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July 2008 to December 2008By Dave Hughes
December 31, 2008
JFK In Trouble In December PPMs
Guy talker WJFK continues its poor performance in the December monthly electronic Portable People Meter ratings for DC, fueling rumors that CBS will flip the station to sports talk early in the new year. The latest monthly PPMs, age 12+, full-day: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WIHT, 5) WRQX, 6) WHUR, 7) WGTS and WETA-FM, 9) WKYS, 10) WWDC, 11) WPRS, 12) WMMJ, 13) WPGC and WMZQ, 15) WBIG, 16) WLZL, 17) WMAL, 18) WTGB, 19) WTEM and WJZW, 21) WJFK, 22) WBQB and WPFW. Morning drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WASH, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WRQX, 7) WWDC and WPRS, 9) WKYS and WMMJ, 11) WETA-FM, 12) WPGC, 13) WGTS and WMZQ, 15) WMAL, 16) WBIG and WLZL, 18) WJFK, 19) WTGB and WTEM, 21) WJZW. Afternoon drive, same demo: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR and WRQX, 7) WETA-FM and WKYS and WWDC, 10) WMZQ, 11) WPRS, 12) WPGC, 13) WBIG, 14) WLZL, 15) WGTS, 16) WTEM, 17) WMMJ, 18) WMAL and WTGB, 20) WJZW, 21) WJFK. In the latest weekly PPM numbers, WASH, with its Christmas tunes, is in first place. Also, DCRTV hears that WAMU's HD Radio channels post a 0.6 cume rating, a milestone of sorts for digital-only local radio services. Possibly because Bluegrass Country, WAMU-HD2, is now broadcast in analog via Great Falls VA's 105.5 FM? As of today, ratings firm Arbitron certifies the October, November, and today's December "book" as "currency." The new PPM numbers for DC become official and can be used to set ad rates.
December 27, 2008
Cory Haber To Retire
Cory Haber, longtime NBC and Channel 4/WRC engineer and Emmy award winner, is retiring at the end of March.
December 24, 2008
James Adams Leaves 4
Another cut at Channel 4/WRC. DCRTV hears that longtime reporter and anchor James Adams took a buyout from the NBC-owned station. "He went to the station Sunday and cleaned out his desk," we're told.
December 24, 2008
George Michael's Sports Shows Gone From 4
Longtime DC TV sports anchor George Michael (right) will no longer be doing his weekly sports shows at NBC's Channel 4/WRC. A source tells us: "At the taping of... Michael's sports show, Michael Jack, VP at NBC4, informed George that his contract was being bought out and (Tuesday's) taping was the last. George... responded with an offer to the crew that they could come out to his (Maryland) ranch and muck out the horse stalls for a couple of bucks an hour." Michael gave up his nightly sports anchoring duties at budget-cutting WRC in March 2007. But he was continuing to host weekly sports shows like "Redskins Report" and "Full Court Press." DCRTV now hears that both shows are gone from 4's schedule, including the WRC appearances on "RR" by Redskins greats Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins, plus, over the years, Washington Post sports scribes Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, and David DuPree. Another WRC source tells DCRTV that the latest tussle between Michael and 4 was "amicable (and) mutually beneficial." And while there was some turbulence between Michael and WRC's management, he was well-liked by the station's crew and on-air personalities.
December 23, 2008
45 To Relay MGM Channel
Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF will launch This TV Baltimore on its digital subchannel on 1/12. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios is backing the new This TV network, which is designed for the US broadcast marketplace. It'll offer movies from the MGM library as well as classic sitcoms and childrens' programming. It will replace Good TV, a WBFF-based nostalgic entertainment channel which went off the air in October. This TV Baltimore can be seen on digital channel 45.2 and will also be carried in the Baltimore TV market by Comcast on channel 206 and via Verizon FIOS.
December 23, 2008
Gary Reals Bids Farewell To 9
Today is Channel 9/WUSA general assigment reporter Gary Reals' (left) last day at the Gannett station. He's been reporting DC area news for four decades. Reals, who is leaving 9 because of a series of budget cuts and employee buyouts, joined WUSA (then WDVM) in 1991, after working at Channel 7/WJLA since 1983. He started at WMAL radio in 1970, working his way up to reporting duties by 1975.
December 17, 2008
WCHH Sinks In Balto Radio Ratings
Urban WERQ tops the latest monthly radio ratings for Baltimore, with Radio One sister adult urban WWIN-FM in 2nd. Clear Channel's country WPOC falls to 3rd, with CBS's adult contemporary WLIF 4th, Hearst news talker WBAL 5th, CBS hot adult WWMX 6th. News talk WCBM places 7th, Hearst rocker WIYY 8th, Clear Channel gospel WCAO 9th, and CBS classic hits WQSR 10th. Shamrock classic rocker WZBA places 11th, with new CBS sports talker WJZ-FM in 12th. New Clear Channel alt rocker WCHH dives to 23rd in the Arbitron numbers.
December 17, 2008
Winchester Radio Vet Michael Bell Dies
Former WHPL and WEFG radio personality Michael Bell has passed away. The 56-year-old Bell died in Miami Beach. His parents operated the two Winchester-area radio stations, and he was the morning show host, before leaving for WRVQ in Richmond and stations in Florida. Bell suffered a stroke in 1998 which ended his career.
December 16, 2008
TOP Gets More Power For 1050
Bonneville all-newser WTOP has gotten FCC approval for a new 10,000-watt daytime signal upgrade on 1050 AM. The 3,500-watt Silver Spring signal used to carry Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, which is now on 50,000-watt 1500 AM. WTOP will continue to be heard on FMers 103.5, 103.9, and 107.7.
December 15, 2008
Armstrong & reals To Leave 9, 9 Take Buyout
Longtime DC TV newsers Phyllis Armstrong and Gary Reals will be leaving Channel 9/WUSA soon - she in late January and he before the end of 2008. Also, several WUSA photographers have accepted buyouts and will leave the budget-cutting Gannett station at the end of January, along with a longtime executive administrative assistant. A total of nine employees have taken buyouts, including a director, an editor, a master control tech, and a building engineer. Plus, we hear more rumors that anchor JC Hayward (right), who has been with 9 since the early 1970s, might make her "departure announcement" in March, and could leave WUSA in the spring. There have been rumblings for the past few years that Hayward will be leaving 9, but they haven't panned out. However, another 9 source tells us that Hayward's got two more years on her contract and isn't going anywhere.
December 15, 2008
CBS Trades QSR To Clear Channel
CBS has traded away Baltimore "Jack" classic hits outlet WQSR (102.7 FM) to Clear Channel in a radio swap deal that involves stations in Houston, Seattle, Portland OR, and Sacramento. DCRTV had previously reported that CBS had put its five Baltimore stations up for sale, and that WTOP-owner Bonneville was interested in picking up WQSR and WLIF. Clear Channel already owns three stations in Baltimore - two FMers, country WPOC and alt rocker WCHH, and an AMer, gospel WCAO. Clear Channel also owns five FMers in the DC market, plus an FM/AMer in Frederick.
December 15, 2008
Post Hikes Newsstand Price
The Washington Post today hiked the price of a newsstand/retail copy from 50-cents to 75-cents. That's the second price rise in a year. Last year, the Post cost just 25-cents on newsstands. The $1.50 Sunday retail price remains the same, as do the rates for the Post's Sunday-only and seven-day home-delivery subscriptions. In comparison, the New York Times now costs $1.50 on newsstands, with USA Today recently raising its retail price from 75-cents to $1.
December 12, 2008
Former 9er Released From Prison After Sex Sting
Bill Kamal, 51, who anchored the weather on Channel 9/WUSA in the 1980s and early 1990s, was recently moved from a federal prison facility in Massachusetts to a half-way house program in Philadelphia. Working for Miami's WSVN-TV in October 2004, Kamal (booking photo at right) was arrested when he pulled into a South Florida convenience store parking lot where authorities alleged that he was planning to pick up a boy he'd contacted on the internet. Kamal pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he used the internet to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy but was instead an undercover detective with a local sheriff's office. A federal judge in February 2005 gave Kamal the minimum prison sentence for the criminal count of using the internet to solicit a child for sex - five years - and ordered that he pay a $20,000 fine and be placed on probation for the rest of his life.
December 10, 2008
NPR Cuts 64 Jobs, 2 LA-Based Shows
Faced with a sharp decline in revenue, DC-based National Public Radio said today it will pare back its once-flourishing operations, and institute its first organization-wide layoffs in 25 years. NPR said it would lay off about 7 percent of workforce and eliminate two daily programs produced out of its facilities in its Los Angeles area Culver City facility. The shows include "Day To Day," which was aimed at younger listeners, and the newsmaker-interview program "News And Notes," which NPR hoped would attract African Americans. The layoffs of 64 of NPR's 889 employees is designed to close a $23 million shortfall in NPR's current fiscal year, said Dennis Haarsager, NPR's interim president and chief executive in an interview. The cutback will affect all departments, including reporters, producers, researchers, and digital media employees. All four of NPR's major funding sources have taken hits, leading the public radio organization to revise its financial projections downward. It projects revenue this year to fall to $145 million, an 8 percent decline. NPR employees were to be told of the cutbacks in a staff meeting this afternoon.
December 7, 2008
Kenny Campbell Gone From WCEI
Kenny Campbell is no longer the morning man at Easton MD adult contemporary WCEI (96.7 FM). Campbell is the former morning co-host at Mix 106.5 in Baltimore. After Baltimore, he worked in Denver before coming back to the area. No word on whether Campbell was fired from WCEI or left on his own. WCEI Program Director Matt Spence is back to mornings at WCEI, we hear.
December 7, 2008
Former WASHer Mike Kavanaugh Dies
Mike Kavanagh, who did the news on DC's WASH radio in the 1970s, died at his home in suburban Atlanta on Saturday. He was 57 and suffered a heart attack. Kavanagh most recently ran a financial planning business and had been host of a financial show on Atlanta's WSB radio. "I got to know Mike, and he was a truly caring person as well as one of the best news people in the business." a friend tells DCRTV.
December 3, 2008
TOP Tops November PPMs
Portable People Meter electronic radio ratings for DC. The November monthly "book." Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WASH, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WGTS, 7) WRQX and WWDC, 9) WKYS and WETA-FM, 11) WMMJ, 12) WPGC, 13) WMAL, 14) WPRS and WMZQ, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WLZL, 20) WJZW, 21) WJFK, 22) WAVA. Morning drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WAMU, 3) WRQX, 4) WIHT, 5) WHUR, 6) WASH, 7) WMMJ, 8) WWDC, 9) WGTS, 10) WKYS, 11) WPGC, 12) WMAL, 13) WMZQ, 14) WETA-FM, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WBIG, 18) WJFK, 19) WLZL, 20) WTEM, 21) WJZW, 22) WAVA. Afternoon drive, 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WASH, 3) WAMU, 4) WHUR, 5) WIHT, 6) WWDC, 7) WRQX, 8) WKYS, 9) WETA-FM and WMAL, 11) WMZQ, 12) WPGC, 13) WGTS and WPRS and WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WMMJ and WTEM, 19) WLZL, 20) WJFK, 21) WJZW.
December 2, 2008
"Billy Zero" Becomes TMD's PD
William Gallagher, known as "Billy Zero" to his listeners and colleagues, has been named program director of Towson University's adult alternative rock WTMD (89.7 FM). Gallagher has worked at alternative rocker WHFS and, most-recently, at XM Satellite Radio, where he was responsible for programming indie rock XMU and other channels. Tyler Laporte will continue handling day-to-day music duties at WTMD, as well as hosting the "Thursday Night Mixtape" and "Altered Fridays." Gallagher is a graduate of Towson University, with a degree in mass communications.
