News struck close to home Friday night for news-sports-talk formatted WTOP-AM (1500) when the station released this statement: "WTOP newscaster David Newton has been suspended indefinitely from the station after his arrest this week on drug charges. Newton was arrested Wednesday night and has been charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute."
The statement was read Friday on the air at "8:30 or 9" in the evening and "will air as part of our news segment until it is deemed no longer necessary," said a station source who asked not to be identified. No further information was released by the station.
The 34-year-old newscaster's arrest was first reported earlier Friday evening on WMAL-AM (630) during its 7:30 newscast. That broadcast did not identify Newton or his station, saying only that a "local radio broadcaster" had been arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
David Neal Newton, who lives in the 1300 block of Fort Stevens Drive NW, was arrested about 8:20 Wednesday evening near 10th and M streets NW, an area known for drug trade, D.C. police said. He was arraigned in a D.C. court Thursday and was released on his own recognizance. Newton, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, joined the station in the summer of 1989 and has worked there as an anchor and news reporter. WTOP News Director Mike Rushlow on Sunday refused to answer any questions regarding Newton or the station.
Goodman Quits WAVA Alan Goodman, who five years ago paired record spinner Don Geronimo and part-timer Mike O'Meara to create one of the most-talked-about radio teams in the country, resigned yesterday as vice president and general manager of WAVA-FM (105.1). The 47-year-old Goodman, frequently the target of the "Zoo" boys' on-air jabs, said last night, "It was time to make a change. It was a great run, but I need to get on with my life."
Goodman has been considering the move since early this year and said he arrived at his decision to leave following a Colorado vacation.
Not all of Goodman's programming decisions worked at WAVA. He is remembered in the radio industry for hiring "Charlie and Harrigan," an aged morning team from San Diego that lasted less than six months on the air here. However, their contract reportedly called for each to receive $100,000 annually for three years even if they were fired. Sources familiar with the affair say Goodman would have been fired on the spot for such a blunder had Doubleday Broadcasting not been in the process of selling out to Emmis Broadcasting coupled with the fact that the new "Morning Zoo" team took off on a ratings rocket.
Goodman, who had a reputation for keeping his cool while negotiating with the frequently hot-headed morning team, said he is exploring several opportunities. His last day at the station will be Thursday.
That Magic Team Miss Black America 1989 Paula Gwynn has joined morning man Sonny Taylor as a host at urban adult contemporary WMMJ-FM (102.3). Teams have been increasingly popular in morning radio, particularly on the FM band. The team approach at "Magic 102" makes it the 11th FM station to feature a duo or host and "sidekick" -- sometimes billed as "& Company." Eleven other FM stations take the morning drive with a single host (not counting a news anchor and/or traffic personality). Eric St. James will continue to anchor WMMJ's morning newscasts. Its sister station, WOL-AM (1450), has increased talk programming with the rehiring of Bernie McCain, who had talked there until 1983 when oldies music was added and chat trimmed. Since then, McCain has gabbed at WRC-AM and more recently at Baltimore's WCBM-AM (680). WOL's weekday schedule now begins with owner and boss Cathy Hughes's show at 6 a.m.; Motown-based oldies with Raymond "More Better Man" Woods play from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by McCain until 7 p.m., then more music until midnight with Willie "Moon Man" Bactoe. Former evening host Keenan Ellerbee has moved into an engineer's slot on Hughes's show while retaining the assistant program director's title. The stations' sales manager and Almicco-owner Alfred Liggins said Friday that the company's long-awaited (15 months) $6.38 million purchase of Baltimore combo WWIN-AM/FM should be settled by mid-December.
Shop Talk Speaking of talk programming -- a 1990 phenomenon of Washington radio -- business-formatted WPGC-AM (1580), expected to begin broadcasting 24 hours a day in January and to acquire NBC's Talknet beginning nightly at 7 in February, will probably begin talk programming during afternoon drive, as early at 4:30 p.m., said Program Director Donna Francavilla. She said she expects to hire additional news anchors for the expanded operation, including filling the gap created when Melissa Bigelow moved into the afternoon drive slot. Bigelow replaced Victoria Ray, who left after 18 months at WPGC for a job at Metro Traffic Control. Gene Harley, perhaps best known as former promotion director of Wild World, will become the business station's manager on Dec. 3 with the mission of moving the Greenbelt station into the black. ... Sammy Mack has taken over afternoon drive at WKYS-FM (93.9). ... Former WLTT-FM (94.7) morning host Dave Arlington will join WTOP-AM (1500) next weekend as a news anchor. Until 1983, when he became a disc jockey at WASH-FM (97.1), Arlington was program director, newsman and talk host at Baltimore's WCBM-AM (680).