WANB (AM)

WANB (AM)

Infobox Radio station
name = WANB


city = Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
area = Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
branding =
slogan = "Cool Country"
airdate = September 26, 1956
frequency = 1580 kHz
format = Country
power = 5,000 Watts (day) (CP)
710 Watts (critical hours)
720 Watts (day) (current)
class = D
facility_id = 32211
coordinates = coord|39|52|12.00|N|80|8|1.00|W|region:GB_type:city
callsign_meaning = WAyNesBurg (city of license)
former_callsigns =
owner = Broadcast Communications, Inc.
licensee =
sister_stations = WANB-FM
webcast =
website = http://www.wanb103.com
affiliations = AP
Citations missing|article|date=December 2007

WANB (1580 AM) is an American radio station broadcasting a Country format. Licensed to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, USA, it serves the Pittsburgh area. The station is currently owned by Broadcast Communications, Inc. Now broadcasting at 1580 kHz, this station has a construction permit to change its frequency to 1210 kHz and increase its power to a maximum level of 5,000 watts in the near future.

History

WANB debuted in September, 1956, and for many years was the only radio station serving Greene County. From the time of its inception until 1991, WANB broadcast from the First Federal bank building on East High Street in downtown Waynesburg.

George McGary and his wife, Pat, moved from New York to Waynesburg to become the first station managers at WANB. In the early days, George spent most of his time canvassing for ads to keep the station going. Al Harvey and John Biery Jr. were two of the early DJs. Lucinda (Toddy) Greenlee was the sales person and Ruth Miller was the station secretary.

In the 50's and 60's, it was common for unknown recording artists to show up at the station and ask DJs to plug their latest record. One singer who stopped at WANB was Bobby Vinton from Canonsburg PA who was plugging "High Steppin Majorette" a couple of years before he had the first of many hits including "Roses Are Red" and "Blue Velvet".

One of the notable shows in the early days of the station was "Trading Post" where local townspeople could call in and advertise their household goods for sale. In the 60's, the final hour of the station day was called "Serenade to Sunset" and consisted of playing full instrumental albums from such artists as Percy Faith, Montovani, and the like. There was no DJ or commercials during this final hour.

Other DJs in the 60's were Paul Merryman and Bill Parker among others.

In 1964, Jim and Frances Pattison moved to Waynesburg to assume ownership of the station. They performed many duties at the station, from sales to broadcasting. Their son, Tom, had a Saturday morning "psychelic show" which was quite different from the music that was played the remainder of the week. A daytime-only station for its entire existence, WANB was joined by its same-named simulcast FM sister station on April 21, 1978; enabling listeners to enjoy local radio service after the AM was forced to leave the air at sundown.

John Loeper, who had been the general manager of WANB for many years, left the station in 1990 to become the minority partner in JJG Communications, which purchased Washington County competitor WKEG that year, which had been forced to go dark under its former owner. The venture was unsuccessful, and Loeper left the radio business altogether the following year. He was replaced by Judy Rostoka, who held the position for approximately 15 years after his departure.

In 1991, WANB vacated its longtime home in the First Federal building (which had begun to fall into disrepair) and moved to a spacious new, modern, all-steel building at its transmitter site just south of Waynesburg and off I-79. Engineering personnel had designed the building with expansion in mind if that were ever the goal of ownership present or future.

ale to Broadcast Communications, Inc.

WANB has had only two owners in its longtime tenured history. Massachusetts attorney Joseph F. Hennessey and engineer Ken Strawberry, who together made up WANB, Inc. (though Hennessey himself was listed as licensee) decided to sell the station for $850,000 in December 2001 to Broadcast Communications, Inc.; a Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania-based company headed by Pittsburgh radio legend Bob Stevens.

Stevens had previously built and owned WKYN in St. Marys, Pennsylvania; and later sold it in the mid-1990's to buy WHJB and WBCW, in Greensburg and Jeannette respectively; wishing to own a station closer to his hometown.

WANB Today

WANB has been a simulcast outlet of its FM sister almost entirely since the FM station's debut in 1978. It has never had nighttime power authorization and had experimented with separate programming shortly after both stations moved to its present location at its transmitter. For a couple of years, WANB programmed a format of Southern Gospel and Contemporary Christian music, neither of which were successful, and WANB returned to being a simulcast-only station.

WANB has been a proven testing ground for up-and-coming young radio talent that moved on to bigger markets. Former morning DJ Drew Gordon moved on to legendary country music powerhouse Q102 in DuBois, Pennsylvania; and former news director Lori Salva-Houy moved on to field reporting duties at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh.

As part of an expansion move involving a co-owned FM adjacent-channel property in Cumberland, Maryland, WANB was granted a construction permit in 2006 to move to a lower dial position of 1210 kHz and a power increase to 5,000 watts. One reason for the expanded signal is because WANB AM and FM intend to separate their programming in the near future. Though still a daytime-only station, WANB will be able to provide Waynesburg, Greene County, and even the suburbs of Morgantown, West Virginia with local radio service through much better signal coverage.

External links

*AMQ|WANB
*AML|WANB
*AMARB|WANB


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