November 29, 2008
Salem To Hike Power For 780
Salem applied to the FCC to more than double WAVA-AM 780's power from 5,000-watts to 12,000 watts daytime. If approved, this would rectify some of the lost signal in Northern Virginia when the transmitter was recently moved from Arlington to Bethesda, while even adding some coverage to Baltimore. Our source tells us that this will probably make some wonder if Salem might consider selling WAVA-FM 105.1 if it had a comparably powerful AM signal and/or even some of Dan Snyder's FMs, a la rimshots 92.7 and 94.3.
Doc Webster Dies
From the Cumberland Times-News: James "Doc" Webster Jr., 83, died on Thanksgiving at his home. He was a well-known Western Maryland radio personality, beginning a 60-year career at Cumberland's WCUM. He retired from WCBC after a 32-year career there. Webster had a knack for creating radio commercials. "He came up with some very original commercials for clients, using catch phrases that really caught on," said Ted Troxell in remembering his co-worker. Pat Corrado voiced the same sentiment. "When I think of Doc, I think of his creativity in developing commercials. And Doc had a very pleasant personality, very easy to work with, would do anything for you," Corrado said. The two worked together for 10 years, starting in the 1960s, at WTBO.
November 24, 2008
13's Richard Sher To Retire (Really!)
From the Baltimore Business Journal: After 33 years at Channel 13/WJZ, veteran Baltimore television newsman Richard Sher (right) is leaving - for good this time. Sher, 67, said Monday that he will spend his time in teaching, pursuing freelance opportunities, and public speaking. Though he loves covering news, Sher said, it was time to leave the station so he could help in his son Greg's mortgage business. Sher said he had tried to retire "a couple of other times" but never quite left the station. He also hosted the long-running public affairs program "Square Off" and, many years ago, the locally produced program "People Are Talking" with Oprah Winfrey in her early days in television. Sher started his career in radio, after graduating from University Of Maryland. After stints at radio stations in San Francisco, Washington, and Baltimore, Sher entered the television industry in 1975, when WJZ hired him as a general assignment reporter. Sher was an anchor for the 5 PM news in the mid-1990s, before returning to reporting.
November 24, 2008
45's Fadool To CSN
Amy Fadool is joining Comcast SportsNet. The sports anchor and reporter is leaving Channel 45/WBFF in Baltimore and jumping to CSN in Philadelphia.
November 21, 2008
Sliwa To MAL Evenings
Curtis Sliwa, the longtime WABC NYC talker and Guardian Angels co-founder, is getting a syndicated evening show that will also be heard on WABC's Citadel sister talker WMAL in DC. Sliwa's show will air from 10 PM to 1 AM and be distributed by ABC Radio Networks. It'll launch on 12/1.
November 20, 2008
Ron Riley Retiring From NC8
Broadcasting great Ron Riley (right) is leaving his morning weather gig at NewsChannel 8 next week, after 15 years at the Allbritton-owned local news network. His last day on NC8 will be 11/28. Riley tells us that it is "my choice" and not a budget cut. "I've been getting up at 2 in the morning for a long time," he says. "Too long." Riley, who was a "top 40" DJ on the legendary WLS radio in Chicago in the 1960s, came to Baltimore to program then "top 40" WCAO radio, where he worked in the 1970s. He also hosted "Bowling For Dollars" for Channel 11/WBAL at the time. In the 1980s, he did weather stints for Channel 2/WMAR and Channel 13/WJZ. After short weather gigs at Channel 4/WRC and Channel 5/ WTTG in the early 1990s, he got hired by NC8. Even though he's retiring, Riley says that he may still seek freelance TV and radio gigs from time to time.
November 19, 2008
Stronger DC Signal For El Zol
CBS Radio has moved the 99.1 FM transmitter for El Zol, WLZL, to a 463-foot tower near Bowie State University in northeast Prince George's County from a tower a few miles to the east, near Crofton in Anne Arundel County. That'll improve the Annapolis-licensed station's Spanish contemporary signal to DC and its western suburbs.
November 17, 2008
Weasel Out At Globe, Albie To Mornings
94.7 the Globe's morning man, Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert, and the classic rocker's program director, Lorrin Palagi, are gone. WTGB evening man and local radio veteran Albie Dee will be moving to mornings. DC area rock radio legend Weasel will still be available for WTGB special projects, feature shows, and maybe weekend duty. CBS DC radio cluster programming VP Michael Hughes will be programming WTGB in the near term, with Jerry Hoyt becoming the station's manager of operations. DCRTV also hears that CBS will move WTGB from its Silver Spring studios to the firm's broadcast complex in Lanham, which houses WPGC and WLZL. That would leave talker WJFK, with studios and offices in Fairfax, as the only CBS DC market station not in Lanham.
November 17, 2008
Winchester's 610 Goes Dark, Sports To 1550
Clear Channel moves the sports talk format from Winchester VA's WTFX, 610 AM, to Charles Town WV's WMRE, 1550 AM, which had sported a nostalgic music format as "Memories 1550." The new "SportsTalk 1550" will continue to broadcast regional high school sports as well as NASCAR, University Of Virginia sports, and Fox Sports syndicated programming. Also, CC is taking 610 off the air for good, as the 40-acre WTFX transmitter site on Route 50 is slated to become a retirement development. "The AM signal that began as WHPL (right) in 1961 has had an important presence as a carrier of local sports for many years," said Clear Channel Radio Winchester Market Manager Chuck Peterson. "In continuing our strong commitment to our community and in order to further super-serve the local sports needs in the area, we are glad to be able to move our sports talk programs to another one of our AM signals, 1550." Formerly also WUSQ and WVAI, Winchester's 610 was a country station in the 1960s and a contemporary hit station in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the outlet had a variety of formats, including big band, adult contemporary, news, and country again. It became talker WNTW in 1994, and flipped to contemporary Christian music in 1999. In 2002, under Clear Channel ownership, 610 became sports talk WTFX.
November 15, 2008
Channel 104.3 Crashes
The latest Baltimore monthly trend radio ratings show that urban WERQ topped the full-week, age 12+ numbers, with urban adult WWIN-FM 2nd, adult contemporary WLIF 3rd, country WPOC 4th, news talker WCBM 5th, hot adult WWMX 6th, news talker WBAL-AM 7th, and rocker WIYY and classic rocker WZBA tied for 8th, with adult hits WQSR 10th. Gospel WCAO was 11th, and talker WHFS 12th. New alternative rocker WCHH, Channel 104.3, crashed to a disappointing 19th. Since flipping 104.3 from smooth jazz to alt rock, the Clear Channel station has plunged from a year-ago 3.6 share to a 1.2 share now.
November 14, 2008
4 & 5 Share News Video
Local television station groups owned by Fox and NBC have formed a news service to share video taken at news events like crime scenes and press conferences. The venture will operate initially in Philadelphia, where it was tested, as well as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington. Those are the markets where both companies own stations. Executives at the Fox Television Stations and NBC Local Media portrayed it as a way to save money for local news operations, which have been hit hard recently as heavy advertisers like automakers have been pulling back spending. In Washington, the deal would affect NBC's Channel 4/WRC and Fox's Channel 5/WTTG. A DCRTV source tells us that 4 and 5 already share helicopter footage - one station flies in the morning and the other at night - saving an estimated $500K a year, and a fiber line has been installed between Nebraska and Wisconsin avenues to share video.
November 12, 2008
Sinclair To Shutter DC Bureau
Sinclair Broadcast Group will be closing its DC news bureau and cease all newsgathering and production at its headquarters in Hunt Valley MD, effective at the end of the year. The DC bureau was headed by DC-Baltimore news anchor veteran Morris Jones. About 20 jobs will be affected. At one time, the bureau fed news to Sinclair's News Central operation, which provided newscasts for many of its 60 TV stations across the country, including Baltimore's Fox45 and CW54. But News Central has already been scaled-back.....
November 12, 2008
XM Changes Channels
Many music channels from XM disappeared at midnight, replaced by their Sirius equivalents. The result of last summer's satellite radio merger, and a series of recent budget and personnel cuts at the DC firm. Says a DCRTVer: "At about 11:40 PM on XM-54, the PD for Lucy came on to thank everyone for supporting the station and satellite radio, and then they launched into five farewell songs: 'Closing Time' by Semisonic, 'Let The Mystery Be' by 10,000 Maniacs and David Byrne, 'No Surprises' by Radiohead and 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)' by Green Day (not a shock) and finally 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Tori Amos. Ethel, XM-47, ended with Mighty Mighty Bosstones 'So Sad To Say' (another goodbye song), and on XM-44, Fred's final song was Haysi Fantazee 'Shiny Shiny' which was just obtuse, before it ran a 'Thank You!' message on the PAD Data, and went right into it's new Sirius identity promptly at midnight - as did Ethel and Lucy. Thank you XM for these little bright spots - I'll give the new stations a shot."
November 8, 2008
Alda Tullis Brown Dies
Alda Tullis Brown, 85, a retired paralegal who appeared on a local television show in the 1950s, died on 10/20 in Marietta GA. She occasionally performed as a stage and radio singer before becoming a writer, producer, and on-air personality with the Channel 5/WTTG program "Jamboree," hosted by Art Lamb. The audience-participation show was broadcast from Washington until 1957.
November 8, 2008
Henry Loomis Dies
Henry Loomis, who died on 11/2 in Jacksonville at age 89, was director of the Voice Of America during the Eisenhower administration and president of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting during the Nixon administration.
November 7, 2008
Rob Heckman Leaves 98 Rock
Rob Heckman is leaving Baltimore's 98 Rock, WIYY, where he's been assistant program director and music director. He tells a trade pub: "This is a personal decision I made on my own. I've had a wonderful experience at 98 Rock. Hearst is a great company and after being here for 14 years it was solely my decision to leave." There are no plans to replace him. Program Director Dave Hill and Assistant Music Director Steve Huber will be sharing Heckman's responsibilities.
November 6, 2008
Marc Clarke Gone From 92Q
Marc Clarke (right), host of 92Q's "Big Phat Morning Show," has gotten the axe. Along with producer Sonjay Decaires. Their last show was today. We're told that they're the victims of a budget cut by the slumping Radio One. Clarke came to Baltimore's urban contemporary WERQ, 92.3 FM, in 1999 to do the morning show with co-host Troy Johnson, who got bounced in 2006. By the way, Johnson also got canned this week from his midday talk gig at CBS's 105.7, WHFS, which flipped to sports talk WJZ-FM. Look for 92Q to pick up the Rickey Smiley syndicated show for mornings, starting next week. According to wjz.com, WERQ General Manager Howard Mazer says the change was a corporate decision. It's part of cost-cutting measures designed to save the station bucks. But some fans think it's a bad move. "I have no idea why they would do that especially because he is so popular. He's kind of like a staple for somebody to up and get rid of him. It makes no sense," a listener told WJZ. Clarke is married to Channel 5/WTTG reporter Allison Seymour.
November 6, 2008
"The Hideout" Ends
"The Hideout" show, which ran during Saturday evenings on WJFK-FM, is over. Done. Finito. That's according to show co-host J Dubs at hideoutheretics.net. DCRTV recently reported that the show's other host, Alex "El Jefe" Jimenez, recently joined the morning show at Atlanta rocker WKLS. Once done daily at WJFK, recently the weekly "Hideout" show was done from Tampa.
