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January 2015 to PresentBy Dave Hughes
April 1, 2015
WTOP Drops To 2nd In Nat'l Radio Revenue
After four years, Hubbard all-newser WTOP has been dethroned as America's top radio revenue biller. Los Angeles's contemporary hit KIIS is now in first place, according to figures released by Chantilly-based BIA/Kelsey. KIIS, owned by iHeartMedia, recorded $65.9 million in ad revenue in 2014, compared to WTOP's second place $63.5 million, which was the same as it generated in 2013. WTOP raised $64.6 million in 2012, $64 million in 2011, $57.2 million in 2010, $51 million in 2009, and $51.7 million in 2008. There's no question that WTOP will remain the top 2014 radio revenue biller in the DC market by a large margin when those numbers are released. Rounding out the national "top 10" top radio revenue generators for 2014: 3) iHeart's WHTZ in NYC, 4) CBS's WCBS-AM in NYC, 5) iHeart's KBIG in LA, 6) iHeart's WLTW in NYC, 7) a tie between CBS's WINS and WFAN in NYC, 9) CBS's KROQ in LA, and 10) CBS's WBBM-AM in Chicago.
March 31, 2015
98 Rock's Sarah Fleischer To Retire
Baltimore rock radio legend Sarah Fleischer (right) announced on March 31 that she is retiring from her midday gig at 98 Rock, WIYY, on June 5. She's been on the Hearst active rocker for 38 years, since the station started in 1977. She's been doing middays for the past 27 years. A Baltimore native with her trademark "sultry voice," Fleischer is a 2002 inductee to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
March 30, 2015
Delayed "Man Cave" Debuts On ESPN 980
Two weeks after it was supposted to debut, the "Man Cave" finally aired its first show on ESPN 980, WTEM, on March 30. The hosts of the new morning show, Jason Reid and Chris Paul, did acknowledge the delayed start but avoided talking about the multiple rumors surrounding it. "During that whole time that we were not on the air, Jason and I both remained silent because we had to," said Paul. "Things were being worked out behind the scenes, things you young folks wouldn't understand. It's a different level of grown-up mentality needed to understand exactly what was going on behind the scenes. So we had to let the people talk. We had to let them say what they were gonna say. But now, if you want to know what happened with the 'Man Cave' and why we did not debut, this is why."
March 29, 2015
DC Gospel Radio's Bishop Long Dies
Bishop C.L. Long, a charismatic DC pastor who was a dominant voice on radio and television for nearly four decades and was known for his high-octane preaching and gospel concerts at his Scripture Cathedral church, died March 21 at a hospital in Baltimore. He was 74. The cause was kidney disease. Long was part of the Radio One family for 37 years, first on WYCB, 1340 AM, and then WPRS, Praise 104.1. His programs would always begin with a soul-stirring gospel selection, followed by tearful confessions from radio callers and concluded with one of his sermons from "the Cathedral." Says Karen Jackson, general sales manager for Radio One, "Bishop Long was staple on WYCB for more than 37 years. He was one of our first pastors who would do his broadcast live from our studios and from church."
March 27, 2015
Larry Smith To 7's "GMW"
Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA has hired Larry Smith as an anchor for "Good Morning Washington." He comes from WGCL-TV in Atlanta and worked at CNN before that.
March 27, 2015
Bill Toohey Dies
William "Bill" Toohey, a former spokesman for the Baltimore County Police, died Thursday of lymphoma at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was 69. A native of New Jersey, Toohey came to Baltimore after stints as a National Public Radio New York correspondent and as a newscaster for the ABC News' FM radio network. In 1986, he started as a reporter for the old Johns Hopkins University radio station, WJHU, now WYPR. He became the station's interim news director in 1987 and eventually its evening news anchor. Toohey became the Baltimore County Police spokesman in 1996 and, for many years, was seen and heard on Baltimore area media outlets providing information about indicents, crimes, and cases. He was a civilian employee and held the post until retiring in 2010. Toohey then went to work as the communications director for the Maryland governor's Office Of Crime Control And Prevention, a post he held at his death. He also taught communications at Towson University. He is survived by his wife, WNEW news anchor Rosemary Frisino-Toohey.
