Today at approximately 10:15 a.m. several Washington stations intend to join the national campaign for "Hands Across America" by playing the song especially created to publicize the May 25 effort to raise money to help Americans living in poverty.
WRQX-FM (107.3), WMAL-AM (630), WWDC-FM (101.1), WBMW-FM (106.7), WXTR-FM (104.1) WKYS-FM (93.9), WCXR-FM (105.9), WDJY-FM (100.3), WAVA-FM (105.1), WPFW-FM (89.3) and WUST-AM (1120) plan to play the song, which is named after the effort. "Hands Across America" is a project of USA for Africa, the same people who organized "We Are the World" last year.
"We are making a symbolic gesture of unity to do on radio what they will do across America," said Don Hagen, program director at WCXR.
Spokesmen at other stations, such as WASH-FM (97.1) and WCLY-FM (95.5), said they were almost certain they would play the song but were hoping to hear it prior to the national simulcast by satellite this morning before making a decision. The record features the New Jersey Mass Choir but no stars.
USA for Africa plans to raise money for the hungry and homeless in America by creating a human chain of 6 million to 10 million people, each of whom will donate money for a spot in line to hold hands across the country. WUST plans to have some of the local organizers on its "In Touch" segment at 1:30 p.m. today with host Michelle Wright. Drought Special
As a follow-up to all the media attention last year on famine and drought in Africa, WPFW plans to devote 14 hours Sunday to the issue. "Drought of Mind, Famine of the Body," was produced by Greg Anderson and Michael Hagbourne of the WPFW staff. Scheduled to participate are several African ambassadors; Alexander Hollaender of the Council for Research Planning in Biological Sciences; C. Payne Lucas, executive director of Africare; and Joan Holmes, executive director of the Hunger Project. WTOP and Its Owners
In the last few days WTOP has been running public service advertisements announcing that the all-news station and its sister, WTKS-FM (102.3), will have new owners sometime later this year. The sale of the station by the Rockefeller Group Inc. to a new group within Outlet Co., a subsidiary of Rockefeller and the present owner of WTOP and WTKS, was announced in January. The notices are simply a part of the procedures of the Federal Communications Commission.
"This is the waiting period," said Frederick Griffiths, vice president for corporate affairs of Outlet, which is based in Providence, R.I. "Normally these things take several months. It will most likely be August 1 before all the approval and waiting periods are complied with. This ritual is like 'if anybody knows any reason why this couple should not be joined,' " said Griffiths. To add to the confusion, Outlet is actually buying itself back at the same time, said Griffiths. He also said that he thinks programming at both stations will remain the same. "We are very happy with the management there," he said. Music Specials
Eileen Curtis, comusic director at WGMS-FM/AM (103.5/570), continues her series "Gustav Mahler: Music's Titan" at 9 tonight with David Zinman, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as host and Jascha Horenstein and the London Symphony performing . . . Tuesday, WWRC-AM (980) kicks off its second annual "Swing Into Spring," a month-long program devoted to personalities and bands of the Swing Era . . . WETA-FM (90.9) will feature the new season of "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" starting Wednesday at noon. McPartland's guest is Mel Torme. Job Notices
National sk,3 Public Radio's "Morning Edition" has signed on former national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane as a regular commentator. The network also announced some new assignments: John Ydstie is now executive producer and Ellen McDonnell senior producer of "Morning Edition." Wendy Kaufman, an NPR correspondent, is substituting for Susan Stamberg on "All Things Considered" until early May. Stamberg is currently a Jefferson Fellow at the University of Hawaii's East/West Center . . . Bob Cummings has joined WINX-AM (1600) as program director. Cummings worked at WLTT-FM (94.7) for three years and most recently was a radio programming consultant. Funding
WAMU-FM sk,2 (88.5) reported this week that the public station enjoyed its most successful spring drive ever, rais ing $238,200. The best time period was last Saturday during Ray Davis' bluegrass show, when $4,975 was raised in one hour. Datebook
Jeff Baker, David Burd, Walt Starling and John Dowling of WCLY will join a group of soap opera stars in the "Joy Celebrity Scrub-Off," a project to raise money for the D.C. Volunteer Action Centers, tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prince Georges Plaza. Visitors pledge 25 cents per plate for every quick wipe from the Classy 95 boys or the other special guests -- Jon Hensley, Kim Zimmer, Sharon Gabet, Scott Bryce and Mark Lewis of the soaps . . . The group from WDJY, or as they prefer to be called, the "DJ 100 Wrecking Crew," will conduct an Easter egg hunt at Fort Dupont Park tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. The area around the concert stage will be reserved for up to 5,000 people under age 17 . . . Jim Elliott and David Page of WRQX will be ringmasters at tomorrow night's performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Scott Woodside, who will join the real clowns, says, "the only difference between working at Q-107 and with the circus is that I get to wear makeup Saturday night" . . . Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara of WAVA take the center ring at the circus Tuesday night . . . For those who plan ahead, Children's Radio Theater announced this week that Tina Yothers of "Family Ties" will be the host April 12 for the presentation of the annual Henny Penny Playwriting Contest at the Kennedy Center.