↑ Return to 2004-2006

April 2005

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

Eric, I was wondering about the same thing but, with WTAE TV’s Wendy Bell? I was really surprised to see Andrew Stockey doing news!!! I know it’s almost May sweeps… Just was wondering if you had heard anything? Sincerely, Ryan, Kennedy Township (April 27, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Chill out! Her picture is still on the website…she couldn’t have gone far!

I have noticed that for the past week or two that Gina Marinelli has been missing from the news on WKBN-TV. I went to Google and found nothing about her leaving the channel. Would you happen to have any news on her disappearance or is she just simply on an extended vacation? Curiously yours, Juli (April 25, 2005)

Eric, What’s up with KDKA TV? I saw a commercial briefly yesterday saying… In May something is going to be new… They said you’ll never believe it! Or something…. What’s up with that? Ryan, Kennedy Township (April 24, 2005)

Eric’s Response: I am sure that it’s a promo for something coming soon. Remember May is another Sweeps Month. I wouldn’t get too excited.

Ryan, it’s “Keep Hope Alive”, by The Crystal Method. RJ Kanary Bandi Bros. Inc.(April 24, 2005)

Eric, This might have been already mentioned on other posts but, I was wondering if you happened to know what the name of the theme song of the Third Watch? It’s like an upbeat underground dance song… I’ve heard it before on the late B94 with Adam Bomb. Thanks, Ryan (April 23, 2005)

Hello, Awesome music choices. Please play from the album “Faithful”, “Stray” by Rebecca Eaglin and “Dancin’ Shouting, I love her messages of the repentant heart and the joy of God’s restoration and “No Way” by Tye Tribbett. These songs bless me and I believe they bless your listening audience too. Thanks. bless you Harrison (April 23, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Um…ok

Do you have public service announcements on your station? Also, is this the Channel 51 that broadcasts to the Chambersburg, PA area? Thank you for your help. Marilyn (March 23, 2005)p> Eric’s ResponseAll stations are required to air…in some manner…PSAs. Chambersburg’s Channel 51 is a Low Power outlet that is not available in the area PBRTV.com serves. Our Channel 51 is the high-definition feed of WTAE-TV Channel 4.

The earlier e-mail about WKEG was correct, but it didn’t go all the way back to the very beginning of the station. When it signed on around October 1970, it was owned by Dilelo Broadcasting, which stood for the first two letters of the three guys who started it, Dick, Leo, and Lou. I can’t remember their last names, but Dick was an engineer at KDKA at the time, and Lou was a silent partner who owned a station in Maryland. I joined their staff in November, after it had been on the air for a month. On air personalities included Don Rogers, Sharon Snyder, and yours truly, using the air name “Jerry Webster”. There was one other jock, whose name escapes me, who was fired after I was there a few days. The General Manager was Pete Stanton, formerly of both WWSW and WJPA. The Monday through Saturday schedule was Don Rogers from sign-on to 11:00 AM, me from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Sharon Snyder from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, and then me from 3:00 PM to sign-off. On Sundays, I had sign-on to 1:00 PM, George Mlay’s brokered polka show, which was probably the station’s highest rated program, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, and then Don Rogers from 3:00 PM to sign-off. Pete Stanton did a sort of folksy news report in the morning, which he’d rewrite from the Washington Observer-Reporter. It was big on asides and comments, which he’d type into his script. The guy that got fired was fired for breaking up on the air when trying to extract just the actual news from Stanton’s script for the 11:00 AM newscast. The rest of the day, we DJ’s also did a five minute rip&read every hour & half hour. The music format was a half-baked kludge of both easy listening and country. We’d play two easy listening songs, then one country song, with two polkas thrown in every hour at random. In other words, the station tried to be all things to all listeners. The music library was a joke. We played records that no one ever heard of because that was all that we had available to play. Don and I used to joke between ourselves that the polkas were there to make sure that any listener who hadn’t been chased away by our country songs would be chased away. We did do one extraordinarily great bit of programming for Christmas. Don and I traveled to all the area high schools for their Christmas band and chorus concerts and taped them, then played them all Christmas day. It was a major piece of retro-radio programming more typical of the 1930’s than the 1970’s, but it worked. We never gave out the station’s phone number on the air, but the phone rang all day long with people asking when their kid’s high school would be on the air. We wouldn’t give out the schedule, so everyone had to listen all day long so as not to miss their kid’s band or chorus. The thing was, we were playing some really good Christmas music all day long. I can’t imagine any station attempting to do anything like that today. We DJ’s were also the sales staff. I learned how to take rejection trying to convince area businesses to advertise on WKEG. We’d try to talk a local business owner into listening to the station, which was a big mistake. Once they heard that hodge-podge of music formats, and all of songs they had never heard of before, they didn’t want to waste a dime reaching both of the station’s listeners. It’s no wonder that Janus bought them out after the station was only on the air for a few months. George Erdner (April 12, 2005)

