Brian Wilson was just being himself Silenced: The %o personality that made the Dundalk- bashing DJ famous is the same one that got him fired.

ON THE AIR

November 26, 1995|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

You hire a guy who's known for being obnoxious on the air, who's been ragging on a community in southeast Baltimore County for more than 10 years, whose stint on Baltimore's radio airwaves a decade earlier brought the kind of ratings you've been dreaming of.

You ask him to recapture those halcyon days. He tries for three months, using the same on-air persona he's always had, giving you pretty much what you'd expected.

Then you fire him.

WOCT's Brian Wilson deserved better. He gave the station exactly what it should have expected, and for his trouble got fired only about 90 days into his show -- certainly one of the shortest tenures in local radio history.

You can debate the merits of Brian Wilson. You can decry his persistent Dundalk-bashing and pray to God that he shut up for a change. Personally, I was never a big fan of his style and, having lived in Glen Burnie for eight years, would just as soon have DJ's lay off community-bashing altogether.

But the folks at the Colt should have known what they were

getting when they signed him; his shtick there wasn't that much different from his shtick at B-104 (same frequency, different station) a decade earlier.

To fire him three months into his show, before the show even had a chance to show up in the ratings, seems unfair.

(Of course, his bosses may have other reasons for shoving Mr. Wilson off the air. But they aren't talking, so it's hard to say.)

If the management at WOCT wasn't willing to take the heat Brian Wilson generates, they should never have hired him in the first place.

Squaring off

The fur could end up flying at WJHU-FM (88.1) tomorrow, as the head honchos of Baltimore City and Baltimore County are interviewed on "The Marc Steiner Show."

Not that these two gentlemen have a history of despising each other or anything like that.

In fact, word is they get along fabulously. But County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger has been a vocal critic of a recently announced plan to move 1,300 low-income families from the inner city to the suburbs. Mayor Kurt Schmoke is all for it.

Could be interesting to hear what these two have to say, especially once they start taking phone calls from listeners. More than a few Baltimore County residents want no part of the agreement, which arose from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against Baltimore. The two-hour program begins at noon.

Mr. Steiner has a couple other shows planned for the week that could prove interesting. At 1 p.m. Wednesday, comedian/social activist/weight-loss guru Dick Gregory sits down for a chat. And at noon Thursday, Sun film critic Stephen Hunter plants himself in front of the microphone. (If you really want to get his goat, call in and say how you think the remake of "King Kong" from 1976 is the greatest film ever made.)

Sinatra tribute

All you fans of Old Blue Eyes may want to park your radio dial at WLG-AM (1360, 1330 in Havre de Grace) for the next few weeks.

As his 80th birthday approaches, WLG Legends Radio is going positively Sinatra-happy. Since Oct. 2, they've been broadcasting "Lunch With a Guy Named Frank" every weekday at noon. Today, the celebration really kicks into gear with the first of a four-part "Sinatra -- Young at Heart" birthday special.

The eight-hour program, airing in two-hour segments during the next four Sundays, tracks Sinatra's career over five decades, from his beginnings with Major Bowes to his big-band stints with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, his landmark "September of My Years" album and his current work with the likes of U2's Bono.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10, the station will broadcast "Frank Sinatra: An American Legend," with daughter Nancy Sinatra as host. And from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Chairman of the Board's birthday, Dec. 12, Alan Field, Ken Jackson and Wayne Gruen will play Sinatra's Top 100 hits.

' Do-be-do-be-do, indeed.

'Funny' album

Country-music fans take note: Joe Diffie's new album, "Life's So Funny," gets its world premiere at 10 p.m. Thursday night on WPOC-FM (93.1).

Included on the album is the single "Bigger Than The Beatles." Let's just hope this doesn't mean we have a six-hour look at his career coming up on ABC anytime soon.

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