WBGI

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For the airport in Long Seridan, Sarawak, Malaysia assigned the ICAO code WBGI, see Long Seridan Airport.
WBGI
City Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Connellsville, Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh
Branding The Pickle
Frequency 1340 kHz
First air date 1947 (as WCVI)
Format Classic Hits (simulcast with WPKL)
Power 1,000 watts (unlimited)
Class C
Facility ID 39859
Former callsigns WCVI (1947-1999)
DWCVI (1999)
WCVI (1999-2001)
WPNT (2001-2005)
WYJK (2005-2011)
Owner Keymarket Communications, Inc.
Website picklefm.com

WBGI was a commercially licensed AM radio station, formerly licensed to operate at the federally assigned frequency of 1340 kHz, with a maximum power output of 1,000 watts. WBGI was licensed to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, approximately 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

History[edit]

Beginnings as WCVI[edit]

First coming on the air back in 1947, WCVI was a typical radio station of its time, boasting a middle-of-the-road music format with local talk and sports broadcasts, serving Western Pennsylvania's fabled "Fay-West" area (southern Westermoreland and northern Fayette Counties. Over the years, WCVI became one of the top stations in Western Pennsylvania, and best known for fostering the careers of local sportscaster legends Kevin Harrison and Jack Benedict.

WCVI was first owned by Connellsville Broadcasters, Inc., a company headed by J. Wylie Driscoll, who served as President, General Manager, and Commercial Manager. The station broadcast from studios and offices at 126 West Crawford Avenue, and operated with a daytime power output of 1,000 watts, and at 250 watts at night.

Changes[edit]

On June 28, 1951, the owner principals of WCVI changed, though the name of the licensee remained the same, with a local physician, Dr. Cam T. "Doc" Troilo assuming control of the station from Raymond Galiardi by 1955. By that time, the station briefly relocated to the Hetzel Building, and then finally up the street from its original location to an 18th-century historic building at 133 East Crawford Avenue in Connellsville, where it would operate from for the rest of the 20th century.

First sale[edit]

In 1985, Troilo sold the station to Mar Com Broadcasting, owned by Marlene Hesler of Monroeville. Two years later, an FM sister station joined WCVI into the fold. WPQR (now WPKL), a station licensed to Uniontown, had been acquired that year by Pittsburgh attorney Geoffrey P. Kelly, doing business as Kel Com Broadcasting. Though the licenses of the two stations were separately owned, both Heshler and Kelly were able to make a partnership work, doing business as Mar Kel Partners, Limited, reducing expenses through shared employee functions. After Kelly acquired WPQR, he moved the on-air operations of his station to the WCVI building, but maintained a satellite sales office in downtown Uniontown.

Partnership dissolved[edit]

The partnership between Heshler and Kelly was eventually dissolved, with Heshler resigning her partnership in the stations by 1994, with Kelly acquiring the assets of WCVI, though Heshler stayed on as General Manager for a year or two after its dissolution. Unfortunately, both stations fell on hard times throughout the 1990s, reducing the staffs of both stations to a skeleton crew, and WPQR being silent for almost a year due to a broken transmitter component and no money to fix it. The remaining staff, however, remained loyal to the station and stayed on (some even working for free), trying to keep their heads above water. Eventually this began to take its toll, as explained in this March 18, 2000 issue ("Tuned in: Connellsville community continues to support a struggling WCVI") by Jason Togyer of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Another example of the working conditions was also chronicled in this December 31, 2000 article ("AM radio stations try to stay in tune") by Richard Robbins of the Tribune Review:

Bankruptcy sale: Station goes silent a second time[edit]

WCVI also went silent in June 2001 after it and WPQR were acquired for $475,000 by Keymarket Communications of Carnegie in a January bankruptcy court sale, to satisfy more than a million dollars in debt incurred by Mar Com and Kel Com. After undergoing an extensive technical overhaul, WPQR finally returned to the air under the new call letters WPKL (99.3 The Pickle) and an oldies format. WCVI also returned to the air under the call letters WPNT, but only as a simulcast of its FM sister. The station changed its call sign to WYJK, but still had no independent programming of its own. A co-owned FM sister station licensed to Bellaire, Ohio is known as WRQY, playing a variety hits format.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Keymarket Communications applied for Special Temporary Authority on WYJK's behalf in November for a silent station, with reasons given as being technical in nature. Reporting silence since November 6, the FCC approved the request November 29, 2006 [1].

WYJK remained off the air for a period of more than two and a half years, returning to the air in August 2008. However, WYJK continued to simulcast FM sister station WPKL, and no plans have yet been announced for it to develop independent programming of its own. On September 15, 2011, the station changed its call sign to WBGI.

Cancellation[edit]

On June 14, 2012, WBGI went silent for the final time. Keymarket surrendered the station's license to the FCC on June 21, 2012. The FCC cancelled the license and deleted the WBGI call sign from its database on July 19, 2012.

Sources[edit]

Aftermath[edit]

Both stations moved to Brownsville, on the other side of Fayette County, as the former 19th century studio building on East Crawford Avenue stands vacant. More recently, the operations for WYJK and WPKL have moved to Carnegie, joining other properties of Keymarket Communications. The historic East Crawford Avenue building was sold to a new owner in 2005, after years of local hearings concerning its ownership liability.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°01′27″N 79°36′35″W / 40.02417°N 79.60972°W / 40.02417; -79.60972