- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Howard University’s WHUR-FM (96.3) last week canceled “The Real DC Morning Show,” one of the area’s most popular morning-drive shows.

The show last aired on Feb. 21 and will be replaced from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. by the syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” starting March 6, said General Manager Jim Watkins.

In the most recent Arbitron ratings, WHUR finished fourth overall and sixth in the mornings in the Washington market.

“This was an opportunity, when we really looked at it, that would be good for the growth of the station,” Mr. Watkins said yesterday when asked about the decision to replace such a popular program.

Mr. Harvey’s show is broadcast live from New York to more than a dozen markets. Mr. Watkins said the nationally recognized comedian and actor would be spending a lot of time in Washington, but could not provide details about how often or when.

The former morning-drive team of Tony Richards, TC, George Willborn and Herman Washington did not announce the move on-air, but posted a good-bye note on TC’s Web site, www.sistacircle.com.

“If any audience deserves to have a goodbye, you are that audience,” according to the note signed by Tony, TC and George first linked by local media blog, DCRTV.com. “However, radio does not allow that.”

In an e-mail exchange yesterday, TC (short for the nickname “Touch of Class”) wrote that since the note went online Friday, her Web site has received more than 1,500 messages of support.

TC, who said only bill collectors use her real name, plans to continue working in the media.

Mr. Washington will return as host of WHUR’s “Daily Drum,” nightly news program, which he did before joining the morning crew, Mr. Watkins said.

Thompson signs deal

Hall of Fame basketball coach John Thompson last week signed a lifetime contract with WTEM-AM (SportsTalk 980).

“The John Thompson Show,” which airs weekdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., started in March 1999, two months after he left Georgetown University.

“I’m very pleased,” said Mr. Thompson, 64. “It’s something I enjoy doing.”

Station owner Clear Channel Radio always has made him feel appreciated, and he said he did not think his new deal was related to the prospect of Tony Kornheiser’s leaving WTEM’s lineup when he starts his “Monday Night Football” commitment.

“I hope Tony stays and does something. I enjoy listening to him,” Mr. Thompson said.

Ready for Don & Mike

Greg Gillispie, the new program director at WJFK-FM (106.7), said he is ready to go on the “Don & Mike Show.”

Mr. Gillispie, 52, said he has spent the past two weeks “connecting names with faces” and meeting with WJFK’s morning- and afternoon-drive teams, the “Junkies” and “Don & Mike,” respectively.

He has met with the Junkies a few times to get acquainted but has exchanged only brief introductions with Don and Mike, who have said on the air that they desire to talk to Mr. Gillispie only during a live show.

“I have no problem doing it,” Mr Gillispie said yesterday. “Having these guys make fun or poke at me is of no concern. It sometimes creates good content and good fodder.”

The Junkies and other Washington-area morning shows are preparing for today’s release of preliminary Arbitron ratings for November through January. The trends will provide the first glimpse at listeners’ habits since shock jock Howard Stern left for satellite radio in December.

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