Dick Ireland, unceremoniously dumped in May after 26 years at WLIF-FM (101.9), has resurfaced as the voice behind afternoon drive time programming on WRBS-FM (95.1).
"I just feel frankly blessed that I landed on my feet as quickly as I did," says Ireland, who was given practically no notice that he was being replaced at WLIF. "This is a great place to be."
Officials at the station, which concentrates on Christian and family-oriented broadcasting, sound delighted to be putting Ireland back on Baltimore's airwaves.
"Dick brings years of experience and an affinity for our family-oriented broadcasting focus," said Steve Lawhon, operations manager at WRBS.
Added Tom Bisset, the station's general manager, "Dick Ireland brings integrity, excellence and a heart for ministry to WRBS."
Ireland's first week on the air (he began Monday) went well enough, even though he found himself scrambling at times to adjust to the new environment. At WLIF, all he had to do was spin records (or play CDs and tapes, to be precise). Now, in addition to the music (which airs from 4: 30 p.m. to 6 p.m.), he has to juggle the various satellite-fed programs.
"This is more difficult, in many ways, because of all the different programs," he said Wednesday between songs, adding with a laugh, "Now I've got to work for a living."
Ireland can be heard from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. WRBS music director Joe Norris, who had been the drive-time voice, has moved to middays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.).
'Cop Rock' reprised
"Cop Rock," one of TV trendsetter Steven Bochco's more spectacular failures, gets an encore airing on VH-1 today, for the first time since it went off the air in 1990.
A show that had police officers, judges, criminals and lawyers continually breaking into song, "Cop Rock" was Bochco's attempt to graft his knack for producing top-notch legal dramas onto his apparent love of musical theater. It didn't work.
VH-1 is airing all 11 episodes of the series in one fell swoop, beginning at 9 a.m. today. This may be too much of a mediocre thing for some tastes (and mediocre is one of the kinder adjectives critics used to describe it), but watch it for at least an hour. Comedians loved it, using "Cop Rock" as the butt of all sorts of jokes about how ridiculous TV can get. That way, you'll know what all the jokes are about.
Scary Stuff Dept.:
The events that inspired William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist" are explored on "In the Grip of Evil," a one-hour mix of theology, psychiatry and horror airing at 4 p.m. today on the Learning Channel.
In 1949, things started happening to a 13-year-old boy living in Mount Rainier that would later happen on-screen to actress Linda Blair: Messages appeared scratched into his stomach, things would fly around his bedroom, he'd speak in languages he didn't know. His parents, though non-Catholic, ended up seeking the assistance of a priest (the Catholics know about these things, they were told).
The boy and his family (whose identities have been carefully guarded) eventually moved to St. Louis, where the exorcism took place.
"In the Grip of Evil" includes interviews with the required skeptical psychiatrist; priests who worked with priests and clerics involved in the case; and a Jesuit priest who, as a young novice, stood by the boy's bed during the exorcism (essentially the part played by Jason Miller in the movie). Also interviewed is "Exorcist" director William Friedkin.
The film is a co-production of Baltimore-based Vanderpool Films and Henninger Media Development, of Arlington, Va.
'Christmas in July'
Tired of the heat? In the mood for something more festive?
Then check out today's "Christmas in July" programming on the Disney Channel.
The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with "Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July," followed by "A Disney Channel Christmas" (11: 45 a.m.), "For Better or Worse: A Christmas Angel" (1: 20 p.m.), "The Bestest Present" (1: 50 p.m.), "A Mom for Christmas" (2: 20 p.m.), "Babysitter's Special Christmas" (4 p.m.), "A Good Troop Christmas" (4: 30 p.m.), "Doug's Secret Christmas" (5 p.m.), "A Disney Channel Christmas" again (5: 25 p.m.), "Ernest Saves Christmas" (7 p.m.), "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas" with Charles Durning (8: 35 p.m.), "One Magic Christmas" with Mary Steenburgen (10: 10 p.m.), "The Christmas Star" (11: 45 p.m.) and "The Honeymooners First Christmas" (1: 25 a.m.).
Despite a slight ratings dip over the past year, WPOC-FM (93.1) continues to earn accolades as one of the nation's top country-music stations.
The station has been nominated for Billboard magazine's Country Music Station of the year honors. In addition, morning DJ Laurie DeYoung has been nominated for Air Personality of the year, Greg Cole for Music Director and Sheila Silverstein for Marketing/Promotion Director.
Award winners will be announced at the Billboard Radio Seminar Oct. 16-18 in Orlando, Fla.
Pub Date: 7/27/97