is totally separate from it. Really, very simple -- a stand alone DVR that's not provided by your cable or satellite service works pretty much like your old VCR used to --separate device, sitting there apart from your TV & whatever else (cable box, receiver, etc.) It's "dumb" in the sense it has no idea what programs are on or what channels, because it has no access to program guides; you can only program it for a set time to coincide with whatever show you're recording. So you also have to make sure to set your receiver or box to be on the proper channel also. It's a straightforward recorder with a timer, again, just like a basic VCR would be. My real puzzlement was why standalone DVRs are talked about like their not legal, when they always have been, to my knowledge. There's no requirement to only obtain one through your provider, and if anyone says so, they're wrong. (2/24/16)

[From DCRTV's Job Ads:] Research Director, Inc. has a position open for a Research Specialist. Must have experience in radio sales environment (i.e., Sales Assistant). Research Specialist will provide support to Research Consultants in the management and execution of media research projects. Must have the ability to create customized sales research materials for radio clients in order to help position their audience to potential advertisers using internal production software and vendor software such as TapWeb and Media Audit. Proficiency in Nielsen Audio Ratings and Scarborough. Strong analytical skills and attention to detail. Position is located in Annapolis, MD. For complete details regarding the position, visit www.researchdirectorinc.com. (2/24/16)

Okay, you think YOUR station is a dump? Here's a streaming station coming to you live from a repurposed shipping container on a vacant lot in Brooklyn NY: www.thelotradio.com and www.timeout.com (2/24/16)

White House correspondent April Ryan's elderly relatives were shot Monday while at a Baltimore City fast food place. The victims are in their 80's and 90's. (2/24/16)

Have you heard anything about the sudden absence of Danni on the Kane show? Speculation by fans is a fight between D & K. (2/24/16)

Dear Baltimore morning TV on-the-street reporter who, every day, says something similar: "...coming up at 10 a.m. this morning...": STOP IT! I don't blame you, you don't seem to know any better - I blame your bosses (editors?). (2/24/16)

Are you smart enough to figure out how much interest per year iHeart pays on their debt of $20.588 Billion? Remember, some of their interest rates range from 9% to 14%. Cumulus Media has debt of $2.5 Billion. How much do they pay in interest? Why don't they sell some of their stations to pay down this huge debt? They have all their assets pledged as security on their debt. (2/24/16)

Readers are getting tired of seeing the stock prices.......Cumulus Media is up to 30 cents per share now. iHeart is up to $1.07 per share. (2/24/16)

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\/ February 23 Messages \/

I am pretty sure that Caitlin Francis was let go from WHAG. Too bad. She was a pretty and cheerful lady but she always seemed nervous on camera and frequently stumbled over words. Maybe down the road she will be back on air there or somewhere else. And that was Taniya wright who headed to Tulsa. Taniya was another anchor that left for greener pastures. Can't blame her. (2/23/16)

I hate getting into what I've done for a living. But, here are some rather simplified reasons why Verizon likely dropped WHAG-TV. First, there's the payments to the Copyright Royalty Board. In addition to whatever fees a CATV (now, because of things like FiOS, Google Fiber, U-Verse, IPTV, and the satellite people, the legalese term is “MVPD” as “Multichannel Video Program Distributor”. For the sake of my own familiarity since my first exposure to them in the 1960's, I'll call them here “CATV's”.) may have to pay a local broadcast TV station for its signal or a programmer for its service, it also has to pay the federal government when a “distant signal” is involved. A “distant signal” is defined generally as one not readily receivable with an ordinary home receiver or antenna. Thus, although within the Washington DMA, WHAG-TV could be considered a “distant signal”. The basic rule of thumb is, “the more distant a station, the higher the CRB fees” Fees are like those for everything else a CATV has to pay -per subscriber per month. There's also the “NetEx”, or “Network Exclusivity” rule. This is where a “local” network broadcaster can require a CATV to drop the signal of a “distant signal” station of the same network during network programming. There's a similar rule called “SyndEx” which is much the same thing for syndicated programming. Before serious regulation, CATV's carried not just nearby market stations, but “Superstations”. Besides WTBS and WGN, other national superstations once included WOR and WPIX from New York, KTVT from Dallas-Fort Worth, and KTVU from Oakland, CA. In the era before satellites, there were “regional superstations”. WTTG and WDCA were once on CATV's up and down the mid-Atlantic. Before the “distant signal” fees became too burdensome, it wasn't unusual for a “distant” station to grant “must carry” status to a distant CATV (with that CATV system paying the Copyright Royalty Board but not the station) while a closer-in CATV would get “contract carry” status, with the CATV system paying the broadcaster directly. When the distant signal fees become burdensome, the nearby out-of-market broadcasters disappeared along with the superstations other than WTBS and WGN. WTBS' survival in this is quite a story that I hope is told someday. If it weren't for legions of Cubs fans, WGN would likely be gone, too. As for NetEx and SyndEx, it's probably easier for a CATV to simply drop a distant broadcaster than to have it on/off by program, Dedicating a channel to a “part-time” station like this was expensive in terms of bandwidth in the analog era and in dollars by having an employee responsible for setting-up a PC to determine when the distant channel would be up or not. CATV's are probably no different than any other business in wanting to have as few employees as possible. And, always looking to cut staff levels wherever they can. An interesting sidebar to this debate would've been legislation introduced in Congress a few years ago (and mercifully died in committee), that had it become law, would've required every CATV system to carry one station from its state capital city. Of course, that would've meant a ton of money going to the Copyright Royalty Board! Remember that they don't do their work for free. Both copyright owners and users pay for the “services” of that branch of government. And, some of those stations would've been pretty distant. Imagine bringing a Sacramento signal down to San Diego! The real beneficiaries would've been the Petroleum Broadcasting Service TV stations as there are state capitols (NJ and MD to name just two) where the only city-licensed broadcast TV station is PBS. Left undefined in the bill was whether carrying the local satellite of the station (like PBS in MD and NJ) in the capitol city would've been OK. Not mentioned was the situation about state capitals without a licensed TV station, like Dover, Delaware. -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/23/16)

WHAG is carried by Dish & Direct in the Washington DMA (which includes Hagerstown). I figure it shouldn’t have been carried in the entire market, but just where it is significantly viewed. The same goes for WMGM in Wildwood, NJ. This would have protected these stations in their service areas. I hope that WHAG can put some legal pressure on NBC to regain their affiliation. (2/23/16)

How do you usea third party DVR to receive DISH programming? Is there a DISH receiver involved? (2/23/16)

It's bad enough that Cpt. Obvious floods the Mailbag with his media stock updates every day, but he isn't even accurate. iHeartMedia closed yesterday at $1.12/share. It's trading at $1.07/share as I write this. If you're going to position yourself as some kind of finance guru, you might want to learn how to read a stock quote and some basic other documents (earnings statements, etc) (notice the low trading volume for the past 10 months?). Just shouting out a daily low price is meaningless. (2/23/16)

In case you missed it, Diane Rehm is put through some pretty uncomfortable but justified questions in parts of this interview with Adam Ragusea of Current. current.org (2/23/16)

"Broadcasting Stock Prices....it is sad news." Man-o-man what must have happened to you as a child...obsessing on this daily and taking such delight in the misfortunes of others. (2/23/16)

"Why can't u get wmal on tune in radio app? " It's on the iHeart Radio app. (2/23/16)

A talk show hosted by journalist and former network news producer Carol Joynt. Q&A Café offers candid conversation with today's news makers. Restaurant guests and television viewers are treated to the kind of informal yet insightful conversations that can only happen in the dining room. Tune in to the Q&A Café with Carol Joynt, where you'll find no speeches -- just free-flowing questions and answers. (2/23/16)

I wonder if Kane got suspended for something. The last 45 minutes of yesterday show as rerun and today show is a rerun. I don't know what is going on. Apparently, the replayed the divorce clip at 9:30 yesterday, and put other clips in the podcast (2/23/16)

I remember a story on NBC 4 about (Pete) Kane and his family a few years ago. I think it was about depression. Sad to hear he is divorced. (2/23/16)

Washington Post’s John Kelly profiles Silver Spring’s Joe’s Record Paradise nightmare move to a new location: what could go wrong moving hundreds of thousands of records? Joe is a Root Boy Slim alumni and a Washington music scene veteran: www.washingtonpost.com (2/23/16)

No one’s mentioned it, but is it possible that NBC corporate got wind of WHAG 25 expanding news coverage into Montgomery County, clearly WRC NBC 4’s turf and then pulled the plug on the the NBC affiliation? People make fun of stations like WHAG and the Salisbury stations, but think about. What are the other news sources in western Maryland or in Delmarva outside of the small town newspapers, some of which are folding too recently? WHAG’s news might be boring, but in small towns, they like good news. They don’t want to hear about today’s murders and gun violence like we do in DC and Baltimore. The 4 state area that WHAG 25 serves really has no other TV news. It’s not like NBC 4 or anybody else often sends a news crew up there to cover anything that often. If WHAG cannot get any of the four TV Networks, as an independent, one of the Classic TV networks would do quite well out there. It would be easier to steal MeTV, Cozi, or Antenna TV than any of the big four networks.I can’t imagine the station succeeding without any network programming since most syndication of old TV shows/movies is locked up by these networks now. One question I have is has WHAG ever been on most cable systems in the DC area? WHAG has never been on any Baltimore area cable system that I’m aware of and if so only western Carroll County. (2/23/16)

Dave's response: WHAG was carried by Verizon's FIOS system in Fairfax County a few years back. It was never on Cox's or Comcast's systems there. But it got yanked after, I assume, WRC complained that it was intruding on its NBC programming turf.....

To the poster from iHeart.....you are wrong. the iHeart stock is at an all time low of just 82 cents per share. Maybe, because the iHeart lists it debt at $20.588 Billion. (2/23/16)

/\ February 23 Messages /\

\/ February 22 Messages \/

This was in one of the trades I get in my e-mail. Interesting engineering commentary about AM radio… electronicdesign.com -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/22/16)

Caitlin Francis did not go to Tulsa OK. That was Taniya Wright who previously was the midday and 5 PM anchor at WHAG. No word (that I know of) on whether MS. Francis hasa job or where it might be. (2/22/16)

OMG! iHeartMedia Inc. stock is selling for 98 cents/share! Now it's 97 cents! Oh, wait, now its back to 98 cents! Oops, up to 99 cents now. Still 99 cents. Still 99 cents. Now it's down to 98 cents. 98 cents. 98 cents. Still 98 cents. 98 cents. 98 cents. It's still 98 cents. Still. Okay, maybe I need to refresh my browser.....no, still at 98 cents. 98 cents. 98 cents. Wait! Wait! It's down to 97 cents again! Nope, back to 98 cents again...gee this is exciting! (2/22/16)

The Washington Post does not need a "media columnist." The Post currently has excellent media coverage from Paul Farhi and Erik Wemple--every week, every month, every year. The Washington Post doesn't need another columnist in general. The paper already has a ridiculous overflow of columnist--most of whom could disappear today and most readers would celebrate. The Post needs Metro reporters, Metro bureaus, National reporters, National bureaus, Foreign reporters, Foreign bureaus and even more and better arts and entertainment reporters--NOT columnists. In recent years, the Post has lost reporting resources in all of these areas--to the great, continual and obvious detriment of the paper. You can see the decrease in quality every single day. The Post has also lost copy editors--and that shows every day, also. The quality of its daily reporting has also decreased. Additionally, the Post is consistently losing readers, subscriptions, circulation, advertising, money, revenue, profits and credibility. So what does it do? It hires a "media columnist!" That's the last thing on earth that the Post needs right now. (2/22/16)

