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September 2004

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

Actually, the deal was Star went to Keymarket and the two Ams there went to Forever. Since then, Froggy in Grove City (Formerly Cat Country) has now moved in with the two AMs in New Castle. Not sure if it’s happened yet, but 92.1 will likely move out of New Castle to one of the Keymarket buildings, likely East Liverpool. Later, Bob (September 30, 2004)

I think the changes are more based on recognition than a corporate homogenization. I think Viacom knows (or has been persuaded) that KDKA is a heritage set of calls and has huge marketability. KDKA isn’t the only one that redesigned it’s logo, yet kept it’s name. WCCO-TV/4 in Minneapolis did the same thing. However, their redesign incorporated an old and familiar color scheme (red and white as opposed to the failed green and white) and a design that gave a nod to it’s look from the 80’s and 90’s. KDKA’s homogenized change killed off the Westinghouse portion of it’s history. However, stations adding network icons to their logos isn’t exactly new. FOX was the network that started the trend that really differentiated itself from the Big Three. Then UPN and WB came along and did the same thing (UPN19, WB22, FOX 53). It was only a few short years ago that The Big Three affiliates started adding NBC, CBS, and ABC logos to their own (some more prominently than others). I wouldn’t worry about KDKA changing on-air imaging to CBS2 any time soon. When I was in town this past spring, they still identified the newscasts with “KDKA TV-2”, which goes back a decade or two. Scott Bryant (September 29, 2004)

Just writing to see if you are the Paul Perry that was on OLdies in Ma (September 28, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Nope…

Re: WKPL 92.1 “Garden Party” 2 days in a row…by ricky nelson…i like the fact that you play obscure songs but you’re already repeating a bunch of them..candida by tony orlando…2 days in a row. need more variety. (September 28, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Better contact 92.1 FM…I’m not it!

i just discovered the new 92.1. it is a great station. playing obscure oldies is the best. hopefully you will still do the all Christmas format from thanksgiving through new years. (September 27, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I doubt it. The all Christmas thing is a Clear Channel thing. Now that Keymarket owns it, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

In response to the WXTV thing. Channel 33 is ABC affiliate WYTV in Youngstown. From where I live, I get all of the stations from both Pittsburgh and Youngstown except for Fox 17/62 out of Youngstown, for some reason. Channel 43 is UPN affiliate WUAB out of Cleveland. I don’t get any Cleveland stations, thank God, but 43 is the closest to reaching Pittsburgh. (It’s sister station, CBS affiliate WOIO, is a close second. Like WNPA, it’s on channel 19.) With Youngstown about to get a WB affiliate, they only lack UPN right now in terms of their own station, but do get Cleveland’s 43 and UPN Pittsburgh. As for a TV station in New Castle, the only TV station I know of is one of the signals for WBGN-TV, which is channel 56. It’s, of course, on 59 in Pittsburgh. (September 27, 2004)

A couple points about “Pickle” WKPL … The station is licensed to Ellwood City, along the Beaver County line, so a focus on Beaver County isn’t a big surprise. Also, unless they’re also simulcasting WPKL’s local morning show (and that would not be a surprise, given that we are talking Keymarket), the oldies the rest of the day on both stations are off an ABC satellite service (also carried, among other places, on Renda’s WYTR-FM “Kool 103.3” in Jefferson County) … Pat Cloonan. (September 25, 2004)

Eric, I saw about the new news director and his liking for graphics in the News section on the website and, what does this mean to KDKA? Ryan (September 25, 2004)

Eric’s Response: It means that KDKA has a new news director who thinks the graphics are just as attention-getting as putting the important news on the screen.

About Nyce and Nasti’s whereabouts. They are alive and well corrupting Mormons at KUBL-FM (K-Bull 93) in Salt Lake City. They ditched the N&N names when they left Pittsburgh, and took on the the moniker of Johnson and Johnson. They’re still Tommy and Joe, though. By the way, looking into where Mark Lyons and Rick Dalton headed to. I’m a former Rebel jock, and just want to BS. Drew Gordon (Outlaw Ron Harris) Q-102, DuBois and former Rebel janitor (September 24, 2004)

Keymarket has just flipped 92.1 FM in Ellwood City to Oldies as “FM 92 The Pickle”. This morning (9/23) they were simulcasting 99.3 in Uniontown with local commercials “dubbed in” over the ones originating on 99.3. Their mailing address is now in Beaver along with sister Froggy 104.3, and many of the commercials I heard were for Beaver County businesses. Apparently, they are now targeting Beaver County instead of New Castle. Oddly enough, the AC format that was on this frequency seems to have moved to New Castle’s 1280 AM. (September 23, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Yes, unbeknownst to PBRTV originally, we found that Clear Channel sold these stations to Keymarket recently. According to Scott Fybush, WJST will become WKPL and WBZY (1280) will be “Star 1280.”