November 6, 2008
Comcast To Shutter CN8 News
Comcast's CN8 news channel will shutter in Boston, where Comcast has an interest in the New England Cable News Channel, and will become "The Comcast Network" in DC and Philadelphia. A "majority" of its 300 employees will be laid off. In October, DCRTV reported that CN8's "Your Morning" early morning newscast would leave the air by year's end.
November 4, 2008
Catherine Snyder Jumps From 9 To 4
Catherine Snyder is Channel 4/WRC's new senior manager of news content, replacing Margie Ruttenberg, who left NBC4 in September for the assistant news director gig at Channel 5/WTTG. Snyder jumps over from Channel 9/WUSA, where she was assistant news director. In the past, she'd worked as producer for CNBC and MSNBC. Snyder started her career with NBC4 as a production assistant.
November 3, 2008
WCBM Owner Nick Mangione Dies
Nick Mangione, owner of Baltimore talker WCBM (680 AM) and sports talker WVIE (1370 AM), passed away on Sunday at age 83, following an earlier stroke. He bought WCBM in 1988, and brought with him many of the talkers heard on the old WFBR, including Tom Marr, Frank Luber, Les Kinsolving, and Stan "The Fan" Charles.
November 3, 2008
Sports Talk For 105.7, K&M Gone, Norris To Mornings
CBS Radio flipped low-rated Baltimore talker WHFS, 105.7 FM, to sports talk on 11/3. The new calls are WJZ-FM/AM, linking it and former WJFK-AM (1300) to CBS TVer Channel 13/WJZ. With the overall sports format moving over from CBS sister WJFK-AM, ESPN 1300. Kirk and Mark got yanked from mornings, replaced by former afternooner Ed Norris and his producer, Maynard Edwards. Also out - middayer Troy Johnson. We're also told that CBS has registered several new web addresses, including sportsradio1057.com, sportsradio1057thefan.com, and 1057thefan.com. DCRTV has reported rumblings that CBS's Baltimore suits have been debating whether to yank K&M, who moved to 105.7 in 2007. They never achieved the ratings they'd had during their long run at Hearst's 98 Rock. More on the new 105.7 sked: Fox45 sports anchor Bruce Cunningham is leaving sports talker WNST (1570 AM), where he did a Saturday show, to join "The Fan" 105.7 for the 1 PM to 3 PM slot. Former Channel 2/WMAR sports anchor Scott Garceau joins Anita Marks, who did afternoons on 1300, to pair from 3 PM to 7 PM. Mark Viviano hosts late mornings. The Baltimore Orioles and University Of Maryland's Terrapins will continue to air on 105.7. Also, ESPN 1300 will pick-up the ESPN national radio feed, with no local content.
November 3, 2008
1580 To Become Big Talker
On 11/11, CBS Radio plans to flip WPGC-AM, 1580, to a right-leaning talk format with Michael Smerconish, who does mornings on CBS's Philadelphia talker, WPHT, blowtorch 1210 AM. The Morningside MD station, which now relays urban PGC-FM since dropping "inspirational talk" last month, will be branded "The Big Talker," like the co-owned Philly outlet. PGC-AM will also carry Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck - the latter two had been heard on recently-defunct Bonneville talker 3WT. CBS has registered bigtalker1580.com, dcbigtalk.com, and dcbigtalker.com, we're told. WPGC-AM has a strong 50,000-watt daytime signal, with a weak 270-watt night signal. Also, CBS will be moving the WHFS calls to the frequency.
October 30, 2008
FCC Approves Hike & Freq Change For WAGE, WBIS To Shut Down
The FCC has approved Leesburg talker WAGE to move from 1200 to 1190 AM and hike its power to 50,000-watts daytime, greatly improving its coverage into the DC metro. Annapolis/Baltimore loses an AM signal as co-owned business talker WBIS, currently on 1190 with 10,000-watts daytime, will be shut down.
October 29, 2008
Jeremy Settle Named NC8 ND
Jeremy Settle has been named news director for Allbritton's NewsChannel 8. A Silver Spring native, Settle once worked at Channel 9/WUSA as a production assistant, assistant producer, assignment editor, sports producer, and assignment editor. In late 2004, he headed to Charlottesville to be news director for three TV outlets - WCAV, WVAW, and WAHU.
October 24, 2008
CBS Radio Tweaks DC Management
CBS Radio has restructured the management of its DC radio cluster. We're told that Sam Rogers, the general manager of urban contemporary WPGC-FM/AM and senior corporate vice president, now controls the five-station complex and takes the title of "market manager." Michael Hughes becomes "vice president of programming by title only. His real job is day-to-day program director of the Globe," we hear from a local radio source. Hughes has been general manager of not only the classic rock Globe, WTGB, but also Spanish contemporary El Zol, WLZL, and guy talker WJFK-FM. However, another source tells DCRTV that while Rogers is, indeed, now market manager, Hughes will serve as vice president of programming, or "station manager," and be ultimately responsible for programming all five stations in the cluster, including PGC.
October 17, 2008
WorldSpace Files For Bankruptcy
Silver Spring-based WorldSpace has filed for bankruptcy protection after its board of directors decided it needed to raise cash to repay debt. The international satellite radio operator has been trying unsuccessfully to raise capital. It has listed debt of $2.1 billion and assets of $307.4 million as of June. It will remain on the air while it looks for financing. WorldSpace serves Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
October 17, 2008
Connie Adams Dies
Connie Adams has died. She was a producer and secretary of WMAL (630 AM) back when it was a full-service middle-of-the-road music station in the 1960s and 1970s. She also helped produce WMAL's Harden and Weaver morning show, we're told. Later, she formed Adams Communications, which worked with WNAV (1430 AM) in Annapolis in the 1990s.
October 15, 2008
WHUR & WERQ Top Summer Ratings
The summer radio ratings "book" ain't the most important of the year, but it's still widely analyzed. And, more good news for WTOP in the just-out DC ratings. The all-newser has way more "cume" listeners than any other radio station in the market, more than a quarter million more listeners than the number 2 station with 911,200 listeners age 12+ in the metro area. Placing 1st in AM and PM drives in the 12+ demo, and 2nd, just one-tenth of a point behind top-rated WHUR, in the full-day numbers. Full-day AQH, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WKYS, 8) WMAL (down a full point from a year ago), 9) WMZQ, 10) WWDC, 11) WLZL and WPRS, 13) WRQX, 14) WBIG and WJZW, 16) WJFK-FM, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM (despite two Skins games during the ratings period), 19) WACA, 20) WFRE and WAVA. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WMAL, 7) WKYS, 8) WWDC, 9) WIHT, 10) WRQX, 11) WLZL and WMZQ, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WAVA, 17) WTGB, 18) WJZW, 19) WTEM, 20) WACA and WFRE. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WIHT, 6) WMZQ and WASH, 8) WMAL and WKYS, 10) WRQX, 11) WJFK-FM (down almost a full point from a year ago), 12) WPRS and WWDC, 14) WLZL, 15) WBIG, 16) WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WACA. Reborn classic rock WTGB sees an age 25-54 big jump for September alone, we're told. Baltimore, full-day 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WLIF, 4) WPOC, 5) WBAL-AM and WCBM, 7) WWMX, 8) WZBA, 9) WIYY, 10) WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHFS, 15) WRBS, 17) WCHH, 23) WRNR, 26) WNST.
October 14, 2008
Axe Hits XMers
DC-based XM Satellite Radio makes massive cuts following its summer merger with rival Sirius. We get this from an XM source: "All the great people that are gone from XM radio, may we all RIP... Let's go back and take the terrestial world by storm... Gone but not forgotten: '50s Channel PD Ken Smith, '50s Channel MD Matt The Cat, '60s Channel PD Pat Clark, '80s Channel MD/afternooner Kandy Klutch, Cross-Country PD Jessie Scott, Decades Channel Senior PD Kurt Gilcrest, Cafe PD Bill Evans, all of XM Urban accept three people." Also among the 50-ish employees cut Tuesday: George Taylor Morris of Deep Tracks, '70s-On-7's John Clay; Billy Zero and Tobi from XMU, Ethel's Erik Range and Rick Lambert, and Bill Hutton of Lucy. Plus: Soul Street's Bobby Bennett and Leigh Hamilton, Raw's Mz Kitti, The City's DJ Xclusive and Lisa Ivery, Viva's Karla Rodriguez, and Aguila's Mad Mexican. Plus Ken Smith of '50s-On-5, Pat Clarke of '60s-On-6, XM America's Ray Knight, John Welch, and "Country Dan" Dixon, BK Kirkland of the Groove, plus Bill Evans, Brian Chamberlain, and Cathy Carter from XM Cafe. XM Gospel's Jay Bryant and Suite 62's Vic Clemens. And, another round of cuts could be coming in early November. The word is that Sirius XM suits have abandoned plans to continue separate line-ups for each service, and instead will feature one common channel line-up on both systems. With the Sirius music channel versions probably being offered on both.
October 14, 2008
Danilo Noel Diron Dies
Danilo Noel Diron, who was the radio color analyst for more than 400 DC United soccer games since 1997, died on 10/10 at his home in McLean. He'd been suffering from liver cancer.
October 13, 2008
Leslie Cook Returns To Texas TV Gig
We recently told you that Channel 7/ WJLA reporter and weekend news anchor Leslie Cook had moved back to her native Texas. Now, we hear that she'll anchor the evening newscasts on Austin's KXAN-TV. Cook had anchored at KXAN from 1995 to 2003, before moving to DC with her husband Patrick, who worked with the Bush administration.
October 13, 2008
Chuck Evans Dies
Chuck Evans, a former Baltimore Ravens fullback and a regular contributor to Baltimore's ESPN 1300, WJFK-AM, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 41. He'd been a co-host of the "Press Box Live" show and frequently guested with afternooner Anita Marks.
October 11, 2008
Grease Gone From DC101
Doug "Greaseman" Tracht is done doing his Saturday morning show on DC101. Sources tell us that the Clear Channel rocker is going more "music intensive" on weekends, without the Grease's comic bits. Tracht recently signed to do an afternoon show on a Jacksonville classic rocker.
October 11, 2008
Levan Reid Leaving 9
DCRTV hears that Channel 9/WUSA has not renewed the contract of weekend sports anchor Levan Reid (right). He is done after the November "sweeps" period, we're told.....
October 10, 2008
TMD Loses DC Area Relay
Towson University's adult alternative WTMD was replaced Friday on the 105.5 FM Great Falls VA relay with WAMU's Bluegrass Country, which is carried on WAMU's HD2 digital channel and via bluegrasscountry.org. In papers recently filed with the FCC, the Reston-based owner of the translator facility applied for a power hike from 38-watts to 250-watts and a replacement of the Baltimore area's WTMD as the originating station.
October 9, 2008
"Postitive Talk" For 1230
Peter And John Ministries-owned WRBS-AM in Baltimore has rebranded itself as "Positive Talk 1230 AM," abandoning much of its music programming during the day and replacing it with Christian teaching and talk.
October 6, 2008
Talk Gone From PGC-AM For Relay On PGC-FM
CBS Radio has pulled the plug on the "inspirational" talk format on WPGC-AM (1580). And has replaced it with a simulcast of urban contemporary WPGC-FM (95.5). CBS yanked WPGC-AM's longtime "Heaven 1580" gospel music format earlier this year, following the April 2007 launch and rising ratings of Radio One's gospel Praise 104.1, WPRS.
