↑ Return to 2001 – 2003

March 2001

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

WDIG (WLIT from 1972-1982) is owned by a local Pentacostal church for the past 10 or so years. Before that it was owned by the late Fred Staffillino jr. who owned the Chairman Of The Boards billboard company located on rt 22 between Robinson Township and Weirton.Before that ,when I was there it was owned by a group in Parkersburg. Beleive this, in 1978 a wind storm took two of the four towers donw the next day upon inspection it was noticed that the sections of the towers were tied together with coat hangers. The station was put on the air in 1972 by a group out of Charelston WV> Yes they are running a soft RB /Old school oldies automated format. I do not know if they currently have a sales staff or not. When I drive past the station on the way to or back from WTOV9 where I work no cars are in the parking lot! At one time WLIT was a nice money maker. From ’77-82 I served as morning drive /PD/Sales Manager/GM until it was sold.During that time we billed between 15,000-25,000 per month. (Not bad for a daytimer!) WDIG is 500 watt pre-sunrise 1,000 watt day and yes does have a 35 watt post sunset authority. The current owners do not use the post sunset, but it was used in the mid 80’s. With the 4 tower directional south array it puts a listenable signal over Steubenville and Weirton. The 35 watt nighttime signal could be heard south of Mingo Junction. I am curious to know if they are still using the original Gates transmitter or have they installed a new unit. Since they switched from Gospel to the current format about a month ago, the signal sounds very crisp and rock solid all the way to Wheeling. Best Regards, Trefdawg (March 30, 2001)


B94’s Born to be a millionaire contest that starts Monday morning… is not a national contest. It’s completely local. Just thought you’d like to know. You may wanna research a bit before you suppose you know what is going on. regards Ryan (March 30, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Well I was certainly aware of the contest being local, but the “DEAD” thing was NOT as I understood it.


eric, i can’t be sure of where terry lee is now, others probably know, but in the ’80’s i believe he was phoenix arizona doing an oldies show of some sort on what i think was KOOL FM…i don’t know how long he lasted out there…maybe it was the late ’70’s into the early ’80’s… (March 28, 2001)


Eric: Good “Musings” piece! Indeed, it seems to be the trend as fewer entities buy up more radio stations to expand their on-air contests to include several– or all– markets. While at Cumulus in Lexington, KY, we encountered– and exploited– the same practice by the Clear Channel stations there. It definitely does limit the odds of winning.. But I still believe that most people who enter a contest to win a valuable prize just say “What the hell” and enter– just in case they actually win. I don’t think it will deter anyone from actually entering or holding out hope. The thought of competing with not only the population in Pittsburgh, but perhaps with St. Louis, Denver and Sarasota (in fact, where a Clear Channel outlet is that I used to image) is annoying, though. It also smacks of being somewhat cheap, when you have an empire of more than 1000 stations. It’s signifigantly less expensive than giving away more than 1000 SUVs in as many markets. Their logic is probably, “SOMEONE will win.” Remember: Radio is more a business today and less an honored tradition. The biggest problem I’ve always had with putting together station promotion is that most of what a station can possibly do has already been done in some form or another (The Bible even gives the “nothing new under the sun” wisdom). The promotions which keep the audience guessing– even asking “What does that MEAN?,” such as the “Joe Said It Would” campaign WTAE-TV had some years back– are almost always successful. There are a million old ideas which will keep being recycled infinitely. Hopefully, supposedly creative people (weirdos) like me can always find a fresh way of presenting them. By the way, one of the most creative–and funny–contests I ever heard was on Tampa’s WFLZ, back in its “Power Pig” days. But first, some background: Randy Michaels, the CEO of Jacor (now Clear Channel) has one of the most delightfully warped minds in our industry. His assasin-like tactics displaced the long-time leading CHR station in that market, with brilliant promos, such as a one that said, “For the most MUSIC, listen to the Power Pig.. For the most commercials, listen to Q-105. Don’t believe us– We’ll Wait (Dead air) See what we mean?” In the dead air, if you were to tune to the competitor, sure enough, they’d be running spots! WFLZ even had a contest where listeners would guess who the next jock on Q-105 would be to be FIRED! It was great! Susequently, jocks dropped off Q-105 and the station went country, as I recall; WFLZ shot to the top spot in the market (I don’t know where they are today, but, technically, it’s got a signal sound quality which should mean a knighthood for its engineer!) Now the contest I promised to describe: Each morning, the station would call a random number from the phone book of a guy whose first name was Richard. A caller would ask “Richard” a series of questions and determine if he went by the nickname “Dick.” The name of the contest? “Dick or Not a Dick,” of course. It was shock radio, but probably some of the best executed of the genre! (Of course, that stuff is old hat now. But aren’t Howard Stern and Bob and Tom today little more than a big phallic joke? Our business could use another creative shot in the ass, I’ll be the first to admit it. I think I’ll listen to some airchecks from the ’60s and see if there’s a new idea I can use). Take care, pal! I enjoy the web page! Ed Weigle (March 28, 2001)