Those of you who listened to the Tony Bruno Morning Extravaganza of Fox Sports Radio 970 from 8AM-noon will be sad to know that Tony has left the show & Premiere Radio Networks, the syndicator. I know his contract was up & whether Premiere didn’t re-sign him or he just left, I’m trying to find out. I was angered when they put “In the Lockerroom” with Tunch & Wolf on from 7-10 AM, occupying two hours of Tony Bruno, but it doesn’t matter now since Tony will not be coming back. “The (Morning) Extravaganza” will be taken over by co-host Andrew Siciliano and a full-time co-host to be named later. (September 23, 2004)

There was a country station in Pittsburgh in the early 1990’s called REBEL FM. It was at 104.7 on the dial. They had a morning drive team going by the names “Nice & Nasty”. Any info on the guys and where they are now? (September 22, 2004)

Greetings Eric, I’ve been hearing an intriguing rumor that beginning in November KDKA will become CBS 2 Pittsburgh. The station will still go by “The Hometown Advantage” but its newscasts will become known as CBS 2 News at 4, 5, etc. It seems Viacom just doesn’t want any of their stations to be individual in any way. Why would they get rid of such legendary call letters? Mention the call letters KDKA and everyone knows that it IS Pittsburgh. If this change happens and KDKA becomes CBS 2 we’ll just be a cookie cutter station like CBS 2 New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Oh, for the old “Eyewitness News” days. Tim Reed (September 21, 2004)

Eric’s Response: First of all, this is just a rumor. It was floating around the mailbag in July and August. Secondly, even if they call it “CBS 2,” they are required to keep the KDKA callsign…that’s a federal regulation. You also know that every Pittsburgher will forever call it “Channel 2” or “KDKA”…and would probably fight Viacom to keep it that way!

Hi Eric! Just checked the dial in my car radio and walkman and WRRK seems to be back on the air with a weak signal. Chuck from Moon Township DE KA3WRW (September 20, 2004)

I heard there is no power at the WRRK tranny site. They are running something off of the exciter. so minimal you can hardly hear it in the rocks or south side. I’ll check the signal line of site tonight, UPMC commercials still on the air. there is going to be a lot of make goods. does anyone else know anything? (September 20, 2004)

I thought WRRK’s tranny was at calvary cemetary across the river from homestead (September 20, 2004)

What’s happened with 96.9 WRRK? THERE IS NOTHING BUT DEAD AIR! When will it be back on the air? Thanks, Ryan (September 19, 2004)

Hi Eric! I’ve noticed that WRRK (96.9 Mc) was off the air yesterday and currently still off the air as I type this. Are they off the air due to the recent flooding? Chuck from Moon Township DE KA3WRW (September 19, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Hadn’t heard…but that could be the case. Off hand I am not sure of the height of the ground level where the tower is located in the Homestead area. According to our maps, WYEP’s antenna is there too.

The corruption of signal issue during inclement weather differences between satellite TV and ‘radio’ likely has a simple explanation . Bandwidth . A video signal occupies a lot more of it, and has the most to lose, so to speak . Audio, on the other hand, is just that…..Audio . No synchronization pulses, chroma , frames, interlacing if used, none of that. RJ Kanary (September 18, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Makes sense to me!

Dear Eric: I’ve had an XM boom box since January of 03, and I love it. Yes, I felt I was turning my back on my industry (radio 81 to 91, TV 91 to present), but radio here in Scranton turned awful. I got hooked on ESPN Radio, but the local affiliate was always cutting out of it to broadcast play-by-play of teams I didn’t care about. Now, I can choose between ESPN, FOX and Sporting News Radio. The local classic rock station has a tight playlist. XM’s “Top Tracks” channel is what a good classic rock station should be. You really should hear the trucker’s channel when a hurricane approaches. Truckers call in with what’s happening in their areas. It’s fascinating. You have to hear it yourself. I’m sure you have more choices living in a big city, but you’ll love the satellite. Andy Palumbo Scranton, PA (September 13, 2004)

Eric – Welcome aboard to the world of XM Satellite radio. I bet you have Sunny cranked up right now…lol. The spectrum of music, talk & sports is just so amazing & the music is commercial free. I hope they add an 80’s metal channel like Sirius has. Otherwise, it’s a great system & a place where you can hear all types of music & not just limited playlists. My only question is why can satellite radio reception withstand heavy downpours while satellite tv cannot? No complaints but it just makes me wonder. Speaking of Satellite TV, I see that Youngstown TV stations are now offered on Dish network & soon to be on Directv. Erie is coming according to the Dish installer. This is because of the launch of the 2nd local channels satellite to be used by both Dish & Directv. One more thing, The Duce Rocks!!!!!! (Thanks Philly) Go Steelers!!!! Tom L. (September 13, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Until I get my Home Adapter for the XM, it’s pretty much limited to the car…but you are right, “Sunny” is my channel! I’m not sure why the Satellite Radio is stronger. I have been under all kinds of trees and other such things and have found the reception to be perfect! Can’t wait to try it out in a storm! Could it be that because the receiving antenna is meant to work within buildings and cars that it could be so strong?