Looking for some clarification on the whole DVRs & FCC issue being tossed around lately.... By the way it's being described, it sounds like the FCC is recommending that consumers be allowed to purchase DVR equipment openly through retailers with no ties to any cable or satellite providers -- but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't that legal to do anyway? I've had a Phillips DVR in use since 2010 that works flawlessly, 500GB of space (maybe on the low end, but adequate for me) and I own it free and clear, no fee whatsoever...I think I bought it at Best Buy. Use it to record both OTA and from Dish. And from what I see, this one and similar models are available still on Amazon or Ebay. So why are off-the-shelf DVRs being discussed as if they're illegal now? They're clearly not. (2/22/16)

They say you've never really been "in" radio until you've been fired from a job. Truth is, you've never really been in until a divorce. Been there, Kane. It sucks but its survivable. (2/22/16)

Hi, Does anyone know what the heck is going on with Danni from the Kane Show? She's been mysteriously gone from the live shows for over a week with no real explanation. They also seem not to be playing any commercials where she's named. What's up with that? Thanks! (2/22/16)

WNEW should go back to running "The History of Rock & Roll" 24 hours a day. -Chainsman (2/22/16)

What is SOCIALISM? Bernie Sanders claims he has the Hispanic vote. Hillary claims she has the Blacks and Females. I guess the only thing left are the White Men. You can hear about it on WMAL. (2/22/16)

Let me first say that I live in the WHAG service area and have since the 1970’s. I am a 40+ year retired broadcaster, so I have a clue what I’m talking about. That is if I’m not within my cocktail hour which now runs from noon till 8 PM daily. Only to obtain a small bit of comedy relief, I occasionally view WHAG ‘s “local” news. I can tell you that it appears to me they have a difficult time filling just a minute or 2 with anything relevant during their Today show news insert. The evening news has been a constant bore with little more than feel good or fire truck chasing stories poorly presented by their broadcast school rookies. I find it unimaginable that increasing the number of hours of this home grown pabulum will be enough to keep Nexstar from selling or auctioning off this increasingly irrelevant, throw back of a facility. Hey, the local community needs that spectrum so they can blab all day about nothing on their cell phones or watch You Tube videos while driving their cars...Oh, I mean pickups. I will shut up now and go back to slowly becoming worm food. (2/22/16)

Russ Ptacek of WUSA is hinting on Facebook of a major change coming soon to his career. Sounds like he is leaving WUSA. That would be a shame if so. (2/22/16)

Thank you for listing the stock prices of radio conglomerates. Signed, Maria Bartitomo. (2/22/16)

RE: “Sean Hannity’s contract with Fox News is up at the end of this year. I hear Tucker Carlson thinks he is next in line”. First of all, surely you jest: The Hamster, Sean Ham Hammity ain’t going nowhere. His ratings are fine and yes, he was bumped by Martha Washington aka Megan Kelly, but all is well. Next: Tucker also is fine right where he is as weekend host/anchor for Fox & Friends and covering on location the 2016 election primaries. A serious family man, his home is Upper Northwest DC, where his wonderful wife and kids reside: he has zero interest in doing a show five nights a week from NYC. He has the Daily Caller based in DC, family, friends, and actually hates NYC: pretty normal guy. Tucker HAD his own show once upon a time on PMSNBC of all places back when it was actually a fairly impartial cable outlet (Pat Buchanan was once there too) before the Olbermann/Matthews/Maddow purge of all things conservative (and no, Joe Scarface ain’t no conservative). Tucker also hosted Crossfire and a quaint show, “The Spin Room” with Bill Press for CNN: he’s happy doing what he does for FNC and prefers spending MORE time with his family and friends, not less. And there are lots of OPENLY gay Republicans, like Fred Karger who ran for POTUS in 2012: wikipedia.org (2/22/16)

WWRC 1260.....what a waste of signal. After sunset you cannot get the station in Northern Virginia. Their signal is directional to the East. After 5:45 PM you cannot hear Sean Hannity at all on this side of the River. (2/22/16)

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\/ February 21 Messages \/

Conservative News; On Friday, a woman called in and said something like “I am a gay Republican, and I find it hard to tell my Republican friends…” Larry O’Connor then said “Tell me about it.” Not that there is anything wrong with that. Now that Jeb is out, a $600,000 advertising buy Jeb had slated for Super Tuesday (Including Virginia) is now gone. Will Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz fill WMAL’s portion of that ad buy? Will Kasich or Carson see the gap, and advertise on WMAL next week? Who will Dan Bongino’s BFF, Josh Duggar, endorse now that Santorum and Huckabee are out? Please Josh, endorse Ted Cruz. When Obama makes his nomination to the Supreme Court, and if it is crime buster Loretta Lynch, will Mark Levin’s head finally explode, live on Mark Levin TV (if it is working-just $60.00 a year)? Sean Hannity’s contract with Fox News is up at the end of this year. I hear Tucker Carlson thinks he is next in line. Glenn Beck is “fasting for Cruz.: Can Glenn Beck be the “Conservative (and nitwitted) version of Bobby Sands (kids, look it up), or will Glenn Beck be forever labeled “Rebel without a clue”? (2/21/16)

WHAG 's Kaitlyn Francis is now at a TV station in Tulsa, OK. This is the answer to a question previously posted. (2/21/16)

Breitbart available via local internets on Verizon Vios comes up with a new term, “Beckfast”: www.breitbart.com (2/21/16)

To the poster who is afraid to see the all time low prices of some of these major radio companies. Why is this happening? The stocks of these mighty companies should be going up and not going down to penny stocks. For example, Cumulus at 29 cents per share, iHeart at 82 cents per share. Emmis and Radio One at very low prices. Why is it that Wall Street does not like these stocks? Maybe, they all have too much debt. No radio company can buy all their stations with debt. (2/21/16)

The FCC says that cable TV subscribers should be able to buy their converter boxes and DVRs from retail outlets so they can save on the hefty rental fees charged by their providers. However, in my debut "Dave Talks" episode I look at how the FCC's plan, while well-intentioned, could be a gigantic, confusing mess for consumers..... (2/21/15)

I get a really nice fan letter for my "Dave TV" episodes from a Fairfax high school student, Zach. In today's "Dave TV." Book 'em Danno! (2/21/15)

Thanks to DCRTVDJDAVE for not being a booker burner like Twitter when it comes to free expression on the old Mailbag: “Twitter, an invaluable news aggregator when properly run and used, has seemingly taken aim at conservatives and those advocating conservative causes. In early January, Twitter stripped Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero on Twitter) of his “verification,” saying he violated the anti-harassment Terms of Service.” Sheesh what a bunch of Nancy Boys: legalinsurrection.com (2/21/16)

Wow, WDMV is up to old tricks. Saturday night I heard the station on the air at 7pm. ID and all. FCC sunset calculator puts the proper legal time at 5:45. Oopsie. (2/21/16)

John Harding, who had a very distinguished career in Richmond radio, has published an autobiography - Radio Ingleside; A Life On Air. The book also describes the downfall of WRVA, once known as the 50,000 watt voice of Virginia. Those who may have known John will find it interesting reading. It is available in Kindle format on Amazon (www.amazon.com). (2/21/16)

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\/ February 20 Messages \/

"Clear Your cookies"... Hahaha! The creepy part is that the ad rotated up on one of the office/studio machines at work. Someone on the overnights is having a good time here. (2/20/16)

"Sure hope the guy obsessed with stock prices checks in with his breathless, oh-so-shocked updates twice again today. I don't know where I could possibly find that information..." Brav fuckin O! Anyone who thinks he's bringing something to the table posting about penny stocks has a severe case of chronic undeleted cookies and is probably broadcasting live from Chestnut Lodge. In other news radio's former Mike O'Meara talked this week about all the times he stole from his colleagues and business partners but said it was okay because he told them about it afterwards. I personally don't have those saucy ads appearing on my computer and wouldn't stand for it if I did! Dave, it's your website so your call, but you're right to not post even semi-adult content. You don't have to work blue. Gus in Gaithersburg (2/20/16)

Make it stop Dave, make it stop: Hillary Clinton RIP? Now who are you going to vote for? “An individual attempted to place an obituary in a Nevada newspaper declaring Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton was dead, according to a Friday report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The bizarre incident spurred the Secret Service to investigate, the newspaper said. According to its own account, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reported Friday that Don Schubert tried to actually drop off a Las Vegas Review-Journal "obituary form identifying the deceased as Hillary Rodham Clinton." On the form, Schubert allegedly wrote that Clinton died on Feb. 20, 2016. That is the day of the Democrats' Nevada caucus where Clinton and Sanders are battling it out to win delegates in the state. Then, the paper says Schubert drove away from its offices in a Prius that was spotted with Bernie Sanders decals. The paper reported the incident to Secret Service and Schubert told the paper later that night that he had been contacted by the Secret Service about his effort to put the Clinton obituary in the paper. Schubert told them that he had only meant the stunt as an exercise in "political humor." www.msn.com (2/20/16)

I had no idea that WHAG's coverage area came so far down into the DC suburbs. Is this something that came with the DTV transition? Can anyone down here actually get WHAG? I assume you'd need an outdoor antenna. WHAG was a hoot in the early 1990s when I was in college in southcentral PA. Low budget and small market in a good way. (2/20/16)

Dave's response: Back in the analog days, I could easily get WHAG via antenna at my sister's old house in Herndon. But I could never get it at my place in Reston. Never caught its digital signal via antenna.....

This is pretty funny. This is a rotating sidebar ad that came up on the WWRC AM1260 website; a station owned by Christian-oriented Salem (WAVA). Wouldn't expect this kind of titillation from a Salem station -- the couple is half-undressed on a relatively comfy sofa, looking longingly at each other, and they're not married (check her left hand). When the screen is refreshed the ad disappears, but while its up, its really out of character for the station. (2/20/16)

Dave's response: Not gonna repost adult ad content here in the Mailbag. Maybe it's time to clear your cookies. It's obviously one of those ads that's probably based on your search history.....