Eric, just to let you know, WDIG 950 Stubenville is airing the Smooth Touch with the Del King behind the controls. This Format was on WRBP Warren Ohio until it was replaced by a Sports Format. WDIG is 1,000 watts day 35 watts night Using a 4 Tower Directional System, with a weak but reciveable Signal in the North Hills During Daylight Hours. (March 27, 2001)


To the poster who replied to my post: I am positive that WPTT was cranking out the full 5,000 watts Saturday night. On other nights when there was no skip, 1360 went to almost dead air when the night facility was switched on. It was the weekend, so maybe nobody was at the station to make the switchover. I live in the suburbs so trust me, I know all about how skywave interference obliterates weak groundwaves. WJAS and KQV go from useable here during the day, to unlistenable an hour or so before sunset… and before they change over to night pattern. WEAE, while also interfered with, tends to hold up better here than the aforementioned stations. Regards, Steve (March 27, 2001)

Eric’s Response: WPTT and WJAS automatically change over by themselves if memory serves me correctly.


Ref: Steve’s posting about WPTT’s signal. When skywave propagatiion in minimal, nighttime groundwave signals will usually be heard at greater distances since other skywave signals aren’t interfering with them. This is somewhat evident on the Regional Channels (such as 1360) but is really obvious on the Local Channels (1240, 1450, 1490 etc.). When there is no skywave propagation, these Local Channel stations can be easily heard 30 miles away as opposed to 5 or so miles when there is skywave propagation to obliterate them beyond this distance. (March 26, 2001)


Well, I remember when WJOI died low those many years ago! So,B94 is serious about giving away $1,000,000.00. I read an article on the web last week that Infinity is getting into the “Shared Contesting” is this a shared deal? As always, Peace and long live Jammin Oldies. Trefdawg (March 26, 2001)

Eric’s Response: The “Dead deal” is a shared deal. However, I think the “Shared Contesting” idea with Infinity is different from Clear Channels idea of such. You might recall last summer when several stations around the country shared a contest and aired the “call-in now” announcement at the same time. It seems that Infinity at least shares the idea and lets the station decide when do air it.


In reply to the ratings message… Central PA Radio & TV got ratings from http://www.rronline.com/. Jeff (March 26, 2001)


In regards to the topic of studios where the public could see the DJ. There are a few pictures of the KQV studios on the website. Click on the KQV Studios link in the menu on the left. I am still looking for old KQV surveys to add to the site. I am now starting on 1969. There are a few weeks still missing from 1968. Also I am looking for many pre- 1968 surveys. Jeff Roteman http://14kqv.musicpage.com. (March 25, 2001)


Hey Eric: The Keymarket Stations have a new contest the Froggy Pay Roll. Didn’t they have that back in October OF 2000. WOGF 104.3 has new people in the morings the Bullfrog left Froggy 104 so did Lepein Liz. Steve Kile was at WOGH 103.5 now he is at 104. Farrah Frogget is still there she works from 5:30 am To 11:00 am. Will this madness ever stop. On Feb 26,2001 WXKX 99.1 FM Parkersburg WV went to Froggy 99. I think Forver/Keymarket owns stations in Parkersburg. Keymarket gave 99.1 FM new call signs {WGGE}. They also bought 102.7 WTUS Fairmout WV. WGYE “Froggy 102”. Soon or later they will buy WKWS 96.1 in Charleston WV. I think Keymarket is going overboard with buying all of these stations. I hope Keymarket buys WKWS 96.1 in Charleston WV the Froggy handle is nice but it is going overline for now. Take a break buy more stations away from Ohio,Pa, any New York state. WOGG,WOGI have the lowest watts about 6,000 and WOGH has about 17,000. Out of the Ohio And Pa Stations WOGF 104.3 has the most 50,000 watts. Thanks Eric for everyone writing in about Radio/TV. (March 25, 2001)