Hello. I have a question and I’m not sure who to ask… What happened to The Tony Bruno show on Fox 970 AM weekday mornings 8-12? Since it appears that Pittsburgh has decided to replace the national sports show with a local show featuring Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley, what can I do to get the Tony Bruno show back on the air in Pittsburgh? Will another station pick it up in place of 970 AM? Are there any other options? Who else should I contact? Thank you. (September 13, 2004)

Re: XM topic in Eric’s Musings: As the Nike commercial says “Just Do It”. You won’t be sorry. At first I felt like a traitor and theat feeling ended in about 10 or 15 minutes. I have been working in radio for 20 years (full and part – time) and it was difficult to make the switch. What put me over the edge ago was that my wife and son were planning a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and I was having flash backs to previous trip when I would have a difficult time find a station that would last for more than 20 minutes on the trip down. Then I did research and decide to go with XM. I love it. You don’t lose a station the way you do with AM or FM radio. I had one channel on the entire trip from Brownsville, PA to NC. I have it in both of our car and a reciever for my home system. I must admit that I use it more on my way to and from work because of the variety. I am tired of the same old same old in local/ regional radio. XM is a breath of fresh AIR. So as I said before “Just Do It”. Bill Alexander www.billalexander.net. (September 13, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Well Bill, I beat you to the punch! I went out yesterday afternoon and picked one up and you are right…what ISN’T there to love? As I said in a not-so-direct way, you can love XM and you can love regular radio. Satellite only enhances what the local stations provide…just like cable channels do to local television!

Hey Eric, I’ve been listening to K-Rock off and on since the switchover in July. I was hoping they’d become an active rock station, and go easy on the classic rock stuff. Just in the past day it seems they’re leaning heavily on the WXDX type format. Am I the only one to notice this? I hope this trend continues, as I really enjoy the active rock format (like DC-101). Scott (September 10, 2004)

Hello. I’m hoping you can help me with this. So far I’ve had no luck at all! In the mid to late 70s, when Chiller Theater would cut to commercial, they would show a picture of a creepy looking guy with hypnotic rings emanating from his eye. Do you have any idea where this picture was from or if there is any way I could obtain a copy? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! Mark (September 9, 2004)

Eric’s Response: My guess is that Channel 11 or Bill Cardille own the rights and there probably isn’t much one can do to get this…but that’s just me!

I wonder if there are people who have the same vibe as I do up there in Pennsylvania. Now that I live in the Baltimore Area, if I want Baltimore news before 11pm, I have to watch WBFF Fox 45. I remember when they started their ten o’clock newscast, it was well produced. Good news is that it is still very well produced, but the bad news, in my opinion, is that they have that too much of a Conservative view on there. Speaking like the true journalist/politico hack that I am, if you are going to have commentaries delivered on a regular basis, I believe it should be done by a journalist or former politico, politico analyst or a talk show host, not an executive for the owner. BTW, I’m not a Ravens fan, so please don’t crack me on that. P. Kenny Burns (September 9, 2004)

Are local happenings ever bought from individuals such as fires, accidents, floods etc.?? (September 9, 2004)

Eric’s Response: PBRTV is not a website dedicated to local news…only news ABOUT Radio and TV in the area. We leave the fires, accidents, floods, etc. to the TV stations.

Is it true that Kobe is working at another radio station called B93.7?? It seems like too bizarre of a concidence to be true. Maybe it was a typo? -Dave (September 8, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Anything is possible in the world of radio!

Hello Eric, Adding to Pat Cloonan’s post regarding the former channel 6 anchor, the Tribune Democrat interviewed Stevenson a couple of years ago. He’s retired and still living in the Johnstown area. When asked what he thought of WJAC’s current news operation, he said,”They might as well move the whole thing to State College!” Denny Pompa, WHPA-FM (September 7, 2004)

Regarding Ron Stevenson of WJAC TV. I believe in July 2002 around the 25th. anniversary of the last Johnstown flood he gave an interview to the Johnstown Tribune- Democrat. According to the paper he was retired and in the area. Rob Jones (September 6, 2004)

