Contents - News Archive Index - Front Page - Search DCRTV - Support DCRTV

July 2005 to December 2005

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

    December 28, 2005
    Post's Classical Music Critic Dies
    Joseph Duncan McLellan, 76, a music lover, chess master, book reviewer, and the Washington Post's classical music critic for more than three decades, died 12/26 of kidney failure at the St. Thomas More House, a nursing home in Hyattsville. He continued to attend concerts and write about them until the last few weeks of his life.

    December 24, 2005
    "Chop Chop" Gets Chopped
    Keith "Chop Chop" Fisher, music director at Radio One's WWIN-FM (95.9), has seen his employment severed. We're told that last Saturday morning Fisher played the new Anthony Hamilton song "Can't Let Go" without permission from the Baltimore adult urban outlet's program director, Tim Watts. Lanham-based Radio One is notorious for maintaining strict playlists at its stations. The word is that the new Magic 95.9 music director will be Jeff "Jammer" Daniels (Warren), formerly of WWIN-AM, and the now defunct V103 and Jam'n 99.5.

    December 22, 2005
    Clear Channel Cans Jerry Phillips
    DC radio veteran Jerry Phillips has been axed from his public affairs post at Clear Channel. In fact, Clear Channel has shut down the public affairs department at the Rockville Pike headquarters for its eight DC area radio stations. "We're taking a new direction," CC's DC honcho Bennett Zier tells the Washington Post. "Jerry is moving on." According to Fisher, as WHUR's morning host in the 1970s and 1980s, Phillips was "a beloved, if sometimes corny, daily reflection of the black Washington of green-and-white awnings and people who regarded anyone whose family had been here less than a century as out-of-towners." For the past 13 years at Clear Channel, Phillips "was the main voice for the downtrodden and for small local organizations, whether it was traffic safety, drug addiction or the homeless," said Lon Anderson, the AAA Potomac spokesman and a frequent guest on Phillips's "Metro Talk" program on WBIG and WTEM.

    December 21, 2005
    WMAL Moves Chris Core To Lake Mornings
    News talker WMAL is moving Chris Core from his evening slot to late mornings. The 30-year station vet will start airing from 9 AM to noon. And "provide a natural bridge in this critical daypart between morning drive and Rush Limbaugh," according to a WMAL source. WMAL has been running a variety of mainly right-leaning talkers in the 9 AM slot since late last summer, when Michael Graham left in a dispute over comments he'd made about the Islamic religion being based on terrorism.

    December 20, 2005
    Comcast Prepares To Acquire Adelphia
    Comcast is busy setting up an infrastructure to assume ownership of bankrupt Adelphia's cable TV systems in the western portions of Virginia and Maryland. The transfer is slated to take place by mid-2006. While Comcast will construct a facility in Charlottesville to manage the Adelphia systems in western central Virginia, it is still unclear how Comcast will fold Adelphia's Frederick MD and Loudoun VA systems into its DC and Baltimore area operations.

    December 20, 2005
    "SGBG" Dropped By WJMA, Continues On WAMU
    Red Shipley is back hosting "Stained Glass Blue Grass" on Sunday mornings on WAMU (88.5 FM). However, the program is no longer carried on country WJMA (103.1 FM) in Culpeper. For the past decade, Shipley did the program from WJMA's studios and it was aired on both WJMA and WAMU. Shipley suffered a stroke in September and had to retire from his morning show duties at WJMA. Bob Webster from WAMU covered "SGBG" for a couple of weeks until Shipley was released from rehabilitation in Charlottesville. Shipley tried doing the show from WJMA in late September, but it proved difficult and required the assistance of friends and family to get him to the studio and get the show on the air. Shipley proposed recording the program at his home studio and providing it digitally to the two stations. WAMU agreed, but WJMA did not. The program is now recorded at Shipley's home, with the assistance of engineer Nick Henry, and uploaded to WAMU's website each week for airing on Sunday.

    December 19, 2005
    Kenny Campbell Gone From WWMX
    Kenny Campbell has been given the boot from the "JoJo And Kenny" morning show on Baltimore's Mix 106.5. His contract, which expires on 12/31, was not renewed. "He will be allowed to say goodbye, but I think that's all he'll get from General Manager Bob 'Scrooge' Phillips," a source tells us.

    December 18, 2005
    Infinity Moving To Baltimore City
    Infinity/CBS will be moving its Baltimore radio studios and offices come spring. From Washington Avenue in Towson to Falls Road in the Mount Washington area of north Baltimore city. The move will provide state-of-the-art digital production facilities for WLIF, WHFS, WWMX, WQSR, and WJFK-AM.

    December 18, 2005
    Jack Anderson Dies
    Columnist Jack Anderson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting, died Saturday at his Bethesda home at age 83. He had Parkinson's disease. Longtime FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover called the muckraking Anderson "lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures" and he topped Nixon's infamous "enemies list." Watergate burglar and, later, radio personality G. Gordon Liddy even reportedly plotted his murder. Anderson's "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column, at its height of popularity, appeared in more than 1,000 newspapers with 40 million readers, including the Washington Post. Anderson's radio commentary was heard nationally from Mutual Radio's DC studios and, for a time, he reported on Channel 5/WTTG.

    December 16, 2005
    George Michael Reveals Horse Fall Almost Killed Him
    Channel 4/WRC sports anchor George Michael reveals that he was much more seriously injuried than had been publicly suspected. Via telephone from his Comus MD farm, he told WJFK-FM's Don and Mike Friday that he almost died after suffering broken ribs, broken wrists, and the loss of "a gallon" of blood after being thrown from a horse onto a "mountain boulder" in late October. Doctors thought he was close to death after he had a bad reaction to some of the medications he was taking while hospitalized, said the former DJ for NYC's "top 40" WABC-AM. An equine enthusiast, Michael recently hosted two of his weekly Redskins shows for WRC. However, he doesn't expect to be back to work fulltime until the second week of January.

    December 16, 2005
    MMJ Tops Arbs
    Another round of those monthly Arbitrend radio ratings. DC, full day, overall age 12+ demo: 1) WMMJ, 2) WPGC-FM, 3) WHUR, 4) WTOP-FM/AM, 5) WGMS, 6) WKYS, 7) WASH and WMAL, 9) WWDC and WJZW, 11) WIHT, 12) WMZQ, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WBIG and WRQX, 16) WLZL, 17) WTEM, 18) WWZZ/WWVZ and WARW, 20) WAVA. Morning drive, same demo: 1) WTOP-FM/AM, 2) WMMJ, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WKYS, 5) WWDC, 6) WHUR, 7) WGMS, 8) WMAL, 9) WASH, 10) WRQX and WJFK-FM, 12) WMZQ and WIHT, 14) WJZW, 15) WTEM, 16) WLZL, 17) WBIG, 18) WAVA and WWZZ/WWVZ, 20) WARW.

    December 16, 2005
    New PD At WMAL
    Paul Duckworth has been selected as the new program director at ABC news talker WMAL. Previously, he'd worked at KPAM in Portland OR and at KVI and KOMO in Seattle. He replaces Randall Bloomquist, who recently left to go to WGST in Atlanta.

    December 16, 2005
    Hagerstown AMer Goes To Church
    VerStandig has donated Hagerstown area WHGT (1590 AM) to the Emmanuel Baptist Temple. The station is valued at $250,000. The church has been running the station since 12/4, with a Christian contemporary format. WHGT used to have a talk format, before it went off the air for about a year.

    December 12, 2005
    Former 13 News Director Dies
    News Blues tells us that Scott Goodfellow, 58, former news director of Channel 13/WJZ, died suddenly last week of a heart attack.

    December 10, 2005
    Garceau & Matte Booted From Ravens Radio Team
    Last week, when DCRTV reported that the Baltimore Ravens will be moving from Infinity (WJFK-AM and WQSR) to Hearst (98 Rock and WBAL-AM), we hinted that broadcast vets Scott Garceau and Tom Matte might be dropped. And now Mike Preston, in Baltimore Sun, confirms that the two have indeed been given the boot. And it's likely that Gerry Sandusky will do the play-by-play and Stan White will be the analyst.

    December 9, 2005
    Nathan Roberts Says Goodbye To NC8
    A few weeks back, DCRTV told you that Allbritton's NewsChannel 8 would not be renewing its contract with evening news anchor Nathan Roberts (left). Well, his last newscast was Wednesday night. A DCRTVer tells us that "he ended with a nice thank you to all the viewers and he said that it had been 'fun'." He joined NewsChannel 8 at its inception in 1991. And he's been anchoring weeknights since. No official word on why Roberts was let go.

