|Broadcast area||Clearfield, Pennsylvania / DuBois|
|Slogan||It's a Trip|
|Owner||Kristin Cantrell |
(Southern Belle, LLC)
First air date
Call sign meaning
|Power||2,500 watts (Daytime)|
500 watts (Nighttime)
|Translator(s)||W253CU (98.5 MHz, Clearfield)|
WCPA is an American radio station, licensed to Clearfield, Pennsylvania, the seat of government for Clearfield County. WCPA is owned and operated by Kristin Cantrell, through licensee Southern Belle, LLC. WCPA broadcasts at the assigned frequency of 900 kHz with a power output of 2,500 watts day; and 500 watts night.
WCPA was the first of three radio properties once owned by Progressive Publishing, first going on the air back in 1947. Though it had always broadcast at its current frequency, this station would not be granted nighttime power authorization until 1990, when it undertook a major engineering project.
Prior to this, WCPA enjoyed a reputation as an immediate and reliable source for breaking local news, largely through the newspaper cross-ownership. This alliance resulted in many awards for the quality of their local newscasts. Wishing to expand their reach into other markets, Progressive also purchased WDAD Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1958 and WMAJ State College at around the same time. Both WDAD and WMAJ experienced massive growth while under Progressive's ownership.
In the mid 1960s, the FCC approved a round of low-powered Class A FM drop-in channels to spur growth on that band among AM broadcasters who were reluctant to take the financial risk involved with the unpopular technology. Progressive successfully applied for three FM channels in their respective markets, with WCPA's FM sister, WQYX coming on the air at 93.5 (now at 93.1) on July 12, 1967.
1980s: Progressive divestiture
In the late 1980s, Progressive decided to reduce its footprint and sold their properties in State College and Indiana, both in Pennsylvania. Sales of both stations generated close to $5 million by the end of the decade. With this new capital, Progressive decided to put a sizable investment into WCPA's future. Prior to 1990, it had been a single-tower non-directional daytime-only AM station operating at a thousand watts.
Progressive successfully applied for a construction permit to build a new transmitter and tower site. Two new towers were built for a directional-antenna pattern that would allow the station to operate at more than double its current power during the day, with nighttime power at 500 watts. The low dial position allowed WCPA to be heard clearly at night throughout Clearfield County, and parts of Centre County.
Until 2010, WCPA, along with WQYX, operated at 110 Healy Street in downtown Clearfield. In October 2006, Progressive Publishing sold WCPA and WQYX to First Media, owners of Q102 in DuBois, for $750,000. On May 1, 2010, WCPA/WQYX held a "yard sale" to liquidate its 30-year collection of 45s and albums, as well as electronics, office supplies, etc., in preparation for the demolition of the building. The offices/studios are now co-located with WIFT/WQQP at 801 E DuBois Ave in Du Bois, PA. Effective January 3, 2017, First Media sold WCPA, WOWQ, WQYX, WZDB, and WZDD to Southern Belle, LLC for $4.5 million.
On August 15, 2018, WCPA rebranded as "Passport Radio". The change occurred at the same time as WCPA launched their new FM translator at 98.5 FM, W253CU. By this point, the station was airing a broad 1960s to 1980s classic hits format.
- WCPA Stamps Its Passport With Classic Hits Radioinsight - August 15, 2018
- WCPA in the FCC's AM station database
- WCPA on Radio-Locator
- WCPA in Nielsen Audio's AM station database