January 2002

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

The Westinghouse/CBS transaction was more complicated than it may have seemed at the time. Technically, Westinghouse bought CBS, and Westinghouse was the surviving corporation (tax entity). Westinghouse then immediately renamed itself CBS for reasons that only a marketing genius could understand! So to the casual observer, it looked like CBS took over Westinghouse, exactly the opposite happened. When the buyout occurred, Westinghouse was under the management of Michael Jordan (Not the basketball star), who wanted to get Circle W out of the industrial market, and he did. Incredible as it may sound, the various “Westinghouse” companies still operating in the Pittsburgh area, for example in Monroeville and in O’Hara Township, are not owned by Westinghouse at all, but instead use the name under license. Moreover, there are still light bulbs and Christmas lights sold under the Westinghouse name, and those are not manufactured by any plant that had anything to do with Circle W, but they have a licence to use the name. The Westinghouse takeover of CBS occurred at roughly the same time that GE bought NBC. Westinghouse was a bit later, I think. Only a few months after Westinghouse became CBS, Viacom (Sumner Redstone’s company) bought the whole business in a stock transaction. (A lot of people who once worked at Westinghouse now own Viacom class B stock, that they obtained involuntarily.) That event marked the true death of the once proud Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and stands as a monument to greed, perfidy, and outright dishonesty. Uncle George should still be spinning in his grave. Paul. (January 31, 2002)

Eric’s Response: And there you have it…

Dear Eric, Around last Thanksgiving in the Post-Gazette, Rob Owen reported the rumor that DISNEY/ABC is buying WTAE-TV from Hearst-Argyle—with the tag line: MICKEY IS TAKING ACTION FOR YOU… This can’t be true. When I checked out DCRTV, DISNEY/ABC is also planning to buy WJLA-TV (Washington, DC). How many more stations does DISNEY plan to take over (buy)? To me, I think that this is a throwback to around ’95 when CBS took over KDKA-TV. Much regards, Patrick (January 30, 2002)

Eric’s Response: You might recall though, that CBS didn’t just take over KDKA-TV. That’s when Westinghouse Broadcasting sold everything over to CBS. That means KDKA Radio, WBZ, KYW and others went to CBS too. As for WTAE, who knows, I just know that the WJLA Rumors are there in full force. I will begin to worry when I see Sally Wiggin and Scott Baker wearing Mouse Ears.

Hello Eric, We have briefly talked by E-Mail before. I have always wondered whatever happened to Randy Hall who worked the midnight shift at KDKA and was sponsored by Rolling Rock premimum beer? He used to dedicate a song to a “yellow bird.” Wonder who that was? I would hear him say that on the radio and never could imagine what it meant. Where is he now? This was many years ago, probably back in 1970, in the days of Art Pallen, and Rege and in those heady times when KDKA would record and air that most famous station break: I loved it. The announcer would say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time, twice as many people are listening to KDKA than are listening to all other Pittsburgh radio stations combined. Thankyou!” And then, instantly they would hit the news intro! I have always remembered that announcement. I never heard any other station do it – ever. Have you ever heard this story? Great history, Eric! Regards, Eric Johnson Erie, Pa. (January 29, 2002)

I know its been discussed here before, but when oh when will WPGH-TV 53 fix its flat, basey, muffled, over Dolby-compensated, muddy, no “high-toned” excuse for audio. Perhaps someday we Pittsburgers’ will be able to aurally enjoy FOX shows and special events (like the World Series and Super Bowl) the way the rest of the country does. I know the engineers at FOX 53 are apathetic and arrogant (I’ve called them myself), and they just don’t seem to care that those of us who have more than just the speakers that are built into our TV’s would appreciate better sound quality. Put it on a scope guys! (January 28, 2002)

