Even funny guys need a lift now and then. So WRQX-FM (107.3) has renewed its yearlong contract with the American Comedy Network, a Bridgeport, Conn., troupe that provides comedy bits, songs and ideas for radio's morning teams around the country. The $12,000 annual contract gives the ABC outlet exclusive Washington rights to the chuckles.
"They're very good and very topical," says Jim Elliott, who, with partner Scott Woodside, uses the five-member group's shtick when it meshes with their programming. "They're also very good at impressions and the song they did about [Moammar] Gadhafi was a number request for about three weeks."
But the group's comic bits and satirical songs don't always hit the advertisers' funny bone. Several weeks ago, the ACN delivered its version of the old Mamas and Papas tune "Monday, Monday," dubbed "Hyundai, Hyundai." While many listeners found the bit about the new Korean import car funny, Philadelphia's WXTU morning man Buzz Bowman said the tune was pulled after 10 days "as a courtesy" to a local advertiser. In Washington, WRQX took no chances with the precious advertising dollar and never aired the tune.
You're on the Air!
If you've been practicing your disc jockey's voice in the shower or in rush-hour traffic long enough, it may be time to look for work. The Open University will offer "How to Land a Job in Radio and TV" on June 25. The three-hour class will be taught by WKYS-FM (93.9) afternoon drive host Jeff Leonard. Leonard, who's worked in the Washington market for a dozen years, is also the host of Channel 9's Friday night "Music Video Connection." He'll provide pointers in landing media work and discuss the talent, sales and management of the business. The course costs $25; call 966-9606 to register.
This Sunday, "The Hungarian Hour" joins such ethnic shows as "Awake, Alive & Jewish," "The Max Reznick Show," the "Indian House," the "Irish Hour," the "Polka Hour" and the "Greek Hour" on WNTR-AM (1050)'s schedule. Old Budapest restaurant owner John Taba will cohost with radio personality Mike Marlowe. In all, there'll be 90 minutes of recent Hungarian folk and gypsy recordings broadcast in split shows. The first half-hour airs at 11 a.m. followed at 6 by an hour-long edition.
Meanwhile, the 1,000-watt Silver Spring daytimer continues to operate hand-to-mouth while awaiting the FCC to approve its sale from radio investor Gary Portmess to Alpha Capital, a Hyattsville venture capital company. A memo hangs outside a studio wall announcing that brighter days are ahead but that until then, air time for specialized ethnic programming must be paid for in advance.
A Job Well Done
Greg Anderson, host and producer of WPFW-FM's (89.3) "Africa Report," has won Africare's Award for Outstanding News Coverage for general reporting and interviews during 1985. The Ghanaian government has also cited the announcer for a job well done in reporting news of that country, locally. Last week, Anderson added another citation to his growing list, this one from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. His three- to five-minute reports air on weekday mornings at 8 along with the recently added 15-minute shows on Thursday nights at 10.
Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists, announced the winners of its 1985 Dateline Awards for Local Journalism on Wednesday evening with WMAL-AM (630) claiming five of six awards given to local radio. The ABC-owned station won in the Spot News Reporting category for its coverage of last November's flood and in the General Reporting competition for its look at the Washington of the future in "Washington 2001." WMAL's Milagros Ardin's "Out of the Frying Pan" captured the best "features" honors while former executive vice president and general manager Andy Ockershausen won the Dateline Award for his broadcast commentary on airports. Ockershausen resigned from WMAL in March to help bring a professional baseball team to Washington. WWRC-AM (980)'s Camille Bohannon won the Dateline Award for business and financial reporting with her five-part series "Untangling the Phone Connection," which explained the phone company breakup.
Afternoon drive jock John Dowling will step in for WCLY-FM (95.5)/WPGC-AM (1580)'s morning team, Jeffrey Baker and David Burd, on Friday and next week while Burd, who's scheduled to tie the knot on Saturday, honeymoons. Dave Foxx will join Dowling on Friday morning with live, 90-second cut-ins and a special interview with astronaut Ron Parise of Silver Spring from the Festival of Flight at the College Park Airport.
The Greenbelt station will begin airing its "Liberty Tribute" on Monday morning. The series of 75 thirty-second personal tributes to America will come from such foreign-born personalities as Zubin Mehta, Henny Youngman and I.M. Pei, and will air each day at 8 a.m., noon, 6 and 9 p.m. through July 6.
Live, From the Meadowlands
WWDC-FM (101.1) will pick up the Westwood One Network's daylong coverage of Sunday's Amnesty International concert featuring U-2, Pete Townshend, Santana, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, Sting and Bryan Adams, among others. The live concert from the Meadowlands begins at noon on DC-101 and is expected to last for more than nine hours.
On Tuesday, DC-101's sister station, WWDC-AM (1260), will present live reports of the Bullets' picks in the annual NBA draft. Ernie Kaye reports at 7:30 a.m., 1:30, 3:30 and 6:30.