Skip to comments.Classics radio still has a home on Western Pennsylvania dials
Posted on 08/27/2014 5:03:55 AM PDT by raccoonradio
Some oldies fans get their fix from XM radio stations or internet streaming music like Pandora. But since WJAS (1320 AM) was sold and switched from nostalgia programming to talk earlier this month, fans have been searching for a new radio station to hear their favorite music.
It was a shock for them to shift to talk shows from music that a lot of people liked, said Anne Zuza, 70, of Ross.
As another ex-WJAS listener emailed: Is there any other station that plays the classic hits of the '50s, '60s and '70s?
That depends on your interpretation of classic hits and how good your radio is. Nostalgia airs on Butler's WISR (680 AM), Latrobe's WCNS (1480 AM) and Uniontown's WMBS (590 AM).
WISR's daytime signal covers Butler County and the northern end of Allegheny County. WMBS by day reaches from Irwin to Morgantown, W.Va. WCNS' primary day signal reaches Greensburg.
We've had some people call us and tell us they're very happy we're still doing standards music, said WMBS general manager Brian Mroziak.
Local morning and afternoon drive shows include artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Michael Buble and Josh Groban, Mroziak said.
Both WMBS and WCNS also draw on the syndicated Adult Standards from Westwood One. The programming includes the most popular songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s, aimed at the upper end of the Baby Boomer generation, according to Westwood One.
Classics for many are Pittsburgh oldies, a range of styles aired on weekends on WLSW (103.9 FM) and weekdays on WKFB (770 AM, 97.5 FM) and WEDO (810 AM). None of the three plays Sinatra or other stars of a style called standards, nostalgia or middle of the road.
AM (middle of the road) has pretty much gone away, said Sean Ross, vice president for music and programming at Edison Research and former radio editor at Billboard Magazine. WJAS was one of the last stations doing anything in that neighborhood with decent ratings. Ross says efforts to turn stations like WJAS into the new oldies that play the '50s and more depth from the '60s never really took in most places.
An exception is Greater Media's WMTR (AM 1250) in Morristown, N.J., a Top 100 market west of New York City. It actually beat its FM this spring, Ross said. What happened to WJAS was accelerated by the sale of the station, but, essentially, it was headed down the same road as beautiful music' 30 or so years ago, says Clarke Ingram, a veteran programmer now consulting Braddock's WZUM (AM 1550), which began offering old-school rhythm and blues in July.
The station found a place in a very under-served market, said WZUM owner Ed DeHart.
A new wild card in the local radio market was tossed on Aug. 13 when Radio Disney said it was selling WDDZ (AM 1250). A Pittsburgh native who owns 10 stations in five states is watching that development.
We're all watching how news-talk is a format that is starting to really slow down in popularity, said Chris Lash of Florida-based Whiplash Radio. I believe that the oldies format has a home on AM radio, and 1250 in Pittsburgh would be the place to do it.
Lash has a format to offer called True Oldies. He says he is helping New York disc jockey Scott Shannon relaunch that format after Cumulus Media dropped Shannon in February. It essentially is rock and roll from 1955 to the early '80s, which wouldn't include the standards.
Here in SC/NC we have WAVO.
Like we needed another country station in Pittsburgh.
Yeah but here’s why they did it:
—Country is very popular, almost like the new top 40. Popular with young (desired) listeners, especially women. In Boston Greater Media’s WKLB was doing VERY well in the ratings...#3, #1, etc. so Clear Channel changed its WBWL 101.7 to country from elec. dance music. A fan of EDM wrote on facebook, “Why country, nobody listens to that crap.” I replied, “the sole
country station in Boston was just #1 in the ratings. So much for ‘nobody listens’” A month later, the Clear Channel station had doubled its ratings and the Greater Media one lost a point in the ratings. This also helped Clear Channel as their competition was now getting lower ratings...and it somehow helps their top 40 station (WXKS-FM)
—So in Pitt., the idea is to take listeners away from CBS’s 107.9 and also help out Clear Channel stations like rock 102.5 WDVE. Yeah you got 107.9 and 104.7 and three different “Froggy” stations but I like to think of it this way.
You’re a kid and you have a huge pie in front of you, and you’re eating some of it. Your brothers and sisters show up and say, “Hey! CAN I HAVE SOME OF THAT PIE??”
That’s what’s happening. Clear Channel wanted some of that pie...the radio listeners. They felt country would be a better sell than conservative talk...and made a deal with WJAS to run the talk shows on AM. So yeah, too much country already, but country is hot. Even in Boston which for years wasn’t a hotspot of country. When the sole country station in Bos. slowly moves up the ratings charts and becomes #1, what do you do? You change the format to the same thing and try to woo listeners.
Many of whom may have fled to satellite radio, Pandora, apps
(like CC’s own iHeartRadio) and so on...
Prob mean WKOX 1430 (know years ago as WXKS-AM). In the late 70s it and sister station WXKS-FM 107.9 flipped to disco as Kiss 108, but the AM later went to standards under a format called Music of Your Life (still around in some cities). And there were similar stations...
WAZN 1470 Watertown runs Music of your life standards at night starting at 6 pm
Night signal http://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WAZN&service=AM&status=L&hours=N
Yup,exactly.My Dad and I used to love that station.I'm one of those children of the 60's who not only loves (and still loves) the Stones,Yardbirds,CSN and Judy Collins's folk years but also Patti Page,Pat Boone,Anita Bryant and Percy Faith.
loves (and still loves)= loved (and still loves)
Looking at the coverage map I probably wouldn't be able to get it.I can't even get RKO after sundown.Good thing I already have a lot of the great stuff on CD...courtesy of the libraries of the area.
Did you ever listen to the Rollye James Show?
Don’t know about him but years ago a friend in OH recorded some of her Fri night trivia for me
WISR and WCNS barely put any signal at all into Pittsburgh.
WMBS does but they break-up their day with lots of infomercials.
My dad is still searching for a replacement for his beloved WJAS.
"Percy Faith ? Good !"
Lieutenant Hauk and Sergeant Major Dickerson were my favorite characters.They really had their **** squared away!
Good Morning Vietnam, ah. Adrian
Cronauer, played by Robin Williams
was from Pitt. and helped found WPTS
92.1 which broadcasts from top of Cathedral
of Learning...weak signal. When at motel 6
Crafton was getting mixed stations...that
and ‘ the pickle’.
Think I was getting the 1480 WCNS while on
RT 18 or 65 in Beaver County
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