Although I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, I found a book in my college library about radio in the Sixties, which had various execs discussing their programming. One such chapter covered WRYT, as 1250 AM was then known (circa 1965-66). WRYT was Beautiful Music, with a “harp bridge” played between each selection, but it had some interesting promotions. For example, they suggested roast camel as an alternative for the holidays, and actually sent out the recipe to those interested. One columnist called WRYT “a 24-hour chamber of commerce,” because they ran announcements about area communities. And when the Post-Gazette’s Fred Remington suggested ‘RYT would rather have its antenna melted down into paper clips than play rock ‘n’ roll, the station conducted a “Teenage Underground” rally led by the Pittsburgh Symphony’s William Steinberg. They even sought nightime listeners by buying the sign-off announcements on daytime-only stations. I don’t exactly recall the name of the book, but other stations featured in the book were KIXI Seattle (Beautiful); WBZ Boston, WKY Oklahoma City and KRLA Los Angeles (Top 40); WJJD Chicago and KATR Eugene, OR (Country); WPIX New York and WFAA-FM Dallas (FM); WBEC Pittsfield, MA, WEEI Boston and WBT Charlotte (News); KSFO San Francisco (MOR); and a focus on sports with the Golden West chain (KSFO, KVI Seattle and KMPC Los Angeles). Sincerely, Greg Sells (January 28, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Harp bridges were quite popular at that time and I believe there was a Texas firm that created them. Washington’s WGAY/WQMR used the harps too. For an example of the harps, go to http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2wdtc/ which is a WGAY/WQMR Memorial website.

I’m surprised that no one has written about Larry Richert’s morning gig. Personally, I think he’s refreshing. I was really getting tired of Cigna arguing with everyone, especially Goose. And John was making some rather crude remarks to Trish Pitman and Lisa Alexander. He should have been put out to pasture years ago! Take care, Tom (January 25, 2002)

Eric: Ed Price really WAS one of the greatest broadcasters Pittsburgh was ever lucky enough to have. And what a nice man! I used to bum cigarettes from Ed at AFTRA meetings, at Froggy’s on Market St. We had many fascinating chats about the long-ago days of Pittsburgh radio (I would have so loved to have been a part of THAT era!). Ed’s voice was truly spectacular. Knowing of my passion for collecting vintage microphones, he told me about a time he went to New York to do a voiceover session, many years ago. He said he walked into the studio and some techs wheeled over a boom on which this long, gray, cylindrical, silver-tipped thing hung. It was an imposing microphone. He’s never seen anything like it before. When they swung the microphone in his face, Ed asked, “What the hell is THAT thing?” The icy, German-accented producer looked at him as if he were insane and answered him indignantly, “ZAT.. iss a TELEFUNKEN!” Ed Barrett suggested once that we get all the guys in the local with the “big” voices–Ed Price, Dan Mallinger, Paul Long, Bill Steinbach, Hank Baughman, Barrett and me–together for some kind of a voiceover project. It’s such a shame we never did.. It would have been, if nothing more, an ultimate test of the bass response of the speakers in whatever studio we would have chosen to record! Picture the walls of Jericho… Ed Price was a class act all the way..and what a set of pipes! Ed Weigle (January 24, 2002)

What a gentleman and class act Ed Price was. He lived in Forest Hills (within walking distance from where I grew up) and I went to high school with his son and daughter. Ed was very encouraging to me during my early radio days in the mid to late 1970s and watching and hearing him record a spot was a treat. I can still hear that smooth, wonderful voice. In addition to the credits below, Ed worked at WWSW-AM in PM drive during it’s great “Double Double” days (remember Charlie Warren and the “Sounding Better Every Day” slogan, not to mention the “High Low” game) and not so great Double Country days, although he still was so professional in the country format. He took on-air calls and even played a request or two. After exiting WWSW and being silenced for awhile, I remember cheering his return to the air when he hooked up with the Renda stations. And eventually mourning his death as we lost another of the really great ones. — Larry Berger (January 22, 2002)

Hi Eric…love the site. I also have fond memories of Ed Price. He was a real pro and always gave me words of encouragement when I first started at WISH 99.7. At that time, (mid-eighties) Ed was doing either mid-days or afternoon-drive on 1320 WJAS. Ed used to do voiceovers for government training films which I believe took him to Houston, TX alot. He also spoke very fondly of his dearly departed wife and also mentioned to me that he had started out as a “song-and-dance” man…where, I don’t know. Keep up the good work, Dan Dunlap (January 22, 2002)

Hi, Im looking for information on Ed Price. Ed was my cousin, his dad was my mom’s oldest brother and i am very interested in recieving information on his career in Pittsburgh. I visited him in 1980 when he was doing the afternoon shift at WWSW am which at that time was a Music of your life type format. Ed died in 1991 around the time of the Gulf War but i would like more information on his career. Thanks David Yonki (January 21, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I remember Ed Price. His voice was so rich and gentle…perfect for Easy Listening. I know that he made a few stops around town. One of them was WRYT which was on 1250 AM and 96.1 FM. I recall him filling in for Hank Baughman on WSHH a number of years ago. His last job was evenings at WEZE 104.7 FM. (I remember the nights that his voice would just lull me right into slumberland!)

