Pittsburgh Public Media (PPM) has filed an application with the FCC to move forward with an FM station license to accompany its purchase of WZUM-AM (1550 Braddock). The process, which requires purchasing an existing signal and moving it to Pittsburgh, was made possible by recent changes in regulations regarding FM translators. PPM is purchasing a signal from the State University of New York for $50,000.
Along with the recently announced acquisition of WZUM-AM for is $75,000, the total cost of bringing a full-time jazz station to the Pittsburgh FM dial is a thrifty $125,000.
“Doing this in efficient financially responsible way, one of the benchmarks we live by, is always the goal, and I believe we have certainly done that here,” said PPM President Charles H. Leavens. “We have been talking about this on the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel and WYZR, and the support of the community has made it possible to reach this milestone.”
The new station will broadcast on 101.1 FM, and its coverage area will allow it to serve a total population of over 922,000 people. Pittsburgh Public Media also operates WYZR-FM (88.1 Bethany), which covers the Ohio Valley and is heard in the South Hills and western suburbs of Pittsburgh. It is slated for a 10,000 watt power increase. Pittsburgh Public Media purchased WYZR in 2013 for $135,000 from Bethany College.