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June – August 2006

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

Jazzz Impressions is currently on 107.1 Sam-FM, I think WGSM is the call letters. It’s on with Jim DiCesare Sundays from 9-11 and is required listening with coffee and breakfast at my house. Kevin Bortz (August 24, 2006)

Eric, When Jennifer Antkowiak left KDKA – TV I thought I heard that Kristine Sorensen was going to take her role on “Pittsburgh Today Live” and the “KDKA – TV News at 5:00. What happened? Everytime I watch she is NEVER on morning or 5:00 news why? Ryan (August 19, 2006)

Eric In answer to the question on Keeve Berman. Keeve is now retired and living in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He was at KQV for 6 years, leaving in 1966. He later worked at WOR in New York, as a news anchor for ABC Contemporary Radio, and also returned to Pittsburgh for a time at WTAE radio. The complete story on how Keeve made the jump from Pittsburgh to ABC Radio in New York is on my KQV website.http://user.pa.net/~ejjeff/keevberm.html. Keeve is still a Pittsburgher at heart with a Steelers License plate on his car. Jeff Roteman (August 18, 2006)

There is a Pittsburgh connection to the invention of electronic television (in a sort of “Six Degrees of Separation”) sort of way. Philo T. Farnsworth came up with the idea for electronic television while a student at Rigby (Idaho) High School, a town where he moved to when he was 11 years old. The present principal of Rigby High School is Mark A. Neish, a graduate of Canon McMillan High School in Canonsburg, PA. ALBERT MCGILVRAY (August 18, 2006)

In answer to George’s question: Jim DeCesare’s “Jazzz Impressions” has a website at www.jazzzimpressions.com, and Jim is currently operations manager at Renda Broadcasting’s cluster in Indiana, Pa. When I last checked, “Jazzz Impressions” was airing Sunday mornings on Renda’s WLCY-FM (106.3), which can be heard in Westmoreland County fairly well; however, that station recently flipped from AC to country, so I don’t know if it’s still on the air. “Cat Country 106.3” doesn’t seem to have a website, either. (Jason Togyer, PBRTV correspondent) (August 17, 2006)

What happened to Kiev Berman from KQV? I heard he went to Houston, TX. (August 16, 2006)

Neal Spence Update: I am now retired and living in Daytona Beach, Florida and married to my high school sweetheart, Jan. I miss all those I worked with on radio and TV. Neal Spence (August 15, 2006)

Years ago on WYDD a DJ named JIm Dicesare had a show on Sunday mornings for 2 or so hours called “Jazz Impressions” that was basically contemporary jazz. Last I heard he was in Greensburg. There are no contemporary jazz shows locally (WDUQ has mostly older jazz from the 50’s and 60’s which is fine but not what I’m looking for). Could you reccommend any stations around the country with the jazz format I’ve described that I can pick up off the internet? Do you have a business phone no. for Dicesare or email address and maybe he will know of some? I appreciate your time! George (August 14, 2006)

Eric, what do you think the chances are that perhaps John Cline was cut loose because finances? Presumably higher priced jocks like Stan Savaran, Alan Cox and now Cline are being dropped from local radio stations. The 100.7 morning show wasn’t doing anything ground breaking, not even a “zoo” like format. Four principals probably costs a bundle. This will probably continue…and in fact might be the tip of the iceberg. But that’s just a guess. Tom Leturgey, Pittsburgh (July 17, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Anything is possible these days…and nothing surprises me anymore.

This is for publication in your mailbag…not quite sure where to send it: Speaking of WOPC, channel 23 out of Altoona, which sometimes comes up on the site. I cut some of the ID’s that owner/manager John Powley used to use. I had sound effects of wind under my voice as I said, “from the meeting place of the winds, this is WOPC TV, channel 23, Altoona, high atop Wopsy” or something to that effect. I tried to sound intelligent. I recorded them on carts and gave the carts to John. I believe he still has the carts. Where is he these days? And where the hell are the carts? Knowing Carol Logan, she would probably like them back. After all, they were “her air”. (rimshot) That was quite an operation. I was up there one night when the TV broadcast went down because of a power overload and John had to remind his wife never to plug in the washer or dryer when he was running the projector or something like that. I think he might have divorced her after that stunt. best regards, Old Sean McKay now trying to run a show somewhere in Montana (July 15, 2006)