October 1, 2008
Brian Wilson Leaves 105.7
Baltimore radio veteran Brian Wilson is no longer doing his gig at talker WHFS (105.7 FM), where he did the noon to 3 PM slot. Wilson, who programs a talker in Toledo, Ohio, had been doing the Baltimore show via ISDN phone line. A source close to Wilson tells DCRTV that it was his choice to end his partnership with WHFS and CBS. Wilson was not canned and he determined the end-date. "Brian's decision to leave was due to his obligations as program director in Toledo, as well as the future sale of WHFS." CBS suits had asked him to continue at WHFS through October. Wilson's replacement at WHFS is Mike Pintek, who once anchored news on DC's WASH radio. He's also worked as news director at WKBO radio in Harrisburg and as a midday host on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.
October 1, 2008
45 Shutters Good TV
Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF is running an announcement on its "45.2" digital subchannel that it has discontinued its Good TV nostalgic show channel.....
September 30, 2008
Elane Stein Dies
Longtime Baltimore radio talk show host, public service director, and public TV show critic Elane Stein (right) passed away at the age of 85 at her retirement home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she had taken a fall. Stein worked most of her career at Baltimore's WCBM and later at WBAL. She interviewed many local and national celebrities, and was a film and stage critic. Also, she was a regular on the early days of Maryland Public Television. Baltimore radio veteran Jack Edwards tells us: "Off the air, Elane was famous for 'telling it like it is' and would not hold back her thoughts on any subject or person. A nice lady that made the Baltimore airwaves sound very professional".....
September 30, 2008
Last Chapter For Olsson's
DC area book and music store Olsson's has shut its doors. It's definitely the end of the road for the 36-year-old chain of stores. It has closed all of its locations and petitioned the US Bankruptcy Court for conversion of its current Chapter 11 protection to Chapter 7. The reasons given for the petitioning were stagnant sales, low cash reserves, and an inability to renegotiate current leases, along with a continuing weak retail economy and plummeting music sales. Olsson's was granted Chapter 11 protection in July in order to work on an "aggressive reorganization plan" involving store closings and cuts in overhead costs.
September 29, 2008
Orpheus To Close In October
Orpheus Records in Arlington just announced that its "absolute last" day of retail sales is Sunday, 10/12. The longtime record and CD shop was supposed to close last March, but its landlord experienced several failed attempts at leasing the building. Look for an Irish pub to take over the Clarendon storefront. Orpheus owner Rick Carlisle says that most vinyl LP prices have hit rock bottom, and that he is still entertaining offers on bulk LP, CD, and fixture sales right up until the end of his lease, on 10/31. For many years, Orpheus was on M Street in Georgetown, until moving to the less expensive Clarenton spot about a decade ago.
September 29, 2008
9 Veteran Bob Strickland Dies
Longtime Channel 9 reporter Bob Strickland (right) died of cardiac complications on 9/26 at his home in DC. He was 72. The cause of death has not been announced. He worked at Channel 9 under three owners, and three sets of call letters - WTOP, WDVM, and WUSA - from 1969 to 1996. For most of those three decades, he was a general assignment reporter. Strickland will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Another Channel 9 veteran, Bruce Johnson, tells us via his blog at wusa9.com: "Bob is... credited with helping train scores of young minorities to enter the TV reporting ranks through the Channel 9 - American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists program."
September 29, 2008
DC City Paper Parent Files For Bankruptcy
Creative Loafing, the owner of the free weekly Washington City Paper, announced this morning that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a conference call with company officials, Ben Eason, the firm's CEO, said that the step would allow the six papers in the Creative Loafing portfolio to establish a greater online presence while the company reorganizes its operations. Creative Loafing owns papers in Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, Sarasota, Chicago, and Washington. It acquired the last two in July 2007. Said Eason: "I do think that the (Chicago) Reader and Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing are all far better off today together, given the footprint and given what we've been able to accomplished digitally... This is all about a fresh start," stated Eason, who hastened to add that the filing entails no liquidation, no layoffs, and "no terrible, terrible things." All Creative Loafing employees and vendors will be paid on schedule, he said.
September 29, 2008
WTOP Adds 1050
Bonneville has started relaying all-news WTOP on Silver Spring's 1050 AM, which had been the home of Federal News Radio. FNR is now on 1500 AM, with 1050 taking on the WTOP-AM calls. We're told that "1050 will simulcast WTOP except for some sports and a little weekend programming." WTOP can still be heard on FMers 103.5, 107.7, and 103.9.
September 29, 2008
Grease Back To Jacksonville
Doug "Greaseman" Tracht returns to Jacksonville, to host afternoon drive on classic rock WFYV. Tracht was heard in the North Florida market from 1975 to 1982, when he was the morning man on "top 40" AM legend WAPE, before coming to DC's DC101 to be Howard Stern's replacement. We assume that the Grease will manage to continue his current Saturday morning shift on rocker DC101.
September 23, 2008
JFK-FM To Be Relayed On 94.7's HD3
Now that the HD Radio Alliance has relaxed its rules on running commercial content on digital HD Radio subchannels, DCRTV hears that CBS is planning to relay the signal of guy talker and University Of Maryland sports outlet WJFK-FM (106.7) on the HD3 signal of co-owned classic rocker WTGB (94.7 FM), which transmits from Bethesda. Since Northern Virginia's 106.7 is short-spaced to Baltimore's 106.5, WWMX, the JFK-FM signal has a tough time reaching some portions of DC's northeastern suburbs, including College Park.
September 23, 2008
Cahill New PD For WBIG & WASH
The new program director for Clear Channel's classic hits WBIG (100.3 FM) and adult contemporary WASH (97.1 FM) is Bill Cahill, from CC's Richmond radio cluster, where he's been operations manager and programmed adult contemporary WTVR-FM. He replaces Bill Hess at WASH, who left for a gig at Air America over the summer, and Dan Michaels at WBIG, who just left.
September 22, 2008
Mancow Lands On WTNT
Redskins owner Dan Snyder's righty talker WTNT has replaced Dennis Miller with Chicago-based shock jock Mancow in the 3 PM to 6 PM slot. WTNT Program Director Greg Tantum tells us that it's a "soft launch" with no publicity - not even on the station's website. Miller moves to the noon to 3 PM slot, with Mike Gallagher taking late evenings. All three are syndicated, piped-in via satellite. Mancow just lost his Baltimore outlet, with talker WVIE, 1370 AM, flipping to sports talk.
September 22, 2008
Post To Increase Web Presence, Politico To Expand
The Washington Post is launching a major web expansion of its Capitol Hill national political coverage, just as Allbritton's less than two-year-old DC-based Politico website and newspaper announces a major expansion, too. The Post unveils "The Political Browser," a section that "brings together on one page the day's most important political stories, videos, facts, statistics, and photos from around the web." A hub for readers to instantly find the top news driving the day's political discussion selected by the Post's political team. Focusing on breaking news, viral videos, and best scoops likely to shape the rest of the week's political conversation. It'll also cover news from the congressional and gubernatorial races across the country. But, upstart Politico is also announcing some big plans. Next year, the less-than-two-year-old political news and gossip site will increase publication of its newspaper to four days when Congress is in session, increase circulation, and expand its staff to more than 100 employees. It currently has a staff of 85. The paper will remain predominantly focused on Capitol Hill and add new congressional editors and reporters. Plus, it'll increase coverage of the White House, with a new webpage dubbed "Politico 44."
September 21, 2008
CBS News Vet Robert Camfiord Dies
Robert Bjarne "Barney" Camfiord, 77, a former director of CBS news programs, died on 8/5 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had emphysema. Camfiord began his career with CBS-TV in 1955 in New York as a film editor. In 1963, he came to the CBS Washington bureau, where he directed "Face The Nation" and the "CBS Morning News." He also directed Washington segments of the "CBS Evening News." Among the major news events that Camfiord covered as a director were the Cuban missile crisis; the 1963 March on Washington, which featured Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech; the funerals of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy; the first Apollo moon landing in 1969; and the Watergate hearings.
September 18, 2008
Michaelsen Gets ND Gig At 9
Lane Michaelsen has been named as the new news director at DC's CBS affiliate, Gannett's Channel 9/WUSA. He worked his way up through the Gannett ranks from news photographer, to news director at a Little Rock TV station, to a Gannett corporate position. Michaelsen will replace Mike Ward, who "resigned" earlier this week. On the heels of last week's news anchor shuffle, not to mention the CBS affiliate's chronic low news ratings. Ward joined WUSA in May 2007 after TV news and management gigs in Chicago, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Sioux Falls, and Cleveland.
September 17, 2008
CBM Finally Beats BAL
WCBM (680 AM) finally tops WBAL-AM (1090) in the battle of the Baltimore AM talkers. WCBM has risen from a 3.4 share to a 4.1 share in a year, while WBAL has dropped from 4.8 to a 3.9. Also, new alternative rocker WCHH debuts with a 1.3 share, way way down from a 3.6 when 104.3 was smooth jazz a year ago. Out today, the monthly "trend" ratings for Baltimore, full-day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WWIN-FM, 3) WPOC, 4) WLIF, 5) WCBM, 6) WWMX, 7) WBAL-AM, 8) WZBA, 9) WIYY and WQSR, 11) WCAO, 12) WHFS, 14) WRBS, 17) WCHH.
September 17, 2008
TOP Stays On Top
Another round of those monthy "trend" radio ratings. DC. Full-day, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH and WIHT, 7) WKYS, 8) WLZL, 9) WMAL, 10) WMZQ and WRQX and WWDC, 13) WPRS, 14) WJFK-FM and WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WFRE, 19) WAVA, 20) WFLS and WTEM, 22) WWWT, 23) WINC-FM and WIYY and WBQB, 26) WWXX, 27) WWRC. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WPGC-FM, 6) WMAL and WWDC, 8) WIHT, 9) WASH, 10) WLZL, 11) WRQX, 12) WMZQ, 13) WJFK-FM, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WAVA, 17) WFRE and WJZW, 19) WWWT and WTGB, 21) WTEM, 22) WFLS, 23) WWXX and WINC-FM, 25) WIYY, 26) WWRC and WBQB. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WIHT, 6) WASH, 7) WJFK-FM, 8) WRQX, 9) WLZL and WMAL, 11) WMZQ and WKYS, 13) WWDC, 14) WPRS and WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS and WBQB, 22) WWXX and WIYY and WINC-FM, 25) WWRC and WWWT, 27) WAVA.
September 16, 2008
MASN To Launch 24/7 HD Net In March
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will be launching a full-time high-def channel come March 2009. With up to 200 Nationals and Orioles games in HD. Doubling the number of HD games offered this year via MASN's part-time HD network, which was not carried by all area video providers. Also, the MASN HD channel will carry Ravens pre-season games, selected NCAA Division I football, basketball, and lacrosse games, plus ESPN News in high-def. Comcast, DirecTV, Cox, and RCN are on-board to carry the new 24/7 channel, according to MASN.
September 16, 2008
Ruttenberg Jumps From 4 To 5
Executive news producer Margie Ruttenberg leaves NBC's Channel 4/WRC for the assistant news director gig at Fox's Channel 5/WTTG.
September 15, 2008
Willingham, Witte, Cook Gone From 7 & 8
Dave Willingham, the morning traffic reporter on NewsChannel 8, and Channel 7/WJLA weekend weatherman Joe Witte have both been canned by Allbritton, which owns both outlets. DCRTV has already reported that local TV weather veteran Steve Rudin has been hired by 7 to do weekend forecasts. DCRTV also hears that anchor Leslie Cook, who is away on maternity leave, will not be returning to JLA. We're told that she's moved back to her native Texas.
