98 Rock offers shop-by-phone service

AIRCHECK

June 18, 1993|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Staff Writer

The newest trend in home shopping has arrived at Baltimore's WIYY-FM (97.9). Via a service called Soundserve, listeners can pick up the phone to order a compact disc of any song they hear on 98 Rock.

"Even if they don't know the artist, all we need is the date and time they heard the song," says program director Russ Mottla.

And he notes listeners can acquire demo tapes of some local bands getting air time on the station, although such recordings are usually not available in stores.

*

Jazz fans are still jumping in Washington, upset by the recent demise of "Jazzy 100," the former WJZE-FM (100.3) that became WBIG-FM earlier this month and adopted an oldies music format.

Former program director Bob Linden, in a letter to Washington's City Paper, has vowed to try to relocate the format.

In response to a number of Baltimore callers who liked the Jazzy 100 sound, Aircheck notes that jazz can be heard regularly here on WEAA-FM (88.9), broadcast from Morgan State University, and in the evenings (from 8:30 p.m.) on WJHU-FM (88.1), with Andy Bienstock.

*

NEW SOUNDS AROUND:

* Beach bums have a couple new format choices in the Ocean City-Salisbury region, through recent station purchases by Baltimore-based Benchmark Communications.

WKHI-FM (95.9), billed as "All-Hit 95.9 -- The New KHI" debuted air earlier this month with a retuned contemporary hit format, broadcasting at a lower frequency than previously.

Benchmark also launched a new country music station, WWFG-FM, on the previous 99.9 khz location of WKHI. "Froggy 99.9" is billed as "Delmarva's Hottest Country."

* Also capitalizing on the steady popularity of the country sound, religious station WFEL-AM (1570) in Towson has added a "Positively Country" music format to its array of ministries and other programs.

General manager Gerry Liss says the new "Christian country" music airs from 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

What kind of music? "Country without the adultery," he says, citing performers such as Glenn Campbell, Ricky Skaggs, Paul Overstreet and Steve and Annie Chapman.

* A small Washington market gospel station, WUST-AM (1120), has just blossomed into a 20,000-watt regional outlet, with a foreign language program schedule aimed at the wide variety of immigrants in the Washington/Baltimore region.

New World Radio, with studios in Falls Church, Va., launched with a two-hour broadcast from Radio France International. General manager Alan Pendleton says foreign-language programs will be aimed at newcomers from Ethiopia, Vietnam, China, Korea, Latin America, Nigeria and Haiti, among others.

James Weitzman, president of the operation, says "our goal is to provide diversity by broadcasting programs of as many different language and culture groups as possible."

* Happy birthday to Fiona Ritchie and "The Thistle & Shamrock." The weekly show of lilting Celtic music has been airing on National Public Radio for 10 years, as of this month.

The show originates in Edinburgh, and can be heard at 5 p.m. Sundays on Washington's WAMU-FM (88.5). Host Ms. Ritchie's thick brogue has been introducing nice highlights of a decade of shows.

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