March 26, 2015
Tim Brant To Leave 7
Sportcaster Tim Brant (right) will be leaving Channel 7/WJLA after the May ratings "sweeps." He joined WJLA in the mid-1970s, left in 2002 to co-host the morning show at news talker WMAL radio, and returned in 2004 as the station's "vice president and director of sports." Brant will continue to call college football for CBS Sports and is the voice of ACC Basketball on the Raycom-Jefferson Pilot Television Network. In a staff memo, Brant said that he and new WJLA owner Sinclair "struck out in reaching a new agreement for me to stay."
March 24, 2015
Jamie Sullivan Joins JLA
Jamie Sullivan is now doing morning traffic reports on Channel 7/WJLA and Sinclair sister NewsChannel 8. She left the DC traffic operation of Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) in 2013 for a TV traffic gig in her hometown of Cleveland.
March 18, 2015
Mike Masco Leaving 2
Meteorologist Mike Masco is leaving Baltimore's Channel 2/WMAR, where he's been for three years. He writes on his Facebook page: "My plans going forward will feature a new adventure that will take me away from full-time TV. You'll see me pop up on ABC2 from time-to-time to help when I can."
March 17, 2015
WTOP & WPOC Top February DC Radio Ratings
The DC market monthly radio ratings for February. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WHUR, 4) WIHT, 5) WASH, 6) WBIG, 7) WMAL, 8) WETA-FM, 9) WWDC, 10) WMMJ, 11) WPRS, 12) WMZQ, 13) WKYS and WGTS, 15) WIAD, 16) WPGC, 17) WLZL, 18) WJFK-FM, 19) WRQX and WNEW, 21) WTEM, 22) WFRE, 23) WAVA-FM and WDCN, 25) WBQB, 26) WAFY, 27) WFLS, 28) WPFW and WGRQ and WERQ and WINC-FM, 32) WILC and WIYY and WQSR, 35) WTNT and WHUR STREAM and WKDV and WPOC, 40) WRBS-FM and WBQH and WSPZ and WLIF and WWEG and WACA. The Baltimore market monthly radio ratings for February. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WPOC, 2) WERQ, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF and WZFT and WWMX, 7) WZBA, 8) WJZ-FM and WRBS-FM, 10) WBAL-AM, 11) WQSR, 12) WIYY, 13) WCBM, 14) WNEW and WYPR, 16) WHUR, 17) WCAO, 18) WTOP, 19) WWDC and WASH and WBJC and WPGC and WIHT and WTTR, 25) WKYS, 26) WMZQ, 27) WMAL and WTMD, 29) WGTS and WAMU and WBIG, 32) WRQX and WXCY, 34) WEAA and WLZL and WFRE, 37) NC1061 and WRBS-AM and WRNR-FM and WJZ-AM and WWIN-AM.
March 13, 2015
Laurie Cantillo Leaves WTOP
Laurie Cantillo (right) is out of her program director job with Hubbard all-newser WTOP. According to a Friday afternoon staff memo from WTOP Senior Vice President/General Manager Joel Oxley, "The decision has been made to not renew Laurie Cantillo's contract." He adds, "This decision was reached mutually by Laurie and me." A staff memo from Cantillo says, "This the right time for me to pursue my next adventure... My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay... and finally get around to writing that next best seller. Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life, so stay tuned." Cantillo joined WTOP in late 2011 from NYC news talker WABC-AM. She took over from longtime WTOP programmer Jim Farley, who retired and is now a Florida-based consultant for the top-rated station, in late 2013. With Cantillo's departure, Mitchell Miller, Mike McMearty, and Darci Marchese will share the duty of overseeing the station's newsroom at various times, Oxley adds in his staff memo.
March 11, 2015
Lee McCarthy Dies
Former NBC correspondent Lee McCarthy has died as a result of complications following cancer surgery. McCarthy came to Washington in 1967 to work at WTOP radio then worked for NBC, primarily out of the DC bureau, until 1986 when he went to WTAF (now WTXF) in Philadelphia to anchor their start up news operation. He retired from broadcasting in 1993 and taught journalism at Villanova until 2005.
