Terps switch to WRC WMAL gets Navy football

May 11, 1991|By Mike Preston

University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger announced yesterday that the university has reached an agreement with WRC (980 AM) in Silver Spring granting the radio station local broadcast rights for football and men's basketball games.

WRC replaces WMAL (630 AM), which could not reach an agreement with Jefferson Pilot Communications, to whom the Terps sold their rights three years ago.

A spokesman for the Naval Academy confirmed yesterday that WMAL will broadcast Navy football games next season.

Geiger's announcement did not include the status of play-by-play announcer Johnny Holliday, who has been the voice of the Terrapins for 12 years.

Geiger is expected to announce Maryland's Baltimore network station next week. WBAL (1090 AM) appears to be the leading candidate.

WCAO (600 AM) also is in the running for the broadcasting rights in Baltimore. According to WBAL vice president and station manager Jeff Beauchamp, whose station has carried Maryland games in recent seasons, WBAL has been involved in negotiations during the last year.

WCAO general manager Roy Dutschman did not return phone calls yesterday.

Under the new agreement, which runs through the 1993-94 basketball season, WRC will begin broadcasts with the 1991 football opener against Virginia in Byrd Stadium.

Tyler Cox, WRC's manager of operations and programming, said the station basically had no control over the announcing crew.

"We intend to keep an eye on the situation, but that decision will ultimately be made by the university, Jefferson Pilot and some consultation with us," said Cox.

WMAL's five-year contract expired after the Terps basketball season. Jim Gallant, the station's director of operations, said he began negotiating with Charlotte, N.C.-based Jefferson Pilot in October, preparing a proposal that he thought would help lower the station's estimated $300,000 in losses over the past five years.

Gallant said he expects Holliday to broadcast the Navy games, but Geiger is busy working to keep Holliday at Maryland.

Geiger said Holliday is not under contract to WMAL but to its owner, Capital Cities-ABC.

Holliday did not return phones calls yesterday.

"He's an employee of WMAL, and he will do the Navy games. We have discussed this with John several times," said Gallant. "Of course, he was saddened about the Maryland situation, but understanding."

Geiger said: "I'm very confident that Johnny Holliday will continue to be the voice of the of the Terrapins. Within the next few weeks, we'll get this resolved. My goal is to secure Johnny Holliday."

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