WKST (AM)

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WKST
Broadcast area New Castle, Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Branding NewsRadio 1200 WKST
Slogan News that makes Talk...Talk that makes News
Frequency 1200 (kHz)
First air date 1938 (at 1280-AM)
Format News/Talk
Power 5,000 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
Class B
Callsign meaning NeW C(K)aSTle
Owner Forever Broadcasting, LLC
Website www.wkst.com

WKST is an AM radio station in New Castle, Pennsylvania, USA broadcasting at 1200 kHz with a news/talk format. It is currently owned by Forever Broadcasting, LLC of Altoona, Pennsylvania which also owns 12 other radio stations in Pennsylvania including WJST (AM) in New Castle and WWGY (FM) in Grove City. WKST is home to New Castle High School basketball and football broadcasts. The station currently has one local talk show, which is hosted by longtime employee and Youngstown, Ohio resident Ken Hlebovy. News coverage is provided by New Castle resident Wade Sutton.

History[edit]

WKST has been broadcasting in New Castle for over 70 years, but prior to November 5, 1999 it was at 1280 kHz. WKST signed on the air in 1938. In the 1940s it was a Mutual affiliate. In 1942 Alan Freed landed his first broadcasting job at WKST, before moving on to nearby WKBN/Youngstown, Ohio, followed by WAKR/Akron, and then WJW/Cleveland — the station where Freed is credited with first using and popularizing the term "rock and roll" to describe the music genre. By the 1970s WKST was owned by Faye and Herb Scott, formerly based in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and held in the name of Great Scott Broadcasting. Great Scott purchased FM station WFEM in Ellwood City, and it became WKST-FM on January 1, 1988. In the late 1990s, after the death of the Scotts, Great Scott decided to concentrate on its radio holdings in Delaware, and it sold WKST and WKST-FM to Jacor for $2.5 million in December 1998.

Prior to November 5, 1999, the 1200 kHz frequency was occupied by WBZY. WBZY began broadcasting in 1968. In December 1986 WBZY was sold by Lawrence County Broadcasting Corp. to a partnership called WBZY Radio Sam (the "Sam" representing the surname initials of partners Samuel M. Shirey, William G. Andrews and Robert L. McCracken). Andrews sold his share to the other two partners in 1991. WBZY was then sold to Jacor in April 1999 [1] for $800,000, and Jacor was purchased by Clear Channel Communications shortly thereafter. Clear Channel, which also owned WKST, switched the call signs in November 1999. The calls of WKST-FM were changed to WJST on October 10, 2000, and WKST-FM call sign was moved to Pittsburgh were it could be used with Clear Channel's KISS-FM brand. In April 2004, Clear Channel announced the sale of WKST along with WBZY and WJST (FM) to Forever Broadcasting for $2.85 million [2]. On September 20, 2004, the WJST call sign was moved to 1280 AM, and WJST-FM became WKPL (FM).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°56′22″N 80°23′38″W / 40.93944°N 80.39389°W / 40.93944; -80.39389