540 WWCS Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Owner: Birach Broadcasting
Format: Fox Sports
Licensed as a 5000 watt daytime/500 watt nighttime station. The station originally signed on as WCNG before becoming WARO. As WWCS, the station has served as a classical music station, a BBC World Service outlet, and an outlet for local ethnic programming and music programs. The station even broadcast in AM stereo for a time. In February, 2001, Birach Broadcasting signed an LMA with ABC/Disney to bring Radio Disney programming. That agreement came to an end at the end of 2010 when WEAE dropped the ESPN programming and moved Radio Disney over to 1250. That led to the station simulcasting it’s sister station WSDS from Detroit with its Spanish format. On January 1, 2012, WWCS picked up the Fox Sports Network after it was dropped by WBGG (970) which took the ESPN format abandoned by WEAE (1250). The station’s low frequency signal has been heard as far away as the Nation’s Capital when conditions allowed.
590 WMBS Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Owner: Fayette Broadcasting Corporation
Format: Full Service/Standards
WMBS signed on in 1937 as the first radio station in Fayette County. The current standards/nostalgia format was adopted in 2003 with Al Ham’s The Music of Your Life. The current music subscription is with Dial-Global’s America’s Best Music.
620 WKHB Irwin, Pennsylvania
Owner: Broadcast Communications, Inc.
Format: Health Talk/ 60’s-80’s Oldies
One the dominant station in Westmoreland County, 620 signed on in 1934 as WHJB Greensburg. The call letters stood for the station’s owner H. J. Brennan who was then the general manager of WJAS in Pittsburgh. The stations were sisters. WHJB’s studios were located in the Penn-Albert Hotel in Greensburg and would eventually gain a sister station at 107.1 FM. WHJB’s also built one of the first local cable TV systems. In 1996, WHJB and its sister FM were put up for sale. The FM (then known as WSSZ) was sold to Sheridan Broadcasting while 620 was sold to Robert and Ashley Stevens’ Broadcast Communications, Inc. The Stevens were faced with an almost-immediate transmitter move as the original site near the old Greengate Mall had been sold. A new transmitter site was built and the power was increased to 5500 watts by day with a nighttime power of 50 watts. The Community of License was also changed to nearby Irwin and the station became more of a regional Pittsburgh station. WKHB cuts power at night to accommodate WTMJ Milwaukee. The programming is made up of brokered programming (mainly health talk) by day and oldies by night.
660 WAMO Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
Owner: Martz Communications (dba – Radio Power)
660’s License was once 1570 (WFJY, nee WZGO, nee WHYM, nee WZGO) in Portage, PA in the central part of the state. In the early 200s the station went dark and was moved to the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg at 660 AM WCIX. Langer Communications later turned the station into WPYT touting an outdoors/sports format. Randy Tantlinger of RT Media was responsible for most of the stations programming and bought most of the air time. Following the sale of Sheridan’s WAMO-AM/FM (860/106.7) and WPGR (1510) in 2009, local broadcaster Eddie Edwards (who one owned WPTT-TV 22) made an attempt to buy the station. His goal was to bring back a voice to the African-American Community which had been abandoned with Sheridan’s station sale. The deal for Edwards fell through citing health reasons. Another year passed before Martz Communications successfully bid for the station in December 2010. The format was switched to Urban in June 2011 and soon the WAMO calls returned to the Pittsburgh airwaves. WAMO has an FM translator on W261AX – 100.1 FM. WAMO is a daytime only signal presumably cutting power for WFAN in New York.
680 WISR Butler, Pennsylvania
Owner: Butler County Radio Network
Format: Full Service
WISR signed on in 1941 as the first station in Butler County and was the last broadcast license assigned before licensing was halted until after World War II. The AM signal boasts a 250 watt daytime output with 50 watts at night. WISR is an affiliate of CBS Radio, a relationship which began when the permit for nighttime power was granted in the 1980s.
