WGPA

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WGPA Radio
City of license Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton
Branding "The New Sunny 1100"
Slogan "Your Hometown, Community Minded Radio Station"
Frequency 1100 (kHz)
First air date 1946
Format Ameripolitan
Power 250 watts (day only)
Class D
Transmitter coordinates 40°37′27″N 75°21′19″W / 40.62417°N 75.35528°W / 40.62417; -75.35528Coordinates: 40°37′27″N 75°21′19″W / 40.62417°N 75.35528°W / 40.62417; -75.35528
Callsign meaning Globe Publishing Authority
Owner Ronald and Christopher Crumbliss
(CC Broadcasting, LLC)
Website WGPASunny1100.com

WGPA (1100 AM) is a Class D daytimer radio station in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. It is owned by Ronald and Christoper Crumbliss, through licensee CC Broadcasting, LLC (Kutztown).

History[edit]

WGPA was originally a part of the Bethlehem Globe Publishing Authority (the GPA in WGPA). The station began broadcasting on February 16, 1946 and was located at 426 Brodhead Avenue, next to the Globe-Times daily newspaper building. The FCC license stated ownership as A-B-E Broadcasting a division of the Bethlehem Globe Times Newspapers signifying Allentown Bethlehem Easton as coverage area. WGPA AM 1100 originally broadcast popular music from time period. The original musical lineup primarily consisted of big band/swing featuring artists like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Doris Day and others.In the early fifties, a young man fresh out of Liberty High School named Bob Wolken,started at the station performing odd jobs. He would eventually hire on and became an on-air announcer, who would remain through changes in ownership and formats into the 1990s.

WGPA AM has always been a daytime only station: its broadcast hours are limited to dawn-dusk operation. Because of this limitation, WGPA-FM would pick up local live sports coverage after 6 pm. This included high school basketball and football. The FM station's daytime programming was beautiful music featuring the likes of Mantovani, Ferrante and Teicher, Ray Conniff and Henry Mancini.

By 1973 Bethlehem Globe Publishing Authority began to divest itself of its radio holdings. WGPA AM/FM went to Holt Broadcasting for approximately $125,000.The FM station would become WEZV, "Easy 95", playing easy listening music in stereo. By the late 1970s, WEZV would become WZZO, "Z-95", and play rock. It has remained in that format since then. WZZO's headquarters was established at the Westgate Mall Bethlehem, before moving to Whitehall.

Holt sold WGPA AM to Henry Chadwick in 1978 for approximately $400,000.The WGPA-AM offices and studios would be moved to the Dodson Building at 528 North New Street. Soon after, the station adopted the moniker "Sunny 1100," playing a mix of standards and adult contemporary music, with a mix of local news, weather and traffic. In 1991, Joe Timmer acquired WGPA AM 1100 from Chadwick Broadcasting for $125,000. In addition to nostalgia and oldies music, station included a variety of locally hosted "specialty" programming, including "The Lehigh Valley Means Business," hosted by Bethlehem Attorney Bruce Davis, which aired for over a decade. Other specialty programs included music (Sinatra & Friends), talk/ information "Parenting Matters", "Larry Kisslinger", and sports "Jack, Joe & Company". WGPA kept true to its roots, airing polka music three times daily, including the station's flagship program, the Jolly Joe Timmer Polka Show M-F middays. In January 2013, WGPA announced that due to the sale of the Dodson Building, studios would be moving. In May 2013 WGPA began broadcasting from new studios at 429 East Broad Street in Bethlehem.

In March of 2015, Timmer sold the station to Ronald and Christopher Crumbliss' CC Broadcasting, LLC for $95,000. The purchase was consummated on May 29, 2015.

Current program offerings[edit]

According to Ronald Crumbliss, the new WGPA will have an entirely different format and will play upbeat music known as "Ameripolitan". This includes rock oldies from the fifties, rockabilly, some roots country and more. The station format change was introduced on May 21 - 22. Crumbliss feels that WGPA's new format will be successful in Bethlehem and the surrounding area because there are currently no stations in the region playing this style of music. Several WGPA programs will remain, including Sports Saturday with Jack Logic and Joe Craig and local favorite "Sinatra & Friends", hosted by Mark Iampietro. (Sunday mornings at 9 am). SRN radio news and Traffic from 69 News is included in the daily programming.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]