Eric, I am writing from Ft. Myers, FL We were watching the Steelers game yesterday and we were stumped on a trivia question among us Steeler fans. We know Myron Cope did the Steeler games on the radio. Who did the Pirate games? I couldn’t sleep last night. I grew up in Meadville, Pa and would listen to the Pirate games on my little portable radio. If you could help me on this I would sincerely appreciate it. Thanks, Steve (January 21, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Actually Myron still does Steeler games on the radio, but I am assuming that you mean ages past. It was none other than Bob Prince and Nellie King. No other members of the royal family that I remember! Hehe

A bit of news: this morning on KDKA-TV and WJZ the two stations were going to bet on the outcome of the Ravens-Steelers game on Sunday. While discussing it KDKA insulted the WJZ Morning Edition Cast calling the “unprofessional”. Don and Marty of WJZ are really angry right now, and now they are not communicating with KDKA. (stay tuned)-wjzfan (January 18, 2002)

Hello, I just found your site. Very nice work. It must be a labor of love. I live in the Wheeling, West Virginia area. I was the morning man at WWVA from 1977 – 1985 in the hay day of country when Jamboree in the Hills was conceived. You might do an update of your surrounding markets area. You will find that all of the properties in Wheeling that were AM/FM stations are now owned by Clear Channel. Stay in touch, Bud Forte (January 18, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I must admit that I am a touch behind on the outer-lying areas, but thanks for bringing that to my attention. I should have had that fixed ages ago!

What happened to 1550 and the tomjoyner show. I have not been able to get them for a month and I didn’t hear they were going off the air. Rodney Alen (January 17, 2002)

Eric’s Response: WURP signed off in December as the station owners couldn’t afford to keep it going.

Eric: FYI: I put a browser on my Palm VIIx..Sure enough, I can navigate your site just fine…now I need to figure out how to check my e-mail at the radio stations (That site is NOT Palm-friendly). Speak soon! Ed Weigle (January 16, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Hee haw! I can be seen on a Port-Authority bus now!

Hi Eric, In my on going search into KQV history, maybe someone here can give me some help on some of these former KQV staffers.

Steve Rizen … I know he did some tv work at channel 11 for a while and may have spent a short time at WWSW. Any idea where he went to after Pittsburgh?

Marsha Knicely / Casey Forbes (KQV 1974) spent some time at WNBC in New York. I heard she may be in West Virginia somewhere.

Timothy G Adams. nights at KQV in 1973, went to WEEP for mornings. I have no leads after that.

Larry Clark, at KQV twice in 70’s, spent sometime at WZYQ in Frederick. I can find no trace of him since then.

Does anyone have any pictures of the outside of the KQV studios ? Let me know. Jeff Roteman ejjeff@pa.net (January 15, 2002)

Dear Eric, Love your web site! Very interesting. My brother-in-law is looking for any information you can dig up on the John Reed King/Don Hoke sports show. If possible, he would like some of the footage of the show, if they have it in their archives! Thanks- Sharon (January 15, 2002)

For the past few months, Metro Traffic was never mentioned on KQV any time I listened. I agree that Metro Traffic was involved, and in fact they partnered with West Penn AAA to bring reports from PennDOT info center until today – that partnership was mentioned in the PBRTV mailbag last fall. As of today (1/15) the information center is not being mentioned, but Metro Traffic is named in every report. It is a small thing, I suppose, but there is a definite difference, and I suspect some business reason is behind the change. One time this morning David Molirano (sp?) stopped short when he almost said “From the PennDOT information center,” so I think the liners have been changed at KQV, and I think there is a reason for the change. (January 15, 2002)

This morning, KQV traffic reports are being read by Dave Mensch at Metro Traffic. For the past few months, up until yesterday, Steve Maffey reported traffic from the ‘PennDOT Information Center.” Does anyone know what happened to cause the change? The reports from the Information Center were the most informative we’ve had in Pittsburgh since Neal Spence was flying, but the new report sounds like the information available to the reporter is less than complete. (January 15, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Actually, I believe they are one and the same. Because it seems to be that Steve also comes from Metro. Key word is “SEEMS.” A lot of Metro reporters report for stations around the area, but say something like, “In the XXXX Traffic Center, I’m Floyd Fitzelbaum.”

i scrolled down and i see that ron king whom i have not spoken to since the 1970’s told you the exact same thing i had e mailed you about. so i’ll just say hello to eric clarke and ron. vito (January 14, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Hi Vito…from Eric, Clarke and Ron.

