May 2003

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

Any news as to why WAMO AM isn’t carrying the Tom Joyner Morning Show anymore? My wife and I tuned in every morning. Thanks, John Knapik (May 18, 2003)

What about this rumor that Guy Junker is fired? Is it really true? He’s a great sports guy. (May 17, 2003)

Andy Pearson (former WTAE anchor/reporter) Andy joined Today’s KTHV in 1998 and currently co-anchors the 5, 6, and 10 o’clock broadcasts. His career in broadcasting began in 1974 near Nashville, TN, and he has since worked at television stations in Mobile, Nashville, Pittsburgh, as well as previously in the Little Rock television market from 1987 to 1993. Andy is the Manager of an adult baseball team, The Little Rock Indians. He is an avid bike rider, certified private pilot, and a 1st Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol and a new Daddy. (May 14, 2003)

Eric’s Response: This appears in our “Where are they now column.”

Eric, it’s good to see someone mention WPPJ in your mailbag. The frequency was 670, although one of the dorm transmitters was actually at 650 to avoid interference. As far as I know, WPPJ is still on the air, although I’m sure it’s much different from the days when AM was king and it was a Top 40 station. I was the PD of WPPJ in 1978, during my last semester at Point Park College before leaving to take a job at 96KX. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (May 11, 2003)

Eric: Indeed, there was a WPPJ 670 at my alma mater, Point Park College. You were lucky if you could pick it up directly upstairs in the dorms! It could not be compared in any way to WDUQ or any audible college radio station, as it was run much more informally. I enjoyed messing around (or was it terrorizing?) there, since it was much more fun than the “real” stations I’d worked for through high school. While I was production director in the mid-late ’80s, we turned out a few folks who are–as far as I know– still in the broadcasting racket, like Bruce Sakalik (a sports commentator), Dave Leonard (last I saw him, he was OM at WDSY) and Ellen Gamble, who I then knew by her real last name. These guys and I were frat brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma; Ellen was in our “Little Sisters” organization. Now, do I ever hear from even ONE of these folks? Noooooooooo! The building where WPPJ may still be, houses the dorms of PPC and some Art Institute students. Once upon a time, it was The Sherwin Hotel. I was told that WEEP used to be in the basement, where WPPJ is now, and WWSW used to be on the 21st floor of the building. When I lived there as a freshmen, I tried to walk up to the 21st floor to look around, but it was an off-limits storage area. Apparently, as Joe Rock (who knew the place well as a record promoter, before managing The Skyliners) once suggested, some of the lingering creativity from long ago must have been soaked up by quite a few PPC alumni, like Ellen, Bob Pompeani, Dennis Miller and others. At WPPJ, we used to get a lot of old equipment donated to us from KDKA (KD’s old TV news set is probably still in the PPC TV studio). I even found some station IDs, cut for us by George Eisenhauer, who, for many years, was THE VOICE of KDKA-TV. I used to love to play pranks on some of the kids who did the news at WPPJ: Instead of my voice giving their their standard news intro, they’d punch up the cart and out would come something like, “Now here’s Jane Doe with step-by-step instructions on how to give a wolverine an enema!” Usually, the poor kid would get so flustered, or start laughing like hell, they couldn’t even finish. Damn, I was mean! But, you know..Not ONCE was I EVER able to put one over on Ellen! Another friend, who was WPPJ’s GM at one time, is Laurence Gaines. He told me in an e-mail a couple months ago that he’s producing The Bev Smith Show. Take care! Ed Weigle (May 11, 2003)

Did you ever hear of WPPJ? This callsign was used by the station at Point Park College. The “PPJ”, I imagine stood for Point Park Junior College, as it was originally called when founded in the 1960’s. I graduated from Point Park and worked at the station for a few semesters. I forget the freq. I think it was 570 on the AM band. I’m not even sure if it is still on the air. Additionally, let me tell you that I really enjoy your website. I am a total “radio junkie”. Thanks for all of your great work in maintaining your site! Jim (May 10, 2003)

To Jeff in New England – I’ve heard the CCRadios aren’t good for AM DXing. Everyone raves about the GE Superradio expecially for AM distant listening. I just ordered my GE Superradio III at last Friday. It should be delivered today. Check for reviews on both the CCRadio and the GE Superradio. Good luck. Tom (May 5, 2003)

Eric, your mailbag writer Jeff asked who preceded Mike Levine, John Cigna and Perry Marshall in their timeslots. Levine did the evening talk show in the ’60s, then went away to New York. Until he came back, Bill Steinbach did the talk show. KDKA played music from 6 to 9 until about 1968 or so and Jim Horne did that show. Cigna’s 9-midnight was the old “Party Line” slot. Following Ed King’s death in 1971, Jim Jeffrey did a talk show in that period for about a year before Cigna came over from WJAS in early ’73. Before Perry Marshall, Jack Wheeler did the all-night show. He started in the summer of 1969. Before that, KDKA played music overnights and Big Jim Williams was the last full-time DJ in that slot. Vic (May 5, 2003)

BROADCAST GROUND-TO-AIR 2-way radio system and FCC license. Two Broadcast Auxiliary channels (expires 8-1-06), all radio equipment needed including rooftop antenna. BEST OFFER received by 5-30-03 gets it! E-mail responses to:

NON-UNION Voice talent needed, Pittsburgh area. Easy, regular work. We’ll work around your schedule. E-mail responses to:

Thanks for your help! Sincerely, Paul Beran (May 5, 2003)

Well what can I say…it is 8:35pm and I am outside of Boston, at work, employed by a telecom company and surfing the WEB for faded memories of Pgh radio — and I found my share. My two older brothers and I were avid radio talk show junkies primarily honing in on KDKA beginning in the early 70s. I have distant memories of the Party Line and Jack Wheeler. My better memories are of 6-9pm (Mike Levine), 9-12 (J. Cigna) and 12-6 (Perry Marshall)…I can still hear the voices as I faded off into the sunset. Who preceded these guys in their respective time slots? Although I live in CT, I work in Boston and occasionally stay in the area. So, WBZ in Boston offers excellent late night talk in Steve Lavalle and Paul Sullivan… In any event, they bring back many great memories and I’m sure would be liked by most Pgh listeneers. Nothing can beat the local flavor! I am thinking of buying one of these CCRadios. How good are they? Will I be able to get KDKA in CT – I occasionally do now with my smaller radio but with much interference. Best of Luck to all! In New England and always Etna, PA. Jeff (May 1, 2003)

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