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January 2017 to PresentMay 23, 2017
Bluegrass Country Loses 105.5
Bluegrass Country will be losing its Bethesda-based low-power 105.5 analog signal on June 21. According to a statement at bluegrasscounry.org, "The 105.5 FM signal is owned by a third party with whom were unable, despite our best efforts, to reach a contract agreement going forward." The Americana bluegrass and folk music service will continue to be heard on WAMU 88.5's digital HD2 signal, streaming at bluegrasscountry.org, and via its apps for iOS and Android devices. "About two thirds of our listeners already hear our broadcast via HD and the internet," the statement adds. "While the loss of 105.5 FM is frustrating, we remain in business and are committed to bringing you the bluegrass and roots music you love to hear." American University's WAMU turned over operation of its Bluegrass Country operation to the locally-based and newly-formed Bluegrass Country Foundation earlier this year. At that time, WAMU also said that it would eventually drop BGC from its digital signal, but apparently that move has been delayed.
May 22, 2017
Snyder Sells 570 To Salem
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has sold another of his DC area radio stations, sports talker WSPZ 570, to a group called "AM 570 LLC" that appears to be controlled by Salem. The deal, we're told, also includes the station's Germantown transmitter site, which will soon be shared by Cumulus news talker WMAL's AM signal on 630. In the DC area, Salem already owns Christian talkers WAVA-FM/AM, 105.1/780, and conservative talker WWRC, 1260/1250. Snyder's Red Zebra's radio arm recently sold two other DC area signals - WWXT 92.7 to Radio One and WWXX 94.3 to EMF. That leaves Snyder with just one local signal, WTEM, which runs his ESPN 980 sports talk format that had also been carried by WWXT and WWXX. WTEM is also reportedly on the market. More: We hear from Patrick Communications, whose Greg Guy brokered the transaction, that the sale price of WSPZ was $2.1 million.
May 19, 2017
Brian Wilson Gone From WMAL
Brian Wilson is gone from Cumulus news talker WMAL after six years. The DC radio and TV political reporter veteran - Fox News and Channel 5/WTTG - informed everyone May 19 via Twitter that his journey with WMAL is over. Wilson is a former Fox News and Channel 5/WTTG reporter.
May 16, 2017
WAMU & WWIN-FM Top April Radio Ratings
WAMU tops the DC market radio ratings for the month of April. Full day, age 6+: 1) WAMU, 2) WTOP, 3) WHUR, 4) WMMJ, 5) WBIG, 6) WASH, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WGTS, 10) WPRS, 11) WKYS and WPGC, 13) WMZQ, 14) WIAD, 15) WJFK-FM and WRQX, 17) WWDC, 18) WETA-FM, 19) WLZL, 20) WOL, 21) WFED. No Baltimore, Hagerstown, Frederick, Winchester, or Fredericksburg stations are included in this list. WWIN-FM tops the Baltimore market radio ratings for the month of April. Full day, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WPOC, 3) WERQ, 4) WLIF, 5) WJZ-FM, 6) WIYY, 7) WQSR, 8) WZFT, 9) WWMX, 10) WBAL-AM and WYPR, 12) WCBM and WZBA, 13) WRBS-FM, 14) WEAA, 15) WBJC, 16) WLIFHD2, 17) WCAO, 18) WWIN-AM, 19) WOLB and WQLL, 21) WJZ-AM and WWMXHD2. No DC, Hagerstown, or Frederick stations are included in this list.
May 15, 2017
LaDawn Black Leaves Magic 95.9, Joins Museum
Radio One is saying goodbye to LaDawn Black, who hosts a show on Baltimore's urban adult contemporary WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9, after 13 years. She was offered a new contract but decided not to renew. So, the Charm City radio veteran is joining the team of Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which focuses on Maryland's African-American history and culture, where she'll handle public relations and spokesperson duties.
May 15, 2017
Snyder Sells 94.3 To EMF
The Educational Media Foundation, EMF, which runs the K-Love Christian contemporary network around the country, is entering the DC area with the purchase of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra-owned WWXX, 94.3, in Buckland VA, which has its transmitter near Warrenton. WWXX, which covers the southwestern chunk of the DC metro as well as part of central Virginia, simulcasts Red Zebra sports talk WTEM, ESPN 980. Just recently, Red Zebra sold its other FM relay of ESPN 980, WWXT in Prince Frederick MD, 92.7, to Radio One, which has started to simulcast urban adult contemporary WMMJ, Majic 102.3, on it. DCRTV has reported that Red Zebra has also put WTEM, an AMer on 980 with its transmitter in Hyattsville, and sister sprts talker, WSPZ, an AMer on 570 with its transmitter in Germantown, on the market.
May 11, 2017
BET To Leave DC
Viacom-owned BET, Black Entertainment Television, will be shutting down its DC headquarters and move many of those employees to its NYC offices. BET was founded by DC media magnate Robert Johnson 40 years ago. BET's Washington offices, which have about 40 full-time employees and 36 freelancers, will close July 7. Viacom bought the African-American programming network in 2000. "This closure is in line with our overall strategy to make New York BET's new headquarters," Debra Lee, the network's chief executive, wrote in a memo to staffers.
May 10, 2017
Doug Hill To Leave 7
Channel 7/WJLA chief meteorologist Doug Hill (right) will be leaving the station on September 15 after 17 years. He is currently seen weekdays on the Sinclair ABC affiliate's news at noon, 4 PM, 5 PM, and 6 PM, as well as NewsChannel 8 at 11 AM. "I've been very fortunate to make a career out of a childhood hobby. I love what I've been able to do here at ABC7 and I love the people I've worked with over the years," says Hill. "I've been given a great platform to use my talents in meteorology, now I'm going to dedicate those gifts to Christian ministry and focus on my family." Hill attended Towson State College before entering the Air Force. Most of his four-year tour was spent at Andrews AFB. After his military service, Hill became a Prince George's County Police officer where he served for six years until he was convinced to make the unlikely switch from cop to broadcaster. Before WJLA, Hill served for 16 years as chief meteorologist for Channel 9/WUSA. He began his broadcast career in 1978 at WWBT-TV in Richmond. In 1980, he made the move to Detroit where he worked for both WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV, before returning in 1984 to Washington.
May 10, 2017
Marc Steiner To End WEAA Show
After a 24-year career as a radio talk show host, Marc Steiner is stepping away from the microphone to build his non-profit production company, Center For Emerging Media. The final day of his week-daily 10 AM to noon show on Baltimore's WEAA, 88.9, is scheduled for July 31. "At 71, I'm excited to be learning a new skill - producing and directing film. It's also a perfect time for me to focus on topics I love, such as American history through the lenses of traditionally underrepresented groups including African Americans, Native Americans, women, and LGBTQ individuals."
May 9, 2017
Radio One Becomes Urban One
Silver Spring-based Radio One has completed its corporate rebranding to Urban One. The change, meant to signify the company’s growth into television and digital media as well as casino gaming and financial services, was done to correspond to the 18th anniversary of its IPO on May 5, 1999. The Radio One name will stay active as a division of the company holding the radio station properties as will Reach Media as its syndication unit. The company's Interactive One division will be rebranded as iOne Digital, while a new R1 Digital division will be created to oversee web and social media content for the radio station properties. Radio One announced the change late last year. Locally, the company owns WKYS, WMMJ, WPRS, WOL, WYCB, WERQ, WWIN-FM/FM, and WOLB.