hey eric i was doing a search on WHYP and came across your name. interesting stuff you are into! i would love to get tapes of broadcasts of the following:
– WHYP around 1968-72
– WJET’s Big Al Night (Nite?) from around 1967-1974
– WWGO before 1974
do you know more about the big al night show?
i was a radio junkie then (still am) and have a friend who would also like to hear some of this stuff. we grew up there and were friends with DJs at WJET and WWGO. i moved on th FM after that, but the memories are still there. i was a DJ in Erie at the Gannon radio station in the erie-mid 70s. ANY help you can give me would be interesting (January 14, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Any of you Erie-ites have any info?

Eric, WNBO in Washington PA was on the air in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Radio station lists of the time show them on 1420 kHz, then sharing time on 1200 kHz with WHBC in Canton, Ohio. I don’t know if WNBO went dark or eventually turned into WJPA-AM. On an unrelated subject, I’m doing research on Pittsburgh’s early UHF TV stations as an adjunct to my DuMont Network web site. I’d love to hear from anyone with memories or inside information about WENS, channel 16 (and how WQEX eventually got the channel); WTVQ, channel 47 (a construction permit that apparently never reached the air); and WKJF-TV, channel 53 (which was owned and operated by WKJF-FM 93.7, now WBZZ). I can be reached at cingram@aol.com. Thanks, Clarke Ingram. (January 14, 2002)

Hi Eric, I was just checking out your PBRTV site for the first time and was disappointed to see that our radio station, WRKP-FM, 96.5, in Moundsville, West Virginia, www.wrkp.com was not on your “Steubenville/ Wheeling Area Radio and TV” list. WRKP-FM is a Contemporary Christian music radio station. We also carry Penn State Football and do the local John Marshall High School Football broadcasts. We have also carried the Wheeling Jesuit College basketball broadcasts and the short-lived “Indoor Football League” team, The Smash, out of Wheeling,WV. We are 5,000 watts FM and broadcast 24 hours per day. The station is owned by RKP INTERNATIONAL CORP. of which I am the President and GM. If you could add WRKP to your site I would appreciate it . I really love your site; it was very enjoyable checking out old call signs and seeing the names of old jocks and broadcasters again. You mentioned WNBO, an old call sign in Washington, PA. It just so happens that I own a recording studio in Washington, PA in the same building that WNBO used to be in. Upstairs, in an old unused part of the building ,an old door still exists with the call sign WNBO painted on it . It’s a real piece of history. I believe the station at one time( in the 30’s or 40’s )was owned by a man by the name of Lucien Spriggs. Hope you can add us to your listing! Let me hear from you if you have a chance. Thanks, Ron King, WRKP-FM. P. S. I used to work at Cornerstone TV (channel 40 in Pittsburgh) in the early eighties. (January 13, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I don’t think that would be a problem. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll have that up very soon!

Hello, I just found your interesting website and it brought many memories to me. I am Bob Kristof a former staff announcer with WYDD (1965-1969) and later with WLOA. ( I also did some work at WNUF, WKJF and production work at WPGH-TV when it went dark in 1971.) I am currently working as a field auditor and still living in the Pittsburgh area. I would like to receive email from anyone who would want to talk about this era. My email address is bjkrist@verizon.net. Thanks ! Bob Kristof (January 13, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Bob sent along some old graphics from WYDD and WLOA to share with us here at PBRTV. They are available in the Photo Gallery.

At great expense (mostly at the expense of the audience) I have finally located a copy of Hudson & Landry’s “Frontier Christmas” and will play it Saturday between noon and 1 p.m. on WRCT-FM (88.3) in honor of O’Brien and Garry. Yeah, it’s too late for Christmas, but what are you going to do? I believe I also have a set of WTAE-AM “Rhythm of the City” jingles hanging around, too. I haven’t found “Pineapple Princess,” but the day is still young. (Jason Togyer) P.S. Now, does anyone know where I can find a copy of “Radio K-OS” by Arbogast & Ross? (January 11, 2002)

Anyone know what hapened to Joel Zelle….KDKA Radio personality 1972 (?) to 1977 (January 11, 2002)