730 WPIT Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: Salem Broadcasting
This is WORD-FM’s sister station. Founded in 1947, WPIT-AM had an FM counterpart at 101.5. (During the days when the FCC had you take an FM with an AM.) The studios were originally on Smithfield Street, then the Roosevelt Hotel, and Gateway Towers. The Berkman family (known for owning Steubenville’s Channel 9) owned the station until the 1980’s when it was sold to Pyramid Broadcasting. The station was sold to Salem Broadcasting (the current owners) in the late 80’s as a part of Pyramid’s consolidation with Federated Ventures. (This eventually became the CBS/Infinity Group.) Unfortunately, the deal with Federated, which was the reason for WPIT being sold in the first place, fell through a few months after the sale of the Pittsburgh properties was completed. What was left of Pyramid was merged with Evergreen Broadcasting, which eventually became part of the Clear Channel Communications empire. The biggest remaining element of Pyramid (beside their Flagship KISS-FM in Boston), was Broadcast Architecture, which is basically CC’s consulting arm. WPIT was moved to 101.5 and a few years later the FM channel became home to WORD which was first heard at 104.7. WPIT’s original FM frequency was 101.5, but it went dark when FM was not the dominant carrier. When the FM signed back on, it became eventually the Religious Broadcasting powerhouse in Pittsburgh. The format, which from the late 70’s on became a mixture of Contemporary Christian Music and block religious programming proved to have a deep and loyal following. The proof was shown at the many “Pirate Family Nights” at The old 3 Rivers Stadium, the Gospel concerts at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival, or “Family Day” at Kennywood every Labor Day. When Salem came into the market in 1990 or so, their aim was to take WPIT down–it was not successful and eventually bought the stations from then financially-struggling Pyramid for $6.5 Million. WORD was then moved from 104.7 to WPIT’s frequency at 101.5 in 1993, and the rest is history. Religion is not the only word of the day at WPIT, Network Talk Programming is also on the air. Michael Komichak still does his Ukrainian Program on WPIT on Sundays. He has been with WPIT since the beginning. In fact, he dug the furrows to put the ground wire down at the Transmitter site in the 40’s!
770 WKFB Jeannette, Pennsylvania
Owner: Broadcast Communications, Inc.
Format: Time-brokered Oldies/Talk
Originally founded in the late 1960s by Al Calisti as WBCW on 1530 kHz. The studios were on South Fourth Street in Jeannette, and the station ran ethnic music, talk shows, local sports and other programs. In 1999, the call letters were changed to WKTW, and the station was purchased by Broadcast Communications Inc. WKTW began sharing a building with WKHB in Greensburg and was known as “K-Talk.” The FCC approved a change to the lower frequency of 770 in 2001. The frequency move, made in 2003, improved the station’s range significantly, and it now covers much of the Pittsburgh market. For a time between 2007 and early 2012, most of the station’s daytime signal was paid for through time-brokered oldies programming mainly held by Frankie Day. Day cut back his hours significantly due to health reasons in 2012 and now oversees the “Morning Memory Show”. Big Ray Edwards handles a late-morning oldies show and there are other oldies programs on the weekend. Five hours a week are devoted to a talk show about unions and another five hours a week are allotted for re-airs of Dr. Winer’s program during weekday afternoons. When paid programming isn’t on the air, the station boasts a 60s and 70s (with some 50s) oldies format. WKFB has a translator: W248AR Monroeville at 97.5 FM. Although it was just a daytime station in its 1530 days, WKFB signs off at sundown to accommodate WABC New York.
810 WEDO McKeesport, Pennsylvania
Owner: Broadcast Communications, Inc.
Format: Time-brokered – Music/Health Talk/Religious/Ethnic
WEDO is a 1000 watt daytime-only station powering off at sundown to accommodate WGY Schenectady. WEDO boasts a multi-cultural format as home to many of the region’s ethnic programs. It has long been the originating outlet for Dr. Martin Gallagher’s “Alternatives to Medicine” program which has long been fed to WHJB and it’s successor WKHB. Many years ago, however, the station was a “starter home” to at least two broadcasters who moved on to bigger and better things – Al McDowell and Adam Lynch. Long-time owner Judith Baron, doing business as “810 Inc.”, sold to Broadcast Communications in early 2016.
860 WAOB Millvale, Pennsylvania
Owner: St. Joseph Ministries
860 was originally licensed to Homestead and started as WHOD. It was at WHOD where “Your Platter pushin’ poppa” Porky Chedwick first began his legendary career. WAMO eventually had an FM sister station first at 105.9 FM and later at 106.7. The last format on WAMO was an urban talk format consisting of Steve Harvey, Sheridan Broadcasting’s own Bev Smith, and, for a brief period of time at the end, Lynn Cullen. WAMO and its sisters were sold in 2009 to St. Joseph Missions and went dark on September 8 of that year. The station returned to the air in February 2010 as a simulcast to its FM sister WAOB-FM. The stations are operated out of studios in Latrobe, PA, and because they are non-commercial, the transmitter was able to remain near Millvale which is over 25 miles from the studio.
910 WAVL Apollo, Pennsylvania
Owner: LHTC Media
Although it was owned by a religious institution – Evangel Heights Assembly of God – this station changed formats in 2010 to a talk format featuring several syndicated talkers. Prior to that, it was a religious format with a mission to offer an alternative to secular mainstream radio for the churched and unchurched. In the mid-2000s, WAVL and then-WPTT (1360) entered into an FCC application to swap frequencies with McKeesport-licensed 1360 moving to Apollo and 910 moving to Mount Lebanon. The deal fell through. Evangel Heights finally old the station in 2015 to Colonial Radio Group which paired it up with an FM translator and sold it to LHTC Media in early 2016 making it a sister to WCNS.
