WMAR airs timely help on tax laws



* It's one month and counting to tax time -- April 15 -- and WMAR-Channel 2 is offering some help this weekend with a half-hour special reviewing new tax laws.

"The Tax Miser," hosted by Brad Ganson, is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, offering interviews with area accounting experts and including a look at the advantages of the newly allowed filing of income tax returns electronically.

* Local radio station WIYY-FM 97.9 is the Rock 'n' Roll Station othe Year, as chosen by The Gavin Report, a national trade journal. Why? Says program director Russ Mottla of album-oriented 98 Rock, "We haven't been following too many of the standard radio rules here."

* Catching up to some news for country music lovers, radio station WPOC-FM 93.1 this month began carrying the nationally distributed, three-hour "Saturday Night House Party" program, live from Nashville at 8 p.m. Saturdays.

Host Gerry House and regulars Paul Randall and Devon O-Day preside over a mix of comedy, interviews, music and a toll-free request line.

* Media Monitor cannot decide if a nightly cable show new this month on the Lifetime service -- the network oriented toward a female audience -- is a complete waste of time or actually offers some insights into the American culture.

It's "The Great American TV Poll," at 6:30 nightly, in which hosts David Birney and Eleanor Mondale explore the results of a variety of polls, interviews and random people-in-the-mall quizzes.

Each show addresses a particular issue, such as tonight's episode scheduled to explore the problems of clinical depression, which affect some 30 percent of all Americans.

But a pseudo-scientific mix of the serious and the silly can be unsettling. An earlier show, for example, combined in relatively close juxtaposition information that 66 percent of some poll's respondents would not be comfortable going skinny dipping, while almost half the people responding to another question said the way women dress and act makes them partially responsible for rape.

* In a related cable polling vein, who do you think are the favorite TV performers of America's young viewers?

In the Nickelodeon network's annual "Kids' Choice Awards" (to be seen at 7 p.m. April 22), nominees for best actress and actor include, Kirstie Alley ("Cheers"), Roseanne Barr ("Roseanne") and Keisha Knight Pulliam ("The Cosby Show"), and Bill Cosby ("The Cosby Show"), Kirk Cameron ("Growing Pains") and Will Smith ("Fresh Prince of Bel-Air").

And up for best TV show? "The Simpsons," "Fresh Prince" and "In Living Color."

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