Kelly and the coach do radio, TV health spots In shape: Ms. Ripken and the Orioles' Tim Bishop can be seen and heard on Channel 11, WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM.

On the Air

January 21, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Kelly Ripken must be in pretty good shape, given that she has to keep up with husband Cal.

Want to know how she does it? If you're a steady viewer of WBAL, Channel 11, or listen to WBAL-AM (1090) or WIYY-FM (97.9), you may already have an idea.

Since Jan. 1, Ms. Ripken and Orioles strength and conditioning coach Tim Bishop have been featured on "11 Living Healthy," 30-second spots airing primarily in the morning and early afternoon. They're designed to spark ideas, to suggest to the audience what they can do easily to stay in shape and remain healthy.

It's easy to see why Mr. Bishop would be featured in such spots; his job, after all, is to ensure that the Orioles stay healthy (and, like Cal, off the disabled list). But why Kelly Ripken?

"They were looking for a lady who was health-conscious but also was an everyday person," says Ira Rainess, an attorney for Ms. Ripken, who is currently out of the country with her husband (no doubt enjoying those last few weeks before Cal has to head for Florida). "They wanted somebody who wasn't necessarily an aerobics instructor, but someone who was an everyday person, someone who has a family and responsibilities, but still has time to exercise."

Ms. Ripken was receptive, Mr. Rainess explains, so long as the station didn't try to pass her off as an expert. Jane Fonda, after all, she isn't.

It turns out she was just what the folks at WBAL were looking for.

"She's a woman in her 30s, she's got two children, she's been very visible," says Channel 11 general manager Emerson Coleman. "Teamed up with Tim, they make a pretty good combination. They're lively, they're visual, and they're doing a good job."

"She had to explain to them that she's not a fitness expert by any means," Mr. Rainess says. "She wanted to make sure that they understood that, that she wasn't coming from an expert's standpoint."

Maybe not, but she's a Ripken, a member of Baltimore's first family. Her presence ensures the spots a certain notoriety, maybe a slightly higher profile (like leading off this column) than they'd normally receive.

Hey, that's OK by me. Ripkens obviously know something about staying healthy. As long as it doesn't involve putting a nail through my fingernail, as legend has it Cal Sr. did once, I suspect a lot of us will listen.

Station changes

A few changes at the top of some Baltimore-area radio stations:

Alan Hay, general manager of WHFS-FM (99.1), has been lured away by American Radio Systems to serve as general manager for its two Baltimore stations, WQSR-FM (105.7) and WBMD-AM (750).

Since his arrival at WHFS in 1988, Mr. Hay has turned the station into both a ratings force and one of the most respected progressive rock stations in the country. Although some purists still long for the days when WHFS was essentially an underground rock station, playing music you were pretty much guaranteed not to hear anywhere else, the station's listenership has grown substantially during his tenure.

Mr. Hay replaces Brad Murray, who instituted the classic oldies format during his stay at WQSR. Mr. Murray now oversees American's AM operations in Boston and manages WRKO-AM there.

Bob Rich, who has served as general manager of three other stations owned by Liberty Broadcasting in the Baltimore-Washington area (including WXTR-FM [104.1] in D.C. and two stations in Frederick), has assumed the same duties at WHFS.

News source

Good Time Oldies and the Colt have been sharing a lot more than the occasional song in recent weeks. Both stations now receive their news and traffic reports from the same source.

Metro Networks, which handles the news for more than 1,200 radio and TV affiliates throughout the world, added Good Time Oldies WQSR-FM (105.7) to that list last month. Metro already was the information-provider of choice for the Colt, WOCT-FM (104.3), as well as WXYV-FM (102.7), WCAO-AM (600) and others.

Dollar signs

Wanna know how to invest your money? Wanna know who on television offers the best advice?

In its February issue, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine rated 12 financial shows on the basis of their usefulness, timeliness and entertainment value. The best? Stick with PBS.

The Public Broadcasting Service's "Nightly Business Report," "Wall Street with Louis Rukeyser" (produced by Maryland Public Television) and "Adam Smith" all received ratings of four dollar signs, the highest awarded.

Receiving three dollar signs were PBS' "Business Tonight" and "The Wealthy Barber," along with CNBC's "The Money Club" and "The Squawk Box." Two dollar signs were bestowed on CNBC's "The Color of Money" and "Steals and Deals," along with CNN's "Moneyline With Lou Dobbs."

At the bottom of the list, with only one dollar sign about which to brag, were CNBC's "Inside Opinion" and the syndicated "Bloomberg Information TV."

A better weather week

Giving-Credit-Where-Credit-Is-Due Dept.: Having knocked local TV newsmeisters for their incessant coverage of last week's first storm, I'm happy to say their performance improved markedly during the second.

While their Washington counterparts insisted on talking about every flake of snow that fell and stayed on the air continuously to ensure that loyal viewers didn't miss a single one, the folks here in Baltimore were content to break into regular programming with as-needed updates and scroll information across the bottom of the screen.

Nice to see moderation and good sense reign.

Of course, I'd like to think the stations were blindly following my suggestion, realizing the wisdom of every word I said. But alas, I can take no credit: The snow fell a week ago Friday, after I'd written those wise words but before they had been printed.


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