940 DWFGI Charleroi, Pennsylvania
Last Owner: Keymarket Licenses, LLC
Last Format: Country
This station signed on in 1947 as WESA-AM which remained until the early 2000s. It was joined by WESA-FM (at 98.3 licensed to Charleroi) in the mid-1960s and the two remained at first a partial simulcast and later a full-day simulcast through several ownerships until 1998 when the operations were separated. In 2001, both WESA and its FM counterpart were sold to Keymarket and through a couple of callsign changes began sporting the “Froggy” country format. Keymarket didn’t renew the license and the station was deleted in 2014 leaving Charleroi without a radio station.
970 WBGG Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: iHeart Media, Inc.
Format: ESPN Sports
Originally, WWSW-AM was at 1500 AM and 1490 AM before being moved to 970 in November 1949. Ever since, it has run from an 8-tower array just north of the city. After many years of being a middle of the road/full service station, the format was changed to country with the moniker “Double Country”. (This could have been because the station was affectionately known as “Double Double”.) The historic callsign would be traded in during the early 1980s for WTKN and the format was talk. (Many Pittsburghers thought it was blasphemous to change the historic WWSW callsign into WTKN.) In 1988, WWSW returned and both it and its FM counterpart at 94.5 began separate music programming before becoming a simulcast. On August 28, 2000 a big switch as WWSW-AM became a part of the newly formed Fox Sports Radio Network. This event had been highly discussed time and time again through the rumor mill and finally becoming reality. The WBGG callsign came in October of 2000. The format was retained for a decade and became the AM home to most play-by-play sports events as Clear Channel had the contracts to air games. With the arrival of KDKA-FM (93.7), in 2010 WEAE-AM (1250) lost a lot of ground in the ratings and soon dropped the ESPN programming in favor of Radio Disney. Upon this announcement, WBGG replaced the Fox Sports format with ESPN’s format all while retaining most, if not all of the local air staff.
1020 KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: CBS Radio
Format: News Talk
Yes, the station where it all started! (Okay, well, some might dispute that, but…) Frank Conrad was a man of great knowledge at Westinghouse in the early 1900’s. He had a small ham radio set up in his Wilkinsburg garage where he communicated with the world. His 8XK made way for KDKA on November 2, 1920 when it became the first commercially licensed radio station in history…although some stations – including rival KQV – and enthusiasts would argue that it was not the first. For many years, the station was considered the go-to source for information and news and was the first AM station to broadcast in stereo in 1983. This remained so until a new tower was erected in 1989. The 50,000 watt powerhouse tower is located in Allison Park. Larry Richert took over the morning show in late 2001 eventually being joined by John Shumway and Shelly Duffy. Ironically enough, it was Larry who played the last song (Don McLean’s American Pie) on KDKA in 1992 just before it became a news/talk station. Between these stints on KD Radio, Larry was the weather man and a feature reporter on KDKA-TV. Morning men before him included John Cigna, Jack Bogut, Art Pallan, and the famed Rege Cordic with his “and Company” Bob Trow and Karl Hardman. “Uncle” Ed Schaughnessy hosted the morning show before the arrival of “Cordic and Company” from WWSW. He then remained as morning newsman through Jack Bogut’s tenure.
1050 WBUT Butler, Pennsylvania
Owner: Butler County Radio Network
Founded in 1949, the station operated at 1580 AM at 500 watts. When Rochester, Beaver County-licensed station WRYO failed at 1050, WBUT adopted the signal where it currently runs a 500 watt daytime/85 watt nighttime signal. WBUT’s original FM station was at 103.9 but gave that up when its competitor’s (WISR) FM was turned in. WBUT-FM was assigned to 97.7 and the two stations simulcast for many years until the FM became a music station WLER. In 1997, the owners bought rival WISR from Butler Broadcasting creating a new company – The Butler County Radio Network.
1080 WWNL Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: Steel City Radio, Inc.
1080 was WILY when it signed on in 1947 but became WEEP 10 years later before adopting WYRE and going back to WEEP in 1961. It was unable to competed with KQV’s top-40 format in its early days and therefore took on a country format in the 1960s which it shared with its sister WEEP-FM (107.9) which would later become WDSY. The simulcast lasted through the 1990s when 1080 became an all-business talk station. Failing that, the station again simulcast WDSY before management separated the programming. A news/talk format was used for a while before it became WPGR with a Gospel music format. In 1999, that moved to Monroeville’s 1510 leaving 1080 dark for while. WWNL was unveiled in 1999 with a Christian Format. Wilkins Communications bought the station in 2001. WWNL boasts a 50,000 watt signal.