In regard to the WFAX translator application post. “this is well within WZBA's coverage area and will likely cause interference” No it is NOT well within their coverage area. As long as those pretty circles around the transmitter do not touch, it is cool to shove in another signal. As for interference within the blue circle of a station, they must prove the offender is causing harm. (2/20/16)

To make wild assumptions about what is station owner Nexstar may do after losing the NBC affiliation in Hagerstown is a pure guess. Nexstar owns 18 other NBC affiliates and it could well be that NBC offered them an enhanced network affiliate package including reduced reverse compensation in return for pulling the NBC affiliation in Hagerstown. Only time will tell. (2/20/16)

I saw the news about WHAG going independent. BTW whatever happened to morning anchor Caitlin Francis? She seems to have vanished withouta trace. (2/20/16)

Why is channel 4 asking the viewing audience to tweet them locations of potholes? Shouldn't we be reporting these to the city so they can be repaired? (2/20/16)

/\ February 20 Messages /\

\/ February 19 Messages \/

[From DCRTV's Job Ads:] WINX-FM in Easton is looking for it's next Morning Host! If you love working in the Country format, love local radio, love talking to clients and small business owners and being part of the community AND can do a compelling show that involves the listeners, let us know! Duties include on-air, production, remotes, possible sales, ETC. E-MAIL mp3 and resume to matt@wceiradio.com. No phone calls, please. First Media Radio is an EOE. (2/19/16)

The FCC has granted Newcomb's application for a translator for WFAX on 100.7. As discussed previously, this is well within WZBA's coverage area and will likely cause interference, despite the translator putting essentially zero signal to the north and east. fcc.gov (2/19/16)

Dont know if anyone noticed, but this year is the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act; the one that lifted ownership caps and precipitated the death of American Radio as we know it. Hard to believe we've been bitching about the loss of Local Radio for nearly twenty years now and done nothing about it. (2/19/16)

It’s possible this would go nowhere, but Nextar, unlike NBC40 in Southern New Jersey, does have some pockets. I think they should file a complaint with the FCC and/or sue on anti-trust violations. The FCC was reluctant to even allow the Comcast merger and it’s clear there’s collusion here agains small markets. Hagerstown has 2 TV stations. At one point western Maryland was supposed to have all 3 network stations from Hagerstown to Cumberland. WHAG doesn’t carry news in downtown Baltimore or DC. They carry news that is NOT covered by either market. I hope the FCC puts a stop to this. This is like the 3rd or so NBC affiliate squabble since the NBC/Universal merger and despite all the assurances to get the deal approved, Comcast is just running over and trampling small markets, completely against everything the FCC is SUPPOSED to stand for. Just disgusting. Local news on WHAG will probably not continue as a result of this, news that is not covered by any other TV station. NBC/40 was the warning sign, WHAG NBC/25 and NBC/Boston is proof it’s a detailed plan, simply for their own corporate profits. :-( (2/19/16)

Wash Post’s Fung brings “news” of NYC free phone/WiFi kiosks where you enter an e-mail address for access: what could go wrong? NSA will have a field day: “New York's futuristic, high-tech pay phones -- which are embedded with touchscreen tablets -- are finally going live on Thursday.The name "pay phone" doesn't quite do it justice, of course. Yes, the city's LinkNYC terminals will allow you to make domestic phone calls. But they'll also let you surf the Web, pull up online maps and connect to city services like 311 and 911. And all of it will be free, thanks to built-in advertising. Powering these features is a series of Android tablets that are built into each of the LinkNYC terminals that are now in use. More terminals will be switched on this summer across the city, making a total of 510 LinkNYC spots. Over the next eight years, as many as 7,500 stations will be built to replace New York's pay phone network. One of the LinkNYC system's most attractive features is an ultrafast, gigabit WiFi hotspot. Currently in beta testing, the WiFi feature has shown download speeds of more than 250 Mbps — way faster than what you probably get at home.” More: www.washingtonpost.com (2/19/16)

Sure hope the guy obsessed with stock prices checks in with his breathless, oh-so-shocked updates twice again today. I don't know where I could possibly find that information...except on my iPad, my iPhone, the business section of the newspaper, about a dozen business stations on television, 500 different websites....etc etc etc. (2/19/16)

For the person that had the gall to anonymously refer to my friend and colleague as a 'troll', go eff yourself. She happens to be one of the hardest working, most humble, talented and generous persons I know. It's fine if you don't like TV listings on the air (or anything else they talk about on the station) but it doesn't warrant a personal insult like that. Shame on you. (2/19/16)

From www.newsblues.com: NBC is pulling its affiliation from Nexstar-owned WHAG-25-NBC in Hagerstown, MD (which covers a four-state area that includes Hagerstown; Chambersburg, PA; Martinsburg, WV; Winchester, VA; and portions of the DC television market.) And therein lies the rub. NBC owns and operates WRC-4-NBC in DC metro (Market #7) and considers tiny WHAG-25-NBC a competitor. Despite its proximity to DC, WHAG is operated like a small market station, focusing on areas west of Montgomery County. It has been an NBC affiliate since its inception, 46 years ago. And it became an affiliate long before the reach of cable and satellite coverage allowed it to intrude into WRC's territory. The station signed on the air on January 3, 1970 and was bookended by Warren Adler's two radio stations (WHAG-1410-AM and FM-96.7) in nearby Halfway, MD. The original analog TV transmitter was built on top of the Hagerstown Motor Inn. The station initially applied for ABC affiliation (which was the number one network at the time) but had to settle for NBC (which was the number three network). Adler Communications sold the station to the Magazine brothers (of DC) in 1973, who, in turn, sold it to local aviation pioneer Richard Henson in 1977. Henson then sold it to Great Trails Broadcasting in 1981. Great Trails exited broadcasting 17 years later and sold WHAG to Quorum Broadcasting in 1998 for $65 million. Nexstar Broadcasting acquired Quorum Broadcasting for $230 million in 2003. NBC confirmed "the affiliation is ending this summer," but gave no further explanation. WHAG General Manager Hugh Breslin, who is apparently still trying to figure out his next move, told the local Herald-Mail, "we have plans to make a major announcement about exciting changes to our service and programming next week." News of the pending change comes on the heels of NBC's decision to pull its network affiliation from Sunbeam's WHDH-7-NBC in Boston (Market #8) and launch what it calls "NBC Boston" on January 1, 2017. On February 29, Media General-owned WNCN-17-NBC (a former NBC O&O) will become the CBS affiliate in Raleigh (Market #25). That move was triggered by Capitol Broadcasting-owned WRAL-5-CBS's refusal to accept CBS's inequitable reverse compensation arrangement. (2/19/16)

[RE NBC pulling affiliation from WHAG:] I am surprised this didn't happen 10 or 15 years ago with cable and Sat TV making DC area stations readily available to the far reaches of Western MD. Before cable and Sat TV, I can imagine the large antenna one had to have to pull DC stations from Hagerstown. I guess Comcast must feel now that a small station in the middle of nowhere is cannibalizing enough of WRC's audience to warrant ending a 40 year relationship. (2/19/16)

Not sure why 98 Rock mornings producer Mike Anderson was suspended but it might have something to do with seeing Mickey "selling liquor without a license" Cucchiell around the office again. When Mickey left there was bad blood throughout the station and most people weren't talking to him including his cohosts when they were off air. Mickey's toxic personality was a constant source of anger and yelling. Could be PTSD. www.baltimoresun.com (2/19/16)

It appears Danni has been off 99.5 for at least a week now without an explanation from Kane or anyone else. Is something going on with the morning show that has yet to be made public? (2/19/16)

Joe Clair has contributed in a major way to PGC being up as he actually has the station competitive in morn drive for the 1st time ever in the PPM era so they can't be to upset with his performance as the morning man their.... (2/19/16)

Discovery Communications CEO = approximately $156 million per year!!! www.asyousow.org (2/19/16)

WHAG-TV in Hagerstown is losing its NBC affiliation this summer. More details to come. MLB4 (2/19/16)

Dave's response: I guess that'll mean a few more viewers for Comcast/NBC owned WRC, I guess.....

Something is happening at WHAG-TV/NBC 25. They are losing their NBC affilation this summer. Please see this article: www.heraldmailmedia.com (2/19/16)

Regarding "...FCC’s plan to allow other set top boxes like Apple TV and ROKU to directly get cable channels without have to rent equipment from the cable companies...." It won't affect the cable company's revenue stream as they will price it the same. The cable box might cost $10 a month or be included in the package. If you want to use a TIVO, you have to get a cable card. The cable card might cost +/- a buck or so per month. But, then the company charges a "Digital Outlet Fee" of about $10 a month. It's a wash. They'll do the same for a customer-owned set-top box and you have the pleasure of paying big bucks to get and maintain the box. Not the same as the analog days when you were allowed to plug into your cable-ready set or customer-owned cable box and got a credit on your bill (but you couldn't get scrambled premium channels unless you used the company's box). (2/19/16)

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\/ February 18 Messages \/

"Dave's response: Use Google Chrome's incognito mode. That'll usually get you past those limited page view paywalls....." Heavens to Betsy it doesn't have to turn into some kind of double nought spy operation, and you don't have to switch browsers, just delete your cookies; it's a task you should be doing anyway and like washing dishes or running a vacuum cleaner it's something very easy that everyone should learn how to do, and you can do it without switching browsers. And I think you're overthinking the WNEW situation because the present value of a contracted stream of payments for a curated radio station outweighs the possible future value of assorted streams of payments you might get from various siloed advertisers at multiple unknown pricepoints. With all due respect, you're basically dressing up the old "Bring back WHFS" canard in a new guise, and as cool as it would be, I'd love to see it happen, it's simply not good business. Gus in Gaithersburg (2/18/16)

Mark Levin heard locally on WMAL announced he has a new web site (you have to pay $60 bucks a year) that is video tv and called “Mark Levin TV” but unfortunately it has already crashed. Don Geronimo call your office: marklevintv.com (2/18/16)

A good read for cord cutters Dave. It’s about the FCC’s plan to allow other set top boxes like Apple TV and ROKU to directly get cable channels without have to rent equipment from the cable companies. Boy will this be lobbied heavily against by Comcast… macrumors.com — BaltoMedia.net (2/18/16)

People are saying that Mike Anderson, the producer of the Justin, Scott and Spiegel Morning Show at Baltimore’s 98 Rock, has been suspended by station management. Why was Mike Anderson suspended? (2/18/16)

Because I don't subscribe to the Post, when I tried to access the article online re: the Fox5 reporter misrepresenting herself, I got a message saying I had met my allowed views. In any case, I was wondering if she or Fox5 has made a comment about this. I went to the reporter's FB page & she's posted nothing's since Feb 11th. So anything else on this? I thought it strange when it happened that she was given that access "as a reporter". I also questioned her ability to remember all that was said without having video or recording devices in the cell. As for Fox5 to broadcast this report, I think the powers that be knew exactly what this reporter did & approved her tactics for getting the story. (2/18/16)

Dave's response: Use Google Chrome's incognito mode. That'll usually get you past those limited page view paywalls.....

Not only on Monday did Comcast have outages, but also yesterday evening for an hour or so. Don’t bothering calling to complain though. They will just try to diagnose your system, alleging the problem is YOUR FAULT even though they know full well where their system outages are. Comcast’s idea of customer service is that the customer is ALWAYS WRONG and it’s important to waste as much of their time as possible to frustrate them and make them go away. (2/18/16)

Dave's response: Comcast always does that when you call and complain about a service interruption - they always make it seem like it's only affecting you and that it's your "fault." If you talk to your neighbors, you'll often find that they're having the same problem, too. I call it "isolating" the customer. I'm pretty sure that Comcast call center folks are trained to do this.....

