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September 2000

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

Eric, just so you know, 96.1 is now Kiss-fm, todays best music. Look out B-94. (September 29, 2000)

Sounds like MIX 96.1 is changing formats (again). 9/29/00 at 5PM seems to be the “unveiling” – have been hearing the “Death March” for the last hour (don’t know just how long it’s been on). (4:51 PM September 29, 2000)

Just a note I’m having the same problems with Tripod and my TV website, so you’re not alone. Great site, by the way. -TV Newscast Titles http://ekimmell2.tripod.com/newscasts.html (September 28, 2000)

the answer is that ABC 23-Altoona is 708kw DA with an antenna of 1063 HAAT. in comparison,WNPA-TV has 3020 watts with an antenna of 1066 HAAT. their transmitter is near Ligonier,Pa while ABC 23’s is located outside of Altoona. It’s just enough for viewers in Altoona and Johnstown to get ABC23. (September 25, 2000)

Dear Eric, Great job on the Johnstown/Altoona page. There is only one correction. WWPC Channel 23 Altoona was the sattelite of WWCP Channel 8 Johnstown from 1986 (when WWCP signed on) through early 1989. At that time, it changed to WATM Channel 23, and became an ABC affiliate I must admit, that region was really in need of an ABC affiliate after solely relying on WTAE-4 Pittsburgh (west) and WHTM-27 Harrisburg (east) after all those years. WATM-23 I know, airs the complete ABC schedule (except World News Now). And some eastern suburbs in Pittsburgh receive this station via cable. Question: Is WATM-23 low, middle or high-power? Thanks. Much regards, Patrick (September 24, 2000)

Eric, the “Real Deal” Mike Neil left 104-7 The Beat a few weeks ago. He had an offer from an Oldies station in Raleigh, North Carolina. Troy Garrett is filling in on 6-10pm, and is doing a fine job. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (September 19, 2000)

Eric, Mike Tyler is no longer a WDSY employee. He left of his own volition in July or August to be on the morning show at Cox’s country station in Florida. I believe it’s called K92/WWKA in Orlando. Take care 🙂 (September 19, 2000)

Eric’s Response: Y108 better update their website then!

Hey Eric, Two questions for ya!? Is Mike Tyler still producing the Y108 morning show? AND, is The Real Deal Mike Neil still at the Beat. If you or anyone else knows, an answer would be great! Thanks (September 19, 2000)

Eric’s Response: Real Deal seems to be out, but Troy Garrett seems to be in! Mike Tyler is still in place with the current morning show on Y108. 

Hi Eric, I just have to get on my soapbox with a comment like that (longing for an easy listening station to come on the air again). Don’t hold your breath. As I and a few others reported, WWMD on 104.7 in Hagerstown, MD was purchased by VerStandig Broadcasting and was immediately switched to…TA-DA…ANOTHER country station. They didn’t even TRY to sell it’s easy listening format. Big business, to H*** with the listeners, strikes again. Try to squeeze every penny out of the station mentality. I hope the country format falls flat on its face. They are under the impression that they will win over all country listeners in their coverage area. There are several full power country stations all around them, so I doubt that. Most people will listen to the nearer station if they are all playing the same tunes, unless there is something really great about the on-the-air personalities; the new WWMD (which is now called WAYZ) doesn’t have that. I have not heard one kind word from my friends in Hagerstown (I grew up there) or on dcrtv or other broadcasting sites concerning the format change; the Hagerstown newspaper has published several negative letters and phone calls. Does VerStandig care? I doubt it. Thanks, that feels better already. Howard (September 18, 2000)

At 7:00 PM, Sept 17, WWCW- 107.5 “Bedford County’s Best Country” Signed off. At 8:00 PM the same night That station signed back on as WBVE 107.5 -“B-Rock” – playing “Adult rock”. Chuck (September 18, 2000)

