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October 2002

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

I visited my old home town of Da Burg last month and I was really surprised to find that WJAS may be the most creative station in the area. I’d say the music has shifted from MOR to a genuine soft AC format and I think the Sunday night doo-wop show is a great idea. When I lived in PGH, the 1320 signal was really feeble after dark, but it seems much better now. I live in Tampa now and there is no doo-wop music here . Renda is doing a good job.———X-PGHER. (October 31, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I still consider ‘JAS to be pretty MOR in terms of music. There are still plenty of hits from as far back as the late 50’s, but yes, it’s hitting more of a Soft AC format. I’d still rather hear it on FM…alas, such is not meant to be I guess. The towers are due to move with a power increase sometime very soon.

Hi Eric, Just wanted to tell you that one of the former cast members of Chiller Theater has her own website. www.joycesterling.com There is a picture of her with Bill Cardille on the “Castle” set. Thought you might want to post it on your site. She has an email address and guestbook is there as well. Ed. (October 30, 2002)

Email to EMRTV: Dear Tom, We are trying to get Howard Stern on 93.9 and the Buffalo Bills on 93.9. Could you please post Erie, PA wants Howard Stern and the Bills on your website. Corry Thomas (October 30, 2002)

Eric: Just wanted to let you and your readers know about a new book called “Stu Who?” The “who” in question is Stu Phillips, one of the industry’s most prolific TV score composers and record producers. The book has a nice Pittsburgh connection and relates stories of two Pittsburgh groups. While music director at Colpix Records, Stu was responsible for recording the doo wop classic, “Blue Moon,” by my dear friend, Fred Johnson and The Marcels. The book also highlights Stu’s work with Pittsburgh’s Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners and their manager, the late Joe Rock. Want a fascinating read? Go to www.stuwho.com and check out this book! Stu tells me it won’t be in stores for quite some time. Ed Weigle (October 28, 2002)

Eric, I was disappointed when I saw the poor response to a Campbells soup give away where people can vote for their favority NFL team and for each vote Campbells will donate a can of soup to the area to feed the hungry. A few words of encouragement and the fine folks in PA can support both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the food banks. Can you help? http://chunky.nfl.com/click_for_cans.html Thanks in advance. A former Punxsutawney resident now living in Texas. Jim Wolfgang (October 24, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I would be happy to! Come on folks! Send some support this way!

Ed is right. I missed a stop. Double WAMO moved from 1811 Blvd. of the Allies to the 11th floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building before moving to its current location. Frank The Freak (October 23, 2002)

I read your column you posted today… I know where you are coming from. It took almost 7 years before QwestDex got the studio line for our country station (KZPK WILD 98-9) right. And, for some bizarre reason, they have our CHR (KCLD 104.7) listed TWICE! One as usual with the studio line, news line, and mobile dj service. The second listing is the business office is listed, and I quote, “KCLD ONE ZEROR FOUR.SEVEN FM” Huh? 🙂 Then they know that three stations were sold between local groups, but according to the ol phone book KLZZ, KXSS, and KKSR still exist with the old group as well as the new group! I frequently visit your site. I have many relatives out in Pittsburgh that I sometimes visit when I need to get out of Minnesota. Keep up the good work! Scott Bryant (October 23, 2002)

Eric, I passed the WAMO sign on the Boulevard of the Allies each night for five years while commuting from the South Hills to my airshift at 96KX. What I remember most is WAMO’s inability to keep all four letters lit up. I think every possible combination of lit and unlit call letters was achieved: WAM-, W-MO, -AMO, and so on, sort of like the ever-changing Westinghouse neon sign on the North Side. One night, it just said “MO.” Regards, Clarke Ingram. (October 23, 2002)

Very Good website in pbrtv.com. Keep up the good work Hate those geocities popups! (October 22, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Send us some money to help defray the costs and we can get rid of the popups!

The old WAMO sign is imbedded in my memory from when I worked there in the late 60s. It was verry visible from the South Side. The station was at 1811 Boulevard of the Allies before moving to the old Eiben & Err Building downtown. Prior to WAMO moving to 1811 from Homestead the building was the Pittsburgh office of MGM. There was a screening room on the first floor, along with a beautiful music service that used WAMO-FMs subcarrier. Just thought you’d like to know this mind blowing information. (October 22, 2002)

Eric: The address of WAMO (when it moved in ’64 from the drab yellow building at the end of the Homestead High Level Bridge to another drab yellow building downtown) was 1811 Boulevard of the Allies. This must be the sign the reader refers to. Of course, after that, I believe they moved to the Chamber of Commerce building..or was it the Fulton? How quickly I forget. (I’d better get back on the ginko biloba). Ed Weigle (October 22, 2002)

Hello, Eric … It was a good week for covering the radio beat in the Mon-Yough region. Bob Stevens called too late for insertion of some of his remarks in VW, but Jason may see the hard copy in Saturday’s paper. The Reader’s Digest version of the Saturday story: WKTW will remain at AM 1530 through the winter. Stevens said he needs to order necessary equipment for digital conversion, something that may take four months. He expects to do the work of moving AM 1530 to AM 770 and putting a digital signal in for both WKTW and WKHB AM 620 after the days get longer next spring. Stevens said WKHB is again airing news, now from Metro Networks. WKTW may follow in the next couple weeks. Stevens said there has been no decision yet about it, but he’s talking to NSN about adding its winter sports lineup. (WKHB is one of four stations airing NSN games. NSN also programs WJAS, WPTT and WZUM and has post-game shows on WEAE.) He fine-tuned the WANB lineup in Waynesburg, expanding its playlist from the last 5 years to the last 25 years. But he said that station is doing well. He apparently wants to attract listeners beyond Greene County, pointing out that FM 103.1 reaches Bethel Park. Have a good week … Pat Cloonan. (October 21, 2002)

i worked at the wamo building..not sure of the addresss it is now blue and white in color and down from the tamberitizan building.. it was a shame that the old wamo neon came down. i do remember seeing the neon gulf signs i think one might have been at the end of the bloomfield bridge…they were very big. we had a lot of fun working at the wamo building. vito capaccio (October 21, 2002)

