G.Gordon Liddy is a man who knows about conspiracy. He also is a man learning about promotion. Sunday, WBMW-FM (106.7) kicked off a five-week ad campaign that features the Nixon White House staffer telling television viewers: "For the past 20 years, there's been a conspiracy. A conspiracy to keep you from hearing innovative, stimulating, fresh music. Music too good for radio. Now the conspiracy has ended."
With that, the picture fades into a sunrise scene before melting into the station's new logo with an announcer saying WBMW is "quietly powerful." The 30-second spot is part of a campaign to introduce the Northern Virginia station's New Age format at the beginning of Arbitron's fall ratings survey.
Peter Tilden & Associates, a Philadelphia advertising agency, produced the commercial as well as an ad that ran in Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. Tilden and station officials refused to say how much Infinity Broadcasting, the station's new owner, was spending on the campaign, but observers estimate the cost at about $500,000. Sunday's Post ad, which ran on two pages, alone cost more than $20,000.
Liddy, who served four years and seven months in prison for his role in the Watergate affair, has had a recent TV movie based on his life and been on an episode of "Miami Vice," and last month he landed a major role in a feature film, "Pardon for Pilman."
This, however, is advertising -- and advertising is different, as Watergate buddy John Ehrlichman could tell him. Last May, Oakland-based Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream dropped Ehrlichman as its "unbelievable spokesman" who advertised that the company's ice cream was "unbelievably good" after the company received 325 letters and phone calls from customers who felt that Ehrlichman was not of "good moral character," according to a company spokeswoman.
But WBMW brass say they aren't worried. The listeners they'll attract, says one, are smart enough to know it's done tongue in cheek.
Jordan: Still in the Game? Although the Redskins let Curtis Jordan go last week, the folks at WBMW, where the often-funny free safety delivered biweekly team reports, would like to see him continue if he doesn't join another team.
"We have no intentions of getting out of the contract," said station General Manager Ken Stevens. "I think Curtis has a great career ahead in broadcasting if he wants. He's a really entertaining guy, and without the constraints of playing for the team, who knows what he'll say?"
Jordan, who also is involved with three restaurants in Virginia, is reportedly still considering his future.
Voices From the Past The University of Maryland's WMUC-AM/FM (650/88.1) will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Halloween weekend. The alumni -- including NBC's Connie Chung, National Public Radio's executive producer Jay Kernis, WXTR-FM's (104.1) Bob Duckman, WLTT-FM (94.1) airborne traffic reporter Walt Starling, WAVA-FM's (105.1) Loo Katz and scores of others in the Washington and Baltimore markets -- are conducting a nationwide search for other members. For details, call Mike Morrison or Frank Marra at 454-2743.
Another industry note: The deadline for entries in the first Air Achievement Awards competition is Sept. 22. Larry King is the chairman and will preside over the awards banquet Oct. 22. For details, call 824-0111.
On the Dial Beginning today at 9:30 a.m., National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg and Joe Volz will anchor coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork. The gavel-to-gavel coverage can be heard on WPFW-FM (89.3) and is expected to run through this week and into next. WAMU-FM (88.5) will present a 30-minute wrap-up of the day's hearings nightly at 10 during the Mike Cuthbert Show, followed by another half-hour of listener calls on the subject ...
Hispanic formatted WMDO-AM (1540) will broadcast live coverage of tomorrow's "Celebration for Citizenship" from the Capitol steps beginning at 1 p.m. The station will have the added duty of translating the ceremony for a satellite feed that can be heard throughout the country. On Saturday at 10 a.m., WMDO will carry a special report on amnesty and immigration ...
WETA-FM (90.9) features the Canterbury Cathedral Choir's special two-hour concert recorded in June at Washington Cathedral during its first American tour, tonight beginning at 10. Mutual's Larry King Show salutes the Constitution bicentennial by broadcasting from the National Archives tomorrow night at 11. King's guests are national archivist Frank Burke, actor Joel Grey, now appearing in "Cabaret" at the Kennedy Center, and Gadsby's Tavern actor John Douglas Hall. The show is heard nightly on WTOP-AM (1500).
Around the Dial T.J. Wright has joined WPGC-AM/FM (1580/95.5) as the contemporary crossover station's new late-night host. She replaces Linda Kelly ... ABC-owned WMAL-AM (630) and Frederick's WFMD-AM (930) each won a Crystal Award for "excellence in local achievement" given to 10 stations last week at the National Association of Broadcasters convention ... After three years off the air, Rick Colom has revived his "Make Believe Ballroom," which features the music of the '20s, '30s and '50s and is now heard on Baltimore's WITH-AM (1230). Colom, 37, hosted the show on the old WEAM from 1978 to 1982.