    December 9, 2005
    Leiberman Countersues Sinclair
    Jonathan Leiberman, who was sued in October by Sinclair after he accused it of political bias with its decision to run an anti-John Kerry program, fired back yesterday with a countersuit. Leiberman, the DC bureau chief for Hunt Valley-based Sinclair until his dismissal in October 2004, claims he was wrongfully discharged and that he did not breach his contract by speaking publicly about a disagreement with his bosses, as the company had claimed. He is seeking $79,166, the amount he would have earned if he had served out his two-year contract, and an unspecified amount in unpaid benefits. Leiberman is represented by David Kendall, who defended President Bill Clinton.

    December 6, 2005
    4's Weather To 88.5
    Channel 4/WRC has penned a deal with American University to have the NBC TV station's weather forecasts heard on NPR-based WAMU radio (88.5 FM). The news talk station's "Morning Edition" is airing News 4 weather segments with "Storm Center 4" meteorologist Tom Kierein. And Bob Ryan will be doing weather updates on WAMU's afternoon drive "All Things Considered."

    December 6, 2005
    Barth To Run For Congress
    Channel 2/WMAR's Andy Barth is leaving his reporting gig after 35 years and he plans to run for the US Congress, as a Democrat. Barth hopes to replace Democrat Ben Cardin in Maryland's 3rd district. Cardin will be running for the US Senate seat now held by the retiring Paul Sarbanes, also a Democrat.

    December 5, 2005
    Changes At Key 103
    With Dan Stevens doing National Guard duty, there will be a new morning man at Frederick's Key 103. Someone familiar to many in the DC radio community - probably Ed Rodriguez, we're being told. Also, Randy James is no longer program director at the Nassau adult contemporary outlet. You'll recall that James once worked at Mix 107.3. His replacement at Key 103 and sister classic hits WWEG will be Chris Puorro, who had been working at Nassau's Trenton radio cluster.

    December 2, 2005
    Ravens To 98 Rock, BAL-AM
    The Baltimore Ravens are leaving Infinity - via "Jack" oldies WQSR and sports talk WJFK-AM - for a two-year deal with Hearst. To be heard on WIYY, 98 Rock, and news talk WBAL-AM beginning with the 2006 season. Infinty's had the team for a decade. Also, we hear that Hearst will replace Scott Garceau and Tom Matte.

    December 2, 2005
    Terp Floors Johnny Holliday
    Johnny Holliday has been calling Maryland Terrapins basketball games on radio for 27 years, but Wednesday night marked a first. The Terps' DJ Strawberry, chasing a loose ball, went flying over Holliday's courtside table, knocking the announcer to the floor. Except for some bumps and bruises and a possible broken finger, Holliday - who's 5-feet-8, 160 pounds to Strawberry's 6-5, 201 - said yesterday that he's doing fine.

    December 2, 2005
    Bigger Comcast Cable Bills
    Comcast is hitting area cable TV subscribers with higher rates. The move comes in the face of stiffer competition from satellite TV and future competition from Verizon's fiber optic service. Come January, the cost of the standard expanded basic cable package will go from $45 a month to $47.70. Cox, which services a large chunk of Northern Virginia, says it has no plans to raise rates.

    December 2, 2005
    4 Maintains Lead In DC, 11 & 13 Rule Baltimore
    From the Washington Post: The audience for local television news dropped significantly in the November "sweeps" - the first such ratings period that used Nielsen's new Local People Meter system. Some of the biggest drops came in the 5 PM and 6 PM newscasts, times for which the four stations experienced a double-digit percentage drop from the previous year. In early mornings, numbers were down nearly across the board. Only Channel 9/WUSA saw an uptick. The station is now second in early mornings, although still far behind ratings leader Channel 4/WRC. Channel 4 was the top-rated newscast in November in all time slots where it goes head-to-head with the other stations' news shows. And, from the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore's two strongest TV news stations, Channel 11/WBAL and Channel 13/WJZ, continued their neck-and-neck race for ratings dominance in November "sweeps," and neither could claim a solid victory. WBAL could boast of the largest share of the audience for its 5 PM, 6 PM, and 11 PM newscasts slots, as well as for both its morning and 6 PM newscasts on weekends. WJZ has the lead for weekday newscasts in early morning and at noon.

    December 2, 2005
    Changes At PGC
    Infinity's WPGC-FM gives Brown Hornhit music director duties. Hornhit's production and imaging duties will now be handled by Bob Holmcrans, who was WPGC's assistant program director and production director from 1987 to 1998. PGC's former music director, Boogie D, has taken a gig at Virgin Records.

    December 1, 2005
    Nat'l Guard Service For Key 103er
    From the Frederick News-Post: The Frederick airwaves will be missing a familiar voice for the next 12 to 18 months. Wednesday morning marked the last broadcast for Key 103.1 morning show host Dan Stevens, at least for a while. Sometime in the next month, Stevens, 37, will report for active duty with his National Guard unit. He does not know where the unit will go, but he does know he will be stationed overseas.

    November 29, 2005
    Erica Replaces Chilli On Diamond's Show
    We're hearing that Chilli Amar will leave Jack Diamond's morning Mix 107.3 team and become the sidekick and traffic gal of WRQX afternoon man Carson. Erica Hilary, formerly of Z104 and WASH, will be taking Chilli's place with Diamond.

    November 29, 2005
    Kingston To XM
    We're being told that former Infinity suit Steve Kingston, head of Empire Broadcasting, which owns adult alternative WRNR (103.1 FM) and country WINX (94.3 FM) in Annapolis, is joining DC's XM Satellite Radio as director of label relations.

    November 28, 2005
    Mike Buchanan's Wife Dies
    Catherine "Cathy" Buchanan, 64, wife of DC TV personality Mike Buchanan, died on Thanksgiving after a long battle with cancer. Mike, a longtime Channel 9 reporter and anchor who now works for Channel 7, recently started doing radio commentaries for WTOP from his North Potomac home, so he could be near his wife during her illness. Mike's son, Doug Buchanan, is a reporter at Channel 9. Cathy worked for Henry Kissinger for 20 years.

    November 22, 2005
    Peter Rosenberg Lands Late Morning Slot At 106.7
    Peter Rosenberg will be getting the 10 AM to noon slot on WJFK-FM come January. The official announcement came during the Junkies' show show on Tuesday. He'll follow the Junkies, with their move to become Howard Stern's morning drive replacement in DC and Baltimore. Rosenberg has been doing 106.7's evening slot since Ron and Fez left for XM. Jay Severin will do WJFK-FM evenings come January.

    November 22, 2005
    Hugh Sidey Dies
    Hugh Sidey, 78, the Time magazine journalist who covered the White House for decades, died Monday in Paris of a heart attack. For many years, Sidey was a regular on DC-based political talk shows like Channel 9's "Agronsky And Company."

    November 21, 2005
    Former Nissan Pavilion Manager Sues DC101's Elliot
    From the Courthouse News Service: Elliott Segal, morning man at Clear Channel rocker DC101, has been sued for $13 million for allegedly slandering the now former manager of the Nissan Pavilion, near Manassas. Walter Edwards, who was in charge of the Clear Channel-owned concert facility, reached an agreement with Segal to use Nissan to host DC101's "Shantytown" all-night rock concert - provided that concertgoers and promoters abide by Virginia liquor laws. When Segal promoted the event on the air by mentioning it would provide cheap beer, and on the station's website with photos of scantily clad women, Edwards says the Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control regulators warned him against the practice, and he asked Segal to stop it. Segal then slandered him on the air, Edwards charges. That was followed by Edwards being fired. According to Clear Channel, the dismissal was a "downsizing," but Segal used it to further slander him, Edwards claims.

    November 18, 2005
    7's Russell To Philly
    Angela Russell leaves Channel 7/WJLA to co-anchor the 4 PM newscast on KYW-TV, the CBS station in Philadelphia.

    November 17, 2005
    Mega Flips 92.7 & 94.3 To "Classica"
    Mega has transformed its two DC area FMers to Spanish classic hits. "Mega Clasica" replaces the younger-skewing Spanish contemporary format on Prince Frederick MD's WBZS (92.7 FM) and Warrenton VA's WBPS (94.3 FM). Mega programmer Rafel Gullon says "clasica" is modeled on what Mega is doing in Tampa - targeting Spanish adults who may feel "left out" by the popularity of reggaeton music, which is heard on Infinity's El Zol, WLZL (99.1 FM). WBZS/WBPS has seen a major ratings decline since the debut of WLZL in January 2005.

