↑ Return to 2001 – 2003

December 2001

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

Hi Eric, I would like to know what is going on at WZUM, AM 1590. It seems like they are cutting down on playing the oldies. What they do have is constantly being repeated. I really enjoy the oldies they play. What happened to the deejay’s that left the show? The late Mad Mike tried to get this station going again, but since he is gone it seems to be going into the toilet. It is a shame because there are a lot of people around here that like those kind of oldies. Thank you. Bob (December 30, 2001)

Eric, Bob Stevens owner of WKHB is buying WANB AM+FM. Thanks Phil Z (December 27, 2001)

Hi Eric, I was scanning the mailbag and might have a vague clue as to the where abouts of Terry (Trunzo) Lee. I never knew Terry but I trained with his son at a karate school in Greensburg back in the mid ’90s. I recall him saying that his Dad had semi-retired to a farm in Ohio… something he had always dreamed of doing. He didn’t think he was doing radio anymore. Geoff Miller (December 22, 2001)

Eric: Even I’M getting e-mail from people asking the wherabouts of Terry Lee! He virtually fell off the map, seemingly, following the mid-’80s demise of WRUA in Monroeville (which eventually became WXVX.. and whatever it is now). I’ve heard he is either in West Virginia or Ohio. A great story I heard about Terry Lee (cousin of the late Sonny DiNunzio of The Fenways of “Walk” fame, and studio backup group for The Vogues on their early Co&Ce releases) from his WIXZ days was that while he did his “Music For Young Lovers,” he kill the lights and burn candles to “get him in the mood.” I tried it once and nearly set fire to myself! Have a fantastic Holiday! Ed Weigle (December 20, 2001)

There’s one slight mistake in the recent Tribune Review article about independent radio station owners in the area. Michael Horvath might well be the last independent owner in Allegheny County, but he’s not the only one in the entire region. Mike Seigel is still the owner of Washington Broadcasting Company, which owns & operates WJPA. Technically, that’s two stations, as they have both an AM and FM transmitter. But since almost all of their programming is simulcast on both stations, they’re really just one station. (December 20, 2001)

Any idea on the whereabouts of Perry Marshall, once of KDKA? (December 19, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Perry is enjoying retirement…plain and simple. I think he is still in town. He was on with Bob Logue when KDKA celebrated its 80th Anniversary on November 2, 2000.

Eric-I’m going country! I’m headed to WITL in Lansing, MI (a beautiful college town – Michigan State is in East Lansing. My grandfather taught at the college and my dad grew up there) I’ll be doing mornings there starting at the end of the month. The station is owned by Citadel, which of course is privately owned, and THAT is a big plus. And, I’ll be close enough to come back for some Steeler games every once in a while. Don Jefferson (December 18, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Great to hear from you Don, lots of people around here have asked what you have been up to since you left WQEN in Birmingham.

I don’t know if you or other members of the PBRTV crew has had a chance to check out the Pittsburgh Arbitrends which were recently posted in Radio and Records. The ratings are pretty much the same as they’ve been for years… KD, DVE, DSY… etc rounding out the top ten. But what I thought was humorous was the posting of radio stations that didn’t score ANY numbers (now and in preceeding surveys). Looking at the bottom of the list reminded me of “Animal House” when Dean Wormer told the boys of Delta House their grades… especially John Belushi’s “Bluto”. “…. Mr. Blutarsky….. Mr. Blutarsky… zero point zero!” Why do you think it’s even necessary for Radio and Records to publish news about nothing… or for Arbitron for that matter to even bother including these stations in their ratings report? The stations who occupy “Bluto” territory mostly sell advertising based on local word of mouth and community involvement and except for the occasional “gift” from an ad agency, could care less about the ratings. Is Arbitron out to embarrass them? How does Arbitron “rank” them? In alphabetical order since they’re all 0.0? I just thought it was funny enough to point out. Seriously, to all Pittsburghers have a Happy Holiday… and hope the New Year brings another Super Bowl Invite for the Steelers. From a Ghost of Pittsburgh Radio Past (December 16, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I, frankly, have quit posting the numbers for the preliminary reports. Mainly for the reason stated…they are usually very much the same. The quarterly book (and in some cases the semi-annual book) are more important. I personally think that R&R does a very good job at posting the Arbitrons, for at least you are aware of what ALL the stations are doing, even though sometimes they really don’t do anything! I guess they figure they want to report those stations as well because they are a part of the Metropolitan Pittsburgh market!

Eric, The post about Terry Lee in the mailbag is 100 percent incorrect. Terry McGovern and Terry Lee are two different people. Terry McGovern worked at KDKA 1965-69, the same time Terry Lee worked at WMCK/McKeesport, which became WIXZ. McGovern moved to KSFO/San Francisco in ’69 and has been in California full-time since he left Pittsburgh. He also worked at KSAN/San Francisco and KRLA/Pasadena. Terry McGovern is also an actor with many film and TV credits. (December 14, 2001)

What happened to The Beat? What was once a fresh change for Pittsburgh with real talent seems to have been left to die by Clear Channel. It began with the introduction of newer music and dropping the Jammin’ oldies moniker. Then the abrupt exit of all of the viable talent, Ingram, Real Deal, Frazier (I know he is now over at 3WS) Holiday MX aside, the station is just painful to listen to now. Something has to be brewing for after the first of the year. Bico. (December 13, 2001)

Does anyone know who will carry the Washington Wild Things (the new minor league baseball team) baseball games? My guess would be WJPA, but they also carry the Pirates. Since WJPA simulcasts on AM & FM, they could carry the Pirates on FM and the Wild Things on AM. It wouldn’t make any sense for them to carry the Pirates on AM, since anyone who wanted to hear the Pirates on AM could listen to KDKA. The only reason to listen to the Pirates on WJPA instead of KDKA is to get the clearer sound of FM. And can anyone tell me why any radio station would simulcast a music format on both AM & FM? Why would any listener who had a radio that recieved both AM and FM signals pick the AM band to listen to music programming? (December 13, 2001)

Re: What’s up with The Beat After the holidays. answer: Stations such as The Beat, Star 100.7, Lite Rock 92.9 and Wish appeal to women,who do the lion’s share of the Yuletide shtuff (i.e. buying presents, preparing for Xmas get togethers, etc.) which explains why they’re playing so much Yuletide music. Dennard Summers (December 12, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I don’t think that’s the only reason.