I’m very glad that the story in the Post-Gazette refuted any rumors that the scheduled Porky Chedwick bus trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is off. I’ll re-confirm, it right here: Everything announced months ago will go on, as scheduled. What the article did not indicate is that, although Porky is a man without a radio station, at the moment, a 58th anniversary broadcast from the Alan Freed Radio Studio will also go on as scheduled. I confirmed it the other day with the HOF, since I’m flying in from Florida to produce it. Since the earliest days of planning, there was some question whether the show would be live or taped, due to technical issues at WKHB (In fact, the owner of the station and I were supposed to take a run up to the HOF, a few days before the show, to trouble shoot and see if we could take it live). We’ve got the studio from 6 to 9 PM on August 12 (there’s a webcam where you’ll be able to see still shots of what’s going on, during the broadcast: http://www.rockhall.com/radiostudio/ ). I’m going to bring the recording back down here to do whatever post-production might be needed. Then, hopefully, we can find a station willing to air a milestone broadcast by radio’s last true pioneer–and perhaps put Porky back on the air on a semi-regular basis. If you want to get on board for the bus trip (which costs $75 and includes dinner), call Debbie at 412-461-9125. By the way–Did you see that Dick Biondi and two other Chicago legends were let go by the former Magic 104.3? They had moved them to their HD frequency (which few can even receive), after turning the once-great Chicago FM into just another cookie-cutter jukebox format. Why the hell does this industry not have more respect for the jocks who made radio great? Isn’t the trend toward turning radio stations into meaningless jukeboxes, devoid of any personality, kind of asinine– especially when programmers are bitching that they have to compete with iPods and other portable media? Where’s the logic here? Radio has no one to blame for it’s own demise than it’s self. For more than 30 years, the personality factor of radio was gradually sucked right out and the business turned into the homogenized abortion it is now. By the early 80s, jocks were little more than liner card readers, bound by that “less talk, more music” crap consultants (most of whom I believe are just wannabe jocks who never made the grade) were preaching..and, apparently, still are. Many of the programmers making the decisions now were raised on that dreck, not personality radio. Great jocks made radio great, it wasn’t just the music. If I want a damn jukebox, I’ll buy one. Or, maybe I’ll pick up an iPod. Ed Weigle (also posted on voy forums) (July 15, 2006)

Is it just me or does there appear to be a lack of on-air chemistry between WTAE-TV Anchors Wendy Bell and Michelle Wright? Most evenings I can’t even watch more than 5 or 10 minutes before I am forced to change the channel. I’m was willing to give the pairing a chance but I’ve had root canals less painful than watching these two deliver the news. Do you feel the pairing was a mistake? Is it not working ratings-wise? Will WTAE ever admit they made a mistake or are we stuck with these two? Tim, Corry, PA (July 14, 2006)

Eric’s Response: The irony of this email is that I saw a very similar question voiced in the Post-Gazette’s TV Q&A. It seems to be a common thought.

Eric: I just heard a rumor that John Cline’s last day on the Star Morning Show was yesterday (July 12th). If this is true, then I am in total shock. I recall the management of Star bragging about John’s addition to their morning show back in February of 2003. Since that time, he has clearly carried the show in my opinion. Any thoughts on what led to the shakeup or whether another morning show in the city will add him to their lineup? (July 14, 2006)

Eric’s Response: According to the station’s website, it sure looks as though John has left the station. Most places where the morning show graphic shows up on the website features J.R., Kate and Bubba. Otherwise I have no thought as to why he might have left.

Does anyone have any insight as to just what ‘design flaws’ are in the current tower system at our Hometown Flamethrower ? Here in Southeastern Butler County, groundwave cancellation is still a big issue from about 11 PM until the ‘wee’ hours of the mornings. Also, is the current stick still a Franklin Radiator? Thanks for reading… RJ Kanary (July 12, 2006)

Hi Eric! I’m glad Jason got to the bottom of KDKA’s signal problems. I own a DX-440 (Sangean ATS-803A clone) communications receiver and I noticed that many times, KDKA-AM’s signal only gave me 3 or 4 LED bars as opposed to the usual 5 bars. At first, I thought it was my radio but I’m able to pull in WKBN-AM out of Youngstown very well as well as still AM DX at night plus my shortwave performance is the same as when I bought it new in 1988. Come to think of it, when they went to that new tower in December of 1994, soon thereafter, I think it was early 1995, we had a bad winter windstorm on one Saturday where the signal kept cutting in and out. Everytime we had a windstorm, same thing. The LED S-Meter was bobbing up and down on the DX-440. I called the Saturday sports show to voice my opinion on the then proposal for the new stadia. After I got through with that, I told Ron Cook, “sorry for getting off the subject, but you or somebody better tell your engineers the signal is cutting out.” Cook said where he didn’t handle things like that but he’d try to get word out to the people who do. I always though that antenna was a step down for KDKA, the old one did a lot better. Hopefully with them working on it, they will get the bugs taken care of. Charles D. Mandus, Moon Township DE KA3WRW (July 8, 2006)