    November 15, 2005
    MAL Vet "Red" Daniels Dies
    Robert "Red" Daniels has passed away. He did engineering and program production work at WMAL from 1953 until his retirement in the 1970s. "Red" was one of the "board ops" who ran the "Harden And Weaver" morning show from the station's transmitter site on Bethesda's Greentree Road in the 1960s and the early 1970s.

    November 15, 2005
    Art Sinclair Pleads Guilty To Sex Charge
    The Baltimore Sun reports that Art Sinclair, a Baltimore radio personality, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to engaging in a sexual act with a 16-year-old girl in an Ellicott City parking lot in November 2004. He was arrested in March 2005. Sinclair, whose real name is Arthur Lapenotiere, was sentenced by a Howard County Circuit Court judge to 15 days in jail and 55 days in home detention. Sinclair, who will begin serving his time on 1/6, apologized to the girl before he was sentenced. Sinclair, 61, who lives in Westminster, must also undergo sexual offender treatment or counseling, but he does not have to register as a sex offender. After Judge Louis Becker sentenced Sinclair, the mother of the girl, whom the Sun did not identify, cried out in the courtroom: "That's not time! I'm not satisfied with that. He deserves more time!" Over the years, Sinclair has held various radio news and sports jobs at Frederick's WFMD and Baltimore's WFBR (now WJFK-AM) and WCBM. Most recently, he was the voice of the Baltimore Blast soccer team.

    November 14, 2005
    BA Quits D&M
    Beth Ann "BA" McBride will be leaving her executive producer job at WJFK-FM's "Don And Mike Show." She confirmed on the air that she can't afford to live in Northern Virginia on the salary that she's getting from Infinity Radio. McBride will be taking a radio job in another market - a less expensive southern city, she says. D&M sidekick Rob "Robbay" Spiewak will take BA's job.

    November 14, 2005
    Heart Attack Fells Fez
    Fez Whatley, half of XM's Ron and Fez midday team, suffered a relatively mild heart attack last Wednesday - and even went on to do Thursday's show. R&F were in rerun mode on Friday. According to a DCRTVer, a solo Ron Bennington revealed on Monday's show that Fez also just learned that he has diabetes. We're told that Fez had an angioplasty procedure at an NYC area hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. R&F jumped to XM last summer, after several years of doing evenings on WJFK-FM. Now at a Florida FM talker, El Jefe and J Dubs, two more former WJFKers, sat in on R&F's Monday show to pay tribute to Fez.

    November 14, 2005
    Pre-Radio DC Area Alt Rocker Launches
    Alternative Broadcasting, a non-profit Arlington-based company, will be launching an online stream of what they hope will turn into an alternative rock FM station. On Tuesday, 11/15, at alternativebroadcasting.org. The "station" will kick off with a message from AB's General Manager Tim Davis and Program Director Catherine Seve. AB was formed early this year with a mission to "bring true diversity back to DC radio." With cooperation from many DC area broadcasting professionals, as well as Charlottesville's non-profit commercial-free alt rock WNRN, AB hopes to launch an FM station in the DC area within two years.

    November 12, 2005
    Fredericksburg Gets New Religious FMer
    Educational Media Corporation's new WWED (89.5 FM) in Spotsylvania County (near Fredericksburg) is now on the air using Moody Bible Institute's religious Moody Broadcasting Network. The FCC granted a construction permit to EMC just over two months ago. EMC, headed by Pete Stover, is based in Spotsylvania.

    November 9, 2005
    CNN Anchor Reveals Sexual Abuse By Priest
    Thomas Roberts (left), 33, an anchor for CNN Headline News, was a victim of sexual abuse from a priest when he was a student in 1987 at Calvert Hall, a Catholic high school in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun has the details. While the Sun does not publish the names of sexual abuse victims without their permission, Roberts asked that his full name be used in coverage of the abuse case.

    November 8, 2005
    13's Bob Turk Gets Cochlear Implant
    Channel 13/WJZ is revealing that Baltimore weatherman Bob Turk (right, just after surgery) had a cochlear implant in June. And we now hear that the device, an electronic gizmo inserted under the skin behind the ear that sends audio impulses to the brain, is working properly. Turk had a damaged cochlea and had been using two hearing aids. He was almost considered clinically deaf. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh had the same procedure a few years ago.

    November 4, 2005
    Blake Replaces Young At MZQ
    Changes are coming to Clear Channel country outlet WMZQ. Paula Young is out as the station's evening personality. Now, 98.7 has hired Texas native Deena Blake to replace Young and be the station's music director. She starts on 11/28. Blake comes from a Clear Channel country station in Corpus Christi. She's also worked at country outlets in Nashville and Austin.

    November 2, 2005
    2 Hostess Sylvia Scott Dies
    From the Baltimore Sun: Sylvia Scott, hostess for 17 years of an afternoon television talk show in Baltimore, died in her sleep 10/27 at her home in Oxford MD. She was 83. The show, "The Woman's Angle," was already a staple of Channel 2/ WMAR's afternoon lineup when she took over in 1959. Opening with a logo of a lighted cigarette and cup of coffee, it soon featured a perfectly coiffed and immaculately attired Miss Scott interviewing performers from the old Ford's Theatre, guests from garden clubs, local chefs, and physicians. Scott appeared on camera until the show was canceled in 1976.

    November 1, 2005
    George Michael Thrown From Horse
    Channel 4/WRC anchor Jim Vance announced on-air Monday that NBC 4 sports anchor George Michael was thrown from a horse over the weekend. He broke three ribs and severely strained both wrists while trying to break his fall. No word on when Michael will return to the airwaves. Michael, a horse enthusiast, owns a farm in Comus MD, where the mishap happened. No word if he was hospitalized.

    November 1, 2005
    VOA's Jack Shellenberger Dies
    Jack Shellenberger, a retired senior US Information Agency foreign service officer who served as director of programs at the Voice Of America and as dean of area studies at the Foreign Service Institute, died 10/24 at his home in Great Falls after a stroke. He was 77.

    October 31, 2005
    9 Charged DC For Breast Cancer Prevention Campaign
    Chris Baker reports that Channel 9/WUSA charged the DC government as much as $100,000 annually to promote breast cancer awareness during the TV station's newscasts, according to contracts the Washington Times has obtained. For at least two years, from February 2002 to February 2004, news anchors at the Gannett station were required under the contract with the city to encourage viewers to learn more about breast cancer by visiting the station's website. According to the Times, the reminders were designed to drive traffic to a banner ad on the website for the DC Department Of Human Services. WUSA also used one of its news anchors in commercials paid for by the DC government to promote literacy, according to the contracts, which the Times obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act.

    October 31, 2005
    780 Returns To WAVA Calls
    Salem's religious talker 780 AM in Arlington has dropped the WABS calls and gone back to WAVA. Salem also owns like-formatted WAVA-FM, 105.1. The AM station was called WAVA back in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was all-news with WAVA-FM under local newspaper publisher Arthur Arundel's ownership.

    October 27, 2005
    WEAA Suspends Host For "Anti-Gay" Remarks
    Redding News Review reports that a Morgan State University administrator says the school has "removed" a radio host from the airwaves after a gay rights group claims he spread "blatant homophobia." Clinton Coleman, public relations director for the university, said Duane Johnson, a host on Morgan State's WEAA (88.9 FM), was removed from the Baltimore station because he failed to run a disclaimer, when he asked his listening audience to protest a "Coming Out" event being held at Pikesville High School.

    October 25, 2005
    Junkies To Replace Stern In DC & Baltimore
    Howard Stern announced his Infinity broadcast radio replacements after he jumps to Sirius Satellite Radio in January. The midday Junkies will take Stern's morning slot on both DC's WJFK-FM and Baltimore's WHFS. Former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth is the East Coast replacement for Howard Stern, and will be heard in NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, and other cities. Stern's stations in NYC and Philadelphia will both flip from rock music to fulltime talk. "Loveline" co-host Adam Carolla will take Stern's spot in five West Coast markets, including LA and SF. Cleveland-based Rover will take several Midwestern markets, including Chicago. Also, comic magician Penn Jillette will be given an hour-long show that will be broadcast after morning drive on some of Stern's old stations, including WJFK-FM. Also, WJFK-FM and WHFS have assumed the Free FM imager. DC's WJFK-FM will continue with its fulltime talk format, while Baltimore's WHFS will still play alternative rock in evenings, overnights, and on weekends.