March 9, 2015
WTOP & WRC Form News Partnership
Hubbard all-news radio outlet WTOP is ending its news partnership with Allbritton-then-Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA in favor of a new one with NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC. The WTOP-WRC partnership, which begins on March 25, "combines the resources of two powerhouse news organizations and their award-winning journalists, in-depth content, and cutting-edge platforms," according to a release out today. "The multi-platform initiative will provide comprehensive coverage of news, weather and traffic on television, on the radio, and on digital and mobile devices. In addition, NBC4 and WTOP will team up to cover breaking news in a collaborative way that is unprecedented in the Washington region." In addition, WRC's Storm Team 4 meteorologists will provide forecasts every 10 minutes on the eights on WTOP. Reporters from both NBC4 and WTOP will be showcased on each other's newscasts throughout the morning, daytime, and night. "The combined forces of two dynamic, cutting edge newsrooms working together on all platforms will be powerful," says Jackie Bradford, president and general manager of NBC4. "This partnership will serve people throughout the Washington area well by delivering them the most up-to-date local news, information, and weather." Adds Joel Oxley, WTOP's senior vice president and general manager, "The Washington region is the most educated and information-hungry market in America. WTOP and NBC4 are committed to serving the needs of our community with timely, accurate news from the most trusted teams of journalists in the nation's capital."
March 9, 2015
City Paper's Madden To WaPo
Washington City Paper editor Mike Madden jumps to the Washington Post to be deputy editor of Outlook and PostEverything.
March 8, 2015
Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix To 14
Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix joins Univision affiliate Channel 14/WFDC as evening news anchor. She comes from Chicago, where she worked for Telemundo's WSNS-TV up until 2012. Since then, she's worked at Univision radio outlet WRTO in the Windy City. Here in DC, Felix will also host the Sunday morning talk show "Perspectiva Nacional."
March 7, 2015
CBS Radio Moves Into New DC Digs
Last spring, we told you that CBS Radio would be moving its offices and studios from Lanham in Prince George's County to new facilities in southeast DC, near Nationals Park. Now, we hear the move of the firm's six stations will start this weekend. Back in April 2014, CBS Radio signed a deal for leased space at Capitol Riverfront, where it will join the National Labor Relations Board at 1015 Half Street, SE. The broadcaster will occupy 33,042 square feet on the second floor and about 3,000 square feet on the building's ground floor for use as a performance studio, which opened late last year. CBS will air backup programming Saturday night and Sunday morning while it moves news talker WNEW, 99.1, which should be operating from its new DC studios by 9 AM. El Zol, WLZL, will make the move next weekend, followed by 94.7 Fresh FM, WIAD, the following weekend, with WPGC and WJFK-FM/AM to follow. The business office will make the move around March 21st, we're told.
March 7, 2015
45's Janus To RNN
Reporter Stephen Janis is leaving Channel 45/WBFF. He's headed to the Real News Network.
March 6, 2015
Jay Philpott Heads To Atlanta
Jay Philpott is leaving his afternoon drive gig at Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, 100.7 The Bay. He will be heading to Atlanta to do afternoons and assistant program director duties at Rock 100.5, WNNX. Philpott tells us: "I will be joining Program Director Greg Ausham once again. I've respected Greg since we met in Minneapolis during the early days of both of our careers, and I worked for him for over four years at Lazer 103 Milwaukee during its famous rock war versus WQFM."
March 6, 2015
Sam Sweeney To 7
Channel 7/WJLA has hired Sam Sweeney as a general assignment reporter. He'll start April 13. Sweeney comes from Fort Myers, Florida's WBBH-TV. Before that, he worked at WMGM-TV in Atlantic City and KNXV-TV in Phoenix.
March 5, 2015
Jonathan Elias To Join 7
Jonathan Elias will head to Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA in June to join the evening anchor desk along with Maureen Bunyan, Leon Harris, and Alison Starling. He comes from Boston, where he anchored at CBS-owned WBZ-TV and its sister station, WSBK-TV. Before that, Elias worked at KNXV-TV in Phoenix and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. He's also worked at TV stations in Minneapolis, Birmingham AL, and Sacramento.
