WLIF-AM (1300)is preparing to shock Baltimore's morning radio listeners.
The station, which had been simulcasting light pop vocal selections with WLIF-FM (Lite 102), is expected to air the New York drive-time radio show of Howard Stern, the notorious king of shock radio, beginning tomorrow.
WLIF-AM, formerly WFBR, has been off the air since Sept. 23 to make technical adjustments in its directional antennae system and prepare for the format change.
The 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. show of Mr. Stern -- who has been called the Sultan of Sleaze and Vicar of Vice -- originates at New York's WXRK-FM and is simulcast on WJFK-FM in Washington and WYSP-FM in Philadelphia. All three stations are owned by New York-based Infinity Broadcasting, which also owns WLIF here.
Ken Stevens, general manager of Infinity's Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia stations, said he planned an announcement tomorrow on the simulcast of Mr. Stern's show here, which has been rumored for months. But he refused to provide further details.
Bob Moke, program director of WLIF, said he could not comment on plans to air Mr. Stern's show, saying only that beginning tomorrow LIF's "AM will not be a simulcast with the FM." The FM signal's soft adult contemporary programming would not change, he said.
It was not immediately clear what the AM station would broadcast the rest of the day, but local radio executives speculated that it would simulcast the afternoon drive show of WJFK's Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara.
Jim Fox, general manager of WBSB-FM (B-104), called WLIF-AM's simulcasting of Mr. Stern's show "a very interesting experiment. . . . Anything's better than what they have now."
In the most recent Arbitron ratings, WLIF-AM registered an almost invisible 0.3 audience share, with one share point equal to about 3,500 listeners in an average quarter hour.
Mr. Stern's show, which also began airing on Los Angeles' KLSX-FM last July, is noted for such offensive characters as "Stuttering John," as well as outrageously lewd skits and song parodies. He once referred to WJFK as "your assassination station."