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January 2015 to Present

By Dave Hughes
  • For news items from the past two weeks or so, visit DCRTV's Front Page.....
  • For news items from before January 2015, visit DCRTV's News Archive Index.....
  • Latest items listed first.....

    February 11, 2015
    Leinwand Out At Radio One
    DC radio veteran Alan Leinwand is out as general manager of Radio One's DC cluster. And that Jeff Wilson from Radio One's Cleveland cluster will replace him. The DC cluster includes both WKYS and WMMJ, both of which have been under-performing in the ratings of late. Plus, WPRS, WOL, and WYCB.

    February 11, 2015
    Scott Masteller Joins WBAL Radio
    Scott Masteller is the new program director at Hearst news talker WBAL, 1090 AM, in Baltimore. He comes from ESPN Radio, where he was senior director for content and audio. Masteller, who starts February 19, replaces Dave Hill, who left for a radio management gig in Portland, Oregon, in late 2014. Mike Wellbrock served as WBAL's PD in the interim.

    February 11, 2015
    Tim Watts Gone From Magic 95.9
    Tim Watts, program director of Baltimore's adult urban contemporary WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9, returned from vacation yesterday only to be "let go" after 17 years with the Radio One station. Before that, he was with the now-defunct urban contemporary V103, WXYV, for 17 years.

    February 11, 2015
    9 Drops WeatherNation
    Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA has replaced the WeatherNation network with Justice Network on its 9-3 digital subchannel. With the drop, there are no full-time weather networks on any DC area broadcast channels. WUSA provided local weather inserts on WeatherNation with its team of meteorologists, including Topper Shutt and Howard Bernstein.

    February 10, 2015
    Steve Burns Joins WMAL
    Cumulus news talker WMAL, 105.9 FM/630 AM, expands its local news department with the addition of Steve Burns, who will serve as a weekday field reporter and a weekend anchor. Burns most recently served as an anchor and reporter at WATD in Marshfield, Massachusetts. His joining the station will allow additional weekend local news updates anchored from WMAL's Jenifer Street studios, WMAL Program Director Bill Hess tells us.

    February 10, 2015
    Kruz Adds PD Duties At Z104.
    Baltimore contemporary hit outlet WZFT, Z104.3, named Kruz as its program director. He had been assistant program director at the station. Kruz will continue as its afternoon drive host. He began his radio career in Detroit in college at WDRQ and WDVD. After graduation, he joined WQAL in Cleveland, where for three years he took over the evening show before moving to DC to do nights on iHeartMedia's like-formatted Hot 99.5, WIHT.

    February 2, 2015
    Steven Portnoy Joins CBS Radio
    Former WMAL reporter Steven Portnoy (right) has been named a CBS Radio News Congressional correspondent. For the past 13 years, he has been reporting for ABC Radio News. Says Portnoy: "Under the leadership of Harvey Nagler, who has maintained a standard of excellence first established by Paul White, journalists at CBS Radio News are at the top of our craft. As a lifelong listener and fan, I am honored and humbled to be joining the extraordinarily talented members of the CBS Radio News team."

    February 2, 2015
    Mary Cliff Among WAMU Cuts
    A source tells us: "The cancellation of 'Traditions,' a weekly folk and traditional music program hosted by Mary Cliff (right), as part of WAMU's cost cutting moves could signify the end of an era in DC area radio as Cliff had been on the air in some form or other from 1970 until her final broadcast two days ago. For a number of years, she was a fixture at WETA-FM with a five-hour Saturday evening show that combined musical playlists with announcements of upcoming performances by local folk, blues, bluegrass and other artists. Not long after that station switched to a classical music format in 2006, her program was dropped but picked up several weeks later by WAMU for a two-hour timeslot which didn't start until 11 PM on Saturdays. In 2013, 'Traditions' was moved over to Bluegrass Country whose 105.5 signal is much weaker than 88.5, although the show could also be heard on HD radio and did get an additional hour, going from 9 PM - midnight. While the folk music genre was abandoned by commercial radio decades ago, it has continued to find a home on public radio with most major markets, and some smaller ones, having at least one dedicated weekly program. Unfortunately, even that lifeline seems to be gradually fading as NPR exerts pressure on its local affiliates to carry more of its national talk programming and niche music shows are often among the first to get axed."

    January 30, 2015
    Washington Times Cuts Radio, Podcasts
    January 30 was the last broadcast of Andy Parks' Washington Times show on Salem talker WWRC, 1260 AM. All radio and podcasts will cease from the Times studios. The newspaper's radio and podcast programs are not generating sufficient financial resources.

