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September-October 2006

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

Stephanie Greathouse used to work with with Gary Love on 92.9. Her Christmas CD is a favorite in our house and I enjoy when my two daughters remember to listen to it. Is there any update on where Stephanie went to when she left the morning show? I have sent out a few inquires over the years, but since discovering your web site, I thought l would ask again. Just wondering, Bill (October 26, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Stephanie actually worked with Barry Beck at Variety 96 in the mid-90s. I don’t think she was on WLTJ ever. (If she was, she was probably a sub.) Stephanie now co-hosts and afternoon drive show on WORD 101.5.


MIght it be possible that you remember the old furniture store in (or around) Pittsburgh that used this catchy line in its tv commercial jingles? “Three Rooms, Three Ninety Eight” Unless I’m having a senior moment, I believe they also featured some kids jumping on a bed or matress. Thank you for your time and consideration. Ron Paglia Charleroi (October 25, 2006)

Eric’s Response: I just checked the video of KDKA-TV’s 50th Anniversary which featured that very commercial with a couple swinging on a patio swing. Unfortunately, the line you mentioned, “Three rooms, three ninety-eight” was all they featured…not the name of the furniture company. I thought I had once heard that it was Parker Furniture Company who had owned WJAS at one time…but I have no confirmation of that.


Would you please help me find information on an old radio station that used to be located on Washington Road across from the St. Bernard’s Catholic Church Rectory, near the intersection with Bower Hill Road. This radio station used to be in a small broadcasting studio fronting Washington Road back in the 1950s and early-mid 1960s. I saw it there when I was a young boy, but i cannot remember what it’s call letters were or what the frequency was on the A.M. radio dial. Can you help me? Thank you for any information. And just one more clue…if I remember correctly, someone told me back in the early ’60s that the station’s I.D. call slogan was something like “At the top of the hill, at the top of the dial.” And it was located at the top of the hill in a building fronting Washington Road off Bower Hill Road, in what looked like an old storefront, but was probably the station’s office. And there was an old apartment building located adjacent to this building and I think the building housing the station was yellow brick or off-white brick or block or something similar. I wish I knew the street address and number and name of the building, but I do not. (October 25, 2006)

Eric’s note: This message was originally sent to a librarian at a library in the area. If anyone can help us out, it would be appreciated.


WRKZ dropped Howard Stern interview on the Kidd Chris Show on Tuesday the 24th according to howardstern.com (October 25, 2006)


How well are Opie and Anthony doing on 93.7 K-Rock? Every time I listen to them and they are giving out their ratings they NEVER seem to mention Pittsburgh. Just was curious. I also have a XM Radio and listen to them after the WRKZ show. So, I just thought I’d ask. Thanks, Ryan Kennedy Twp (October 23, 2006)


Eric – Nice to see Cliff Gorski checking in to your mailbag. I woked with Cliff at WESA in the early 80s. By the way, I’ve posted several Pittsburgh airchecks on my soundboard at http://www.soundboard.com/sb/tomlacko.aspx Included are a KDKA Aircheck with Joel Zelle from 1976. WESA in 1984, WFFM FM97 1980 and WKTQ, 13Q, Don Cox back in 1975. (October 23, 2006)


Where is Fred Honsberger been on the morning show on PCNC? Ryan Kennedy Township (October 13, 2006)


Eric, Please tell Mr. Mauro that to the best of my knowlege, the Good Morning Mon Valley tape was never converted to a CD. It was put together by Tom Lamb, who was the morning jock at WESA during that time period. The radio station did sell copies of the tape to raise money for less fortunate children in the Mid Mon Valley. It is a shame that WESA no longer exsists. Many people continue to tell me that they miss the local news and programming – they are speaking specifically of the time prior to the call letter change and format shift to (whatever that was) and the subsequent sale to Froggy. The mid Mon Valley region is no longer suported by a full service AM/FM and everybody who had an ownership piece in it got rich at the economic expense of the Mid Mon Valley. Many local retailers now have only print advertising as an option. Losing the radio station as an information and advertising tool along with the boom of big box retailers is really hurting the small to mid sized business owners in the Mid Mon Valley region. Cliff Gorski Former News Director (October 13, 2006)


Hi Eric, Long time, no hear! We’ve been in Tennessee for two years where we own a station and a newspaper in the same town. Great weather down here, year round. Anyway, I noticed on the mailbag someone asking about the “Good Morning Mon Valley” album that we did when I programmed WESA. I have them, and could make copies for them. Did they leave their email? Thanks, Chris Lash Legends 930 W-WON Waynesboro, TN www.am930.net (October 12, 2006)


Hey Eric – First the Pirates (fall again) & Steelers (are falling from being competitive this season) and now this? I checked out Erie’s falling rank at #168 & Youngstown’s numbers at #117. With Jobs leaving those areas, it’s not a surprise that the numbers keep falling in various areas. I remember when Pittsburgh was #20 all those years ago. Maybe Erie’s New AM station will bring people back. (I was being sarcastic.) Later, Tom L. (October 11, 2006)


