and they weren’t the only ones unhappy.
CBS Radio, which had KQV as its Pittsburgh affiliate, was left scrambling for a new home. They found McKeesport’s WEDO later in 1958 … which wasn’t an entirely happy match, since WEDO was also a daytimer. Though network radio was on its last legs, CBS still carried a number of night-time programs, including (believe it or not) “Amos ‘n Andy” at 7 p.m.
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Elsewhere on radio today, KDKA (1020) had popular music with “your pal” Art Pallan, Bob Tracey, and Ray Scott before “Program PM” at 8 p.m. WCAE (1250) featured Davey Tyson, Tommy Riggs, Jay Michael and “Easy Listening” overnight.
KQV was carrying the remaining CBS lineup of shows like “Perry Como,” “Helen Trent,” “Our Gal Sunday” and “Ma Perkins,” WJAS (1320) had Bill Brant in the mornings and ABC’s “light and lively” lineup most of the day, while WWSW (970) carried a mix of pop music and “Polka Rhythms.”
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On television, Carl Ide anchored the 7 p.m. KDKA news, a 15-minute broadcast followed by Douglas Edwards on CBS. (WIIC countered with a “Dragnet” rerun.)
Later, Pittsburghers watched “Burns and Allen” on KDKA-TV (2), followed by “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts,” and at 10 p.m., “Studio One,” sponsored by Westinghouse Electric. WIIC-TV (11) had “Tales from Wells Fargo” and old movies on “Five-Star Playhouse” and “Fineview Theater,” while viewers who could pull in Steubenville’s ABC affiliate, WSTV-TV (9), could see classical music on “The Voice of Firestone.”
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In broadcasting news, Karl Krug of the Sun-Tele reported that Paramount Pictures was planning to distribute recent feature films to its corporate sibling, ABC Television. “If the gossip is founded on fact, it will be a real boon to Channel 4’s debut,” he wrote. WTAE-TV was due to sign on a few months later.
His colleague, Wilbur Clark, answered a complaint from a reader upset because channels 6, 7 and 11 had the same network shows, while Channel 9 was duplicating many of KDKA’s shows. “He figures that if there are six channels, he should have his choice of six different programs!” Clark wrote. “It isn’t ever going to work that way, brother. And don’t forget the FCC didn’t put WJAC-TV on the dial to service Pittsburgh.”
He concluded that “when we have three Pittsburgh (commercial VHF TV) stations on the air, then you’ll have as wide a choice of network programs as any city in the nation.”
Wilbur Clark never dreamed what cable TV would create … but that’s an issue for another time.
A Pittsburgh radio station with negligible ratings spent several days teasing the city with a play-on-words about its upcoming change to a Top 40 format.
Are we talking about B-94 last week? No, WILY radio, 50 years ago. For several days in late September 1957, Pittsburghers had been puzzled by ads in the city’s three newspapers (the afternoon Press and Sun-Telegraph and morning Post-Gazette) that read only “WEEP FOR JOY.”
They found out what it meant in October, when WILY, a daytimer at 1080 on the dial, changed its call-letters to “WEEP” and began the city’s first experiment with the newly emerging format of “Top 40” — rotating only the 40 most popular current records.
But WEEP, then as now, was hampered by its limited broadcast hours (the station signed off from sunset to sunrise to clear the frequency for WTIC in Hartford, Conn.), and when American Broadcasting Companies Inc. bought KQV a few months later and flipped it to Top 40, WEEP itself was weeping …