Re: B-94 is dead: answers…1.it’s the return of born to be a millionare 2.B-94 will proclaim themselves to play no rap(oh well,they’re conceding to Kiss and WAMO) 3.it’ll make them become a WXDX-lite oh well,praise the lord and pass me the CDs and mix tapes as B-94 pulls another ho-hum stunt. (March 24, 2001)


As I write this (7:45 pm 3/24) WPTT is still operating with full day power. I am way up here in Beaver Falls and the signal is coming in as strong (or weak) as it does in broad daylight. Coincidentally, as I scan the band, there appears to be very little skywave skip tonight. Could they be keeping the power up with the notion that they will not get caught? Regards, Steve (March 24, 2001)


Hello Eric, The Central PA radio/TV site used to have a link to a ratings page ( you could look up radio station ratings by area name or number). Could you please find out what that address is from the person that used to maintain that site (or maybe you know it also). Thanks. Howard (March 24, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I don’t think it would be Allaccess.com. Anyone have any ideas?


I see in a mailbag link that WKTW in Jeanette is attempting to move from 1530 to 770 due to interference from WSAI. But as far as I can tell, the late afternoon propagation from WABC is just as bad as for WSAI. I can pick it up in my car on Washington Rd. as early as 3:30. Dosen’t it make more sense for them to look at the expanded band? Also, could somebody PLEASE tell the music director at 3WS to just play “Good Lovin'” by the Rascals straight through? They never, ever play this song without inserting some goofy sound effects into the break (tookey bird, chimpanzees, old movie clips, etc.) If the record industry is having a cow over Napster, I can’t believe they allow this to go on. JC (March 24, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I would imagine that expanded band would be logical, but there are probably any number of reasons why that doesn’t happen. As for 3-W-S, I am sure there is a reason/tradition as to why they put the sound effect in the song…unless you listen overnight when they don’t. The pause in that song is plenty long too. Therefore, there might be a dead-air reason to throw that in there.


Just wondering if you knew what was up with B-94, checked your web page but didn’t see any info. Thank you (March 23, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I had no idea! Their website says that “B-94 is Dead”. The Friday night mix sounds pretty typical for them. Sounds more like a contest to me. I don’t think we need worry about our trusty Bee.


Eric, I was visiting your site and noticed you don’t have a link yet for WPTT-1360. They now have a website. They webcast, and they have a chatroom where listeners can participate in the conversations by typing text to the hosts during the shows. Here’s the URL. http://www.1360wptt.com/ BTW, I’m glad I found your site. It’s a treasure trove of information. George E. (March 23, 2001)


Eric, in response to the query in your Mailbag, the FCC web site shows that WRKY is now assigned to an AM station in Murray, Kentucky, and that WELA is presently available. Also, in case you haven’t yet heard the news, WWSW/WJJJ Operations Manager Chris Ostrander is leaving to accept a position with Walt Disney World in Florida. Regards, Clarke. (March 21, 2001)


I’d be curious to know where legendary call letters WRKYand WELA are these days. Who knows with Key Markets divine intelegence (?) they could through away WSTV, WOMP and WOHI if they are not careful! Peace & Long Live Jammin Oldies. Trefdawg (March 21, 2001)


Eric: I’ll be anxious to know if anyone comes up with the whereabouts of Terry Lee. His ill-fated foray with WRUA in McKeesport was the last I heard of him– and that’s been close to 15 years! I remember an engineer telling me once that he walked into the studio and found Terry Lee on the air with the lights turned off and a bunch of candles burning– to get him “in the mood” for his trademark “Music For Young Lovers!” When I was doing the “slow groove” portion of my doo wop show, I tried it once. Word to the wise: If you’ve got poor eyesight like me, DON’T try it– especially if you like to drink hot coffee! I thought my ass was on fire! Take care! Ed Weigle (March 20, 2001)

Eric’s Response: The ole Venus Fly Trap and WKRP candle routine…one would end up like Les Nessman and have band-aids all over them!


