98 Rock's comedy quest is joking matter

Seven semifinal winners of the second annual 98 Rock/Slapstix Comedy Quest compete in tonight's final joke-down at the comedy club at the Brokerage (at 8:30), and listeners will hear each of the top three winners sometime next week on the 98 Rock morning show (WIYY-FM 97.9).

Three preliminary laugh-offs at the club in October produced these finalists: Bob Battle, Mickey Cuchiella, Neal Graham, Brett Harlow, Mackabee Jones, Mark Metusof and Chris Paul. Excerpts of their routines aired on 98 Rock after each semifinal.


L "It's an all-dudes final," says station manager Russ Mottla.

The top prize: $500 and a trip to New York for a comedy club showcase. The runner-up takes home $250 and the third-place winner $100.



More news from the Howard Stern front.

The president of Infinity Broadcasting, which syndicates the New York shock-talk announcer (locally on Baltimore's WJFK-AM [1300]), has acknowledged to the Federal Communications Commission the shows for which a Los Angeles station was hit with a $105,000 indecency fine were heard across the Infinity network.

But Mel Karmazin says none of the stations received complaints about the broadcasts, nor do they have "unsupervised child listenership" during the hours of the Stern show.

Meantime, according to the trade publication Inside Radio, a Las Vegas musician named Al Wescott has come forward as the source of the complaint which led to the FCC's largest indecency fine ever. And in a press conference, he said he intends further monitoring of the Stern show as heard on other stations.



* The talk lineup on WCBM-AM (680) has changed, bringing back to morning radio deejay Don O'Brien, also the weekend weather guy on WMAR-Channel 2. Here's the lineup: Sean Casey and Mr. O'Brien, 5:30 to 9 a.m.; Zoh Hieronimus, 9 to 11 a.m.; Dr. Dean Edell, 11 a.m. to noon; Rush Limbaugh, noon to 3 p.m.; Tom Marr, 3 to 6 p.m. Nights unchanged.


* What a pleasure to hear Susan Stamberg regularly again on National Public Radio. The longtime anchor of "All Things Considered" this month joined "Morning Edition" (at 6 a.m. weekdays, WJHU-FM [88.1]) as a reporter. She left "ATC" in 1987, after 14 years on the beat, to do "Weekend Edition," then in 1989 became a special correspondent. For the last year, she's been on leave to write a book about the radio news biz, due out next spring.

* Talk show host Alan Christian, heard for an hour at 1 p.m. daily on WERQ-AM (1010), writes to clarify an Aircheck item which repeated news reports that his 1990 legal troubles included a plea of guilty to embezzlement. The correct charge was "misappropriation by a fiduciary," he notes, adding that a percentage of his earnings are now going to pay back investors in the Atlantic Coast Radio enterprise.

* Have you heard the clever ad running on WEAA-FM (88.9) promoting its mellow jazz sound? It says you might be hearing other music and then samples a few styles, from classical to country, before asking, "Aren't you glad you listen to a station that caters to your needs?"

* Speaking of jazz, Lisa Simeone need not be too apologetic when she leans toward that kind of music in the late afternoons on WJHU. It's nice stuff -- although she usually confesses to trespassing on the turf of the station's Andy Bienstock, who plays the nighttime jazz repertoire.

* Aircheck is a column of radio news and highlights appearing every other Friday. Send items to Aircheck/Steve McKerrow, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, call (410) 332-6506 or fax (410) 783-2519.