February 2005

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

Dear Eric There is a photo of Johnstown in todays Post Gazette. I shows the mayor in front of a building called the Swank building that they are going to tear down. When WCRO was the major rock station the the area weren’t they located in the Swank Building on the second floor? I always remembered the name because on the tv show WKRP that studio was located in the Brill Building. Swank was a really cool name. I wonder what it was about? Vito (February 28, 2005)

Eric: The contributor to your Mailbag refers to Marcy McFerrin, perhaps one of the most distinctive female voices ever on Pittsburgh radio. She was a great air personality. For a while, in the ’80s, many girls in Pittsburgh area radio were trying to emulate–if not imitate–her sound and style. Not sure where she is now, but North Carolina sticks in my mind, for some reason. Ed Weigle (February 23, 2005)

Eric, I was wondering if you or anyone out there would be able to know where I could obtain some recordings of Terry Lee.A friend of mine recently put part of one of his shows on cassette from reel to reel,and it sounded pretty good.Just wondered if anyone had anymore recordings of his show on anything that I would be able to get copies of.My e-mail address is Nitetrain104@aol.com Thanks!!! Jared Panek (February 23, 2005)

Speaking of “Where are they now?”, what ever happened to “Herschel”, the afternoon driver on DVE in the 80s? He always started his show with the odd song “Happy Boy” by the Beat Farmers. Dave in Fredericksburg, VA. (February 23, 2005)

Eric’s Response: The last I heard Herschel was on Smooth Jazz WJJJ. In fact, I worked there with him for about three weeks. He was a very quiet and private guy, but very nice nonetheless. When the station went Jammin Oldies, Hersch disappeared…

I remember hearing Marcy on DVE back in the 80’s. She was there for many years. She went to 96.9 in the late 80’s early 90’s. I remember seeing her on a TV commercial for 96.6 urging listeners to make the switch to 96.9 for classic rock cause she did. This was all in the days before the 97 Rock era. She never did use a last name on air. I know people who worked with her and I did hear her last name but I can’t remember. I do remember hearing that after she was out at 96.9 she left radio to have a baby and be a mother. I did not know her personally and I’m not 100% sure on this info but hopefully it will help others with their memory. (February 22, 2005)

Whatever happened to…Jim Quinn? He was on KQV in the late 60’s, then went onto several different radio stations in Pgh., I believe. …and Jimmy Roach? He was on WDVE for many years – had a very distinct, low and mellow voice. …Marcy? I don’t think she ever said her last name. She was on WDVE in the early morning slot for awhile. Thanks, Katie Andrasko (February 21, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Quinn has been on WPGB 104.7 for the last year…before that several years at WRRK and WBZZ before that. Jimmy Roach is on the Froggy stations after spending a few years on WDSY and WMYG before that. “Marcy”…well that’s a little to vague to be able to answer that one.

Hello, My name is Michael. I’m a former resident of Pgh. I was friends with a former D.J. in Pgh and I’m trying to locate her. Her real name is Andrea. I don’t remember her last name or radio name. She worked the overnight at Mix Jams 100.7 in 1992 or 1993. She also worked part time at WOMP FM in WV, and OHIO. We would be in the studio from 10pm til 2 or 3am at Mix jams and then Jamin John Anothony would take over. I know she was friends with Tony Q Fox also. I’m just trying to locate where she is so that I can tell her where I am in my life. If you could help I would greatly appreciate it. Also I know she lived in either Castle Shannon or Mt. Lebanon. FYI, Dave Clark formaly of WPXI channel 11 is now on KCAL 9 Los Angeles. I live in L.A. and watch him all the time. He is still a great newscaster. Also I was in Las Vegas when I came across John Huck on the Vegas local Fox channel. Just thought you might be interested in the info. Thanks, Michael B. (February 18, 2005)