1110 DWKZV Washington, Pennsylvania
Last Owner: My-Key Broadcasting
Last Format: Country
A virtual newcomer to the scene, WKEG didn’t sign on until 1970. The format was full-service with a smattering of MOR, country and… POLKA music. The station was sold in 1972 to Genas Broadcasting who flipped the format to easy listening. The station was sold in 1987 and was moved to its current Chestnut Street location in 1990. Several ownership changes took place in the late 80s and early 90s and after several failed attempts WKEG went off the air in the fall of 1991. Within 6 months or so, the station returned to the air as WKZV and was purchased by Polka man and DJ Mike Panjuscek and two other investors in 1993. Following the 2011 death of Panjuscek, WKZV continued to operate, although with uncertainty. The license was turned in to the FCC in May 2013.
1130 DWASP Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Last Owner: Keymarket Licenses, LLC.
Last Format: Classic Hits
WASP was granted a 1000 watt non-directional daytime license at 1130 in the late 1960s. In the 70s the power was increased to 5000 watts directional to protect nearby WKEG which was two notches away at 1110 on the dial. It was Carl Loughry who founded the station but later sold it to James J. Humes during the 1980s. Humes continued the classic country format until he applied for an FM which, once granted, led to more talk programs on the AM. Humes sold both stations to Keymarket in 1999 and the FM (at 94.9 licensed to Oliver) became a “Froggy” station. The AM played a satellite-fed standards format for a few years but soon became a simulcast of Uniontown-licensed sister WPKL. Keymarket forfeited the license for WASP in July 2012.
1150 WMNY New Kensington, Pennsylvania
Owner: The Rev. Loran Mann & Pentecostal Temple Development Corp.
Format: Contemporary Gospel
Founded in 1940 as WKPA, the station enjoyed many years as a successful top40 station and was sister to WYDD-FM. The station was housed on the second floor of a two-story building at 810 Fifth Avenue in New Kensington and was co-owned by the Cooper Brothers with a music store on the first floor but was forced out when the building’s roof collapsed in 1994. The station was sold in the 1960s to Nelson Goldberg who is credited with making the station very successful. Salem Broadcasting owned the station and its FM counterpart – WYDD 104.7 in the late 80s. 104.7 later became WEZE-FM and simulcast its beautiful music programming on WKPA. When WEZE became WORD-FM, Salem donated the station to Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation & The Rev. Loran Mann (also a former reporter for WPXI-TV) in order to meet ownership limits while purchasing WPIT-AM/FM in 1992. The station still broadcasts from a location near its original home in New Kensington. After moving from the Fifth Avenue location in 1994, it moved a block away to Fourth Avenue where a year later the station was destroyed by fire. It took six months for the station to return to the air from its present location on Seventh Street. In 2014, the year after Renda Broadcasting donated 1360 McKeesport to Pentecostal Temple Development Corp., the station’s call letters were switched to WMNY with WGBN going to 1360.
1210 WANB Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Owner: Broadcast Communications, Inc
WANB-AM originally served the Greene County region over 1580 AM. The station’s callsign comes from the city of license, WAyNesBurg. In 2007 Broadcast Communications was granted a Construction Permit which would allow the facility to be moved from its former position at 1580 AM to 1210. The new antenna remained on the same tower, but gives the station a much stronger power with 5000 daytime watts as opposed to the old 720 watts 1580 put out. 1210 formally went on the air on December 31, 2009 putting an end to 1580. 1580 was simulcast on 103.1 FM, the one-time WANB-FM which, in 2009, was re-christened WKVE and in 2010 changed its Community of License to Mount Pleasant. WANB has a translator at W286AL Waynesburg 105.1 FM.
1230 WBVP Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Owner: Sound Ideas Media, LLC
Format: Full Service
WBVP signed on decades ago and was the exclusive Beaver County station for many years. Eventually, the station was granted an FM license at 106.7 WBVP-FM. Later the FM would become WWKS. In 1996, the FM, newly minted as WXDX, was sold to SFX Broadcasting and became a sister to WDVE. (See the WXDX listing on the FM Page.) When WMBA went on the air in the 1950s, WBVP and WMBA went head to head in competition but in 2000 became sisters under the ownership of Iorio Broadcasting. Now nearly 100% of the programming is simulcast. Iorio sold the stations to Sound Ideas in 2013. Many local talents began their careers here.
