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September 2005

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

Does anyone know what happened to Dr. Frank Conrad’s garage, the birthplace of KDKA? I understand it was in storeage somewhere, awaiting funding to turn it into a museum. Albert McGilvray WAZT News 10 Woodstock, VA (September 30, 2005)

Eric’s Response: There’ve been all kinds of reports. It was supposed to be dismantled carefully and restored at a museum in East Pittsburgh, but I also heard it was just going to be visited by a full-blown wrecking ball.

Mike has apparently been moving too much for your where are they now page to keep up. I read he recently left a radio news anchor job at WBAP 820AM Dallas to return to Virginia to tend to “family matters.” Who even knew he was doing radio?! Also found this fairly recent autographed photo of Mike with Roxanne Stein who apparently is still on the air in Florida. http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Lobby/3212/hambrickmike.htmlRANDY (September 30, 2005)

Hello, What was the theme song for the Ricky and Copper Show that aired during the 60s. I believe it was “Bells, Bells, Bells” but can not confirm that. Please let me know. I am currently trying to find it before a friend. have a grand day Regina (September 27, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Actually it was called “Big Bells and Little Bells.” The question was answered about a year ago in Rob Owen’s Q&A in the Post-Gazette.

Hey Eric, there was a show on CNN called “Live From” which was a news show. I think it is still on the air, but the news theme for it is very energetic. (I haven’t watched it in awhile so I don’t know if they have the same theme.) The other day, I noticed WTAE giving their news trailer and I swear they had that same theme music for the trailer. And KDKA had a news trailer and I thought I heard it on there too. Maybe I am going insane, but have you or anyone else have noticed this? Isn’t that stuff copyrighted? – Chris (September 26, 2005)

Eric’s Response: This is probably more information than you need, but…WTAE is using Newsmusic Central’s “Hearst TV News Music” Package. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but this package has the same general sound, but the most emphasized part is notated to fit the syllables of the slogan. When they originally went with this package, their slogan was “Taking Action for You!” Their current slogan is “Where the News Comes First.” There is a one-syllable difference in the two slogans I found this out on the Southern Media News Theme Website (www.southernmedia-nmsa.com). WTAE’s Boston sister WCVB, for example, uses the same package but for use with the slogan “Coverage You Can Count On.” KDKA’s current package is “KDKA-TV Prime” by SoundByte, Inc. Obviously it was created for KDKA and it is the only station (along with the newscasts on WNPA) using it. Yes, now that I think about it, they do sound VERY similar as they play in my head. I highly doubt that CNN would be using the same music as any local stations. That would probably be too confusing to the viewer…and upsetting to news theme junkies. Incidentally, WPXI’s current theme is “The NBC Collection” by Frank Gari Communications. It is the first time that WPXI has used Gari Comm. for their themes, but his stuff has frequently been used on WTAE and occasionally on KDKA. If you’ve ever heard 11’s “Stand Up and Tell ’em You’re from Pittsburgh” jingle, you’ll know that it’s the same tune that WTAE used in the mid 80’s when their jingle was “Tell ’em Pittsburgh’s Great!” Probably more info than you care to know…but there it is!

Eric, Do you what became of Sherri White, Wish 99.7? I listened to her when she was in Erie. Paul, Erie Pa. (September 25, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Sherri has been off the air since delivering a baby boy 2 years ago. It was her decision to become a full-time mom. So far as I know she’s still in the area, but it’s been a while since I have seen her.