ERIC, IN REPLY TO THE “WHAT HAPPENED TO TERRY LEE?” REQUEST FROM ONE OF YOU READERS, THE LAST I KNOW HE WAS RUNNING A RECORD SHOP IN THE MON-VALLEY SOMEWHERE AROUND CHARLEROI. THIS WAS BACK IN THE LATE 80’S AFTER HE LEFT AS PD OF 1510 IN MONROEVILLE. MIKE P. (March 20, 2001)


Eric ~ Keymarket launched yet another simulcast this morning. 99.3 & 104.5 Kiss FM is now a Top 40 Simulcast from Frankiln & Meadville. It seems weird that they are running a simulcast since 99.3 in Franklin can be received well in Meadville & even southern Erie County. They should have left 104.5 as an Oldies outlet in order to at least have some variety in the area. Still this could have an impact on Star 104’s numbers after being the only Top 40 station in town. Now they are surrounded by 2 different Kiss stations including the one in nearby Jamestown, New York. Oh well, there’s still Froggy 94 & 970 WFUN for Oldies in the area. Tom L. (March 19, 2001)


Does anyone know what happened to Terry Lee, the former WMCK/WIXZ DJ who also hosted “Come Alive” on WIIC (now WPXI)? The recent WQED “Sound of Pittsburgh” mentioned him and featured some old photos but he was one of the few DJs of that era who was not interviewed. He was popular with the “T.L. Sound” in the ’60s and ’70s but I haven’t heard anything about him in a long time. He seems to be something of a mysterious figure. Vic (March 19, 2001)


Eric ~ The Froggy simulcast is now on between Meadville & Oil City. Froggy 100.3 WGYY is now being retransmitted on Froggy 98.5 WGYI In Oil City, Pa. Well there goes another great Country station I could pick up south of Erie. Who’s next? WKNB “Kinzu Country 104.3” In Warren Pa? I mean how far has this spread so far? Very puzzling indeed….. Also there is a new Top 40 station out of Lakewood, New York (Near Jamestown) WKZA 106.9 “106.9 Kiss FM.” Serving Jamestown / Warren. They do have a decent signal in the Erie area but I have to listen & see how they are received in the City itself. They could get some of Star 104’s listeners in the eastern half of Erie County. The numbers will tell down the road. Tom L. (March 16, 2001)


Mr O’Brien, I hereby bring you surprising results in our poll. We asked which newscast do you watch and the surprise is that out of 420 people that answered 33% said they watched the FOX 53 Ten O’Clock News. KDKA-TV News was second with 31%. WTAE Action News had 7%. The poll ended on March 13th and a new quesiton is up. Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll and thank you for your continued support of The first and only Pittsburgh TV News. Watch out for Stacy Smith pre-KDKA. P. Kenny Burns Pittsburgh TV News (March 15, 2001)


i know that 1430 weir is carrying the weirton madonna basketball game today at 1:30… can you give me the internet site where i can listen to the game on my computer since i am at work…. thanks (March 14, 2001)

I heard WZUM back on subsequent to the posts regarding its silence. Must have been a “technical” interruption. (March 12, 2001)


Since we’re on the topic of WIXY I have an even more ironic story. From 1987-1991 I was the GM of 1060 WMCL Mt. Vernon Illinois and WTAO-FM Carbondale Illinois. My program Director was an aggresive young kid named Steve Holestein from Elizabethtown Kentcucky. He moved on in early ’91 when I moved back to Steubenville. 2 years ago I was surfin and punched in the call letters WIXY on Yahoo. Voila! Steve is currently the PD at WIXY, Springfield Illinois, 100.3 playing hot country. I called him and asked if he knew the history of the call letters, to which he had no clue about their history! Best Regards, Jim (March 9, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Always research your callsign. You just NEVER know what kind of a past they’ve had!