1250 WPGP Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: Salem Communications
One of the five original stations in town, it signed on as WCAE on May 3, 1922. When WTAE Channel 4 came to life in 1958, The radio station became WTAE as well. This played host to a mostly talk outlet until SFX purchaced WTAE-AM and WVTY-FM from Hearst. 99% of the staff at both stations were fired at the time. WVTY became WDRV and WTAE went from all talk to sports, with the exception of Doug Hoerth. Mr. Hoerth later moved over to WPTT 1360. When Chancellor Media (now Clear Channel) bought out SFX in 1998, Chancellor traded WTAE for a station in Cleveland from Jacor (now ironically Clear Channel). Before being sucked up by Clear Channel, Jacor sold WEAE to ABC/Disney. Under Jacor’s ownership, the heritage WTAE callsign was switched to WEAE and became the region’s ESPN outlet. In 2009 and 2010, several long-time staff members were gradually let go from the station and many felt that things were not good for the one-time successful music outlet. In the fall of 2010, following the successes of newcomer KDKA-FM (93.7) and its sports format, local programming was dropped in favor – at least temporarily – of the national ESPN feed full time. It was announced that on New Year’s Day 2011 the ESPN format would be dropped for Radio Disney which aired under LMA agreement on WWCS Canonsburg until that time. Radio Disney announced in 2014 that all but one of their stations was up for sale including WDDZ. The station was sold to Salem in February 2015 for $1 Million. The format and call letters changed in May. It also marked the first time in several decades that the station was not co-located with its former sister TV station WTAE at 400 Ardmore Boulevard. Jeff Roteman has a tribute page to the old WTAE-AM which can be reached at: http://1250wtae.andmuchmore.com/.
1320 WJAS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: Pittsburgh Radio Partners, LLC
One of the first five Pittsburgh radio stations, WJAS was licensed as of August 4, 1922. The station was locally owned at first and eventually became NBC O&O and would remain so through the late 1950s. During the latter part of that decade, the station sported the WAMP callsign. But it was 1948 when the station was granted an license for WJAS-FM at 99.7. The two stations would remain sisters for 66 years except for one year in the early 1980s. In 1973, under the ownership of Cecil Heftel, WJAS became a top-40 outlet known as “13-Q” first under the callsign of WKPQ and later WKTQ. The popularity of the station began to fade within four years as FM radio began to popularize and Heftel would sell both stations to Nationwide Broadcasting. In the early 1980s, Nationwide sold WKTQ to Benni Broadcasting (while selling Easy Listening WSHH to Renda) and it was Benni who brought back the WJAS callsign and the standards format. The stations remained in the same building on Crane Avenue in Banksville during the separate ownership and within a year, Renda bought WJAS. WJAS boasted some incredible talent during the 33 years it was a Nostalgia/Standards station including Ed Price, Bill Brandt, Sam Nicotero, Jack Wheeler and Mike McGann to name a few. The final airstaffers for the format were Jack Bogut, Bill Cardille and Chris Shovlin. In 2014, Renda announced the sale of WJAS to Pittsburgh Radio Partners owned by Frank Iorio. It took about two months from the time the sale was announced for it to become final. On August 7, the Standards format ended at Noon and the station began to simulcast with Clear Channels WPGB (104.7) which was airing Rush Limbaugh. Three hours later, 104.7 flipped to country music. Jeff Roteman has a page dedicated to the old 13Q – WKTQ. This page can be reached at http://13q.andmuchmore.com/ .
1340 DWBGI Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Last Owner: Keymarket Licenses, LLC
Last Format: Oldies
In 1947, this station signed on as WCVI and basically provided a full-service format with music, talk and local sports. Although the executives may have changed over the years, the station was not sold for the first time until 1985 to Mar Com Broadcasting. Two years later, WPQR-FM (99.3) owned by Kel Com Broadcasting joined forces with WCVI and the principal owners forged a partnership as Mar Kel Partners. The stations shared studio space as well as employees. That partnership dissolved in 1994 and financial problems plagued the two stations. What was left of the staff remained loyal to the station and some even volunteered their time to keep it going. WCVI went silent in 2001 after its purchase by Keymarket in a bankruptcy court sale in which WPQR was also purchased. Keymarket turned WPQR into “The Pickle” and WCVI returned as WPNT simulcasting the FM programming. The station later became WYJK and was granted a request to go silent for technical reasons in 2006. The station remained off the air for two years returning in 2008. The callsign was changed again in 2011 to WBGI. Keymarket forfeited the license for WBGI in June 2012.
