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June 2000

[important]To read in chronological order, start at the bottom and work your way up.[/important]

Hey Eric, Would ya tell me, what’s going on with Banana? You’d know right, being pals with him and all. I tried to check out his new stations webpage, but they had someone else up? Makes me think I missed something along the way? Thanks! June 29, 2000

Eric’s Response: In checking the WQEN website, I note that “Coming Soon” is the “Don and The Blonde” show…

Eric, regarding the Akron/Canton market, the prevailing rumor is that Clear Channel will buy 98.1 from Salem, move WKDD’s (96.5) programming to that frequency, then move the 96.5 tower closer to Cleveland and go CHR, probably importing the format from WAKS (104.9). I heard this rumor from several radio people in the market on a recent visit there, but would like to stress that it’s only a rumor and I have no inside scoop on the situation. Regards, Clarke; June 29, 2000

Eric, Congrats on the new sites! I was wondering whether or not you had some access or knowledge of similar sites in the Cleveland/NE Ohio area. I received word from a reliable source that Salem was looking to unload their FM property in Canton and that Clear Channel was interested (it’s the only Class B in the Akron/Canton market). Appreciate your help. keep up the great work. Greg McAtee; June 28, 2000

Eric’s Response: Anyone know?

Several people have asked me if WWSW-AM 970 is going to turn into FoxSports Radio Pittsburgh. Have you heard anything about this? June 25, 2000

Eric’s Response: I have it on authority from 3-W-S personnel that such a move is NOT happening…I repeat it’s NOT happening.

i livenear salem ohio and on a hill and can get many pittsburgh stations do you think 106 WAMO moving there towercloser to pittsburgh will effect there coverage in the youngstown area? normally i get 1047 the beat very clear but lately i cannot recieve them at all has anything happend to them– i hope not!!! also wtov normally comes in perfect here but now we cant get them at all – any info? ihope no more froggy junk shows up around here 104.3 was a good claasic hits station June 21, 2000

Eric’s Response: WAMO’s coverage probably won’t be affected that much, unless the power decreases. Usually WMXY makes it to the area of the North Hills (Wexford) where the transmitter is going so I don’t see why WAMO wouldn’t make it to Youngstown. WJJJ might be using one of the lower power transmitters at the time and may not come in as clearly. I don’t know what might be wrong with WTOV.

I now see a ring of froggy-owned stations. East Liverpool, Bellaire-Wheeling, Steubenville, Altoona, Johnstown area, Meadville, Oil City, Franklin, Charleroi, Uniontown, ohio, 60% of parkersburg and more than I can name. What is the goal? an article in the trib says that the cost of a spot on froggy uniontown is $45. * It would be cheaper for that advertiser to select a pittsburgh station that serves uniontown. *many of these advertisers are hung up on cable advertising. “my neighbor saw me on tv so it must be working” *froggy could aim at national advertisers like wal-mart and lowes, home depot. but with the other groups like viacom and clear channel and satellite radio coming that does not make sense. they have paid, overpaid for these stations. If you take most radio stations around pittsburgh and make most of them country. that will drive local listeners to listen to pittsburgh. Is that the goal? These people must be smart. But I just don’t understand. if the goal is to destroy all local advertisers or enhance the value of the core city stations by eliminating competition. The people who post and read this website are smart. I don’t understand why someone would pay big bucks for stations and make ads so expensive local advertisers will not be able advertise. Please tell me what is going on. HELP!!!!!!! June 17, 2000

Eric, In the FCC’s posting of applications filed yesterday were a slew of acquisitions by Forever . They are: WMGW 1490 and WZPR 100.3 Meadville, WFRA 1450 and WFRA-FM 99.3 Franklin, WOYL 1340 and WOYL-FM 98.5 Oil City, WTIV 1230 Titusville, and WMDE 94.3 Saegertown. I think a new slogan for western PA broadcasting should be: “I fell in to a burnin’ ring of frogs….” Dave Loudin; June 16, 2000

Eric’s Response: These stations are mostly on our Erie Page.