September 15, 2008
Tim Watts Gives Up PD Duties At Magic 95.9
Tim Watts has resigned his program director post at Baltimore adult urban outlet WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9. The two decade Charm City radio veteran will continue his midday on-air gig at the Radio One station. On an interim basis, Kathy Brown, operations manager of Radio One's adult urban WMMJ, Magic 102.3 in DC, will assume programming duties at WWIN.
September 15, 2008
RZ Tweaks Talkers
It's "McCain 570 WTNT" and "Obama 1260 WWRC". Those are the temporary presidential campaign identities for the former Clear Channel talkers now operated by Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra. With some line-up tweaks as of today. On righty WTNT, on the left side of the AM dial, it's Bill Bennett at 6 AM, Laura Ingraham at 9 AM, Mike Gallagher at noon, Dennis Miller at 3 PM, and Michael Savage at 6 PM. On lefty WWRC, on the right side of the AM dial, it's Bill Press at 6 AM, Stephanie Miller - moving over from now-defunct 3WT - at 9 AM, Ed Schultz at noon, Lionel at 3 PM, Rachel Maddow at 6 PM, and Ron Reagan at 8 PM. Also, righty WTNT features news from Fox, with lefty WWRC carrying newscasts from CNN and CNBC. The stations are now programmed by Greg Tantum, who used to program Bonneville talker 3WT.
September 15, 2008
WFED Makes Move To 1500
As expected, Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, made the move Monday morning from the weakish 1050 AM to the 50,000-watt signal of 1500 AM, which had been airing now-defunct talker 3WT. WFED will also be heard on Frederick's 820 AM. The beefed-up WFED line-up includes the "Federal Drive" with Tom Temin and Jane Norris at 6 AM, locally-produced specialty federal programming at 10 AM, "In Depth" with Francis Rose at 1 PM, and the "Daily Debrief" with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris at 3 PM. Plus a batch of weekly programs, including "Federal Tech Talk" with John Gilroy on Tuesdays at 11 AM, and "Your Turn" with Mike Causey on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Federal News Radio will continue to run sports that had been heard on 3WT, including the Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals, Navy Athletics, and GW men's basketball, plus 3WT's night talkers, including DC-based Jim Bohannon. 3WT's Virginia signal, 107.7 FM from Warrenton, now airs Bonneville sister all-newser WTOP.
September 14, 2008
Nostalgic Tunes End On WCTN
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) will be dropping its short-lived nostalgic adult contemporary format on Sunday at 10 PM. Following a prayer from John Vogt, who owned the station when it was Christian contemporary in the 1980s and 1990s, WCTN will go back to brokered programming. Look for a resumption of Korean religion from WCTN's current owner, Richard Yoon's Win Radio.
September 11, 2008
Comcast To Close Hunt Valley Ad Center
A source tells DCRTV that Comcast Spotlight, which handles local ad sales for the cable TV giant, will shut down its Hunt Valley operations center north of Baltimore, and relocate most functions to new digs in West Chester PA, just west of Philadelphia, where Comcast is headquartered. The Hunt Valley facility processes advertising contracts, payments, and traffic from sales offices throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region. The approximately 75 Hunt Valley employees are being offered the chance to "re-apply" for their jobs in the new West Chester center. The regional Comcast sales team, as well as regional traffic and senior management employees, will be relocated to new office space in Baltimore County in the near future.
September 11, 2008
McDermott Gone From 9
A DCRTVer tells us: "I was shocked when Todd McDermott signed off on WUSA/Channel 9 after Wednesday night's 11 PM newscast. Do you have any info on where he's headed?" DCRTV hears that McDermott (left) surprised many when he did a short goodbye thanking the viewers for welcoming him into their homes since 2004. Insiders at 9 say his contract was not renewed.
September 10, 2008
MD Commission Rejects Comp Request From Former FREer
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission has turned down a request for payment by country WFRE (99.9 FM) former morning personality Linda West. In an 8/1 hearing, West claimed that she suffered health problems due to mold in the radio station on Grove Hill Road in Frederick. The Clear Channel station claimed that only small amounts of mold were found and they were located in areas not frequented by West.
September 10, 2008
GWU Hoops To Remain On 1500 & 820
George Washington University's men's basketball will again air on Bonneville's 1500 AM and 820 AM during the 2008-2009 season. Those two signals have been carrying soon-to-defunct talker 3WT, which is due to become Federal News Radio next week. However, the other component of the 3WT signal, 107.7 FM, has not been mentioned and presumably will no longer carry GWU games. That frequency is now carrying all-news WTOP.
September 8, 2008
Rudin Nabs Weekend Weather Gig At 7
Channel 7/WJLA has named DC TV weather veteran Steve Rudin as its weekend weatherman. He has been doing fill-in work on 7 and sister NewsChannel 8. Rudin has worked at Channel 5/WTTG and at Channel 9/WUSA, where he worked with WJLA's now top meterologist, Doug Hill.
September 4, 2008
56 Signs Off
As expected, as of 9/1, Northern Virginia public television outlet Channel 56/WNVC has permanently shut down its analog signal. Along with its digital signal on channel 57, while it makes equipment upgrades. The Falls Church station's MHz Networks signal is still available via digital broadcast on co-owned WNVT, which operates a digital-only signal on channel 30. Four of MHz's digital foreign network relays also remain available via channel 30. Most local cable TV systems, including Comcast and Cox, are continuing to carry WNVC's and WNVT's digital video streams uninterrupted via landline. WNVC will resume its digital broadcasts in February on channel 24.
September 4, 2008
Former Ravens Coach Buys Into WNST
Dormer Baltimore Ravens Coach Brian Billick will become an investor in Nestor Aparacio's sports talk WNST (1570 AM). As DCRTV already reported, Billick will host a weekly show on the Towson-based station.
September 3, 2008
Robin Breedon Gone From Praise 104.1
Robin Breedon, formerly with CBS's formerly gospel WPGC-AM, Heaven 1580, is now apparently also formerly with Radio One's gospel Praise 104.1, WPRS. We're told that she is no longer doing the 4 PM to 8 PM shift on the FMer and has been erased from WPRS's website.
September 2, 2008
Bob & Tom To ZBA
Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, 100.7 FM, the Bay, is going with the syndicated "Bob And Tom" morning show, which is based in Indianapolis. Starting 9/8. WZBA discharged Baltimore radio vet Chris Emry from his morning slot over the summer. Emry is now doing evenings on DC classic rocker WTGB, the Globe, 94.7 FM.
September 2, 2008
Tantum Joins Red Zebra
Former Washington Post Radio and 3WT program director Greg Tantum has been named program director of low-rated talkers WTNT (570 AM) and WWRC (1260 AM). Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra recently bought WTNT and WWRC from Clear Channel. "Not sure why they need a PD to get 0.2 shares, but there you go... wasting more money at Red Zebra," says a local radio guru. Bonneville talkers WPR and 3WT are both defunct, due to low ratings. Before coming to DC, Tantum worked at San Francisco news talker KGO.
September 2, 2008
Baltimore's 1370 To Go Sports
Baltimore talker 1370 AM, WVIE, will go all-sports on 9/8, with a Fox Sports affiliation. Area sports radio veteran Jerry Coleman, previously with WTEM, 98 Rock, and WBAL radio, will be sports director and host a daily show from 3 PM to 6 PM. Syndicated Jim Rome will be carried by "Fox 1370 Sports Radio." More line-up announcements to come. The WCBM sister talker recently upgraded its daytime signal to 50,000-watts. It'll be Baltimore's third sports talker, joining CBS's ESPN 1300, WJFK-AM, and Nestor Aparacio's WNST, 1570 AM.
September 2, 2008
Ike Pappas Dies
Ike Pappas, a longtime CBS newsman who reported the shooting death of presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on the radio as it was happening, has died at age 75. Pappas died Sunday in a hospital in Arlington of complications of heart disease, his family said. Pappas, who lived in McLean, was among more than 200 CBS News employees laid off by the company in 1987.
September 2, 2008
Ed Buterbaugh Dies
Ed Buterbaugh, who was chief engineer of legendary DC area "top 40" outlet WEAM (1390 AM) in the 1960s and early 1970s, died of complications from bladder cancer over the weekend. For many years, Buterbaugh worked at radio stations in the Detroit area, including news talk WJR and another legendary "top 40" outlet, CKLW, in nearby Windsor, Ontario, where he lived.
August 29, 2008
P-Stew Gone From KYS, RO Cuts 7 More
P-Stew has been released from his duties as music director and creative services director of Radio One urban outlet WKYS (93.9 FM). We're told that he was among eight employees just budget-cut at Radio One's Lanham broadcast complex, which also powers WMMJ, WOL, WYCB, and WPRS. P-Stew has been with KYS for more than 13 years, begining with the "Live Squad," and eventually moving up to the music director and assistant program director gigs. He's also hosted the "One Nation Hip Hop Show" on Saturday nights. P-Stew is currently nominated by trade pub Radio And Records as "Urban Music Director Of The Year." No word yet if the "One Nation Hip Hop Show" will still be heard on KYS with a new host. DCRTV also hears that locally-based Radio One, which is facing slumping revenue numbers and record low stock prices, made employee cuts in other markets, including canning 20 at its Atlanta cluster. Plus more cuts in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia.
August 28, 2008
DOJ Derails Sinclair's Purchase Of Richmond CBSer
The Department Of Justice has slapped down Baltimore-based Sinclair's proposed purchase of Richmond's CBS affiliate, Channel 6/WTVR, from Raycom, ruling that the company's effort to create a duopoly in the Virginia market violates federal antitrust laws. Raycom has purchased Richmond's NBC affiliate, Channel 12/WWBT, and is required by FCC rules to sell WTVR. In June, Sinclair agreed to buy WTVR for $85 million. But Sinclair also owns Richmond's Fox affiliate, Channel 35/WRLH, of which it planned to sell the "license assets" to what News Blues calls a "shadow company" called Carma. Sinclair would continue to own the WRLH building and equipment, and it would "continue to provide sales and other non-programming services to WRLH." Says News Blues editor Mike James: "The antitrust cops saw right through the scam and shut it down." In a news release, Sinclair said "it appears that the acquisition of WTVR-TV and the sale of the license assets of WRLH-TV will not occur." Sinclair owns about 60 TV stations, including Baltimore's Channel 45/WBFF. It operates Channel 54/WNUV.
August 27, 2008
Schelby Sweeney Gone From 94.7
Schelby Sweeney is out as midday personality and music director at CBS's recently reborn classic rocker on DC's 94.7 FM. Her replacement will be named soon. Sweeney, who'd been working at the station several years, since its days as the Arrow, WARW, had been instrumental in its step toward becoming an adult alternative rocker as the Globe, WTGB, in the past year-and-a-half. But, due to lowish ratings, the station has been tweaked back to traditional classic rock. She will be replaced by Marci Wiser, who comes comes from sister CBS alternative rocker WXRK in NYC.
August 27, 2008
WFED Calls To 1500, WTOP Calls To 1050
Bonneville plans to move the WFED call letters from Silver Spring's 1050 AM to Wheaton's 1500 AM, when it moves Federal News Radio to the latter signal in mid-September. The venerable WTOP calls will get slapped on 1050. Also, Bonneville has asked the FCC for a waiver to simulcast WFED's programming on both 1500 and 1050 "for a few weeks while (they) move the audience to 1500." The FCC does not normally allow a full-time simulcast on same-band signals which significantly overlap. After that, look for 1050 to become a relay for all-news WTOP, which stays on DC's 103.5 FM, and a sports overflow channel. And, there's still talk that Bonneville will sell or trade the 1050 signal.
