WPGC-FM (95.5) General Manager Ben Hill said Sunday he intends to interview two people this week for the program director's position at the urban crossover station. The position opened two weeks ago when Dave Ferguson resigned suddenly from his programming and morning co-host duties for "personal reasons," according to Hill. Hill declined to discuss whether Ferguson was asked to resign.
"The door is open for him to return sometime in the future. It just doesn't open for a while. It could be somewhere else in our company," Hill said. "He didn't storm out and we didn't kick him out. It's all very amicable."
Ferguson, who could not be reached for comment, continues to record promotional messages for both the FM station and the business-format sister station, WPGC-AM (1580), Hill said. However, Ferguson was released from the terms of the two-year contract he signed in early April.
Hill said he will meet with the program director candidates -- both are men -- in Orlando and Phoenix. Ferguson's partner, Robin Breedon, will "continue solo until a PD comes on board. For the time being, we are real happy with Robin doing it alone," Hill said. He said Breedon has not applied to be the programmer. WWRC: Decision '90
Talk station WWRC-AM (980) -- which was sent scrambling for nighttime programming last month when NBC Radio News and NBC Talknet surprised the six-decade affiliate with a 90-day notice that it was going to move its affiliation to WPGC-AM -- is "close to making our decision" about replacement programming, said operations manager Tyler Cox on Friday. Cox refused to discuss from which news source the station would be taking feeds or be specific about the kind of nighttime talk programming that would air on the Greater Media-owned station.
WPGC-AM's Hill said he is "still hoping that WRC will give me a Christmas present" and drop NBC Talknet by Jan. 1 -- the date WPGC-AM hopes to begin broadcasting 24 hours -- so that WPGC can begin airing Talknet immediately. Cox has reaffirmed that he is no Santa Claus. He said WWRC is keeping Bruce Williams, Neil Myers and the rest of the Talknet talk nuts through Feb. 17. WPGC is likely to fill in the seven-week nighttime programming gap with satellite feed from Business Radio Network, which it currently uses only during daylight. 'And That'll Be All From Ed Meyer'
After 30 years at WMAL-AM (630), newsman Ed Meyer, 66, will retire from the Capital Cities/ABC-owned shop Friday. Meyer's dryly witty editorials have been a staple of WMAL's menu. Like many of the popular personalities and news broadcasters of his day, Meyer has used a signature sign-off ("and that'll be all from Ed Meyer") during his career. He has covered every national presidential convention since 1964 and has been the station's election night anchor for most of three decades. He said recently that the hardest story he covered during his career at WMAL was in the late '70s near the Iranian Embassy when he was caught between protesting pro-shah and anti-shah factions and was tear-gassed.
In 1981 Meyer won a Peabody Award for his piece "The Jeffersonian World of Dumas Malone." He has also won two Ohio State awards and two local Sigma Delta Chi awards for commentaries, and has taught radio and television performance at George Washington University. He intends to return to teaching part time.
Meyer was also the ghostwriter for Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver's 1983 autobiography, "On the Radio."
Meyer is currently assembling a retrospective of three decades of news broadcast at WMAL set to air sometime after the new year.
Not all the Meyers are leaving the dial. His son, Ben, is music director and an overnight jock at Frederick's rocker, WZYQ-FM (103.9).
Broadcast Investing in 1991
D.C.-based Federal Publications Inc. will sponsor its 16th annual "Investing in Broadcast Stations" Jan. 14-15 at the Georgetown Inn and Feb. 11-12 in Coronado, Calif. The cost is $825. For details, call 202-337-7000. This ought to be a particularly intriguing seminar, since there are many stations across the country that were purchased in the '80s at inflated prices based on unrealistic sales goals and that are, or are about to be, in deep yogurt.
On the Air
The Sunday afternoon concert series at the Phillips Collection, heard on WETA-FM (90.9) since January 1971, has moved to WGTS-FM (91.9), where the entire hour-long concert will be heard Sundays at 2 p.m. WETA program director Tim Owens said the series' "technical and performance quality was not consistent enough to broadcast every concert" and that the station was interested in carrying only 13 of 39 concerts. The concerts are taped a month prior to broadcast. The series may now be more difficult to hear for those farther from the city: WETA has the area's most powerful signal at 75,000 watts from north Arlington, while Columbia Union College's WGTS in Takoma Park is 29,500 watts.