Alan Christian returning to the air

AIRCHECK

October 16, 1992

Watch for Aircheck, a column of radio news and highlights, which will appear here every other week.

"The Alan Christian Show" can be heard from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays on WERQ-AM (1010), featuring the longtime talk-show personality who is returning to the market after legal difficulties encountered over his attempt to establish a Maryland talk radio network.

In October 1990, Mr. Christian pleaded guilty to embezzlement and violating the Maryland Securities Act in connection with an effort to buy WITH-AM (1230) as the flagship for his Atlantic Coast Radio net. He received a five-year suspended sentence and was slapped with a $679,894 fine.

Earlier this year, he began broadcasting short commentaries on WERQ. The station is CNN Radio in Baltimore, with weekday carriage of its radio services.

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Program director Greg Dunkin of WMIX-FM (106.5) is leaving the Baltimore adult contemporary music station for La La Land -- specifically to take the same position at KYSR-FM in Los Angeles.

"The station sounds very similar to MIX . . . I'm really honored that they called," says Mr. Dunkin, who has been at WMIX since March 1990, and came here from New York's WNSR-FM.

He notes the L.A. station is part of the big Viacom network, and says the offer "was a great opportunity to work for a very good company."

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Last month Wayne Gruen, a longtime voice at WFBR-AM 1300 in the late 1960s and '70s, took over the 2 to 5 p.m. weekday shift at nostalgia station WITH-AM (1230).

"Wayne fits nicely among the wide array of talent we have working here," said general manager Jim Ward last month in announcing the appointment.

Mr. Gruen was at WFBR for 13 years until 1978, when he created a locally based production company, Commerical Refinery, with Johnny Contino.

In recent years he has been heard as a weekend talk-show host on WBAL-AM (1090), as well as a frequent commercial voice.

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What is the most popular radio format in the U.S.? You bet your cowboy boots! Country music rules, according to a report this week in the trade publication Inside Radio.

The M Street Journal tally says that as of Oct. 1 there were 2,552 stations doing the country beat across America.

What about other formats? Here are the rest of the top 10:

Adult contemporary (1,963 stations); religion (teaching and music, 837); oldies (731); news/talk (including sports and business, 648); rock (modern and classic, 592); contemporary hit radio (578); adult standards (412); Spanish & ethnic (385) and urban, black, urban AC (313).

But look out, for a young upstart, says Inside Radio: Pre-teen radio. Only three such stations exist now, but the publication predicts, "by next year you won't be able to count them on the fingers of both hands. You might even need all your toes."

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