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November-December 2006

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

Eric, Check this out–an icon giving credit to one of our own! Ed http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/entertainment/10611056/detail.html (December 30, 2006)

Is Don Gable (the Observer) still around and also Raymond “the condemned”? Thanks Eric Love your web site. Jim (December 28, 2006)

Hey Eric, this is about a month old, but I think it is worth mentioning. Although we pretty much ended the discussion a while ago about the possibility that KDKA-TV was changing its on-air branding to “CBS 2 Pittsburgh”, here’s what could be the final nail in the coffin of KDKA-TV ever becoming “CBS 2 Pittsburgh”: after the first of the year, longtime sister station WBZ-TV in Boston (aka “CBS 4 Boston”) will revert back to the on-air branding of “WBZ”. The station reportedly cited continuously slumping ratings as the decision to go back, although it should be noted that former WCCO-TV general manager Ed Piette recently took over as the GM of WBZ-TV, and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul, like KDKA-TV, does not follow the so-called “CBS Mandate”. I guess KDKA-TV has been smart by sticking with the “KDKA” branding on TV. But in all essence, WBZ-TV should set a precedent for CBS O&O’s for going by “CBS channel number/location” over call signs. And it should be interesting to note that after WBZ-TV makes the changes back to “WBZ”, four CBS O&O’s will use the call signs prominently over the “CBS channel number/location” mandate: KDKA-TV, WCCO-TV, WBZ-TV, and Baltimore’s WJZ-TV. And I think its more than a coincedence that except for WCCO-TV, all of those stations are former Group W’s. (December 19, 2006)

Eric’s Response: The final nail in the coffin, as you put it, was several months back when it was stated that KDKA-TV would not now and never will become “CBS2.” Pittsburgh is a funny market full of people who don’t want change (and that’s perfectly fine with me, don’t get me wrong) and to make such a change (even though it would still be KDKA-TV) would be comparible to blasphemy. Aside from that, I do recall that back around the time this rumor was circulating, KDKA installed a new weather radar ball on their tower site on Perrysville Avenue. That very thing has the CBS “eye” on it and “KDKA.” I don’t think they would have done that if they were going to become “CBS2.”

Does anyone know what Terri Taylor is up to? She was on KDKA-TV for a few years in the early 1990s. She had huge glasses and short blonde hair. (December 18, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Who now?

What’s up with Scott Paulsen? Is he going over to 93.7? If he does, does that mean 93.7 is going to do a format switch to non-political talk? George (December 18, 2006)

Eric’s Response: No clue, I’ve read plenty on the radio-info.com boards that seem to think that this is a long shot at best. But stranger things have happened.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE: Eric, was going to buy a HDRadio at Radio Shack this week, but the salesman sad not to waste the money because the signals are not reaching into Westmoreland Cty. yet. Can someone confirm or clarify? Thanks, Rick

REPLY: The HD signals should reach Westmoreland County since they are emitting from the same antennas in most cases and are designed to overlap the stations exact signal area. Saying they do not reach out there is a bunch of BS, no wonder Radio Shack is nothing more then a glorified cellphone kiosk down at the mall. You may want to go to another Radio Shack and talk to someone else as this person clearly has no idea what he is selling. (December 15, 2006)

Hi Eric, I just stumbled upon your awesome website tonight while surfing for something that I’ve now forgotten about! I really like the site and am impressed with the work you put into it. I have always been interested enough in radio to keep tabs on the business, especially here in Pittsburgh but never chose to pursue a career in the field. Your site makes it really easy to keep in touch with the world of local radio. I worked for a short time at the old WNUF “Big Band 101 FM” in the mid 80s mostly doing weekends and producing some of the religious, ethnic and sports programming. After they went under I just drifted away from it for a couple of decades. A few years ago I got an opportunity to co-host a weekly racing show “Rappin’ on Racin’” on WEDO with my friend Don Gamble. I do that about three times a year. In May of 2005 I joined the group of contributors to the “Car Radio” show on KDKA Radio Saturdays 1-3 PM. It’s pretty cool for me. I get to work on the air with no real commitments and not have to fret over the crappie business that radio really is on the business side of things. Anyway, keep up the great work. I’ve bookmarked your site and will check back often. Jim Zufall (December 9, 2006)

Hi Eric, I noticed Dave Cook is no longer on the air on K ROCK and his bio has been removed from the K ROCK website. Do you have any info about Dave Cook? Thanks, Todd (December 9, 2006)

Eric’s Response: I have no info whatsoever.

