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|Broadcast area||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|First air date||September 26, 1956|
|Power||5,000 watts (day) |
710 watts (critical hours)
|Callsign meaning||WAyNesBurg (city of license)|
|Owner||Broadcast Communications, Inc.|
WANB (1210 AM) is an American radio station broadcasting a Country format. Licensed to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, United States, it serves southwestern Pennsylvania and portions of West Virginia and Ohio.. The station is currently owned by Broadcast Communications, Inc.
WANB signed on the air on September 26, 1956 at 1580 kilohertz and a daytime power output of 250 watts. For many years this was the only radio station on the air 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. The licensee was Commonwealth Broadcasters, Inc. and would remain so until 1975, though owner principals would change over the course of its history.
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 D.J.s. Lucinda (Toddy) Greenlee was the sales person.
In the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for unknown recording artists to show up at the station and ask D.J.s to plug their latest record. One singer who stopped at WANB was Bobby Vinton from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 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 1960s, 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, Mantovanni, and the like. There was no DJ or commercials during this final hour.
Other D.J.s in the 1960s 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 afternoon "psychedelic show" that was quite different from the music that was played the remainder of the week. Local musician Todd Tamanend Clark was frequently in attendance when Tom Pattison was on the air.
A daytime-only station for its entire existence, WANB was joined by a 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. At around this time, the company name had changed from Commonwealth Broadcasters to WANB, Inc., though the owner principals remained the same.
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.
Sale to Broadcast Communications, Inc.
Majority owner principals Joseph F. Hennessey, a Massachusetts-based attorney, 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 broadcaster Bob Stevens.
Stevens had previously built and owned WKYN in St. Marys, Pennsylvania; and later sold it in the mid-1990s to buy WHJB and WBCW, in Greensburg and Jeannette respectively; wishing to own a station closer to his hometown.
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.
WANB was granted a construction permit in 2006 to move to a lower dial position of 1210 kHz with a power increase to 5,000 watts. The station began broadcasting on its new frequency on December 31, 2009.