Hello, Eric … The Ron Stephenson inquiry piqued my curiosity. I crossed paths with Ron a few times in my career, mainly at WNCC, which once broadcast a United Mine Workers presidential debate moderated by the onetime WJAC-TV anchor. He later was a Cambria County commissioner, but I’m finding nothing about that on Web sites. The attached may be of interest, from Cambria County’s historical society. Perhaps it might jog someone else’s memory … Pat Cloonan. http://www.cambriacountyhistorical.com/newsletters/heritageqtrly/winter2004.htm#WJACTV (September 6, 2004)

Eric, I found this on the allaccess.com webpage under the NetTalk link. Now, we’re just missing Melanie Taylor! Tim “KOBE – CONGRATS MAN ON THE GIG @ B93.7 in Greenville…You deserve it. Adam Bomb”(September 5, 2004)

I’m trying to find former wjac anchor Ron Stevenson, and your mail bag came up in the search. Can you help? Thanks, Beth Bagnato (September 4, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Hmmmm…well it seems that from that particular posting, that person wondered the same thing you did. Anybody know?

Hey man its Adam Bomb..former Night jock and Md at B94. Hey I ended up in Miami doin Nights for WHYI-Y100.7 Top40. Was wondering if you could put that on your site. I check up on it every week and I saw all the stuff about the old B jocks. I started on August 16th. Thanks Bro…hope all is well in Pittsburgh..later A-bomb (September 4, 2004)

Ryan’s question last month about the changing of TV news sets immediately brought to mind this story: “A guy gets a job as TV news director, and as he shows up for work he meets the former news director heading out the door. ‘There are three envelopes in the desk,’ the former ND says. ‘Be sure to follow the instructions.’ The new guy opens the desk, and sees three envelopes marked, ‘open after your first ratings book,’ ‘open after your second ratings book,’ and ‘open after your third ratings book.’ A couple of months later, the first ratings book comes in and it’s bad. He opens the first envelope and it says ‘get a new set.’ So he changes the set. A couple months later, the second books comes in and it’s worse. He opens the second envelope. It says ‘get a new anchor team.’ He fires his anchors and replaces them with new ‘talent.’ A couple months later, the third book comes in and it’s even worse. He opens the third envelope. It says, ‘prepare three new envelopes for the next news director.'” I hope this answers your question about new news sets! Mike Silverstein, Washington DC (September 4, 2004)

Hey eric, I fond a site that has a petition to bring back B94 (WBZZ-FM). I thought i just pass it along for anybody who misses B94 and want to add their name to the petition. You might want to add this to your links page.http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/B94. And I was wondering about where are the other B94 alumni are at? I know that Dave is at the current 93.7 K-Rock, Bubba is on Star 100.7, Shelley is on KDKA, and Adam Bomb is on Miami’s Y100. But I wondered what happened to Kobe, Melanie Taylor, Ron Man, Spank, and Giant Brian? And what was tj the dj’s B94 tribute web site? I haven’t seen it on your site for awhile. Thank you for your time, and keep the good work. Joseph (September 4, 2004)

I was able to pick up a few TV Guides mostly Cleveland area (Some Pittsburgh and Cincinnati) from various years, in an Alliance, Ohio Used bookstore..I noticed in One 1958 Pittsburgh TV Guide listings for WKST 45 in New Castle which was mostly ABC-TV, in a 1961 Cleveland TV Guide WKST had moved to 33 and 45 was occupied by a WXTV.Very cheaply run UHF..Obviously didnt last long..I’d like to know if anyone might have an idea when this station (WXTV)arrived and left the air for the last time. Of Course WNEO Alliance/Youngstown PBS is on channel 45 now..Tim Lones., Canton, Ohio (September 4, 2004)

All I know is that when I tune into 1170, Wheeling, WV Sean is no longer there to listen to. Then I heard this morning that it had been cancelled and I wonder why? So if he is still on 1170, what time is it on? Thanks so for your response. MARLENE (September 2, 2004)

Eric’s Response: Oh that changes the story then! So it’s WWVA that dropped him. I am not 100% positive, but it seems to me that Clear Channel decided to revert back to more local hosts. It may also be that Hannity doesn’t do that well in the Wheeling area. I have not tried, but I think 104.7 might be able to reach that area.

The idea of you removing Sean Hannity from your station is absolutely inexcusable. You’ve dealt yourself a low blow, and clearly demonstrates you liberal view. He is highly rated, and your decision to remove him clearly demonstrates your mentality. I will never support your station again. If you think your replacement will receive the ratings Sean had, you’re out of touch with reality. Marlene (September 2, 2004)

Eric’s Response: I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but there hasn’t been even the slightest inkling of rumor that Hannity is to be removed from NewsTalk 104.7. (Incidentally, the station is, of course, listed on my website, but not my radio station. I only wish I had a station!) However, Neal Boortz will be either fully removed or aired at a later time when Rush Limbaugh (Noon-3P) is added to the 104.7 line-up on November 15th.