Ever since I discovered 1470 AM WLOA (located in Farrell, PA) and its oldies format a few months ago, I have been listening to it on and off when I got bored with the other stations on the radio. I turned to that station this afternoon and it has apparently turned into a sports-talk station. I also turned to 940 AM WGRP, located in Greenville, PA, and that station has the same format as well. Both stations are simulcast from 1570 AM WANR, located in Warren, OH; I can’t get that station on my radio, but I assume that that station has also made this change. Is there any news on why this has happened? – Juli (December 5, 2006)

Eric’s Response: There’s no word as to why, but the story made Scott Fybush’s site.

My husband and I have relocated to Ocala, Florida. Recently, we were discussing some of the news anchors in Pittsburgh. There was an anchor woman on WPXI sometime during the 80’s or 90’s that went on to network broadcasting. We think her first name was Faith. She seemed to be a friend of Edie Tarbox. Would you be able to enlighten us regarding her full name? Thanks, Donna (December 1, 2006)

Eric’s Response: You are probably thinking of Faith Daniels who was at WTAE-TV Channel 4. (Tarbox was on WPXI 11 and incidentally is E. D. Donahey on Fox News.) Faith Daniels went (I think directly) from WTAE to NBC’s Today Show where she did news. Then she hosted a daytime talkshow for a while. Since then I’ve only seen her in a couple of ads.

How much longer is WTAE going to put up with Wendy Bell’s on-air antics? It is becoming PAINFULLY obvious that Ms. Bell is in WAY over her head. Do you think Ardmore Boulevard will pull the plug or do they have too much invested in the great Wendy Experiment? You have to admit, WTAE seems to be in a downward spiral. Even Oprah seems to be losing her luster on Channel 4. Thank God for Sally Wiggin at 6pm or I wouldn’t even watch WTAE at all anymore. (November 30, 2006)

Let’s see … I usually have WSHH, WWSW and WLTJ as the first three FM push-buttons on my car radio (and must keep WSHH #1 for the other driver in my household). Frankly, I prefer Christmas music a lot closer to Christmas than even Nov. 27 (today as I write this). So I look to the other stations I normally seek out that play music that wouldn’t cause me to toss my radio into Brush Creek (or the Yough or the Mon or whatever other example you’d like) … WJPA in Washington still has oldies (though it is not a signal I get well north of Irwin), WKYE in Johnstown may have gone all-Christmas (though it is not a signal I get well west of Irwin), and WPKL is still providing its pickled oldies. On my second set of FM buttons, WORD is another choice for the better half, WPGB, WQED and WDUQ aren’t going to suddenly go all-Christmas, and WLSW and WGSM still are playing their usual formats. On AM, my music choices there, WMBS, WCNS and WJAS, all seem to still have enough non-seasonal music. Pat Cloonan. (November 27, 2006)

Hi Eric, I never remember hearing anything about Channel 4’s former long-time news reporter Cathy Milton. Lots from her peers in those days, nothing about her. TL (November 23, 2006)

Eric’s Response: It seems to me that not too long ago WQED’s On-Q did a segment where they had several folks from that era on. I particularly remember Don Riggs being there and Cathy Milton. Naturally I caught the end of it and didn’t see the important part to answer your question!

