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November 2000

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

Eric, Jeff McCready reports in the November 30 edition of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat that NorLin Broadcasters, which currently owns WSRA-FM in Central City and WYSN-AM in Somerset, will sell both of its stations to Dame Broadcasting, owners of WQKK-FM Johnstown and WGLU-FM Ebensburg. The story also says that according to the general manager of WQKK and WGLU, there will be format changes at both WSRA and WYSN, and those will be announced soon. Also, McCready reports that Marty Ostrow, the former general manager of WJAC-TV Johnstown, will assume the same role at WTAJ-TV Altoona once WTAJ’s sale is finalized in December. When he becomes general manager there, he will have served in that capacity at all four network stations in the Johnstown market (WWCP and WATM being the others). (November 30, 2000)


Eric, It would appear All Access got it wrong regarding WSSH being all-Christmas. On the other hand, New Castle’s Star 92 (WJST-FM at 92.1) IS all-Christmas music through Jan. 1. They launched the format on Thanksgiving Day. They did the same thing last year. The turnover is pretty quick — they should really expand their library. VS (November 28, 2000)


Hi Eric, Just discovered your site and call letter history and find it fascinating. It was a link from Scott Fybush’s North East Radio Watch http://world.std.com/~fybush/ While I’ve lived here in CT most of my life, I grew up in the Beaver Valley and can fill you in on a couple of post World War II items that you might consider interesting. I was in the broadcasting industry for part of my career. The first two postwar Pittsburgh AM stations were daytimers WPIT-730 and WPGH-1080. On the former, I remember a mid-afternoon announcement that “…this FM business will sign on at 5PM.” The sunset signoff of the latter was unique – it announced the evening program schedules of all the Pittsburgh fulltimers: KDKA, WCAE, WJAS, KQV, and WWSW. They then implored their listeners to reset the dial to 1080 when they retired for the night! Incidentally, WWSW upgraded from 250 watts on 1490 to 5 kw on 970 at halftime during one of their Steeler broadcasts so that their listeners would be sure to find the new frequency! Somehow I remember a local (Post-Gazette?) article about a Butch Hinsdale, who engineered the new multi-tower array with dozens/hundreds of (slide rule?) calculations. Keep up your good work, Eric. Incidentally, I enjoyed listening to the KDKA 80th birthday celebration. It was interesting to hear an air check of the short-lived KDKA-FM on 92.9. Sister WBZ in Boston also built – and also trashed – 92.9, then built and (in their wisdom) sold 106.7! 73, Bill D (November 27, 2000)


IN ANSWER TO BILL,” DAVE SCOTT BEASLEY” WAS KING BEE ON WAMO IN THE 70″S, DAVE SCOTT”BIG DADDY DAVE” WAS ON KQV AND HIS SON GREG SCOTT WAS ON WZUM IN THE 60’S. (November 19, 2000)


Eric, David Beasley (air name Dave Scott) was NOT the former KQV jock. The KQV Dave Scott died in 1996 and was in his 70s at the time of his passing. Also, KQV’s Dave Scott had a son named Greg who did weekend and fill-in airwork at KQV in the ’60s. Unfortunately, Greg Scott preceded his father in death. The actual Pittsburgh Press obituary for the KQV Dave Scott can be seen at Jeff Roteman’s KQV tribute site: http://14kqv.musicpage.com. Hope this helps. (November 19, 2000)


Eric: Re: the passing of David Beasley, is he the same Dave Scott “Big Daddy Dave Scott” who was a jock on KQV in the late 50’s? In fact I think his son who also used “Dave Scott” was a DJ at KQV during this same era. Any connections? thanks Bill (November 18, 2000)


Eric, if WCVI or WPQR (or both) flip to a “Froggy” format, it will be a shame. Both of these stations, before their recent financial difficulty, provided unique and interesting local radio service to their communities. I have some tapes of Frank Georgiana (may have spelled that wrong) on WPQR from the night that Connellsville High School won the championship some years ago. This sort of thing is unduplicable and who will do it now? Thank God for WMBS, I suppose. On another note, I concur with the fellow in the South Hills (as I am) who is hearing WPTT 1360 better at night. I doubt they have improved their signal, so maybe someone forgot to power down, or they may be operating non-directional from one tower at reduced power while they make repairs to their antenna system (WIXZ did that a few times). Regards, Clarke Ingram. (November 17, 2000)


Eric, Has WPTT-AM 1360 recently changed it’s nighttime pattern? I live in the South Hills, and they used to drop into oblivion at power down. But for the last week or so, I have gotten a fairly usable signal in the evening. Any info. on this? J. Clark (November 17, 2000)


Why is it that the P-G TV/Radio Sunday booklet only ever lists one talk show: Larry Berg, WISR. It’s particularly odd since WISR is not even in their channel list; it’s not in the P’gh market: it’s Butler. It can’t be because he gives his schedule of guests in advance, Mike Pintek does that, online. I e-mailed them about this without a reply. (November 13, 2000)


Lindsey Cipcik (the other half of the Morning Mix with Lindsey and Mike on Mix 96 Point 1 WPHH) is doing Saturday afternoons of 104-7 The Beat- WJJJ. A call to her last week indicated the shift being 2 to 6pm. Former morning Mix producer man The Cabana Boy is now known as Jason (on the new 96-1 Kiss-Fm). Jason was heard filling in for Trout (formerly John Trout of 96-1 Kiss-FM), and seen this past Saturday at Jetz Under 21 Nightclub in Harmarville where the station is ‘in the house’ from 8 until 10pm. Ron Atkins is out as PD of WAMO (well sort of – he is accepting a position with Sheridan’s network, American Urban Radio Networks) effective this December. (November 13, 2000)

Eric’s Response: Ironic isn’t it? Lindsey gets a weekend gig as well. Prior to his leaving, her former partner, Mike McCarthy, had been on 3-W-S about the same time of the weekend and now Scott Alexander takes those spots. Gotta keep em happy until they can be full timers again!