Its ironic that WZUM was off yesterday. I was in Weirton around 10am and it was comming in louder then 1600 out of Wheeling. WZUM was louder then normal( throwing side band splatter under 1600.) Speaking of WPTT, when I was a kid growing up in Solon(near Geuga Lake in Cleveland) we used to listen to 1360, then WIXZ at night all the time! It came in louder then Clevlands WIXY which believe it or not was on 1260,(now Radio Disney)! (March 8, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I believe it. There were about 12 or so “Wickzees” at one time all owned by the same company with the same format. All of them had some combination of letters that came close to being “Wickzee”. WIXZ, WIXY, WIXC, WYXZ, etc. etc. The ironic thing was that they all had a “60” setting on the dial. 1360, 1260, 860, etc. It was a unique operation.


I think that WPTT’s reception in Virginia just was a freak nighttime skip. The AM dial (particularly the upper end) can do some pretty weird things when the skip is active. A few months back I was in the Baltimore area, and WEAE and KQV came in loud and very listenable, while KDKA pretty much unusable. That happened two nights in a row! (March 8, 2001)


Has anyone noticed that WZUM 1590 AM went off the air? To the best of my knowledge, it went off sometime yesterday (3/07/01) and hasn’t been on since. (March 8, 2001)

Eric’s Response: As of 9 AM on 3/8, there was indeed nothing more than a buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Anyone know what’s going on?


No “Signal to Noise” column since Nov. 30? Hey, that was so long ago Three Rivers Stadium was still standing and Mario Lemieux was a retired hockey player. I know Jason is busy with his job but it would be great if he could contribute more often here. Vic (March 8, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Jason and I have an agreement. He is always welcome to write here with an article, but when time permits. I’m not going to pin him to the wall to do something when there is no $$$$$$$ involved. I’m sure he will write something soon.


Re: WPTT signal: one word!!!!!!!!!!!!! skip!!!!!!!!!! Thats AM (March 8, 2001)


Eric ~ It is with a sad heart that I am reporting the death of Former Classy 100 personality Cosmo Rose. It happened after a long illness yesterday. He replaced Captain Dan over 3 years ago at Classy when Dan moved over to Froggy 94.7. Cosmo was 35. Tom L. (March 7, 2001)


Has WPTT 1360 AM increased signal power or have a new antenna pattern? I was in northern Virginia on the morning of March 6th and clearly heard WPTT around 6:30 in the morning. Found it odd that a station I can hardly pick up in the North Hills can be picked up better several states away! (March 6, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Regarding the power, I request a response from the great Chief Engineer at Renda Broadcasting. Yet, this is the magic of AM radio. It might not be heard in the general vicinity of the signal, but at night, you never know where you might hear it!


eric, re: the WAMO letters way up on the blvd. of the allies and clarke’s comments too: it USED to be, a long time ago, disc jockeys were “showcased” for the public to see! on-air jocks in the windows! KQV downtown comes to mind..and when i was a little kid i remember seeing jocks at WTAE-AM and KDKA , on-air, in the windows of the hallways, while on tours of those stations…nowadays, the public can’t get close to the actual studios in use.. you can’t just stand there and watch a jock work… for a number of good reasons too, i know…also, remember when all jocks wore a shirt and tie or even a suit and tie while they worked?? (March 6, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I recall learning about the KQV windows on Rick Sebak’s “Stuff that’s Gone” show in his history series. I thought that was pretty cool. Joe Fenn was interviewed regarding the subject and had said that he took advantage of anything he could that went on outside those windows. One he remembered in particular was when a mom had some rowdy kids in the back and it was obvious that she was listening while she was trying to calm them down. He potted up and said, “HEY KIDS! MIND YOUR MOTHER!” Those kids were looking around for who that possibly could have been! As for dressing up, if you have a copy of the book, “When Radio Was Young” by William G. Beal, Alice Sapienza-Donnelly and Richard J. Harris, there are several pictures of announcers who were dressed up. For instance, one of them is of Bill Hinds on KDKA.


