WBZU

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WBZU
WILK980.PNG
City of license Scranton, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton
Branding WILK Newsradio
Frequency 910 kHz (AM)
First air date 1925
Format News/Talk
Power 900 watts (day)
440 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 36200
Former callsigns WGBI (1925-2005)
Owner Entercom Communications
(Entercom Wilkes-Barre Scranton, LLC)
Sister stations WILK-FM/AM, WKZN
Webcast Listen Live
Website wilknewsradio.com

WBZU is a news/talk AM broadcasting radio station licensed to the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The station relays the programming of WILK and the "WILK News Radio" network. WBZU is owned by Entercom Communications. The radio station's call signs were changed by Entercom in 2005[1] from its long-time original call signs of WGBI which the station held since its sign on date of 1925.[2]

History[edit]

WGBI signed on the frequency of 1250 kHz in 1925,[2] owned by Edward Megargee. In 1927, the station moved to 1300 kHz[3] which it time shared with Scranton's other radio station, WQAN (now WEJL). The two stations which were time sharing a single frequency, moved to 880 kHz in 1931,[4] and then again to 910 kHz by 1941[5] (the later move, forced by a nationwide frequency reassignment which took place in 1941). WGBI remained at 910 kHz when WQAN moved on to its own broadcast tower and new frequency of 630 kHz in 1948. This meant that WGBI had full-time use of the 910 kHz frequency where it remains to this day. WGBI was a CBS Radio network affiliated station by the 1940s.[6]

The Megargee family's company, Scranton Broadcasters, spawned an FM station (now WGGY) and northeast Pennsylvania's second television station (now WYOU). The Megargees held on to the radio stations well into the 1990s. By the turn of the century, WGBI had been sold to Entercom and become a repeater of WILK-AM, existing mainly to improve its signal in Scranton. While WILK's daytime signal easily covers most of Scranton, the northern portion of the city only gets a grade B signal. At night, WILK-AM must power down to 1,000 watts, leaving most of Scranton with only a grade B signal.

WBZU in 2007 moved its transmitter to the tower location atop the Times Building at 149 Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton[7] also being used by WEJL's transmitter. The full-time switch over to the new transmitter facility and tower location happened on August 2, 2007.[7] This tower sharing arrangement repeats an arrangement the stations shared over 60 years ago in their early history. The efficiency of the new transmitter tower location also caused WBZU to slightly reduce its power to keep within Federal Communication Commission rules on signal strength and coverage.

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