Hey Eric, I was reading on a website not too long ago that Viacom has a petition to the FCC to have WNPA-DT on channel 49. The channel was on channel 30, but has since signed off. Do you think that, if approved, WNPA-DT will stay on channel 49 after the switchover, considering that it has gone by the name “UPN Pittsburgh” on TV for almost a year and a half now? I also have a question about cable Neilsen ratings: It was recently announced that after March, Cartoon Network’s breakout hit “Adult Swim” programming block (which I am a big fan of) will be counted as a separate channel in the ratings, even though it will still be on Cartoon Network from Saturdays-Thursdays 11 PM-5 AM. Last year, Nickelodeon did the same thing with its longtime Nick at Nite block. Is there a law against having two sepapate Neilsen reports for the same channel? Thanks. (February 16, 2005)

Eric’s Response: I assume you mean the “switchover” to all DT- signals. My guess has been for quite some time that the stations will turn off their analog signals but I would also guess that they will revert their digital signals to their original analog allocations. In your case, I would imagine that they will take WNPA-DT 49 and make it WNPA-DT 19. That’s my guess in as much as it will be the main signal. I could be wrong. However, the name should have NOTHING to do with it. Further thinking about it about the cable channels. My assumed answer is that there is no law barring two different “channel names” from one channel. If you think about it, shared radio frequencies have done it for years. One signs off and the other signs on later. In this case, it makes sense. Nickelodeon appeals to the kids and Nick at Nite appeals to adults. Two entirely different audiences. Same with Cartoon Network and “Adult Swim.”

Dear PBRTV, I used to live in Pittsburgh. I was wondering if you know where Jane Crawford is now? She use to be on WPXI-TV in the early ’80’s. David (February 14, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Jane checked in at PBRTV a couple years ago and told us that she had relocated to New York. She did weekend overnights at KDKA Radio for a while before that.

Hello, I happened upon your site through a Google search to identify the call letters of an AM rock n’ roll station originating in Pitsburgh that broadcast during the 1950s and 60s. Some months ago the Reelradio site had featured an aircheck from this station, Whcn or WHbn, (not sure of the call letters) and I had not had the chance to listen to the aircheck when it was replaced on the site after 7 days, per Reelradio’s programming policy. When I searched in the R.radio archives, I could not remember the exact call letters of the station. Therefore, I would appreciate your assistance in identifying this specific radio station. Sincerely, Justin McDevitt (February 14, 2005)

Eric’s Response: I am guessing that you’re either looking at WHJB 620 in Greensburg or WHOD 860 in Homestead.

Every weekend I looked forward to Bob O’Brien’s Doo Wop Sunday night oldies show. I discovered him on 92.5 radio station after I relocated to Tampa, FL. All of a sudden one Sunday night, he wasn’t on. Does anyone know where he is now? I sure do miss his Doo Wop show. There is just nothing like it here any more. O’Brien had quite a following…..and he just vanished…..and we really miss him. What is wrong with 92.5 now….they don’t know “what good oldies are any more!” Those “Oldies but Goodies” will never die, but there is no one to play them for us any more. What a shame! Nancy (February 13, 2005)

Eric’s Response: The only irony here is that Bob was my father’s name and I thought you might have been looking for him! However, I don’t think a Bob O’Brien of broadcasting ever passed through the Pittsburgh region.

Hi Eric, Great site, I googled my dad, Hank Stohl and found PBRTV. Hank is actually moving from connecticut back to the “Burgh” sometime in late March. He just finished a new book called, “When we were kids.”All about the early days of children’s television in Pittsburgh. Dad never threw anything out, so he’s got some great stuff for the book. I’ve seen the artwork for the cover, Knish hasn’t aged a day. All the proceeds will go to the Sisters of Mercy in McKeesport. Don’t have an exact date when it comes out but I’ll keep you posted. Mick in CT. (February 12, 2005)
Eric’s Response: Thanks Mick! We’ll look forward to any updates!