Eric: Don’t remember any 67 KC stuff about KDKA, but do remember KD doing an experimental broadcast in late 50’s, in stereo. Since nobody had equipment to receive FM stereo, and AM stereo hadn’t been developed, they broadcast the right channel on KDKA-AM, and the left channel on KDKA-FM (or possibly vice-versa). Of course the novelty of stereo made it interesting, but you can imagine the quality of the audio. The AM side had no depth, and was overwhelmed by the FM side. But since it was new we all raved about it. HA. About that time 93.7 WKJF-FM pioneered FM stereo broadcasts. They played 100% elevator music and it was good if you like background music. They were so stuffy about their “fine music” that they would not allow commercials with rock music backgrounds. Most of the commercials were read by on-air people who sounded like funeral directors. You know, a little of that today just might be refreshing. Bill B (September 17, 2000)

Eric’s Response: I remember hearing about the KDKA experiments somewhere, but I certainly could imagine that it was absolutely an inferior sound. Ah WKJF, followed by WJOI with the same format. Then the WBZZ muckety muck…heck, I really “wish” we still had some beautiful music! Someday maybe!

Eric, Since Ira Apple is aboard as at least a part-time viewer, let’s remember the days of WJAS as an NBC owned and operated talk station. I believe Ira did middays, followed by Ted Payne. A guy named Buck Buckley was the evening host for a while. Perry Marshall came in somewhere along the way and Mike Silverstein broke in on the all-night show, later replaced by Joe Gearing. Payne eventually worked part-time and weekends at KDKA, then I believe he moved to California. Perry Marshall worked at KD until he retired. I think Silverstein moved to Washington as a newsman. Gearing did fill-in work at KD for a while. I believe he was from Latrobe and may have owned or managed a station there. Don’t know whatever became of Buck Buckley — perhaps Ira could shed some light on that. Would also like to know what Ira is up to today. I believe he did a stint as KDKA’s PD following the sale of WJAS. (September 11, 2000)

Eric: I just found your site more or less by accident but I can confirm that the writer who said that WAMP & WFMP were formally WJAS and then went back to those call letters was correct. I worked for WAMP from 1959 till 1964. The earliest talk program in Pittsburgh was with Merle Pollis at WEEP about 1958. Merle also worked at WJAS and went to Cleveland after the station was sold to Heftel. You may remember that John Cigna was also part of WJAS as the morning newsman. I did the Austin Phone Party which was converted over to issue-oriented talk in 1959 to 1964. Then I joined KDKA to produce the Mike Levine talk show and returned to what was then being called WJAS, an all-talk station from 1970 to 1973. And for the most part most of the hosts were more liberal than conservative but that was also in the days when the FCC Fairness Doctrine existed and we did try to maintain some balance. Glad to see that this site is so active and now that I have found it will be watching it from time to time. Ira Apple (September 9, 2000)

Hey Eric, I’m glad to see that Scott Paulsen will be returning to the airwaves….and it’s back in Pittsburgh. I grew up listening to Scott and he was my real inspiration to get into radio. I am now the PD of a Classic Rock Station near Chambersburg. I had a feeling Scott’s retirement would be brief. It will be interesting to hear his new sports show. I think he will do great with it! Scott is one of the best I have heard, not only in Pittsburgh, but anywhere! — Don (September 6, 2000)

Eric — Glad to see you got some recognition in Pittsburgh Magazine! Nice job! –Michael K (September 5, 2000)

Eric’s Response: Ah thank you…I’ll tell you first the Tribune-Review and then the Pittsburgh Magazine….what next?

Eric, having just been in Lima, Ohio for the National Radio Club convention, I can tell you (and the earlier poster) that the classic-hits “Wuzz” format on WUZZ 104.9 there and on WUZI 105.7 Portage PA seems to be identical. Whether this is a format that Forever/Keymarket wishes to syndicate to additional markets is still unclear. Also, WFJY 1470 Portage is back on the air with an undermodulated, distorted simulcast of 105.7, probably in hope of their application for 660 being granted. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (September 5, 2000)

Eric, Just in case you didn’t see it in “All Access” on Friday: David Edgar is leaving the PD post at B94. He is going to WNOU in Indianapolis effective 9/18. No word on a replacement. Pittsburgh’s loss is Indianapolis’ gain. Good luck and we’ll miss him. (September 4, 2000)