Hey Trent – This is Tom Lavery (more of a geek than a nerd) with some of your HDTV answers. First, I would invest in an amplified outdoor TV antenna. Check out Radio Shack or any TV antenna supplier listed in your phone book. You’ll probably need a rotor for stations in different directions. Since you’re in Butler, you might be able to get some Youngstown stations to the north of you. The digital channel numbers will actually show up the same as the TV channel’s analog number after you scan for channels. KDKA HD 25 will show up as 2.1 for example to save any confusion for viewers. Check out www.antennaweb.org to find digital & analog channels in your area. Steeler games in your area will air mostly on KDKA (& WKBN 27 in Youngstown: no HD channel as of yet) but others will air on WPGH, WTAE & ESPN. Any more questions, email me at Laveryman@hotmail.com. Tom Lavery, emrtv & svrtv. (September 16, 2005)

I love your site! Huge help. I just moved to Butler, PA from Ogden, UT. I need some help. In your website, you mention that there are digital stations like channel 2 KDKA is also digital on 25. I am trying to get HDTV over the air (or just any TV at this point). Do I tune my over-the-air HD receiver to 25 then to get KDKA? Furthermore, up in Center Township (Butler), will I need an antenna on my roof do you think? If so, any recommendations? I also am a huge Steeler fan and I don’t know which station broadcasts their games. Do you know? Finally, your site says that channel 59 (WBGN) broadcasts BYU football? Are you referring to Utah’s Brigham Young University football, or some other local BYU team? Thanks in advance, Your site is awesome! Trent Mason (September 15, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Trent, you’re too kind! Anyhow, where you are in relation to Pittsburgh, I would suggest a strong antenna, but I have no real idea what brand would be good. I’m sure some of our technology-minded engineers (and other station power nerds) can help. I don’t have an HDTV at this point, so I’m kind of ignorant to how they operate. (I assume that they work like the old ones…just nicer!) Steeler games are carried by whatever national network drew the card for the game. As for WBGN’s “BYU football,” I think that is outdated information. A search at WBGN’s website shows nothing about football of any kind at this point.

Hey I was a big fan of Bender as well. He was in Virginia for a while, but now he is in Seattle, WA with his wife, Jackie. The website is www.jackieandbender.com. They are working for KISS 106.1, which I believe is an Infinity-owned station. Hope this helps. Tim (September 15, 2005)

Eric, “Bender” and his wife Jackie are doing mornings at KBKS, KISS 106.1, in Seattle, Washington. Regards, C.I. (yet another former B-94 night jock!) (September 15, 2005)

Eric, When I was a kid I use to constantly listen, and I mean “everyday after school until I was told it was bedtime” would sit next to my radio listening to the night jock ‘Bender’ on B94. He was like my pre-teen superhero and all I wanted to be a B94 night jock like him. Now that I am a communication major (and have no plans of being a disc jockey ha ha), I sometimes think about when and where I first gained a love for this field, thinking about my old pre-teen superhero. Do you or anyone happen to know where “Bender” is at now? I know he went to the former WRDV 96.1 The River after B94 but after that fell through, he left town. Thanks, Chris! (September 15, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Boy I’m stumped. I know that after leaving Pittsburgh, Bender went to Richmond, VA. Seems to me he wasn’t there long before he was off to the West Coast somewhere. I am sure someone in the mailbag forum will have some clue!

I was definitely blown away when I read Tim Earl’s letter in the mailbag. Erie really had something when he, Scott Baker & Gary Drapcho were on WSEE. It was a news alternative to the #1 rated team of Don Shriver, Joey Stevens & John Evans over at WJET. I recall a time when Tim visited Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford for an assembly. He put together a video where he made it look like he showed up for work just in time to go on the air with his forecast. Then he explained that there was a lot of work behind the scenes when it comes to putting a forecast together. Meeting him was right up there with meeting former Steeler Gary Anderson at FLB. I also believe that Tim worked at WRIE 1330 years ago. Feel free to drop me a line at Laveryman@hotmail.com. Tom Lavery, emrtv & svrtv. (September 13, 2005)

