They made it. Just barely, but they made it.
MPT raised $601,559 during its December pledge drive, which ended last Sunday.
That's just a tick (0.25 percent) over the station's $600,000 goal -- which suggests that, by now, the folks at MPT have a pretty good handle on what they can expect from their thrice-annual beg-a-thons.
The cash cows this go-round: "Yanni Tribute: In Concert at the Taj Mahal and the Forbidden City," which added $77,954 to MPT's coffers; a program featuring Dr. Richard Weil ($39,808); and Italian heritage night, featuring "The Italian-Americans" and "Andrea Bocelli: Romanza In Concert" ($32,244).
The drive raised $494,234 in viewer pledges, including an undisclosed amount from Washington resident Bob Dole, who phoned in during "Perry Como's Irish Christmas." By its end, MPT had signed up 5,291 new members.
Here's what some of the local radio stations are doing for Christmas: WBAL-AM (1090) has scheduled nothing but Christmas music (with some commercial interruptions) from 3 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Friday.
WBJC-FM (91.5) has a schedule brimming with Christmas-themed classical music, including the "Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Christmas" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.-midnight); "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" (Wednesday, 10 p.m.-11: 30 p.m., live from King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England); the "Baltimore Choral Arts Society Christmas Show" (Thursday, noon-2 p.m.); and the "Handel Choir's 'Messiah' " (Thursday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.).
WCBM-AM (680) will throw its holiday mornings to Zoh Heironimus. Wednesday "The Zoh Show" (9 a.m.-noon) will bring to the studio 50 children, ages 3-6, to be entertained by the Oriole Bird, the Baltimore Zoo's ZooMobile and Zoh herself, presiding over everything in her role as the Snow Queen. The show will be rebroadcast at the same time Christmas Day.
Friday, Zoh will broadcast her "Old Time Radio Holiday Special," featuring such guests as Bing Crosby, Orson Welles, Stan Freiberg and the Great Gildersleeve.
WERQ-FM (92.3) will play holiday music from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, then celebrate Christmas Day with "Christmas at 92Q's House" from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., complete with music and the station's on-air talent talking about holidays past and present.
WIYY-FM (97.9) has recruited Jamie, host of "Buck Nekkid Saturday Night," to be host of a special "Buck Nekkid Christmas," 7 p.m.-midnight Christmas Eve (repeating 7 a.m.-noon Thursday). The show will feature Christmas music, twisted tunes, comedy bits -- pretty much what longtime listeners have come to expect.
WJHU-FM (881.) will broadcast a host of holiday specials, including "Jonathan Winters' 'A Christmas Carol' " (2 p.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday), with the comedian reading Dickens' classic; "It's a Wonderful Life: Our Lives Reviewed" (noon-1 p.m. Wednesday), with host Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey in the Frank Capra film, and others reflecting on changes in their lives; "A Prairie Home Companion Christmas Eve Special" (1 p.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday) and "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" (2 p.m.-3 p.m. Thursday), with actor Tom Mula telling of Scrooge's ordeal from the point of view of Marley's ghost.
WLIF-FM (101.9) will be airing its hourlong "Holiday Lunch Break" tomorrow and Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Then, beginning at noon Wednesday, it's 36 straight hours of Christmas music, with nary a break until midnight Thursday. Among the artists you can expect to hear are Kenny Rogers, the Eagles, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, the Beach Boys and Bing Crosby.
WOCT-FM (104.3) has scheduled "A Colt Christmas," continuous Christmas classics from 6 p.m. Wednesday until early evening Thursday.
WPOC-FM (93.1) has on tap "Christmas on Music Row," airing from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday, featuring music from and interviews with country-music personalities. The big day gets capped off with six hours of music by request, from 6 p.m. to midnight (410-481-WPOC).
WQSR-FM (105.7) is joining the wall-to-wall Christmas music bandwagon (running from 3 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday), but will take chunks out of the wall twice, to broadcast "Christmas From Disney World" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday. The station also has a CD to sell, the eighth annual compilation from the morning show's Rouse & Co. of songs from Stevie & the Satellites. The disc can be purchased for $10 by calling the station at 410-825-1000.
WWMX-FM (106.5) has scheduled 24 hours of continuous Christmas music, beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The station is also offering for sale "The JoJo and Kenny Christmas Wish Album," a collection of bits and songs culled from the morning show with Kenny Campbell and JoJo Girardi. The disc is available at Bibelot, Record & Tape Traders and Sam Goody.
Pub Date: 12/21/97