A few questions: 1. If Mike Lange does take the radio job, how can I hear him down here in KY? 2. Is there on the web a site with clips of his famous sayings, such as “biscuit in the basket”, etc? 3. How about a site where fans can express their appreciation in a blog form? 4. Do you know if Ed and Wendy King’s old Halloween broadcast is available on tape or cd? 5. I’d love to get a video clip of Uncle Ed reading the funny papers during the newspaper strike. David Dively, displaced ‘Burgher (July 1, 2006)

Spent alot of years in Pittsburgh…66 and up. would like info on Bob Mack, White Elephant Club, phtos etc. help if you can. Thanks Larry (June 23, 2006)

If it helps any this DJ by the name of DC also worked at 100.5 WOMP FM now WYJK FM (JACK FM) he went by the name of the NEW GUY started out in the evening then moved to the afternoon shift but this was all before HOT 101 (June 21, 2006)

Hi, I just came across this site while searching for information about a pre-taped radio program that was on KDKA-FM in the mid 60s – early 70s. It was an early music show whose name was Cantate Domino. Does anyone have pointers to the producers/origins of that show? Rich D’Ippolito Edgewood, PA (June 20, 2006)

I’m a long time metalhead looking for a song i heard many times on that great station, WOKU. Thing is i’m not sure of the title and have no clue who sang it. Is it possible to get song listings from it from 1986? Thanks in advance, Scott Wallace (June 17, 2006)

Eric’s Response: It’s pretty doubtful. Most stations toss their logs after some time…especially these days when most are on computer.

The Red Barn Theatre that’s showing the play “Talk Radio” is not the theatre located in Canonsburg. The live theatre in Canonsburg is Little Lake. The Red Barn Theatre is located someplace else. (June 17, 2006)

Eric’s Response: I didn’t write the particular blurb in question so there might have been a little confusion in the article from which it came.

Hey, Stan Savran is not getting renewed on 970am, seemingly because they are looking for a younger host to reach their target demographic. My question is whether there is another likely place that Stan could end up? Are there any stations currently looking for someone to fill the 3pm-6pm, or any other, timeslot? Thanks! David Roberts (June 15, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Hard to tell if there would be at this point. Madden is pretty well set in at WEAE and I don’t think there’s another outlet at this point in time.

Mike Pintek has been filling in for Honsberger and Ann Devlin on PCNC Night Talk (June 15, 2006)

Eric’s Response: This is what happens when the PBRTV editor doesn’t have a service which offers PCNC…thanks for the tip!

This is in response to Michele’s (5/10/2006) question about a DJ named DC that used to be on HOT 101. There is a DJ on Y-103 named DC that on during the overnight hours; this could be the same DC that she’s asking about. I don’t know when he was let go from HOT 101, as I don’t remember him as one of the morning DJs (it could have been before I started listening to the station). -Juli (June 13, 2006)

Eric’s Response: During a rather busy period lately, I had received an email from someone that I never got posted. (Sorry!) Anyway, the email said that DC was heard on WZPT and even WDSY. So the reports seem to vary.

Has there been any word on what Mike Pintek is doing? Alice K (June 13, 2006)

Eric’s Response: No idea… Haven’t heard anything since he was scheduled to fill in at a station in NC a few months ago.

Pittsburgh’s MetroCities Broadcasting has added 2 more stations to its Internet radio station cluster; bring the 2 additional stations to a total of 5-stations. The 2 new stations will fill the current music format gaps that are currently missing in the Pittsburgh radio market. Filling the gaps with a 24-hour Classic Rock music station, and a 24-hour Contemporary Christian music station. The new stations are ( WKCMR ) – “ The Power” -80’s, 90’s and Today Contemporary Christian Music Radio. Pittsburgh’s 1st 24 -hour contemporary Christian music station at http://www.wkcmr.com. And ( WRTRK ) – “Retro 70’s Classic Rock Radio at http://www.wrtfm.com. Both stations will operate with the same digital audio standard that has been used by all other MetroCities stations for the past 2 years, including flagship station ( WRTRO ) – Retro 60’s & 70s at http://www.wrtro.com . The stations will broadcast with digital audio technology comparable to terrestrial radios HD technology, but a different technology developed for Internet radio that provides the highest CD quality audio to the listener through their low or high speed internet connection, WI-FI connection or wireless WI-FI stereo radio. (June 13, 2006)