Tell VS to try WPJA out of Washington, if he can get it. LOTS more oldies & a lot better! (November 8, 2000)


I, too, am saddened to hear of the death of Mad Mike – and am somewhat at a loss of words to express what is in my heart for him. He was a kind man, and a genius with a heart of gold. He loved music more than anyone I know, and fully understood how simple words and melodies could come together to become an enormous force. . . if he would just spin them. He loved and cherished those “moldies”, and he taught many Pittsburghers to love them as well. If there is indeed a Rock ‘n Roll Heaven (and I believe there is), they’ve got themselves one hell of a DJ now. I will miss him dearly. Robin Smith (November 8, 2000)


Eric, Maybe an “insider” can help with this: has 3-W-S cut back its playlist recently? They’ve always had a narrow focus but it seems now like I’m hearing the exact same records every day. Even when they did their “Lost Oldies” weekend, they only strayed from the familiar choices two times per hour. On another matter…does anyone else think Bumper Morgan has been a terrible addition? VS (November 7, 2000)

Eric’s Response: 3-W-S has sounded a little redundant and repetative in terms of music recently. Yes, there are a LOT more oldies!


While we’re on the subject of obituaries, David Beasley — perhaps better known by his nom de air, Dave Scott — passed away last week. A native Pittsburgher, he most recently did mornings at WCXJ (his dream was to buy that station), and served several tours of duty at WAMO. He was a master control operator at KQV where I worked with him. Early in his career he was a jock at several notable stations including WABC. Super radio guy….lots While we’re on the subject of obituaries, David Beasley — perhaps better known by his nom de air, Dave Scott — passed away last week. A native Pittsburgher, he most recently did mornings at WCXJ (his dream was to buy that station), and served several tours of duty at WAMO. He was a master control operator at KQV where I worked with him. Early in his career he was a jock at several notable stations including WABC. Super radio guy….lots of fun to work with. He’ll be missed. –Michael Kunkle (October 7, 2000)


I’m very sorry to hear that my friend Mad Mike has passed away. He was one of the first people that I met when I came to Pittsbugh in 1976 and I never met anyone like him. He worked for me as chief engineer at WPLW, his old WZUM. Mike was generous and loving person. And he was the perfect guy to keep WPLW on the air…by whatever means possible. He did a regular show for years… and then in early 90s did a “Daddy and Daughter” show there with Michele. Mike was a Pittsbugh original and will be missed. Somebody should put a statue of him up downtown. He helped make Pittsbugh oldies — especially his moldie ones — something unique in country. I pray he has his own station in heaven and he’s playing all the time now. Thom Hickling (October 6, 2000)


How sorry I was to hear of Mike’s death. I worked with Mike from about 1982 to 1987 at WYEP where he created a Sunday night oldies show that made all of our then-840 watts shine! While Mike’s on-air style and talent are legendary in the Pittsburgh area, many may not be aware of the warmth, compassion, and intelligence of this wonderful soul. Mike spent countless hours teaching local broadcasters, repairing equipment, tuning and troubleshooting transmitters, and befriending and helping people in need. He held a first-class FCC license and — to those who knew him — will always be remembered as a first-class broadcaster and first-class human being. Eric, your including the information on PBRTV was so important. It allowed me to air a tribute to Mike Saturday morning and also allowed the word to travel to W.T. Koltek, Frances Volpe, and Kevin Amos, each of whom would probably not have known otherwise and who also worked with Mike and remember him warmly. Your website is an important part of our broadcast community. Larry Berger (November 5, 2000)


Eric, Charlie Apple posted this message to the Oldies Unlimited message board: (November 3, 2000)
For those of you familiar with the Pittsburgh sound, I am sure you will be saddened to hear of the death of Mad Mike (Metro{Metrovich}). I just received word from John Barone, through Dana Davis, that Mike died this past Tuesday (October 31, 2000), apparently of a heart attack. Mike was famous for so many things: particularly for introducing the ‘Progressive Teen Sound’ to the oldies mix in the greater Pittsburgh era and for introducing obscure Hard Driving ‘Surf’ instrumentals into the Mix and ‘hard driving blues’, too. His work at the dances throughout the Tri-State area, particularly West View Dance Land, where I had the privilege of sharing the stage with him for a lengthy run back in the late 60’s/early 70’s, is legendary. Mike was the first person to book the Rolling Stones into Pittsburgh and one of the first in the country to show Videos at dances. (Many will recall the Tommy James/Shondells and the Red Rose Tea videos shown on the large screen at West View.) We will play some of Mad Mike’s most famous tunes on the C.A. Show on Saturday (11/4) in tribute and memory to this truly remarkable and unique contributor to the Pittsburgh Music Scene. If anyone has any remembrances of Mad Mike that he/she would be willing to share back with me via eMail, I will try to use some of them on my show on Saturday. May God be with Mike’s family and friends as they mourn his death…and I know for sure, that Mike is spinning tunes in that Great Dance Hall in Heaven. And you can bet…the angels have NEVER heard songs like these before. -in tribute to Mad Mike, lovingly given to all of you from Charlie Apple.


Eric, WZUM is confirming this afternoon that Mike Metrovich, aka “Mad Mike Metro”, has passed away. A sad loss for Pittsburgh radio. Clarke (November 3, 2000)


i heard it announced on WWCS last night that mad mike metro died. (November 3, 2000)

Eric’s Response: Can anyone confirm this?