- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Elliot Segal, host of the “Elliot in the Morning” show on WWDC-FM (101.1), is no stranger to controversy or to federal government interest in his program, having been assessed more than $300,000 in indecency fines by the Federal Communications Commission over the years.

But Mr. Segal this week said on the air that his show had been served with a subpoena from the Department of Justice. He has not given a reason for the subpoena, but has allowed dozens of listeners to share their theories of how discussions on drug smuggling, or with people claiming to be government employees sharing more than they should, are to blame.

Mr. Segal has joked that it is because his newscaster, Diane Stupar, wants to help convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui escape from prison.

“It’s nothing I personally am overly concerned about,” he told us yesterday. He declined to discuss the specifics of the government inquiry, and added that he is no longer allowed to discuss it on the air.

Mr. Segal spoke about the subpoena on Monday and during his show yesterday and said his corporate parent, Clear Channel Communications Inc. in San Antonio, received the subpoena last week.

Spokesmen from Clear Channel in Texas and from the Justice Department did not return calls yesterday.

Dave Pugh, vice president for Clear Channel Radio’s Washington-Baltimore region, declined to comment.

Dylan draws

Rock legend Bob Dylan draws about 1.7 million listeners on XM Satellite Radio, making his weekly show one of the most popular that the subscription service offers, said XM President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Panero.

Washington-based XM has more than 6 million subscribers. Mr. Panero would not tell us which programs draw the biggest audience on a daily basis, but he did say that “The Opie & Anthony Show,” along with XM’s comedy and news channels, tend to be the most popular.

O&A; now can be heard on WJFK-FM (106.7) and other CBS Radio stations across the country that air a censored version of the show while paying XM a syndication fee and allowing the duo to promote their satellite home.

“It was an opportunity to put two people emblematic of the XM brand in front of an enormous audience,” Mr. Panero told us last week after delivering a luncheon speech at a digital press conference in McLean.

Whether O&A;’s partial transition back to terrestrial radio will become a model for other XM content will be determined on a case-by-case basis, he said, adding that dozens of public radio stations nationwide — including WETA-FM (90.9) — pay to air “Bob Edwards Weekend,” highlights from the former National Public Radio host’s XM show.

WETA’s ‘Intersection’

WETA next month will introduce “The Intersection,” a live, daily local news program.

Hosted by Bethesda native and Walt Whitman High School graduate Rebecca Roberts, “The Intersection” will focus on regional issues including transportation, immigration, education and affordable housing.

The program also will have an online presence at www.weta.org/intersection featuring an idea board where visitors can work collaboratively on story concepts.

The show is WETA’s first attempt at a locally produced news program, and Mrs. Roberts, 35, said the online and listener interaction is essential to its success.

“If you don’t adore the listeners, you have no business hosting a call-in show,” she said. “We will rely on listeners to let us know what’s going on in their corner.”

The one-hour show debuts July 17 at 11 a.m.

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

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