May 8, 2017
Sinclair Buys Tribune
Following weeks of rumors, Baltimore-based Sinclair confirms that it has reached a purchase deal for Chicago-based Tribune's 42 TV stations for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in net debt. Tribune owns Channel 50/WDCW in the DC market, which Sinclair will add to its existing 173 TV stations, including Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8. Tribune also owns cable network WGN America, digital multicast network Antenna TV, and a minority stake in the TV Food Network. Sinclair will also pick up Tribune assets not involved in the broadcast industry. The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both companies and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.
May 5, 2017
ESPN Cuts Sara Walsh
Former DC TV sports anchor and reporter Sara Walsh (right) is the latest to reveal that she's part of ESPN's latest wave of personnel cuts. And she got the news last week as she was preparing to return from maternity leave after having twins. Walsh, who has been a "SportsCenter" anchor, joined ESPN in May 2010 from Channel 9/WUSA. Before that, she worked TV jobs in Georgia and Tennessee. Walsh is married to Matt Buschmann, a minor-league baseball pitcher who played in three games for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season and was recently released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
May 5, 2017
Jim Vance Battles Cancer
Longtime Channel 4/WRC news anchor Jim Vance (right) told viewers Thursday evening that he is undergoing treatment for cancer, but will continue to work when he can. Addressing some viewers' concerns about his recent absences, Vance said, "So I have been getting that treatment, and I have been coming into work with my partners here whenever I can, and I shall continue to do that. In fact, I will insist on doing that... In the meantime, I'm doing OK." Vance, 75, said that doctors told him he had cancer several weeks ago, but did not specify what type of cancer he has. He has been with the NBC-owned station for more than 40 years. DCRTV analysis: WRC recently hired former Channel 7/WJLA top anchor Leon Harris, we believe, to be its top male anchor when Vance retires. Right now, Vance has that position as long he wants it.
May 1, 2017
Ogden Takes Over Frederick News-Post
As of May 1, Ogden Newspapers is officially the owner of the Frederick News-Post. The Randall and Delaplaine families have owned and operated the News-Post for 133 years across five generations. The Randalls announced in March that the family would sell the news organization to Ogden, another five-generation family-owned company. Ogden dates to 1890, starting with the launch of the Wheeling News in Wheeling WV, where the company remains headquartered. Because the two companies are privately held and do not discuss financials, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ogden purchased assets including the building and printing press, which the News-Post bought in 2006. The transition includes downsizing News-Post staff, though number of News-Post employees who were let go has not been disclosed. Geordie Wilson, who has been publisher of the News-Post since 2011, will remain in that role. Patrick Pexton, who joined the News-Post as editor in June 2015, was not offered employment under the new ownership. Pexton came from the Washington Post, where he was ombudsman.
May 1, 2017
Marianne Sierk Joins Kirk McEwen On 98 Rock
Marianne Sierk has been named co-host of 98 Rock, WIYY's afternoon show, 3 PM to 7 PM, which has been solo-hosted by Kirk McEwen. Coming from Rochester NY, she's a stand-up comedian who has appeared on VH1's "I Love The 80s," Tru TV's "World's Dumbest," Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham," along with ABC and BBC shows. While McEwen ranks at the top of male demos in Baltimore's afternoon radio ratings, the addition of Sierk is expected to improve the Hearst station's female numbers, we're told. "I got my first choice to join me on this quest in total afternoon domination," says McEwen. "This girl is so smart and funny, I can't wait to drop her on Baltimore. With this show, we're about to give the people what they want on the ride home, engaging radio." Photo at right: Sierk and McEwen.
April 28, 2017
Rob Desir To Co-Anchor 50's 10 PM News
Rob Desir joins Candace Burns as co-anchor of the 10 PM half-hour newscast on Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW, which is produced at the company's Richmond station, Channel 6/WTVR. Desir has been an anchor and reporter at WTVR since April 2015. Before that, he worked at TV news departments in St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Mobile.
April 27, 2017
Diane Rehm To Re-Marry At 80
Former longtime WAMU talk show host Diane Rehm (right) is 80-years-old and getting married again. She will tie the knot with John Hagedorn, a 77-year-old retired Lutheran minister, in October in Washington National Cathedral. According to washingtonpost.com, the two met 28 years ago at a wedding for the daughter of a mutual friend. Both were married to others at the time. Hagedorn, who is now a widower, recently reintroduced himself to Rehm, whose husband of 54 years, John, died in 2014. Rehm left her late morning WAMU show, which was carried nationally via NPR, at the end of 2016.
April 27, 2017
ESPN Cuts Britt McHenry
Former Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8 sports reporter Britt McHenry (right) is one of the many recent cuts at ESPN. She posts on Twitter: "Staying on the NFL Draft as my last assignment. Grateful for three years at ESPN. My colleagues became best friends and I'll cherish that the most." The Disney-owned cable sports network announced dozens of employee cuts yesterday in light of its declining subscriber numbers.
April 25, 2017
Mickey Cuchiella To Q1370
Baltimore oldies outlet WQLL, Q1370, hires Baltimore radio veteran Mickey Cuchiella (right) for afternoon drive. He used to be part of the "Mickey, Amelia And Spiegel" morning show on Baltimore rocker WIYY, 98 Rock. He also did afternoons at that station. "Q1370 now has two major radio talents with Mickey Chuchiella in the afternoon and the 'Rouse And Company Morning Show,' which debuted May 2016," according to a WQLL announcement. Cuchiella will start at Q1370 on June 12.
April 25, 2017
Robert Siegel To Leave NPR's "ATC"
Robert Siegel (right), whose voice and signature reporting have been an essential part of DC-based NPR since he first arrived in Washington in 1976, will step down as host of "All Things Considered" in January 2018. "He has been with NPR for more than 40 years, a constant presence in our newsroom and a familiar voice to so many listeners," according to an NPR statement. Says Siegel, "This is a decision long in the making and not an easy one. I've had the greatest job I can think of, working with the finest colleagues anyone could ask for, for as long a stretch as I could imagine. But, looking ahead to my seventies (which start all too soon) I feel that it is time for me to begin a new phase of life. Over the next few months, I hope to figure out what that will be." Siegel has spent his life in radio, getting his start as a freshman in college. He joined NPR as a newscaster, moved into an editor role, opened NPR's London bureau, and as chief of NPR News ran the newsroom.
April 25, 2017
Kate O'Beirne Dies
Kate O'Beirne, 67, who wrote about the conservative agenda in the pages of National Review and talked about it on the CNN program "The Capital Gang," died on April 23 in McLean. The cause was lung cancer.
April 21, 2017
WaPo's Costa To Moderate "Washington Week"
Channel 26/WETA names Robert Costa, who is a political reporter for the Washington Post, as the new moderator of "Washington Week," the PBS weekly news analysis series. Produced at the WETA studios in Arlington since 1967, the show features a roundtable of journalists discussing the current political landscape. Costa becomes the eight moderator of "Washington Week," following the death of Gwen Ifill, who had served in the role since October 1999. Several guest moderators, including Costa, had filled in on a temporary basis in the interim. Costa will continue in work with the Post and as a political analyst and contributor to many network television news programs.