August 26, 2008
Nats' Radio Ratings "Microscopic"
We already knew that their TV ratings were in the basement. Now, we hear that the Nationals' radio ratings are so bad that there are more people in the stadium (average attendance 29,990 per game) than hearing them on the radio (cumulative weekly listenership of 26,500). "The numbers are disappointing," says Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming for Bonneville, the company that carries Nats' games via soon-to-be defunct talker 3WT, which had been Washington Post Radio. Farley says the team's poor record alone doesn't explain the results. "There's no storyline for this season," he says. "Who's the hero? Who's the big star (on the team)?" And, Farley concedes that the actual radio audience for the Nationals is "probably lower" than the average reported by Arbitron.
August 25, 2008
Robert Scorpio Returns To PGC
CBS Radio names Robert Scorpio as operations manager of urban contemporary WPGC-FM and inspirational talk WPGC-AM. He'll also handle programming duties at WPGC-FM, replacing Skip Dillard, who is now operations manager for Inner City's adult urban WBLS and gospel WLIB in NYC. Scorpio worked at PGC-FM 17 years ago as assistant program director and on-air personality. More recently, he programmed urban KDAY/KDAI in LA until May 2007, when he left to open a consultancy firm, Mostly Media. Scorpio is also executive producer of Westwood One's "Top 40 Countdown" and had programmed urbans KKBT in LA and KBXX in Houston.
August 25, 2008
Mitchem Replaces Kapugi At Clear Channel DC
Clear Channel names Thea Mitchem as operations manager for its five DC, three Baltimore, and two Frederick radio stations. As well as program director for DC's contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT. She replaces Jeff Kapugi, who resigned for personal reasons several weeks ago. Mitchem comes from Clear Channel's Philadelphia cluster, where she's been OM. This a return to her hometown of DC, where she started her radio career in the 1990s in the programming department of CBS's urban WPGC-FM. From 2001 to 2003, she programmed Baltimore's then-WXYV during its incarnation as urban X105.7, another CBS station.
August 22, 2008
Revamped Sun Rises On Sunday
On Sunday, 8/24, the Baltimore Sun will debut a "reinvention... that complements readers' busy lives and offers its advertisers high-impact promotion opportunities." Says Sun Editor Tim Franklin: "This is a whole new Baltimore Sun. It's a more visual newspaper for a more visual age. It's bolder, with more color, more photos, and more of our personalities displayed prominently." Look for 40 features to be introduced. The daily editions will be organized into three sections - News, Sports, and Features. The Sunday edition will see a new "Find It" career-oriented tab with job ads.
August 21, 2008
Pat Goss Back To JFK
Car show guy Pat Goss will be returning to CBS talker WJFK-FM (106.7) on Saturday, 8/30, from 11 AM to 1 PM. Goss's weekend car show had been heard on Bonneville talker 3WT, which is being terminated. Before jumping to 3WT and its predecessor Washington Post Radio in 2006, Goss had been heard on WJFK-FM.
August 20, 2008
More Surgery For WETA Head
AP is reporting that WETA president and CEO Sharon Rockefeller, 63, is recovering from surgery stemming from a 2005 cancer treatment. She was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital on 8/5. And is said to be recuperating well and plans to return to work at the DC area public TV/radio operation by the end of September.
August 20, 2008
HUR Battles MMJ
Another round of those monthly "trend" radio ratings for DC. Massive battle shaping between HUR and MMJ. HUR had been leading drivetimes with Steve Harvey in the morning and Michael Baisden in the afternoon. Now Tom Joyner and Monique on MMJ are closing the gap. The other big urbans, PGC and KYS, are getting left behind. TEM and Red Zebra ain't going anywhere. TEM/RZ got beat by a partial-market signal, WFRE. MAL 12+ looks fine, but 25-54 nowhere near the top 10. Globe up a little, not a lot, but that's before tweak back to classic rock. JFK-FM flat. O'Meara and Junks same as spring book. TOP tops 12+ in mornings, 2nd in afternoons. El Zol back up. DC, age 12+, full-week: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP and WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMAL, 9) WMZQ, 10) WLZL and WRQX and WWDC, 13) WPRS, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WJZW, 16) WBIG, 17) WTGB, 18) WFRE, 19) WACA and WTEM, 21) WAVA, 22) WFLS, 23) WWWT, 24) WWXX and WBQB and WIYY, 27) WKDV. Morning drive: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WMAL, 6) WWDC, 7) WPGC-FM and WIHT, 9) WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WMZQ, 12) WJFK-FM and WLZL, 14) WPRS, 15) WBIG, 16) WTGB, 17) WJZW, 18) WAVA, 19) WFRE and WTEM. Afternoon drive: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH and WIHT, 7) WMZQ, 8) WJFK-FM, 9) WKYS, 10) WLZL and WMAL, 12) WRQX and WWDC, 14) WBIG, 15) WJZW, 16) WPRS and WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WAVA. Baltimore, age 12+, full-day: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WWMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WCBM, 8) WIYY, 9) WZBA, 10) WCAO, 11) WQSR, 12) WHFS, 14) WCHH, 16) WRBS, 23) WJFK-AM and WRNR.
August 19, 2008
Dorobek Joins Morris On FNR Afternoons
Chris Dorobek joins Bonneville's federal news talker Federal News Radio, WFED, to co-host the afternoon "Daily Debrief" show with Amy Morris. He comes from Federal Computer Week. Also, look for "DD" to be expanded from two to three hours. DCRTV has reported that a batch of changes are coming to WFED as it moves to the stronger 1500 AM signal in September.
August 17, 2008
Jack Landau Dies
Jack Landau, 74, a founder of the Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press, died on 8/9 of complications from emphysema at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was a longtime Falls Church resident. The committee, a Washington-based legal defense and research center for reporters, was created in 1970, when the nation's news media were facing an increasing number of government subpoenas demanding that reporters name confidential sources. Landau, a reporter-lawyer covering the Supreme Court for Newhouse News Service, was an early member of the steering committee. In his spare time, he started the First Amendment Hotline, the first free legal guidance service for journalists involved in First Amendment and freedom-of-information issues.
August 16, 2008
NPR's Leroy Sievers Dies
National Public Radio's Leroy Sievers, 53, the former ABC "Nightline" executive producer whose battle with cancer was documented on his NPR blog died on 8/15. Sievers was one of Ted Koppel's executive producers at then-DC-based "Nightline," and later moved with Koppel to the Discovery Channel where he oversaw the 2007 documentary "Our Children's Children's War," which aired in March 2007. Sievers, along with Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Edwards, was featured in Koppel's "Living With Cancer" broadcast, which aired on Discovery in May 2007. Sievers was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006. By June of this year it had spread to his brain, shoulder blades, liver, pelvis, and lungs.
August 15, 2008
Snyder To Put Spanish Sports On 730
Redskins owner Dan Snyder will start a Spanish language sports talker on some of the six area signals his Red Zebra broadcasting arm runs in the DC area. He will be flipping WXTR, 730 AM, to ESPN Deportes on 9/1. That signal has been relaying Snyder's new sports talk ESPN 980, which will remain on 980 AM, 92.7 FM, and 94.3 FM. The new "ESPN Deportes 730" will air Redskins games in Spanish.
August 15, 2008
Big Don Gone From WINX
Area radio veteran "Big Don" O'Brien is no longer with Annapolis/Cambridge area country outlet WINX (94.3 FM), where he'd been doing the morning show. We're told that his dismissal involved the content of his program not being "family-oriented."
August 14, 2008
New Look For 50
DCRTV's told you that Channel 50/WDCW is changing its imaging. The former "CW Washington" moniker is being scrapped. And we get a first look at the new "DC50" graphic (right). With a new website at dc50tv.com.....
August 13, 2008
Henry Sampson Dies
Baltimore radio announcer Henry Sampson, "The Roving Disc Jockey," passed away recently in Baltimore County. Sampson worked at the old WSID (1010 AM), WWIN (1400 AM), and the old WEBB (1360 AM). "Henry loved his rhythm and blues records and gospel music," Baltimore radio veteran Jack Edwards tells us. Sampson's funeral will be Friday at New Shiloh Baptist Church, we're told.
August 11, 2008
Bonneville Kills 3WT, Expands WTOP & FNR
Bonneville will be killing off low-rated talker 3WT, WWWT. And will use 3WT's old 107.7 FM Warrenton/Manassas signal to relay all-news WTOP, which will remain on DC's 103.5 FM and Frederick's 103.9 FM. With 3WT's old DC area 1500 AM and Frederick's 820 AM going to Federal News Radio, WFED, now on DC's low-ish powered 1050 AM. The Washington Nationals will continued to be heard on 3WT's old signals. The team is under contract to Bonneville through the 2009 season, along with the Washington Capitals, Naval Academy athletics, and George Washington University mens' basketball. The 3WT morning team, "The Inner Loop" with David Burd, Jessica Doyle, and Victoria Jones, is gone. The last show was on 8/11. Starting 8/12, WTOP's morning show will air on 107.7 and WFED's morning show will air on 1500/820, with the syndicated talkers remaining on the former 3WT signals for several more weeks. Also gone from 3WT - weekend car show guy Pat Goss and Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser, who was due to return in January after his ESPN "Monday Night Football" duties. With the demise of 3WT, syndicated hosts losing their Washington radio home include Stephanie Miller, Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Randi Rhodes. DC-based Jim Bohannon's evening and early morning shows and Phil Hendrie's overnight program will continue to be heard on WFED's frequencies. 3WT was born in September 2007 from the remains of another failed talker, Washington Post Radio.
August 11, 2008
WUFO No Longer On 49
DCRTV previously told you that low-power DC TVer Channel 49/WWTD will be flipping to a relay of Channel 7/WJLA, providing an analog feed of the ABC affiliate after the switch to digital TV come February. Now, we hear that WWTD's current programming deal with the "WUFO.TV" network has ended as of 8/10. The sci-fi, other-worldly network founded by Michael Gravino and picked as the "Best Local TV Channel" by Washington's City Paper, is gone. "We are glad to have completed a 284-day run in DC and we thank the hundreds of thousands of viewers in this region who loved our programming format and told us so each week," says Gravino, who programmed his network from a small studio in Connecticut. "The quality of the signal of 49 is vastly over-rated and is stomped on by many other stations. While we would like to think it was the 'Men In Black' conducting electronic warfare on us, and some of it looks it actually was that, 49 could not deliver the DMA to us that we really wanted." Gravino says he hopes to continue WUFO.TV via digital TV, cable, satellite, and/or via the internet.
August 8, 2008
Ragan Henry Dies
Ragan Henry, who once owned Baltimore's "top 40" outlet WITH, Baltimore soul-formatted WWIN, and DC area oldies outlet XTRA-104, died on 7/26 after a long illness. He was 74. Henry, who also owned radio stations in Philadelphia and Atlanta, was the first African American to own a TV network affiliate. He was named as one of the Library Of American Broadcasting's "First Fifty Giants Of Broadcasting" in 2003.
August 8, 2008
Emry To Globe
DCRTV hears that Chris Emry, the former morning man on Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, the Bay, was heard on DC classic rocker WTGB, the Globe, yesterday evening. We're told that he did an "on-air demo" for part-time, fill-in work at the CBS station.