    October 24, 2005
    VOA Engineer Anna Case Dies
    From the Washington Post: Anna Case, 86, a frequency engineer with a 50-year career in international shortwave radio communication, died 10/16 of complications of leukemia at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She was a resident of Falls Church. Case was chief of the radio frequency division of Voice Of America when she retired in 1984. At the time of her retirement, she was one of the highest-ranking female engineers in the federal government.

    October 20, 2005
    Beer Guy To Head NAB
    Confirming weeks of rumors, DC's National Association Of Broadcasters Thursday named former National Beer Wholesalers President David Rehr as its next president-CEO, officially bringing to an end the 23-year reign of Eddie Fritts.

    October 20, 2005
    Brooks Tomlin To Philly
    Come December, weatherman Brooks Tomlin will jump from Baltimore's Channel 13/WJZ to Philadelphia's Channel 3/KYW. Tomlin's been at Channel 13 since 2002, and, before that, worked in Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida.

    October 20, 2005
    WTOP Slumps, WLZL Surges
    Newser WTOP falls to 5th place in the summer Arbitron radio ratings. Spanish WLZL surges upward to 12th. Adult urban contemporary WMMJ comfortably takes 1st. Hot adult contemporary WRQX dives to 15th. Talker WJFK-FM limps in at 16th. In Baltimore, country WPOC takes 1st, urban contemporary WERQ places 2nd, with talker WBAL down a bit to 4th. Country WFLS again rules the roost in Fredericksburg.

    October 19, 2005
    Cable-Access Philosopher Knisely Dies
    C.H. Kenneth Knisely (right), 48, a philosopher, taxi driver, teacher, and producer of the award-winning cable-access television talk show "No Dogs Or Philosophers Allowed," died of a heart attack on 9/25 after surgery at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. Knisely, often clad in a mechanic's green jumpsuit, produced 15 years worth of nationally-shown programs from Northern Virginia and Richmond.

    October 19, 2005
    Jill Sorenson To CSN
    Former Channel 4/WRC sports reporter Jill Sorenson is leaving her news reporting gig at Channel 5/WTTG. And getting back into sports at Comcast SportsNet. She'll be an anchor and reporter for CSN's "SportsNite."

    October 15, 2005
    WNAV Names Weaver News Director
    Ray Weaver, a veteran Mid-Atlantic radio reporter, has been named news director at Pat Sajak's WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis. The Pasadena MD resident has been a reporter, writer, and editor for the past 30 years and has worked at radio stations in Williamsburg, Baltimore, Norfolk, and Nashville.

    October 12, 2005
    Tony Perkins Back To 5
    Tony Perkins is leaving his weather gig at ABC's "Good Morning America" and is jumping back to his home market of DC. And to Channel 5/WTTG. Perkins, who grew up in the DC area and worked at WTTG before joining "GMA" in the late 1990s, won't be back on Channel 5's airwaves until January 2006. As a "weekday weathercaster." Perkins was weatherman on WTTG's morning news from 1993 to 1998 and then spent a year co-anchoring the show.

    October 11, 2005
    5 News Crew Roughed Up While Covering PG Shooting
    A Channel 5/WTTG reporter and cameraman were threatened Monday afternoon by young men who concealed their faces and told them to leave the site of a triple shooting in Riverdale Heights. "They were threatened covering the story," WTTG News Director Katherine Green told the Washington Post. "We don't know who threatened them." Prince George's police are investigating whether the Sunday night incident, which resulted in two deaths, was gang-related.

    October 6, 2005
    Arch Campbell Has "Surprise Surgery"
    Arch Campbell (right), Channel 4/WRC's longtime entertainment and arts reporter, has been taking time away - four weeks - from his TV gig to deal with some "surprise surgery." He tells us that "doctors found a spot in my colon during a routine test. They snipped it out at Sibley (Hospital) in mid-September. I've made a good recovery. The surgeon assures me he left in my funny bone. Glad to hear a few people missed me and I'm glad to be going back to work next week."

    October 6, 2005
    Nathan Roberts Leaving NC8
    NewsChannel 8 says goodbye to news anchor Nathan Roberts. His contract, which expires at the end of the year, was not renewed, we're told. Look for a high profile replacement to be named at a later date. In other words, NC8/WJLA News Director Bill Lord has not found Roberts' replacement yet.

    October 5, 2005
    Post Ombudsman To Become PBS Ombudsman
    PBS has appointed Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler to its newly-created ombudsman position. According to the Alexandria-based public broadcaster, Getler will "seek to ensure that PBS upholds its own rigorous standards of journalistic ethics for both online and on-air content." His reports and commentary will be published at pbs.org. Before becoming the Post's ombudsman, Getler was executive editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, which was jointly owned by the Post and the NY Times until 2003. Since 1970, Getler covered Europe and military affairs for the Post, rising to become a deputy managing editor.

    October 5, 2005
    WMAL, WTNT Financial Guru Rick Malone Dies
    Richard Malone (right), 48, a stock market adviser to AM radio listeners as well as a senior vice president at Reston's Ferris, Baker, Watts, died 10/2 after he slipped and fell at his home in Falls Church. Fairfax County police said the death was accidental. Known on air as "Rick," Malone was the stock market guru on "The Wise Investor Show," which he co-hosted with Randy Beeman on Saturday mornings on WTNT (570 AM) and Sunday mornings on WMAL (630 AM). WMAL General Manager Chris Berry told the Washington Post that Malone built a loyal fan base because listeners knew that he put his money behind the stocks he recommended. "His show was popular with people who enjoyed playing the market," said Ric Edelman, who hosts a financial show Saturday mornings on WMAL.

    October 4, 2005
    Greaseman To WMET
    Mark Bisnow is out as the morning man on IDT talker WMET (1160 AM). And that his replacement is Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht. Tracht, who has been heard on Birach's Frederick area WDMV (700 AM), has been doing his nationally syndicated radio show via his Montgomery County home. He was fired from Infinity's classic rock WARW (94.7 FM) in 1999 after making a racist joke, for which he apologized. Tracht almost landed at Clear Channel talker WTNT (570 AM) several years ago.

    October 4, 2005
    Navy Retains Football Commentator After Profanity
    Associated Press reports that football commentator John Feinstein will be back on the air for Saturday's Navy-Air Force game despite uttering an obscenity during the radio broadcast of last Saturday's Navy game. During the broadcast, Feinstein directed a profanity at the referees after a Duke receiver appeared to push a Navy defender. Feinstein pulled himself from the rest of the broadcast and offered an on-air apology at the end of the game. He immediately offered his resignation, but it was rejected. The game was aired on WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis.

    October 3, 2005
    Examiner Moves To Post's Neighborhood
    The freebie Washington Examiner newspaper moves its newsroom from Edsall Road in Alexandria (the Journal's old digs) to 15th and K streets in downtown DC, just a block away from the Washington Post. The space was vacated by Agence France-Presse's DC bureau. States Washingtonian: While Examiner sources say that the location was "purely coincidental," the building was chosen in part because it would allow the paper to hang its name outside, where it will loom visible to anyone looking out the Post's windows.

    October 3, 2005
    Boogie D To Leave PGC
    Music Director Boogie D will leave WPGC-FM in early November to join hip-hop producer Jermaine Dupri at Virgin Records. Boogie's been at the Infinity rhythmic contemporary outlet since 2004.

    September 29, 2005
    DirecTV To Carry XM
    DirecTV is adding 72 channels from the XM lineup - including many musical streams plus some XM-produced talk fare like High Voltage's "Ron And Fez" and "Opie And Anthony," and baseball programming. It's in response to Dish Network carrying many Sirus channels. DCRTV hears that MusicChoice is being dropped by DirecTV.

    September 28, 2005
    Steiner Gives Up YPR Management Gig
    Baltimore's Citypaper reports that radio talk show host Marc Steiner has stepped down from his position as executive vice president for broadcast and production at WYPR (88.1 FM), the Baltimore public radio station he helped acquire from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. But, he'll continue hosting "The Marc Steiner Show" Monday through Thursday, from noon to 2 PM.

