|City||Central City, Pennsylvania|
|Broadcast area||Central City, Pennsylvania
|Slogan||Good Time Oldies|
|First air date||October 19, 1972 (as WCCS)|
|Callsign meaning||Variation of Central City (city of license) and CooL|
|Former callsigns||WCCS (1972-1981)
WCCL is an American radio station physically located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania located at 101.7 FM, but licensed to the community of Central City, Pennsylvania. The oldies formatted station currently carries a syndicated feed of Westwood One's "Good Time Oldies" format. The station is owned by the Forever Broadcasting.
Beginnings as WCCS
For many years, this station was known as WYSN, "Sunny 101". Licensed to Central City in Somerset County, the station first went on the air October 19, 1972 as WCCS, whose calls are used today by an AM station north of Somerset County in Homer City. The original owner of the station was Central Broadcasting Company, with Ben Jones serving as the company's president. The station initially played a mix of easy listening and country music, with polka programming on the weekends.
Coincidentally, the construction permit for WCCS in Homer City was once owned by the former Ridge Communications, this station's competitor, known then as WVSC (today as WLLI) and WVSC-FM (today as WLKJ). Ridge Communications had sold the license for the Homer City Station in 1982 after failing to raise enough capital to put it on the air.
The WCCS letters were given up in January 1981 for WWZE, after the station was sold to H.E.M.H. Corporation. The station took on a more middle-of-the-road approach to its programming, but the polka show remained. Jim Hancock served as company president, and Richard Eliot as general manager.
WWZE was purchased in 1988 by Nor-Lin Broadcasters, Inc., then the licensee of AM 1330 WADJ in Somerset, which itself was put on the air back in 1981. Nor-Lin was a company headed by Johnstown radio and television legend Ron Lorence and his wife Norma. Ron Lorence was a regular presence on WJAC-TV's locally produced shows such as "Seniors Today" and "Scholastic Quiz", and is still heard as the voice of Pennsylvania's Allied Milk Producers' radio commercials. Upon acquisition, the call letters were changed to WYSN, and it took the on the moniker "Sunny 101".
Under Nor-Lin ownership, WYSN operated with a format of adult standards music provided by WestWood One's "Adult Standards" format, a rather unusual move for an FM station. The station moved to a more current adult contemporary sound in the mid 90's following a format change of crosstown competitor WVSC-FM from adult contemporary to contemporary country. Ron Lorence managed the station, his wife Norma kept the books, and son Brad served as the station's operations manager, continuing in that role until long after the stations were sold.
Sale to Dame Media
Wanting to retire, Nor-Lin sold WADJ and WYSN in December 2000 to Dame Media, which had at the time owned WNTJ-AM and WMTZ-FM in Johnstown. At Dame's request, Ron Lorence stayed on as general manager for about a year, primarily to assist Dame with the transfer of ownership. Brad Lorence was promoted to station manager after his father decided it was time to retire for good, yet Brad Lorence still continued to do his live morning show over WYSN, which by this time has become WCCL, and had switched its format to oldies.
Lorence and Taylor fired: station sold
Without warning, Brad Lorence and morning show sidekick Jessica Taylor, who had been part of Somerset County morning radio for many years, were suddenly terminated in January 2004. The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, which voted the duo as "Simply the Best Morning Radio Team" in a reader's survey, was bombarded with calls when listeners were suddenly informed that Lorence and Taylor were gone. Two months later, the manager who activated the decision to fire the duo, Chuck Jewell, was also terminated. Dame officials insisted the firing had nothing to do with Lorence and Taylor, that it was a cost-cutting measure. Jessica Taylor by this time had gone on to country-formatted competitor Froggy 95.
The following year, Dame Media decided to sell its radio interests in Johnstown to Results Radio Group, which included WLKH 97.7 (formerly WVSC-FM), WCCL, and ESPN Radio 1330 in Somerset, also simulcast on 1490 in Johnstown. Results Radio, recognizing the past success of Lorence and Taylor, brought Jessica Taylor back to the WCCL morning show, which she continues to do today, but without Brad Lorence, who went on to pursue other interests.
Though WCCL is licensed to Somerset County, its studios and offices have been physically located in Johnstown since Dame Media purchased the station from the Lorence family. The studios and offices remain there today, but the station still focuses on the Johnstown and Somerset County area, with highly local appeal. The station is a part of many sports networks including Pittsburgh Penguins, Penn State Nittany Lions football and local high school football.
In November 2007, a deal was reached to sell WCCL plus co-owned stations WPRR, WBVH, and WLKH to Forever Broadcasting Inc. (Carol Logan, president) for a reported combined sale price of $3 million. 2510 Licenses LLC (Nicholas Galli, managing member) still owns all four stations, pending FCC approval of the sale.
- Fans Angrily Protest Somerset, Pa., Radio Station's Firing of Popular Hosts.
- Cost-Cutting Measures Continue at Johnstown, Pa.-Area Radio Station.
- "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 2007-11-12.
- Cool 101.7 WCCL official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WCCL
- Radio-Locator information on WCCL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WCCL