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August 2004

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

I managed to dig up a few more places than had been mentioned where the old Group W style logos are still alive and kicking: WINS-AM/New York, KYW-AM/Philadelphia, WJZ-TV/Baltimore, KDKA-AM/Pittsburgh, WOWO-AM/Fort Wayne (which Group W sold in 1982!), KPIX-TV/San Francisco, KMIH-FM/Mercer Island (which Group W never owned!) (August 31, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I should mention that the font is called “Anklepants” and you can download it from one of the websites where you can get different fonts for your computer.

A friend of mine told me that KDKA MIGHT be doing this NEW CBS 2 Pittsburgh “The Hometown Advantage.” For now for us the people to get use to the new switchover. Everywhere you go now is known as CBS 2. Ryan Kennedy Township, PA (August 30, 2004)

Eric’s Response: That could be, but if it does happen, how will the public react? Everyone knows Channel 2 as “KDKA.” There could very well be some resistance to that change.

Eric, close but no cigar: The first song played on B-94 at Midnight on April 2, 1981 was “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” by Billy Joel. The original B-94 carts were all recorded at sister station B-97 in New Orleans, and had a red magic-marker stripe on the left side, I guess to indicate that they had been dubbed out of town. Some years later, I bought some old carts from B-94, and found among them the previously mentioned Billy Joel song with a red stripe down the side. This WAS the cart played at B-94’s sign-on! I gave it to B-94’s first PD, Dan Vallie, as a memento, and it is in his office to this day. Re: WAAM in Baltimore becoming WJZ-TV, I believe Westinghouse had to make a special request of the FCC to acquire those historic WJZ calls, since three-letter call signs were no longer being assigned by that time. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (August 29, 2004)

I’m interested in finding out the name of the microphone on the old “Ricky and Copper” show which aired in the 60s. Does anyone remember? Suzy Clevenger (August 29, 2004)

Eric’s Response: “Mr. Boom Man” It was a boom microphone that the tech swung around to keep the children smiling while on camera.

Hi Eric, I wanted to chime in on the WJZ item. Being from Baltimore and living here I’m really into the history of TV and Radio in the region. Baltimore’s channel 13 was originally WAAM and was locally owned.The station was affiliated with 2 networks ABC and DuMont.In 1957 WAAM TV was sold to Westinghouse and they changed the call letters to WJZ. It is interesting to note that the WJZ calls were historic. Those call letters originally had roots with NBC on radio in New York City.What is now 770 WABC was originally WJZ as part of NBC Blue. After the break up of the Red and Blue networks ABC was born out of the split.WJZ radio became WABC. Now back to WJZ TV,someone with a sense of history at Westinghouse saw that the calls were historic and available and the station applied for and got them. I too was wondering about the logo as the lettering is still that jagged Group W type you guys know what I mean. The reason they don’t change to CBS 13 is that the station has such a high recognition factor with the WJZ calls that they don’t want to change their marketing image that much. Some other interesting facts about WJZ.Some anchors from 13 have have gone on to national success,Steve Frasier CNN or MSNBC and ofcourse Oprah Winfrey.Oprah anchored Eyewitness News at noon and was host of “People Are Talking”. Steve Frasier was a reporter/announcer. (August 29, 2004)

Hi Eric, Quick question for you. What was the very first song that B 94 played when they signed on the air? Thanks, Todd (August 28, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I believe someone reported at one point that it was Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.” Significant because it starts with glass breaking.

When I lived in PA, I lived in northern Allegheny county (Richland Twp). My father still does and to this day its still Armstrong cable. Armstrong is in parts of Lawrence, Butler and Allegheny counties. Surprising it hasn’t been bought out yet by one of the big guys. As Eric said, Comcast is the new kid on the block for most of the area. Before that it was AT&T, TCI, Waner, Centre Video and may even go back further than that! As for the old Westinghouse stations – as time goes on, pretty much those old logos have gone away. What a shame, all that history disapearing. The KDKA radio website has a logo that’s close to the old Westinghouse one, but KDKA TV’s website logo is the generic one that “CBS” O&O stations are using around the country. (August 28, 2004)

Eric, I enjoy your website and I am a first time e-mailer to it. Can you or anybody tell me if there is a website dedicated to Channel 11 when the station’s call letters were WIIC from 1957 to 1981 before taking the WPXI call sign that has been in use from 1981 to the present? Sincerely, Chuck Yablonski formerly of Morningside. (August 27, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Upon doing a quick search, there is no site dedicated to the WIIC Channel 11 years. As a really quirky side note, WPXI stands for “Pittsburgh 11” P= Pittsburgh and the XI is the roman numeral for 11.