Eric, I may have ranted about this before but I think it’s worth repeating: the Post-Gazette’s coverage of radio is awful. I refer to this week’s collection of notes which led with a story about WBVP/Beaver Falls and WMBA/Ambridge merging. These are two stations that don’t show up in the Arbitrons and have such weak signals they can’t be heard to any great degree in Allegheny County. It may be worth a mention but the lead note? And with quotes from the people involved? The only relevant point was missed entirely: consolidation is happening even at the smallest level and the listeners lose when it happens. Oh well…At least it was a refreshing break from all the news about WDUQ and WYEP, two other stations that have cult followings and extensive PG coverage. There are a lot of interesting stories about radio in this market and the PG manages to miss nearly all of them. Eric Togyer in the Tribune is so much better. June 16, 2000

Eric’s Response: I tend to agree, although his name is Jason Togyer…

Eric, if I owned WPGH-TV, I’d purchase Channel 9 after the tower is moved closer to Pittsburgh (near Burgettstown), sell WCWB (22), put on a UHF station to serve the Steubenville market, then relicense Channel 9 to a western Pittsburgh suburb and simulcast 9, 53, and the Steubenville UHF station. This would bring WPGH and Fox close to parity with the three commercial VHF stations in Pittsburgh. However, this probably makes too much sense to be seriously considered. It may be of interest to readers to know that, in an early TV allocations plan, Channel 9 was once assigned to Pittsburgh! Also, if Channel 9 were to be relicensed to a community in Allegheny or Washington County, I believe this would make them a “must-carry” station on local cable as was the case with Channel 19 in Johnstown when they moved to Jeannette in Westmoreland County. Regards, Clarke; June 7, 2000

i have but one beef…please let the regular posters know that WTOV’s Digital Transmitter (which will allow them to broadcast on Channel 57-DT) is located in Burgettstown. They will NOT move their city of license to Metro Pittsburgh. They serve the Wheeling-Steubenville region. the closest NBC stations (not counting WPXI) to Steubenville are in Youngstown (north) and in Zanesville (west). many stations that have applied for digital facilities will have transmitters located in different areas that cover the same area as well as an analouge channel. June 7, 2000

WTOV isn’t even close to moving the analog signal to the new tower site. That’s what a engineer with the station told me. I don’t believe that 9 would want to target PGH. It would be hard to be an independant station there. I also think that PAX wouldn’t want to pay the huge amount of money it would take to buy a VHF station in a market that isn’t in the top 20. PGH is 22 last time I looked. PAX will just be available on cable, for the time being. WTOV has been in Stubenville since the 1950s and has a long history of being a market leader, why would they throw all of that away?? Jon F.; June 6, 2000

Eric… your readers may be interested to know that the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reported over the weekend that Cox Broadcasting is going to buy WJAC-TV 6 in Johnstown and WTOV-TV 9 in Steubenville. Cox owns WPXI-TV. All three are NBC affiliates. The newspaper also said sales, accounting and even some control room duties would be moved into the Pittsburgh station. Channels 6 and 11 would keep a local news operation. The paper says the cost of digital conversion has alot to do with the current owners looking to unload. So maybe WPXI is not so concerned about Channel 9 moving closer after all! June 6, 2000

Interesting developments indeed regarding Pax TV. By taking the QEX spot on cable, it almost seems a precursor to some revival of the broadcast deal. I notice on your transmitter map that WTOV-TV is in the process of building a new transmitter some 20 miles closer to Pittsburgh. WTOV and WPXI have long provided a pointless duplication of NBC in this area. You don’t suppose that WTOV is about to transfer its license to Pittsburgh, and become the PAX affiliate? This would make sense, because their Ohio Valley market has been withering away for decades. By the way, 104.3 FM in East Liverpool, OH is now simulcasting the Froggy format as well. This is now available on 4 different FM frequencies and climbing. Isn’t there some sort of law against this, or is the FCC simply too busy bashing in doors to stop three-watt pirates? June 6, 2000

Eric’s Response: WTOV could possibly have themselves reassigned to Pittsburgh, but that’s such a slim possibility that I didn’t think about. I think it would be wise for them to do so. As you say, why two NBC stations in an area? The last time I looked at WTOV (which has been a couple of years) the WPXI graphics were all there and it basically looked like a subsidiary of WPXI. Then again though, would it be in the best interest of the Steubenville/Wheeling market to lose Channel 9? As for the Froggy format. I’ve read where the FCC basically doesn’t care about programming content in as much as they do the power regulations and care taking of the signals assigned to stations. I think it is a crime (as do most PBRTV readers) that Key Market/Forever can get away with this. To me it does not serve in the best interest of any community to have 4 signals within the same area broadcasting the same stuff.


There’s a new station in town…and I heard they are going to launch things in a BIG STAR sort of way on Monday (6/5)…. I like the station…it sounds good…its the old point… I think its going to be between 9 and 11am at the old point’s studio’s (or the new star studios– Foster Plaza Ten in Pittsburgh. You might want to spread the word… tv cameras might be present…June 5, 2000

i hear at the wexford exit, 79 near the kings restaurant is where the wamo tower will be. June 5, 2000

Eric’s Response: That would no doubt be true. There are a couple of towers there as it is.

