Many kind of expected it wouldn’t be long before Lynn Cullen would be out at Renda’s WPTT-AM (1360) – especially after Doug Hoerth’s ouster last December. Yesterday she confirmed that her last day will be August 29. The reason has nothing to do with Cullen’s performance but a change in format come September 1 on which her show would not fit. WPTT will become an all-financial advice station as WMMY.
Alan Serena, vice president and marketing manager for Renda Broadcasting (and once-owner of 1360) told the PG that direct competition from KDKA-AM (1020) and WPGB-FM (104.7) were the reasons the talk format would no longer work for the 5000 watt daytime station; 1000 watt nighttime, out of McKeesport. “It was slicing the talk pie pretty thin, and we found that, quite honestly, it was like trying to push a boulder up hill,” he said. Serena also pointed out that Cullen’s show was the only three hour block which brought in any ad revenue. Additionally, the reason they cut Hoerth’s program last December was in hopes that the budget would be trimmed enough to make sure Cullen could survive on the station.
Cullen will not be on the air this week due to a long-planned vacation, but will return for the final days of her program next week. Lynn Cullen is known as one of Pittsburgh’s few liberal talk show hosts. She considers her audience to be more of a community – one whom she’ll discuss this change with to “try to assuage what I suspect will be frustration and anger at losing a voice that they felt spoke for them,” she said. Meanwhile Cullen says there are other outlets interested in possibly letting her continue her show. Although she wouldn’t specify which stations, they are interested in her because of her loyal audience.
Lynn Cullen arrived in Pittsburgh in 1980 as a feature reporter on WTAE-TV (4). Prior to her 10 years on WPTT, she hosted a similar program for 10 years on WTAE-AM (1250) now WEAE.
Note: This story was edited since its original posting.