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April 2002

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

I had heard many moons ago that Dick McGraw (the one mentioned in the Dick and Dick article at http://pbrtv.tripod.com/pbrtvfeb00.html was the first pd/gm or something like that, of WDVE when it first signed on the air under ABC. Do you know of any way to verify this? (April 30, 2002)

Dimitri is out at WWVA (dont know the full story) Jim Harrington starts 4/30 in Morning Drive. I understand he is the new OM. Regarding 102.9, if such a station exsists they should move to another frequency. It will block out Y103 in Youngstown. If you haven’t caught that station lately they are doing a nice job with the Classic Rock format! (April 29, 2002)

Eric’s Response: SHAKE UP! WOW! Interesting news. Thank you. 102.9 isn’t going to cause that much of a stir really. It’s a very concentrated signal to the South Side. Can’t receive it anymore than a mile to a mile and a half away.

Eric, in doing some further research, I uncovered another interesting fact. It appears that channel 22 was originally allocated to Pittsburgh as an educational channel, and that WQEX-TV was originally licensed for channel 22. In 1958, the FCC changed the educational allocation from channel 22 to channel 16, and WQEX-TV commenced its operation on channel 16, while the off-air construction permit for WENS was changed to specify channel 22. Why WQEX wanted channel 16 rather than channel 22 is not clear, but my guess is that they probably got a good deal on the old WENS channel 16 equipment, since WENS had been off the air for over a year. WQEX was not the only station slated for operation on channel 22 in Pittsburgh that didn’t appear on that channel; the original construction permit for WPCB-TV also specified channel 22, but after legal entanglements with another applicant, they settled for channel 40 instead. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (April 29, 2002)

I am wondering where the homeopathic radio show went? Cindee Gardner and vibrant health use to be on in the afternoon and now they are gone. Quite a few of us here have wondered this and listened for her to come back, still not. Where did she go and what can we do to get her show back on the radio? She helped so many and did it all free of charge through the radio, we need homeopathy and vibrant health, especially in a time when Steelworkers retirees have lost thier benefits, no insurance, no medicine. Also, as the jobless rate rises (even though once unemployment runs out they don’t “show in the system as jobless” so the number are off quite a bit) people need this help for some common everyday relief that is free advice. Please, get her back, many of us want to listen once again. Bobbie (April 28, 2002)

Eric, I was listening tonight and saw the sign on the 22nd St Bridge about 102.9. I remember reading an article in the South Side Reporter that someone had obtained a community grant to promote South Side businesses and broadcast with an antenna on the bridge and a computer playing the info from the South Side Library. This must be it. It was an interview with a young man in a sandwich shop on Carson Street. The original frequency was 92.6 or something. Maybe we all can get a community grant. Vito (April 28, 2002)

Eric’s Response: You know, come to think of it, I recall The Shadyside Inn (along 5th Avenue in Oakland/Shadyside) having a very similar service on 101.1. But I think they had to hope that one was stopped at the traffic light long enough to hear the ads. I remember being the passenger in my mom’s Oldsmobile as we were stopped at that light. I bet that signal lasted about 1000 feet before it faded to nothing.

Eric, to answer reader Bob’s question about VHF allocations in Pittsburgh, there was a “freeze” on new television stations instituted by the FCC in 1948 and not lifted until 1952. WDTV had their construction permit before the “freeze” and came on the air in January 1949. When the revised channel allocations were announced by the FCC in 1952, WDTV was forced to move from channel 3 to channel 2, and channels 11 and 13 were allocated to Pittsburgh, along with three UHF channels (16, 47 and 53). The UHF stations were granted quickly (WENS 16 and and WKJF 53 were on the air by the summer of 1953, although WTVQ 47 decided not to build) and WQED 13 signed on in 1954. However, the battle between competing applicants for channel 11 went on for years. Channel 4 was a late allocation, lobbied for by Mayor David L. Lawrence (among others), who wanted four VHF channels in Pittsburgh and believed that UHF would never succeed in this hilly terrain. Because of short-spacing to other stations in Columbus and Buffalo, channel 4 was originally allocated to Irwin. (Even today, the tower is far south of town in Elizabeth Township, although the channel is licensed to Pittsburgh). Several applicants also fought over channel 4, delaying its premiere for years (virtually every radio station in Pittsburgh applied for either channel 4 or 11 in that period.) As for the UHF stations, WKJF-TV lasted less than a year and channel 53 remained vacant until WPGH signed on in 1969. WENS fared a little better (it was Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate and remained on the air for over four years), but failed after WIIC’s debut. Eventually WQED would apply for (and was granted) channel 16 for its second service, WQEX, but WENS continued to hold an off-air construction permit to rebuild (until 1965) on channel 22, which had been reallocated from Clarksburg, West Virginia. WENS never returned, however, and a dozen years later, WPTT premiered on channel 22. Channel 47 was eventually reallocated to Altoona, where WKBS (a simulcast of WPCB 40 Greensburg) occupies the channel. I hope this answers all of Bob’s questions. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (April 28, 2002)