April 20, 2017
Snyder Sells 92.7 To Radio One For MMJ Relay
Radio One has purchased WWXT, 92.7, in Prince Frederick from Red Zebra, Redskins owner Dan Snyder radio arm. Radio One will flip the Southern Maryland station, which currently simulcasts the sports talk format of Snyder's WTEM, ESPN 980, to a simulcast of adult urban contemporary WMMJ, 102.3. Says Jeff Wilson, the senior vice president of Radio One's DC radio cluster, "I'm thrilled by this acquisition and unique opportunity to immediately expand the footprint of our heritage station, WMMJ-FM. My team is going to keep doing what we do best, programming the most entertaining, inspiring and well informed listener experiences in urban radio and be proud knowing that even more people are impacted." The new 92.7 signal will improve WMMJ's coverage in portions of Charles County and southern and eastern Prince George's County. As DCRTV first reported last week, Radio One is also in talks to buy more of Snyder's signals, including the Warrenton area's WWXX, 94.3, which also relays WTEM. More: In Richmond, Radio One picks up Snyder sports talker WXGI, 950, and maintains the format with the new Richmond ESPN Radio, also on 1240 and 102.7.
April 20, 2017
Leon Harris Joins 4
Leon Harris (right) joins NBC-owned Channel 4/WRC. A veteran news anchor who spent 13 years covering the Washington area at Channel 7/WJLA, he will anchor weekend editions of "News4" at 6 PM and 11 PM with Erika Gonzalez. During the week, Harris will contribute to coverage of breaking news and special events and handle other reporting duties. "Leon has been an incredibly well-respected journalist, both in Washington and on a national stage for many years," says Jackie Bradford, president and general manager of WRC. "We are very glad he has agreed to join our team and continue his career here." The former CNNer ended his long career with Sinclair-owned WJLA last fall, when he contract was not renewed. While there, he anchored evening newscasts, hosted specials and weekly shows, and did his "Harris' Heroes" segment that covered outstanding members of the DC area community. "As a long-time admirer of the quality of the work and reputation of the 'NBC4' news team, I am beyond thrilled at the opportunity to work alongside some of the very best in the field," Harris says. "Being able to continue to cover and serve this incredible Washington region is a real treat and an absolute honor." DCRTV wonders: Is high-profile Harris being groomed by WRC management to be the replacement for legendary weekday evening anchor Jim Vance, who is rumored to be retiring from WRC later this year? Stay tuned.
April 20, 2017
Tommy Chuck Adds Programming Duties At WASH
Tommy Chuck has been named program director for iHeart's adult contemporary WASH, 97.1. Currently he's been programming WASH's DC sister contemporary outlet WIHT, Hot 99.5, which he will continue to do. Chuck has been with iHeart since 2000 and has overseen radio stations in Chattanooga, Birmingham AL, Orlando, and Tampa. He spent the past two years programming Hot 99.5 as well as country WPOC, 93.1, in Baltimore.
April 19, 2017
WAMU & WWIN-FM Top Radio Ratings For March
The Washington market radio ratings for the month of March. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WAMU, 2) WTOP, 3) WHUR, 4) WASH and WBIG, 6) WMMJ, 7) WIHT, 8) WIAD and WMAL, 10) WPGC and WPRS, 12) WKYS and WMZQ, 14) WGTS, 15) WWDC, 16) WRQX, 17) WJFK-FM, 18) WETA-FM, 19) WLZL, 20) WOL, 21) WAMUHD2 and WFED. Stations from Baltimore, Hagerstown, Winchester, and Fredericksburg are not included in this list. The Baltimore market radio ratings for the month of March. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WERQ, 3) WPOC, 4) WLIF, 5) WIYY, 6) WQSR, 7) WJZ-FM, 8) WBAL-AM, 9) WZFT, 10) WWMX, 11) WCBM, 12) WRBS-FM, 13) WZBA, 14) WYRP, 15) WEAA, 16) WBJC, 17) WCAO, 18) WLIFHD2, 19) WQLL, 20) WJZ-AM and WWIN-AM, 21) WOLB and WWMXHD2. Stations from Hagerstown, Frederick, and DC are not included in this list.
April 17, 2017
20 To Become Fox 5 Plus
The Fox station group is making changes at Channel 20/WDCA, DC's MyNetwork affiliate, to more closely align it with its primary sister station, Channel 5/WTTG. Starting July 17, WDCA will be branded Fox 5 Plus, a tie-in to the name WTTG goes by - Fox 5. WDCA also will be home to a nightly 8 PM newscast called "Fox 5 News On The Plus," anchored by WTTG's Tony Perkins and Shawn Yancy. The station will add breaking news updates when pertinent. "Given Fox 5's brand recognition, this extension gives us the ability to build upon our strength in the marketplace and provide our viewers with additional opportunities to watch Fox 5 News," says Patrick Paolini, WTTG/WDCA's vice president and general manager. WDCA's syndicated programming, including "Judge Judy," "Big Bang Theory," and "Dr. Oz," will continue to air. The change comes as Fox prepares to move its programming from WDCA to WTTG's spectrum. Fox sold WDCA's spectrum in the broadcast incentive auction for $119 million. Stations will have 39 months to give up their spectrum and, as in the case of WDCA and most stations in the auction, start sharing spectrum with a station in the market with which a sharing agreement has been struck.
April 17, 2017
Kenny King Leaves WASH & WQSR
Kenny King is out of his job as program director at iHeart's adult contemporary WASH, 97.1, in DC and adult hits WQSR, 102.7, in Baltimore. No word on why he's gone, his plans, or his replacement.
April 17, 2017
Common Ownership For DC & Cap File Mags
Modern Luxury, which owns DC Magazine, is reportedly buying GreenGale Media, which owns Capitol File Magazine.
April 17, 2017
Adrianna Hopkins To 7
Adrianna Hopkins (right) will join the anchor team at Sinclair-owned Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8's "Good Morning Washington" program beginning May 29. She comes from WDSU-TV in New Orleans. "Washington DC is one of my favorite cities and I am thrilled to make it my new home," says Hopkins. Before New Orleans, she worked at WSVN-TV in Miami, WHAS-TV in Louisville, and WGXA-TV in Macon GA. She began her career working behind the scenes in the consumer investigative unit at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
April 16, 2017
FCC Vet Roy Stewart Dies
Roy Stewart, a DC-based Federal Communications Commission veteran, died April 10. He was 78. For many years, he was chief of the Mass Media Bureau. He also served as senior deputy bureau chief of the bureau. Stewart joined the FCC in 1965 and retired in 2009.
April 14, 2017
50 To Stay On Air Despite Losing Channel
Tribune-owned Channel 50/WDCW will be surrendering its broadcast channel to the Federal Communications Commission in exchange for a $122 million payment from the spectrum auction, which has been taking place to make more space for cell phone and data services. Also, Tribune reveals that WDCW will stay on the air by entering into "a channel-sharing agreement with another local-area broadcaster. The agreement enables DCW50 to continue serving its viewers and the local community, just as it has for more than 35 years. " However, Tribune would not reveal details about that sharing agreement. "We're extremely pleased to continue providing our viewers and advertisers the same outstanding news, weather, CW Network, and syndicated entertainment programming they have come to rely on through the years,” says Vince Giannini, senior vice president and general manager of WDCW.