    September 28, 2005
    Bloomquist Leaves WMAL
    Program Director Randall Bloomquist had said adios to talker WMAL. He's taking the program director gig at Atlanta talker WGST, a Clear Channel station. Bloomquist, a native of Severna Park and a University Of Maryland graduate, joined ABC's WMAL in September 2003 from WRVA, a Clear Channel talker in Richmond. He and WMAL General Manager Chris Berry have been working, with varying degrees of ratings success, to transform the mainstream news talk outlet into a right-leaning talker. Several weeks ago, there was word of a split between Bloomquist and Berry after late morning talker Michael Graham left, following his refusal to apologize for saying that Islam is a "terrorist organization." Bloomquist and Graham had worked together at WRVA. WMAL News Director John Matthews is serving as interim program director while Berry launches a "nationwide search" for Bloomquist's successor.

    September 28, 2005
    Phil Wood Gone From XM
    DC sports radio vet Phil Wood is out at XM due to "creative differences." Wood, a former WTEMer, had been doing baseball coverage for the DC-based satcaster. Including fill-in work and a one-hour call-in show. Sources tell us that XM wanted the show to be "straight talk" and no callers. Wood objected, and he was shown the door. "No big blow-up," we're told. Wood will continue his work for Infinity sports talker WJFK-AM (1300) in Baltimore and as baseball columnist for the Washington Examiner. And he's looking forward to doing baseball coverage for the DC area radio broadcaster that lands the 2006 rights for the Nationals after Major League Baseball sells the team this fall.

    September 27, 2005
    Fairfax OKs Cable Franchise For Verizon
    Verizon won approval to sell cable television and broadband internet in Fairfax County. After a public hearing, the county Board Of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of granting a non-exclusive, 15-year franchise agreement to the local telephone giant. The deal will put Verizon in direct competition with Cox and Comcast. Verizon also has franchise agreements pending before Loudoun and Arlington counties, Leesburg, and Fairfax City, and is in negotiations with Howard County and the city of Bowie. It recently struck a deal to serve the town of Herndon.

    September 26, 2005
    Mike Murphy Named HFS PD
    Infinity has picked Mike Murphy to be program director at part-time alt rocker WHFS (105.7 FM) in Baltimore. He replaces Lisa Worden, who jumped back to LA alt rocker KROQ in August. Murphy's got a difficult job - programming talk during daytime hours, and edgy rock music after 7 PM and on weekends. Evening rocker Tim Virgin had been WHFS's interim PD. Murphy was most recently PD at alt rock WDYL in Richmond, and was assistant PD at Boston's alt rock FNX Network.

    September 24, 2005
    Bisnow Provides "Raving Moderate" Niche On AM Radio
    Is there a "middle ground" between WTOP ("superficial and repetitive") and NPR ("overly narrow and dry")? Mark Bisnow (left) thinks so. He does the morning show on talker WMET (1160 AM). Now that the self-described "raving moderate" has been doing morning drive since March, and his station's pumping out 50,000-watts, Bisnow has no problem attracting big names, a la Ed Meese, Ken Starr, Jim Moran, and Tom Davis. Coming soon: Mark Warner, Tony Williams, and Harry Jaffe. But Bisnow says his show differs from righty talkers like WMAL in that there's "almost no pontificating" with "very balanced debates." However, it remains to be seen if listeners want such equilibrium on the AM band. WMET has yet to make a dent in the local radio ratings roundup. Bisnow's background: he was press secretary to 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson, counsel to Majority Leader Bob Dole in the mid-80s, author of two books on politics, senior officer of two high tech firms, and is a Harvard-trained lawyer. He's even been heard on WTOP doing "Bisnow On Business" from 1997 to 2004.

    September 23, 2005
    Allan Prell Fired Again
    Allan Prell, the former WBAL radio lefty talk host. has lost yet another gig. This time it's at KIRO, a news talk station in Seattle. Says a message at kiro710.com: "KIRO would like to thank all the fans of "The Allan Prell Show." Allan's last day on the air was September 21st and we wish him all the best." No word as to why, but it probably had something to do with ratings. This discharge comes after Prell got canned from a talk station in Denver. Before heading out west, Prell had been living in the DC area, penning a novel.

    September 23, 2005
    EZ Street Heads West
    Former WPGC-FM afternoon drive jock EZ Street will make his debut at San Francisco's urban adult "Quiet Storm" KBLX on 10/3. He'll be holding down afternoon drive 2 PM to 7 PM (5 PM to 10 PM Eastern) and can be heard online at kblx.com. EZ's Take It EZ Travel and Encompass Media Promotion companies will also relocate to the San Francisco area. EZ's website, rollwithabrother.com, features the following statement: "March 15, 2005 was my last day at WPGC. We parted ways amicably. When I walked out the door I was still number one in my time slot because of you the listener."

    September 23, 2005
    Oversized Man Dies, Humiliated By Charm City Coverage
    From the Baltimore Sun: John H. Keitz Jr., whose obesity received national attention after a medical emergency prompted a removal from his former Dundalk home, died Tuesday at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 39 and weighed more than 700 pounds. The Sun's obituary mentions how humiliated he was that a TV crew was filming him being airlifted out of his home. Keitz was particularly annoyed by the television news helicopter that day, says his wife, Gina Christine Sessions-Keitz. "He did not like being put on the center stage - made to be a laughing stock," she adds. A Channel 11 source tells DCRTV: "That was a WBAL chopper. We never aired the video but it seems the damage was done." Channel 13/WJZ, which also covered the man's removal from his home, did air the video - live.

    September 23, 2005
    Ed Walker Recovering From Back Surgery
    DC radio legend Ed Walker is recovering from back surgery at the Washington Hospital Center. "Although he is pretty heavily medicated, he is able to move his legs without the pain he has been dealing with recently," we're told. It's likely that he will be returning to Sibley Hospital's rehabilitation unit this weekend. Walker was hospitalized at Sibley early in September suffering from severe back pain. Hopefully, after a few weeks, Walker will be back to his duties at Willard Scott's office at NBC and will resume his Sunday night "Big Broadcast" at WAMU. "He thanks everyone for the good wishes," we're told. "Once he's back at Sibley, he will be receptive to calls from his friends."

    September 21, 2005
    MMJ Tops 25-54 'Trends
    Another round of those monthly Arbitrends. In the age 25-54 key demo for DC: WMMJ 1st, WHUR 2nd (1st in PM drive), WPGC-FM 3rd, WTOP 4th (1st in AM drive), WRQX and WASH 5th, WKYS and WMZQ and DC101 7th (Elliot 4th in AM drive), WJZW 10th, WJFK-FM 11th (Howard Stern 5th in AM drive, Don and Mike 4th in PM drive), WGMS 12th, WARW 13th, WBIG 14th, WLZL 15th, WTEM 16th, Z104 and WMAL 17th (Grandy and Andy 17th in AM drive), WIHT 19th, WAVA 20th.

    September 21, 2005
    Baltimore TV Puppeteer Dies
    Bernard Paul, who hosted "Paul's Puppets" on Channel 11/WBAL in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, died on 9/18 in his sleep at the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He was 98. Mr. Paul was born in Baltimore and raised in the Linthicum Heights home where he lived from 1919 until last year, when he moved to Heart Homes at Linthicum. In 1955, WBAL-TV made Mr. Paul's program one of its first color telecasts. Mr. Paul and his wife, Edith, created the dancing and frolicking puppet characters, along with the sets and props. Mrs. Paul died in 1993.

    September 19, 2005
    Red Shipley Suffers Stroke
    Red Shipley, who does mornings on country WJMA in Culpeper and who hosts bluegrass programming on DC's WAMU, suffered a "mild" stroke on 9/12. He had been hospitalized in Culpeper, but is now in Charlottesville undergoing physical therapy. We're told that his condition is improving and he remains hopeful that he can return to "Stained Glass Bluegrass" Sundays on WAMU and WJMA.

    September 17, 2005
    Elliker, Eads To XM's "Broad" Channel
    Channel 9/WUSA traffic reporter Shari Elliker and DC101's Christine Eads will be co-hosting "BroadMinded" on a weekday basis on XM's new women's channel, Take 5.

    September 16, 2005
    WJLA Newser Jumps To WUSA
    Jay Mishkin, the 11 PM news producer for Channel 7/WJLA, leaves to become executive producer for Channel 9/WUSA's morning newscasts. Also, WUSA has hired Jeff Rosetti from the NBC station in Raleigh NC to be executive producer of its 11 PM newscast.

