Former WPIT (730) general manager Michael Komichak has a broadcasting record most stations would envy. In 59 years on Pittsburgh radio, he’s missed one show — because he had to have his appendix out.
Komichak, who began hosting the “Ukrainian Hour” on WPIT during the summer of 1950, will turn 90 in October.
He tells Craig Smith of the Tribune-Review that he will continue doing the program — heard at 1 p.m. Sundays — as long as he’s able. Mark Le Roi, a host at WPIT and sister station WORD-FM (101.5) who serves as Komichak’s producer, calls him “one of the masters of radio.”
Pittsburgh had a large population of Ukrainian immigrants during the 20th century, and Komichak still wields influence among their descendants. Several years ago, when Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning needed to raise money for a Ukrainian “nationality room,” he took to the air on Father’s Day to demand listeners support the effort.
“You must make a contribution in honor of your dead fathers,” Komichak told his listeners. He raised $18,000 in an hour.