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CBS Radio WNEW Enhances Maryland Coverage

Baltimore newsroom opens, others planned

Two years after launching an all-news formatted station in the Washington market, CBS Radio says the broadcast company is expanding the spotlight of the station to include more focus on the Maryland suburbs between Washington and Baltimore.

WNEW, known as “All-News 99.1” in the market, is opening news bureaus in Baltimore, Annapolis and Montgomery County, according to CBS. The Baltimore newsroom opened today at sister television station WJZ(TV) and the others will open later in the year. Baltimore radio news anchor Sarah Jacobs has been named bureau chief, overseeing a team of local reporters.

WNEW will also increase the frequency of its traffic reports to every five minutes Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. –7 p.m., plus expand coverage to include “Beltway to Beltway” traffic spanning the entire Baltimore–Washington corridor, from the Baltimore Beltway to the Washington Beltway, and the major arteries that feed them, including I-95, Route 50 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, according to CBS Radio.

CBS Radio SVP Market Manger for Washington Steve Swenson says WNEW reaches 5.3 million people across both markets while his Baltimore counterpart Robert Philips adds that “recent news events and winter storms have made it clear to us that residents in the area need access to the information WNEW can provide.”

WNEW broadcasts news 24 hours a day. WNEW transmits from a 515 foot broadcast tower in South Anne Arundel County, which the company says gives the station unique dual market coverage of both Baltimore and Washington.

In the two-years since its launch WNEW has struggled to gain traction against Hubbard’s entrenched news-talker WTOP(AM/FM) Washington and now it will go up against Hearst-owned WBAL(AM), also a leader in that market.

The Baltimore Sun reports it’s not clear whether CBS intends to transfer some personnel from its Lanham, Md. HQ to Baltimore for the new newsroom.