In what WLTT-FM (94.7) General Manager Don Davis described yesterday as "a little reshuffling of people" at the normally placid "light rock, less talk" station, morning man of 6 1/2 years Dave Arlington has been replaced on air by the station's promotion director, Dave Adler.
Arlington, who once likened his 6-to-10 show to "a petting zoo" -- as opposed to the often rambunctious "morning zoo" shows heard around the country -- was offered the assistant program director's position but yesterday informed Davis that he would not take it. Arlington, whose real name is David Swerdloff, could not be reached for comment. Davis said he did not know what Arlington's plans were but acknowledged that the performer will receive an undisclosed amount of severance pay.
Adler, a 14-year veteran of the Washington market, did Arlington's show for more than a month last winter when Arlington was out with a lower back ailment. Several weeks ago Adler said he was unaware of any plans by station management to relieve Arlington of the morning chores, but one source said Adler had been lobbying for the position since winter.
Davis also performed some other housecleaning chores last week, moving afternoon drive host Al Santos to the new 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift, while evening voice Beverly Fox shifts into the new 6 to 10 p.m. slot. That creates a position for Creative Services Director Norm Miller, who as "Dave Stone" will host afternoon drive from 2 to 6. Santos will continue hosting the wildly popular Sunday "Jazz Brunch," which was recently stretched to six hours (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) by listener demand.
The CBS-owned station has been hampered by stagnant overall ratings, but Davis denied that ratings were cause for the changes and pointed out that the station does very well in certain adult demographics. Davis said he is happy with the station's ratings and denied that W-Lite is "in some sort of scramble" with direct format competitor WASH-FM (97.1), which is up from a 5.4 to 6.2 in spring Arbitron ratings while W-Lite slipped two-tenths to a 4.5 share. He described WASH as "just another adult station that we compete with. We pay no special attention to them."
One station insider said staffers were happy about the change in the morning.
"Dave Adler is the epitome of what W-Lite is. He's really into this station and knows what the listeners want," the insider said. "Things are alive on the air. We are all very excited. It's a very positive move." Changes at DC-101 and WETA Popular Baltimore evening rock jock Kirk McEwen has signed a "multi-year" deal to host evenings at WWDC-FM (101.1). McEwen, who worked at top-rocker WIYY-FM (97.9), or "98 Rock," began the 7-to-midnight shift last night, replacing Dusty Scott; Scott moved to middays, replacing 12-year veteran Dave Brown, whose ever-demanding duties as program director have forced him off the air. General Manager Goff Lebhar said plans are underway for a live remote broadcast from Baltimore featuring morning man Doug "Greaseman" Tracht and McEwen. For years, DC-101 (particularly the Greaseman's show) has penetrated the Baltimore radio market. However, McEwen's program at 98 Rock had offered the toughest competition,Lebhar said, and had gotten the best ratings among the combined six rock stations in Baltimore and Washington. For several years, WWDC-AM/FM Stations' Manager Jeff Hedges has been referring to the two cities as "Baltington" or "Washmore," depending on where he was at the time. On Saturday evening, the station plans something of an official marriage of the markets with a live remote broadcast from Hammerjacks nightclub in Baltimore featuring the Greaseman and McEwen.
Predominantly classical-music WETA-FM has added "Car Talk," hosted by the wacky Boston brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, to its Saturday lineup at 4 p.m., shortening "The Saturday Show," which begins at 1 p.m. and features new releases of classical music hosted by Jeanie Ninaba. In a cost-cutting move, the Arlington station has cut the Peabody Award-winning "Weekend Edition With Scott Simon" on Saturdays, 11 to 1 p.m., replacing it with "Desert Island Discs," which formerly aired at 9 a.m. Classical music will now be aired in the 9-to-11 slot.
The cost of carrying Simon's show, which is sold in combination with "Morning Edition" (not heard on WETA), jumped to $75,000 this year from $50,000 last year, said WETA spokeswoman Mary Stewart. However, in a deal National Public Radio, the station will not be charged for its one-hour broadcast of the Sunday arts show "Weekend Edition With Liane Hansen," because NPR needed a Washington outlet for the program to attract guests, said NPR spokeswoman Mary Morgan.
The Saturday "Weekend Edition" will continue to air on WAMU-FM (88.5) from 9 to 11 a.m.