Breaking News doesn’t have to be world news.It can be local. And as long as there is no local newscaster on duty, KDKA will never have any local news, breaking or not. That one night I spoke of, all sorts of serious accidents, a major search for a missing child was happening, and not one word until the 5 a.m. broadcast. All we hear during the night is the same basic CNN broadcast over and over. Tom (April 28, 2002)

Eric: I saw Clarke Ingram’s post where he talked about CBS trying to buy Channel 9 in 1955 and move its tower closer to Pittsburgh. I have visited Clarke’s DuMont web site and enjoyed it very much, especially the chapter regarding WDTV in the fifties. However, I have a question for Clarke (or any other Pittsburgh broadcasting historian) that was not addressed in Clarke’s web site: What took Channels 4 and 11 so long to get on the air? While other large cities had three or four network stations throughout the fifties, Pittsburgh had only one commercial VHF station on the air from 1949 until Channel 11 went on the air in 1957 and Channel 4 in 1958. Considering the size of Pittburgh’s market, I would assume that these channels were allocated to Pittsburgh well before the late fifties. What prevented the owners from going on the air sooner? I would think that the networks (other than DuMont) would have done whatever they could to help these stations get on the air so that they would have had greater exposure in Pittsburgh. Does anyone know the answer? Thanks, Bob. (April 27, 2002)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! What’s with the new sound on KDKA-AM? Are they trying to sound like a New York City station? I don’t think it’s going to pump up their sagging ratings. What is “breaking news?” All night long, Logue says breaking news when it happens. Then at five in the morning, Kopler tells us about four house fires, a little girl missing, a six car fatal accident, etc.. All these events happened during Logue’s watch. If helicopters are scouring a neighborhood with searchlights, local, county, city police with dogs, and civilians are searching all night for a missing three year old, and this ain’t breakin’ news, what is? Come to think of it, I’ve never heard any “Breaking News” in any of the later talk shows. And the weather, get rid of Burnett or Abrams. You can’t have both of them giving different weather forcasts for the same period. Right after Bob’s 5:00 a.m. report, Abrams comes on, sez this weekend will be cloudy with rain, highs of 62 and 64. Then Burnett comes on, sez this weekend will be a mixture of clouds and sun with highs of 70 and 72. Then a little later, there’s Elliot giving his weekend forecast of doom again. So what the hell’s the weather gonna be on Saturday and Sunday? And the new introductions. Get rid of them.. On Lisa Alexander’s introduction, the bump and grind music sounds like she’s gonna do a striptease, not a newscast. And Larry should announce what the prizes will be on his paddlewheel question. That way only people who want the particular prize will call in. What would some old geezer left over from Logue’s Undercover Club want with four tickets to Kidapalooza, or some of the other prizes that would only interest a minority of listeners. Let me get this straight. I (and thousands of other people) have been listening to Pintek M-F, 9-12:00 for years. And now they have to play soundbytes throughout this time period telling the listeners that they are listening to the Mike Pintek show. The station is number one in the ratings. Why are they making all of these stupid changes? Oh, one more thing. I don’t want a local news cast every half hour. Just do one an hour, only do it 24/7. Tom (April 27, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Hmmm…who is the “old geezer” left over from the Undercover Club here? For ages now, after the top of the hour each host has said, “Next news at…breaking news at once.” In other words, if some major world crisis happens, they will alert you about it. But I think they do a better job of determining what’s breaking news in comparision to the TV stations which (according to the Post-Gazette) will use just about anything and call it “breaking news.”