April 10, 2017
Chelsea Ingram Leaves 13
Weather personality Chelsea Ingram (right) has parted ways with CBS-owned Channel 13/WJZ. April 5 was her last day at the Baltimore station. Via Facebook, she thanked her viewers and co-workers but didn't say why she left. "I have very exciting things on the horizon that I will be able to share very soon," she said.
April 6, 2017
Phil Chenier Leaving CSN's Wizards Team
Phil Chenier will be ending his job as primary game analyst for the Wizards on Comcast SportsNet. No replacement has yet been named. Writes Dan Steinberg at washingtonpost.com: "This isn't your run-of-the-mill broadcasting transaction; it's a seismic change involving the only full-time color television analyst in Wizards franchise history. Chenier, the dean of Washington game broadcasters, got the Bullets color job without an audition when Home Team Sports began its first full season of coverage in 1984. (Wes Unseld had been Home Team Sports' television analyst for its less robust schedule the previous season.) And then Chenier stuck, through 33 seasons."
April 6, 2017
Denise Koch Leaves 13's Late News
After three decades at the anchor desk for late news, Channel 13/WJZ anchorwoman Denise Koch (right) is leaving the late shift. Starting the last week of April, Koch will no longer anchor the 11 PM news on the CBS-owned station. She will still be at the anchor desk for the 4:30 and 6 PM weekday newscasts as well as doing more reporting for the station. Koch says she wants to spend more time with her family. Her 11 PM replacement has not yet been named.
April 3, 2017
Kapugi To Oversee iHeart's DC & Balto Clusters
Jeff Kapugi becomes senior vice president of programming iHeart's DC and Baltimore radio clusters, overseeing WASH, DC101, Hot 99.5, Big 100.3, WMZQ, WPOC, Z104.3, WQSR, 104.7 Cherry Blossom Radio, and Heaven 600. He will also serve as the program director for country WMZQ. Kapugi started his almost three-decade radio career at iHeart's predecessor Clear Channel, working in DC, Tampa, and St. Louis. More recently in Chicago, Kapugi worked for Tribune Interactive and CBS Radio. "I am very excited to head back to iHeartMedia Washington DC," says Kapugi. "While I may be leaving my hometown of Chicago, I feel as if I am coming back home."
April 3, 2017
WAVA Chief David Ruleman To Retire From Salem
David Ruleman announces that he will retire at the end of June as vice president and general manager of Salem's DC radio cluster, which includes Christian talkers WAVA-FM/AM, 105.1/780, news talker WWRC, 1260/1250, and Family Talk SiriusXM-131. He'll be replaced by Tom Moyer, who is currently station manager of Salem's DC cluster. Ruleman will also be leaving his gig as regional vice president of operations for Salem in DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston. He's been head of WAVA since Salem bought it from Emmis in 1992. Says Salem CEO Edward Atsinger, "David Ruleman is in many respects one of the 'founding fathers' of Salem Media. His passion and impact for Salem in San Diego led to our decision to put him in Washington DC when we acquired WAVA, our most expensive acquisition at the time. He has been there ever since and has done a tremendous job in one of the most influential cities in the world, our nation's capital. Dave's daily presence will be missed, but the legacy of his leadership will last into future generations of leaders for Salem."
April 1, 2017
Northern VA's WNVC & WNVT To Be Shut Down
Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, which owns two Northern Virginia non-commercial TV stations - WNVC and WNVT - will take them off the air and shut them down in exchange for $182 million offered from the Federal Communications Commission's spectrum auction to allocate more space for cell phone and other data services. Channel 53/WNVT, licensed to Goldvein in Fauquier County, came on the air in the early 1970s and broadcast traditional public TV and educational fare. It was joined in the 1980s by Channel 56/WNVC, licensed to Fairfax. After many incarnations over the years trying to compete with the DC area's three well-established public TV outlets - WETA, WHUT, and Maryland Public Television, in 2009 WNVC and WNVT essentially became one digital TV operation known as MHZ Networks on channel 30, which airs a dozen standard-def relays of mainly English language foreign news channels, including China's CCTV and Russia's RT. Commonwealth plans to shut down WNVC/WNVT and use the spectrum auction funds to help fund traditional public TV and radio operations it runs in Central Virginia, including Richmond's Channel 23/WCVE.
March 30, 2017
Me-TV Moves To 5
Classic TV show network Me-TV made the move Wednesday evening, March 29, to Channel 5/WTTG's 5.3 subchannel. The channel was recently dropped by Channel 7/WJLA's 7.2 subchannel in favor of the classic action show TV channel Charge! If you were watching Me-TV on cable, you'll get Charge! on that channel. No word on when area cable companies will add the 5.3 subchannel and restore Me-TV carriage.
March 29, 2017
Glenn Presgraves Dies
Longtime Hagerstown television and radio personality Glenn Presgraves, 84, died March 28 in Jacksonville. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Presgraves was the last remaining original employee of Channel 25/WHAG. He joined the Hagerstown television station in January 1970 after eight years broadcasting sports on WHAG radio, as well as holding down a full-time job as a post-office clerk. "Glenn was totally involved in sports," longtime WHAG news anchor Lou Scally said.
March 29, 2017
5 To Launch Nightly Political Show
Channel 5/WTTG is launching a nightly political show. With a working title of "The Final Five," the program will bump "TMZ" from its slot after the WTTG late news Monday through Friday. No word from Fox-owned WTTG about hosts.
March 28, 2017
WTOP Again Top National Revenue Generator
Once again, Hubbard all-newser WTOP was the top ad revenue-generating radio station in the nation, with $67.5 million billed in 2016, beating stations in the much larger markets of NYC, LA, and Chicago. That's according stats from Chantilly-based BIA/Kelsey, which also reported that over-the-air radio advertising revenue stayed relatively flat at around $14.1 billion. WTOP's 2015 billing revenue was $65 million, up from $63.5 million in 2014. It's been the top revenue generating radio station in the nation for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016. Overall, the news-talk radio category experienced an overall improvement in 2016, likely due to the presidential year. "In an age where consumers have many entertainment choices, local radio maintains its strength and popularity in the marketplace among national and local advertisers," said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist at BIA/Kelsey. "Our forecast also notes that by 2021 we expect radio to surpass newspapers and become the fifth largest media category among advertisers."
March 24, 2017
7's Jummy Olabanji To NYC
Jummy Olabanji (right) is leaving Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA to join NBC-owned WNBC-TV in NYC as a weekend news anchor. She joined then Allbritton-owned WJLA and sister NewsChannel 8 in 2011 and currently anchors morning and noon newscasts. Before WJLA, Olabanji worked at Norfolk's WTKR-TV and Charlottesville's WCAV-TV. She started her career as a news assistant at CNN's DC bureau.