"Broadcasting Stock Prices....it is sad news. Sure glad that I did NOT invest in any of these companies." If you were half as smart as you pretend to be, you would be short selling them. (2/18/16)

From the mailbag Dec 18: "Business radio is not a viable radio format. No one listens. Over 99% of the people that are tuned in will not be tuned to a business radio format. In NYC Bloomberg doesn't even pay for ratings. They may be able to make money with the station, but not because the ratings are up. CBS didn't handle WNEW and Bloomberg won't be able to get a non-format off the ground. There is no business radio station killing in the ratings. Anywhere. Just stupid. Ed Graham (WNEW should have gone after WBAL, they could have been better, and different, and on FM)" Bloomberg is trying to set up a network of top 25 markets and they can make money off forced advertising. CBS made the deal so they could make money. Speculating what they should do is a waste of time, they are doing what they want - - making money. WRQX, well that's a different story. (2/18/16)

Broadcasting Stock Prices....it is sad news. Sure glad that I did NOT invest in any of these companies. iHeart @ $0.82 Cumulus @ $0.31 Emmis @ $0.51 and Radio One @ $1.08. The Stock Market does not like these stocks. They all have too much debt. When the stock prices fall below $1.00 per share they are delisted. (2/18/16)

CBS Radio needs to be convinced that another format will work there before it'll give up Bloomberg's checks. A news/talk hybrid, maybe? (2/18/16)


[RE: DC’s Greatest Hits] Putting DC’s Greatest Hits on 99.1 would actually be a good idea and even better if CBS DC took the time to promote the station big time with local talent and a emphasis on live and local shows. I get it…voice tracking and automation is cost effective however DC has had so much talent in the rich history of DC radio that having a live and local DC Greatest Hits station would really come out in a good way. If you do the right things that people want in DC for this format….then a buzz will come out in a positive way. However, failure to do so and you end up belly up and without a net again Dan (2/18/16)

WPGC and WMMJ are way up in the January radio ratings, with WTOP and WAMU at the top, as usual. DC101 is crashing, while Jack Diamond's return to WRQX hasn't helped much. Also, I chat again about the future of WNEW. Plus, a Fox 5 reporter misrepresents herself to get a jailhouse interview. Also, I do a shout-out to local TV and radio vet Alvin Jones. And more in today's "Dave TV"..... (2/18/16)

January radio ratings analysis from Tom Taylor: Washington DC – Bad weather typically translates into good things for Hubbard’s all-news WTOP regional service. It reasserts its primacy, following the all-Christmas ascent of iHeart’s WASH (now down to third). In fact, WTOP’s even stronger than it was in the January book of a year ago, when it pulled a 9.2 share with age 6+ AQH share. This time it’s a 9.9, and ratings-tracker Chris Huff says “the 9.9 is WTOP’s largest share since September 2011.” That’s up from a December-book 7.9, a Holiday-book 7.5 and now this 9.9. Second – and doing it with a weekly cume base that ranks only ninth – is American U.’s non-com news/talk WAMU (7.9-6.9-9.1). Put those two news-based shares together, and you’ve got a 19.0. (Another thing – WTOP and WAMU are either #1 or #2 in every daypart, including weekends.) Third is iHeart’s AC (no longer Christmas) WASH, 7.0-12.0-5.3. Fourth is Howard U’s urban AC WHUR (4.9-5.2-4.9). Soft number for iHeart’s rhythmic “Hot 99.5” WIHT, which often ranks third. This time it’s fifth (5.8-5.2-4.9). Cumulus talk WMAL-AM/FM snaps back, 4.0-3.3-3.8. But revamped sister hot AC “Mix” WRQX doesn’t (2.4-2.6-2.1). Jack Diamond’s back in mornings, and ranked #19 in this book. All-news WTOP leads in average weekly cume at just over 1.2 million..... Baltimore – iHeart’s country WPOC re-takes first (6.6-5.6-7.4), ahead of CBS Radio’s formerly all-Christmas AC WLYF (9.1-15.0-7.2). Third overall (and first in mornings) is Radio One’s urban “92Q” WERQ (6.9-7.3-7.0). Fourth is Radio One’s urban AC WWIN-FM (6.5-6.1-6.2) followed by “Shine 95.1.” That’s not-for-profit Peter & John-owned (commercial) contemporary Christian WRBS-FM (5.7-4.8-5.7). Big month for CBS Radio’s all-sports “Fan” WJZ-FM, in sixth place (4.1-3.9-5.3). A record PPM-share for WCBM Inc.’s talk WCBM (3.8-3.6-4.4). But an off-trend for iHeart’s variety hits “Jack FM” WQSR (3.5-3.2-2.7). AC WLIF’s market-leading cume drops from the Holiday-book 1,123,100 to about 740,000. (2/17/16)

I think I'd rather hear about TV listings on the radio than one more irrelevant story as to what Kanye West or Lady Gaga are up to and what drivel they just tweeted to their fans. I watch TV almost every night and might miss something in the Guide, but I sure don't give a rodent's rectum what the Kardashians are doing and dial away to another station when I hear that coming on. How do they affect me and my life in Winchester? (2/18/16)

So far, 10 minutes of dead coverage on 99.1 FM for the Georgetown game starting at 9pm. On the plus side, I'm sure it's getting better ratings than Bloomberg Radio. (Rimshot!) (2/18/16)

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\/ February 17 Messages \/

I can't believe that the afternoon troll on WINC-FM just read the nights TV listings on the air. Is this the late 70's? When is Cronkite on? Oh wait. It's Winchester. (2/17/16)

If CBS moves WIAD-HD2’s format to WNEW, it would be great to see someone like Goldy come back to host morning drive. He’s currently co-hosting mornings at WFNC-AM, a news-talker in Fayetteville NC. (2/17/16)

Should CBS flip 99.1 to Classic Hits or even a “revived/modernized WHFS” AOR format, there's one thing for certain regardless of what format it goes to: There will be people bitching about the signal. Face it, 99.1 was never intended to be a “primary” for either D.C. or Baltimore. -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/17/16)

There’s a major thing missing from The Washington Post obit for WMAR 2 Jack Bowden. Him and his wife suffered a terrible tragedy, the loss of a son from suicide. I think they both were still on air when it happened. Later the 2 Bowdens wrote a book on Childhood suicide that got national attention for a time. I don’t think tThe Sun story mentions it either. Here’s the review in the NY Times… www.nytimes.com (2/17/16)

Why can't u get wmal on tune in radio app? (2/17/16)

Yesterday I had to take a day off from work to take my wife to a medical appointment. I had a chance to flip around and catch some local television and radio. Two relatively interesting local DC stories competed for attention. One was about Marion ("the Bitch set me up") Barry potentially having a public school re-named for him. The other was about a rather highly decorated Marine who was minding his own business, got surrounded by a mob of "Black Lives Matter" demonstrators and was beaten and robbed when he tried to ignore them (but that was okay, at least he didn't have a gun since he was in DC). Wanna bet which story got more airtime? Genghis Cohen, packing heat enough for two, in still soggy but heavily armed Prince William County (2/17/16)

Hello, Fellow Posters. I don’t work in radio, but I think that a Classic Hits/Oldies format would work on 99.1. The Baltimore/Washington Area is needs this format. Since WQSR went sports talk and WBIG went Classic Rock, and the area has been void of Classic Hits/Oldies format, a well programmed Classic Hits/Oldies format would be great at 99.1. It’s been mentioned the signal reaches both DC and Baltimore. It could do well, like WBIG and WQSR did. If the right personalities and music selection aired on this station, it could be our own version of a WCBS FM. It wouldn’t be WCBS FM, but a station this region can call its own. Just my opinion.... Correction. I mistakenly stated that WQSR went to the Sports Talk format. 105.7 did go to Sports Talk, but WQSR had already moved to 102.7. WQSR went to the Jack format. I just wanted make the correction... Ed Jones, Bel Air MD (2/17/16)

[RE: "Dubbed "DC's Greatest Hits" and "Classic 94.7 - The Greatest Hits Of All Time," the non-commercial channel is being programmed by Steve Davis, who is the VP of programming for CBS's DC radio cluster. Included in the Wednesday morning playlist: Billy Joel, Steve Miller, Aerosmith, Journey, and the Bee Gees....."] I've long suspected that we were spiraling towards the inevitable collapse of society, what with a 74 year old socialist Democrat running against a reality TV star, balanced out by a former first lady on one side and a brain surgeon on the other, but now it's been confirmed! You mean to tell me that the greatest innovation to our art that this veteran of an overpaid playlister can do is to reshuffle the deck of a bunch of shitty, already over played tripe from 40 years ago? Wait, is the AHA moment the fact that Mr. Davis has found a new, not yet heard, amazing segue from Sweet Emotion into Uptown Girl? He probably planned that segue and then had to text his wife on his Jitterbug flip phone to tell her of his incredible programming prowess. Seriously? And we wonder why this industry is mocked for being out of touch? Wow....yours in radio profit, Guglielmo Marconi (2/17/16)

They ought to just rename AM 950 Peekaboo radio. Now you hear it.....now you don’t. Now you hear it…..now you don’t. Now you hear it.....now you don’t. Now you hear it…..and now you don’t. K…….O…….F (2/17/16)

OMYGAWD: conservative WMAL love fest! Opportunity to see LIVE Larry “Not Transgendered” O’Connor along with Chris “Not Gay” Plante together along with Brian “Really Not Gay” Wilson and Mark “Really, Really Not Gay” Levin at Birchmere on March 12th for a small fee: www.wmal.com (2/17/16)

Dave's response: A "small fee"? That's ridiculous. Admission should be free. Come on! This is a PR event. WMAL should fund it via advertiser sponsorship or bar sales at the event.....

The Jack Bowden obit is just a reprint (Jan.21) from the Baltimore Sun. www.baltimoresun.com (2/17/16)

Could DC's Greatest Hit's be a test for 99.1? Who knows? It could serve Baltimore and DC well and compliment some of the other DC signals. (2/17/16)

Dave's response: That would certainly make sense. Maybe even cut into iHeart's WQSR, 102.7, in Baltimore.....

Part of the reason you can't receive WJLA is caused by an inherent flaw in the ATSC standard. Early on, the FCC and the ATSC standards group decided to not use COFDM modulation. This kind of modulation is very resilient. Transmissions using COFDM are resistant to co-channel interference and also the multipath commonly experienced by indoor antennas. They are also immune to the Doppler effect. The decision not to use COFDM (like in every other country) was so wrong that Mobile HDTV in the US is being implemented as an additional COFDM signal for each channel, if it happens at all. COFDM is used by SiriusXM Satellite Radio's repeaters because they all run on the same frequency. It's also one of the few good things about HD-Radio on AM. Yet, like HD-Radio on AM, ATSC was a major failure when it comes to common sense. -Chainsman (2/17/16)

If CBS Radio is looking to rebrand WNEW as a news/talk station, they should probably look up Washington Post Radio and see how they did. CBS Radio and their marketing and focus group teams need to carefully figure this idea out. I give credit to the poster who said that station needs a unique idea. (2/17/16)

The RF channel for WUSA is… channel 9! (The Ultimate Television Channel! (As determined by Buzznet Media)) -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/17/16)

A previous post is completely incorrect. Both WJLA and WUSA are on 7 & 9 RF, both VHF respectively and at the same power 52kw. There should be no difference in signal. WUSA 9 is not using a virtual channel or PSIP. They really are on VHF 9 as is 7. Look it up. Recnet.com has the official FCC specs. (2/17/16)

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\/ February 16 Messages \/

Bloomberg has an option to buy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will enact that clause or the offer would be accepted. I assume the deal is a limited time contract and will expire if not renewed or the sale happens, so it is entirely possible that CBS will regain control of WNEW 99.1. This is probably why Bloomberg created no local website for WNEW. However I think you can stream it through TuneIn.com. I haven’t heard this mentioned before, but part of the deal is that Bloomberg is also on WJZ FM 105.7 The Fan HD2. See here… www.bloomberg.com (2/16/16)

Cumulus must really be in the whole because on WMAL they’ve started cutting off the first five to ten seconds of the intros of syndicated shows on the top of the hour. From, Amar (2/16/16)

Why WJLA is more difficult to receive than the other locals in DC? It's because when WJLA went to digital transmission, they kept their RF channel on VHF ch 7, which is harder to receive than the other local stations that are on RF UHF channels. When you watch WUSA, they appear through PSIP as channel 9, even though they are really broadcasting on RF channel (2/16/16)

Note to wannabe PDs: CBS Radio Baltimore will never put Classic Hits or any other similar competitive format on 99.1 that would cut into the revenue streams of cash cows WLIF and WWMX. (2/16/16)

Like WSMD 98.3, WWIN 95.9 also was turned down by the FCC for a 6kw signal upgrade. Radio One will surely get the 95.9 Potomac translator shut down for interference. They might approve it, but I bet WWIN gets it shut down quick. (2/16/16)

The 95.9 FM frequency will not work in the DC area. It will cause interference to both 95.5 WPGC and WHUR 96.3. Check out their coverage maps on radio-locater. (2/16/16)

[RE: WNEW] What part of the WNEW situation do people not understand? CBS is renting the station to Bloomberg for millions of dollars per year and they no longer run that station. They took an asset that was breaking even at best and turned it into a multimillion dollar multiyear profit center. The profit they are making far exceeds at least half of the stations in DC. There is no debt at CBS so the money is pure profit. Signed, Anonymous (2/16/16)

Dave's response: Yeah but 99.1 is one of the few area FM signals that reaches BOTH DC and Baltimore, with a total potential audience of about 6 million. I'm sure an oldies or AAA or a classic urban or even a "talk done right" format would make a lot more than what Bloomberg is paying CBS, and certainly better than the 30th place the "new" WNEW is registering. Sounds like the lease deal was a move of desperation that CBS is now having serious second thoughts about.....