In response to who gave more info about KBL: Armstrong Cable, eh? You must live in Ellwood City or somewhere near there. That’s pretty much where Armstrong Cable is. Unless you have satellite, the two biggest cable companies in western PA is Comcast & Adelphia. I know that the old Prime Sports store is still open under the same name. I don’t know why they didn’t change it after the channel became Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh. (I’m not including when the station was briefly Fox Sports Pittsburgh without “Net.”) I know that at least one FSN network has a different name. One of the FSN stations in Florida is called the Sunshine Network. In response to WJZ: I have family members who live in Gettysburg and near D.C., so I’ve seen WJZ before. Like KDKA, they were once owned by Westinghouse. (I wonder if there’s any part of Westinghouse besides CBS still in existence after their nasty breakup.) I know that before Westinghouse bought CBS, WJZ was actually an ABC affiliate, so it has only been a CBS affiliate for maybe ten years. That’s probably why both are the only CBS-owned stations that use their call letters in their logo & name. It’s because of their Westinghouse roots. Oh, and BTW, I noticed the discussions in some of the archives about the “Froggy” stations. I hate country music, but I do know that country station “95.1 the Cat” up in New Castle & Grove City became “Froggy 95” a couple of weeks ago. It was already a country station, so just the name changed. (August 26, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Armstrong Cable is in Butler County as well. But Comcast wasn’t around when KBL was the name of the channel. It was TCI at that point in time. I wouldn’t say it’s because of the Westinghouse roots that KDKA and WJZ keep the callsigns in the graphic. If that was the case, I would suspect that WBZ in Boston and KYW in Philly would also follow suit.

What is now Fox Sports Pittsburgh did start out as KBL back in the mid-80s. KBL started out as a part-time channel for Pittsburgh regional cable systems, showing the occasional Pirates game (and I think also Penguins games). I have no idea who owned KBL. They seemed to have regional sports announcers, so I figured it MIGHT have been owned by one of the area TV stations. Armstrong Cable dedicated a whole channel to KBL and often times the channel was not in use. Eventually KBL became a 24/7 operation, sometimes showing non-sports shows. Prime Sports then bought out KBL, which also had both sports and non-sports shows. Prime was eventually merged into the Fox Sports system as “Fox Sports Pittsburgh”. As to what KBL stood for, to this day I wish I knew! (August 26, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I always thought maybe it was a fancy way to spell “CABLE.”

Re: Prior Message below – Thanks. It’s been well over a year since KDKA changed its logo, but some more recent commercials for the 5PM & 6PM news have “CBS 2 Hometown Advantage” written for a brief second, without KDKA on there. Including KDKA, four of the 22 CBS-owned stations are on channel 2, and KCBS’s logo in LA is exactly the same as KDKA’s, but it’s simply “CBS 2”. WBBM in Chicago is similar, but the colors are different, more resembling WCBS’s logo in terms of color’s. WCBS in New York is the only “CBS 2” logo that is truly different. I was born in 1985, so I first heard of WPXI once being WIIC from my parents. But I do remember KBL (now Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh). The channel has always played sports, but I remember it playing a bunch of cartoons as well until about 1994, when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought it and changed its name to Prime Sports, and, eventually, FSN Pittsburgh. That reminds me, did “KBL” stand for anything? (August 25, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Seems to me that “KBL” stood for something…but what?!

WJZ Baltimore uses the call letters in their logo and is NOT called CBS 13. (http://www.wjz.com) DLW (August 25, 2004)

Eric, according to the FCC’s web site, WIIC-TV became WPXI on April 20, 1981. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (August 25, 2004)

I had heard at one time that WPXI was once WIIC. When exactly did it change it’s call letters? Also, in May 2003, KDKA adopted a “CBS 2” logo that if you remove the KDKA name, is exactly the same as the KCBS logo in LA. Of the 22 CBS-owned stations, KDKA is one of the only ones that still uses the call letters in the name instead of CBS 2. But is KDKA heading in that direction? Thank you for your time. (August 24, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I believe the channel 11 callsign change was around 1980 or 81. For channel 2, I would imagine that it was to give a “uniform” look to all the CBS O&O stations. However, I think if they were going to go with “CBS 2” they would have done it by now.