Here’s one for the “Where Are They Now?” category: I recently visited Washington DC and was surprised to see Shawn Yancy anchoring the evening news on Fox Channel 5. You may remember her from WTAE-4.http://www.fox5dc.com/inside/shawn_yancy.shtml. Great website – Keep up the good work! Jim Monroeville (April 12, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Actually I remember having reported that back when it happened. It’s hard to believe that she left the area nearly 4 years ago already!

Eric – Where are KDKA Radio’s studios these days? I was listening to Fred Honsberger online the other day and I heard him comment that he could hear the lawn mower through the walls and it was distracting him. When I used to work there back in ’79 they were on the 2nd floor of 1 Gateway Center. Also, I found a “bonus” to listening online: If someone cusses, you get to hear it. Obviously they’re sending the studio feed down the line instead of the post-delay feed. Hons-man pushed the dump button the other day and commented, “That didn’t make it on the air” but I heard it loud and clear listening online. Tom Lacko, Frederick, MD. (April 11, 2005)

Eric’s Response: So far as I know, it hasn’t moved an inch. I do recall hearing somebody saying that they could open the window.

Eric, Just a little bit of news from the Mahoning Valley; WANR 1570 AM, Warren, Ohio (Youngstown area) on Monday, April 4, 2005; has started carrying the Air America radio network less Al Franken. In that spot WANR, will air the Don Hanni show, a local radio talk show. The leading talk radio station in the valley, is WKBN, owned by Clear Channel. WKBN was number one in the market in the winter book with 12.8, while WANR didn’t even show. Just to show how small WANR is, both WAMO from Pittsburgh and WMMS from Cleveland both show in the book. So I doubt this will have major impact, but I know that I will at least check it out, although doubt that I will remain a regular listener. (April 9, 2005)

Dear Eric, I am originally from East Millsboro, Pennsylvania, which is in Fayette County. I now live in Georgia. When I visit western Pennsylvania, I am surprised that the only talk radio that seems to exist is right-wing oriented. This seems quite odd, since western Pennsylvania is not a conservative stronghold. Do you know of any radio station in the Pittsburgh area that has plans on airing programing from the liberal Air America Radio Network? Incidentally, I met Wes Sarginson a few months ago. He worked in the Pittsburgh market many years ago. Wes still has many fond memories of his days in Pittsburgh. He is now with WXIA (11 Alive) in Atlanta.http://www.11alive.com/whatson/whatson_article.asp?storyid=13452. Joe Whiteko (April 8, 2005)

Eric’s Response: You’re not listening to everything you can possibly listen to. There are some left/moderate hosts on KDKA and WPTT. I am doubtful that Air America will be in the area anytime soon.

I know that Bevery Byer moved to KION-TV in Salinas, CA. That station is operated by Clear Channel, which also runs KCBA (FOX) and uses one news team. In 2003, Ms. Byer (I’ve never met her, so won’t be familiar) left to battle breast cancer and kept a log on the web site. After a while, there were no more entries. Like many stations, once an anchor is no longer affiliated, everything–Bio, stories they’ve done, etc–is pulled from the site. So, it was only by way of a web search that I found an April 2004 Clear Channel PR release announcing that Ms. Byer was coming back to the 5:00 p.m. news. Well, I’m not home at 5:00, so I never saw if that happened, or if it did, why she left. (But the “two” stations have regular turn-over of personnel, and her co-anchor had already left, so that isn’t really surprising.) The web search also showed that Ms. Byer participated in a few local functions last year, so hopefully is ok, but I was wondering if you had any contacts who know for sure. Thanks, Anemone P.S. Read your description of “infamous” and have to say that if folks in your area think Ms. Byers bloopers rated that distinction, they just haven’t seen news! The KION/KCBA news team is our quality coverage! (I should note that KSBW, the local NBC affiliate, has improved mightily in the last few years, but I don’t dare say why. If you want to see bloopers, see if you can view tapes of KSBW 6:00 p.m. news broadcasts from the early 1990s. Around here, you had to know the news before watching the news… Actually, it still helps.) (April 4, 2005)

Eric’s Response: We don’t have any current info or contacts for Beverly at this time. It’s funny that someone will often bring this situation up to me. I’m sure there have been many a moment since in Pittsburgh TV history, but I guess that’s one of the memorable ones.