I'm thinking WCTN needs to improve its AM airchain before putting anything up on the FM dial. Program audio is telephonic, distorted, and generally harsh and unpleasant. If some of that gets on the FM band, there'll be some pretty bad splashing on both sides of 95.9. This is one that the FCC shouldn't rubber-stamp. (2/16/16)

WBAL Hater: Mickey was likely just doing a trial run, since WBAL is looking to hire a new personality. My guess is that there will be another new person on this coming Saturday at that time, and maybe again the week after until they pick someone. Maybe, and hopefully, WBAL will bring Mickie on as a FT host, talent, or whatever they call their on-air staff. I am not a regular listener to any AM talk station because they are all pretty much the same, right wing pot stirrers that appeal to older listeners. I only hit WBAL when I want to hear traffic or weather during storms, so far from a regular listener. Mickie would bring in younger people and more centrist listeners. I found him on there and so would others. It's a win for advertisers too. (2/16/16)

Dear WBAL apologist. I have no doubt that Mickey did a good show on Saturday. He’s a very talented professional. However, 4 hours a week doesn’t make for a great station. You even mentioned that it’s “nice to hear someone who isn't a tow-the-line right wing Obama hater with a sense of humor on there.” So, you listen to the station. That’s 30 hours per week, versus the 4 for Mickey. Sounds like the basis of a great station to me. Do me a favor. Listen tonight from 10-11, where you will hear a simulcast (or is it a relay ?) of the WBAL-TV 10 o’clock news, followed by some ABC National News program, which is mostly commercials, and tell me that this is a quality radio broadcast. Honestly, I’d rather hear mickey from 9-midnight. On another note regarding my other favorite station, 105.7. They ran an ad for ‘The Tilted Kilt’ today. The ad was about coming to TTK to watch all of the College and Pro football games. I thought that in the old days, stations had people in place that pulled out-of-date commercials. Oh well. (2/16/16)

If the CBS suits are thinking of reinventing WNEW, I hope they recognize the enormous opportunity to put alleged news radio 1090 out of its misery and launch a Baltimore-based morning show that mirrors its highly successful New York City-based WCBS-FM. Baltimore is desperate for a station that can blend some great classic hits, news, traffic, weather and other interesting information in a format that focuses more on local entertainment, local celebrities, people news, and the local, main street hometown history of this great city. Give a listen to CBS-FM's Scott Shannon and his crew weekday mornings and you'll see how pathetic - and, more importantly, how vulnerable - alleged news radio 1090 really is. I'd keep Russ on traffic, but dump the rest, hire some good local news talent, and bring in some good jocks to eliminate those boring political-puke-spewing talk show hosts that have helped give this station a tired, worn-out, faded image. If they position themselves in a waterfront office overlooking the harbor, the Science Center, the stadiums, convention center and other attractions in Canton, Fells Point, Federal Hill and Harbor East, they will have more momentum than they can handle to take this town by storm. Baltimore is so ready for a breath of fresh radio air, if only CBS will step back, take a deep breath, and deliver it. (2/16/16)

WBAL TV has temporary approval for a higher power than 12.5 Kw, but it’s not necessarily permanent. And it’s still less than WJZ 13 and less than both WUSA 9 and WJLA 7 at 52 Kw ERP. (2/16/16)

The FCC protections on ATSC are a bit insane considering few people have rooftop outdoor antennas any more. The most common complaint about ATSC is inability to receive a LOCAL signal, not interference from hundreds of miles away. WBAL TV was given temporary approval for 26.6Kw at first, but I think the FCC has allowed them to keep it. According to RECNET.COM, it is not listed as their licensed power permanently. Either way, they are underpowered still compared to WJLA and WUSA 9 and possibly the most difficult Baltimore station to receive. (2/16/16)

I saw the news on DCRTV. Here, CBS has a chance to finally bring 99.1’s ratings out of the dungeon. IMHO, they must do something unique. Something strange. Something to fit some sort of niche. If they will do music, they should do EDM or Indie.. We already have Pop, Rap, Country, Bluegrass, R&B, Rock, etc. On the news/talk front, I think they should do one of two things: either 1) Do some sort of Cable News-formatted station. WTOP does a great job at what it does: letting you know about 20 news stories in ten minutes. However, they don’t give themselves the time to give you all the facts. What WNEW should do is a CNN Newsroom-type all-day show, going in-depth on five or so topics each hour, and at night have liberal talk. The other thing is to do straight-up liberal or progressive talk. Maybe progressive talk would be better for WNEW, because they would be running into WAMU’s lane a little bit and WPFW doesn’t do all-day progressive talk. One interesting thing to see, though, is whether or not CBS will rehire the staff that got fired. From, Amar (2/16/16)

/\ February 16 Messages /\

\/ February 15 Messages \/

Ignore the WBAL hater because Mickey hit it out of the park on Saturday. I am not a regular WBAL listener, but did happen to come across Mickey on Saturday while thumbing through the channels and he was great on there. His 98 Rock Morning Show was aimed at a very different audience and he tailored the show accordingly and got huge numbers. The current 98 Rock show isn't any different content-wise, so it's what management there wants. Mickey is smart enough to do an appropriate show for WBAL because he is a talented guy and it showed on Saturday. It's nice to hear someone who isn't a tow-the-line right wing Obama hater with a sense of humor on there. He handled the callers well and did a much better show than his current 98 Rock night show which really doesn't work. Mickey was going through a difficult time in his life from what I remember, including a nasty divorce and that led to his departure. Now that he's got his life in order I know that he'll get his career back on track and WBAL absolutely is a good move. If he's on WBAL, they will get a whole new younger demographic tuning in which they do need. To the WBAL hater, give it a rest and find a new radio station to listen to already. (2/15/16)

WNEW may not have been a WTOP slayer but WNEW offered the state of Maryland an FM news source that WTOP could not and never will. It was neat to see WNEW news vehicles all over the Baltimore area while WTOP is absent. Now if CBS goes music on 99.1 common sense says they should go with Classic Hits a-la WCBS or WOGL. Otherwise it would have to be Alt rock HFS 99.1 and go after DC101 & 98Rock hardcore. 98 Rock would be easy to finish off IMO, and besides Elliott DC101's product has gotten kind of crappy. Where's the midday female voice there on DC101? As for WBAL-AM they are old news, 1090 signal sucks out of town at night as part of being an AM station and there's not much to enjoy about that product. They could hit new lows when Justin Schlagel somehow is put there for a shift on top of his 98Rock duties. (2/15/16)

That odd little penny saver publication The Washington Post posts a story online that chronicles the emerging questions about the death of Justice Scalia: “Conspiracy theories swirl around the death of Antonin Scalia”. Alex Jones call your office: washingtonpost.com (2/15/16)

From COMCAST cord cutter to COMCAST outage customer it seems COMCAST has had a major failure nationwide: ap.org (2/15/16)

The cord-cutter’s guide to the 2016 Grammy Awards - www.macworld.com (2/15/16)

Dave, WBAL-TV on VHF 11 is operating at 26.6 KW ERP. Not 12.5 KW. Due to protection to WBRE in Scranton,Pa. and PBS WVPT in Harrisonburg,Va. This power level WBAL had to fight for and got it granted by the F.C.C. WJZ has the same protection problems again with Nextar Broadcasting as they not only own WBRE(NBC) and WYOU(CBS).WYOU moved from their original ch 22 to RF 13. WJZ operates at 33.8 KW. All stations are beam tilted which in effect makes these and all signals virtually directional. As for WJLA, You need to replace the non amplified rabbit ears with a better antenna that is amplified. If you have vinyl screens that can fragment and kill your signals. Aim towards the DC channels obviously but don't put it in the window. You gotta wonder why the commission developed DTV based on an outdoor antenna standard when most people who watch via OTA will be using indoor antennas. Now they are pushing the 3-0 for 4 and 8 K which they will not really properly standardize--can you say AM stereo? In addition there will be no transition period which means if you don't have the new set top box when produced and made available,your screwed---nice huh? A source tells me the 3.0 thing will be DOA! Stations can't or won't spend the millions more to upgrade to 4 and 8K! Oh and by the way no coupon program this time! The lobbyists win again! By the time this is all approved APPLE and ATT and Verizon will have developed their own standard for 4K bypassing the connection or integration of broadcast t v. Should be interesting to say the least. Word is the auction probably won't pan out the way they think. Can't wait until March 29,2016 to see where every station moves! By the way the sub channels Me-TV and Antenna are making a lot of money so they will have to be accommodated even if they all wind up on a my network or CW station eventually. Take Care (2/15/16)

Dave's response: There are a lot of people who live in multi-unit condos or apartment buildings who can't easily erect an outdoor antenna. I'm trying to do an antenna situation that's "typical," therefore I'm restricting myself to something cheap and indoors. And, honestly, I won't hardly ever watch anything on ABC or WJLA so the fact that I can't get 7's signal doesn't really bother me that much. Oh, and when I try to watch ABC's broadcast network programming via Comcast's website (I do subsctibe to Comcast's internet service) I often can't because I'm not "subscribed to ABC." So go fuck 'em.....

For fans of WMAL’s Chris Plante (Silvie from Waldorf take note) he will have Steve Malzburg sub-hosting for him on Wednesday so that he can be “One Lucky Guy” on FNC’s “Outnumbered” in NYC: cord cutters can view the next day via the FNC app or web site. Wonder how “Number One Gal” will feel about Plante surrounded by foxy women adoring him? Show airs at Noon and goes up against Rush Limbaugh. (2/15/16)

You *KNOW* the week isn't going to go your way when even the Monday morning weather map is giving you the finger. (2/15/16)

Dave's response: Looks like a foot to me.....

