Radio bad boys, Brian and O'Brien, unite for a night

September 25, 1992|By Stephen McKerrow | Stephen McKerrow,Staff Writer

Stay tuned for a radio reunion. Brian and O'Brien, the quarrelsome drive-time deejays who once topped Baltimore's ratings, are scheduled to do a one-shot-only broadcast together tomorrow night on WMIX (FM-106.5).

"They are going to do the show. They have signed the papers. Hopefully, they are going to be in the same studio," says program director Greg Dunkin, who engineered the reunion stunt, scheduled for 7 p.m. to midnight in place of Johnny Dark's usual " '70s Saturday Night."

Mr. Dunkin emphasizes the word "hopefully," for announcers Brian Wilson and Don O'Brien had a stormy on-and-off-the-air relationship in the mid-1980s, when their morning madness show on WBSB-FM (B-104) topped the ratings for a time.

Insults, suspensions, firings and, in Mr. Wilson's case, a successful lawsuit against the station were all part of the soap opera scenario. Mr. O'Brien subsequently acknowledged an alcohol problem, too.

The deejays still do not seem exactly friends.

"It's not gonna be a love fest, but it'll be something to do," said Mr. O'Brien flatly this week from the station's offices. Currently the weekend weathercaster on WMAR (Channel 2), he also does fill-in work at MIX-106.

Mr. Wilson said he flatly refused Mr. Dunkin's proposal initially. So why did he agree? "It would be hard to say which came first: money, or Greg's convincing me that Don was on a whole different page than when we tried to co-exist peacefully, or not so peacefully, at B-104," he said.

Currently, Mr. Wilson broadcasts a morning show on Washington's WRC-AM, after a post-Baltimore career that has included stops in New York City and Atlanta.

An attempt to stage an earlier Brian and O'Brien reunion never came off. In August 1991, WYST (1010 AM and 92.3 FM) used tapes of the deejays to promote a reteaming. At the time, Mr. O'Brien worked at 92 Star (now known as 92 Q).

"I wasn't long for the station anyway," said Mr. O'Brien this week, adding, the earlier reunion was never a serious possibility.

This weekend's show will re-create some of the team's trademarks, including funny horoscopes, insulting phone conversations with listeners, and calls to public figures.

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