I worked for Terry Lee (Trunzo) in the early 90s in Florida. I’m wondering if you know what ever happened to him. thanks jp (October 19, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I’m sure if we delved into the mailbag archive, we’d find the answer…but he could have moved since then! Right?

Dear Eric: Could your mailbag poster who is seeking neon sign info be looking for the large WAMO call letters in a large neon sign on the side of their former studio building on the Blvd. of the Allies? At least this is radio related. I have nothing else to offer on this topic. A trip to the library to look up WAMO in an old phone book could yield their old studio location where the sign was. (October 19, 2002)

Hi. I came across this sight when I typed in Pittsburghs history of neon signs. Can anyone refere me to what I’m looking for. I’m searching for historical information or photos of the neon Gulf signs formerly located on Bigelow BLVD. and BLVD.of the Allies. Thanks, David (October 18, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Well, we don’t typically study signs at PBRTV because we are about Pittsburgh Radio and TV, but I’ll see if anyone knows about the signs. Lots of nostalgia seekers drop by here.

I read on the site that someone is looking for the station that offers help to consumers with problems. That would be WTAE. We have Call 4 Action – a international non-profit organization that helps consumers tackle problems big and small. As the Call 4 Action reporter, I report on those problems and how they can be solved. Our hotline is (412) 333-4444. Yes, Call for Action used to be at KDKA radio for years, but in 2000 WTAE brought the organization here. Susan Koeppen, WTAE (October 18, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Thanks for the info Susan!

I remember watching on Saturday or Sunday mornings a show on TV where someone would put letters addressed to Santa Claus from children inside the base of a studio rocket ship and then show the rocket blasting off to the North Pole, delivering the children’s letters to Santa. They would show an actual rocket launch from NASA. It was truly believable at that young age. I cannot remember the show, or the host, but I think it was on channel 11? Any thoughts or insight would greatly be appreciated. My email is richard.p.black@wcom.com thanks. (October 18, 2002)

You are correct. Trisha Pittman has moved to WPXI and for the past week has been presenting the traffic breaks formerly handled by Katina Forte. I find Trisha Pittman to be quite attractive. Curious that the brass at KD chose to keep her off camera for all those years! (October 17, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Darn right she is attractive!

What ever happened to Trisha Pittman at KDKA? Did she leave? Vacation? On the air the show hosts seem to avoid why she is not on the air. (October 15, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Trisha is actually working for WPXI, well in theory anyway. She’s the WPXI reporter for Metro Traffic now. I think it officially begins next week.

Is Wisdom Radio aired by any Pittsburgh radio stations? (October 13, 2002)

Eric’s Response: Never heard of it. Anyone know?

Where is Scott Alexander of 3WS? (October 12, 2002)

Eric’s Response: There, but only on weekends last I heard. He’s also pitching ads on AT&T Broadband’s FYI.

wow…i have been listening to 680 WISR Butler and have to praise dave malarkey for his great job of anchoring the morning news and aftrnoon talk show.. every morning from 5:30 or 6am on dave gives you all you need to know about Butler County.the menus of the local schools and their cheese sandwiches are kind of fun. but dave interviews a local student every day. it’s more than just a shooting in homewood. he deals with hard news too! i don’t know how he can read so long. but it’s great hometown radio..something we need more of. vito (October 11, 2002)

For years KDKA radio had a feature called “Call For Action” where the Better Businees Bureau or someone worked with consumers. (October 5, 2002)

Methinks Fran is looking for an address for the “Post Your Problems” consumer affairs segment that Yvonne Zanos of KDKA-TV does in conjunction with Lawrence Walsh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. More information is at http://www.post-gazette.com/consumer/. WTAE-TV reporter Susan Koeppen does a similar segment named “Call 4 Action.” (http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/call4action/) At WPXI-TV, Becky Thompson handles the irregularrly scheduled “Consumer Alerts.” (http://www.pittsburgh.com/partners/wpxi/consumer/) If all else fails, contact “Signal-to-Noise,” and we’ll go over with a baseball bat, a propane torch and a pair of pliers. (No, not really.) Jason Togyer, PBRTV columnist (October 3, 2002)

I’m looking for the station that has a program and I think it is called Action whereby a consumer can get help on a defective product that the manufacturer will not acknowledge as such. I can’t remember if I heard about this on TV or radio or maybe even the newspaper. Could you help me? Thanks, Fran (October 2, 2002)

Eric’s Response: I don’t think there is anything like that here, we’ll put it on the mailbag and see what comes up. Channel 4 has “Action News” and has a consumer reporter. Could that be what you mean?

Hello, Do you know the whereabouts of Thor Tolo? Thanks, Bob (October 2, 2002)

Eric’s Response: We do not know for sure where Thor has gone or where he planned to go, we just know KDKA didn’t renew his contract.