Hi Eric: I followed that link the Trib for the article on the end of Pirates Baseball on KDKA. One of the guys quoted…Mike McVay…says he can still remember Bob Prince calling Maz’s homerun in the 1960 World Series. Well, that’s not possible. One of Prince’s favorite stories was NOT seeing Maz’s blast. He was set up to do interviews in the clubhouse following the game and one of the first guys in was Mazeroski. Not knowing how it ended, Prince said to Maz, something along the lines of: “How does it feel to be World Champions?” Maz: “Great!” And then Prince went on to interview everyone else, only finding out later that Maz had ended it on one swing. Lots of us remember things differently that they occurred, so Mike McVay can be forgiven. Mike heard somebody, it just wasn’t Bob Prince. It’s a shame that in writing a story about the last Bucco game on KDKA that the Trib didn’t check the historical accuracy in advance. Now, if they talked about the night Prince promised to buy chicken at Willie Stargell’s chicken place for all of Pittsburgh if Stargell homered to win a late night game, THAT would have been correct! Or, at least that’s the way I remember it… Paul Mullan (October 5, 2006)


My father-in-law has FM on his car radio, but he didn’t move to FM when Rush Limbaugh did, and is unlikely to do so now that the Pirates have moved to WPGB. (Indeed, when he went to Philadelphia for a reunion of old shipmates, I showed him where KYW was on the AM dial so he had good weather coverage.) I have FM on my car radio, actually write about the subject as part of my living (or perhaps in spite of what I do for a living), wake up to an FM station’s 7 a.m. newscast (even if it does originate in Cleveland) and worked three times in the past 32 years with FM stations. Still, while I am a WPGB listener (and KDKA and KQV and WJAS and WGSM and WDUQ and WQED and a few others), I may wind up doing more of my baseball listening next year on two other stations I pre-set on my car radio, WMBS in Uniontown and WCNS in Latrobe, if either are part of the new Pirates network. It’s force of habit. I could scan for the X for the Pens but look instead for WBGG-AM 970. Also, WMBS is a Pitt station. And so it goes. Then again, I’m over 50 and perhaps I’m not part of the target audience for the new Pirate broadcasts. Interesting, by the way, that Clear Channel chose not to announce (at least for now) a Pirate simulcast on WBGG. Does that mean Washington WildThings and Altoona Curve remain there along with selected Bucco games? Stay tuned. Pat. (October 2, 2006)


Any leads on finding Johnny Murphy ? worked at WFEC in late 50’s and early 60’s -Joe (October 1, 2006)

Eric’s Response: That’s almost outside of the PBRTV coverage area, but we’ll post it and see if we can find anything.


Have any other viewers noticed that many TV programs have the video and audio out of sync? It is apparent everywhere, even at the network level. In some programming, it is severe enough to make it look like you are watching a poorly dubbed foreign language film such as Benny Hill used to lampoon. Some trade sources are pointing at improper time delay settings in digital processing chains as the culprit. Why would digital processing cause such an issue? Does anyone else have some insight? RJ Kanary (October 1, 2006)


hello eric, do you happen to have a good email addr for joel (alexander) zelle? i had an address, but it’s no longer valid. we’re old friends. thanks, bob nelson lansing, mi (September 29, 2006)


Do you know who did those, i have a reel to reel tape of 1978 countdown from wpez,sounds like it was a national broadcast.buts its 3 hrs from wpez new yrs eve 1978 (September 27, 2006)


Hi Eric – I was quite surprised to read the blurb regarding a new AM radio station being built in Kearsarge (Erie), PA. I guess what grabbed me was that it was for a new AM station not a new FM station. It made me wonder why someone would want to build a NEW AM radio station anywhere let alone in Erie, PA. From what I’ve read its a 3 tower directional facility. I recall, unless some new technology has been developed, such an undertaking would require a lot of land and $$$$$ to build and maintain. And, unless de-reg has impacted directional AM stations – a whole lot of paperwork too with proofs, FI readings and so on. The Erie, PA radio market is (and has been) really tight to begin with, with only 3 radio stations garnering the majority of the total audience (all FM) the rest are fighting for table scraps really. And that’s other FM stations competing with each other. AM stations traditionally have done poorly in Erie. The highest rated AM according to the Spring Book is a 6th place showing (12+) by an “Adult Standards” (older demographics) 5KW radio station. However most (if not all) of the existing AM stations have sister FM stations associated with them to help financially buffer them. So I guess the bottom line is… well just that the bottom line. Unless this station can be constructed and operated on a really shoestring budget, the odds of success for the entrepreneurs who are so bravely heading this venture, are not good at all. I’m really cheering for them, wish them loads of luck and hope they defy every statistical law in making their radio station a success. But to attempt something as risky as this undertaking really has me scratching my head wondering why anyone would do this. RR (September 26, 2006)