Dear Eric, Could this be true? Is WAMO-FM’s transmitter (based on the transmitter map) applied to move just minutes north of Pittsburgh (Northern Allegheny County, maybe somewhere near I-79). if so, how much power will it deliver? Thank you. Much regards, Patrick; June 4, 2000

Eric’s Response: My saying is, “if it’s on that map, believe it”! No doubt WAMO wants a little more ‘burgh presence so they would like to move the stick a little closer to town. I would trust that the power would probably remain the same.

Eric, thanks for the kind words in your Musings. I give the credit for WJJJ’s success to our tremendously talented staff, including a lot of Pittsburgh on-air veterans. I’m honored to be a part of their team. On another note, you may have heard that WZPT (The Point) has become The New Star 100.7 as of 6 PM tonight. The format remains the same – Hot AC based in the 80’s and 90’s. While I’m here, let me say a few words on behalf of sister station 3-W-S. Personally, I think Mike Frazer sounded great in afternoons (I’m thrilled to have him in mornings on The Beat), and I also think Bumper Morgan sounds terrific, although they do have very different styles. This is one “player trade” which I think worked out wonderfully for everyone concerned. On the subject of repetition, 3-W-S is doing much better in the ratings than your average Oldies station in other markets, and I think one of the reasons is because they “only play the hits.” I realize that this may drive the Oldies purists crazy, but it works great with the mass audience, and that’s what their target is. There’s always WJPA and WLSW for those people who want to hear the B-sides of songs whose A-sides weren’t even that big! Regards, Clarke Ingram. June 3, 2000

Eric’s Response: When in doubt about something, ask the PDs!

A few quick 3WS-related observations…Doesn’t the fact that their summer oldies concert has moved from the stadium to Star Lake to the Station Square Tent suggest this is diminishing in popularity? You can only do the same thing so many times …. Bumper Morgan has been a huge disappointment on PM drive — his “act” is overusing his signature “Wellllllllll…” when he can’t think of anything to say and the occasional Wolfman Jack imitation. Mike Frazer was SO much better. … On the other other hand, they sound much better on weekends with Jim Harrington taking a regular shift and the Dick Bartley show on Saturday nights. Bartley will stray from the “same old, same old” oldies that are so worn out on 3WS. … By the way, if readers are in range of WBBG-FM/Youngstown (somewhere around 93) it has a much wider range of oldies than 3WS does. It’s a decent station overall. June 2, 2000

Eric’s Response: The fact that Summer Oldies Celebration has been moved around really doesn’t have anything to do with popularity. Just what is available at the time. People love their Oldies…that’s why 3-W-S does so well. As for Bumper, I will not comment other than I enjoy hearing him again. I don’t think I need to go further. Jim Harrington is doing well…and his puns crack me up. I agree with the return of Dick Bartley as well because, as you said, the oldies come from a wider range of time periods. It would be great if the station could switch around to play a wider range. For most of Pittsburgh, the alternative oldies station is WJPA Washington.

I think WELA (104.3 FM) went Froggy today. I was listening to them in my car, expecting to hear classic hits 104, but alan jackson was playing on instead, i listened for a while and it is now Froggy 104, and they say “as treat for u we are playing 4,000 songs in a row uninterrupted”. yeah the only reason they are doing that is cuz they have no airstaff or advertisers!!! Do u know what the new call letters for them are yet? Now,that makes 3 of my favorite stations (WRKY,WZKT and now WELA)that Forever Broadcasting has killed…..whats next, are they gonna take WOMP off the air too?? I see Forever is selling some of their stations they own in NY state, so maybe hope is down the road…..June 1, 2000

Hi Eric (or should I say, “Mr. PBRTV”?), My travels to Indiana take me through Erie every few months, and with that in mind, a couple of corrections to your Erie list: 1330 – It’s WFNN now, not WFLP. I think they’re still sports, but will confirm in a couple of weeks when I’m there again. 1490 – WMGW is the correct calls for Meadville. 88.5 WMCE – It’s spelled “Mercyhurst” College. 106.3 WCTL – city of license is Union City. And I think the correct spelling is “North East” — two words. Glad to finally see an Erie list up somewhere, though; saves me the trouble of adding it to the Western NY part of my site! 🙂 All best regards, Scott Fybush NorthEast Radio Watch/Upstate NY Radio Archives www.bostonradio.org June 1, 2000