Kingston joined WPGC as Asst. PD
in 1980 while still Programming WYRE in Annapolis. He became Program
Director in 1981 when General
Manager, Charles Giddens
hired him to replace Scott Shannon
who had left for Q105 Tampa. Steve left WPGC comfortably ahead
of Q107 in the ratings
in July 1982 for B94 Pittsburgh.
next programmmed B104 / Baltimore to record ratings success before
Shannon at Z-100 / New York. From there he went to WXRK /
NY for a long programming stint followed by the launch of 'Blink
102' at WNEW. He later programmed the 'Ethel' format at XM Satellite
Radio in New York. Today he owns WRNR in Annapolis.
developed a real passion for radio growing up in Silver Spring,
MD, making requests on WUST. I believe Moonman, the
afternoon jock at the time was intrigued that a teenager living
in a white middle class neighborhood in suburban Washington, DC
would listen to a kilowatt AM programming to the inner city.
led me to pursue a career in radio, and attend a seminar for the
Columbia School of Broadcasting in the mid 70s, located
in the Air Rights Building in Bethesda. Jack
Alix was running the school at the time, and the guest speaker
was Harv Moore. I learned
more in the one hour I spent with the two of them than I can remember.
was after this that I found out that another Jack,
Diamond, was then known as Bruce Diamond, a 17 year old radio
prodigy was working nights at our local suburban radio
He helped me get my first job in radio as the part time janitor
as a way to pay for school. The
rest is history
On Scott Shannon:
never gave Shannon
the opportunity to be the air talent he could be at WPGC. The
company simply didn't like him on the air, which frustrated Scott
and the rest of us. He ended up satisfying his desire to be an
on air PD
by doing production, filling in for Geronimo
whenever possible and hosting the Sunday Night Oldies show.
& Woodside Not Having A Contract:
First Media did not believe contracts were essential to their
business plan. Talent was free to work and free to leave, even
show. Each time Jim
Elliott was approached by ABC and offered more money and the
security of a contract, GM,
and I would approach the company, requesting we protect their
investment by signing Elliott
They refused. And it was obvious both really wanted to stay.
The ABC offers were for positions at other owned stations in other
markets, the second to the last offer being afternoons in Chicago
at WLS for Jim.
The company still refused to offer him a contract. When ABC returned
in December with an offer to replace Dude
& Doug in Washington with Elliott
the offer was too good to pass up, and they accepted. Their love
of WPGC and their team mates is what kept them at the station
in spite of numerous, more lucrative offers to leave. It became
a business decision. I think they were offended that First Media
didn't think highly enough of them to offer them the security
of a contract, which didn't help matters. Ultimately, they made
the right decision as the station changed format soon after.
On Elliott & Woodside Leaving For Q107:
had already signed with WRQX when we were notified of their decision.
I'm certain ABC forced them to do so. WPGC was not given an opportunity
to negotiate. I believe their resignation came during the December
Holiday season, and GM,
was on vacation as was First Media President, Glenn
Potter. There was a mandatory meeting at Glenn's
home, with me, Charles
and First Media attorney, Ralph Hardy to decide next steps and
what damage control measures to take.
On Hiring Joe Theismann:
never conducted a national talent search to replace Elliott
We decided to build our own. We even considered bringing in a
comedian who performed regularly at Garvins to add some color.
But that was short lived. We had not spoken to Theismann
and had absolutely no plan 'B'. Joe's
name came up while brainstorming options. I believe it was the
football strike that allowed him to host mornings with then midday
talent, Dave Foxx. Ralph Hardy
flew to Florida and came back with a commitment from Joe
to host the show. We launched the day after New Years with Foxx,
and Channel 4's, George Michael in the lineup.
On The Ratings Impact Of Losing Elliott & Woodside:
move to Q107
did nothing to erode WPGC's morning
show ratings initially, even with all the local press coverage
the move received. I recall the ratings for both stations remained
constant in the short term. WPGC took the biggest hit in the mornings
due to softening the music and targeting the older WASH audience.
Local management was at odds with the company as to the positioning
and overall strategy for WPGC, as evident in the eventual format
and call letter change. The football strike allowed Theismann
to make himself available for an extended period of time. And
we were speaking to Dude
Walker soon after Elliott
On What He Would Have Done Differently:
was nothing any of us could do to change the course of WPGC history.
The sign on my desk read, "It Can Be Done"....This was
the one exception.