Hello to all mailbag readers: My name is Todd Messer, and I am the current news director and a DJ at 91.1 FM WSAJ Grove City, PA. We have a large event coming up on our college campus that we like to cover. To make a long story short, we are basically looking for some history to discuss over the air for promotional purposes to all those who will be listening on campus. So, if you know anything about the history of Grove City College broadcasting, WSAJ AM, or WSAJ FM, please let me know so that I can compile it for our station’s use. Thanks a lot. You can contact me at superslide86 “at” hotmail DOT com (written this way to prevent spamming). Todd Messer (February 12, 2005)

Don’t know if you’re the guy to ask, but could you keep the last 15 minutes of Glenn Beck and retire Paul Harvey??!!! There’s nothing worse (at least during work) than listening to a great Glenn Beck story only to have it cut short by the infamous “This is Paul Harvey, etc”. I end up switching stations and listening to the last 15 minutes of Mike Pintek on KDKA. Thanks! — John G. (February 10, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Definitely not the guy to ask…but I can certainly see your point! No pun intended, but I’m sure you’d like to hear “the REST of the story!”

Hi Eric. I saw some of the older posts on the WQTW fire back on New Years Eve of 1982. As it turns out, I was the evening DJ at the station, but had that night off to attend a New Years Eve party with a friend. I remember hearing about the fire, and I drove past it, if my memory serves me right around 10PM. By that time, the fire was out and I couldn’t believe it. The owner of the station was the late Nick Corvello. I had nothing but great things to say about Nick, but there was controversy dealing with the yearly Children’s Hospital fund raiser that year, and the suspicion of arson. After the fire, WQTW was off the air for period of time, but then we went back on the air from a remote building near the transmitter. I was appointed by the courts to be the general manager, and I had to hire a complete staff (sales and on-air). I stayed on the air, but then left when I got a job at WLSW the spring of 1984. There I went on the air as Mr. Ed and had some great years working with a great staff. Eddie Wilner, formerly of WQTW, WLSW, WRUA. (February 8, 2005)

I know you’re the radio expert, so I figured you’d be the person to ask about this: What’s the deal with WPGB’s promos and traffic updates constantly slamming into the intro’s for their syndicated shows? It makes the station seem bush-league (no pun intended towards the conservative radio station) when their traffic reports are being obliterated by the theme music for the next show. (February 7, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Good unintended pun. I don’t know what the exact deal is. It’s not a station I listen to on a regular basis. My guess would be that there is a timing problem. Perhaps the newscasts are a bit too long? Commercial breaks off kilter? Any one of the above is possible.

Hi Eric. I’ve seen the report about KDKA-TV’s raings suddenly dropping real fast. My family can contribute to that: I’ve been watching WPGH news (probably because it has just news, and no “special reports” like the other networks), my dad’s been watching WTAE-TV’s news, my mom’s been watching Youngstown’s TV stations instead of Pittsburgh TV stations, and everyone else I know has been watching WPXI news. What do you think could be a link of channel 2’s sudden ratings drop? I’ll tell you one thing: It’s a good thing that rumor a few months ago about the station adopting the “CBS 2 Pittsburgh” moniker was false. Because right now, this would be the WORST time to do such a changeover. (February 7, 2005)

Hi Eric, I thought I’d share the reason why WCAL hasn’t been available for WVCS to use until now…They have been living out here in Minnesota for the past 82 years…from 1922 to 2004. WCAL was, until just last December, the heritage call letters that belonged to St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. It originated back in the 1920’s on AM 770 (which shared time with the University of Minnesota’s WLB/KUOM for a while). When the college signed WCAL-FM on at 89.3, they slowly gave up their time-share of 770 and in 1990 turned in WCAL-AM’s license and the U of M’s KUOM took over the daytime only frequency full time (and recently added 8-watt KUOM-FM, sharing a frequency with KDXL in nearby St. Louis Park, MN, to add coverage in the western part of the Twin Cities). St. Olaf sold 89.3 to Minnesota Public Radio in September who changed the call letters in late December to KCMP and it’s format from Classical to a non-comm version of an AAA station on January 31. That, in a nutshell, is why WCAL hasn’t been available until now. Scott Bryant KMWB-TV Traffic Assistant, Freelance Imaging, Internet, Voiceovers (February 6, 2005)

