In WBAL's new lineup, Prell's lunch becomes brunch

AIR CHECK

January 28, 1995|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer

The talk show lineup changes announced this week at WBAL-AM (1090) -- bringing former gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey to evenings and Ron Smith back to afternoons -- raised a question: What about "Lunch With Alan"?

For years, morning host Alan Prell has chatted with rotating guests between noon and 1 p.m., including movie critic Max Weiss, psychologist Jim Dasinger, financial analyst Julius Westheimer, Sun television critic David Zurawik and Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd, among others.

But beginning Feb. 13, "The Rush Limbaugh Show" will start at noon, canceling Mr. Prell's lunch hour.

So listen for "Brunch With Alan," a shortened version of the feature at 11:30 a.m. A 30-minute segment will include the usual guests, says Jeff Beauchamp, vice president and station manager.

He says the feature has been a popular part of the well-rated show. Mr. Prell assured callers yesterday morning that the schedule change was a consequence of the other moves and not an expression of dissatisfaction with his program.

Mr. Beauchamp also says that when the baseball season begins in April -- "gosh, I hope we have baseball," he says, referring to the continuing players' strike -- evenings on WBAL will be entirely sports- oriented, even on nights when the Orioles are not playing. Specific details of planned call-in shows were not announced.

Thus the new "Ellen Sauerbrey Show" would not return until October, after the World Series, if the station and host agree to

continue it.

*

When WSSF-FM (104.3) switched its format from "SOFT 104" to The Colt" last October (hits of the '70s), management at WITH-AM (1230) saw an opportunity.

Presto, chango! The station that for a number of years had been playing big-band nostalgia music became "Softer AM 1230" this month, offering "the softer hits of the '50s, '60s and '70s" by such performers as Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow.

"We felt that was a good format, and when they abandoned it, we thought we could fill the hole," says Gerry Liss, WITH station manager. Listeners 45 and older comprise the target audience, and WITH has also brought out of retirement former WBAL-TV news anchor Rolf Herts gaard to do morning newscasts.

zTC The station has also moved to evenings all but one of the religious programs that began airing in November 1993, when station owner Guardian Communications began leasing the station. The Christian broadcast company, which also owns stations in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Albuquerque, N.M., and Pueblo, Colo., completed purchase of WITH last year.

The new lineup includes Gary Helton from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., Jack Edwards from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Niles Seaberg from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. "Greater Grace World Outreach" still airs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

*

"It's Showtime," the weekly program of Broadway and Hollywood musical highlights with host Alan Field on WWLG-AM (1360), has a one-week-only time change today: The show can be heard from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., but resumes its usual 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. position next Saturday.

Mr. Field this week will be interviewing Ronny Graham, a Broadway veteran, and Lee Wilkof, who was the original Seymour in "Little Shop of Horrors." Both actors currently appear in "Slavs!" playing at Center Stage.

To submit potential items, write: Air Check, attn. Steve McKerrow, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; or fax, (410) 783-2519.

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