Radio's 'interactive' election coverage


The 1992 presidential campaign will likely go down as the most participatory in history. Broadcast outlets, from network TV morning shows to radio talkfests, have provided an extraordinary forum for viewers and listeners to sound off -- and for candidates to sit still and hear them.

No surprise, then, that key outlets for radio coverage of Tuesday's election will include "interactive" sessions with listeners and candidates:

* On WBAL-AM (1090), Alan Walden, Frank DeFilippo and The Sun's Dan Rodricks co-host election-night coverage beginning at p.m. Two-way talk with callers, candidate interviews, CBS News updates and local news reports anchored by John Patti comprise the coverage.

And beginning at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. DeFilippo and talk show host Ron Smith join Dave Durian for a morning-after recap.

* National Public Radio will also include call-in segments in extensive election-night coverage, but Baltimore listeners will have to tune to WAMU-FM (88.5) in Washington.

Local NPR outlet WJHU-FM (88.1) plans to use five-minute NPR reports on the hour and half-hour during its usual jazz programming with host Andy Bienstock. At some point, says the station's Peter Moskowitz, WJHU likely will carry a half-hour of the NPR call-in segment that begins at 10:30 p.m., but he notes, "We don't think people really will be tuning us in to get their election results."

On WAMU, the full NPR package includes election results beginning at 8 p.m., anchored by Linda Wertheimer and Robert Siegel, and including panels of expert commentators and correspondents. And listeners from across the nation can begin offering their perspectives at 10:30.

* Local country music station WPOC-FM (93.1) also plans special election coverage, with Merrie Street anchoring five-minute news reports on the hour and half-hour, beginning at 8 p.m.


Traveling on election night? In an unprecedented collaboration, NPR's election coverage can be heard on 11 United Airlines airplanes equipped with the new USA Today Sky Radio satellite audio service. And passengers can even participate in the call-in segments.


Reader Richard Brow of Glen Burnie wants to know: "Where is Rick Colom, who used to hold forth on WITH on Sunday afternoons?" Turns out he's still holding forth on WITH (AM 1230), but on Saturday mornings. "The Rick Colom Show" can be heard weekly from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Singer Elton John heads a diverse list of stars, including Roseanne and Tom Arnold, Richard Gere, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Arsenio Hall, Bonnie Raitt and Sting in an AIDS benefit special this weekend.

"The Elton John Radio Special" can be heard here at 10 p.m. Sunday on classic rock station WGRX-FM (100.7).* Owners of KLSX-FM radio in Los Angeles are weighing whether appeal the $105,000 fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission this week against Howard Stern for indecent programming. The Stern show, syndicated by Infinity Broadcasting, is heard weekday drive time mornings in Baltimore via WJFK-AM (1300).


Two stars of the Negro Baseball Leagues highlight Sunday's edition of "Hieronimus & Co." at 10 p.m. on WCBM-AM (680). Scheduled guests are Wilmer Fields, a pitcher for the Homestead Grays of Pittsburgh and author of "My Life in the Negro Leagues," and Max Manning, who pitched for the Newark Eagles.

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