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Dec 10 2010

Crafton to dismantle WZUM towers

Whiplash Radio LLC had recently signed a letter of intent to purchase Carnegie-licensed WZUM-AM (1590) from Believe & Achieve Family Educational Center, Inc. However, Wednesday night (December 8), Crafton Borough Council voted to tear down WZUM’s 3-tower array which sit on property next to the borough’s maintenance facility. Whiplash owner, Chris Lash, said that the council’s decision was unanimous and plans to develop the land on which the towers sit.

“I’m very disappointed that Crafton has decided this move for two
reasons,” Lash said, “one, that I can’t put it back on the air; and because a Pittsburgh
radio station will disappear forever.” 

Lash had plans of building new studios in Carnegie, but once he found out about Crafton’s plans, he offered to build studios in Crafton and guranteed at least three new jobs within the borough. Unfortunately it did little to change the council’s mind. Crafton’s December 8 council meeting minutes aren’t yet available for review online.

Meanwhile WZUM has been suffering since earlier this year when unpaid overdue bills caused a padlock to be put on the studio doors in West Mifflin. The transmitter remained on with dead air for quite some time. Power was listed at 1000 watts by day and 24 watts directional at night.

As for the towers, the current array was built by former owner Michael Horvath not more than 10 years ago after purchasing the station and restoring the historic WZUM calls. Prior to that, the station was a religious formatted station eminating from studios in the “back woods” of Ewing Road in Crafton, not far from the tower site.