March 4, 2015
Jim Purks Dies
Jim Purks who for many years was heard on Leesburg's now-defunct community news talk WAGE, has died. Battling cancer, he passed away at Fairfax Hospital after suffering an injury at his Sterling home, we're told.
March 4, 2015
Cumulus Says Adios To O'Brien
Last July, we told you that Mark O'Brien, the market manager for Cumulus's DC radio cluster, had been removed of his duties. Although he was under contract to Cumulus into early 2015. Now, we hear that O'Brien's two-year contract will be allowed to expire. He came to Cumulus DC in early 2013 to oversee news talker WMAL and then-hot adult contemporary WRQX. Since then, WMAL's fortunes have improved with an expanded news department, more staff stability, and higher ratings. But O'Brien's canning of WRQX, Mix 107.3 longtime morning man Jack Diamond sent that station into a ratings spiral that it still hasn't recovered from, even with its new contemporary hits format and Sarah Frasier-based morning show as DC's 107.3. No word about O'Brien's plans. He's a DC radio veteran, having worked in the past for Clear Channel and Red Zebra. Cumulus Senior Vice President Gary Pizzati has been handling DC market manager duties since last summer.
March 2, 2015
Tabitha Abrams Dies
Tabitha Abrams, 41, died on February 21 after a 20-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was a news anchor on Washington area radio for WTOP and WFLS, as well as a newspaper reporter and editor at the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star, the Caroline Progress, and the Annapolis Capital.
March 1, 2015
Kirsten Lindquist Dies
Kirsten Lindquist died of pancreatic cancer February 14. She was 60. Linquist, who grew up in Alexandria, worked at then-all-newser WAVA radio in Arlington in the early 1970s. In 1976, she joined the Associated Press Radio Network in Washington, where she covered the White House, State Department, Congress, and the Supreme Court. She left radio in 1980 to join the startup crew of CNN. Lindquist later anchored news for CNN in Los Angeles. In 1985, she moved to Minneapolis where she worked for NBC, anchoring the news and becoming involved in community work.
February 25, 2015
Chandrasekaran Leaving Washington Post
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the national editor of the Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994, is leaving the newspaper "to form a small media company based in Seattle that will create and produce nonfiction, social-impact content, some of it in partnership with the Starbucks Coffee Company," he writes on his Facebook page.
February 25, 2015
WNEW's Now A News Talker
CBS all-newser WNEW, 99.1 FM, transitions to a news talker with the addition of talk programming in evenings and overnights. On Monday, the station added three hours of Dave Ramsey's financial talk show at 8 PM. And, in overnights, it's now running the syndicated "Overnight America" talk show. WNEW still carries locally-produced news updates at the top of the evening and overnight hours. It remains an all-newser from 5 AM to 8 PM weekdays. During the past few months, WNEW has been adding infomercials during its night and weekend hours. It's also added sports - carrying Wizards games. CBS launched all-news WNEW in January 2012 and has not made a significant ratings impact on Hubbard's top-rated all-news WTOP.
February 24, 2015
Finn Neilsen Joins WNAV
Finn Neilsen is the new news diretctor at WNAV, 1430 AM, in Annapolis. The full-service station is owned by "Wheel Of Fortune" host Pat Sajak. Neilsen's career includes stops at DC's WTOP and Frederick's WFRE.
February 24, 2015
Cucchiella Joins WNST
Former 98 Rock, WIYY morning man Mickey Cucchiella will be a contributor to Nestor Aparicio's Towson-based sports talker, WNST, 1570 AM. Starting in March, "Mickey will be doing his own thing interspersed throughout our daily programming, but on Fridays and weekends you'll hear some segments where we'll be chatting with each other and attempting to have some fun as a radio tandem," writes Aparicio, who does the morning show at WNST, at wnst.net. Back in November, Cucchiella, a local stand-up comic, guest hosted mornings at CBS sports talker 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM. After leaving 98 Rock in mid-2013, Cucchiella has been running the Vape Lounge in Harford County, where he sells electronic cigarettes.