March 21, 2017
WAMU & WWIN Tops Radio Ratings For February
The Washington market radio ratings for the month of February. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WAMU, 2) WTOP, 3) WHUR, 4) WMMJ, 5) WBIG and WASH, 7) WMAL, 8) WPRS, 9) WIHT, 10) WIAD, 11) WMZQ and WPGC, 13) WKYS and WWDC, 15) WGTS, 16) WRQX, 17) WETA-FM, 18) WJFK-FM, 19) WLZL, 20) WFMD, 21) WAVA-FM, 22) WTEM, 23) WPFW, 27) WOL and WFRE, 30) WBQH and WACA and WTNT, 35) WDCH and WKDV and WDCN. Stations in Baltimore, Hagerstorn, Winchester, and Fredericksburg are not included in this listing. The Baltimore marker radio ratings for the month of February. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WERQ, 3) WPOC, 4) WLIF, 5) WIYY, 6) WQSR, 7) WJZ-FM, 8) WBAL-AM, 9) WCBM and WRBS-FM, 11) WWMX and WZFT, 13) WZBA, 14) WYPR, 15) WBJC, 16) WCAO and WLIFHD2, 18) WQLL and WWIN-AM, 20) WJZ-AM and WOLB and WWMXHD2. Only Baltimore market stations are included in this list.
March 15, 2017
Robert Thompson To Leave "Dr. Gridlock" Post At Post
Robert Thomson, who writes the commuter-related "Dr. Gridlock" column for the Washington Post, is retiring on March 31. "I've been at the Post for almost three decades, but I think the most fun I've had is since 2006, when I got to be the Post's second 'Dr. Gridlock'," Thompson writes in today's chat at washingtonpost.com. "But I turned 65 last October, and think it's time to get going on the bucket list, which I hope will include lots of travel - local and long-distance - with my wife, Candy."
March 15, 2017
WaPo Copy Editor Bill Walsh Dies
Bill Walsh, a Washington Post copy editor who wrote three irreverent books about his craft, died March 15 at a hospice in Arlington. He was 55. The cause was complications from bile-duct cancer, said his wife, Jacqueline Dupree, a Post informational technology specialist.
March 15, 2017
Frederick News-Post To Be Sold
An agreement in principal has been reached by the Randall Family, owners of the Frederick News-Post, to explore the sale of the Maryland news organization to Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, West Virginia. "Although these discussions are ongoing, we wanted to share this important and exciting news with employees and the community as soon as possible," says Will Randall, who heads the company. "Ogden Newspapers is a strong, family-owned company that believes in community journalism and has the resources and expertise to maintain and grow the News-Post as a vital Frederick institution." According to News-Post, should the discussions lead to a sale, Ogden Newspapers would publish the News-Post and operate the company's commercial printing operations. Randall said that both companies had executed a letter of intent and were working toward executing an asset purchase agreement.
March 13, 2017
CSN Cuts Brent Harris
Brent Harris (right) is gone from Comcast SportsNet-Mid Atlantic after 14 years. His contract is not being renewed at the Bethesda-based regional sports network which is cutting back on its Baltimore coverage. March 12 was his last day. Harris tells us: "I've had the privilege of covering a Super Bowl championship with the Ravens, an ALCS with the Orioles, a Final-Four, many Preakness Stakes, Hall Of Fame inductions, All-Star games, major golf tournaments and lacrosse championships. I've gotten to call games as a play-by-play announcer, work as a sideline reporter, host MLS coverage on NBC, and anchor our Marine Corps Marathon show. I've also been fortunate enough to win a few Emmys along the way. Many of the names and faces have changed over the years at CSN. It looks a little different from the first day I walked through the doors. Today, I'm thinking about all those incredible people I've worked with - friendships that will last forever." Harris served as a reporter and anchor for CSN's "SportsNet Central" and was seen on "Ravens Kickoff" and "Ravens Postgame Live." A native of Baltimore, Harris joined CSN in 2004 from Channel 45/WBFF. Before that, he was sports director and sports anchor at Channel 47/WMDT in Salisbury. He's also worked as an NFL sideline reporter for Fox.
March 13, 2017
104.7 Flips To Cherry Blossom Radio
iHeart has launched Cherry Blossom Radio on Silver Spring's 104.7, W284CQ/WWDC-HD2. The new micro-format is featuring a mix of 1980s hits, promotions for events connected to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC, and traffic/weather reports. The Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 15 through April 16. 104.7 had been running a mix of active rock and Capitals hockey since ending a rebroadcast of contemporary hits Hot 99.5, WIHT, in January.
March 13, 2017
WaPo's Chris Cillizza Joins CNN
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza is joining CNN Politics as a reporter and editor-at-large, with a digital presence and an on-air role. The left-leaning Cillizza is leaving behind the blog known as The Fix he built at the Post over more than a decade. The Fix has since expanded and now includes a team of bloggers and editors. Cillizza will also be ending his role as a contributor at MSNBC when he joins CNN. "I've been looking for the opportunity to do it all under one roof," Cillizza says. "Having a place to do the writing and the television piece and do it all under one umbrella - that's a pretty unique deal. It's not easy to find."
March 13, 2017
Nancy Chen To 7
Nancy Chen (right) joins Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA as a news anchor and reporter starting April 10. She comes from WHDH-TV in Boston where she has been an anchor and reporter for five years. Before that, Chen worked in California - at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo and at KABC-TV in Los Angeles. Also, she was involved in the production of NBC Sports coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also served as a print reporter for the Tulsa World for three years.
March 11, 2017
Kiplinger Editor Killed When Bicycle Hits Her
Jane Bennett Clark, 65, a senior editor and writer for Kiplinger's magazine, died March 9, when she was struck by a bicycle after leaving her downtown DC office in the 1100 block of 13th Street NW. Police said the cyclist remained at the scene and no charges have been filed pending the conclusion of the investigation. "She was known for very provocative and nuanced features on the softer side of personal finance," said Knight Kiplinger, the president of Kiplinger's financial media company.
March 9, 2017
Kristie McIntyre Leaves RQX
Kristie McIntyre (right) is gone from Cumulus hot adult contemporary WRQX, Mix 107.3, where she'd been doing evenings for about a year. She's a DC-Baltimore radio veteran who has also worked at Fresh 94.7, WIAD, along with WBAL-AM, WQSR, WXYV, and WERQ.
March 7, 2017
Michael Quander Joins WUSA
Michael Quander (right) is joining Channel 9/WUSA as a reporter. Quander, who was born in DC, last worked at WREG-TV in Memphis. "Memphis has been a great city for me to perfect my craft and it will always have a special place in my heart," Quander told TVSpy.
March 3, 2017
7's Autria Godrey Charged With Intoxication
Channel 7/WJLA anchor Autria Godfrey was arrested last month and charged with public intoxication and trespassing, according to Arlington County court records. The Washington Post reports that Godfrey, 33, who anchors the Sinclair station's "Good Morning Washington" and "ABC7 News At Noon," was charged with the two misdemeanor counts in the early-morning hours of February 18 at the Clarendon Grill in Arlington. The Post adds that she did not respond to requests for comment relayed to her attorney of record and the station. DCRTV reported yesterday that TV news website FTVLive had been told by a WJLA source that Godfrey had been "suspended" by the station last week. Photo at right is Godfrey's Arlington County Police mugshot.
March 3, 2017
Fred Fiske Dies
Fred Fiske (right), a veteran DC radio talk and music host, died March 2 at a hospice center in Columbus, Ohio. He was 96. Fiske's radio career started in 1947 as an announcer on the original WOL and on the national radio version of "Meet The Press" on the Mutual Broadcasting Network. He then worked at its successor, WWDC, before moving to WAMU in 1977, where he was until his retirement in 2011. Over the years, he did announcing, was a pop-music disc jockey, hosted a nightly talk show, and was a political commentator. He started in radio in the 1930s as a teenager in NYC, appearing on the NBC Red Network in dramatic productions. Fiske also wrote a weekly music column for the Washington Daily News called "Fiske's Disks." According to the Washington Post, one of Fiske's most memorable coups was securing an interview with Elvis Presley on the day the rock-and-roll legend was inducted into the Army in 1958.