1360 WGBN McKeesport, Pennsylvania
Owner: The Rev. Loran Mann & Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation
Format: Contemporary Gospel
WIXZ was owned in the late 60’s by Wain & Weiss who made the station a carbon copy of their successful top-40, 1260 WIXY in Cleveland. Jeff Christie (now known as the talk host Rush Limbaugh) and voice-over artist Mark Roberts were a couple of the voices you could hear on the air. But 1360 began as WMCK with a callsign that could truly identify its location. Introduced during that time was the popular “TL” Sound and Terry Lee’s Music for Young Lovers which carried over to WIXZ. In 1974, the station was the first to be owned by a new local company called Renda Broadcasting. Later, Renda would sell it so that he could buy other properties including Pittsburgh’s WSHH (99.7). Alan Serena ran the WIXZ well into the 1990s but it was late in that decade when Serena Communications and Renda Broadcasting became one, bringing WIXZ to the same building as WSHH and WJAS. WIXZ was the first station to carry all-sports and was running Prime Sports Radio and then Sports Fan Radio. In 1997, when Jack Bogut returned to an afternoon slot on WJAS, Bruce Keidan’s sports talk show was moved to Sports Radio WIXZ. Soon thereafter, WTAE-AM (1250) fired much of its airstaff prior to a format change and 1360 became WPTT with a news talk format. From WTAE, WPTT garnered Lynn Cullen and Doug Hoerth. But in late 2007, Hoerth was let go and about eight months later, Cullen was also relieved of her duties. The station switched to WMNY (“Money”) with a Financial talk format. Three years later, WMNY retained the call letters but returned to its News Talk format featuring syndicated hosts like Phil Hendrie, Laura Ingraham and Dennis Miller. The station had long been home to The American Entrepreneur – a local program started by the late Ron Morris. In the summer of 2013, Renda Broadcasting announced that it was donating the station to Loran Mann’s Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation. The station would become the second for the company and a sister to 1150 WGBN and the call letters were traded. WGBN has been plagued with technical issues that have been enhanced by financial issues. As a result the station was off the air for most of 2016 and barely made it back to the air – even then as daytime-only from the nighttime site – before being required to go dark altogether.
1380 WTYM Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Owner: Family-Life Media Com Inc.
Format: News/Talk; Christian
Signed on in 1948 as WACB (Armstrong County Broadcasting) as the second station in Armstrong County behind Apollo’s WAVL. There was a third station in the county – WKIN 1600 AM – which signed on a year after WACB but it failed and turned its license in to the FCC. WACB was sold in 1964 to Rosenblum Stations and became sister to Butler’s WISR. Ray Rosenblum, currently a station sales broker in the Pittsburgh area, served as president. The station was sold again in 1982 to Nicholas Enterprises and soon the new Nicholas Broadcasting Company who held it for close to 10 years. This company moved the studios at the transmitter site in North Buffalo Township where it stayed until July 2010. In the late 1980s, the station was granted a nighttime power of 28 watts to compliment their daytime power of 1000 watts. It was solde to Vernal Enterprises in 1992. It was then that the station became a network affiliate for the first time ever with AP Network News. WACB’s call letters were changed along with a new oldies format and became WTYM. Vernal’s owner Larry Schrecongost passed away unexpectedly in a car crash in 2010 and within two months, Family-Life (parent company of The Kittanning Paper) started programming the station under a brokerage agreement. The sale was final later that year.
1410 KQV Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Owner: Calvary Broadcasting
“You give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world!” KQV was also one of the original five in town and is one of two “K” stations in town. Originally, KQV was “8ZAE” signing on November 19, 1919. Some will argue that KQV was the first commercially-licensed station before KDKA but 8ZAE was not granted a commercial license like KD’s predecessor 8XK. Additionally, the KQV calls weren’t used until 1921 and officially licensed on January 9, 1922. Until the 70’s, KQV was “King of the Quaker Valley” with the “Fun-lovin’ Five.” “Groovy QV” was the top 40 station in town located in the Chamber of Commerce Building. The studios were on the first floor inside the large picture windows. You were once able to walk by and wave hello to your favorite member of the “Fun-lovin’ five.” KQV was the station that welcomed the Beatles to town in 1964. (KDKA was extremely jealous too! So we hear!) Jeff Christie (now known as Rush Limbaugh) once held an airshift at the station as did local talk man Jim Quinn. Rod Roddy (who later would be the voice of the Price is Right) held a very short-lived airshift at KQV. But one of the best-known jocks on the station was Chuck Brinkman Jeff Roteman created a page about 1410 KQV in its Top 40 heyday — back when the station was owned by ABC. Here is the address:http://14kqv.andmuchmore.com/. In 1974, the station was sold by its parent ABC as was FM sister WDVE, to Taft Broadcasting. By this time KQV had mellowed, but Taft tried to bring back the top-40 format but failed. In 1975, the station began its all-news format using NBC Radio’s 24-hour News and Information Service which NBC later cancelled. In 1982, the station was sold to its general manager, Robert W. Dickey who received financial backing from newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife forming a partnership known as Calvary, Inc. Dickey passed away in 2011 but his estate remains partner in the station’s ownership.