    September 16, 2005
    Count Gore Returns To DC
    Dick Dyszel, who played horror movie host Count Gore De Vol (right) on Channel 20/WDCA during the 1970s and 1980s, has returned to DC. And he hosted a midnight showing of "Young Frankenstein" at the E Street Cinema. Dyszel, who recently moved back to the DC area - Northern Virginia - after a relocation to Chicago, tells Brian Truitt in Friday's DC Examiner that he has no plans to return to TV.

    September 9, 2005
    WAMU Launches WAMU2
    American University's WAMU (88.5 FM) officially launches a second program stream - WAMU2 - via its digital "HD Radio" signal. Starting 9/12, WAMU2 will carry NPR gavel-to-gavel coverage of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Normal talk programming will air on WAMU's "main channel," which is transmitted in digital and analog. If you don't have a digital radio, you can still listen to the Roberts hearing via wamu.org. Says WAMU General Manager Caryn Mathes: "We envision WAMU developing into a 'family of content services' to listeners utilizing conventional analog and HD Radio transmission, HD Radio multicast channels and data services, live streaming, web-exclusive program streams - such as bluegrasscountry.org, on-demand downloads of programming, and podcasting." WAMU has been broadcasting a digital version of its analog main signal since May 2004.

    September 9, 2005
    Easy Listening Vet Lou Rosenberg Dies
    Louis "Lou" Rosenberg of Westminster, a four-decade broadcaster and marketer, died 9/6 at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster. He was 56 and had been ill for several years. A native of Baltimore, Rosenberg worked on the air at many easy listening stations, such as the original WLIF in the 1970s, at York's WSBA-FM during the early 1980s, at WMAR-FM/WRLX (now WWMX), and was a weekend fill-in talent on WGAY-FM/AM (now WIHT/WFED) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He provided weather forecasts for a number of radio stations in the region. Rosenberg also was sales manager for Prestige Cable, predecessor to Adelphia in Carroll County. He was an automobile and model train enthusiast and an avid gardener.

    September 8, 2005
    Perkins To Leave "GMA," Sater Sacked
    Tony Perkins has quit his job as weatherman on ABC's "Good Morning America." Perkins did the morning weather at WTTG before joining "GMA" in 1999. Perkins "is entertaining a number of offers and is the object of a bidding war between a number of outlets," including several in the DC area. Perkins handed in his resignation just before the Labor Day holiday. Word is he had to give the network six weeks notice. ABC has been trying to keep the news of Perkins' departure under wraps until they can figure out what they will do. Perkins is a DC area native. Before working for WTTG, he was employed at WKYS radio. And, in related news, WTTG has officially fired Tom Sater, its morning weatherman. Sater, who is married to WTTG reporter-anchor Holly Morris, has been missing from 5's morning weather gig for the past few weeks. No word on why Sater was sacked. Also, we get confirmation that Sater and Morris have filed for divorce.

    September 8, 2005
    Ken Maylath Retires
    Brenda Carl has been brought onboard at Baltimore talker WCBM (680 AM) to replace longtime newscaster Ken Maylath, who is retiring after 46 years in the radio business. A lifelong lover of trains, Maylath will be spending much of his time as a volunteer at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

    September 6, 2005
    Big O & Dukes Fired
    Big O and Dukes have been given their walking papers at Infinity's WHFS (105.7 FM) in Baltimore. Many have been predicting the demise of the midday duo when former Charm City police honcho and ex-con Ed Norris was given top billing a few weeks back. The former "Out To Lunch" show is now "The Ed Norris Show."

    September 6, 2005
    Union Slams 7 With Aerial Banners
    The National Association Of Broadcast Employees And Technicians-Communications Workers, which represents employees at Allbritton's Channel 7/WJLA and NewsChannel 8, ran 12 flying banners this past weekend over Ocean City area beaches protesting working conditions. The banner read "ABC 7 DESPARATE [SIC] TO DESTROY WORKER'S RIGHTS." According to a statement from Barbara Krieger, the union's vice president: "We are currently in contract talks with this tough employer and we are negotiating without an extension. The last contract took seven years to obtain." She stated that soon after the new contract took effect, WJLA moved to Virginia, a right-to-work state. The staff of NC8 and WJLA was "combined without recognizing pay parity between the two." The union ran the ads at the beaches because of the large amount of workers, viewers, and advertisers that frequent the shore from the WJLA/NC8 viewing area.

    September 2, 2005
    5's Switchboard Lady Dies
    Kathryn Garrett, 92, once a telephone operator, died of respiratory failure on 8/18 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. She handled the switchboard at Channel 5/WTTG from 1953 to 1962.

    September 1, 2005
    Goldy Heads To NC
    Jeff "Goldly" Gold, formerly with oldies outlet Big 100, WBIG, travels down to Fayetteville NC to handle mornings at WKQB. That station is programmed by DC radio vet Chris Roth.

    September 1, 2005
    Julius Westheimer Dead
    Longtime WBAL radio and TV financial analyst Julius Westheimer (right) died Wednesday, 8/31. He was 88. Westheimer had been in the hospital in recent days, but died at home. Known to most listeners simply as "Westy," Julius began dispensing financial and investment advice in a daily report on WBAL radio in 1981. He was a mainstay of the morning news, and appeared often on WBAL talk shows. The inner city Baltimore native also joined WBAL-TV in 1982, and worked there until he retired in 2004. Westheimer also made three decades worth of appearances on Maryland Public Television's "Wall Street Week." He oversaw an investment management group at Ferris, Baker, Watts in Baltimore. Plus, Westheimer offered his financial wisdom in a variety of newspaper columns as well during the past 43 years.

    August 31, 2005
    Virgin Adds HFS Programming Duties, For Now
    Tim Virgin, evening man on WHFS (105.7 FM), adds interim program director and music director stripes. The Baltimore parttime alt rocker recently lost programmer Lisa Worden, who returned to LA alt rocker KROQ. And is looking for a permanent replacement.

    August 30, 2005
    CC Names Rick Schmidt PD For DC101
    Clear Channel has picked Rick Schmidt as program director for rocker DC101. He comes from Raleigh NC, where he programmed "legendary top 40 station G105." During his 17-year career, Schmidt has worked for rock and alt rockers in Tampa, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville. He replaces Joe Bevilacqua, who becomes regional VP of programming for CC's Denver radio cluster.

    August 30, 2005
    20 For Richard Day At TOP
    Morning drive anchor Richard Day celebrates 20 years on the air at WTOP radio. "In a day and age when radio stations, formats, and personalities, are forever changing, we're fortunate here at WTOP to be able to provide consistent programming," says Jim Farley, WTOP's VP of news and programming. A bit of trivia: Day is a Julliard-trained Shakespearean actor.

    August 23, 2005
    Steve Cochran Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
    Steve Cochran, "The Rock 'n Roll Doctor," was inducted into the Broadcasting Institute Of Maryland's Hall Of Honor during a ceremony in Timonium. Due to health reasons, Cochran was unable to attend an induction event earlier this year when Vince Bagli, Tim Williams, and Barbara Nicholson joined the prestigious group of local broadcasters. Cochran spearheaded the oldies format at WQSR, and also worked at WKTK and WHRF.

    August 23, 2005
    Sun Boots Witcover
    DC-based political columnist Jules Witcover, 78, got booted from the Baltimore Sun after 24 years. He says he received his termination notice - one sentence of thanks - by overnight mail. Witcover, who is syndicated by the Tribune Media syndicate, is looking for a new home paper for his column, which is carried by fewer than 30 newspapers.

    August 22, 2005
    WMAL's Michael Graham Fired
    WMAL's Michael Graham has been fired. Graham was suspended in late July after WMAL received complaints from local ABC employees, sponsors, and the DC-based Council On American-Islamic Relations after Graham suggested on-air that Islam was a "terrorist organization." Graham gave his first public interview on his firing from the ABC-owned right-leaning news talker on Chip Franklin's show on Baltimore's WBAL-AM - a Hearst station - Monday morning. According to Franklin, WMAL had been claiming that Graham was technically not fired. And that he could still come back to his late morning job at 630 if he delivered an on-air apology. Graham said he did deliver an on-air statement in late July "clarifying" his contention that many associated with the Islamic religion support terrorism against the USA, but he was suspended the next day. Graham told Franklin that he has now been officially "terminated" from WMAL. WMAL General Manager Chris Berry told Radio And Records: Some of Michael's statements about Islam went over the line - and this isn't the first time that he has been reprimanded for insensitive language and comments. I asked Michael for an on-air acknowledgement that some of his remarks were overly broad and inexplicably he refused. Michael has also tried to position this by saying that we were pressured into taking disciplinary action against him. For the record, we make our decisions independent of external pressures or third parties. We will not permit an employee to willfully violate our policies or disregard management direction."

