The only all-news broadcast on Baltimore's daytime radio went away this week as the result of the recently completed sale of WERQ-AM/FM (1010/92.3).
Since the spring of 1992, WERQ-AM had broadcast the syndicated CNN Radio service from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Longtime local talk show host Alan Christian also broadcast a twice-daily program of short commentary, "Alan's Street."
But on Monday, 1010-AM listeners began hearing a simulcast of Washington's WOL-AM (1450), a black-oriented talk format.
"I think it's a loss for Baltimore. It was the only station you could tune in to and find out the stock market or sports or what was happening," complained listener Linda Lapides of Baltimore.
However, Lee Michaels, vice president for programming of the new ownership group, said yesterday the news format had few listeners.
"That was performing from 0 to .2 [in the ratings], and when you purchase stations for $9.5 million, you want to do better than that," he said.
"I've not seen the CNN format successful in any market. . . . In most cases, there are good news sources elsewhere."
Further, he said, research showed "there wasn't a really good ethnic talk station in the market." The WOL simulcast is heard from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., when the station reverts to its current overnight simulcast of sister station WERQ-FM.
The programming from WOL includes local Baltimore traffic and weather, said Mr. Michaels. In addition, talk host Bernie McCain, heard from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, returns to the Baltimore airwaves.
He previously was heard here on WCBM-AM (680).
The sale of WERQ-AM/FM from United Broadcasting to Radio One was completed last month, following approval by the Federal Communications Commission. The ownership group also owns stations WWIN-AM/FM (1400/95.9) in Baltimore, and the joint WOL-AM (1450) and WMMJ-FM (102.3) operation in Washington.
A new Baltimore big band makes its debut tonight.
The 14-piece Legends 1360 Orchestra Under the Direction of George Hipp, performs tonight at a big band/open house event at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, sponsored by WWLG-AM (1360).
The station says the swing band was formed to promote its nostalgic music sound, and will also be available for private engagements. For more information, call (410) 747-4452.
Listeners to WEAA-FM (88.5), Jazz 88, have a chance this month to be funny on the airwaves.
Beginning Monday, the station launches a "Betcha Can't Make Us Laugh" promotion. One caller a day will be chosen to tell his or her favorite joke. The prize is two tickets to the Winchester's Comedy Club.
For information, call (410) 319-3564.
"The Marc Steiner Show" on WJHU-FM (88.1) is scheduled to air live from Capitol Hill Tuesday, with four Maryland congressional representatives answering phone calls from listeners on a variety of issues.
The 90-minute show airs at 7 p.m., with guests Wayne Gilchrest, Helen Bentley, Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume.
A second edition of "The Marc Steiner Show" next week, at 7 p.m. Thursday, features American Indian activist Russell Means.