DC News: WMAL AM 630 is testing its new transmitter site. The result will be loss of getting WMAL in Baltimore and surrounding parts. Yes, the new WMAL transmitter site will have some losers. AM 630 will no longer be available in Columbia, parts north of Laurel, or Clarksville or even Frederick. The WWRC AM 570 pattern adds 3 nulls to the AM 630 signal that previously weren’t there, north, northeast & south. The lack of Virginia reception is more than made up by 105.9 FM, b...ut not the northeast or north. That’s listeners gone from both, and not ones that can receive WBAL or WCBM either well. Obviously they know this. There is program duplication on other stations in Frederick, but not in Columbia. It’s funny that the FCC has an office in Columbia. It’s an area of bad radio reception in general with DC & Baltimore stations having nulls towards each other. Ironic that the FCC is in a place where it’s difficult to get radio. See pics on who will not get the new WMAL AM 630.
From Tom Taylor Now, the Baltimore radio ratings... "Baltimore doesn’t tarnish the lamp for “Magic,” Urban One’s urban AC WWIN-FM – 10.6 to a PPM-record 11.6 and now a near-match 11.5. It takes all dayparts with double-digits. Little brother urban “92Q” WERQ is now second (5.9-6.3-6.7). From there, it’s iHeart’s country WPOC (7.1-6.2-6.4), Entercom AC WLIF (6.1-7.0-6.3), Hearst’s “98 Rock” WIYY (4.0-4.4-4.7), Entercom hot AC “Mix” WWMX (4.9-4.7-4.6), iHeart’s top 40 WZFT (an...other 4.3), sister “Jack” WQSR (4.0-4.3-4.1) and tied at 4.0-shares – Entercom’s sports “Fan” WJZ-FM (4.6-4.4-4.0) and Shamrock’s classic rock “Bay” WZBA (3.8-3.8-4.0). Hearst news/talk WBAL is next (3.1-3.1-3.3), just ahead of Mangione family-owned talk WCBM (2.9-3.0-3.2). Also at a 3.2 is Your Public Radio’s not-for-profit news/talk WYPR (4.2-3.7-3.2). AC “Lite” WLYF attracts the highest cume (656,500)."
Slightly different more expanded 95.9 FM translator (retransmitting DC's WOL AM) now proposed by Urban One with a more expansive 250 watt signal that wraps nearly completely around the DC metro area, infringing more on Baltimore’s #1 rated WWIN Magic 95.9. Of course, Urban One can get this signal approved as they own both 95.9 FMs. No one else could ever do this. The question is, will people in Columbia or AA county complain from the expected interference to Baltimore’s #1 rated radio station?
According to TVSpy, WMAR 2 is rebranding itself as "WMAR 2 News, Working For You" with a new logo. In a statement, the station said, "We felt that incorporating the legacy ‘2’ alongside a new look for our “WMAR” call letters was the most vibrant way to honor our past while committing to our future as a new media entity for Baltimore." No word on whether the station is getting a new set or if the station's newscasts will finally be streamed archived 24/7. The change is for Sweeps Week, when major local TV news ratings are taken.
Some more Sinclair news since you cannot get away from it daily now. Sinclair fiercely defends its TV stations' statements against "fake news" saying they were trying to allay fears given the current toxic media environment. Also, in an impromptu defense of Sinclair, STRAIGHT TALK show creator Mike Gimbal announces that Sinclair is considering syndicating his show to help drug addicts nationwide. More in The Sun...
Since Deadspin showed Baltimore area based Sinclair TV anchors all saying the same statement warning about fake news and defending their trustworthiness in local news, main stream media and political activists have been attacking the Sinclair/Tribune merger and the company in general. The latest is an ad purchase on the stations themselves purporting to dispute Sinclair's position that some media are spreading fake news. You could go around in circles on this as both sides are screaming fake news. Decide for yourself. More in the Sun and the ad below.
This Tuesday, we'll start finding out where every TV channel will finally end up. April 10 is the beginning of the FCC's filing window for Low Power TV stations to relocate displaced or otherwise affected TV channels to new channels. In the Baltimore market, this affects pretty much on one, unless WMJF 39 decides to move somewhere, which is unlikely or possibly WQAW, the Azteca channel on channel 20. It's unclear to me whether that channel is still available or not due to more stringent land/mobile restrictions. In DC, and on the shore, there will be more moves of LPTV channels. The Baltimore channel lineup is pretty much already set as you can see below.
More Shore news: WXDE 105.9 FM is not carrying today's Orioles game, which is surprising since they're a new Orioles affiliate that advertised more Orioles games than the previous station and this is a Yankees game. They aired a local radio show instead.
Shore News: WCEM 106.3, now owned by WBOC/Draper Trust, is proposing to move its tower. Normally, this is to upgrade a station's signal, but in this case its probably more of a downgrade. So why? Well the current tower is on probably now more valuable waterfront property on the Choptank & the bay. The new transmitter is further into the city of Cambridge. There will be some signal loss to the north and northeast as shown in the pic below.
WBAL radio names Brett Hollander as new afternoon talk show host to replace Derek Hunter. Hollander previously hosted a sports talk show, but this one will be about general topics. No replacement for his evening sports talk show has been announced as of yet.
WJZ 13 ran its Opening Day Orioles Special just as usual, but for the first time, they publicly announced that due to an Orioles decision, WJZ cannot broadcast the Opening Day game or any game this season. So that clears things up a bit. This was not a CBS network decision, only an Orioles/MASN and Angelos family decision.
In an historic break, the Baltimore Orioles will not be on free over the air TV in Baltimore for the 1st time in decades. MASN has ended its agreement with WJZ 13 TV and similarly the Nats on WUSA 9 TV. I’m pretty sure the Nats have been on OTA since their inception in some fashion. The importance of this though is that there will be no way to see the Orioles or Nats without cable or satellite as MASN offers no Cord Cutter in-market streaming options, even for sale. The only way to see the O’s or Nats without cable/satellite will be to steal the broadcasts! A VPN connection can fake out of market internet to get MLB-TV to show the games, but who’s going to do that? And that’s still violating the TOS agreement. WJZ TV is still doing its Opening Day hour long special this Thursday, but it will not include the game afterwards. [updated]
After Empire proved listener complaints and financial damage to the FCC, Family Stations' WBMD AM 750 has abandoned its plan to go on 103.1 FM in Baltimore. They are now attempting to do 103.3 FM at a much lower power. Few details as of yet, but definitely a big win for WRNR FM 103.1. More soon.