This is a response to one of the emails listed on your web page: Where is Terry Lee. Terry Lee (McGovern) is acting and doing voiceovers and teaches both of these crafts in the San Francisco bay area. I found this info. atwww.440int.com. (December 12, 2001)

I’m new around here. I don’t see anything funny about “Quinn in the Morning”, but there seems to be some inside joke about “Rose – The Church Lady” really being a guy called “The Banana”. Is this a gay thing? A hoax? (December 12, 2001)

But whats up with “THE BEAT” after the holidays? What is the drift with 100.7 playing Christmas music on the weekends? Is it me or is it just radio? It’s almost like there is NOT an original idea when it comes to radio. Do we chock the latest boring formats up to September 11th? I hope not! (December 11, 2001)

Eric’s Response: The poster actually requested me not to post this, but I did anyway. I think it has some good thought provoking questions. Many of us discussed The Beat in the November mailbag and things are still up in the air with that. Why Star is playing holiday music all weekend is beyond me. So I am “provoking your thoughts” and asking if anyone has an opinion.

Dear Eric O’Brien, On your Pittsburgh Area Radio/TV News web site I discovered the notice of Bill Hinds death. My cousin, Buzz Aston, died yesterday, December 5, 2001. He was 89 years old. Buzz was in entertainment in Pittsburgh since the early 40’s, and served in the entertainment corps of the US Army in World War II. Buzz Aston wrote a number of songs, best known was “The Stars Look Down.” He played the trumpet and sang in William Rshyanki’s orchestra at the William Penn & got into the “Buzz and Bill” radio show in the late 40’s on KDKA radio. He and Bill migrated “Buzz and Bill” to KDKA TV. Later Buzz was co-host (with Alice Weston) of “Lunch at the one’s” on Channel 11. Buzz will have a memorial service at Westminister Presbyterian Church, 1:00 PM on Saturday December 8th. Yours Chester Phillips (cousin) December 6, 2001

Eric’s Response: Thank you for letting us know and please accept my deepest sympathy.

Hi Eric – Thanks for the super content on your website. Scanning these pages brought back memories of many names from the distant and not so distant past – especially 810 5th Avenue in New Kensington, former home of WYDD. Still working at 104.7, but just on a part-time basis Saturday morning from 7 to 10, and in a facility where everything works! I remember (barely – it was the 70’s) working at YDD in 1979 as music director with Jack Robertson, Sean McDowell, Rose Ryan, Chris DeCarlo, Jim D and Rhonda Z and a cast of thousands. Did an interview with Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawke of the Cars in the upstairs dressing room of the Stanley that was way too goofy, but fun. They were considered a “new wave” band back then. Also recall many folks stopping up to the station to chat on air: Charlie Daniels, Bryan Ferry, Herman Brood – boy was he loaded the night he stopped up before his show at the Decade. My most vivid recollection of a visit was when Phil Lynott and Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy popped up to New Ken for an interview prior to their show at the Stanley that evening. After the interview with Jim Kinney, Scott wanted to see our transmitter site in West Deer. We took their limo up to the site, but Phil said he would hang outside to wait for us to return. I can still see him in the late afternoon sun standing on the corner of 5th and 8th streets in New Kensington in his bright purple jacket, leather pants and big ‘fro. Miss him too. Left YDD in late 79, but returned again in 86, and nothing had changed in the building! Most of the equipment was still in the studios, just as I left it, with the exception of the transition to cd’s, and a new chief engineer. (Think Mike Matey was the old chief back in the 70’s) It’s funny how I keep winding up at 104.7 – think this is the fifth time I’ve been on the air at this frequency – 1979 – WYDD, 1986 – 1989 – WYDD, then it morphed to “Power 105” toward the end of our stay – we all got blown out by Rick Sklar in 1989 to give birth to “Energy 105.” (Knew it was the beginning of the end when Energy signed on from Metropol or somewhere with Donny Osmond’s “Soldier of Love”.) 1993 – “The Rebel” WXRB- doin the country thing….1997-98 “Smooth Jazz – WJJJ”, (Did know that my paycheck was good – just did not know who owned the station for a few months – changed hands more often then a stolen Chevy Camaro) 2000 – present – back again at “Pittsburgh’s Jammin Hits 104.7 The Beat” Currently, the Beat is on hold for continuous Christmas music. Don’t know what Herschel is up to – have not talked to him for a few months. Nice to see Sean McDowell, Rose and Tab, Sean Israel (covers both the Beat and 3wS duties), and Peter Morley (worked with him at WLTJ for a couple of years in the mid 90’s) in the Clear Channel complex at 200 Fleet Street. Miss Clarke, Kenny and Ray – displaced by voice tracking and downsizing. I’m currently working my full-time gig as a retail sales specialist for hp for the Pittsburgh metro area. Thanks for letting me ramble, Eric. Keep up the great work. Mike Kirven (December 1, 2001)