    January 29, 2015
    WAMU Cuts 6, Dumps Intersection
    The axe has fallen again at American University public radio news talker WAMU, 88.5 FM. More cuts have been announced by new General Manager JJ Yore in a staff memo, including a reduction of operating costs at its Eastern Shore outlet, Ocean City's WRAU, 88.3 FM, and at Bluegrass Country, which is carried on several low-power outlets such as Bethesda's 105.5 FM and via WAMU's HD2 subchannel. Also, Yore plans to eliminate WAMU's Intersection service, which is carried on the HD3 subchannel. "Unfortunately these savings require eliminating the full-time positions held by Bryan Russo and Chris Teskey. We also will eliminate four part-time positions connected to BGC and HD3 [Intersection] held by Echo Propp, Jenn Hitt, Mary Cliff, and Morgyn Vernon," he writes. "We need to balance our budget and must do that in a strategic way. I'm committed to protecting our core assets - the programs and services that reach the most people - and to laying the foundation for future growth. I've focused reductions on areas that have not proven to be sustainable in their current form, following the path I laid out in our December staff meeting." Late last year, WAMU cut the frequency of its local traffic reports, axed "The Animal House" Saturday show, and eliminated several staff positions

    January 26, 2015
    WaPo Cuts Biz Tab
    The Washington Post is pulling the plug on its Monday weekly Capital Business tabloid, which it charged extra for but would often waive the charge if requested by a subscriber. In a piece entitled "This Is Not Goodbye," editor Dan Beyers insists that the Jeff Bezos-owned newspaper is not scaling back its local business coverage with the publication's termination.

    January 26, 2015
    Joe Clair To Replace Pablo At PGC
    CBS Radio annnounces that Joe Clair (right) is the replacement for morning man Blaine "Pablo" Sato at rhythmic contemporary WPGC, 95.5 FM. He will be paired with Tati, Guy Lambert, and Poet. Clair started his radio career at WPGC as part of the "Sunday Night Hip-Hop Show" with veteran DJ Big Tigger. He went on to become co-host of Russ Parr's morning show at WPGC's top rival, Radio One's urban contemporary WKYS, 93.9 FM, and later an on-air talent at Hot 97, WQHT, in New York City. Clair is also a nationally known comedian with multiple appearances on HBO's "Def Comedy Jam," Comedy Central's "Comic Groove," and BET's "Comic View," as well as host of BET's "Rap City" for six years. He most recently was heard on Howard University's adult urban contemporary WHUR, 96.3 FM, via its afternoon show with Frank Ski. "Joe is an incredible talent, a very funny man, a DC native who cares about the community and best of all a great guy," said Steve Davis, vice president of programming for CBS Radio's DC cluster and program director of WPGC. "To be able to bring him 'home' to anchor mornings is incredibly exciting." Says Clair: "DC is my home and I want to give the market a world class product with local sensibilities. I started my radio journey at WPGC so it feels incredible to be back. I want to have a lot of fun, be as timely and topical as possible, play great music and make my listeners laugh."

    January 23, 2015
    Alpha Buys Free Lance-Star Stations
    Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media will acquire the four-station Free Lance-Star Radio group in Fredericksburg. The stations include country WFLS, 93.3 FM, news talk WNTX, 1350 AM, rhythmic contemporary WVBX, 99.3 FM, and classic rock WWUZ, 96.9 FM. Alpha chairman Larry Wilson says: "Around 50 miles from Washington DC, Fredericksburg is a thriving place that continues to grow. It will be a nice addition to our East Coast footprint. I feel privileged to be able to get into that market and work with the great people there." The stations were acquired by Sandton Capital in a bankruptcy auction last year. Sandton holds on to the Free Lance-Star newspaper.

    January 23, 2015
    Tommy Chuck To Be PD Of Hot 99.5 & WPOC
    Tommy Chuck joins iHeartMedia's DC contemporary hits outlet WIHT, Hot 99.5, and Baltimore country outlet WPOC, 93.1, as program director of both. He comes from the company's Tampa radio cluster where he's been program director and digital director of contemporary hits WFLZ and hot adult contemporary WMTX. He starts February 9.

    January 23, 2015
    9 Announces Retirement Of JC Hayward
    Channel 9/WUSA announces the retirement of longtime news anchor JC Hayward (right). "I have had a glorious 43 years with Channel 9," says Hayward, who has been off WUSA's airwaves for more than a year. She was the head of a DC charter school that has been accused of financial improprieties. "The people at the station have been my family for 43 years and they will always remain so in my thoughts and wonderful memories as I venture into this new phase of life," Hayward adds. WUSA President-General Manager Mark Burdett says: "JC has been an inspiration to all, as she devoted her passion and energy every day to WUSA 9. For more than 40 years JC worked tirelessly to inform & serve the community in an effort to help make Washington DC a better place to live and work."