March 2, 2017
Ross Palombo To DC
Ross Palombo (right), an openly gay investigative reporter and weekend anchor for the past 18 months at Fox-owned KTVU-TV in San Francisco, is reportedly leaving for a gig in DC. Palombo returned to the Bay Area in August 2015 from WPLG-TV in Miami. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at KRON-TV in San Francisco. Palombo will work in WPLG's newly created DC bureau.
March 1, 2017
Bill Rehkopf Joins CBS Radio News In DC
Bill Rehkopf (right), who was an anchor on the now-defunct CBS Radio all-newser WNEW, 99.1, has been named a correspondent for CBS Radio News based in DC. Rehkopf will anchor CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as report on Washington newsmakers. He joins CBS News from the Hill, the political website and newspaper. He's also been a talk show host at CBS's KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh. During his broadcasting career, Rehkopf has also worked at Baltimore's country WPOC, 93.1.
February 28, 2017
Frederick & Hagerstown Get Classic Country Outlet
Manning has launched Max Country on a pair of low-power signals in Frederick and Hagerstown. The new classic country format is airing on 93.5 in Frederick, which used to be WAMU's Bluegrass Country, and on 100.5 in the Hagerstown area. Both outlet are fed by an HD Radio digital subchannel on Hagerstown's classic hits WWEG, 106.9.
February 25, 2017
Ward Chamberlin Dies
Ward Chamberlin, who helped set up the public broadcasting network in its infancy, personally led major stations in New York City and Washington, and played a critical role in kick-starting the career of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, died February 23 at a retirement community in Bedford, Massachusetts. He was 95. Chamberlin served as executive vice president of public broadcasting's WNET-TV in NYC and senior vice president of the Public Broadcasting Service. In 1975, he became president and chief executive of Channel 26/WETA, the then-struggling Washington-area public television station.
February 25, 2017
Nikki Burdine Leaves 9
Channel 9/WUSA reporter Nikki Burdine (right) leaves the Tegna outlet for a new reporting gig at Nashville's WKRN-TV. She's been in DC since 2006. "I found my home at WUSA9. I worked in one of the best cities in the world with some of the best in the business (and in life). I accomplished what I came here to do - to report the news in DC. I covered some incredible stories," the Tennessee native writes on her Instagram page. Before coming to WUSA, Burdine worked at Channel 25/WHAG in Hagerstown.
February 22, 2017
WAMU & WWIN Top January Radio Ratings
The Washington market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WAMU, 2) WTOP, 3) WHUR, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH and WBIG, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WPRS, 10) WKYS, 11) WIAD, 12) WPGC, 13) WMZQ, 14) WGTS and WRQX, 16) WWDC, 17) WETA-FM, 18) WJFK-FM, 19) WLZL and WFMD, 22) WTEM, 23) WFRE and WAVA-FM, 27) WPFW and WACA, 30) WDCN and WOL, 34) WWXX and WKDV and WDCH and WWXT, 39) WTNT and WAFY and WSPZ and WBQH, 47) WMET and WSMD and WFED. Baltimore, Hagerstown, Winchester, and Fredericksburg stations are not included in this list. The Baltimore market radio ratings for the month of January. Full-day, age 6+: 1) WWIN-FM, 2) WERQ, 3) WLIF, 4) WPOC, 5) WIYY, 6) WJZ-FM, 7) WBAL-AM and WCBM and WQSR, 10) WZFT, 11) WRBS-FM, 12) WWMX, 13) WZBA, 14) WYPR, 15) WBJC, 16) WCAO, 17) WLIFHD2, 18) WQLL, 19) WJZ-AM and WWIN-AM. Only Baltimore market stations included in this listing.
February 22, 2017
AP Makes DC Cuts
AP Radio cuts 16 of its 28 DC-based positions, affecting night-time and weekend newscasts. Effective March 1, Associated Press will continue to offer top-of-the-hour radio newscasts Monday through Friday, from 5 AM to 10 PM, but will no longer provide newscasts on the weekends, or between the hours of 11 PM to 4 AM. "This change will allow us to refocus our audio resources to the critical Monday-Friday drive times, and will allow us to improve the quality of the newscasts with a better mix of content," according to an AP statement.
February 21, 2017
Mary Walter Joins WMAL Mornings
Mary Walter (right) has been named co-host of Cumulus news talker WMAL's "Mornings On The Mall" show, joining Brian Wilson. Wilson's former co-host, Larry O'Connor, moved to WMAL's afternoon slot at the beginning of 2017. Walter has been a frequent guest host on the station for the past several years and recently concluded an assignment as evening host at WHAS radio Louisville KY. "I really am excited about joining 'Mornings On The Mall," says Walters. The station's program director, Bill Hess, "has built WMAL in to a powerhouse and this is an opportunity I just couldn't pass up," she adds. Walters has served as a regular fill-in host for talk programs on Fox News Radio and on Sirius XM's Patriot Channel. She also served two stints at Trenton NJ talker WKXW.
February 17, 2017
Andy Pollin To WJFK
DC sports radio veteran Andy Pollin, whose contract was not renewed last month by Red Zebra sports talker WTEM, ESPN 980, has jumped to rival CBS sports talker 106.7 The Fan, WJFK. Where he will serve as a show guest and a fill-in host. He made the announcement with WJFK's "Sports Junkies" on Friday morning. According to the Washington Post, Pollin will also team with another ESPN 980 exile, his former "Sports Reporters" guest Thom Loverro, to host a three-hour Saturday morning program on WJFK, starting February 25. "It just gives us more great talent," WJFK Program Director Chris Kinard tells the Post. "You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing. He hasn't been available for 25 years, because he's done such a good job. So to have someone like that available, we'd be crazy not to work something out with him."
February 16, 2017
Danni Starr To KYS Mornings
Danni Starr (right) joins the "Fam In The Morning" crew on Radio One's urban contemporary WKYS, 93.9, as a co-host. "Radio is my first love and I can't wait to hit the mic on Tuesday and re-engage DC with my brother Quicksilva," she says. Starr left iHeart's contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT's "Kane Show" in March 2016. She's been in the radio business a decade and is the face of "TLCme" on the TLC network. She also currently serves as an ambassador for the Department Of Health And Human Services' Office On Womens' Health.