Why is it when FOX5 came on at 4am that they were reporting that the federal government is open today, but that people can telework?? It's a federal holiday which means that the federal government is closed. Guess that as usual, the anchors just read what's on the teleprompter. (2/15/16)

WJLA 7 is the high end of the VHF dial, not the low end. 7-13 is all high end, 2-6 is considered low end. The signals should as licensed be the same. I would contact Sinclair. The company was founded by an early TV engineer, so I would imagine they would respond to any request for explanation. (2/15/16)

/\ February 15 Messages /\

\/ February 14 Messages \/

WJLA is on the low end of the old VHF-high band. I've wondered if they're not transmitting with full 52kW, since there's a noticeable reduction in signal level from that of WUSA (ch. 9). They should be nearly identical. Make sure antenna rods are fully extended and as horizontal as possible. A small VHF-hi/UHF antenna placed in the attic would be ideal. (2/14/16)

I do not understand why some people can get WUSA 9 but not WJLA 7. They are both 52Kw ERP and transmitting from the same tower. Now in Baltimore, it’s different. While WBAL & WJZ both use the candelabra tower, WBAL is restricted to just 12.5Kw, which is nearly 3X less ERP than WJZ 13. Why WBAL TV didn’t complain more vigorously to the FCC like WJLA did, I don’t know. (2/14/16)

Dave's response: WUSA and WJLA are supposed to be running the same power from the same tower. But are they really? At my location, barely 10 miles from the tower, the Tegna station is much easier to receive than the Sinclair station. Hmmm.....

Jerry Coleman is back on the air on 105.7 The Fan, hosting the Sunday Afternoon talk show spot. Says he will have more to announce in the upcoming weeks. Seriously, Dave, who is worse/......the GM at WBAL or Labrozzi? (2/14/16)

I hope the next President of the USA will make some changes in the FCC Rules when the new Chairman of the FCC is appointed. The lobbyist have a lot of influence with the present group that are in power. For example, They said that the Channel 6 LPTV stations would be ended by 9/1/15. It didn't happen. The lobbyist got to the FCC. The AM Revitalization Plan took three years to get approved. It did not help any of the AM Stations in DC. The translators will all be shot down because of interference to other stations on the same frequencies. To be specific......98.3 will interfere with SOMAR WSMD on 98.3. The 95.9 will cause interference to WGRQ on 95.9. The Hubbard translator on 104.5 is already causing interference to WGRX in Falmouth on 104.5 and to the proposed iHeart translator 104.7 in DC. The WFAX 100.7 will cause interference to WZBA 100.7 in Baltimore. (2/14/16)

I feel sorry for the small AM Stations who must pay a "License Fee" and a "Regulatory Fee" to the FCC when they are finding it very hard to stay alive now. The FCC continues to ask Congress for more and more money, (Millions of Dollars) to hire more people to "regulate" the thousands of rules that the FCC, (government) has on the books. They are like the IRS! (2/14/16)

I like free stuff like you get in Denmark from the government. I don't like a 90% Tax Rate like they have there. It is called SOCIALISM! The former Prime Minister of England said, "The problem with SOCIALISM, is that pretty soon you run out of other peoples money". By the way, the population of Denmark, is just the size of the Baltimore/Washington Market. Six Million People! (2/14/16)

"How did some local paper in San Antonio break the Scalia news?" Local media matters (2/14/16)

Tried tuning to the Gamut on their 98.3 relay while in my car in Rockville this afternoon around 4pm and got dead air. (2/14/16)

Dave - your readers might like reading this piece from our Povich Sports Center (and DC Sports Hall of Fame member) George Solomon: povichcenter.org (2/14/16)

The best thing Hearst can do is to bring back Mickey. He knows the topics people want to discuss, he's a local person, and Baltimore loves him. He is the person to get that dial moving again. Now their next move should be to rehire the staff from the news room who had carried the station for years. What we have been getting from the news side is horrible and the ratings agree. All the best to Mickey. (2/14/16)

Hey UCS, speaking of Winston Loyd do you have a picture like this? I took it at the Lodi tower during one of our ABC intra-group station inspections, probably 2003. -P of the AW (2/14/16)

Dave, I found something interesting about your demo of DTV reception... You showed several channels on Saturday morning airing what you so charitably called “e/i crap”. What I'd like to hear an explanation of is how the WNVC.WNVT duo seems to get a free pass from the FCC from the rules requiring such? -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/14/16)

/\ February 14 Messages /\

\/ February 13 Messages \/

Except for when they were carrying WTCG, I wouldn’t exactly call Marquee TV a “broadcaster”. (At that rate, next thing you know, we’ll start talking here about Metrocall and pagers! Or, at the very least, “TV Answer”.) And, yes, more than a few hams built those “downconverters” for an adjacent amateur allocation. IIRC, Marquee was first in upscale apartment buildings and hotels before a limited run into private homes. That was of course before Super TV and then cable changed everything. As for my “involvement” with MMDS? Three hints: I have an Amateur Extra ham ticket. I was a 73 subscriber for many years. “Made by Little Elves in the Lodi Forest”... So help me Winston H. Loyd! -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/13/16)

How far the mighty have fallen. WBAL having Mickey Cuccella, former 98 Rock morning jock who was a nightmare for management with his history of depression, anger and racist and sexist comment, on the AM talker is a new low for the once great station. Watching that station fall is sad. His opinions are about as informed as any random stranger on the light rail. What's next? Bryan Nehman host a medical advice show? Putting the offensive and unstable Mickey on weekdays? Cary Pahigian is rumored to be making "big moves" soon to make the station almost exclusively locally focused including having listeners as cohosts. From the complaints I've been hearing on the inside, Cary is upsetting the sales staff now by changing the ad formats and messing with the only shows they can sell. Am told to expect an announcement soon and sales to drop even further. Jordan Wertlieb made a major mistake in hiring Cary over other very respected candidates including former PB Dave Hill. Rather than making these changes Hearst should consider admitting their mistake and cutting bait before he does any more damage. (2/13/16)

"You know, there's always such venom and grousing going on here, I though I'd post something that was just plain fun: I'm restoring a Sony ECM-51 microphone to full operational status this winter. The model number won't mean much to you, but if you've ever watched any classic TV game shows, you'll recognize this as a "Gene Rayburn" microphone from The Match Game, telescoping wand and all. I scored it at a ham radio fest a few years ago, and its been on the bench long enough -- time to make it work again. Look familiar? -Al in Arlington" So you "scored" a non-working microphone and it's taking you more than 15 minutes to fix or trash? You're going to spend "this winter" on "restoring" it? I guess everyone needs a hobby. Gus in Gaithersburg (2/13/16)

Once again The Drudge Report beats out local news outlets like The Washington Post and WTOP with breaking news: in this case, Drudge had the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia shortly after 5PM on Saturday. Nothing so far from Wash Post or WTOP, bur Drudge already has a link: www.mysanantonio.com (2/13/16)

As a cord cutter, I was having trouble getting Channel 7/WJLA via antenna. So, a WJLA engineer said he'd come over and help me out. But so far, nobody's shown up. So, why is WJLA's broadcast signal so much harder to get that all of the other DC TVers for me, barely 15 miles west of the city? Hmmm. In today's second "Dave TV"..... (2/13/16)

will be interesting to see ratings for WMMJ after Tom Joyner/Russ Parr shift. Winners/losers. (2/13/16)

Again, why is 1590am and 104.3fm in OC,MD still on the air ?? thought the FCC pulled the plug on them ?? (2/13/16)

Regarding that jailhouse interview by the reporter on channel 5, how DID she remember all of those details? (2/13/16)

You know, there's always such venom and grousing going on here, I though I'd post something that was just plain fun: I'm restoring a Sony ECM-51 microphone to full operational status this winter. The model number won't mean much to you, but if you've ever watched any classic TV game shows, you'll recognize this as a "Gene Rayburn" microphone from The Match Game, telescoping wand and all. I scored it at a ham radio fest a few years ago, and its been on the bench long enough -- time to make it work again. Look familiar? -Al in Arlington (2/13/16)

I get my hands on two cassette decks and find a huge stash of Howard Stern tapes from WJFK and Greaseman tapes from DC101. And get busy digitizing them. As I add to the massive DCRTV local radio and TV archives, preserving the past. Also, local radio vet Jason Kidd joins WRQX for the afternoon shift. And more in today's "Dave TV"..... (2/13/16)

Makes you wonder if the FCC has gone mad. Checking today’s FCC news, they have now approved TWO FMs for the Ocean City area, one in Newark MD late last year and now a translator in Ocean City Maryland. Clearly the Class A FM approved last year will wipe out this translator, listed now as being for WKNZ Delaware, a religious station on 94.9 FM. Basically one religious organization has duped another one into buying a completely useless translator. Check this out. It boggles my mind that someone bought the now useless translator, but even more that the FCC which you would think would check these things out right? WMDS 94.9 is already approved to go on the air on the same frequency as the translator. See here… fccdata.org and here… fccdata.org... — BaltoMedia.Net (2/13/16)

In other FCC news, WILC AM 900 should take note of this… WJWL AM 900 in Delaware got approval to downgrade from over 10kw Class B to just 1kw Class D and 125 watts at night with no night time protection. They’re selling some of the land apparently. This would give WILC the wiggle room to remove some of its severe null to the east and maybe expand the night time signal too. They probably could do it without any tower construction too, just some inexpensive modifications. Just an idea they should take note of. (2/13/16)

/\ February 13 Messages /\

\/ February 12 Messages \/

So Fox5 sends a reporter to interview the guy who's being charged with child porn & the reporter's not allowed to take a camera, a recording device or take notes. She comes back and reports "what she remembers him saying". And from her report, she sure did remember a lot!! Yes, she's much younger than me & more than likely has a better memory than me, however, how in the world can she remember all that she reported? And is it routine protocol to allow reporters in the cell to interview a prisoner in an active case? (2/12/16)

Thanks to the person that passed along the information about the Nats on 1500 am... I checked the sports calendar... Cannot find any Nats... Could someone at Federal News Radio... Tell us if the Nats are going to be on 1500 in 2016... Thanks, Patrick (2/12/16)

Don't know if you've heard, but Fresh fired midday person Taylor Shay a few days ago. They moved an evening part-time woman into the spot. (2/12/16)

iHeart stock was selling at $1.50 per share in November, 2015. Now it is selling at just $0.80 per share. They own 850 Radio Stations now. iHeart Media lists it debt at $20.588 Billion. Would a buyer ever assume this kind of debt? The cost to service this debt goes up each year! This is the largest radio company in the world. (2/12/16)

Loving the continued conversation about the River Road tower. (Only someone in the biz could tolerate much of this.) The old channels 20 and 26 departed because of the DTV revolution. I believe their UHF digital follow-ons are both now part of the diplexed scheme at the 4010 Chesapeake St. DC tower already hosting WRQX, WHUR, WASH, WJLA and WUSA, probably others. Even when I was gainfully employed I spent a little time each day watching the one tower rigger patiently dismantling the old Channel 20 antenna on River Road. I couldn't believe they made one guy do all that. UHF TV masts are huge. It took weeks, during which none of the other broadcasters near the top were allowed to radiate. Quite inconvenient. And to add to the aggravation, only a short time after being allowed to return to full power there, the 94.7 transmission line burned and they had to retreat back to their aux site on the Kenwood golf course. (Am I recalling that correctly?) As for the MMDS signal in the WMAL newsroom, our still unnamed perp, er, engineer had scraped a square hole in the solar film of the newsroom window because it was attentuating the HBO signal strength into his pirate receivers. It was always sticky for me to explain that hole when giving tours. P of the AW (2/12/16)