August 7, 2008
Ron Smith To Pen Column For Sun
WBAL radio afternoon talk host Ron Smith will become an "opinion columnist" for the Baltimore Sun. We're told that his column will appear on the op-ed page on Wednesdays, and via baltimoresun.com and wbal.com. Smith, a right-leaner who often disagrees with Bush administration policies, will also have his writings appear in sister Tribune newspapers across the country. Apparently, Smith and WBAL insisted the powers that be at the Sun understand that his column may be critical of the newspaper, which tends to lean left. It was also made clear that Smith will continue to be "fair but often critical of the Sunpapers" on his 1090 AM radio show, we're told.
August 7, 2008
B'cast Union Negotiator John Krieger Dies
John Krieger, 81, a retired union negotiator with the broadcast employees and technicians sector of the Communications Workers Of America, died of congestive heart failure on 8/1 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He was a Germantown resident. After an early journalism career in Buffalo, he moved to Washington in 1981 to work as the international representative for the CWA's National Association Of Broadcast Employees And Technicians. In 1995, he become the union's network coordinator. He negotiated agreements for network coverage of the Olympics from 1996 through 2004. He retired in 2005.
August 6, 2008
Scott Brady's Back
DCRTV hears that DC-Baltimore radio veteran Scott Brady is back in the area. He's been doing fill-in work at Annapolis's WNAV, and just landed the Sunday 10 AM to 3 PM slot. Brady worked at Baltimore's Mix 106.5 and at DC's WASH, doing the pre-Loo Katz morning show before heading to a Phoenix radio gig.
August 6, 2008
Top 2 Engineering Gig To Paul Wilkerson
Channel 2/WMAR promotes Paul Wilkinson from chief engineer to director of engineering. A native of Catonsville, Wilkinson received his electronics training in the US Army in Aberdeen and began his TV engineering career at Maryland Public Television. During his 35-year career, Wilkinson has worked at Channel 13/WJZ, Minneapolis's WCCO-TV, and at several Maryland video production firms. He joined WMAR in 2005.
August 6, 2008
DC Times To Move Printing To Baltimore Sun
The Washington Times will be printed by the Baltimore Sun starting in September. Also, the Times will outsource its commercial printing come October. The Times says its aging New York Avenue printing plant has become "inadequate" and "untenable" for planned growth. And Times management doesn't want to spend the dough to upgrade the presses. By moving to the Sun's presses, the Times can expand to six sections, plus feature more color pages and zoned sections. No word on how many Times press workers will lose their jobs.
August 5, 2008
94.7 Back To Classic Rock
After a year-and-a-half of no ratings traction as the alternative rockish the Globe, DCRTV hears that CBS is transitioning DC's 94.7 back to classic rock. What it had been as the Arrow prior to February 2007. So it can run smack up against Clear Channel's better-rated classic rock hits WBIG? "We are always evolving the Globe to reflect what our listeners want to hear. New music moves in and out as well as some of the gold," a station official tells us. In any case, the Globe name stays, we hear.
August 5, 2008
Kapugi Exits Clear Channel DC
Jeff Kapugi has resigned his position as operations manager of Clear Channel's DC-Baltimore radio cluster. And his gig as program director of contemporary hit Hot 99.5, WIHT. He'd been with CC and its predecessor Jacor for two decades. Kapugi claims that he wants to jump into a new life opportunity and have more time for his family. But, with the always budget-cutting CC, you've always got to wonder: Was he pushed? "My gut is telling me that he will land at Tribune with all his 'buddies,'" says a former CCDCer who Kapugi canned. Currently, three of CC's five DC stations - WIHT, WASH, and WBIG - don't have program directors. Meg Stevens, program director of WMZQ, will temporarily assume operations manager duties for the cluster. While afternooner Toby Knapp will temporarily assume program director duties for Hot 99.5.
August 5, 2008
Oldier Oldies For 950
Potomac MD's WCTN (950 AM) has signed back on with older middle-of-the-road oldies, as DCRTV had predicted last week. The Win Broadcasting station had been silent after its transmitter "blew up" in mid-July. It used to broadcast Spanish language programming. Still no word about whether the new nostalgic standards format is permanent or is just a filler until the station can find brokered programming.
August 4, 2008
Geronimo "Fired" From WOCM
A DCRTVer tells us: From the lady who answered the business line at WOCM, Ocean City, "Don Geronimo (right) is no longer with Ocean 98." Earlier, we reported that the DC area radio veteran and former WJFK-FM afternooner did not do his oldies show at 1 PM today. Says the mysterious Mr. Sorce: "They fired me for talking too much and adlibbing during live reads. Oh, and I wanted more than $10 an hour. All true, gotta love radio... Next move maybe sooner before later... but I did have fun for a month." WOCM Program Director Skip Dixxon will now extend his midday shift from 10 AM to 3 PM. Geronimo is rumored to be heading to Sirius XM.
August 3, 2008
James McKenna Dies
James McKenna, 90, a Washington communications lawyer and manager of several radio and television stations, died of congestive heart failure on 7/23 at the Meadow Lakes retirement community in Hightstown NJ. He lived in Chevy Chase for more than 50 years. In 1952, McKenna founded the law firm McKenna And Wilkinson in Washington, a partnership that lasted until 1985, when he retired. One of his earliest clients was the fledgling ABC network, which he began representing in 1946 while he was with another law firm. ABC stayed with McKenna until his law firm dissolved. He owned controlling interests in AM and FM radio stations in Minneapolis, Harrisburg PA, and Madison WI, and a minority interest in a Cleveland television station until the 1980s.
August 3, 2008
VOA Vet Leonard Reed Dies
Leonard Reed, 90, a Voice Of America journalist whose belief in a more independent editorial policy led to his departure from the broadcasting agency, died of colon cancer on 7/25 at his home in Chevy Chase. Reed joined what would become the US Information Agency in 1946. He later moved to the VOA America, where he became the Munich-based European bureau chief. He conducted some of the first VOA broadcasts from Warsaw and Moscow. Returning to the US in 1965, he became chief of VOA's worldwide English-language broadcasting. After a policy dispute regarding coverage deemed insufficiently supportive of the Johnson administration's Vietnam War policy, Reed was removed from his post. He retired from the USIA in 1973, and devoted himself to volunteer work teaching English to Asian refugees and to freelance writing.
August 1, 2008
Post's Ad Revenue & Subs Continue Slumping
The Washington Post Company reported a second-quarter loss of $2.7 million today, as the education and media company absorbed the cost of early-retirement packages offered to employees at the Post earlier this year. In the second quarter, the newspaper division - the flagship Post, the suburban Gazettes, Express, and El Tiempo Latino - reported an operating loss of $96.7 million, compared to $17.8 million in the same quarter of 2007. Print advertising revenue at the Post was down 22 percent for the second quarter, compared to the same period last year, and was down 17 percent for the first six months of the year. Advertising revenue at the company's online units - including washingtonpost.com and the Slate Group - was up 4 percent for the quarter to $29 million. For the first six months of the year, Post daily circulation was down 2.6 percent, with Sunday circulation dropping 3.7 percent.
August 1, 2008
Former 9 Announcer Dies
Chris Clausen, who was an announcer whose voice was heard on promotions and public service spots for many TV stations, including Channel 9/WUSA a few years ago, died on 7/29 in Orlando after suffering a stroke.
July 30, 2008
Sun's Kubatko To MASN
Baltimore Sun sports columnist Roch Kubatko is jumping to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. His popular "Roch Around The Clock" sports blog will be moving to masnsports.com. Where Kubatko will continue to rant about the Orioles and the Ravens. Also, Kubatko will appear on the "O's Xtra" and "Ravens Xtra" shows, the "Orioles Hot Stove Show," and with Anita Marks. During baseball season, Kubatko will also co-host selected pre- and post-game shows for the Orioles Radio Network and WHFS. After 21 years at the Sun, Kubatko is taking the Tribune newspaper's employee buyout package.
July 29, 2008
Good Ratings News For 88.5
Because it's a public radio outlet, DC news talker WAMU (88.5) is not included in Arbitron's quarterly list of local radio ratings. But the American University station today brags that it's the 5th rated station in the market, with a 5.3 audience share. In morning drive, with "Morning Edition," WAMU says it ranks 2nd, with a 7.2 share. And Diane Rehm's Friday morning "News Roundup" is tied for 1st place locally, with a 5.5 share, according to WAMU. The station also says it does well with its Saturday morning line-up, including "Car Talk."
July 28, 2008
MG's PW Rags To Merge
The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger, both Media General daily newspapers in Prince William County, will combine to become the News And Messenger in October. The two already produce a combined edition on weekends and holidays. The new paper will assign reporters to cover specific areas of the county. The new combined organization will also control Media General's free county weekly, the PW Pulse. The News And Messenger will have a projected circulation of more than 24,000 paid daily readers. The PW Pulse is delivered to more than 88,000 homes. The Potomac News was founded in 1957; the Manassas Journal Messenger in 1869.
July 28, 2008
7 Launches Retro TV
Channel 7/WJLA launches its Retro TV Network schedule on its "RTN7" digital channel, in place of Local Point TV, with "Ironside." Also on the sked: "Adam-12," "Dragnet," "Marcus Welby," "Emergency," "Simon And Simon," "Leave It To Beaver," "Quincy," and the "Rockford Files." Oh yeah, paid infomercials run from 1 AM to 10 AM daily.
July 23, 2008
Satellite Radio Merger Approved
The long wait is finally over for satellite radio customers as the FCC approves the satellite radio merger of DC's XM and NYC's Sirius in 3-2 vote. The news comes after word spread Friday afternoon, 7/23, that a snag had developed, as some feared that FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate had not given Chairman Kevin Martin "absolute assurance" that she would vote in favor of the merger.
July 25, 2008
Radio Vet Paul Curtis Leibe Dead
Local radio veteran Paul Curtis Leibe, 60, passed away this week. Complications from a stroke, we're told. Known on the air as "Paul Curtis," he most-recently worked weekends at WNAV in Annapolis, and for many years was heard via old DC area oldies outlet XTRA-104, on old Annapolis "top 40" outlet WYRE, and at WPTX in Lexington Park. He also was a photographer and writer at the Enterprise newspaper in Southern Maryland. Back in the 1970s, Leibe worked as a police officer. "He was a gentleman, a very good guy, and sounded great on the radio," a colleague tells DCRTV.
July 25, 2008
Spring Radio Ratings
Adult contemporary WASH breaks into "top 5" again, which is usually all-news WTOP and four urbans. Urban WKYS falls out of the "top 5." Gospel Praise 104 drops a full share point. Contemporary hit Hot 99.5 continues to do fine. WTOP still owns morning drive, but urban adult WHUR has a very strong book. The adult alt-ish rock Globe ain't going anywhere. Mike O'Meara continues his post-Geronimo rise on talker JFK, taking 1st among males 18-49, and 5th among adults 25-54. The Junkies edge ahead of rocker DC101's Elliot among men 25-54, placing 3rd. Oldies WJZW is down from its smooth jazz days. No traction for talker 3WT. The spring quarterly radio ratings. DC, full day, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WMMJ, 4) WPGC-FM, 5) WASH, 6) WKYS, 7) WIHT, 8) WMZQ, 9) WMAL, 10) WRQX, 11) WWDC, 12) WLZL, 13) WBIG, 14) WJFK-FM, 15) WPRS, 16) WJZW, 17) WTGB, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WAVA, 21) WFLS, 22) WWWT and WOL, 24) WBQB and WWXX and WTNT. Morning drive, age 12+: 1) WTOP, 2) WHUR, 3) WMMJ, 4) WKYS, 5) WIHT, 6) WPGC-FM and WMAL, 8) WWDC, 9) WASH, 10) WRQX, 11) WMZQ, 12) WJFK-FM, 13) WLZL, 14) WBIG, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB, 17) WJZW, 18) WAVA and WWWT and WTEM and WFRE and WOL, 23) WFLS and WWXX, 25) WBQB, 26) WTNT. Afternoon drive, age 12+: 1) WHUR, 2) WTOP, 3) WPGC-FM, 4) WMMJ, 5) WASH, 6) WIHT, 7) WMZQ, 8) WKYS, 9) WMAL, 10) WJFK-FM, 11) WWDC and WRQX, 13) WLZL, 14) WBIG, 15) WPRS, 16) WTGB and WJZW, 18) WTEM, 19) WFRE, 20) WFLS and WWXX, 22) WBQB, 23) WWWT and WAVA, 25) WTNT, 26) WOL and WACA. Baltimore, full day, age 12+: 1) WERQ, 2) WPOC, 3) WWIN-FM, 4) WLIF, 5) WMMX, 6) WBAL-AM, 7) WIYY, 8) WCBM, 9) WQSR, 10) WCAO, 11) WZBA, 12) WHFS. Former smooth jazz WSMJ took a big drop to 14th place with its new alt rock format as WCHH.
