Category Archive: Elsewhere

Apr 07 2017

In memoriam: David J. Kelly

The Post-Gazette reports that David J. Kelly has died at the age of 89. Kelly came to Pittsburgh in 1957 as a feature writer for The Pittsburgh Press with a focus on military affairs. He joined KDKA-TV (2) in 1961 as awriter for the morning program and later became news director at KDKA Radio. In 1964 he moved over to WIIC (11; now WPXI) to be the station commentator. Prior to his first stop in Pittsburgh he had served as a Pacific signalman inthe Navy during WWII. He wrote for the Associated Press in college at the University of Maryland as well as The Baltimore Sun and Washington Post. After leaving Pittsburgh the first time he went to Detroit and back to DC. But Channel 11 lured him back to Pittsburgh in 1975 where he focused on people-oriented stories, commentary, and the “Golden Shaft” Award given to those who weren’t up to par. He also worked on “The Actionline” program in the 1980s.

Kelly worked at WIIC/WPXI until his retirement in 1987. That was the year that State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer’s suicide was shown on live TV, and Mr. Kelly took exception to the coverage. Eventually he moved to Florida where he will be buried in the National Cemetery in Bushnell.

Oct 27 2016

Happenings

First of all, I would like to thank those of you who responded to my last “musings” article where I revealed what was going on in my personal life. I received nothing but nice messages and support from you good folks and appreciate the sentiment. Thank you for your continued understanding and support.

It seems that the month of October was a slow one in this city – at least from the perspective of all things media. But a couple of interesting things have happened in the last week or so.

Subscribers in nonsubscribers (I unfortunately admit to being the latter) alike, who read Scott Fybush’s extensive website Monday morning saw that the top master antenna on a Needham, Massachusetts tower failed. The failure, which was the second one of its type in four years, took outstations WBZ, WSBK and WGBX. If viewers did not subscribe to Comcast cable, they were out of luck to be able to watch the New England Patriots defeat our own Steelers. Or so we think. Comcast receive station signals through a direct connection and their viewers probably noticed nothing wrong. Engineers rerouted the affected stations to the lower master antenna, which normally carries WGBH which was thereby rerouted to WCVB’s auxiliary antenna. It’s interesting to note however, that Dish Network subscribers got a quick fix when the satellite provider routed to KDKA-TV to their viewers in the Boston area. Don’t worry, New Englanders had their opportunity to watch the Steelers lose to their beloved Patriots at Heinz Field.

Patrick Cloonan of the Uniontown Herald-Standard reported on Wednesday that Laurel Highland Total Communications Inc., owner of WCNS (1480 Latrobe) and more recently WAVL (910 Apollo) and its FM translator, has purchased Spectrum Radio Group’s WMMN (920), WTCS (1490) and WRLF (94.3) in Fairmont, and WZST (100.9) in Westover, West Virginia for $650,000. LHTC has long been a telephone and cable provider for the region and diversified into radio in 2014 with the purchase of WCNS from John Longo. Cloonan says that the company will be unifying all of its subsidiaries under one name in time so that the company can “spend more time focusing on what has been and always will be our number one priority, providing high-quality communication services, supported by personalized customer service.”

It is interesting to note that WMMN is one of West Virginia’s oldest radio stations having signed on in November 1935. Today it is a sports talk station (5000w day; 200w night) with a distant signal into Uniontown. Cloonan’s complete article can be read here. (You may need a subscription to read the article.)

Stay tuned… We will update the translator list for Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Sep 26 2016

Dwight Douglas to retire

Tom Taylor reports today that Dwight Douglas is preparing to retire at year’s end. For the last 16 years he has been the VP of Marketing at broadcast software supplier RCS. For years prior he was a consultant and later President of Burkhart-Abrams and Associates. But it was in Pittsburgh where Douglas got his start, Point Park College to be exact and WPPJ. When he turned 20 he was at WDVE (102.5) and later WYDD (104.7) and WKTQ (1320). He was also the first PD of WWDC (DC 101) in Washington. While at WPPJ he also worked as a tech on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Douglas also has a blog.

Jul 29 2016

Radio notes

RadioNotesHere are a few items from the last few days (we’ve been without reliable net connection).

We remember:

  • Jim Carnegie (66). Carnegie had once worked at KQV (1410) and later created and operated Radio Business Report/TV Business Report. He sold those off to Radio Ink a few years ago.
  • Jerry Doyle (60). Doyle passed suddenly and was discovered in his home Wednesday. His show was heard locally on WJAS (1320). The program will now feature a lineup of guest hosts and replays of Doyle’s best moments.

Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will begin his 4th year hosting the Ben Roethlisberger Show on KDKA-FM (93.7). The show airs Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. and lasts through the length of the NFL season.

 

Jul 29 2016

Rush… still on the air in Pittsburgh

Darryl Parks questions the ratings of Rush Limbaugh in Pittsburgh. As WJAS is not a ratings subscriber, he surmises that the ratings are: “1. …somewhere between a 0.9 and a 1.1 share. 2.…(or) an average of a 2 and a zero.  Do the math. 3. …low, ranking somewhere between a 20 and 22.” Still though, Parks is pretty sure Rush won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

WJAS (1320) started carrying Limbaugh and the rest of the conservative talk format when WPGB (104.7) changed formats two years ago. At the time, WJAS had been sold by Renda Broadcasting to Frank Iorio’s Pittsburgh Radio Partners for $1 Million. The two year anniversary of the format flip is coming up this coming week.

Jun 02 2016

Remembering Lacy Neff

lacy-neff-2010-02-16Former WVAQ (101.9 Morgantown) program director, Lacy Neff died on Wednesday, June 1. He had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and the rare disease, amyloidosis in 2013 and had undergone heart and stem cell transplants. Between gigs at WVAQ where he spent most of his career, Neff programmed WBZZ when the call letters belonged to “B-94”. He was 49 at the time of his death.

(WV Metro News)

Apr 01 2016

Radio/TV Notes

RadioTVNotesNo foolin’ around here today. (Sorry!)

  • WZUM (1550 Braddock) is now in the hands of Pittsburgh Public Media. AM Guys LLC and PPM closed the deal on Wednesday, March 30. PPM’s jazz programming will begin on 1550 at Noon on Saturday, April 2. Soon to follow is an FM Translator at 101.1 for which PPM got approval a few weeks ago. CLICK HERE to learn how you can make a donation to help the non-profit maintain their stations.
  • Our favorite cub reporter happened to hear audio on WMNY (1150 New Kensington) late Thursday morning (3/31). No word on sister station WGBN (1360 McKeesport). Both stations are owned by The Rev. Loran Mann’s Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation and have been silent under an STA due to unknown… or uncertain shall we say… reasons. Meanwhile, WMNY is up for sale through CMS Station Brokerage.
  • Wendy Bell’s gaffe last week that led to her release from WTAE this week has certainly sparked up a fecal storm. Many on both sides of the issue have taken to social media to express their disapproval – some calling Bell racist while others feel her “freedom of speech” has been stifled. The situation has been the topic of talk radio, and, with thanks to (we think) the Associated Press, has gone national and even international. AJM Broadcast Educator has written several articles on the topic this week and THIS ONE gives the reasons why people calling Bell a racist should stop and why people calling it a violation of her Freedom of Speech should stop. Today, the Post-Gazette’s Tony Norman shares his take in the paper.
  • Finally, after KGO in San Francisco tossed the remaining news staffers out on their ear yesterday, former staffer Claudia Lamb wrote a piece on how the business has declined over the years… and that’s putting it nicely!

Mar 31 2016

In Memory: John Borders

Jeff Roteman reports via Chuck Brinkman that former KQV Program Director John Borders passed away Wednesday in Texas. John was Program Director at KQV from December 1967 until September 1968 in between John Rook and Mike McCormick. John started his radio career while at Baylor University and came to KQV from WWJ in Detroit. Among those who cams to KQV during the John Borders era were Rex Miller, Allen Dennis, Paul Randall, Franklin B Forbes, Todd Chase, and Len Martin. Borders was elected to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame on October 30, 2004

Mar 26 2016

Bob DeCarlo to Rhode Island Hall of Fame

Former KQV-AM (1410) member of the “Fun-lovin’ Five” Bob DeCarlo will be one of six inductees to the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame on May 12. DeCarlo’s career began at Penn State and he eventually went to Rhode Island  and Connecticut before Pittsburgh. From here he went on to stations in Atlanta, San Diego, Miami, Tampa, Dallas and Panama City.

(Providence Journal)

h/t: Jeff Roteman

Feb 25 2016

Former WTAE anchor Sam Merrill dies

Merrill; Photo Courtesy of "WTAE Super Fan"

Merrill; Photo Courtesy of “WTAE Super Fan”

WNEM-TV (Bay City, Michigan) reports that anchor and reporter Sam Merrill passed away after collapsing at his home today. Merrill was a native of Pittsburgh and worked at WTAE-TV in the late 1990s and early 2000s in between stints in Michigan.

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