    January 22, 2015
    Carson Heads To KC
    Local radio veteran Rob Carson is leaving the DC area for a Cumulus-owned news talker in Kansas City. He'll be hosting mornings at KCMO. The station is also adding Chris Plante's WMAL-based show for late mornings. For many years, Carson hosted afternoons and middays at WRQX, back when it was hot adult contemporary Mix 107.3. He also did fill-in talk show work at news talker WMAL. Both WMAL and WRQX are owned by Cumulus. Recently, Carson's been hosting the nationally syndicated "America Weekend" talk show for Envision. He's also been doing a fill-in service for news talkers around the country from a studio in his DC area home. Carson began his broadcasting career in Missouri after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University.

    January 22, 2015
    50 Years For McConnell At WTOP
    Dave McConnell (right), the Capitol Hill correspondent for WTOP, observes 50 years with the all-newser this month. "He is fixture on The Hill and remains the lone full-time Congressional correspondent for a local radio station in America," says WTOP Program Director Laurie Cantillo. McConnell has covered 12 presidential elections, five inaugurations, and countless changes in party momentum. "He taps his vast knowledge of Congress and its history to help explain to listeners why a vote, a speech or even inaction matters," according to a tribute at wtop.com.

    January 21, 2015
    WASH & WLIF Top Holiday Radio Ratings
    The DC market radio ratings for the "Holiday" month, mainly early December to early January. Featuring a seasonal surge for WASH, which played holiday tunes for most of the period. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WASH, 2) WAMU, 3) WTOP, 4) WHUR, 5) WIHT, 6) WBIG and WETA-FM, 8) WMMJ, 9) WMAL and WWDC, 11) WPGC and WMZQ, 13) WIAD, 14) WGTS and WPRS, 16) WKYS, 17) WTEM, 18) WJFK-FM and WLZL and WRQX, 21) WNEW, 22) WFRE, 23) WBQB, 24) WAVA-FM and WINC-FM, 26) WDCN, 27) WFLS, 28) WERQ and WPFW and WAFY. Age 25-54: 1) WASH, 2) WHUR, 3) WWDC, 4) WIHT, 5) WTOP, 6) WAMU, 7) WBIG, 8) WPGC, 9) WIAD and WKYS and WMZQ, 12) WMMJ, 13) WGTS, 14) WMAL, 15) WTEM and WPRS, 17) WJFK-FM, 18) WLZL and WRQX, 20) WETA-FM, 21) WNEW, 22) WFRE, 23) WDCN and WINC-FM, 25) WBQB, 26) WAVA-FM, 27) WTNT and WERQ and WAFY, 30) WKDV and WACA and WIYY and WLIF. The Baltimore market radio ratings for the "Holiday" month, mainly early December to early January. Featuring a seasonal surge for WLIF, which played holiday tunes for most of the period. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WLIF, 2) WERQ, 3) WPOC, 4) WWIN-FM, 5) WJZ-FM, 6) WWMX, 7) WZBA, 8) WBAL-AM, 9) WQSR, 10) WZFT, 11) WIYY, 12) WRBS-FM, 13) WBJC, 14) WCAO, 15) WCBM, 16) WPGC, 17) WYPR, 18) WNEW, 19) WTMD, 20) WAMU.

    January 20, 2015
    Bill Rehkopf Returns To WNEW
    Bill Rehkopf, who was one of the original news anchors on CBS all-newser WNEW, 99.1 FM, when it launched three years ago this month, is returning. He'll be anchoring afternoon drive with Stacy Lyn. Rehhopf left WNEW later in 2012 to return to Pittsburgh to be closer to family and deal with personal matters. While there, he anchored afternoons on CBS news talker KDKA-AM.

    January 18, 2015
    CBS's Greg Anthony Arrested For Solicitation In DC
    CBS Sports commentator Greg Anthony, a former NBA player, was arrested in DC January 16 and charged with soliciting a prostitute during an undercover sting operation. Anthony, 47, a father of four, was arrested in a room at the Doubletree Hotel on Rhode Island Avenue NW, not far from the White House. He was slated to announce the University Of Maryland-Michigan State game Saturday afternoon in College Park for CBS Sports, where he has worked since 2008. CBS News released a statement saying Anthony has been suspended indefinitely and will not be working for CBS this season.

    January 17, 2015
    Earl Kelly Dies
    Earl Kelly, a former Annapolis Capital Maryland State House reporter who retired two years ago, has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 64. Kelly had recently been hired to study Maryland politics and ethics by DC's Center For Public Integrity.

