KDKA-FM

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For the previous station that held the KDKA-FM callsign, see WLTJ.
KDKA-FM
KDKA-FM logo
City of license Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Pittsburgh metropolitan area
Branding SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan
Slogan All Sports. All The Time.
Frequency 93.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1953 (1953)
Format 93.7 HD-1: Sports talk
93.7 HD-2: KDKA simulcast
93.7 HD-3: CBS Sports Radio
ERP 41,000 watts
HAAT 167 meters
Class B
Facility ID 20350
Callsign meaning taken from sister station KDKA
Former callsigns WKJF-FM (1950s-?)
WKOI (?-?)
WJOI (?-1981)
WBZZ (12/10/1981-07/07/2004)
WRKZ (07/07/2004-04/02/2007)
WTZN-FM (04/02/2007-11/27/2007)
WBZW-FM (11/27/2007-02/15/2010)
Affiliations CBS Sports Radio
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio Stations Inc.)
Sister stations KDKA, KDKA-TV, WBZZ, WDSY-FM, WPCW
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.937thefan.com

KDKA-FM (93.7 FM), branded as "SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan", is a radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Owned by CBS Radio, the station operates at 93.7 MHz with an ERP of 41 kW. Its studios are located at Foster Plaza alongside its radio sister stations west of downtown Pittsburgh, and the transmitter is located in Pittsburgh's South Shore area. The station programs a sports radio format. It simulcasts its AM namesake, KDKA on its HD2 subchannel, while HD3 is the national broadcast feed of CBS Sports Radio.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The 93.7 frequency in Pittsburgh began its life as WKJF-FM in the 1950s, an independently-owned FM station. For a brief time, there was a co-owned UHF TV station, WKJF-TV (channel 53; now occupied by WPGH-TV), which operated in 1953-54.

During its early incarnations as WKJF, WKOI, and WJOI, the station programmed a beautiful music format.

WBZZ - B94[edit]

Debuting on Monday April 6, 1981, WBZZ (B94) was the city’s number one Top 40 music station, tailoring its programming to not only a younger audience, but also a Pittsburgh audience. The first song played after the format switch was " You May Be Right" by Billy Joel.

B94 featured local morning shows such as “Quinn and Banana" (featuring Jim Quinn and "Banana" Don Jefferson) from its debut in 1983 until 1993, and “John, Dave, Bubba, Shelly” (with some minor personality changes) from 1993 through 2004.

In 2000, Clear Channel Communications unveiled a new CHR format, KISS-FM, on WKST-FM. The new station began to take a large chunk out of B94's audience. With more syndicated programming featuring famous national on air talent and focusing more on the younger audience, B94, for the first time, saw itself slipping into second place. Also not helping matters was sister station WZPT switching to a Hot AC format at the same time, which, while it played a mix of 1980s and 1990s music with current hits, otherwise had a similar format to B94.

In February 2003, WBZZ tweaked its name by calling itself “93-7 BZZ”. This was done because the station didn't want any confusion of exactly where it was on the radio dial, especially considering that the only station in Pittsburgh actually on the 94 range (WWSW-FM) had an oldies format. It was also done to re-image the station to compete with WKST, and because most radio stations sound out their exact frequency rather than rounding it due to the spread of digital tuners. Later, in mid-2004, the station tweaked its name again, calling itself "B93-7".

The "K-Rock" years and "The Zone" experiment[edit]

In 2004, Clear Channel yanked Howard Stern from all of their owned stations that aired his show, including the local WXDX-FM. In response, WBZZ operations manager Keith Clark decided to flip the station’s format after 23 years, and not only pick up Howard Stern (which he saw as a golden opportunity to improve the station's ratings), but unveil a new active rock format known as "93-7 K-Rock" to compete with Clear Channel’s other rock stations.

On June 30, 2004, at 8 a.m., without much warning, WBZZ’s on-air talent gathered to say goodbye to Pittsburgh, thanking the city for its support throughout the years. WBZZ ended the Top 40 format at 8:30 a.m. with "Move This" by Technotronic, while K-Rock's first song was "For Those About To Rock" by AC/DC. Listeners that had liked WBZZ but didn't like the new rock format were encouraged on-air to listen to sister station WZPT. The WBZZ call letters would be replaced by WRKZ on July 7, 2004. Ratings for the station improved initially after the switch, but began to decline before Howard Stern's departure for Sirius Satellite Radio.

To replace Stern, the station carried David Lee Roth's radio show as his replacement. However, due to low ratings, Roth was replaced by Opie and Anthony less than three months after his debut.

The afternoon drive show of Kidd Chris, from co-owned WYSP in Philadelphia, aired on 93.7 from August 28, 2006 until March 19, 2007.