February 15, 2017
WMAL To Carry Redskins
Cumulus news talker WMAL, 105.9 FM/630 AM, will carry Redskins games starting this fall. Games will continue to be carried on Red Zebra's sports talk ESPN 980, WTEM, which is owned by team owner Dan Snyder. "The broadcasts represent a homecoming of sorts, as the Redskins will return to the same WMAL airwaves on which the team's broadcasts aired as early as 1942," according to a Redskins statement. WMAL carried the team through the early 1990s, when the Redskins moved to WJFK until 2008. "In addition to carrying game broadcasts, WMAL will carry an hour of the Redskins Radio Network pregame show as well as an hour of Redskins Radio Network postgame programming" on game days, the statement adds. WTEM is also heard on 92.7 FM and 94.3 FM, in addition to 980 AM. "We are very excited to be partnering with WMAL to provide Redskins fans enhanced coverage of our games," says Terry Bateman, Redskins chief marketing officer. "WMAL and the Redskins organization have a long history together spanning six decades of the station carrying Redskins games. We have maintained a strong relationship over the years and now look forward to working together again to provide comprehensive coverage of Redskins football for the Washington market." Adds Jake McCann, DC market manager for Cumulus, "We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again. The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team's three glorious Super Bowl winning seasons. We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership."
February 13, 2017
Shay Whiteker Dies, Known as Cougar Michaels
Shay Whiteker, whose radio name was "Cougar Michaels," died in early February. He worked at a number of radio stations in the region, including Hagerstown's WWEG, Frederick's WFRE, Fredericksburg's WFLS, and Gettysburg's WGTY. "He had a big voice and loved fishing," a former colleague tells us.
February 9, 2017
WINC Edges Out WUSQ In Winchester
The latest Eastlan radio ratings for Winchester show hot adult contemporary WINC-FM with a 14.6 share, just a tad above usual market leader, country WUSQ at a 14.5. Contemporary hits WKSI takes 3rd, talker WINC-AM is 4th, and rocker WFQX 5th. Rounding out the top 10: classic hits WZRV 6th, DC alt rocker WWDC 7th, DC public news talker WAMU 8th, DC's country WMZQ 9th, and DC all-newser WTOP. One more: classic country WXBN/WZFC at 11th.
February 7, 2017
Les Alexander Dies
Les Alexander (right in 1965), 93, a WCAO "top 40" disc jockey of the 1960s and early 1970s, died January 27 at a hospice in Wilmington NC. Alexander Leslie Paternotte, who was known professionally as Les "The Beard" Alexander, began his broadcasting career at a Philadelphia radio station, WIP, and moved to Baltimore in 1950, where he hosted a game show on Channel 13/WAAM, now WJZ. He later joined WITH radio and then began a lengthy association with another AM station, WCAO, in 1957. In the early 1970s, Alexander left WCAO and moved to Charlotte NC to work as a disc jockey for radio station WAYS before moving to television on WSOC. He retired in 1982 as a weatherman at WECT, a television station in Wilmington NC. He then moved to Frederick and later lived in Talbot County on the Eastern Shore.
February 2, 2017
Entercom Gets CBS Radio Stations
Entercom and CBS announce that Entercom will take over CBS's radio assets in a "tax free merger." CBS had long been rumored to be looking for a buyer for its radio business. The price was not disclosed in the announcement. Industry observers have been watching for months to learn the fate of the historic CBS radio holdings and brand. Now, according to the announcement, "the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, with a significant ongoing presence in New York." In total, the new company will have 244 stations as well as digital assets and events; it said it will have stations in 23 of the top 25 US markets. In DC, CBS owns WPGC, WJFK-FM/AM, WIAD, WLZL, and WDCH, which it leases to Bloomberg. In Baltimore, the firm owns WWMX, WJZ-FM/AM, and WLIF. Entercom has no radio holdings in the DC-Baltimore area.
January 26, 2017
Bluegrass Country To Live On
It looks like WAMU's Bluegrass Country will continue. The American University public radio outlet has reached an agreement with the Bluegrass Country Foundation, which will take over the Americana music channel on February 6. "We are overjoyed with this outcome," says Randy Barrett, president of the DC Bluegrass Union and one of the key players in the foundation. "The outpouring of support has been inspiring." Last fall, WAMU announced that it would discontinue BGC at the end of 2016 if it could find a new owner for it. That deadline got extended into early February as talks continued with the newly-formed foundation. WAMU General Manager JJ Yore adds, "We all had the same desire, which was to have the WAMU bluegrass legacy continue. With a mutual goal in mind, we worked quickly and collaboratively so there would be no loss of service for our bluegrass community." For the immediate future, BGC will continue on Bethesda's low-power 105.5 and via WAMU 88.5's digital HD2 channel, as well as at bluegrasscountry.org. Gary Henderson, Dick Spottswood, Lee Michael Demsey, Lisa Kay Howard, and Al Steiner will remain with the station. However, Katy Daley and Bill Foster are among those leaving. The foundation is mounting a fundraising push with an April 23 concert featuring Tim O'Brien, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Danny Paisely, Larry Stephenson, Jim Hurst, and others. The venue will be announced.
January 25, 2017
XMAS Boosts WASH & WLIF
As usual, Christmas tunes boosted WASH to the top of the heap in the five-week "Holiday" monthly radio ratings (late November though early January) for the DC market. Full-week, age 12+: 1) WASH, 2) WAMU, 3) WTOP, 4) WHUR, 5) WIHT, 6) WPRS, 7) WMMJ, 8) WBIG, 9) WKYS, 10) WPGC, 11) WMAL, 12) WIAD, 13) WWDC, 14) WRQX, 15) WRQX, 16) WGTS and WETA-FM, 18) WLZL, 19) WTEM, 20) WJFK-FM, 21) WFMD, 24) WDCN and WFRE and WAVA-FM, 32) WOL and WACA, 34) WPFW and WTNT and WBQH and WDCH, 40) WWEG and WKDV and WAFY, 46) WSPZ and WILC and WFED. Out of market stations (Baltimore, Fredericksburg, Winchester) are not included in this list. As usual, Christmas tunes boosted WLIF to the top of the heap in the five-week "Holiday" monthly radio ratings (late November though early January) for the Baltimore market. Full-week, age 6+: 1) WLIF, 2) WERQ, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WIYY, 5) WPOC, 6) WJZ-FM, 7) WQSR, 8) WCBM and WZFT, 10) WBAL-AM, 11) WRBS-FM and WWMX, 13) WZBA, 14) WYPR, 15) WBJC, 16) WCAO, 17) WLIFHD2, 18) WQLL, 19) WJZ-AM and WOLB and WWIN-AM. The list includes only Baltimore market stations.
January 24, 2017
Riley Couture To Co-Host With Kane
Riley Couture (right) has been named the new co-host for Hot 99.5's morning "Kane Show." She previously worked at contemporary hit WRVW in Nashville, where she served as co-host on "The Woody & Jim Show." She also served as an on-air personality at contemporary hit WWPW in Atlanta. Before that, she worked at radio stations in Grand Rapids and Memphis. Her career began with an internship in 2004 at contemporary hit WFLZ in Tampa.
January 23, 2017
George Mills Dies
George Mills (right), who was a broadcast technician at Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ, starting back when the station was known as WAAM, died January 20 at age 86. He is the father of Channel 11/WBAL sports anchor Keith Mills. George was part of WJZ's team that broadcast the first Colts game in 1954 and was a big part of the station's Orioles coverage from 1958 to 1983. Also, he was a camera operator and floor director for numerous WJZ programs, including "The Buddy Dean Show" and Oprah Winfrey's "People Are Talking," along with the station's newscasts.
