- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fans of WGMS-FM continue to complain they can’t hear the classical tunes they love from its new location.

Bonneville International on Jan. 4 moved WGMS from 103.5 to 104.1 to give its strongest signal to news leader WTOP.

Listeners from Centreville and Arlington say they can’t pick up the classical tunes and lamented the future switch of WTOP’s AM station from 1500 to 820 to make room for Washington Post Radio on March 30.

Joel Oxley, general manager of Bonneville Radio in Washington, said the company hopes to strengthen the 104.1 signal, but first has to do an engineering study, which should be complete within a month.

Bonneville will submit plans to the Federal Communications Commission for approval.

In other local radio news, it will be interesting to see where Jeff Wyatt and Tod Castleberry, who resigned from their executive positions at Clear Channel last week, will end up.

The smart money says one or both will join former colleague Bennett Zier, who now runs Red Zebra Broadcasting, the latest venture for Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

We hear that the Clear Channel brass in San Antonio are upset about three recent departures and that the terms of those exits may prevent anything from happening too soon, but the corporate folks did not return repeated calls and e-mail messages for comment.

FCC subpoenas phone record brokers

The FCC last week issued citations to two companies that sold personal telephone call records without consumers’ knowledge for failing to comply with subpoenas the firms received in November.

Data Find Solutions Inc. in Tamarac, Fla., and 1st Source Information Specialist Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn., were issued citations. 1st Source operates datafind.org and locatecell.com, which it bought from Data Find in September, said Brian Quist, Data Find’s lawyer.

The citations were issued after both companies failed to respond to FCC subpoenas for call details and other proprietary network information that they may have received from telecommunications providers. The companies are being investigated for violations of federal law and FCC rules and can be fined up to $97,500 for failing to comply.

Mr. Quist said the citation was a surprise because Data Find, which is no longer in the business, was granted an extension to respond to the subpoena and mailed a 4-pound package of information to the FCC before the December due date.

FCC spokesmen and a lawyer for Ist Source did not return calls for comment.

C-SPAN’s Super Bowl

Televising Supreme Court nomination hearings is like the Super Bowl for C-SPAN, so the network marked the occasion by introducing a newsroom set with an on-air host who opened the telephone lines to viewers during the Samuel A. Alito Jr. hearings.

C-SPAN traditionally used a voice-over to answer calls, but having host Susan Swain on the newsroom set enhances the viewers’ experience and connection to the network, said Kathy Murphy, vice president of programming operations.

C-SPAN also will keep a running tally on-air of the senators’ floor votes on Judge Alito as they occur, Ms. Murphy said.

The new features debuted Jan. 9 and were used again yesterday for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote. They will be used during events that require multiple days of daylong coverage, Ms. Murphy said.

Channel Surfing runs Wednesdays. Call 202/636-3173 or e-mail dcat@washingtontimes.com.

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