Please save my husband from certain insanity! He was listening to a CD in his car when the song ‘Pick yourself up’ came on and he is certain that it was the theme song from one of the Pittsburgh kid shows that we used to watch.I just remember the end lyric which is ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again’. Can ANYONE remember? Carmen Webb (April 25, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I know that the song is on the playlist at WJAS. In fact, I think Nat King Cole sang it. Now I have it stuck in my head…I may go insane myself!

I still think alot about the Saturday morning Bob Lavorio radio show, WKPA? Maybe? out of New Kensington from the mid 1960s. I’d love to get a tape of one of those shows! Any ever made? Available? Thanks. (April 21, 2002)

Eric, Derrick Gunn was NOT fired from WPXI. He got a better job in Philadelphia at Comcast Sports Net. That’s where he is now. Among other duties, he’s one of the anchors on their nightly sports news show. WSTV used to maintain a sales office in Pittsburgh so they’d have a presence with the downtown ad agencies. Vic (April 21, 2002)

Hello, I was staying in a hotel in Lima Ohio, on March 29th. I was listening to a radio brodcast from a local station on the hotel’s clock radio, at around 9am. There were two pychic’s, by the name of Bob and Sherry. They said they had a web site, but I haven’t been able to hit upon it. I was wondering if you knew of the radio broadcast station they are on, and how I could communicate with them?? I thank you for any information you might be able to provide. They were discussing with a ‘call-in participant’… Ferrets. There was reference to a particular breeding agency, and that is the reason I would like to get information regarding these psychics… Celest (April 20, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Gee, I haven’t heard of Bob and Sherri being psychic. But they are a nationally syndicated morning radio show based in Charlotte, NC. A visit to www.bobandsheri.com shows that they are on a station in Lima, OH. (Which, by the way, is a long way from Pittsburgh!)

Eric, let me add a couple notes to Clarke Ingram’s comment on WLSW. The exact tower location, from what we’ve been able to find out for our reports, would be near the Youghiogheny River on the southern end of North Huntingdon Twp., not far, by the way, from the Sewickley site of WKHB-620. Also, the move would wipe out plans for a low-power station on 103.9 in Springdale, because the shift in WLSW tower sites from Fayette County would wipe out the hole in which a minority group had been able to locate its own 103.9 outlet. One more bit of history about Channel 9 in Steubenville … for years, it was available on cable as far east as Philipsburg, on the Clearfield-Centre county line. Of course, today, WSTV (or WTOV as it’s now known) would not be able to get channel carriage outside of the Wheeling-Steubenville market (except for systems that grandfathered WTOV’s slot on their dials south and west of Pittsburgh). Pat Cloonan. (April 19, 2002)

I like your page. I have to know what happened to WPXI’s Former Sports reporter Derrick Gunn? (April 19, 2002)

Eric’s Response: For some unforseen reason, Derrick was fired from Channel 11 a few years back. I don’t recall there being any reason given, but I think he’s working elsewhere.

Didn’t Caroline Avedisian head south to cover a major news story…never to return? (April 18, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I reiterate, I have no idea.

Eric, WSTV-AM-FM-TV were indeed all owned by Rust Craft at one time, and later by Associated Communications, the same company that owned WPIT-AM-FM in Pittsburgh. Here’s a little-known fact I uncovered in my DuMont research: In early 1955, CBS filed to purchase Channel 9 and move the tower to Florence PA, not far from their recently-approved new tower site near Burgettstown. CBS must have been desperate to have a full-time affiliate in Pittsburgh, and was apparently trying to move WSTV for that purpose. When the FCC declined to approve the tower move, the sale fell through. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (April 17, 2002)

Who took over News Director Pat Maday’s spot after he was promoted? (April 17, 2002)

