Radio brings you the songs of Christmas Programming: Hours and hours of classical and contemporary holiday music are scheduled by local stations.

On the Air

December 22, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

It's Christmas morning, your kids are ripping open their presents, your parents are ripping open their presents, you are ripping open your presents, and the last thing you want to do is worry about what station to tune to on the radio.

Well, never let it be said I don't have my readers' best interests at heart. All sorts of radio stations have all sorts of special programming planned for the magical morning. Check this list, see what looks best, set your radio before going to bed Tuesday night, then all you have to do is flick the on switch Wednesday morning.

If your house is in a classical mood, check out WBJC-FM (91.5). The Baltimore Choral Arts Society's Christmas concert airs at noon, with guests including the Peabody Children's Chorus. At 2 p.m., the Handel Choir of Baltimore will perform its namesake's "Messiah." The day concludes at 10 p.m. with Ed Polochick of the Concert Artists of Baltimore playing classical music with a holiday theme.

For a more contemporary sound, WXYV-FM (102.7) -- a k a V-103 -- will play a collage of seasonal music from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with featured artists including the Temptations, Dru Hill, Brian McKnight and a host of others. As a bonus, the station will be commercial-free the rest of the day.

At WERQ-FM (92.3), you can listen to nothing but holiday music from 10 p.m. Christmas Eve to 6 a.m. Christmas Day. From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., the station will air "Christmas at 92-Q's House," featuring staff members reminiscing about their favorite holiday seasons and just generally discussing things Christmas. That show will be followed by two more hours of holiday music.

Rockers with a penchant for hits of the past have plenty of options. WQSR-FM (105.7) will air nonstop Christmas music from 3 p.m. Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. Christmas Day. And if that isn't enough, try this: both WWMX-FM (106.5) and WOCT-FM (104.3) are airing 36 hours of nonstop Christmas music, beginning at 1 p.m. Christmas Eve and not stopping until 1 a.m. Dec. 26. Hard to imagine they'll leave anything out.

A perennial favorite, "Christmas on Music Row," returns on WPOC-FM (93.1). Airing from 6 p.m. Christmas Eve to 6 p.m. Christmas Day, the show features interviews and music from some of country music's biggest stars, with a different artist serving as host each hour. Among the voices you'll hear: John Michael Montgomery, Kathy Mattea, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis.

At WJHU-FM (88.1), the celebration begins at 8: 30 p.m. Christmas Eve with "Joy to the World: A Jazz Celebration of Christmas 1996 with Bob Thompson." On Christmas Day, "Voices of the West -- A Cowboy Christmas" offers an hour of stories and music beginning at 2 p.m., and "Season's Griot 1996" at 7: 30 p.m. will feature an hour of African-American storytelling and music.

Christmas in the city

In the mood for some civic pride? Want the whole country to know how beautifully Baltimore decorates itself for the holidays?

Then check out Home & Garden Television at 9 tonight for "HGTV's Christmas Across America." A raft of Charm City's holiday hot spots will be featured, including the Washington Monument, Inner Harbor, Valley View Farms, Carroll County Farm Museum, the zoo, Druid Hill Park Conservatory, Stouffer Renaissance Harborplace Hotel and the Shops at Kenilworth. The Morgan State Choir also will be featured.

The hourlong show will be repeated at midnight tonight and at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Christmas Day. In addition to Charm City, the show will spotlight locations in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Phoenix, Tampa, Tulsa and West Palm Beach.

Christmas present

A group of Baltimoreans will have "special" reason to celebrate ,, this Christmas, as a holiday TV special they developed is being aired in the nation's top-15 television markets Wednesday.

"A Very Special Present," the animated story of a young girl who finds that Christmas magic is strong enough to make animals not only talk but dance, emerged through the combined efforts of producer Patricia McDonald, Jonathan Jensen (a bass player for the BSO, who wrote the music), writers Sam Zervitz and Lynn Williams Jensen (who developed the story) and Shelly Schonebaum (who did the illustrations).

Live-action footage was shot using students at Glenmont Elementary School in Hamilton.

"A Very Special Present" was broadcast on WBAL, Channel 11, Dec. 7. Videotapes may be ordered for $18.95 through Uffington Productions, P.O. Box 9901, Baltimore, 21224-9901.

Pledges aplenty

Hats off to the folks at MPT, who brought in a heap o' money during their pledge drive, which ended last Sunday. All told, the station raised $660,313 -- a record for the December drive, and well over the $500,000 goal.

Summer ratings

Here are the Summer '96 Arbitron rankings and audience share for listeners 12 and older for Baltimore's top 10 radio stations. Each share represents about 3,600 listeners in an average quarter hour.

1. WBAL-AM (1090), 8.2

2. WQSR-FM (105.7), 6.7

3. WPOC-FM (93.1), 6.5

4. WERQ-FM (92.3), 6.4

5. WLIF-FM (101.9), 6.0

6. WWMX-FM (106.5), 5.5

7 (tie). WXYV-FM (102.7), 4.3

WWIN-FM (95.9), 4.3

9. WOCT-FM (104.3), 4.2

10. WIYY-FM (97.9), 3.6

The big news is that this marks the first time in years that WBAL and WPOC didn't occupy the top spots. WQSR has been inching its way up on the leaders for a while now, thanks especially to the domination of the Rouse and Co. morning show. It will be interesting to see if WPOC can climb back on top in the winter ratings book, due out next month. In the past, after the Orioles stopped playing, WBAL has slipped to No. 2, with WPOC reigning supreme.

And don't forget 92-Q, which finished a strong fourth. Things seem to be bunching up at the top.

Pub Date: 12/22/96

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