I must be getting way too mellow as I age. I remember, as a kid, being upset that there was no rock on Pittsburgh radio on Christmas Day. ( This was late 50’s, early 60’s.) Now I’m much older and I don’t care when they play Christmas music anywhere. I just don’t listen to it until I’m ready. There are many more stations out there. (November 22, 2006)

Eric: Your mailbag hit on a programming pet peeve of mine! Not to be the “bah humbug” steroetype, but, shoving All-Christmas-Music-All-The-Time down the throats of listeners, day and night, more than three weeks before the Holiday, reinforces my desire to listen to only talk radio. Music stations down here, in Florida, do the same thing. How many Christmas/ Yuletide holiday songs are actually there? Not enough to dig out of mothballs that early, with no repite. Truth be told, if I NEVER hear “The Little Drummer Boy” (whose meaning and message I love, but a durge/melody/ rump-a-bum-bum refrain I’ve hated since I was a kid) that would be fine with me. Oh, and that Elmo and Patsy abomination might have caused us a lot less grief at Abu Grabe, if torture was on the menu (Let’s keep that in our back pocket to smoke Bin Laden out of hiding, if we ever lock into the rock he’s under). I enjoy the old Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry warhorses– but an exclusive diet of them should be reserved for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I wouldn’t have a problem with just a COUPLE an hour, in the weeks prior to the Holiday, if programmers MUST start playing them, the moment the turkey hits table. I love those J-I-I-N-G-L-E Bells, too..But let’s not run ’em into the ground. Also, doesn’t it seem like they’re playing the same sappy Capenters song, every time you turn the radio on? Ed Weigle (November 19, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Amen!

Eric, was going to buy a HDRadio at Radio Shack this week, but the salesman sad not to waste the money because the signals are not reaching into Westmoreland Cty. yet. Can someone confirm or clarify? Thanks, Rick (November 18, 2006)

FYI Mike Pintek was on KMOX Friday night (11/10) (November18, 2006)

Hi Eric, In my opinion, I think it is way too early to play Christmas music 24/7 on the radio stations. I think it is also ridiculous to have three all Christmas music stations in Pittsburgh. When I was a lot younger, they would only play Christmas music all day on Christmas eve and Christmas day. With that being said, do you think WLTJ, 3WS or Wish will come back with a format change on December 26? I find it interesting that 3WS was playing a lot of 80’s music a few weeks prior to Christmas. (November 18, 2006)

Eric’s Response: I highly and I mean HIGHLY doubt that any one of the stations will come back with a format change. 3WS has been doing this for several years now. You might remember that the first year Clear Channel pulled this bull it was on 104.7. Now that DID produce the format change from Jammin’ Oldies to NewsTalk. But I don’t think that’s their key goal in this silliness anymore. 3WS’ format has been constantly moving up through the decades as newer music gets older. (But don’t DARE call them “oldies.”) Wish certainly isn’t going to change anytime soon. I haven’t heard WLTJ switch to Christmas yet.

I believe the name of the store in the “Three Rooms, $398” commercial was the “Gilbert Furniture Store,” better known as just “Gilberts.” It was usually run late at night during the late movie, as I recall. Mike Smalley (November 16, 2006)

We have been told that Molly Lyon had the first female hosted radio show in 1929. Do you have any information on her? Art Louderback Chief Librarian Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (November 8, 2006)

Eric, I noticed you needed 25 more hits to put you over 1,000,000. I thought I would be the one to put you over the top. Always enjoy reading about whats going on in Pittsburgh radio and T.V. Keep up the good work. Timothy Georgalas, Washington, PA (November 6, 2006)

Eric’s Response: I’m speechless! But thanks for all of your support.

Was wondering where Mike Pintek is now, miss his show on kdka. Kathie (November 5, 2006)

Eric’s Response: This question has come up more times in the last year than I can count. Pintek, as has been announced in several publications, has been doing work at PCNC and recently at KQV. He has also done some fill-in work for stations outside of the Pittsburgh market.

Does this guy’s name sound familiar? Had drinks with him a few times while I was doing radio, and he was the “star boy” news anchor at KXTV in Sacto in the late 70’s.. Lost track of him.. Heard rumors.. Would like to know if anyone has any info on where he is, how he ended up or if he’s still in the game.. He was too good and too smooth to just end up in the unemlpoyment line or on the street, but who knows? Thanks for anything you can do.. Warmest regards, Andy Rush (November 2, 2006)