Eric, Yes we have those Penndot stations along the 2 interstates in the Erie area (I – 79 & I – 90) during the always busy summer construction season. Usually they are on 1610 AM but I do remember one along I – 90 at 870 AM 2 years back. Yep, it is the basic loop of road construction updates you hear over & over again. I also have to check & see if this other low power AM station is still on the air. It was on from Erie’s Presque Isle State Park along lake Erie. Located at 1480 AM, It ran NOAA weather radio (now from Cleveland) and Updates on park activities. Though it was to only serve the park, I picked it up well south of I – 90 in Waterford, Pa. I will check & see if it is still on & receivable south of Erie. Tom L. (March 6, 2001)


WAMO and a large neon sign on the building at 105 E. 8th, too, before they moved to the Boulevard. The sign was easily visible from the High Level bridge, and within easy reach of a stone flung from the same vantage point. It was frequently vandalized, just like the one was on the Boulevard. Does anyone remember WAMO bumper stickers? They were very common on cars in the Pittsburgh area during the late 50’s and on through the 60’s, well before other stations in the area issued their own bumper or window stickers. Paul. (March 6, 2001)


The 1620 TIS originates from the Fort Pitt tunnels area. And yes, these do seam to interfere with stations in the area. (March 5, 2001)


This morning Rob Pratte starts reading school closings. Well, I didn’t think anything of this, when there’s a lot of them they usually have two people doing them. Guess what, Cigna didn’t do one closing! All he did was commercials and introductions. “Here’s Bob Kopler with the news.” “Here’s Lisa…..Here’s Trisha…….Here’s Elliot…….Here’s Goose”. And they should settle on one weather source. Elliot is saying 1-3 additional inches, then on the news, they’re saying a dusting to an inch additional snow. I heard he got best talk show host for his interviews? Interviews???? If he does a four minute interview, it’s a long one. I know he has the highest ratings for his time slot, but I think this is misleading. Allegheny County has the second highest senior citizen population in the U.S.. I think the majority of his listeners are these people, the ones who listened to Bob Logue all night long and are still in bed trying to sleep. Anyone with an interest, ie., politics, sports, etc., are listening to another show. Tom (March 5, 2001)


Eric, I remember the WAMO Boulevard of the Allies studios well. I used to drive past it every evening on my way to and from doing nights at WXKX (96-KX) in the Channel 4 building in Wilkinsburg. What I remember most is that WAMO couldn’t keep those neon letters lit. Depending on the day, it might say W-MO, -AMO, WAM-, and so on (for a while it was just “MO”). This became a running joke among some of the radio people I knew at the time. Regards, Clarke. (March 5, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Ah, the disappearing letter trick. Does one suppose that this is why many radio stations don’t have signs on their buildings anymore?


Eric, It appears your writer “stumbled” onto one of PennDOT’s Construction Advisory Channels. These are maintained on any number of low powered transmitters along major highways. Since he lives in Irwin, I imagine he is getting the channel along exit 7 of the turnpike, considering the construction going on between New Stanton (exit 8) and Donegal (Exit 9). PennDOT must have added the NOAA broadcasts just recently. Prior to this was just a loop of construction advisories. Regards, Greg McAtee (March 4, 2001)

Eric’s Response: It’s ironic that this all comes up now. On my way down I-279 (Parkway North) on 3/2, I saw the blinking lights to tune into 1620 AM for traffic information. A constant recording was playing alerting to the normal traffic tie-ups on I-279 (Parkway West). It was a woman’s voice Identifying the station as “WM-U, 382, 1620 AM. This message WILL repeat”. I left it on for a while just to see how far I could get it. I received it from the portion of I-279 in front of Allegheny Center, past the former Three Rivers’ Stadium, across the West End Bridge and just across the tracks on Steuben St. Anyone know where the signal comes from?