1450 WJPA Washington, Pennsylvania
Owner: Washington Broadcasting Company
Both WJPA-AM & FM (104.6) signed on in 1941 during a time when AM licenses were accompanied an FM license assigned on even frequencies. However, the FM failed as there were few radios able to receive FM signals. The station began by a group of Washington, PA business owners, many of whom still lay claim to partial ownership today. In 1964, the company applied for and was granted a license for 95.3 FM which later became WYTK. The WJPA calls returned in the 1990s along with the simulcast and began the oldies format which continues to this day. The library had always been considered “deeper” than Pittsburgh’s WWSW with whom WJPA competed in the Washington County region. WJPA-AM boasts a 1000 watt signal.
1460 WMBA Ambridge, Pennsylvania
Owner: Sound Ideas Media, LLC
Format: Full Service
WMBA signed on in the late 1950s by Miners Broadcasting and for over 40 years competed with nearby WMBS. From 1970 to the mid 80s, the station was owned by John Bride who brought a mix of local talk and top-40 music. Bride sold the station to Donn Communications. In 2000, WMBA’s owner sold the station to Iorio Broadcasting who owned WBVP since the 1996 spinoff by SFX Broadcasting following the purchase of sister station WWKS-FM. Iorio sold WMBA and WBVP to Sound Ideas Media in 2013.
1480 WCNS Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Owner: LHTC Media, Inc.
Format: Adult Standards
WTRA signed on in 1956 by Latrobe Broadcasters, Inc. which was headed by Martin Barsky. Ten years later, the WTRA Broadcasting Corporation took over ownership and moved the station to the Miller Hotel which would be destroyed by fire in 1974. That was the same year that WTRA’s general manager Al Calisti began WBCW in Jeannette. John Longo was hired in 1959 which is when his career began. Longo left the station but returned in 1982 just after the station was purchased by Advanced Communications Corporation who changed the calls to WCNS. The station thrived throughout the 1980s especially after it was granted permission to operate with nighttime power (1000 watts directional) to augment it’s daytime signal (5000 w). At the time it was one of just 15 affiliates in the US of the Transtar Radio Network using their country format. Station air talent served as news anchors and sportscasters. John Longo bought the station in 1989 employing his family as managers and sales staff. They switched the format to Transtar’s AC format and added in sports affiliations with local teams. Later it would become an oldies station but the current adult standards format began in 2009. For a time Longo owned Indiana-based WLCY-FM but sold it to Renda Broadcasting in 2002. Now WCNS serves as Westmoreland County’s exclusive full-service station, a title once held by Greensburg-based WHJB-AM (620). Longo sold the station to LHTC Media Inc. in 2014
1510 WPGR Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Owner: St Joseph Missions
Signing on as WPSL in 1964, with 250 daytime watts, under the ownership of Monroeville Broadcasting Company. Bill Lynch served as the first general manager who oversaw the use of the station as a broadcast outlet for the Broadcast Arts Academy of Monroeville. Famous names at the station in those days included Charlie Apple who currently does a show at WLSW Connellsville. Then WPSL went dark in 1978 after the station’s founder, Ms. Leib, and her father passed away. In 1980, WRUA came on the air and was owned and operated by after Dr. Subrata Barua, a podiatrist from from Greensburg. A soft AC format took over with the daily lineup including Jeff Roteman, Dave Garrett, Gregg Stone — Mornings from State College — and Dennis Reed. Just before that former jocks, such as WLOA’s (96.9) Chauncey Ross and WIXZ’s Terry Lee tried to make it go. Barua Communications leased the station to Julco Enterprises in 1989 and soon took the calls of WXVX (XVX being Roman Numerals for 1510) “X-15,” a progressive/alternative rock station under the direction of, among others, Bree Freeman. The station introduced groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam to the market, but it couldn’t meet financial obligations. Dr. Barua reclaimed the ownership in 1992 but a volunteer staff tried to keep the X-15 format alive. The station was sold to another doctor who leased the station to Chae Communications owned by Del King. The format was Adult Urban Contemporary but it didn’t last. WXVX was sold to Michael Horvath in 1997 and put an automated 80s format on the air. Airtime was for sale to those interested in their own programs, but it wouldn’t last. In 1999, Mortenson Broadcasting purchased the station and took their WPGR callsign from the sister station at 1080 and began full operation on 1510. They used an automated Gospel format fed from Pittsburgh’s own Sheridan Broadcasting – WAMO’s parent company, Sheridan Broadcasting took over the station in the early 2000s. In 2009, the station and its sisters were sold to St. Joseph Missions who have Catholic programming on all three channels. The station is now non-commercial and operates from studios in Latrobe, PA.
