- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007

WAMU-FM (88.5) has wasted no time picking up the slack after last week’s D.C. radio shake-up.

The public radio outlet has added several programs to its lineup that were previously carried by WETA-FM (90.9), but were cast adrift when the Arlington public station on Jan. 22 assumed an all-classical format to compensate for the demise of longtime classical station WGMS-FM (104.1).

“We wanted to ensure the continuity of many of the programs that we were taking over from WETA,” said WAMU Program Director Mark McDonald. “That’s why we moved so quickly.”

“World Update” and “Newshour” from the BBC World Service now air weekdays on WAMU at 5 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. The station has added “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor to its Saturday schedule from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “On Point,” the Boston-based news show, can be heard Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m., while “Fair Game With Faith Salie” now airs Tuesday through Saturday at 1 a.m.

On Saturday, the American University station will start airing local music show “Traditions” with Mary Cliff at 11 p.m.

The station has received about 500 e-mails from listeners about the format changes, with criticism as well as praise, Mr. McDonald said.

“There’s only 24 hours in the day, and we only have one channel for news and talk. Not everybody has been thrilled,” he said.

WAMU is looking for alternative ways to make New Orleans-based music show “American Routes,” which was bumped from the Saturday night lineup, available in D.C.

“The majority of the feedback has definitely been positive,” Mr. McDonald said.

Trash talk

When two longtime political talk-show hosts — and former partners on the D.C. airwaves — go head-to-head in the same time slot, it’s no surprise that some friendly trash-talking will ensue. But it’s awfully amusing.

When the “Politics Program” with Mark Plotkin moved this month from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays on Washington Post Radio, it pitted him against WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi, whose D.C. “Politics Hour With Kojo and Jonetta (Rose Barras)” also airs at noon.

Two weeks into the rivalry, both have some words of advice for political junkies unsure about where to turn their dials during the Friday lunch hour.

“Mark is clearly lost without me, as demonstrated by his pathetic attempt to follow me into the noon hour. His only claim to legitimacy is by association with me,” Mr. Nnamdi said of their pairing at WAMU.

“Kojo has an accent, but he’s an expert on cricket,” Mr. Plotkin said of the Guyana native. “If you want that NPR babbling-brook auditory stuff, please go hear him at noon.”

“At least we speak English on our show,” Mr. Nnamdi said. “I have yet decode the subversive-sounding gibberish on [Mr. Plotkin’s] show, except that he seems to want voting rights for his hometown of Chicago, which he abandoned 40 years ago.”

Horlick’s return

There’s a new general manager at local CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9), but he’s no stranger.

Allan S. Horlick spent 10 years as president and general manager of NBC station WRC-TV (Channel 4), which he left in 1997 to be president of CNBC and NBC Europe for two years.

Mr. Horlick replaces Darryll Green, who was named vice president of program development for parent company Gannett Co.’s broadcast division.

Channel Surfing runs on Wednesdays. Call 202/636-3139 or e-mail krowland@washingtontimes.com.

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