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March 2004

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

The new Air American Network is such a breathe of fresh air. Let’s hope that WURP, the new 660, 770 or someone picks up this liberal network in Pittsburgh. You can listen to its stream at www.super62.com or on XM channel 167. Thanks Chris (March 31, 2004)

Sirs, Trying to locate a Eddie Fox who last I knew of was in Nashville, Tn. working at Marty Robins Studio. A friend recorded an album there in the 80’s and Eddie was on staff. Last heard was headed to the upper states. Can you help me. (March 29, 2004)

Eric, let me respond to some of your Mailbag readers. According to the FCC AM database, the WPTT application for 910 daytime puts their six-tower array south of Pittsburgh near South Park and will send the signal north into the city (I suspect there will be an application to add nighttime service at some point). The WWVA application will make it a de facto Cleveland-area station, but it will take years, and Clear Channel has said that they will keep the WWVA call letters and format in Wheeling on another station. Finally, WFBG-AM in Altoona was one of the last AM Top 40 stations in the nation, holding out with music until 1988 or 1989, no doubt in part due to the hilly terrain which made FM a difficult proposition in that market. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (March 29, 2004)

I noticed a few posts about the WURP tower site. The land was cleared to install a new ground system. We found the old system was not in good shape. The work was finished this past Saturday. We also replaced the transmitter building. We needed a larger building for WURP and WFJY. The old building was made out of wood and did not survive the winter. It was time to replace it. Yes we have applied to change the city of license. Until the FCC grants our request and the new site is built we wanted to make the most of the current site. If we do move, the site will continue to be used by WFJY so the work is not a waste of time. As for Pittsburgh Radio Werks marketing WFJY, we have talked about it. WFJY is still under construction so final plans are not in place. Thanks, Ed (March 29, 2004)

Hi Eric, As for the item (WFJY 660 Wilkinsburg – (3/27) We understand from one of our radio-tuning scouts that WFJY (AM 660) was on the air for a time in the afternoon of 3/26. More as we hear it. WFJY used to be AM 1470 in Portage, PA…when was 1470 WFJY in my hometown of Portage? It was WWML in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s, WRML when I worked there in the mid 1980’s, then WZGO in the 90’s. Also, any more word on WPTT switching frequencies? What would that accomplish? They’d have to move the “stick” as we can’t hear 910 in Pittsburgh’s South Hills. Thanks, Tom Leturgey Formerly of WRML, WASP, KQV (March 29, 2004)

Eric’s Response: According to our team of investigators, WFJY was the last incarnation of 1470’s signal in Portage. This is the station that was moved to 660 in Wilkinsburg. As for WPTT going to 910, I would imagine the 9000 watt daytime signal is what is attractive and I wouldn’t be surprised if the stick for both stations would move at some point.

Hello, I don’t have the link so you may have to do some digging, but WWVA is moving it’s tower to Stow Ohio, prompting speculation that the station may be moving as well. This being said could someone now by the remaining property, and et al, and operate a new Valley talk station? I am friends with George Kellas, and he has told me that something big is in the works. Have any ideas as to what might happen? David (March 28, 2004)

Hi! For some reason I came across your excellent website last night. I grew up in Central PA. and during the late 60’s early 70’s Altoona always seemed to have 2 A.M. stations fighting for domination. WFBG-AM and WVAM. I remember some of the DJ’s such as Don Paul, Dick D’ Andre and Tim Burns, a DJ calling himself T Tom Foolery and The Dugger. Brings back a lot of memories. Does anyone know what happened to them? This was when AM Radio ruled the airwaves. Shocked that KDKA-AM took off the music back in ’93. When did WFBG-AM and WVAM do that? Thanks. Bob J (March 28, 2004)

Hi, Eric … as reported in The Daily News (sorry it doesn’t go on Web anymore), the WURP site is being cleared for attaching AM 660’s transmitter for the new WFJY-AM (or whatever Alexander Langer eventually calls it), the Wilkinsburg-licensed station once known as AM 1470 in Portage, Cambria County … He has to sign on soon. Both WFJY and WURP would operate off that tower, WURP until FCC acts, if ever, on the proposed move to Reserve Twp. and WAMO’s array. WFJY, by the way, is operating out of WURP’s Bloomfield studios and may be marketed by Pittsburgh Radio Werks … Pat Cloonan. (March 26, 2004)

Hello: I did a quick search through the Mailbag to see if there was any mention of what has been going on at WURP’s tower as of late and didn’t find anything…so I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to ask! I drove by the tower this afternoon, and noticed that trees and brush have been removed from a wide radius around the tower, and a lot of little orange flag markers have been placed in the ground. Maybe the flags are simply to mark where a new fence might go, but I sure am curious. Does anyone know what they are planning on doing at the tower site? Thanks, Joe Lesnick (March 26, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I find this interesting since we found out the other day that WURP has applied to move their signal to Reserve Township in the North Hills.

Hi Eric, Really enjoy this site… My name is Tom Marshall. I have been in the Radio Business since high school. Recently just left Vox Alleghany In Jamestown, NY. I was morning host (The Marshall”) and Ops. Manager. Same ol story outsiders come in and don’t give a crap about locals…only bottom line, and so it goes. Your site has been a real time saver in my search for a new gig. Worked in Franklin, Meadville and Erie markets for years. (March 26, 2004)