I always wondered why KQV continued to use that news ticker while I was working there (1989-2000). But, Eric, I think your reference to nostalgia is correct. I was reminded of that news ticker in an odd way this past weekend, when I was showing a 90-year-old historian and relative a city where he once lived and worked, McKeesport. He wanted to see how The Daily News (and anyone else, for that matter) gets AP service these days. (It’s all computerized, natch.) Incidentally, Fybush is reporting, and we’ve confirmed it, that M&M Community Development is 30 days (actually, 23) from getting its CP for 103.9 in Springdale. WLSW’s L. Stanley Wall told The Daily News he is planning to file an objection. Pat Cloonan. (August 24, 2004)

Eric, Why does KQV continue to play that annoying “news ticker” in the backround of their newscasts? They surely can’t think were dumb enough to think they still use a teletype to keep up to the minute. Rick (August 22, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Who knows why they keep that thing going. I found that when I listen to a KQV newscast I focus more on the ticker than I do on the person speaking. You have to admit though, it makes things a little nostalgic!

Eric, I was wondering how many years does News Sets change? Also, don’t they all change sets and music around the same times? Thanks, Ryan, Kennedy Township, PA (August 22, 2004)

Eric’s Response: It all depends. The stations usually do NOT change around the same time…at least if you’re talking locally. Channel 4, for instance, is owned by Hearst-Argyle. Most, if not all, of the Hearst stations undergo music/graphic changes around the same time. Usually that’s every several years. Although it seems to me that in the 80’s WTAE changed music and sets every couple of years. That said, just because the music and graphics change does not necessarily mean the set will change as well. Channel 11 changed their music around this time in 1997. We said goodbye to Al Ham’s “Move Closer to Your World” Theme in exchange for 615 Music Productions’ theme. However, the set didn’t change (well, underwent a make-over) until 2002 I believe. So through this garbledeegook, I hope that you understand that set changes don’t happen as often anymore…and if so they are minor cosmetic tweaks nowadays. The music doesn’t seem to change as often anymore either.

Hi Eric, I found this the other day about the new Survivor and a local participant, and below it talks about Shannon Perrine taking over for Susan Koeppen on weekends. Take care, Scott http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04231/363217.stm.

Eric’s Response: I’ll be perfectly honest. I read over the Shannon Perrine story in the actual paper and by the time I got home, I had forgotten about it! Thanks! As for reality TV…I like to cover the reality of local TV and radio…but not the unreal “reality” TV shows. I believe Amber was the first local on Survivor and I reported that…and then we had another…and then another was on another show…etc. I failed to see how this affected the local radio and TV market…other than the on-air interviews and perhaps a few more locals boosting the ratings watching their friend/relative on the program. Then again, maybe I’m just and old coot who is unenthused by the reality TV.

Eric, for your reader who asked, there are some recollections of WENS-TV 16 and WKJF-TV 53 at my DuMont Web site, http://members.aol.com/cingram/television/dumont.htm. I have other remembrances saved via E-mail, and hope to spin off an “early UHF” Web site from the DuMont site at some point in the future. Also, I have a number of Pittsburgh TV Guides from the 1950’s that chronicle some of the history of those two stations. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (August 21, 2004)

Does anyone remember ever watching the original Channel 53 WKJF or the original Channel 16 WENS in the early 1950’s? — Paul Martin (August 20, 2004)

Hey, Eric! Just wandering around your excellent website and noticed our station address was not listed. So, here it is: WILKINS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK; WWNL 1080-AM; 5316 Wm. Flynn Hwy, Gibsonia, PA 15044 (724) 443-4844 Have a great day! Bumper Morgan (August 19, 2004)

Limbaugh is moving to 104.7 WPGB. KDKA will fill 2-3 PM with an additional hour of Fred Honsberger. Now…what will WPTT fill O’Reilly’s time slot with? (August 14, 2004)

Eric’s Response: There’s the kicker question!