Eric, Some help on the where are they now questions: Bill Currie — Your earlier poster had the correct information. Bill has been in failing health for several years. After he left TV the last time, he ran a broadcasting school, was a preacher and did speaking appearances. He is in his 70s now. Al Julius — Retired and lives in Florida. Alan Cutler — In radio and TV in Lexington, KY and is also a motivational speaker. Has a website:www.alancutler.com Roy Fox — He and his wife are caretakers of a historic house in New York City. Jenny Ferguson — Out of broadcasting and she’s a full-time mom. She occasionally posts to the Post-Gazette’s TV board. Clark Race — Died on July 27, 1999. Perhaps you might consider running a “Rest in Peace” section to designate those who have passed away. Hope this information helps. Vic (January 10, 2002)

In refrence to WPGH cancelling the Ten O’clock news: After Seeing sinclair’s “odd” newscast cancellations, i dont think WPGH will be cancelled, unless it is behind Eyewitness News on UPN 19, then theres nothing to really worry about, Because, their 3 best affilates (WLOS, Asheville, WBFF/WNUV, Baltimore) are doing just fine WJZfan (January 10, 2002)

Eric: I noticed you published a letter from Ken Reeth on your Pittsburgh Radio page last August (http://pbrtv.tripod.com/Aug1901.html). I’d like to contact him. Would you be able to forward my e-mail address to him and ask him to get in touch? Many thanks! Ed Brouder (January 9, 2002)

Eric’s Response: It’s ironic that this happens twice in one month’s mailbag. However, I don’t keep email addresses on file. If you have a request to get in touch with someone, I will hold your email address for a period of time and post such writings here in the mailbag in hopes that the person you are attempting to contact will see it.

One of your mailbag writers is inquiring as to the whereabouts of former KDKA-TV sportscaster Bill Currie. KD ran a piece on their newscast about six months ago where they interviewed Currie. He was in some type of nursing facility, and appeared to be in very poor health. After reminiscing with him about his days at KD, they concluded by saying that Currie would soon be moving out to Seattle, to live with his daughter. I assume that is where he is currently. JC – South Hills (January 9, 2002)

WILLIAMS, Conrad L., 59, of Homestead, died Jan. 5.

A simple death notice in today’s online edition of the Post Gazette for a Pennsylvania State Trooper. Mr. Williams was also a broadcaster. I worked with Conrad in the late 60s at WAMO. Back then, he was the newsman for the Double WAMO. He then moved on to the new sound of 13Q, and then to KQV when the All News format began. Connie, the news guy, was a radio person not in as high a profile position as the DJs he worked with at the music stations. He’ll be missed. Frank Gottlieb (January 7, 2002)

Hi Gil Lucas, formerly KBL and Fox Sports, here living the good life in Florida. Did I understand that Jack Wheeler is now down here in the Orlando market? If so, could you please let me know the station. I hope everything is booming in the market and everyone will get rich and find their on little island. (January 7, 2002)

Eric’s Response: You are correct sir. Jack is in Orlando on WHOO-AM and silmulcast on WIXC-AM in Melborne.

Eric, I love what you did with the Main Page & News Hotline section of your site. It is even easier now to read with the entries being separated with a space (and color) instead of just via color. Keep up the great work! Jen (January 6, 2002)

I was wondering, do you have any info on Bill Curry, Al Julius, Allan Cutter, Roy Fox, Jenny Ferguson or Clark Race? Did you figure Dick Stockton was too high profile to include? Anyway, terriffic job. Bill Stevens (January 6, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Well let me see, out of this bunch, I believe Bill Curry and Al Julius have retired. In fact I know Al is retired. Roy Fox is mentioned somewhere in the mailbag archive (and I have forgotten what it said about him!) Clarke Race died a couple of years ago.

I just stumbled across the Dec 1 – 12, 2000 page of your PBRTV Mailbag and saw that Mal Redding was interested in contacting me. I worked at WDVE for a number of years, where we met in the ’70’s. Please forward this to him, as I would love to correspond. Great guy, Mal. Thanks, Terry Caywood (January 5, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Hi Terry. I don’t save email addresses simply because I don’t send out mass mails or anything. However, I will save yours and hope that Mal is still visiting PBRTV!

Hiya Eric: Certainly I’m not the only person to notice that KDKA is still using a very outdated backdrop on its news set. Didn’t we bid farewell to Three Rivers Stadium in February, 2001? I can understand the hesitance in replacing it too quickly, but construction on PNC Park and Heinz Field have been completed for ages. Great website Eric, many kudos! Caroline (January 3, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I thought KD already changed their set backdrop to reflect the new “stadia.” Perhaps I heard that it was going to happen or I’m getting it confused with WPXI’s new backdrop premiering soon. Hmmmm….


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