Jason’s response: I appreciate Scott’s comments, although I think he took away the wrong impression. I don’t think Fox 53 should “turn out the lights.” In fact, I feel the opposite … I appreciate having a fourth local newscast in town. I was a champion of the Fox 53 news when it looked when it looked as if they were becoming a serious contender. Unfortunately, under the “News Central” model being pushed by Sinclair’s corporate management, I no longer feel they are a serious contender. It seems that Fox 53 is doing “propaganda” lately and not local news. The reason is that local Sinclair stations are getting their “marching orders” from Sinclair’s headquarters in Maryland; and also because Fox 53’s news staff has been cut to the bare minimum. That’s not my opinion; it’s what Fox 53 staffers (current and ex-) are saying in private. It’s also what the trade press has reported about Sinclair local news operations across the country. As for the group of “what looked like hippies” protesting in Oakland on Saturday; I was in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh on Saturday and saw some of the demonstrators. Scott’s description, in a lot of cases, is probably a fair assessment. And doing a profile of the family of a Marine is a valid news story. But glossing over a protest that tied up traffic in Pittsburgh’s second-busiest neighborhood for several hours is not valid. For comparison’s sake, I watched the local 11 p.m. news on 2, 4 and 11. Each of them also interviewed the pro-Bush demonstrators; and in some cases, talked with the families of the troops. But they also did a more complete package on the anti-war demonstrations, and what the anti-war demonstrators were demanding … rightly, wrongly, and otherwise. Yes, it is Fox 53’s prerogative to broadcast whatever they want in our “great and wonderful nation,” and this is, indeed, a great and wonderful nation. It is also my prerogative to call it what I think it is … a poor local newscast. (Jason Togyer, PBRTV columnist) (March 22, 2004)

Re: Smooth Jazz and The Beat What happened to the above? All of a sudden they are gone. That talk show with Jim Quinn is ridiculous. They took off the beat to put him on. They have smooth jazz everywhere you go except here in Pittsburgh. I loved that station. They have it in Philadelphia. Who can I complain too. Please let me know. Thanks! (March 22, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I will advise you just to save your breath. Smooth Jazz has been off the air since 1999 when they brought the Jammin’ Oldies in. The Beat left the air early this year when they brought on the FM News Talk.

First, I have to comment Fox 53 (although I did not see the broadcast in question) for any report anytime profiling families that have loved ones in Iraq. I was in Pittsburgh over the weekend and did get to see some local news. Unfortunately what I saw was a group of what looked like hippies from the 1960’s expressing their displeasure over the was in Iraq. While their position was not what I agree with, it is their right to express their political opinion. It is also the right of the Sinclair Broadcasting company to express their political opinion. That is precisely what our brave men and woman are in Iraq are pledged to defend and hopefully one day bring to the citizens of Iraq the ability to protest and to express their opinions. However, because one outlet offered opinions that Jason did not believe in, he feels that their ability to broadcast quality news information is inadequate and should be shut down. At least that was my interpretation of the “turn out the lights.” comment. I think that any individuals who rely on one media outlet to determine any viewpoint on a subject are vastly shortchanging themselves. I think that there is room to watch and listen to a multitude of outlets including, NPR, CNN, FOX News, local news outlets, radio, newspapers, etc. If any media outlets wants to be pro or anti whatever topic they choose, it is the right of their as citizens of this great and wonderful nation of our to do so. Also, I had the opportunity to be back in Irwin over the weekend and saw Gordon Loesch on WPXI, he was doing a wonderful job and it is unfortunate that we couldn’t keep him here in Youngstown. Also listened to 770AM over the weekend as I drove around, what great songs from days gone by. They should incorporate this idea by playing old jingles and things like the Bendik Olds commercials, Scoop (the old store at the mall), the BP fuel time and temp thing etc and somehow do it like they show the retro commercial on TV land. Then promote the heck out the chance to relive the 70’s and 80’s. Just a thought. Scott Baird, Youngstown, OH (March 22, 2004)

March 20, 2004: On tonight’s 10 o’clock news, Fox 53, which like other Sinclair stations has been running stridently pro-war, pro-administration editorials from Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc., covered this afternoon’s antiwar protests in Pittsburgh … by interviewing pro-President Bush protesters and doing a lengthy story on the family of a Marine who is in Iraq. The family stressed that they’re worried about their loved one, and that we “have to support our troops.” About halfway through the 10 p.m. news, the Sinclair newscaster from “News Central” in Maryland did a roundup on the anti-war protests around the world by explaining that they were “much smaller than last year’s” and showing video of shrieking Arabs in Egypt, burning American flags. That was surely representative of the people marching in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Then there was a long feature (about 3 minutes long) on how American troops are rebuilding Iraq, and another feature about soldiers using eBay. Was there a teensy, tiny pro-administration bias? Nah. It was a big, honkin’, spinning off-the-road out-of-control into the ditch bias. Someone please tell me that I was watching a Saturday Night Live parody of a Fox-branded newscast. It can’t actually have been that bad, could it? In the meantime, will the last journalist out of Fox 53 please turn off the lights? (Jason Togyer, PBRTV columnist) (March 21, 2004)

Eric, just a note about Dame Broadcasting I found in the DCRTV mailbag. It appears that all the job cutting this company is doing is not limited to Western PA. They’ve also slashed jobs in Hagerstown MD as well as Johnstown and State College. Thanks for a great website! (March 19, 2004)

Hi there saw your site and thought I would update you… after surviving too many winters in New York… I moved to sunny L.A. last year and am with KNX radio doing sports anchor and news reporting work… Just the other day it was snowing in New York City 89 degrees here!!! vince delisi (March 11, 2004)

Eric, I remember listening to Bob Kings “Old Radio Shows” on WYEP, when they were in the old Horse stables, in Oakland. I sure wish there was a radio station (local) that offered Old Time Radio programs, like Bob King used to do! Check the Old Time Radio web site that asks about your favorite radio programs! Nice web site you have! Jack Reissman (March 10, 2004)

I am going back to the Ohio Valley on Friday and heard that WVKF and WEEL swapped formats. Is 95.7 going to be Kiss just like the former 105.5? Any info would be appreciated! Nate (March 1, 2004)