Who the hell sends memos to fix an immediate mic problem? PBS prez calls the remote van, remote van director passes command on to floor director and audio engineer. That's the way its supposed to work. Was that posting bogus? If not, what's the attribution; and what poor SOB lost his job this morning when that closed communication got posted here? (2/12/16)

Radio Stock Prices......some are at all time low prices...... iHeart now at $0.80 per share. Some people ask " are they too big to fail"? Can they ever pay back their big debt? Cumulus Debt at $2.5 BILLION.....Stock price now at $0.29 share. RADIO ONE now at $1.25 and trying to prop up the price of their stock by buying back their own stock. (2/12/16)

I'm amused that "Unsigned Corporate Suit" mentioned that he was somehow involved in MMDS, the so-called "Wireless Cable" service. Wireless Cable was beset on the onset with so many fraudulent get-rich-quick investment schemes. The radio personality Sonny Bloc aggressively promoted various entities that created "Wireless Cable" outlets all across the country (see wikipedia.org). This scam was a big deal in the 1990s. The so-called "Wireless Cable" service was a real and proven service that would have revolutionized digital television in its day, but too many bad apples spoiled that sad bushel. The former MMDS "Wireless Cable" spectrum is now the "Advanced Wireless Service," commonly known as AWS, with the majority of the spectrum owned by T-Mobile (Deutsche Telecom) nationwide, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, and by Verizon in New York City. -Chainsman (2/12/16)

9:03pm MEMO FROM: PBS President. TO: Debate Director. Cant you hear the mouth noise on those goose neck mics on the candidates? Get the floor manager out there to adjust them. 9:10pm. MEMO FROM: PBS President TO: Debates Audio Person. For the love of god, fix the damned mics! 9:31pm MEMO FROM: PBS President TO: Executive Producer. What the hell is the audio doing, taking a nap? Can't you hear this mess? And, the candidates have lavs on . . . just switch to the lavs and pot down the goose necks. DO IT NOW! 9:55pm MEMO FROM: Debates EP. TO: PBS VP. Yes, sir, boss. We've figured it out. We've potted down Hillary's gooseneck mic and potted up her lav. We're very proud that we've figured this out! (2/12/16)

Westwood (heard locally via Cumulus’ WMAL) tells Mark Levin that he has to work until he dies and gives him a “lifetime” contract: that’s a lot of yacking and screaming “Get off my phone you big dummy!” Congrats, Mark: www.marklevinshow.com (2/12/16)

/\ February 12 Messages /\

\/ February 11 Messages \/

About the River Road “Candelabra”... I doubt if Rupert is hurting financially from a dearth of broadcast signals from it. There are plenty of other licensees who are up there... and paying serious rent! Remember that broadcast occupies a small (and ever-shrinking) chunk of the RF spectrum. For those interested in what WJMD (and other D.C. Broadcast facilities) looked like from the outside circa 1969, I suggest the “johninarizona.com” website. I liked the comment about the bootleg MMDS receivers... brought back memories of time when I could still handle components and solder. (Arthritis takes that ability from you... among other things.) I bet 73 sold a lot of magazines and Toys-R-Us a lot of aluminum “snowcoasters” from the plans to build those things. They were really simple. Basically a heterodyne converter to take the 2.86GHz signal down to channel 3 or channel 4. I forget now what time HBO signed-off for the night back then. It wasn't long before many MMDS operators started carrying WTCG Atlanta (It wasn't yet “Superstation TBS”...) when HBO was dark. Ahhhh... those were the days! -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/11/16)

People are saying on a site called dcurbanmoms.com that the show is half best of/half live, or worse in the best of, and nothing is being told to the listeners. Then comes this: Well Danni's tweet from about 30 minutes ago says: "On hiatus! Hope you all have a great weekend and Valentine's Day... Enjoy the people you love! (2/11/16)

Regarding the new pd at 980, I get the distinct impression from what has gone on recently that his primary role will be to continuously say "Yes, Larry (Michael)". That station appears to be doubling down on all Redskins talk and ignoring the other local teams to an even greater extent than in the past. (2/11/16)

Also at the Bethesda Candelabra I shot video which is long lost of the Carson helicopter installing our side mount MDS antennas. People would call the tower the Ch. 20 tower which incensed the owner to no end. Also there were so many 2-way radio antenna cables the joke was the tower would stand up on it’s own with no metal legs with all the cables. There was an official paper inside the transmitter building at it’s base where it had a line Maximum number of antennas: (someone wrote in) 1 Million. I didn’t know that 20 & 26 have moved off the tower. Where did they go? Charlie (2/11/16)

RE: “Ok, I'll bite: what's "partisan politics" about the military advertisements? To answer your question, "the reason" for the ads is that commercial radio stations make their money by selling spots” Well, right you are my friend and I agree, but obviously the previous poster thinks the military is a political organization when it is only now a politically correct organization (imagine having a drill instructor who is transgender barking orders: what do you say back, “Yes sir, yes ma’am, ah, whatever”). I happen to like military ads: they should be PSA’s not paid ads though. (2/11/16)

Why is 1590 and 104.3 still on the air in Ocean City, Md. - thought the FCC pulled their license ???? along with 1600 in Dover, De. ???? (2/11/16)

re: 1500AM/Nats; Looks like this page hasn't been updated since the 2014 season. But there's a contact at the bottom of this page. mlb.mlb.com... The Nats are not listed on the FedNews sports website. They also have a sports calendar you can check. federalnewsradio.com (2/11/16)

Re: "Does anyone know the reason for all the military related advertising and promotions on ESPN 980? - seems to me that a sports radio station should stay away from partisan politics." Ok, I'll bite: what's "partisan politics" about the military advertisements? To answer your question, "the reason" for the ads is that commercial radio stations make their money by selling spots. (2/11/16)

These new DC Translators will cause interference to other stations on the same frequency. For example...... 98.3 at their new location in Bethesda will cause interference to WSMD 98.3 in the Dale City area, Alexandria and Woodbridge...... 104.5 in Sterling is causing interference now to WGRX in Falmouth. The interference is in Fairfax County. They will also cause interference to iHeart's new 104.7 DC Translator...... WGRQ 95.9 Fredericksburg will get interference from the new DC 95.9 Translator. Both Radio One and Hubbard have applied for this translator...... WFAX in Falls Church has applied for a new translator on 100.7. WZBA 100.7 puts a strong signal over Falls Church now...... (2/11/16)

Re WJMD and the "Candelabra", Charlie is talking about the fork-top tower on River Road in Bethesda. Rent income must be way down there in the years since the departures of Channels 20 and 26. I think the only active antennas up on top are the 94.7 and 99.5 antennas stacked on one mast. I've always wondered about the safety of weight distribution with one of the three support arms being empty but it seems to be standing the test of time. Charlie mentions maintaining MDS-HBO there. Ha, we were on the other end of that transmission in the line-of-sight path to the WMAL newsroom in Friendship Heights where some among our engineering staff (no names!) experimented around with pirate HBO receivers in the years the feed wasn't encrypted. So long ago! (2/11/16)

Where is Morris Jones in all of the expansion of News Channel 8? (2/11/16)

WJLA-TV/ABC7 announced today that on Monday, 2/15, NewsChannel 8’s Late Night Report will be expanding from :30 minutes to a full hour, and will be renamed NewsChannel 8 at 10pm, powered by ABC7 News. The new hour-long 10pm newscast will be anchored by veteran ABC7 journalists Jonathan Elias and Michelle Marsh, with late and overnight weather forecasts from StormWatch7 Meteorologist Steve Rudin. (2/11/16)

/\ February 11 Messages /\

\/ February 10 Messages \/

Regarding WJMD, what is "the Candelabra"? (2/10/16)

Yet another reason to be a cord cutter: “Third-party cable boxes won’t be allowed to spy on you (too much), regulators vow.” Nothing like having a cable box track all your gay porn: www.washingtonpost.com (2/10/16)

As far as AM stations and FM translators, here's a point to consider. In 2014, I started noticing interference to 95.9 WGRQ from an unknown signal. On a Friday afternoon, in Independent Hill, VA (eastern Prince William County), I caught enough of Liberty University's list of translators at 1:04 pm to have a clue as to figure out who was causing the interference in Woodbridge, Dale City, and Independent Hill (Joplin Rd at Aden Rd). (That intersection is about 9 miles NW of Exit 150 on I-95). I then compiled enough info to contact TeleMedia Broadcasting (parent of WGRQ) to inform them of this interference issue. The translator was authorized for 4 watts at (IIRC) 1100 feet HAAT from a tower in Gainesville just off VA 28. The translator ended up being sold and moved. Something to consider when these applications are filed for 100.7 and 95.9 for these FM translators. Make sure your ducks are in a row and you don't cause interference to anyone else (if 98.3 the Gamut reaches Dale City or Woodbridge, SOMAR would be well within their rights to get it moved, as WSMD can be heard on a car stereo in that area.) Keep an eye on the power being requested and do the engineering homework to make sure interference is no issue in any area. (as far as any 95.9's go, don't forget WICL Williamsport MD/ Martinsburg WV, along with WGRQ and WWIN-FM, could get these translators moved). Stephen (2/10/16)

Someone wrote "...I'd give anything to go into the World Building and see if anything from the WGAY years is left, abandoned or forgotten.." There's nothing left. Someone wrote this before (almost with the same prose) and this was discussed then. There is nothing left on the 10th floor that is reminiscent of WGAY. Nothing on the 9th floor either. Nothing in the rooftop penthouse. It's been nearly 15 years since they left, and three other station groups/recording studios have been in the space. Nothing left. Also - the "harp" that was recorded was on the air long before the world building was erected. Google the WGAY/Percy Faith pages for more. (2/10/16)

Dave, Enjoy your web site. Are the Nats going to be back on 1500 am this season? Can you please find out? Thanks Patrick (2/10/16)

Audio link, for Mailbag... audioboom.com... - Neal Augenstein (2/10/16)

WJMD. Back in the day when I was an engineer for the MDS - HBO Transmitter/Antennas on the Candelabra I saw the owner, I think it was also a Hughes, setting compression and limiting on their Audimax-Volumax combo. Nice guy. They really did run those processors hot so the level in the Dr’s office would be pretty flat. Just after that they switched to a Wash-like format and played Al Santos Sunday Jazz Brunch and before that Musical Starstreams. Charlie / N4COW (2/10/16)

DC101 thoughts: Used to be my favorite station when I was in the area. Nowadays I can only last two or three songs max before having to turn it to something else -- usually WBIG or 98 Rock. Really I think its issue is, musically, it has no idea what it's doing anymore. It's trying to grab too broad of an audience and it ends up grabbing none of them. The playlist just ends up totally awful. blink-182, the Killers, and the indie pop artist du jour don't belong on the same station with Metallica, Godsmack, and the latest Foo Fighters. I even remember them sprinkling in Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd a few years ago. There is never going to be a radio station that appeals to both 16-year-old girls and men 25-34. You end up with this weird modern rock/alt-rock/indie pop hybrid which is fun for no one to listen to for an extended period of time -- the common thread of the playlist might as well be "songs that are loud". Speaking of 16-year-olds, I wonder if Elliott's target demographic even listens to the radio anymore. He needed to be canned years ago. iHeart runs one true AAA, the reasonably popular KBCO in Denver. Granted it has the trademark iHeart tight, single-heavy playlist and is probably worse than "real" AAA stations run by DJs that have a clue, but if DC101 flipped there it still would be better than remaining where it is. Or else it needs to ditch all the crap indie pop and punk rock and reclaim its identity as a mainstream rock station. I live in Charlottesville right now where I listen to WNRN and WCNR, both fantastic AAA/alt-rock stations that have dedicated audiences, intelligent playlists, and a good amount of involvement in the local and state music scenes. When I move back north in a few months, I think it'll be 98 Rock on my radio by default. Even dippy places like Albany and Montpelier have well-run and -supported commercial AAA stations...why can't DC? (2/10/16)

The Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame website is showing 39,464 hits as of this writing. I would be willing to bet Paul Bicknell is responsible for 39,460 of 'em. (2/10/16)

Were the WGAY harps recorded elsewhere or were they actually played in the studio in the World Building? For a long time legend had it that they were stored in the old Hecht Company in Silver Spring. I'd give anything to go into the World Building and see if anything from the WGAY years is left, abandoned or forgotten. But they are very strict at the security desk in the lobby. Who knows? There might boxes full of the albums from the music library. Or a forgotten harp... (2/10/16)

Does anyone know the reason for all the military related advertising and promotions on ESPN 980? - seems to me that a sports radio station should stay away from partisan politics. (2/10/16)

"If you call either [WKCW] or their parent company, “Radio Companion, Llc.” you get a message saying they are “out of the office” every time. E-mails also go unanswered, or bounce. The whole situation is just mysterious. Who keeps the place running?" Ha ha ha ha... fifteen years ago, this would have been about the Birachs and their thready handling of then- WGOP 700AM. (2/10/16)

Why is DC-101 on a slide? Simple: the audience grew up. Period. How long has Elliot been hosting the show there? Since 1999, right? Like Jack D and Grease, his act never really evolved over time; and if anything its edge has been severely blunted due to corporate dictates not to make waves or headlines -- the show hasn't had a pair since that two-day suspension in 2008. It's hard to imagine Elliot as a nostalgia act ("Oh, he was my older brother's favorite jock a few years ago..."), but that's the path he and the station are on unless someone wakes up. (2/10/16)

[RE: You gotta wonder if CBS would do better with amp radio on 99.1] I think that has about a 0% chance of happening. Why would CBS want to hurt Fresh in DC and MIX in Baltimore? Country is an option to battle I heart and maybe a very soft gold based AC too. (2/10/16)

Hey Dave. I did morn @ ZBA from 04-08. They replaced me for Bob & Tom, The same B&T that I replaced in 2000 @ 1043 OCT when Clear Channel canned a show that they own from a station that they own (Irony?) ZBA dumped them like a year & 1/2 later (hazy memory) @ put Michael Filippelli on. He got the boot around 11' or 12'. I returned to ZBA in 13' More irony. Klug & I both were fired from OCT on the same day. He went to Long Island & wanted to come back to Bmore in a big way. After I got to ZBA in Feb of 04' they were looking for a 7-Mid guy, I suggested John & there you have it. - Chris Emry (2/10/16)

[RE the latest "Dave TV":] DC-101 has zero personality, has a horrible play list generally, has no reliable, well-known deejays, and just has zero identity. They are out-powered, out-run and out-played every day by the far better The Bay, 98 Rock and Big 100.3--all of whom have very good station personalities, identities and strong, reliable playlists. And 102.7 out of Baltimore, which has a great, strong signal throughout the Baltimore area and throughout the D.C. area, also plays far better music and has a better personality and identity than DC-101. DC-101, once a great station in the '70s and '80s, just has zero identity these days. And 98 Rock, Big 100.3, The Bay and 102.7 are all far better than DC-101. (2/10/16)

[RE the latest "Dave TV":] You gotta wonder if CBS would do better with amp radio on 99.1 (2/10/16)

[RE the latest "Dave TV":] I can't speak to the music format but I can say that across the board all my friends that used to listen to Elliot now listen to the Junkies. Talking about the male demo age 34-40. (2/10/16)

[RE the latest "Dave TV":] When [DC101] switched their format to alt rock, it was the beginning of the end, t D.C.is the only market without a true rock station. (2/10/16)

Wapoop’s Fung writes: “A surprise player emerges in the government’s historic auction of airwaves”, stating, “TV broadcasters who wish to sell their spectrum have already identified themselves to the FCC; soon, the agency will have the second piece of the puzzle, enabling it to gauge private sector demand. A simpler auction of federal airwaves a year ago brought in roughly $45 billion in bids — a record amount. But the auction in March is expected to generate much more money, analysts say.” More: www.washingtonpost.com (2/10/16)

/\ February 10 Messages /\

\/ February 9 Messages \/

Speaking of WCXR 105.9, they did a great promotion for one of the best rock concerts I’ve ever seen, the Bruce Springsteen Tunnel of Love Tour at The Cap Center. They paid for EVERYONE’s PARKING and gave out bumper stickers. Probably costly, but I tried like hell to get 105.9 in Baltimore after that and never forgot it. :-) (2/9/16)

Radio Companion's address of record is on Chain Bridge Rd in Old Town Fairfax, across the street from the Auld Shebeen Irish Pub. If you want to get their attention quickly, knock on their door and request a viewing of their Public File. By law, they have to let you see it. (2/9/16)

I try to figure out why DC101's ratings have been sinking the past few months and what the rocker can do to turn things around. Are Elliot's days numbered? Also, some memories of area radio great Bill Parris. Plus, lots of media folks celebrate my birthday. And my Neal Augenstein impersonation. In today's "Dave TV"..... (2/9/16)

[From DCRTV's Job Ads:] Centennial Broadcasting in Fredericksburg VA is seeking applications from qualified candidates for one sales position. You will enjoy an account list, time to get yourself established, training, 401K, insurance and a great work environment. You must have some sales experience, positive references from former employers and a willingness to work hard to establish a career. Send your information today to Wendy@wbqb.com. Centennial Broadcasting is an equal opportunity employer. (2/9/16)

Well, what do you know. WKCW is back on-air. Another poster noted the impossibility of getting in contact with this station—it's true. If you call either the station or their parent company, “Radio Companion, Llc.” you get a message saying they are “out of the office” every time. E-mails also go unanswered, or bounce. The whole situation is just mysterious. Who keeps the place running? There must be someone doing something seeing as the playlists are switched around every few weeks. It’s as if the station is being operated out of someone’s basement. I probably shouldn’t complain, given that it’s the only Oldies option we have (where else can you hear Yvonne Elliman’s “Hello Stranger” or Neil Sedaka’s “Laugher in the Rain” on a regular basis?). It would just be nice if the folks at KCW could at least make an effort at a professional operation—i.e., with weather reports, a morning/afternoon drive deejay, a functional website, etc. (2/9/16)

My reading and understanding of the WMAL transmitter move application is that the sale is completely contingent on FCC approval of the station move to Germantown, meaning there will be no construction until that happens and WMAL will not get evicted from its current site. Like a previous post stated, certain communities will lose very strong coverage, all of the ones he stated, but also of note is that a few places in Montgomery County will gain strong local coverage they didn’t have before. There are plusses and minuses. The signal plots posted here, which I have seen before, only post the very strong signal signal. The biggest loser which they will not care about will be Baltimore due to reductions in signal towards WPRO in RI and 1st adjacent WWJZ 640 NE of Philadelphia. As the application states, it was designed for quick expeditious processing by the FCC, so I would imagine, they didn’t want to risk getting it disapproved, but I would say overall, WMAL 630 will lose signal to many areas south and northeast, especially the ones recently added in the 10kw daytime upgrade. The reason that WMAL chose AM 570’s site was specifically stated because of the over 450 ft. long ground wires at the site and technically there is available land for more towers if needed. Finally, let’s not forget, Daniel Snyder is involved in this. :-) — www.BaltoMedia.Net (2/9/16)

I'd forgotten about WJMD. Where were they headquartered? Who were some of their announcers? Was Herb Davis there at any time? He worked at many different stations before his legendary tenure at WDCA. I heard or read a rumor that the CIA had embedded an agent as an announcer at one of the easy listening stations. Maybe WJMD, WEZR, or WGAY. (2/9/16)

Every station is reporting on politics today, just remember, there is nothing wrong with SOCIALISM......however, pretty soon you "run out of other peoples money". (2/9/16)

Q&A Café with Carol Joynt - Guests: Katharine Weymouth & Cathy Merrill Williams (2/9/16)

From today's Tom Taylor Now: The Super Bowl Parade, or “We were about to die” – For Paul Harris, being the morning man at DC’s then-WCXR and watching the Redskins beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII was part of “an amazing 12 months of success for my show, with ratings doubling.” When Paul and newsman John Ogle flew back from California, “We decided we had to own the victory parade on Tuesday. We contacted General Mills, which had put the Redskins on the front of a Wheaties box, and convinced them to give us an entire tractor-trailer full of those boxes. Our plan was to do live reports from the top of the truck during the parade and hand out the cereal boxes immediately afterward. The parade started and the fans went wild - not just for the players, but for the cereal boxes. The crowd started rocking the truck. Violently. Our driver asked what we wanted to do. Afraid they'd tip us over, we told him to open the doors and have our promotions director Ginger start handing out the cereal - but that only brought a bigger crowd, which had been enjoying some adult beverages during the parade. “It was beyond out-of-control,” says Paul Harris, now doing Friday afternoons (plus other shifts this month) at St. Louis talker KTRS/550. He says “It became quickly apparent that we were about to die, all for the cause of a boxed breakfast product. About 500 of the 10,000 boxes had been dispensed, and there were no cops nearby for crowd control. We told the driver to just get us the hell out of there. Ginger was still inside the truck throwing cereal boxes to the crowd, which was running down the street following us like some insane Pied Piper story. Finally we lost them and the driver pulled over. He told us it was okay to come down, but we couldn't. Fortunately, we'd parked across the street from a D.C. police station, and we shouted to a cop for help, ‘Do you have a ladder?’ He paused for a perfect cop moment and replied, ‘No, but you're gonna have to get down from there, because it's illegal to ride on top of a truck like that.’ Just then, a utility truck pulled up, offered us a ladder, and helped us down. Now we were only left with two problems. One, how do we get back to our cars? And two, what the hell were we going to do with 9,000 boxes of Wheaties?” This is a condensed version of blogger Paul Harris’ well-told story, and you can revel in all the delicious details here. (2/9/16)

Mike Sorce rearranges the Titanic deck chairs on his Don Geronimo Show Podcast - AGAIN! Fires ANOTHER co-host. Is slumping paid subscription volume a sign of desperation? is Sorce's old, tired content and broken business model to blame? #jumpthesharktimes5 (2/9/16)

Dave, back in the day, WJMD at 94.7 also had an “inside the Beltway” beautiful music signal with its antenna on the River Road candelabra. Anyone remember those fix-tuned Sarkes-Tarzian receivers they sold dirt cheap to build audience and to help sell FM? My dentist had one back in the 1960’s, with a prominent “WJMD-FM” nameplate on the front panel and the dial at “94.7”. He later replaced it with a similar FM Stereo receiver. Did any FM around here other than WJMD sell their own fix-tuned receivers? I was working for a stand-alone AM at the time with essentially no FM competition. So, I really didn’t pay attention to FM. Yet… -Unsigned Corporate Suit (2/9/16)

/\ February 9 Messages /\

Messages from January 21 to February 8 can be reached HERE.....