|First air date||April 1947|
Music and Ministrypower = 5,000 watts (Daytime)
69 watts (Night)
|Callsign meaning||Apollo Vandergrift Leechburg|
|Owner||Family-Life Media-Com Inc. Kittaning pa.|
WAVL (Liberty 910) is a talk-formatted outlet serving the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. The station, which is owned by Family Life Media-Com inc. broadcasts on 910 kHz with a power level of 5,000 watts daytime and 69 watts nighttime and is licensed to Apollo, Pennsylvania.
WAVL first signed on the air April 15, 1947. For many years, this station operated as a 1,000 watt, non-directional, daytime-only station. In 1978, then-owner Tri-Borough Broadcasting raised a second tower, adopted a directional antenna pattern, and increased its power to 5,000 watts.
WAVL was granted permission to operate at a limited nighttime power of 69 watts in the late 1990s.
For much of its existence, WAVL was a conservative Christian radio station, broadcasting inspirational music and time-brokered sermons from its studios located with its transmitter site in the Kiskiminetas Township village of Orchard Hills, just on the outskirts of Apollo, its city of license. WAVL was also the very first radio station in Armstrong County, with WACB (now WTYM) coming on the air the following year.
WAVL was founded by Reverend Cecil F. Clifton, a deeply patriotic minister who started the station on the principle of "serving God and Country by guarding America's spiritual heritage". The station remained in Clifton's family for more than 50 years, doing business as Tri-Borough Broadcasting (referring to Apollo, Vandergrift, and Leechburg, which was also the origins of the station call letters).
The station is also speculated to have been among the very first in the nation to begin the practice of brokering its airtime to ministries and other faith-based organizations, including one of the first in the nation to broadcast Messianic Jewish programming with the Rabbi Sloan talk-teaching broadcast called "Shema Israel" in the mid 1990's.
The station also broadcast local news weekday mornings in between the time-brokered programs for many years, anchored by the soft-spoken, deep-baritoned genial Carman Tubby, who was a favorite in the community for many years until his death on September 14, 2000 , and became best known for addressing his listeners on the air as "friends". Tubby had worked at WAVL since its inception and retired seven months prior to his death, almost 54 years of service.
After Reverend Clifton's death in 1990, the station passed to his wife Alice. Their son-in-law, Reverend Robert Dain, had served as the station's General Manager years before that. At the beginning of the 21st century, following Mrs. Clifton's death, WAVL was put up for sale.
Clifton dynasty ends
WAVL was purchased in 2001 for $400,000 by Evangel Heights Assembly of God, a church in Sarver, Pennsylvania; located at Routes 356 and 28 in southern Butler County. Wishing to move WAVL towards a younger audience, Evangel Heights decided to change the station's format to contemporary Christian, gradually phasing out the ministries, and adopting the moniker "Praise 910". The station first broadcast with a live, local airstaff during the daytime hours, then switching to satellite based programming at night
Evangel Heights tried several different formats including an all music format and in 2009 an all talk format under the " Liberty 910" moniker via satellite service
A deal with Renda Broadcasting to swap Frequencies with WMNY 1360 AM in Pittsburgh also never materialized as well.
A return to Original Roots
In August of 2013 WAVL was under contract to be acquired by to Family-Life Media-Com Inc. located in Kittaning Pa. which runs WTMY AM a 1000 watt day timer and also runs a low power TV station Family Life TV 24/ 7 from Bunker Hill road in North Buffalo Twp. which also can be viewed on line and thru local cable affiliates . Family Life which is run by David Croyle who one time worked for Tri-Boro Broadcasting.
The station has been taken back to its roots of Music and Ministry with a mix of local and national shows and features live broadcasters from the Family Life Studios in Kittaning and occasionally from Orchard Hill transmitter site studios and covers local events including rebroadcasting the local high school football games on Saturdays in the fall. http://www.wavlradio.com/