February 20, 2015
Paul & Reid To WTEM Mornings
Chris Paul and Jason Reid will team up and form a new morning drive program on ESPN 980, WTEM. "The Man Cave" will be a blend of sports, comedy, and entertainment, according to an announcement from the Red Zebra sports talker. Paul is a veteran of local broadcast radio, co-hosting the Donnie Simpson show on WPGC for 16 years, and for the last six years with the syndicated Tom Joyner show. Reid has been the Redskins beat reporter and later a sports columnist for the Washington Post, where he's worked since 2007. Before that, he covered sports for the Los Angeles Times. The show debuts March 16. It will replace the nationally syndicated "Mike And Mike" show from ESPN Radio, which moves over to Red Zebra's other sports talker, Sports 570, WSPZ, replacing Andy Pollin's "Sports Reporters" show.
February 18, 2015
WTOP & WPOC Top January Radio Ratings
The Washington market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WHUR, 4) WASH, 5) WIHT, 6) WBIG, 7) WETA-FM, 8) WMAL, 9) WWDC, 10) WMMJ, 11) WPRS, 12) WGTS, 13) WIAD, 14) WMZQ, 15) WKYS, 16) WPGC, 17) WLZL, 18) WJFK-FM, 19) WTEM, 20) WRQX, 21) WNEW, 22) WFRE, 23) WBQB and WDCN, 25) WAFY, 26) WINC-FM and WAVA-FM and WFLS, 29) WGRQ, 30) WPFW and WERQ. Age 25-54: 1) WTOP, 2) WWDC, 3) WHUR, 4) WASH, 5) WAMU, 6) WBIG, 7) WIHT, 8) WIAD, 9) WMAL, 10) WKYS and WGTB, 12) WMZQ, 13) WPGC, 14) WMMJ, 15) WJFK-FM, 16) WPRS, 17) WETA-FM, 18) WLZL and WNEW, 20) WRQX, 21) WTEM, 22) WDCN, 23) WFRE, 24) WBQB and WINC-FM, 26) WAVA-FM and WAFY and WERQ, 29) WGRQ and WKDV. The Baltimore market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WPOC, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WLIF, 4) WJZ-FM, 5) WWMX, 6) WERQ, 7) WBAL-AM, 8) WZBA, 9) WZFT, 10) WQSR, 11) WRBS-FM, 12) WIYY, 13) WCBM, 14) WBJC, 15) WCAO, 16) WYPR, 17) WNEW, 18) WPGC, 19) WTMD, 20) WAMU.
February 17, 2015
Rochelle Ritchie Leaves 13
Channel 13/WJZ news reporter Rochelle Ritchie has left the CBS-owned station to become director of communications/spokesperson for the the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office.
February 16, 2015
Garrett Haake To Join 9
Garrett Haake will leave Kansas City's KSHB-TV for Channel 9/WUSA, where he'll be a reporter. He starts in March. Before joining KSHB in February 2013, Haake was an NBC News campaign embed covering Mitt Romney's run for president. Before that, he had been an associate producer for "NBC Nightly News."
February 15, 2015
Arnaud de Borchgrave Dies
Arnaud de Borchgrave, 88, former editor in chief of the Washington Times, died February 15 at a hospice in Washington after a lengthy illness with cancer. He was editor in chief of the Times from 1985 until he retired in 1991. He had earlier been the chief foreign correspondent for Newsweek for 25 years.
February 13, 2015
Rick Strauss Returns To PD Gig At 98 Rock
Rick Strauss (right) has been named program director for Hearst's Baltimore rocker WIYY, 98 Rock. The move marks a return to WIYY for Strauss, who served as the active rock station's program director from 1994 to 2002. He replaces Dave Hill, who left his PD post at 98 Rock and co-owned news talk WBAL, 1090 AM, for a radio management gig in Portland, Oregon late last year. Strauss spent the past decade at iHeartMedia, formerly Clear Channel, in NYC, where he served served on the radio giant's national programming platforms team as senior director of digital music programming. Previously, he was director of marketing and content for Clear Channel Radio Digital. In addition to WIYY, Strauss has also programmed classic rocker WMGK in Philadelphia and rocker WZZO Allentown, Pennsylvania.
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."
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