Hi, Eric. I was looking for a download on DVD of the old WESA Good Morning Mon Valley album. Originally it was put together as a WESA Radio Project to support “Christmas Cash For Kids”. I have the cassette. I would like to know how I may be able to obtain it on DVD or if it downloadable from WESA or its replacement’s web site. Thanks for any assistance you may be able to give me. I am representing a group of former Mon Valley residents who now reside in the state iof California. We meet once a year for a luncheon in Anaheim, CA. The event usually attracts about 100 former Mon Valley people. Bud Mauro (September 23, 2006)


Hey Eric, my dad recently moved to a village near Bridgeport, OH & St. Clairsville, OH. Anyways, on their new cable system down there (it’s an independent called Pohatan Pointe), they had WVTX on cable channel 28. But when I went down there to visit, WVTX was gone and nothing was on channel 28. With UPN & the WB having officially merged into the CW and giving the Wheeling/Steubenville affiliate to the former WB 100+ channel (WBWO 18), has WVTX been taken off the air? Or are there plans to revert it back to a simucast of WBGN? They probably should get a My Network TV affiliation (since none from either WPMY or Youngstown’s WYTV’s new digital subchannel My YTV air down there) or, to be more competitive with WTRF and WTOV, an ABC or Fox affiliation and restart the news division. Wonder if you know anything about this. Thanks. (September 19, 2006)


WCBS 880 in New York is billed as Newsradio880 so….. since KDKA is has been a CBS owned station it might become more of a network outlet. Watch for Katie Couric to show up at 6:30 PM and you will know KDKA will be the CBS network in Pittsburgh. ALSO, HDTV audio synching has become TERRIBLE lately with WTAE-DT leading the pack. Watching mouths not matching the sound has become a regular feature there. Everyone else is better but not perfect except for WQED-DT where I have never seen (heard) a synching problem yet. Jeff in Moon Township (September 19, 2006)


Who played Nosmo King on Pittsburgh television years ago? Also, do you folks have a picture of him in costume. I think it was Paul Shannon but I’m not sure? (September 19, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Wikipedia confirms it was Paul Shannon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_Time


ERIC…QUITE BY ACCIDENT..I DISCOVERED YOUR WEB SITE…I AM AN INTERNET NOVICE…BUT I THOUGHT IT QUITE ODD THAT THE FIRST TIME I READ YOUR PBRTV WEB SITE… I FIND MY NAME …AND EVEN STRANGER…THAT THE PERSON WANTED TO KNOW IF I WAS STILL ALIVE….WOW THIS IS A FIRST FOR ME….THANKS…I AM WRITING YOU FROM COSTA RICA WHERE I AM SPENDING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER….ERIC…. I HAVE BEEN WITH CLEAR CHANNEL FOR THE PAST 19 MONTHS…THEY LET ME DO MY THING…BEST MANAGER I HAVE EVER HAD…MIKE MOODY…OUR STATION COVERS EVERYTHING ON THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM .ST. PETERSBURG TO KEY WEST…SINATRA..BENNETT.. ELLA.. COUNT BASIE THE GOOD STUFF. . I MISS PITTSBURGH AN AWFUL LOT…LOTS OF FRIENDS, BUT IT WAS TIME FOR TO MOVE ON…I WILL BE BACK ON WKII…PORT CHARLOTTE.IN OCTOBER AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW TV SHOW IN NOVEMBER…..I WILL BE EIGHTY IN DECEMBER…GOOD HEALTH..HAPPY ..THANK YOU ERIC FOR YOUR GREAT WEB SITE….AND TELL LINDSEY TO WRITE ME AND I WILL ACCOMODATE HER…THANKS AGAIN………JACK WHEELER (September 18, 2006)

Eric’s Response: Thanks for writing Jack! Good to know you’re doing well and enjoying the warm climates. Congratulations on your 80th birthday in a couple months! Keep in touch!


I was wondering, I know it’s probably been years since he has been on the air but I was wondering if Jack Wheeler was still alive and if so if there is anyway to contact him, I had some relatives that were regulars at one time on his show and I wanted to get some information about them then. thank you Lindsay McKinley (September 6, 2006

Eric’s Response: Jack Wheeler is alive, well, and working on radio in the Southwest Florida area. As of last summer, Jack was at WKII (1070) in Solana, Fla., because a friend taped some of his show while he was in Fort Myers. The address is 3151 Cooper St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950.


Eric, you’ve got a great website as usual. I enjoy your section known as “Where are they now?” Speaking of which, what ever happened to Debra Fox of Channel 4 Action News fame? I seem to remember she left circa 1985 for maternity leave and never returned after spending a decade at WTAE-TV. Just Curious…Chuck originally from Morningside. (September 1, 2006)

Eric’s Response: This web address has your answer! 🙂 http://www.e-magnify.com/entrepreneurs_view.asp?ID=12