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May 14 2011

Long-anticipated return of Urban format expected in June

It’s been rumored for a while that once the sale of WPYT-AM (660 Wilkinsburg) was final, a full-time urban format would return. The sale is expected to close within days and an urban contemporary format is targeted to begin in June. New owner Tim Martz of Radio Power Inc. told the Post-Gazette, “WAMO had a big audience. It’s an attractive format.” The daytime-only AM signal reaches parts of Ohio and West Virginia but will be joined by a 99-watt FM translator at 100.1. The translator – currently testing with the audio of WDUQ-FM (90.5) – should cover most of the metro region except areas farther south. The callsign is not expected to change immediately.

Two full years have passed since the announcement that Sheridan Broadcasting was selling WAMO-AM/FM (860 Millvale; 106.7 Beaver Falls) along with WPGR-AM (1510 Monroeville) to St. Joseph Missions for $8.9 Million. The former became WAOB-AM/FM in the fall of 2009 signing off for several months before returning in 2010 with Catholic programming.

Meanwhile, WLTJ-FM (92.9) has aired several hours of urban programming six days a week with host and former WAMO personality Tracey Lee. Former WAMO program director Ron Atkins streams an R&B/hip-hop format over 101TheBlaze.com. Bev Smith, whose program is produced locally and distributed by American Urban Radio Networks, has been picked up locally by WBGN-AM (1150 New Kensington).