January 23, 2017
Caps Add 104.7
The Washington Capitals announce a deal with iHeart to put the team's games on 104.7, a low-power 99-watt signal from Silver Spring that has been simulcasting the company's Hot 99.5, WIHT. The 104.7 signal's coverage area includes most of DC and Arlington, plus southern Montgomery, northwestern Prince's Georges, and northeastern Fairfax counties. Last season, the Caps were carried by CBS sports talker WJFK, a full-power outlet on 106.7. Capitals games are also currently carried on the 24-hour streaming channel and app, Caps Radio 24/7, and via Hubbard's AM talker WFED, 1500 - when it's not carring the Wizards. "We're very excited to have the Capitals on our airwaves," said Michael Preacher, who heads iHeart's DC radio cluster, which also includes DC101, WBIG, WMZQ, and WASH. Also, iHeart flips 104.7 to being a replay of DC101, WWDC's HD2 subchannel, which carries active rock.
January 20, 2017
CSN Ends Ravens Deal
Bethesda-based Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will not renew its media rights agreement with the Baltimore Ravens. The decision signals the end of Ravens-specific programming, including preseason games, pre- and postgame shows and "Training Camp Daily," on CSN. The network and the Ravens have had a partnership since 2010. CSN still has a media rights partnership with the Redskins, which is a longer-running and more comprehensive arrangement than the one the network had with the Ravens for the past seven seasons.
January 20, 2017
Andy Pollin Out Of ESPN 980
Andy Pollin is gone from Red Zebra sports talker ESPN 980, WTEM. "The greatest ride of my life has ended," Pollin writes on Twitter. "Two months short of 25 years, I have not been renewed and have just done my last show at ESPN 980." Pollin and Steve Czaban had been doing the afternoon "Sports Reporters" show on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's station. With Pollin's contract due to expire in February. "I'm not in any way bitter about this," Pollins tells the Washington Post. "I'm disappointed that it wouldn't continue. I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn't happen. That's life." In 1992, Pollin was there for the launch of WTEM and has held a number of management and on-air jobs ever since. Also out at WTEM: Thom Loverro, Chris Knoche, Gary Williams, and Steve Buckhantz.
January 18, 2017
MPT Carries PBS Kids
Maryland Public Television adds the PBS Kids channel to its lineup of subchannels via its stations around the state. PBS Kids is one of four stations now available as part of MPT's lineup, along with MPT-HD, MPT2/Create, and Japan's NHK World. MPT's PBS Kids is available via over-the-air on channels 22.3, 28.3, 31.3, 36.3, 62.3, and 67.3. It's also on Comcast 269, Verizon Fios 481, and on more than a dozen other cable and satellite providers. MPT also offers PBS Kids programs on its free MPT App, available for Android and Apple/iOS devices.
January 13, 2017
45 Cuts Karen Campbell
Reporter Karen Campbell is reportedly among cuts Sinclair has made at Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF, where she's been working since October 2015. Before that, she'd been at cross-town Channel 11/WBAL, Harrisonburg's Channel 3/WHSV, and Salisbury's Channel 16/WBOC.
January 12, 2017
Lucas & Hastings To Host NC8 Middays
Sinclair announces that veteran NewsChannel 8 journalists Dave Lucas and Melanie Hastings (right) will anchor the Washington-area cable news station's new midday show, which launches February 1 at 11 AM. Both are original NC8 anchors who have been with the channel since it launched in 1991.
January 12, 2017
DePuyt Leaves Sinclair's NC8, Lucas Staying
NewsChannel 8 mid-morning news anchor Bruce DePuyt is the latest to leave Sinclair's DC TV operation, also home to Channel 7/WJLA. DePuyt's final show will air January 31. He joined NewsChannel 8 in 1993. More: We hear that a Thursday report from FTVLive that NC8 afternoon anchor Dave Lucas is also on the way out is not true. "In fact, I'm continuing to anchor four hours of live news every weekday, and will shortly take on a new and exciting assignment at the anchor desk," Lucas tells us.
January 11, 2017
Brotman Covers Inauguration For 4
Following the news that 89-year-old Charlie Brotman wasn't asked to reprise the role he's carried out for 11 different presidents as inaugural parade announcer at the White House end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Brotman's landed a new gig - with NBC's Channel 4/WRC, as a commentator during their coverage iof the inauguration. "I will be working for Channel 4 as the 'make-believe' announcer," he says, "and I'm really looking forward to it." Also, "There are several live crowd announcers for the Presidential Inaugural Parade," says DC-based radio vet Jim Bohannon - and he's one of them. He'll be stationed at the beginning of the procession, near the Capitol.
January 9, 2017
Michael Baisden Back To HUR
Michael Baisden (right) will return to Howard University adult urban contemporary WHUR, 96.3, starting January 16, airing from 3 PM to 7 PM weekdays. From 2005 to 2013, Baisden was heard doing afternoons on WHUR until he had a dispute with his national syndicator, Cumulus. Baisden will be joined on his new show by sidekick George Willborn. He'll be syndicated by Superadio Networks, in conjunction with Urban Radio Networks. So far, Baisden has been picked up in about 40 markets. No official word on the fate of WHUR's current locally-based afternoon show, "Afternoons With Tony, Mo, & George," hosted by Tony Richards, Mo Ivory, and George Willborn
January 9, 2017
Maureen Bunyan Leaves Sinclair's 7
Veteran DC TV news anchor Maureen Bunyan (right) is the latest to leave Sinclair's Channel 7/WJLA. Station management told Bunyan last week that it intends to exercise a "window" in her contract that enables either party to end the agreement before its full term. Bunyan will leave the ABC affiliate in February. Bunyan, 71, has been delivering news on DC TV for almost five decades. In the early 1970s, she started as a reporter and then became an anchor at what was Washington Post-owned Channel 9/WTOP, now WUSA. She was among the first African American women in the nation to anchor a local evening newscast. Bunyan jumped to Allbritton-owned WJLA in 1999. Allbritton sold the station to Baltimore-based Sinclair two years ago. Since then, many of the station's longtime personalities have left, most recently anchor Leon Harris, whose contract was not renewed last fall. He was joined by news anchor Gordon Peterson in late 2014 and sports anchor Tim Brant in early 2016. More: In another cutback, the station laid off several other news employees, including Alex Parker, its executive sports producer and a host of a sports-talk program on WJLA sister NewsChannel 8.
January 9, 2017
Nat Hentoff Dies
Nat Hentoff, a journalist, author, champion of jazz music and passionate defender of civil liberties in columns he wrote for the Washington Post and Village Voice, among other publications, died January 7 in Manhattan. He was 91.
January 4, 2017
El Zol Unveils New Line-Up
CBS Radio's Spanish contemporary WLZL, El Zol 107.9, will launch a new line-up on January 5 as the station celebrates its 12th anniversary with a new slogan, "Latino… And Proud." Patricia De Lima and Chepe join Rey Parker in morning drive. They previously hosted WLZL's afternoon show, "El Meneo." Sandee Bonita comes from Las Vegas to do middays. While Henry Flores' "Dale Con Flo" show moves from nights to afternoon drive. Omayra Martinez will join Flores in afternoons and then continue as host of WLZL's evening show.
January 3, 2017
Banks Says Aloha To Aloha Trust
Michael Banks leaves his gig as Frederick market manager for iHeart-connected Aloha Trust's news talk WFMD, 930, and country WFRE, 99.9, to return to Long Island, where he'd previously been a sales manager for the Connoisseur radio group. Banks will now be general sales manager.
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