    January 15, 2015
    Kim Brown To Kansas City
    Kim Brown heads to Kansas City to co-host mornings on urban contemporary KPRS, Hot 103 Jamz. She most recently worked at WRQX. Her media background inchudes stints at Channel 2/WMAR, International TV Services, and WKYS. She will continue to be a guest contributor on News One's DC-based "Roland Martin Show."

    January 12, 2015
    Doug Hill Signs Deal To Stay At 7
    Since Sinclair took over ownership of Channel 7/WJLA from Allbritton in August, a number of the ABC affiliate's news people have left. Longtime chief meteorologist Doug Hill (right) won't be one of them. WJLA announced today that Hill has signed a "multi-year deal with the station that will keep him on air in the DC market for years to come." Hill, a native Marylander and former Prince George's County police officer, has been with the station since 2000 and brings over 35 years forecasting experience, including 30 years in the DC region, to his daily broadcasts. "ABC7 is my home," says Hill, who got his DC TV start at Channel 9/WUSA. "I love weather. I love Washington. It just seems like a simple decision to keep doing what I love with the great people we have here at ABC7." Hill is also heard doing weather forecasts in afternoons on Hubbard all-newser WTOP.

    January 12, 2015
    Orioles Leave BAL For 105.7
    The Baltimore Orioles have announced a new multi-year deal naming CBS Radio's 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM, the flagship station of the Orioles Radio Network. Beginning in 2015, fans will be able to hear all 162 Orioles regular season games, select spring training contests, and Orioles programming on 105.7 The Fan and across the seven-state, 34-station Orioles Radio Network. The team had been on Hearst news talker WBAL-AM. Orioles games will continue to be called by the broadcast team of Joe Angel and Fred Manfra, who return for their 12th season together on Orioles radio coverage. The Orioles' radio rights return to 105.7 The Fan, where the station had previously broadcast Orioles games between 2007 and 2010. "With a dedicated FM presence, a strong network of local CBS Radio stations, and an around-the-clock lineup of sports programming, 105.7 The Fan is the ideal flagship home for the Orioles Radio Network," says Orioles vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader. "Partnering with the region's premiere radio destination for sports fans and CBS Radio's powerful cluster of stations allows us to effectively reach our diverse fan base on a daily basis and to develop valuable multiplatform marketing opportunities for our sponsors," adds Bader. CBS Radio Baltimore cluster senior vice president Bob Philips says, "We are thrilled that the Baltimore Orioles are coming home to 105.7 The Fan. This partnership with the Orioles is a great addition to our market leading number one sports brand and platform in Baltimore."

    January 12, 2015
    Michelle Butt Leaves WBAL
    Michelle Butt (right), news director at Hearst's NBC affiliate in Baltimore, Channel 11/WBAL, and at news talker WBAL-AM, 1090, has been named president and general manager of WXII-TV, Hearst's NBC affiliate serving the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point NC market. "Michelle is a highly successful Hearst news executive and has done outstanding work for our company at three market-leading stations," Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb says. Butt has served as WBAL-TV's news director since September 2003 and in a dual capacity overseeing the newsroom for WBAL-AM since August 2013. During her tenure, the WBAL-TV newsroom has earned many awards, including a Peabody, du Pont-Columbia, National Headliner, Cronkite, and Murrow. Before WBAL, she served as WXII-TV's news director, joining the station after a two-year term as assistant news director at WTAE-TV, Hearst's ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh. Before joining Hearst at WTAE in 1998, she served at another North Carolina station, WRAL-TV in Raleigh, where she rose from 11 PM news producer to executive producer.

    January 8, 2015
    Kashon Powell Joins WMMJ
    Kashon Powell is the new program director at Radio One's adult urban contemporary WMMJ, Majic 102.3. She comes from Norfolk's WNSB, where she was station manager of the Norfolk State University outlet. Her career includes stints at urban stations in Philadelphia and Houston. Powell replaces Dionne Burkett-Lewis, who left WMMJ in November.

    January 2, 2015
    Cortright To Do TMD Mornings
    Alex Cortright moves to Towson University adult alternative rocker WTMD, 89.7 FM, to host the morning show, starting January 5. Back in September, due to a reported budget cut, he left Annapolis eclectic rocker WRNR-FM, 103.1, where he did weekday mornings. He's no stranger to non-commercial, public radio. Early in his career, Cortright worked at Johns Hopkins University's now-defunct WJHU. He replaces Erik Deatherage, who left the morning show gig at WTMD in early December to follow his fiance to North Dakota. "Supporting musicians and sharing music and stories about music is the most meaningful thing I've accomplished in radio," Cortright says. "Growing up, I was always the kid making mixtapes for friends and family and now, thanks to WTMD, I still get to share that same youthful enthusiasm of discovery. I can't wait to get started."

  • For older news items, going all the way back to 1997, visit our News Archive Index.....

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