    August 16, 2005
    Clear Channel Dominates DC Radio
    Arbitron has released its DC market radio ratings - by station owner. And the winner in the 8th largest radio market is Clear Channel, which owns eight stations (including WMZQ, DC101, Hot 99.5, WBIG, WASH, WTEM, WTNT, WWRC). The giant radio firm achieves a 22.8 share, 48.6 percent cume in the Nation's Capital. Second place goes to Infinity (WPGC-FM/AM, WJFK-FM, WARW, El Zol) with a 14.5 share, 36 percent cume. Bonneville (WTOP, WGMS, Z104) ranks third with a 12.9/34.9, ABC (Mix 107.3, WJZW, WMAL) is fourth with a 9.3/24.6, and Radio One (WKYS, WMMJ, WOL, WYCB) takes fifth with a 5.4/15.3. Rounding out the top 10: Howard U (WHUR), Mid-Atlantic (WINC-FM), Salem (WAVA, WABS), Mega (WBZS/WBPS, WKDL), and Free Lance-Star (WFLS).

    August 15, 2005
    Kirk, Mark, & Josh
    WIYY, 98 Rock, has found a replacement for Lopez, its "KML - Kirk, Mark, And Lopez" morning show newsman who passed away in May after a year-plus-long battle with lung cancer. It's Josh Spiegel, who has been doing news on the "Out To Lunch" midday show on WHFS, Live 105.7.

    August 10, 2005
    Clifford Jarrett Dies, Produced MPT Show
    From the Baltimore Sun: Clifford Jarrett, an actor who was the first producer of Maryland Public Television's "The Critics' Place," died of cancer 8/5 at Coastal Hospice At The Lake in Salisbury. The former Bolton Hill resident was 62. Born in Baltimore, he attended Gilman School and went into radio broadcasting on the Eastern Shore in his late teens. During the later 1960s through early 1970s, Jarrett worked at WJZ-TV as a producer and floor director for news, prime time, and public affairs programming. He moved to the Maryland Center For Public Broadcasting in the 1970s and produced "The Critics' Place," a weekly show featuring news and reviews of the arts and entertainment.

    August 8, 2005
    Gordon Peterson's "Inside Washington" To 26
    Channel 26/WETA adds "Inside Washington," a political roundtable produced by Channel 7/WJLA, to its Friday night news lineup. Hosted by veteran WJLA news anchor Gordon Peterson, "IW" will debut on WETA on Friday, 9/2, at 8:30 PM. It will continue to air on WJLA on Sundays at 10 AM. "IW" has been airing since 1969, most of the time on Peterson's former station, Channel 9/WUSA (previously WTOP-TV and WDVM). It was then known as "Agronsky And Company," hosted by Martin Agronsky, who died in 1999.

    August 7, 2005
    Bob Duckman To WTRI
    DC radio legend Bob Duckman will do afternoon drive on Brunswick MD's Vegas Radio WTRI (1520 AM). According to station manager and morning personality Buddy Rizer, "Duckman is no stranger to radio in the region." In the 1970s he worked at adult contemporary WASH, in the 1980s at oldies WXTR, XTRA 104, and in the 1990s at the nostalgia-based WWDC-AM/WGAY-AM.

    August 3, 2005
    HFS's Lisa Worden To LA
    Program Director Lisa Worden is leaving the battered remains of alt rocker WHFS, now a parttime outlet on a Baltimore frequency (105.7) that doesn't reach much of the DC area, for music director duties at LA alt rocker KROQ. From where she came several years ago. Both stations are owned by Infinity. As you'll recall, WHFS got yanked off its fulltime 99.1 frequency in January to make room for Spanish WLZL, El Zol.

    August 1, 2005
    4's Dave Slawatycki Dies
    Dave Slawatycki, a "Sports Machine" technical director at Channel 4/WRC, collapsed and died while working in Studio A on Sunday evening. Co-workers immediately came to his aid, contacting emergency services, and providing CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Sibley Hospital, but doctors could not revive him.

    August 1, 2005
    R&F To XM
    Former WJFK-FM evening talkers Ron and Fez will join XM on 9/12. They'll take the 11 AM to 2 PM (ET) slot on the High Voltage channel (202), following Opie and Anthony.

    August 1, 2005
    Bevilacqua Leaves DC101 PD Post
    Joe Bevilacqua is leaving his program director gig at Clear Channel rocker DC101 to become regional VP of programming for CC's Denver radio cluster. There he'll over see three rock stations - active, classic, and alternative.

    July 29, 2005
    MAL Suspends Michael Graham
    WMAL morning team "Grandy And Andy" reported Friday that the station's late morning talker Michael Graham has been "suspended" for calling Islam a "terrorist organization." Apparently, he is out of work without pay for an indefinite period. Says a DCRTVer: " I don't understand why someone who's job is to make controversial comments is suspended for making controversial comments. Part of me hopes it's all a stunt." In fact, it smells like a stunt since Grandy and Andy said on-air that they disagreed with the decision and encouraged listeners to send complaints to WMAL management. Also, WMAL is still running Graham show promos and pre-taped ads featuring the "suspended" Graham, who got a big write-up in Tuesday's DC Post about his dispute with a local Islamic organization.

    July 28, 2005
    HFS's Lisa Worden Back To La
    Lisa Worden, program director at WHFS, is heading back to her former stomping ground at LA alt rocker KROQ. As music director. She joined HFS a year or so before it left fulltime status on 99.1 for parttime status on 105.7.

    July 28, 2005
    Baltimore Radio Great Hugh Wanke Dies
    A Baltimore morning radio personality from the early 1950s passed away Sunday, 7/24. Hugh Wanke entertained listeners for almost six years with his "Wake Up Clock" program on WCAO until the station was bought by Plough in the spring of 1956 and went "top 40." He also worked for WITH. Kay Starr, Joni James, Patti Page, and a huge array of pre-rock artists were a big part of his program. Wanke later went into freelance voiceover work. He was "well loved and respected," says Jack Edwards, a Baltimore radio veteran. Wanke, a Baltimore native, was 85 and died of cancer.

    July 28, 2005
    WRC Technician Dies
    G. Darrell Trundle, 93, who in the 1960s was a lighting technician for Channel 4/WRC and a cameraman for "NBC Nighty News," died of congestive heart failure on 7/25. He was 93.

    July 27, 2005
    R&F To XM
    Ron and Fez will be jumping from WJFK-FM to DC's XM Satellite Radio as of 9/6, the Tuesday after Labor Day.

    July 27, 2005
    WAGE Sold
    Loudoun County's only radio station, talker WAGE (1200 AM) in Leesburg, has been sold. The buyer is Northern Virginia-based Potomac Radio, which is owned by James Weitzman. Locally, he has connections to ethnic WUST (1120 AM) and business talker WBIS (1190 AM). The seller is Leesburg-based Radio WAGE, which is owned by Grenville Emmet. The price: $2.25 million - $1.7 million cash and an option valued at no less than $550,000 for the Leesburg real estate where the transmitter site is located.

    July 27, 2005
    Ratings Fall For WETA-FM With News & Talk
    WETA-FM (90.9) dropped classical music from its weekday lineup in February, and replaced it with news and talk fare from NPR and the BBC. Too bad listeners haven't warmed up to it. In the Washington Times, Chris Baker reports that WETA captured 1.9 percent of listeners 12 and older in the spring, down from a 2.6 percent audience share one year earlier, according to Arbitron data. WGMS (103.5 FM), the commercial classical station, drew a 5.6 percent share, up from a 4.7 percent share during spring 2004. WETA's rival NPR station, primarily news talker WAMU (88.5 FM) drew a 4.2 percent share during both the spring 2004 and spring 2005 books.

    July 27, 2005
    Vaughn-Fox Joins Baltimore Mayor's Team, Tucker Back To Hawaii
    Cassandra Vaughn-Fox jumps from Channel 11/WBAL to the Baltimore mayor's Office Of Cable And Communication. She'll be in charge of program development and production. Also, WBAL-TV weekend news anchor Noel Tucker, a Hawaiian native whose real name is Keahi Tucker, heads back to Honolulu's KGMB-TV in September.

