The Washington Bullets have decided to return to WWDC-AM (1260) to broadcast their games next season, ending an 11-year association with WTOP-AM (1500).
"First of all, they are experienced sports broadcasters," said Garnett Slatton, Bullets executive vice president.
WWDC carries Georgetown University basketball and Notre Dame football, and was the flagship station of the Washington Senators. WTOP is the home of the Washington Capitals, the Baltimore Orioles, the CBS Game of the Week and the World Series, among other events.
"It has been a long association," said Michael Douglass, WTOP general manager. "We certainly think it has been mutually beneficial. Apparently, for whatever reasons, they thought it was time to make a change, and they have."
In what Slatton described as a "partnership," he said WWDC would be putting together a network of stations in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia to carry the 82 regular-season games, as well as any playoff and preseason games. "Their format is a lot more flexible and their ability to build the team is better than WTOP. Their jocks can spend time talking about the games," said Slatton. He added, "We weren't looking to escape from WTOP."
Douglass said the current contract with the Capitals is under discussion.
Striving for consistency but not relinquishing its goal to provide jazz, WPFW-FM (89.3) has instituted a major shake-up in its daily programming. The station will have a three-hour block of jazz from 6 until 9 a.m., and another jam session from 4 to 7 p.m. A 90-minute news show, combining national and locally produced reports and music, will follow the afternoon jazz.
From 10 a.m. to noon, the station has grouped some of its women programmers under the umbrella "Black, Beige and Brown Quintet," and they will feature music. Hour-long call-in shows are scheduled for noon Monday through Friday.
On the weekends children's programming has been condensed to 7 to 9 a.m. but still includes the award-winning Children's Radio Theatre. Billy Ray's oldies show starts at 9 a.m., followed by Jerry Washington's "The Bama Hour" until 2 p.m., and a new show of Brazilian music until Von Martin's "Caribbeana" starts at 4 p.m.
Between 10 and 15 of WPFW's regular volunteer programmers have been bumped to make the changes, according to program director Drepenba Manzira. He said there is some "disgruntlement" in the ranks.
But some of the programmers are initially satisfied with the changes. "Africa Reports," one of the few daily news shows about Africa, is now doing a 3- to 5-minute weekday report between 8 and 9 a.m., and a 15-minute interview Thursdays at 10 p.m. Said producer Greg Anderson: "This will help us reach a larger audience; it is easier to attract guests in the evening and people are more receptive to brief news reports in the morning."
WLTT-FM (94.7) has announced its latest round of grants from the WLTT Good-Lite Fund, a year-old project from the proceeds of its weekly public parties. So far the station has donated $31,508 to various causes. This time WLTT divided $6,508 among the Center for Youth Services, Crossway Community Inc. and Holy Name Church.
Other news from Rockville Pike: WLTT has extended its "Jazz Brunch" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. Describing the format, host Steve Allan said, "If you consider what we play as a meal, the jazz brunch is a sorbet. It is enough of a change that people enjoy it. A lot of the artists we play are allied with what we play normally." Slightly more than 20 percent of the music Allan is playing is compact discs.
WLTT was left off the list of the Top 10 stations in the mornings last week. It ranks 10th with a 3.9 share of the market.
Also last week, it was incorrectly reported that WASH-FM (97.1) had slipped in the last five consecutive rating surveys. It has dropped only in the last four.
An 'All' Anniversary
National Public Radio's award-winning news show, "All Things Considered," celebrated its 15th anniversary this week. Nearly 95 percent of public stations carry the show. On May 20 WAMU-FM (88.5) will sponsor a party for the ATC staff, and the show's hosts, Susan Stamberg and Noah Adams, will be interviewed by Fred Fiske that night. ATC is heard on WAMU Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and on the weekends from 6 to 7 p.m. It also airs on WETA-FM (90.9) Monday through Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and on the weekends from 5 to 6 p.m.