Eric, Your web site is wonderful. I just spent about 20 minutes going down “memory lane.” My stint in Pittsburgh was from Dec. ’84 through Nov. ’86 as the weatherman just after Pat Finn and before Dennis Bowman. Science and Weather at ‘PXI was a kick. Bouncing around Pittsburgh in Chopper 11, reporting from Hurricane Diana, covering a Shuttle launch from the Cape and being the first to do “Weather Outdoors” (a cool green-screen, two camera setup) from high atop Television Hill made the time pass quickly. During that time, ‘PXI had a huge staff and it was good to see many of those names on your website page “Where Are They Now?”. While on Television Hill I was able to meet and work with a most enjoyable group: Jack Etzel, Andy Foxmier, Jane Crawford, Bill Cardille, Hank Baughman, BJ Maloney, Rocky Blier, Sam Nover and Midge Hill (who, I believe, is somewhere here in the Dallas market). After ‘PXI, I returned to WSEE (CBS) in Erie and finished out another 9 years of weather broadcasting. In ’95 I moved to Dallas, TX where I staff projects for Information Technology and Telecommunication projects. I just heard Mike Hambrick doing news on WBAP 820 (AM) in the DFW market on Friday evening. He sounds great. Your site also had some very interesting news on the Ashtabula, Warren, Meadville and Jamestown (NY) markets. All the changes! While at WSEE in Erie, our weather team supplied weather broadcasts to some of those AM and FM stations. Thanks for PBRTV! Tim Earl (September 12, 2005)

Looking for info on John Christian, aka Sir Walter Raleigh. I remember listening to his morning show when I was in grade school and high school, and always thought he and Porky were the best DJ’s in the city. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks. (September 12, 2005)

Eric’s Response: We have had discussion of John/Sir Walter before. My suggestion is that you look through our expansive mailbag archive.

Eric, Do you know when the new show will be on UPN Pittsburgh? And, who will be where? If you know anything let me know! Thank you, Ryan (September 12, 2005)

Eric’s Response: It is supposed to happen today as planned.

Eric, Just to let you know that Herschel is on KDKA on Saturday afternoons from 1-3 doing a Car Talk radio show. Has been doing that I think for about a month. Don (September 6, 2005)

Eric — Herschel hosts a brokered program called “Carradio” weekend afternoons on KDKA-AM and — last I heard — also is in auto sales. Much to my surprise, Eddie Edwards showed up as a 9 to noon KDKA fill-in host last week. He sounded great. (September 6, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Yes, and we also got word that Ray Walker is executive Producer for the Penguins Radio Network.

Dear PBRTV, I came across your site and found it quite interesting. I’m a freshman in college, but I my hometown is South Park, PA. I just was wondering if you would be able to tell me what the On-Air Personalities from Smooth Jazz WJJJ 104.7 FM are up to now. I know Sara Lockhard is on WSHH-FM and Bob Studebaker is on WDUQ-FM, but I was wondering about the other personalities such as Hersch (sp?) and Ray Walker and the program director Carl Anderson. Thanks for your time, attention, and courtesy. Sincerely, Erik S. (September 3, 2005)

Eric’s Response: Last I heard Herschel is out of the radio field, but still in the area. My guess is that he’s on to something more lucrative. Ray Walker remained in the area and with the rest of the Clear Channel stations for a while, but I believe he’s now out of the area. Carl Anderson left the area a few years ago for Washington, DC where he is PD for Smooth Jazz WJZW.

I recall an event that occured (a few weeks after 9/11/01) where almost all of Erie’s TV & Radio stations came together in order to help raise money for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. You could meet the various personalities & purchase a “United We Stand” T-Shirt for 5 bucks. It really said a lot about the human spirit that day. With the recent hurricane that has devistated people’s lives, it is without a doubt, the worst natural disaster that has occured in the US. Maybe various broadcasting companies in different areas could all get together in their areas & hold a similar event to the one held in Erie almost 4 years’ ago. They could also take a page from those radio broadcasters’ in New Orleans who have joined together with their resources’ & are taking shifts around the clock at the news station in that area. While there is currently no need to simulcast in the areas PBRTV covers, there is a need for broadcasters’ to come together & help those areas get back on their feet again. My thoughts & prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Katrina & their families. Tom Lavery, EMRTV & SVRTV. (September 1, 2005)