WAOB-FM

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WAOB-FM
City Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and Northern West Virginia
Branding 106.7 WAOB
Slogan We Are One Body
Frequency 106.7 MHz
First air date 1960 (as WWKS)
Format Religious (Catholic)
ERP 37,000 watts
HAAT 169 meters
Class B
Facility ID 52747
Callsign meaning We Are One Body
Former callsigns WWKS (1960-1995)
WXDX (1995-1996)
WAMO-FM (1996-2009)
Owner St. Joseph Missions
Webcast Streaming AAC
Website waob.org

WAOB-FM, formerly WAMO-FM, is a radio station serving the Pittsburgh area. It is owned by St. Joseph Missions, a Catholic-based organization based in Pittsburgh. WAOB-FM is licensed to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, broadcasts at 106.7 MHz. Its transmitter is located in Wexford, Pennsylvania.

When WAOB was WAMO-FM, its owner was Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, which had owned the station from 1973 to 2009. During its tenure under Sheridan, WAMO's format was Urban Contemporary until September 8, 2009, when it signed off for the last time. The station was relaunched as a non-commercial outlet in February 2010.

History[edit]

106.7 FM signed on in 1960 as WWKS, and was a long-time beautiful music/easy listening station known as "Kiss FM", which would later flip to classic rock. By November 1993, 106.7 FM was known as "The Force" with an album rock format.[1] The Force touted itself with the motto "The Best of Rock". The station flipped to modern rock in 1995 as "106-7 The X", WXDX. The station became the Pittsburgh affiliate for Howard Stern, beginning that November.

On April 10, 1996, at 3 PM, WXDX swapped frequencies with WAMO-FM, and moved to the 105.9 frequency. This was due to Clear Channel, the owner of WXDX, paying Sheridan Broadcasting (WAMO's owners) to swap frequencies and wanting better full-market coverage (Sheridan was also running into financial difficulties during this time). The swap resulted in WAMO moving to the weaker 106.7 frequency. To make up for the loss of coverage, WAMO also simulcasted its format with WSSZ to cover the eastern part of the metropolitan area beginning that same year. In 2004, WAMO relocated its transmitter, resulting in full-market coverage; at the same time, WSSZ broke from the simulcast and shifted to Urban Adult Contemporary and became WJJJ-FM, "Majic 107.1". In 2004, the station changed its longtime on-air brand from "Hot 106, WAMO" to "106.7 WAMO, Pittsburgh's #1 for Hip Hop & R&B".

One of the station's former logos.

On May 15, 2009, Sheridan announced that it has sold WAMO, WAMO-FM and WPGR-AM to St. Joseph Missions for $8.9 million. The deal has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission, and the stations were to change to a religious format by February 2010. All 35 employees were let go after the sale closed, leaving Pittsburgh without an Urban formatted outlet. The call letters were changed to WAOB upon the transfer of ownership.[2][3]

The news of this sale attracted a lot of attention,[4] and the reaction from listeners,[5][6] who will be left with no options in the market.[7][8] However, due to the high ratings WAMO-FM had with its urban format, it was assumed another station in Pittsburgh would switch to Urban to take advantage of the newly available audience. Some had hoped that WOGI would pick up the Urban format because its signal (98.3) was ripe for targeting WAMO's audience, but instead Keymarket sold the station to Educational Media Foundation, who replaced WOGI's Country format with its K-Love Christian contemporary brand.

At 6:07 pm EST on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, WAMO-FM discontinued broadcasting. Its last song was Boyz II Men's It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday, which was followed by silence. Since then, other outlets began adding some form of Urban or R&B programming, as AC outlet WLTJ launched a nighttime Adult R&B program called "Q after Dark" aimed at a 25-54 audience in the same month. In addition, the hiphop & R&B playlist was largely increased on Clear Channel's WKST-FM (96.1 Kiss FM), a top 40 station that had been moving towards a rhythmic top 40 direction, but with Mainstream top 40 rival WBZW (B94) switching to Sports Talk, this once again left Pittsburgh without any full-time R&B/Hip-Hop or Urban outlet as WKST has toned down the Rhythmic content.

In October 2009, Eddie Edwards, the one-time owner of then independent television outlet WPTT, announced that he was acquiring AM outlet WPYT, a station with good daytime coverage but not so good coverage at night. Edwards hoped that he could fill the Urban void with this new outlet (in actuality the format would be Urban Talk, targeting 25-54 African-Americans in the Pittsburgh metro), which pending FCC approval, would have started in February 2010. However, on November 3, 2009, it was announced that those plans have fallen through after his son, Eddie Edwards Jr., confirmed that the senior Edwards withdrew the application due to health problems and was hospitalized under a doctor's care.

106.7 FM returned to the air on February 15, 2010 with a live broadcast of a Catholic Mass. After its conclusion, the station announced that WAOB would begin regular programming on March 19, with only Mass broadcasts being carried in the interim.

WAMO's return[edit]

On May 22, 2011, Martz Communications debuted the new WAMO on AM 660 and 100.1 FM, which is a translator under the W261AX call letters. It is licensed to Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. [9]

WAOB's New Start[edit]

In March 2010 under new ownership, WAOB radio became known as WAOB "We Are One Body" FM Radio. It now operates as an official Catholic media outlet from its headquarters in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The following is taken from their website waob.org : "We Are One Body (WAOB) produces catechetical and contemplative programming. The programming is intended to present the life of the Church in a way that makes the Mystical Body of Christ more apparent: the Pope and bishops united with their priests, in their role as head, working together with the laity in their role as members. The catechetical programming consists of magisterial teaching from the Pope and bishops followed by conversations between priests who explain and elaborate on the magisterial teaching. The We Are One Body programming also contains broadcasts of lectio divina, led by priests, on Scripture, the writings of the saints, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church; leading listeners to interior silence and contemplation through meditation and prayer. The programming described above is supported by broadcasts of prayer from parishes, families and religious orders, including the Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours, and devotions such as the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet." [10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°37′11″N 80°05′35″W / 40.6198°N 80.0931°W / 40.6198; -80.0931