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Feb 06 2015

Original Pittsburgh Allocations

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Our friend, Clarke Ingram, shared this little tidbit from January, 1949 with us today. Before the FCC froze approval of licenses and reallocated channels across the country, Pittsburgh was allocated channels 3, 6, 8 and 10. WDTV (DuMont) signed on in 1949 on channel 3 but was moved to channel 2 in 1952. Of course, Westinghouse bought the station in 1954 and transitioned it to KDKA-TV. Channel 3 was the only station on the air in Pittsburgh before the multi-year reallocation project. None of the other applications listed made it.

For the record, Allegheny Broadcasting Corporation owned KQV and Pittsburgh Radio Supply House owned WJAS. Meanwhile, Matta Broadcasting owned WLOA in Braddock.

6 comments

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  1. Mark

    If I not mistaken WCAE Inc. was later known as WEAE then WTAE 1250 AM.

    1. Eric

      Not quite. WCAE became WRYT before it was WTAE. When Hearst sold the stations in the late 90s, they had to drop the WTAE calls thereby becoming WEAE.

  2. Joseph Gerard

    I’m guessing that based on the applications and eventual channel shift, the proposed channel 6 became WQED, since WJAC-TV was originally on 13 and Westinghouse wanted the channel 13 license for KDKA-TV. Channel 10 eventually became WIIC-TV/WPXI, and channel 8 became WTAE-TV, seeing that KQV initially won the license for channel 4 (before it was reversed in favor of Hearst) and was a co-owner of channel 4 with Hearst for a few years. I find it weird that all of the original Pittsburgh channel allocations are currently in the Johnstown/Altoona market.

    That still doesn’t explain how Johnstown’s WWCP-TV was originally supposed to be in Pittsburgh. I’m guessing that the FCC later gave the channel 8 allocation back to Pittsburgh when it determined that it wouldn’t interfere with WJW in Cleveland? I’m still waiting for the day that the Wheeling/Steubenville market gets collapsed into the Pittsburgh market. Sinclair would probably sell off WPGH-TV and make WTOV-TV the exclusive Fox affiliate. Not sure what would happen to WTRF-TV, since it would undoubtedly lose CBS unless CBS decides to make KDKA a news-intensive independent.

    1. Eric

      Let’s not assume that the Wheeling/Steubenville market will get collapsed into Pittsburgh. It won’t happen.

  3. Rick

    Want to be confused some more, boys and girls? WPCW (channel 19) used to be WARD (channel 56) in Johnstown. It lowered its frequency to channel 19 in the late 1960s and, if I\’m not mistaken, became WJNL-TV. Several years as WFAT followed before it was relicensed to Jeannete-Pittsburgh and eventually became Pittsburgh\’s CW,

    1. Eric

      As you can find on our Pgh. TV Station Page. http://www.pbrtv.com/stations/pittsburgh-area-stations/pittsburgh-area-tv-stations/

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