WBAL decides against day job for King

AIRCHECK

December 25, 1992|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Staff Writer

Talk show host Larry King's plan to move his two-way conversations from late-night to mid-afternoon in February will cost him his berth on Baltimore's big WBAL-AM (1090). And it remains to be seen whether local listeners will be able to hear him at all.

"It's a shame. We had every intention of keeping Larry King on overnight, but he will not air on WBAL in the afternoon," says station vice president and general manager Jeff Beauchamp.

Taking the King show in its planned 3 to 6 p.m. slot Feb. 1, he says, would mean cutting back on "The Ron Smith Show," heard now from 1 to 4 p.m., and eliminating two hours of the station's news roundup that begins at 4 p.m.

"This is a local information station," says Mr. Beauchamp, noting "a lot of big stations on the East Coast that have carried Larry are not going to be able to do it" for the same reason.

"We have no station in Baltimore yet" for the afternoon program, says Judy Thomas, an associate producer of "The Larry King Show."

Mr. Beauchamp says WBAL does intend to carry the 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. show that will replace Mr. King's program, with host Jim Bohannon.

*

"A dark cloud passed over the city of Baltimore" recently with the apparent coming demise of the nostalgia/big band sound on local airwaves.

So writes Eva Brown of Baltimore, one of a number of correspondents and callers upset over the recent announcement that WITH-AM (1230) has been sold and in spring will switch to a children's format.

"No other station in the Baltimore area can match the 'Music of Your Life'" sound that has been airing on WITH, said Ms. Brown.

"It's really distressing for so many seniors. It is the only radio station older folk can really enjoy," echoes Mary T. Thomson of Baltimore.

"Right now your station is the only one with decent music for people over 50," wrote Betty Cannon of Baltimore in a letter to the station that was also sent to Aircheck.

"I don't know what to tell them. We were sold," says WITH general manager Jim Ward, who says he received some 65 letters in the first week following the Dec. 11 sale announcement.

Capitol Kids Radio Company, a Washington-based firm also buying stations in Silver Spring and Northern Virginia, has purchased WITH from its Florida-based owner, Jim McCotter. The new owner intends by mid-March to establish "Radio Aahs, Baltimore," broadcasting a mix of local and syndicated programming for elementary and middle schoolchildren.

"It's sad to think you can turn on the radio and not be able to hear Sinatra anymore," says Mr. Ward of the impending change.

*

The Texaco-Metropolitan Opera present Leos Janacek's Jenufa" in tomorrow's weekly broadcast, at 1:30 p.m. on WBJC-FM 91.5.

Some of the performances might have been less than, ahem, polished. But "Sounds of the Season" has been a nice morning feature on WBAL-AM (1090). Every weekday up to Christmas, youthful singing groups from a variety of local schools joined host Dave Durian to belt out some carols.

Aircheck is a column of radio news and highlights appearing every other Friday. Send items to Aircheck/Steve McKerrow, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, call (410) 332-6506 or fax (410) 783-2519.

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