Hi Eric, I also wrote a feature on WPTT’s Jerry Bowyer for The Front Weekly here in town. You can check it out or link it online at www.thefrontweekly.com. Thanks and have a good one. Tom Leturgey (February 5, 2005)

Hi Eric, Found out today that WVCS, California University of Pennsylvania’s college radio station, will be changing its call letters to WCAL in the next two months or so. The FCC reportedly gave its approval today. WVCS alums got word today from the university that WCAL was the first choice for the call letters, however, they were taken. Officials then chose “the Voice of California State” or WVCS. We’ve also been told that the 3300 watt tower should get stronger once the transmitter is lifted some 150 feet. WVCS at 91.9 is arguably the most fertile college radio station in western PA. Gary and Beth from WLTJ, Cris Winters from 3WS and former WTAE TV reporter Beth Dolinar are just a few of the on-air talents that graduated from CUP and WVCS. Several other grads are currently working “behind the scenes” in Pittsburgh, whether it be in production or sales. Tom Leturgey (February 5, 2005)

Hi, Eric! In response to the inquiry about Mac and Youngblood, Mac was a maintenance man at my alma mater, Point Park College (now University). We’re going back to the late ’80s, but I suppose it’s not unimaginable that he’s still there. Ask Fred Bohn at The Attic Record Store in Millvale or give Charlie Apple a call. If anyone would know, they would. Also, February 4th, is birthday number 87 for Porky Chedwick! Pork’s all psyched for our WWE pay-per-view on Feb. 20th, “No Way Out,”at Mellon Arena, that I’ve been plugging on radio there. Look for him on TV, if you’re watching! Ed Weigle (February 3, 2005)

Eric — Youngblood and Mac were great guys, fun to listen to and be around, and presented a spirited oldies show that was enjoyed by many people. There’s more information on the program athttp://members.libcom.com/jhurray/HTML/mmmhistory.htm. Other successful oldies shows at WYEP were hosted by Joe “Spiderman” McGee, Mad Mike and Zeke Jackson. As was the tradition in community-oriented public radio in the 1970s (and as still practiced to a higher degree at many very successful public radio stations in other markets today), knowledgeable and friendly local hosts with specialty programs reflecting the community of license (in this case, Pittsburgh oldies) were rewarded with great listener financial support and word of mouth audience. Speaking of the old WYEP days, I’m pleased to report that Amir Rashidd (A.R. in the A.M., the golden-voiced overnight and morning man on WYEP for years) is back in Pittsburgh after retiring from a New England radio station. Also, the Lackzoom Acidophilus Comedy Hour (whose 5 members one of WYEP’s first GMs and PD’s) is back on the air with original comedy at 1550 AM (see http://www.lackzoom.org). Hearing these guys on WYEP in 1975 led me to radio early the following year and they are still making great radio. Larry Berger The Saturday Light Brigade – Acoustic Music and Family Fun Saturdays, 6 a.m. to noon, WRCT 88.3 FM and www.slbradio.com. (February 3, 2005)

Where can we see Mike Boguslowski – he was the BEST!!! Los angeles (February 3, 2005)

Just wonder if you remember Youngblood and Mac from “the Magic Music Machine” on WYEP 1974 – 1985? (February 2, 2005)

What happened to Michelle Kettler on the evening weather? We heard rumors they did a major overhaul and let her go. Thanks Steve (February 2, 2005)

Hi, When I was a kid in Pittsburgh, I always listened to WWSW on Christmas Eve, when they played music and stories. I’d love to get a copy of some of the stories – or of one of these programs. Do you know if anyone has ever put any of these on CD? Thanks, Linda Champanier (February 1, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Highly doubtful. In fact, if they still exist they are probably in somebody’s attic! I’d like to be more positive!

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