Eric, I found an update on the Rush Limbaugh show. Rush will move to WPBG (I guess we lose Neal Boortz), Bill O’Reilly moves to KDKA at noon to 2, and Fred Honsburger moves to 2:00 pm. Scott (August 14, 2004)

Eric, I read on FMQB that Rush will be dropped in favor of O’Riley starting November 15th on KDKA. (August 13, 2004)

Hello to all, I’ve been away for almost two weeks now and, was wondering if any new changes to KROCK is happening such as: When will the new website come into effect? Also, what DJ’s will be on? I’ve also heard that KDKA Radio made an announcement that former WBZZ News Anchor Shelly Duffy is part of the KDKA Morning News. What all will she be doing? I was REALLY surprized it wasn’t on your website as I am a frequent viewer of your site. It was also a shocker it wasn’t on KDKA Radio’s site or the PG. Sincerely, Ryan (August 9, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I haven’t heard anything on the K-Rock website, but I am fully aware that Dave Cook has been doing afternoons on the station. I am very careful what I publish, but was told by a reader (further down the mailbag) that Shelley would probably join KDKA and that Bubba would go to WZPT in the morning. It, of course, has been confirmed that Shelley has joined Larry and John as she was there this morning! From what it sounds like, she’s the third host.

I happened to find your page while looking for O’Brien and Garry’s whereabouts. Sure, I’ll offer my edited resume. I was morning man and APD at 96KX (WXKX) in 1977-78 before following PD Bobby Christian to Chicago and WMET. Since then – Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC (XM Satellite Radio) and beginning on August 23, 2004, PD of WQCD/New York. If you decide to list me, please email me a reminder to look! Thanks. Blake Lawrence (August 9, 2004)

Hello PBRTV, Just Wanted let you know that a new station has went on the air here in the Ohio Valley. WXCR 92.3FM Classic Rock located in New Martinsville WV, went on the air in In early July. Also WETZ 103.9FM Power Country and WYMJ 99.5FM Oldies, have finally put up websites. It appears all 3 stations are owned by First Media Works inc. I enjoy your website allot and helps in following ever changing landscape of radio here in the Valley and Pittsburgh. Regards, Will Nelson Moundsville WV (August 8, 2004)

As a frequent visitor of your site, I’m suprised that you haven’t posted about the news of Opie & Anthony joining XM in October. They will air weekdays on XM’s newest premium channel “High Voltage.” It’s not local FM news, but news for all that used to listen to O & A! http://www.xmradio.com/programming/channel_page.jsp?ch=202 Thanks (August 7, 2004)

Eric’s Response: The reason I didn’t has more to do with the fact that O&A never aired (to my knowledge) in the Pittsburgh region before. I guess they will be now! On the flip side, we DID have Bob Edwards on in this market on WDUQ, therefore his move to XM was very newsworthy to PBRTV.

Hello, My name is Chris and I am writing to you because of an update in the Youngstown/Mercer Radio Market. Formely, WZKL of ALLIANCE, OH was known as “Z 92.5.” Personally, the music they played was good.(A lot like the format of former WDRV (96.1 The River) in Pittsburgh. The played music that was popular, but mostly popular rock and alternative (Not the HIP HOP KissFM Stuff.) In March of 2002 I believe, they reformatted the station and went under the name (Q92) and switched to more of a (Top 40) format playing a lot of the Hip Hop and Rap in which they didn’t play under The (Z 92.5) name. I never read why they did this but I have no doubt it was because of the fierce competition from WHOT (Hot 101) which is in the same market. The have the same call letters. ( I believe they kept a lot of the same DJ’s also.) Also, I am not to sure, but I could of sworn I heard Dave Cook from the Former WBZZ morning show on the afternoon drive on what is now known as 93.7 KRock. (Pittsburgh Market of Course.) I have not listened to K Rock enough to hear if any other WBZZ people are now on K Rock but I am pretty sure Dave Cook was on the Afternoon Shift (At least I heard him Yesterday, Aug 03, 2004) I and a lot of other people are curious to know what happens to the WBZZ crew, just because the were so well known. I am lucky, I can reach the Pittsburgh, Ohio Valley, and Youngstown Markets good from my home. Personally, I think the Pittsburgh Market is a lot more competitive than the other two markets which are more laid back (in regarding to rado shows and Dj’s. The sound quality is not always the sharpest as compared to the Pittsburgh Radio Markets, but they are pretty good. Thanks, Chris (August 4, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Thanks for the update! Yes, you did hear Dave Cook on KRock!

Eric, If you haven’t heard yet, Adam Bomb has found a job in Miami. Tim (August 4, 2004)

Eric, They announced on KDKA news at 6:00 P.M. tonight that Shelly Duffy will join the KDKA radio morning show. Also it was announced that Bubba will join John, JR and Kate on 100.7 and Dave would be doing afternoons on K-ROCK. This now appears that all the rumors were true! Phil P. Penn Hills (August 3, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I’ve noticed that Dave has been doing afternoons at K-Rock. It’s nice to hear most of the rest of the crew are staying on board too!