Former home to WBCW Jeannette. See 770 WKFB Jeannette above.
1550 WZUM Braddock, Pennsylvania
Owner: Pittsburgh Public Media
WZUM was originally co-owned with Braddock-licensed FM WRRK. The two stations began as WLOA-AM/FM. This station, however, has had a myriad of owners over the years and has frequently featured Urban formats. It has also had an “alphabet soup” of call letters including WHYW, WJLY, WCXJ and WURP. The station was later acquired by WHAT-AM/Philladelphia. It flipped to a black news/talk format with some shows tailored for Pittsburgh and some shows with a statewide feel. The owners decided that most of the programming would originate from WHAT-AM in Philly due to the lack of advertising in Pittsburgh and complaints that certain callers would dominate the shows coming from WCXJ. In 2000, the station was purchased by a New York Company which brought a Gospel religious format. It became WURP in 2000. In early 2002, the station went dark due to a little budget. It was then operated under an LMA by Pittsburgh Radio Werks Inc. with talk various syndicated talk programming and became WLFP. The station was later sold to Business Talk Radio and featured their own network programming. In 2013, BTR was forced into selling the station’s license and did so for roughly $15,000. The equipment essentially belonged to the engineers who operated the station locally. They formed AM Guys LLC and brought back the WZUM call letters with a Rhythm and Blues Oldies format. WZUM was sold to Pittsburgh Public Media in 2015 who paired it with their WYZR in Bethany, WV and made 88.1 WZUM-FM.
1570 WQTW Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Owner: L. Stanley Wall
Format: Classic hits (Mostly a simulcast of sister WLSW-FM)
Signing on in 1951 as WAKU, it was the second station in Westmoreland County behind WHJB which signed on almost 20 years prior. Clearfield Broadcasters (who also owned The Clearfield Progress) owned the station pumping out 250 watts of power. Four years later it would increase to 1000 watts. In 1957, Clearfield sold WAKU in preparation to purchase Indiana’s WDAD and WQMU. WAKU Inc. took the station over, but only for two years. Rosenblum Stations, owning Butler’s WISR and Kittanning’s WACB, bought WAKU and changed the calls to WSHH (used on 99.7 today). But WSHH was sold to Tayloradio in 1962 and again a year later to Westmoreland Broadcasting Corporation who adopted the current callsign – WQTW. Ten years later it was sold to Regency Broadcasting who owned it until a fire destroyed the studios in 1982. The station went dark. L. Stanley Wall purchased what was left of the station – the license and tower – in 1984 and had to return it to the air quickly as the FCC would soon forfeit the license for the amount of time off the air. The station returned to the air in six months from the transmitter site. A Construction permit was granted to move the station to 880 AM in 1989, but the project was abandoned. In 1990, the station began to simulcast sister WLSW except for specialty and weekend programming. That ended in 2007 when it started playing oldies from the 1950s – 80s. In 2009 the format flipped to classic country, but in 2012 the simulcast of WLSW resumed.
The former home of WANB Waynesburg. See 1210 WANB Waynesburg above.
1590 DWZUM Carnegie, Pennsylvania
Last Owner: Believe and Achieve Family and Educational Center
Last Format: Religious
WZUM was on the air in the 70’s as a rock station. Bob Hickling bought the station and it became WPLW and took over the format with religious programming. WZUM originally played the same rock that a young, but strong 102.5 WDVE was playing. Michael Horvath got his start at WZUM, purchased the Crafton/Carnegie station WPLW following Bob Hickling’s death in late 1998 and turned it back into WZUM. The station remained on the air playing a “smooth jazz” blend of music til 1999 when the signal went dark. Not long after the turn of the millenium, Engineer Mike Horvath rebuilt the station and brought it back to the airwaves. A new 3-tower array was built in Crafton but the station operated out of West Mifflin. Horvath sold the station and it carried time brokered programming for a few years before picking up a Catholic programming network. When Starboard Broadcasting bought the station, it took on the “Relavant Radio Christian Network.” Starboard sold the station to Believe & Achieve Family and Educational Center out of Virginia in 2009 and the station went into disrepair. Bills started piling up and went unpaid. The studio was padlocked by creditors not allowing access to properly operate the station and it soon went off the air. In December 2010, despite an offer by Chris Lash to purchase the station, Crafton Borough, having not received owed payments for the lease of the land on which the towers sat, ordered the towers knocked down. The license was let to expire in March 2011 without renewal.