Though WASH-FM (97.1) declined to confirm that John Bodnar, a member of the old WASH family, would be returning permanently next week, Bodnar will join Marilyn Thompson from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow to talk to listeners. Bodnar, who worked for WASH for eight years before leaving in 1983, is expected to host the 3 to 7 p.m. shift beginnig Monday.
In another personnel change, Gary Spears, formerly of WAPP in New York and WBBM in Chicago, replaced Shadow Smith this week as the afternoon drive guy on WRQX-FM (107.3). Smith said Program Director Randy Lane tol dhim the reason for his dismissal was that he was "inconsistent on the air," "He did what I consider a consistent job one or two days a week," Lane said. Also at Q, Paul Fuller ha been named music director, replacing mary Tatem. Tatem, who worked at Q-107 for 5 1/2 years, left last week to join the promotions department of MTV. Fuller, who is scheduled to start in mid-February, worked with Lane at WABB in Mobile, Ala. Advertising Wars
For 48 weeks of the year, ratings surveys are taking place, and the importance of the quarterly survey is often measured by the intensity of the television advertising campaigns.
WMAL-AM (630) last week launched its first customized television ad since 1982 with a new theme song with snappy lyrics. Designed by Spotwise, a Boston firm, the 30-second ad opens with the call letters floating out from under the Twin Bridges. The ad's point is that WMAL is synonymous with Washington, as the lyrics pound sweetly home: "We're the crossroads of America/your hometown place to be/through the years, we've shared so much/you and 63." Featured in the ads are Frank Harden, Jackson Weaver, Chris Core, Bill Trumbull, newsmen Mike Anders,, Sam Huff, Frank Herzog and Sonny Jurgensen.
Since Sunday, a blond model has been extolling the virtues and antics of the morning team on WASH. In the next few weeks another woman and one man will also discuss the "Continental Breakfast" show, which station manager Tom Durney said "has been on now for three months and we felt was ready for a push." The station tried an ad with a butler serving breakfast to a couple in bed that Durney said confused listeners, who thought the commercial couple were hosts Arthur Crofton and Linda Sherman It has been retired for the "spokesperson" ad.
In the last year WMZQ-FM ((98.7), now the major country station in the market, has spent more than $1 million in television advertising, according to its general manager, Frank Byrne. It's running a gorup of syndicated ads with a cast of memorable characters, including the faces on Mount Rushmore, an archetypical farm couple and a wimpy-looking guy in the shower. Earlier this month, WMZQ started running three different 30-second spots and five different 10-second spots. Starting yesterday, said Byrne, it planned to double that load. This expansion follows the news earlier this week that WPKX-FM (105.9), the old KIX country, was born again as WCXR, a classic rock station. The new station is expected to launch a major television campaign within a few days, says General Manager Bill Sherard.
WGAY-FM (99.5) is running a winter version of its familiar ads with Operations Manager Bob Chandler sitting by a fire. A campaign being rerun by WWRC is calle d"WRC Listeners Talk About WRC," a coffee klatch-style discussion on what makes a hit with listeners when they tune in the station. In a modest effort, WKYS-FM (93.9) has installed some posters of Donnie Simpson and Melvin Lindsey on sides of Metrobuses. Shuttle Tragedy Reactions
As the news of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger gripped Washington earlier this week, several stations played special music and canceled their regular programming. WTOP-AM (1500) was carrying the launch from CBS at 11:36 a.m. Tuesday, and WMAL started its coverage from ABC one minute later. WMAL cleared its commercials and music programming until the end of President Reagan's 5 p.m. speech. WAVA-FM (105.1) asked its listeners to turn on their headlights and canceled most of tis music programming until 6 p.m.
The next morning Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara opened the phones, downplayed their music and talked to about 600 people in 4 1/2 hours. WOL-AM (1450) took about 300 calls on the shuttle tragedy in its normal two-hour open mike show othe next morning. WWRC substituted news for music for three hours on Tuesday and canceled all contests and specials. WAMU-FM (88.5) opened its phones and carried the ASsociated Press coverage until 5 p.m. when it strted "All Things Considered" 90 minutes early. WETA-FM (90.9) canceled its fund-raising auction Tuesday; it will broadcast an additional evening of fundraising tonight. Greaseman Protest
About 150 people picketed WWDC-FM Monday in reaction to a statement by Doug Tracht, known as "The Greaseman" on the first federal commemoration of the Rev. Martin L. King Jr.'s birthday, Tracht said that since King's death had merited one holiday, then killing "four more," would get a week off. Tracht apologized on the air twice for the remark and was off last week on a vacation. The picketing was organized by Black United Youth, a national group headquartered at Howard University. Steven Jackson, a senior chemistry major and the president of the group, said it had delivered a letter addressed to general manager Goff Lebhar to a station employe, asking for Tracht's dismissal. The group is planning to picket again Monday when Tracht is scheduled to return from a six-day holiday. Lebhar is on vacation. A station spokeswoman declined to comment on the situation. Live from the Sheraton
WDCT-AM is scheduled to broadcast from noon to 1 p.m. next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from the National Religious Broadcasters convention at the Sheraton Washington Hotel. Hosting this special edition of its "Capital Magazine Show" are Steve Kovach, Beth Reyes and Tom Coll. Other Specials
WDCU-FM (90.1) is scheduled to carry Mayor Marion Barry's "State of the District" address from the Convention Center Monday at 11:30 a.m.