On April 2, 2007, K-Rock became "93.7 The Zone," and changed its call signs to WTZN-FM in the process. This left Pittsburgh without an active rock station until WKVE flipped to it in 2009. The new station, although not carrying the "Free FM" name in its branding, was considered to be part of CBS's hot talk network by that name, the only station to affiliate with the network after the initial launch. Joining the lineup were Opie and Anthony, Pittsburgh native Dennis Miller, and former WDVE personality Scott Paulsen.[1] The station also carried programming from Sporting News Radio. Miller and Paulsen were displaced to KDKA when the format was abandoned.

Revert to B94[edit]

Logo for the revival of B94, used from October 2007 to February 2010

On Monday, October 1, 2007, at 10 AM, after Opie and Anthony, WTZN began stunting with Christmas music, in anticipation of a format flip scheduled for later that week.[2] The station made some fairly obvious hints as to the future of the station, advertising "Something's missing in 'Pitts-urgh'," and asking, "What is missing in Pitts-urgh?", prompting visitors to go to a message board at http://www.pitts-urgh.com/ where there is a message board asking "What do you miss the most about Pittsburgh?," among the choices being "B94 Radio."

B94 returned to Pittsburgh the following Friday, October 5, at 5 pm, with its first song being Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack." This marked CBS Radio's first top 40 station launch of the late 2000s; it would later launch the format in Houston (KKHH), San Francisco (KMVQ-FM), New York City (WXRK), Los Angeles (KAMP-FM), and Detroit (WVMV).

The return of B94 was apparently part of a CBS Radio initiative of resurrecting radio stations that had been killed off for other formats, such as WCBS-FM in New York and KFRC-FM in San Francisco. However, unlike those stations, which carry classic hits formats, B94 played current hits.

On November 27, 2007, WTZN switched its call sign to WBZW-FM to reflect its new format. B94's former call letters, WBZZ, were in use by an Adult Contemporary radio station in Malta, New York. That station is now known as WQSH, and CBS has indicated an intention to reacquire the call signs for use on one of its properties (which would later be at WZPT).

In the wake of WAMO-FM's departure from the Urban Contemporary format in September 2009 after it was sold to a Catholic-based organization, WBZW have managed to take advantage of the situation by adding current R&B/Hip-Hop tracks to pick up the displaced WAMO listeners, even at the expense of the more Rhythmic-heavy WKST, but at the same time stay within the Mainstream Top 40/CHR realm due to WKST's Rhythmic direction.

KDKA-FM (Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan)[edit]

On January 19, 2010, it was announced that CBS Radio would drop B94 for sports talk, launching February 15, 2010 under the name "Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan".[3] Again, the change was part of an initiative by CBS to establish FM sports talk stations; often displacing heritage music stations in the process (WBZ-FM in Boston was another example of this). The station will focus on local sports programming while going head-to-head with WEAE and WBGG, which are owned by ESPN Radio and affiliated with Fox Sports Radio, respectively. Much like the previous abandonment of B94, the station's format was merged into WZPT ("Star 100.7"). Bubba and Melanie from the former B94 morning show have both moved to Star 100.7, with Bubba joining JR and Shelly on the morning show and Melanie Taylor taking the midday shift. Former WZPT midday jock Scott Alexander slides to afternoons, prompting the exit of former Star afternoon personality Jonny Hartwell. Kobe, B94's afternoon jock and Music Director, and Flick, B94's night jock, were both released. Flick eventually wound up at WKST. Midday guy Sean "Coop" Cooper was transferred to nights at WYCD in Detroit.[4]

The end of B94 came in the late hours of the 14th, when 93.7 began stunting with music played at sports events, also known as "jock jams", and liners redirecting listeners of B94 to Star 100.7, before the flip officially occurred at 5 AM on the 15th. Many of the liners are also used (with a different branding) on sister stations WSCR "670 The Score" in Chicago, WKRK-FM "92.3 The Fan" in Cleveland, and WFAN/WFAN-FM "AM 66/FM 101.9 WFAN" in New York.

The station also adopted the call sign KDKA-FM on February 15, 2010, to reflect the recent trend for CBS Radio all-sports stations in markets with a heritage CBS-owned station to have matching call signs, in this case KDKA-TV and the historic0 KDKA Radio.

As with both the new format and when it was WTZN-FM, the only other FM talk station in Pittsburgh was WPGB until it switched to Country in August 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1],
  2. ^ Radio station 93.7 dumps talk format after six months
  3. ^ http://www.wpxi.com/news/22273461/detail.html
  4. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10020/1029443-67.stm

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°26′28″N 80°01′31″W / 40.4412°N 80.0253°W / 40.4412; -80.0253