- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2002

It is one of the quirkiest and most enjoyable programs on Washington radio. It rakes in more than its share of industry honors every year, including the 2002 Achievement in Radio Award for best local public affairs program.
But aside from a small-but-devoted following, few listeners probably have heard or heard of "Metro Connection."
WAMU-FM (88.5), the public station that produces and airs the weekly show, aims to change that.
Last week, WAMU moved "Metro Connection" from Saturday mornings at 11 a time when few folks listen to the radio to Friday afternoons at 1. The program now fills the second hour of the Friday edition of "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," which American University-owned WAMU airs weekdays from noon to 2 p.m.
"We think we can reach significantly more listeners on Friday afternoons than we could on Saturday mornings," said David Furst, producer and host of "Metro Connection."
The program mixes hard news and feature reports, placing special emphasis on Washington's arts scene. Its trademark is slickly produced, in-depth stories the kind listeners don't often find on other stations.
Since its debut in 1996, "Metro Connection" has devoted a full hour to the history of Rock Creek Park, tackled stories on District schools and the Chesapeake Bay, and followed the Washington Opera on its recent tour of Japan. This week, Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, honored the latter report with one of his Arts Awards for Excellence.
The new time slot represents a kind of homecoming for "Metro Connection." It originated as a Friday afternoon segment on "The Derek McGinty Show," a precursor to Mr. Nnamdi's program.
Despite the new time period, Mr. Furst said "Metro Connection" won't change. "The idea is to pretty much keep doing what we're doing," he said.
Stuff your stockings
Two local broadcasters are out with new books, just in time for the holidays.
Johnny Holliday has written an autobiography, "From Rock to Jock," that traces his career from his early days as a disc jockey to his years as one of Washington's best-loved sportscasters.
It features lots of colorful stories about local sports and broadcasting greats, including Morgan Wooten, Sugar Ray Leonard and the late, great Glenn Brenner. Amazon.com sells it for $22.95.
Dan Henry, weekend meteorologist for ABC affiliate WJLA-TV (Channel 7), has co-authored "Washington Weather," a history of local blizzards, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms, from Colonial times until today. The co-authors are Kevin Ambrose and Andy Weiss.
The book was scheduled to arrive in stores this week. It is also available on the Web site weatherbook.com for $29.95. Ten percent of the sales will be given to the victims of the tornado that struck Southern Maryland in April.
This just in
Virg Jacques, who departed CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9) as co-anchor of the 5 p.m. news with J.C. Hayward last week, is talking to management about joining Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5) as a reporter and substitute anchor, according to knowledgeable sources.
The always-helpful folks at NBC affiliate WRC-TV (Channel 4) want Channel Surfing readers to know the station clobbered its competition during the Dec. 5 snowstorm. The ratings peaked about 9 a.m., when WRC captured a whopping 26 percent of all viewers.

Questions? Comments? Tips? Call Chris Baker at 202/636-3139 or send an e-mail to cbaker@washingtontimes.com.

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