Raymond Davis, WAMU host with ‘encyclopedic’ knowledge of bluegrass, dies at 81

Raymond Davis, a veteran broadcaster who influenced and nurtured the bluegrass music scene as a music host for WAMU in Washington, D.C., died Dec. 3 of leukemia. He was 81. Davis capped his 65-year career in radio broadcasting as an afternoon host on WAMU’s all-music station Bluegrass Country. He joined the pubcaster in 1985, when the station split its weekday format between NPR News programs and bluegrass, and retired in 2013.

McDonald, Holt to leave WAMU

Longtime Programming Director Mark McDonald and Engineering Director John Holt will be leaving WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., according to the station. McDonald will depart at the end of the year to pursue multimedia opportunities, said WAMU Director of Marketing Kathleen Allenbaugh, and Holt will retire at the end of November after 20 years with the station. McDonald has been programming director at WAMU since 2001. He previously worked for BBC TV and Radio News and was managing editor for WNYC in New York. Holt has been engineering director at WAMU since 1994.

NPR, WAMU limit use of Washington football team’s name

An NPR editor has recommended that network journalists avoid referring to the Washington Redskins by their name and should instead use "Washington" or "the team" as much as possible. Standards & Practices Editor Mark Memmott provided the guidance Oct. 10 amid a growing backlash against a name that is a racial slur. Memmott said he is not calling for an outright ban, but that use of the name should be curtailed under the organization’s policy regarding potentially offensive language. “The team’s name is the name and our job is to report on the world as it is, not to take a position or become part of the story,” Memmott wrote.

Washington’s WAMU aims to buy signal south of D.C.

WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., will enter the Fredericksburg, Va., market with the pending purchase of 8,000-watt WWED 89.5-FM. WAMU has proposed to buy WWED from the Educational Media Corp., a nonprofit Christian ministry based in Spotsylvania, Va. According to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC, WAMU licensee American University will pay $375,000 for WWED and a booster signal in Fredericksburg. WWED and sister station WWEM-FM in Lynchburg, Va., went dark as of Aug. 1, 2013, according to fredericksburg.com.