From the P-G reports, it sounds like the AIR Awards luncheon was quite the event! Congratulations to all the 2001 AIR award winners, especially Trisha Pitman. She does a great job on KDKA, from what I can hear evenings as I drive home in Central PA. 🙂 J (March 4, 2001)


I am from around the Baltimore/Washington DC area (Frederick County to be exact), and am disappointed in what has happened to WWCS AM 540. It put out a real low signal that covered, all the way to here! I had a AM Stereo capable receiver and listened to the world news programming. Then it turned the AM Stereo off and went to Radio Ditzey. I don’t have a local R.D. in the area, but I still get enough off it from other cities(ala Philly, NYC, Salisbury & Frostburg, MD). Also a minority is AM Stereo stations. In the whole central MD area there are a grand total of 3 stations in AM stereo. That is like out of 40+ stations! Radio just gets more and more disappointing as the it becomes more homogenous. What a shame. -Travers (March 4, 2001)


Regarding the Callsign Cavalcade, WHOD was the original call sign of 860 am. The station operated out of studios at 105 E. Eighth Avenue in Homestead until about 1963. They moved to 1811(?) Boulevard of the Allies, where they remained about 20 years, before moving downtown. WHOD was originally a 250 watt, nondirectional daytimer, licensed to Homestead. In 1960, the FCC granted an upgrade to WAMO to 1000 watts, daytime, with a two tower directional array protecting Canada. The 1000 watt station City of License became Pittsburgh, but the studios remained in Homestead for a few years, during which time the FCC granted a waiver to the rule requiring the studio to be in the COL. 105.9 fm came on the air in 1961 as I remember, possibly in 1960, as WAMO-FM, and running a 1000 watt ITA transmitter into an antenna on one of the am towers. The original ERP was about 4500 watts (4520 watts, as best I can recall). Shortly after completing the program test period, WAMO-FM became WAZZ, and all Jazz station, featuring the same Tony Mowod who can be heard today on WDUQ. The studio was located at the transmitter site on Troy Hill, above Millvale. Other on-air staff included Paul Blair, Glenn Tryon, Zane Knauss, John Eastman, and for a time, John Christian. The engineering staff during the period of 1960-1963 included the CE, Jim Herbert, J. Claude Calloway, and myself, Paul Carlson. Jim Herbert was one heck of a nice guy, by the way. (March 4, 2001)


I’ve also noticed NOAA weather on 1610, audible while driving in the downtown Pittsburgh area. They never seem to identify. I assume that it is a TIS station, and licensed to PennDOT. Another TIS station operates on 1560, and ID’s as a PennDOT operated station. I think it is odd that the FCC would grant a TIS license at 1560 when a nearby commercial station operates at 1550. Have the operators of 1550 complained to the FCC? Paul (March 4, 2001)


WXKX 99.1 in Parkersburg, WV is now Froggy 99 as WGGE. The WXKX call letters were parked on 1340 WHAR. WTUS 102.7 Mannington/Fairmont, WV is stunting to become Froggy on Monday morning. When will this madness stop? Jon (March 2, 2001)


On Monday March 2, Forever Broadcasting’s WODZ-AM in Johnstown ended “The Oldies Channel” from Westwood One and became known as Sports Radio 850 WSPO. (March 2, 2001)


Eric, R&R Online has the ratings for WBGG, but they still have it listed as WWSW. They got a 0.3. Just wanted to let you know because Allaccess still has WWSW-AM and WWSW-FM listed together. Regards, Steve (March 2, 2001)


