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A spot check indicated that “Q92” WLTJ-FM (92.9) and “Wish” WSHH-FM (99.7) were running mainly their regular formats, with a few Jackson songs in the mix.
Ditto for CHR rivals “Kiss FM” WKST-FM (96.1) and “B-94” WBZW-FM (93.7), who were sliding some Jackson records into their usual rotations, though alt-rocker WXDX-FM (105.9) seemed to be shunning the self-proclaimed King of Pop today.
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Of course, Yes.com says there have been no Jackson songs on country “Y108” WDSY-FM (107.9) today, unless Alan Jackson is a long, lost sibling of Tito and Latoya.
And we’re pretty sure KQV (1410) hasn’t slid “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” in between traffic, weather and The Wall Street Journal Report, but who knows? The day is still young.
The unexpected death of pop icon Michael Jackson is being reflected in local radio programming. It’s hard to find a commercial station that isn’t playing some Jackson records today, no matter what their usual format.
At Washington County oldies station WJPA-FM (95.3), reports Scott Beveridge of the Observer-Reporter, requests for Jackson’s hits began at 5:05 a.m. this morning and never quit.
“It’s really been something,” morning drive host and program director Pete Povich tells the newspaper. Despite Jackson’s odd personality and behavior, Povich says, “you cannot take away how gifted he was.”
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Jim Merkel’s morning show on “3WS” WWSW-FM (94.5) had plenty of Jackson airplay today, too, ranging from the powerful title track off the “Thriller” LP to the 1987 ballad “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” done with Siedah Garrett.
According to Yes.com, which tracks radio airplay, more than half of the songs played by Sheri Van Dyke during the WWSW’s noon hour were either solo Jackson hits, or songs done with the Jackson 5.
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For wall-to-wall MJ, it was hard to beat Steve Harvey’s syndicated morning show, heard (at least pending the station’s sale) on WAMO-FM (106.7). The hours between 7 and 10 a.m. were all Jackson and Jackson 5 records, as was the noon hour on WAMO.
Even WDVE-FM (102.5) — whose rock jocks wouldn’t usually touch a bubblegum record with a sequined glove — found time for the Jackson 5’s 1970 No. 1 smash “ABC” during the morning show with Randy Baumann and Jim Krenn, while over at KDKA (1020), morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway got reaction to Jackson’s death from longtime Pittsburgh broadcaster Eddie Edwards.