July 23, 2008
Big Changes For 50: Rebranding, New Digs
Look for Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW to rebrand itself from "The CW Washington" to "DC50." With a website change to DC50TV.com. We also hear that the CW affiliate will be moving from its current northwest Wisconsin Avenue digs to Tribune's downtown DC news bureau. WDCW has already shifted its entire master control operations to a Tribune "hub" in Indianapolis, with sales, accounting, traffic, and promotion making the across-DC move. Also, we hear that WDCW is planning to launch a daily newscast - not yet sure if it'll be morning or evening.
July 22, 2008
Chris Core To Do News Show For 50
Veteran DC broadcaster Chris Core will headline a new weekly news program for Channel 50/WDCW - "Weekend News With Chris Core." Premiering Saturday, 8/30. The half-hour show will air at 6 PM, with a Sunday repeat at 9:30 AM. Core, who spent more than three decades at talker WMAL, and who does "Core Values" commentaries for WTOP and fill-in work for XM's POTUS '08 election channel, will provide news and analysis of both local and national events on his new WDCW show. The program will be taped at WDCW parent Tribune Broadcasting Company's national news bureau in downtown DC. Look for many of Tribune's newspaper reporters, including those from the Baltimore Sun, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune to guest on Core's show. Core vows that the program "will not be another Sunday morning talking heads show. This will be compelling television that at times may get controversial as well."
July 22, 2008
Lara "Vibegrrl" Dua is gone from Hot 99.5. The Clear Channel contemporary hit station will be putting Raven at 10 AM and running Ryan Seacrest's new LA show from noon to 3 PM. Come 8/4. Dua had worked at WIHT for seven years.
July 21, 2008
92Q's K-Swift Dies
DJ K-Swift (right), also known as "The Club Queen," has died at age 29. She hosted the nightly mix show at Baltimore urban outlet WERQ, 92Q. Her real name was Khia Edgerton and she joined the Radio One station at age 18 and worked her way up the ranks from producer, to on-air mixer, to on-air personality. Her "Off The Hook Radio" show was top-rated. A Baltimore native, she owned Club Queen Entertainment, a production and management firm. A source tells DCRTV that she suffered a head injury in a swimming pool mishap. WJZ reports that K-Swift was found early Monday morning at her northeast Baltimore home in the 4300-block of Arizona Avenue. K-Swift was giving a pool party and had been drinking extensively before getting into the pool, WJZ reports. She was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where a crowd grew. 92Q first mentioned K-Swift's death at noon Monday. Her death is being investigated by Baltimore City police as suspicious, WJZ adds. WERQ middayer Neke Howse acknowledged that the staff was grieving and would honor her memory by running without personalities for the rest of the day and running audio clips of K-Swift. Howse worked with K-Swift early in her career when she produced Howse's night show. "She grew to become one of our most popular personalities at 92Q," Howse reportedly recalled. "She leaves behind a mother, a sister, and a large extended family. This is a terrible loss for 92Q and the whole community." "Her love and passion for everything she did was the key to her success," said Howard Mazer, general manager of Radio One Baltimore. "She is truly a person that both the radio and music industry will miss."
July 20, 2008
Anthony Amey Joins 5
Anthony Amey has joined Channel 5/WTTG as a weekend sports anchor, replacing Lou Holder. Amey anchored sports on ESPNews from 2004 to 2007.
July 20, 2008
Baltimore "Golden Age" Radio Buff Dies
In February 1972, Owens Pomeroy and five of his friends gathered around Pomeroy's dining room table to find a way to preserve the "Golden Age Of Radio." Two of the men decided to form a club and named themselves and four others the "founding fathers" of the Golden Radio Buffs of Maryland, now thought to be the oldest active radio club in the country. Pomeroy, one of those two co-founders, died of heart failure Friday at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore, leaving behind a legacy of old-time radio preservation. He was 78. Although founded in Baltimore, the Golden Radio Buffs has attracted members from around the country.
July 18, 2008
Post To Buy Miami NBCer
The Washington Post's Post-Newsweek broadcasting arm has agreed to buy WTVJ-TV in Miami from NBC. Terms were not disclosed, although published reports set the price at around $350 million. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and will give Post-Newsweek two TV stations in the Miami market, since it already owns ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.
July 18, 2008
John Quale Dies
John Quale, a nationally recognized authority in communications law, died on 6/29 at age 61. He was a partner in Skadden's DC office. A cum laude graduate of Harvard College in 1968, Quale earned his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1971. Before joining Skadden as a partner in 1996, he worked at the law firms Kirkland And Ellis and Wiley Rein, where he was a founding partner and head of Wiley's mass media communications group.
July 18, 2008
NPR's Gary Smith Dies
Gary Smith, the services coordinator for facilities at DC-based National Public Radio, has passed away. He had been battling health problems for the past few months and died unexpectedly this week. NPR is holding a private memorial service for him today. Smith was in charge of the NPR front desk at the 635 Massachusetts Avenue lobby since 2003.
July 16, 2008
Snyder To Make 980 His Sports Talk Flagship
Redskins owner Dan Snyder plans to run one sports talker among his batch of DC area stations, using newly-acquired WTEM, 980 AM, as his flagship. WTEM's programs will be carried on four of the six stations that Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm controls. Including the three signals of Snyder's current Triple X sports talker - 92.7 and 94.3 FM and 730 AM. Also, the Post reports that Red Zebra will drop the John Riggins show, which had aired on the three Triple X outlets. Plus, Red Zebra will move ESPN's nationally-syndicated radio shows from Triple X to the WTEM quadcast. Including "Mike And Mike," which will bump WTEM's current syndicated morning program, "The First Team." Colin Cowherd will displace a syndicated midday program hosted by former ESPN personality Dan Patrick. The changes will leave WTEM's three local call-in shows intact, with former Redskin Rick "Doc" Walker airing in mid-morning, former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson hosting in mid-afternoon, and "The Sports Reporters," with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban, carried during late-afternoon drive. The Post adds that Red Zebra has made no decision about changing the political talk formats of its newly-acquired WTNT, 570 AM, and WWRC, 1260 AM. Plans are for all six Red Zebra stations to carry Redskins game broadcasts simultaneously.
July 15, 2008
WWIN Asks For Power Hike
Radio One has applied with the Federal Communications Commission to double the power of its Baltimore area adult urban WWIN-FM, Magic 95.9, from 3,000-watts to 6,000-watts, and to change its city of license from Glen Burnie to Arbutus. No word about how that plan will be received by Fredericksburg's classic hits WGRQ or Hagerstown's classic hits WICL, both also on 95.9 FM, or DC's rival adult urban WHUR, not far away frequency-wise on 96.3 FM.
July 15, 2008
Buyout Hits Sun
Even though at least three dozen journalists at the Tribune-owned Baltimore Sun have applied for buyout packages, the paper will still need to lay off employees to achieve its goal of eliminating 60 newsroom jobs by August. According to Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Co-Chair Tanika White, 34 Guild members and a rumored 10 more non-Guild members applied for the buyout by this Friday's deadline. White stressed that some buyout applications could be rejected - that Sun leadership may decide it cannot afford to lose certain skill sets, which would add to the number of layoffs. Judy Berman, senior vice president of marketing for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, said the company is "staying with their original process and timeline" for buyouts and layoffs, and would not confirm the total number of buyout applications received from the newsroom. But an unofficial list of those who have applied includes reporters, photographers, and editors whose service at the paper ranges from less than a year to more than 25 years.
July 15, 2008
Emry Gone From ZBA
Chris Emry has left the morning show at Baltimore classic rocker WZBA, The Bay, 100.7 FM. The Shamrock station is in the process of putting together a new morning show and, in the meantime, Emry's co-host Michael Fillipelli will continue onward solo. Didn't we hear that former DC101 Program Director Cruze is now consulting for ZBA?
July 12, 2008
Tony Snow Dies
Former White House press secretary and TV-radio news show host Tony Snow (right) has died at the age of 53 after a second battle with cancer. He passed away at 2 AM Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital. Snow, a DC area resident, who had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a recurrence of the disease, left his White House job last September and joined CNN in April as a conservative commentator. Before taking the White House job, Snow worked for Fox News, first as a TV news anchor, commentator, and host of its "Fox News Sunday" program, and later as a talk radio show host. Snow, once a speech-writer for the first President George Bush, was first diagnosed with colon cancer in February 2005. His colon was removed, and, after six months of treatment, doctors said the cancer was in remission. A recurrence of the illness was diagnosed 11 months after he began the White House media job. Snow also led a DC area rock band, "Beats Workin'."
July 8, 2008
Bob Sellers Gone From 5
Morning newsman Bob Sellers has been let go from Channel 5/WTTG. His contract was not renewed, we're told. His last day was yesterday. Sellers came to DC's Fox5 from sister Fox News Channel a few years ago. We also hear that Sellers has been erased from WTTG's website.
July 7, 2008
New PD Named For DC101 & Channel 104.3
Dave Wellington is the new program director at Clear Channel DC rocker DC101 and sister Baltimore alternative rocker WCHH, Channel 104.3. He comes from CBS Radio's alternative rock WBCN in Boston, where he worked four years. He replaces DC101 PD Cruze, who left in April. Prior to WBCN, Wellington held programming positions at rockers in Las Vegas, Cleveland, and Detroit.
July 4, 2008
Charles Kavenagh Dies
Charles Kavenagh, 83, a former head of graphics at the ABC News bureau in Washington who then worked as a graphic artist for DC's Channel 9, now WUSA, from 1981 to 1990, died on 6/25 at the Washington VA Medical Center. He had pneumonia. Early in his career, Kavenagh was a cartoonist and sketch artist for the New York Herald Tribune. He later joined ABC News in NYC and transferred to its Washington bureau in the late 1960s.
July 1, 2008
Zier To Be CEO On AirAm Media
DC radio management veteran Bennett Zier will become the chief executive of lefty talk radio network Air America's media division. In late June, Bill Hess, who programmed WASH at DC's Clear Channel complex, which Zier used to head, also has jumped to NYC-based Air America. Zier, who also used to head Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra broadcasting arm and was most-recently forming the DC area management and marketing firm of Umansky-Wyatt-Zier, will continue to be based in the DC area. Among his new Air America duties, Zier will handle on-air, online, and video projects.
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