Dear Eric: I happened to stumble on 1610 AM and heard a rebroadcast of the NOAA Weather Radio Station. It was complete with the KIH-35 162.55 MHz ID of that station. This unknown station has a good signal in the Forest Hills and North Versailles areas. It can also be heard in parts of North Huntingdon and Elizabeth Townships albeit with some co-channel interference from other Travelers Information Stations. Does anyone know anything about this station, especially where its transmitter is located, its power and antenna height, who is running the station, and why? From my location near Irwin, I can receive ten Low Power TV stations, channels 28, 29, 32, 35, 56, 59, 61, 63, 65, and 69. Channel 35 recently had some coverage at PBRTV and in the Trib and P-G regarding their nightly local auction and the shopping show that covers the rest of their broadcast day. As for the rest, Ch. 61 and 63 are also mainly shopping channels. Ch. 28, 32, and 69 formerly carried the Jukebox Network where viewers called a 900 number and requested music videos for $2.50 each but now these carry MTV 2. Ch. 56 and 59 are “WBGN,” the Bruno-Goodworth Network and have variety programming (there are others of these in other areas, such as Ch. 66 in the Beaver area); Ch. 65 is religion, and Ch. 29 used to be a Warner Bros. affiliate but now has only a color bar test pattern on the air (when it is on). Of all these, only Ch. 59 and 63 get any newspaper listings. Ch. 28 and 56 are in or near Greensburg; the others are in or near Pittsburgh. LPTV could be a good thing if used to cover local community events but most of what is on LPTV here is anything but local. I’m not being critical of the existence of these stations but I have to wonder who’s watching considering that most viewers have taken down their outdoor antennas and some 80% get their TV via cable. As with 1610 AM, any information that anyone can supply regarding the technical details of these stations, who runs them, and why they’re on the air would be appreciated. Also, how many viewers do they have, and are they making any money? I see that items being auctioned on Ch. 35 are getting bids so there must be a few people watching it, but what of the others? Do people even know they’re on the air? I had a look at the Ch. 35 studio recently through the window (it was daytime and no one was there). Behind their portion of the Eastland Mall building is a trailer to which is attached a 30-some foot tower with a vertically polarized paraflector antenna atop it. This would be for their STL which a Mailbag post said is on Ch. 62, so people who are in high enough locations within the narrow beam of this antenna and to the northwest of Eastland Mall should be able to tune in the STL directly. TV transmissions normally use horizontal polarization; the use of vertical for this STL will reduce interference to reception of Ch. 61 and 63 for viewers who are along the STL path and using standard horizontal outdoor antennas. While on the subject of stations you didn’t know were there, high-powered PBS station WNPB, Ch. 24, Morgantown, W. Va., puts quite a decent signal in this area. Before cable, it had a listing in the Pittsburgh edition of TV Guide but this has gone by the wayside years ago with all the cable listings now. Some months after reading about the installation of FM reception in the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, I had occasion to go through it, but alas, I couldn’t get anything. Did the system happen to be down? This was on January 10. (March 2, 2001)

Eric’s Response: Alas, it seems that there has been no FM reception in the tunnels anymore…at least for now. I had occasion to travel through the tunnels this past week and it was nil reception! I don’t know if there was a test period or whether a temporary mishap has occurred.


Thanks, Vic. Dave Shallenberger it was…how did my mind slip to think of nature writer Scott Shalloway? While we’re on Double Double, let’s remember the great hourly image/ID “Sounding better every day”… Larry and John were in great form today (March of Dimes A.I.R. Awards) and were introduced by Ted Atkins (Captain Showbiz). “Scout” and Neal Spence were there as well. OB & G received a standing ovation and were very entertaining as they gave out the awards in the categories remaining after theirs. Among the highlights…John referring to WKST as “Variable 96” and Larry and John handing Joe Destio an award for Best Sportscast (well deserved — Joe’s a class act) and saying “we worked together at TAE, EAE, or whatever it is this week.” — Larry (March 1, 2001)


I Don’t Understand how the Chairman of the Board on MT. Washington could not get WZUM at 8:30 am, When iI got WZUM at 5:45 am in Sheetz parking lot on Perry Hwy. at Highland road. in Mccandless Twp. A coworker from Plum also tuned in between 6:00a and 7:00a on his way into Pgh. and said the Signal was fine. I listened to the 1st ETA show on new years day, and in the Morning’s on the way to work. ETA became a Talk Show with out Callers, Don’t blame the power of the Radio Station, ETA could have Aired on KDKA and Lost Listeners. (March 1, 2001)


(Re: Earlier message seen here) Eric, Some help for Larry on the old “Double Double” lineup on WWSW. He’s correct about Ed Price and Charlie Warren. Scott Cassidy was in there somewhere, too, and Jay Mitchell did the overnight show. The other name Larry is trying to think of is Dave Shallenberger. It was a good-sounding adult contemporary station. I wish someone had airchecks. Amen to what he said about O’Brien and Garry. When they started at WTAE, they really built the mornings up from nothing and the station gave KDKA a good run in the important demos despite a vastly inferior signal. Vic (March 1, 2001)