Eric: You’ve got a great site. It is well put together and jammed full of great stuff. When I was a kid, I worked at WHJB 620am and WOKU 107.1FM in Greensburg. At the time WHJB was “The Country Connection, and WOKU was called “Superradio” playing an A/C Format. I was sorry to see that they dumped the WHJB calls after all those years. Anyway, thanks for the site. I really enjoyed it and hope to stop by again soon. Sincerely, Todd Lopes (September 4, 2000)

Eric… I noticed an interesting thing tonight while I was looking around at radio web sites. Recently, Froggy 105.7 in Portage flipped to a classic hits format called “Wuzz”. I also saw that another station in Lima, OH, also owned by Forever/Keymarket has the call letters WUZZ and has a classic hits format. Hmm… interesting. With all of the stations that they recently purchased in western PA, it might be possible that we will be hearing it over here sometime soon. September 2, 2000

Eric’s Response: Oh good grief…

Dear Eric: In response to a recent mailbag post, I will also confirm that WJAS was once WAMP/WFMP. My memory is clouded (perhaps someone else knows for sure), but I think that after several years in the ’60s, the calls both reverted back to WJAS (AM/FM). I used to do some listening, probably in the early ’70s, to a tape automated oldies music service (this was before satellites) on WJAS-FM called “Old Gold.” I remember that they often had a feature of asking a trivia question, and coming back with the answer after a spot. – Funny it was mentioned because my parents also bought a Philco console having AM, FM, SW, and a 78 RPM (only) phono. It was a model 48-1270 of the year 1948. I still have it and it still works to an extent, but changes were made, especially replacement of the phono with a 4 speed unit. I remember as a 7 to 9 year old kid playing some 78s of my parents, and special ordering 78 RPM copies of Elvis’ “Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel”, Patti Page’s “Allegheny Moon”, and Patience & Prudence’s “Tonight You Belong To Me”. (Technology is wonderful – I have these all on CD now, as well as many more favorites of the mid ’50s era that weren’t readily available on 78 then). Come about 1959, the 78 only machine had to go. My parents also mentioned pushbuttons on this radio having to be readjusted because of some AM station frequency changes. – This was usually the radio I was listening to (on AM) when I heard the KDKA-FM afternoon sign on message giving the frequency (I think) as a low number of kilocycles. I queried you about this some months back, and I wonder if the man you just published knows anything about this. In other words, were they actually giving a 67 kilocycle SCA sign on message via AM, or just what was it I heard? – On another subject, I thought I’d share an e-mail lament that I got from a friend who is within range of WWMD and is a background music lover. I removed the name and edited it for spelin’ & gramer to further conceal the writer’s identity. I sometimes heard WWMD myself here in the Pgh. area back in ancient days when some local stations (in this case, WYDD) signed off at night, opening the frequency to DX.- Subject: WWMD gone, no more, that’s all.- Today (08/29/2000) on the way home from work, I turned on the car radio to 104.7 MHz And heard “WAYZ Today’s Hot Country Hits” instead of WWMD’s Easy Listening. – Today FM Radio died, due to lack of choice.- It’s either country, oldies, or some form of rock and one or two PBS choices. – The Mom and Pop FM station sold for $6 million. The owner is retiring at 68. This may well have been the last station of its kind in the whole USA. I may well have not been the only one to record the last days of this station’s format. They got their music from “Broadcast Programing, Seattle, Wash. (It was Bonneville in the past.) – The Easy Listening format with the Waynesboro station didn’t happen. – I can’t wait for satellite radio to come out for cars. – P.S.: I put the dashes where line spaces should be because whatever word processing system that you use destroys paragraph breaks. Hopefully these dashes will keep the breaks intact and make the post easier to read. September 1, 2000

Eric’s Response: The only reason that DCRTV Dave and I don’t separate the paragraphs on the mails is because we have to type in an HTML code to do that. Why? I don’t know. If we spent all our time doing that we’d be here until you know where froze over 🙂 but I will copy your dashes too!