    July 22, 2005
    Spring Arbs: GMS, MZQ, DC101, 98 Rock Up, MAL & QSR Down
    Spring Arbitrons. Our DCRTV local radio guru tells us that WMAL had what may well be "the worst book in the history of the station," with "Grandy And Andy" sinking to 19th place among age 25-54ers. Bonneville vaulted two stations into the top five: WTOP and WGMS. Big upswings for WMZQ, DC101, and WHUR. Bad book for WRQX morning man Jack Diamond, who dropped to 9th place among key 25-54ers. And it looks like Nats fans are finally finding Z104's games, as the station posted an evening ratings hike. Full day age 12+ numbers for DC: 1) WPGC-FM, 2) WMMJ, 3) WHUR and WGMS, 5) WTOP, 6) WMZQ and WKYS, 8) DC101, 9) WIHT, 10) WJZW and WASH, 12) WBIG, 13) WMAL and WRQX, 15) WJFK-FM, 16) WLZL, 17) WTEM and WARW, 19) Z104, 20) WAVA. Morning drive, age 25-54 demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WPGC-FM, 3) WMMJ, 4) WHUR, 5) WJFK-FM, 6) DC101, 7) WKYS, 8) WMZQ, 9) WRQX, 10) WTEM, 11) WASH, 12) WBIG, 13) WGMS and WJZW, 15) WAVA and WIHT, 17) WARW and Z104, 19) WMAL, 20) WLZL. In Baltimore, WQSR, with its new Jack format, took a plunge. It's down to a 3.2 share (age 12+) from a 4.2 a year ago. While WIYY, 98 Rock, posted its best numbers in a year. Ditto with talk-alt rock combo WHFS on 105.7. However, Spanish WLZL attracted about one-third the number of Baltimore listeners as the old HFS did on 99.1. As usual, WERQ was 1st, WPOC 2nd, WBAL-AM 3rd, and WWIN-FM 4th.

    July 20, 2005
    Paul Duke Is Dead
    Paul Duke (right), 78, a veteran newsman who for 20 years was the calm and mellow moderator of the public television program "Washington Week In Review," died 7/18 of acute leukemia at his home in DC. According to the Washington Post, Duke was already a respected Washington journalist when he took over in 1974 as host of the program, now called "Washington Week," the longest running news program on PBS. It is produced in the Shirlington studios of Channel 26/WETA. Duke had worked for the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and NBC. He grew up in the Richmond area. Duke retired from "Washington Week" in 1994 and moved to London, where he provided news analysis for the BBC as well as a weekly "Letter From London" for WETA-FM. In 1999, he came back for a short stint as moderator of "Washington Week" after his successor was fired.

    July 20, 2005
    Verizon Gets Herndon OK For Cable TV
    The Herndon Town Council has agreed to let Verizon begin offering cable television service. By a 6 to 0 vote, the town council approved Verizon's request to compete with Cox, which holds a monopoly cable franchise for the municipality of 22,000.

    July 18, 2005
    Former Eastern Shore DJ Faces Sexual Assault Charge
    Associated Press reports that authorities in Worcester County are lodging charges against a former area radio personality. Eric Littleton, 34, of Delmar MD, worked for rocker WZBH in Georgetown DE, and the charges stem from a station-sponsored event last month at a Snow Hill MD bar. Investigators said Littleton promised a pair of concert tickets to a man if he exposed himself to a woman at a Snow Hill bar. Littleton was better known to his listeners as "Cowboy," but has since been dismissed from the station. According to AP, Littleton and the 27-year-old man have been charged with indecent exposure, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree sexual assault.

    July 15, 2005
    32 Engineer William Kirkland Dies
    William Nathaniel Kirkland Jr., 62, who had most recently served as director of operations and engineering at Channel 32/WHUT, died on 7/1 of a heart attack at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown. He was driving from his home in Centreville to a family reunion in Buffalo when he was stricken. Kirkland joined Howard University's WHUT (then WHMM) in 1999. He began his career as a broadcast engineer with WJCT-TV in Jacksonville, from 1971 to 1972. From 1972 to 1986, he was a broadcast engineer with WGRZ-TV in Buffalo. He returned to Jacksonville in 1987, serving as an engineer with WJKS-TV until 1989. He settled in the DC area in 1989 to become assistant chief of engineering for Channel 66/WTKK (now WPXW) in Manassas. He was chief of engineering for the cable television and broadcasting system of Northern Virginia Community College from 1991 to 1999.

    July 12, 2005
    Former HURer To Charlotte
    Chris James, the former host of the "Quiet Storm" on Howard University's WHUR, joins Radio One's WQNC in Charlotte as music director and afternoon personality.

    July 11, 2005
    Geronimo's Wife Killed In Car Crash
    Freda Wright-Sorce (left), the wife of WJFK-FM afternoon man Don Geronimo, was killed in an automobile accident on Route 90 near Ocean City MD on Sunday. Neither her husband, whose real name is Mike Sorce, or their college-age son, Bart, were with her when the tragedy occurred. She was traveling eastbound on Route 90 at about 2 PM, when a vehicle avoiding a westbound accident swerved into the eastbound lanes and hit her Lexus head-on. Freda, who was a frequent presence on her husband's radio show, was taken to University Of Maryland's Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore where she died. She was 50. Before marrying Geronimo some 23 years ago, Freda had worked at a number of radio stations in the DC area, including WASH. She and her husband resided in Great Falls VA and maintained a vacation home in Ocean City.

    July 11, 2005
    David Haines Is Dead
    David Haines (right), who was the newsman on Donnie Simpson's morning WPGC-FM show, died on 7/10. Bruce "David" Haines passed away at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore at age 64 of complications from lung cancer. While his name was Bruce, he "invented" the name "David" for his on-air work. From 1984 to 1989, he worked at then contemporary hit WAVA on the "Don And Mike" show. After two years as news director at WPLJ in NYC, he returned to the DC area to do 14 years at WPGC-FM's morning show with Donnie Simpson. He was a resident of Crofton. A tearful Simpson announced the departure of his dear friend at 6:10 Monday morning. He said Haines had been "on vacation" the past few weeks, and had been dealing with poor health for quite a while. "He's in a better place. He's gone home," Simpson proclaimed. "We love you, David Haines." Haines leaves behind a wife, their young son and daughter, along with an ex-wife and their grown son and daughter.

    July 9, 2005
    Judy Mann Dies
    Judy Mann, 61, a former Washington Post columnist who wrote about women, children, and the politics of the women's movement, died of breast cancer 7/8 at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Her columns, which ran first in the Metro section and later in the Style section, were unapologetically liberal and feminist in outlook, so reports the Post.

    July 8, 2005
    Wife Of 98.7's Brian Battles Cancer
    The wife of Brian Egan, half of WMZQ's "Ben And Brian" morning show, has been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Country artist Chely Wright has been filling-in with Ben Campbell while Brian has been spending time with Jennifer during her treatments in Baltimore.

    July 7, 2005
    Management Changes At 11
    Channel 11/WBAL is making some management changes come 8/1. Baltimore's Hearst-owned NBC affiliate ups Kelly Tallent to local sales manager. She succeeds Barbara Anderson, who has been elevated to general sales manager. Josh Nair, the station's national sales manager, will assume the national and regional sales manager post. The promotions come two weeks after WBAL-TV announced that Bill Fine, president and general manager, will depart for the top management spot at Hearst's WCVB-TV in Boston. Jordan Wertlieb, WBAL-TV's current general sales manager, will succeed Fine.

    July 5, 2005
    Dave Adler To WGRQ
    DC radio vet Dave Adler (WBIG, WASH, WARW, WEAM, etc.) is now doing mornings on WGRQ (95.9 FM) in the Fredericksburg area. He was filling-in during afternoon drive last week while the 1960s-1970s hits station was touting a new morning show that was set to start today. It turns out that he's the new morning show.

    July 3, 2005
    Tower Collapse At 950
    WCTN (950 AM), a Spanish language outlet in Potomac MD, suffered a tower collapse. At its transmission site at the Falls Road golf course. Probably from the severe weather on Friday night. The station was able to remain on the air using reduced power from a leaning tower that was still standing.

    July 2, 2005
    Sam Arrives In Warrenton
    On 7/2, WOJL (105.5 FM) in Louisa VA unveiled its new "Sam" format - "Simply About Music." Another one of those Jack-type stations that is trying to mimic "your own personal iPod in shuffle." The locally-owned Piedmont Communications station serves Warrenton, Fredericksburg, and Culpeper.

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

    All original material on this website is copyright by Dave Hughes/DCRTV.