Alert reader BJ reminded us that Entercom was in the Pittsburgh market before. In the early 90s Entercom owned WDSY-FM (107.9), its original AM counterpart WEEP/WDSY (1080) and WXRB/WNRQ 104.7. I could describe the whole living detail to you as to how the stations were sold off from Entercom, but I don’t have five hours to write a long diatribe and description of how the three were sold. Let’s just say that Entercom spun 104.7 off to Secret Communications which is when it became the sister of WDVE and WXDX. In that same year, which was 1997, 1080 was sold off and eventually flipped call signs and formats with 1510 in Monroeville. And then WDSY-FM was sold to what is now CBS radio.

Here is what we know and what we sort of know about the pending sale. Entercom’s headquarters will remain near Philadelphia, but we have also heard that they will maintain a large physical presence in the current CBS Radio headquarters in New York. Also the new Entercom will consist of a board of directors featuring five current directors and four who will be nominated by CBS Radio. Those facts lead me to believe that the new Entercom and CBS Corp. will maintain a relationship through the ages.

One place where I think that will be likely is through the use of call letters. For instance in the cities where CBS Corp. owns and operates TV and radio stations with matching call letters, I would expect there to be some sort of agreement between the two companies for maintaining the use of such call letters. For Pittsburgh, that means KDKA. CBS Corp. will maintain the rights to use call letters such as KDKA. But because of its heritage with radio, CBS will likely offer an agreement to Entercom to maintain use of the letters on the radio stations. (Let’s face it, everybody knows KDKA radio… Why change it?) I should also note that Pittsburgh is not the only market where this will happen. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston are others that I can think of offhand. Meanwhile Boston is an example of a market where a divestiture will have to take place in order to be within ownership regulations.

This is the first time in several years that Pittsburgh has been caught up in a broadcast company merger. We’ll see how it all plays out later in 2017.

More via Pittsburgh Business Times.

3 thoughts on “For Entercom, it’s a return to Pittsburgh

  1. Technically, Eric…Entercom never really left Pittsburgh. They still own broadcast tower properties here, and Cliff Bryson still works for them full-time, in addition to contract duties at WBUT/WISR/WLER in Butler and WJPA AM/FM in Washington. I’m glad to see them come back…I worked for them in 1993-94 at the former Rebel 104.7 after Salem spun it off to them.

  2. According to DCRTV, it looks like the radio side of WJZ will need to change call letters. So what will that mean for KDKA? Very good question!

    1. Let’s not start a fear-mongering over call letters. WJZ Radio in Baltimore – both AM and FM – have only been in existence since 2008, so they really don’t have as much of a history on radio as the KDKA calls, or WBZ calls in Boston for example. According to the agreement, these changes refer only to Baltimore and Detroit. Why Detroit? I don’t know.

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