Is Maryanne Lewis, the former KDKA weekend, late-night host, still working in the Pittsburgh area? If so, where? She was doing feature articles for the P-G. Is she still in radio? Where is Chris Cross, the former KDKA evening talk-show host, at these days? Did he move back to the St. Louis area? What station is he working at? (April 17, 2002)

Eric, WLSW has an application to move its tower to a site between McKeesport and Irwin and increase to a full 6 kw Class A, contingent on its proposed sale to Cumulus and the tower move of co-channel WWIZ in Mercer. This signal will not be city-grade over Pittsburgh, but should be better than the current WLSW facility. I suspect that WAMO’s tower move to Wexford will have similar results in Pittsburgh (better, but not perfect). On an unrelated note, it would be great if someone would post program schedules for some of the more interesting and eclectic signals in town, like WKZV and WZUM. These stations have unusual programs and it’s impossible to keep track of them just by listening. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (April 15, 2002)

Whats up! I was just wondering, is 103.9 WLSW moving to Pittsburgh? And when is 106.7 WAMO getting a stronger signal. (April 15, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I don’t think there is any plan for WLSW to move to or closer to Pittsburgh. I also am not sure that WAMO is getting a stronger signal as much as they are relocating the one they have in Beaver to Wexford.

WPXI-TV, Had a field reporter/ Anchor named Caroline Av??? in 1998 -? Where is she now? (April 13, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Caroline Avedesian – or something to that effect. I have no idea where she might have gone.

KDKA made some changes, they have been stale for the last few years… The new liners and beds are ok, but are a band-aid…. KD for decades had that signature jingle. …..we all know that sound!!!! Why can’t they invest a few thousand and recapture what made KDKA stand above everyone else???? I don’t get it???? (April 12, 2002)

Chris Craft sold boats, Rust Craft sold greeting cards it was a publishing company to memory. (April 11, 2002)

WSTV(now WTOV 9),WSTV-AM/FM were owned by the same company. (April 11, 2002)

Weren’t WSTV-TV and Radio and WRKY Radio all owned by the greeting card company Rust Craft and were’t they based in the Gateway Towers for a while? vito (April 11, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I’ve heard of Chris Craft, but I’ve never heard of Rust Craft. But it is a possibility that they could have ended up at Gateway Towers.

The word I have heard is that they(Froggy 103/104/94 or where ever they are) are spinning some spots on 98.3. I would assume to help make the station sound busy. Just my two cents. (April 9, 2002)

When I lived in Pittsburgh, PA I met and was a friend of Jane Crawford’s (WPXI-TV). Where is Jane now? (April 9, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Jane had a short stint doing weekend overnights on KDKA radio. If my memory serves, she had to move to the New York City area to take care of some family needs.

What’s going on with the advertising practices at Froggy? I was listening to the new WOGI and heard an advertisement for a trucking place in Brilliant. Brilliant? Where’s that? I live in Steubenville Oh, so I know where it is. However, I am sure that someone listening in the South Hills would wonder where Brilliant was. However, Froggy 103 WOGH in Steubenville is advertising businesses in Washington Pa. Why? What kind of sense does that make? I’m interested to hear back on this one. Thanks Errick, and great site! Nathan F. (April 8, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Chances are that Because WOGG, WOGH and WOGI are all owned by the same company, I would imagine there is a lot of sharing of advertising. Especially now that WOGI has recently moved into Pittsburgh, I’m sure that they haven’t had a lot of opportunity to sell ad time in the Pittsburgh market. Recently, we’ve heard that WOGH is trying to focus more on Washington County PA…why, I don’t know. But in all honesty, Washington County can almost be considered a Suburb of Steubenville. Another thing that I have always found interesting is that 103.5 FM has had a sales office in Downtown Pittsburgh for a long time. During the three weeks that I worked for WJJJ in 1998, I used to ponder the sign in the lobby of Gateway Towers that told me what suite WRKY-FM 103.5 was in. I knew WRKY served Steubenville/Wheeling, but could only guess that they had sales offices in Pittsburgh because it was the closest MAJOR market.

I would like to know if Bob and Shire will return to Erie PA anyime soon it would make a great place on 93.9. I miss that moring show. Eric from Erie PA (April 2, 2002)