WKHB

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WKHB
City Irwin, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Pittsburgh metropolitan area and southwestern PA-tri-state area
Branding 620 KHB
Slogan Pittsburgh's Favorites (during music hours)
Frequency 620 (kHz)
First air date October 28, 1934 (as WHJB, Greensburg)
Format Oldies, Talk
Power 5,500 watts (day)
50 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 72297
Owner Broadcast Communications, Inc.
Website khbradio.com

WKHB is an AM radio station licensed to Irwin, Pennsylvania, United States, which serves the greater Pittsburgh area. Known as 620 KHB, the station operates with 5,500 watts daytime (reduced power at night) and airs a mix of health talk and paid programming with oldies music in the morning, evening and overnight hours. It is also known for its weekend polka shows and ministries that broadcast on KHB.

WKHB's studios are located in Greensburg, while its transmitter is located near Wendel, just south of Irwin.

WKHB's high power on a low frequency yields what is generally considered to be the second-best daytime AM signal in the Pittsburgh area (behind KDKA), covering nearly two and a half million people (2.0mV/m) in various portions of five states. WKHB also simulcasts on FM translators 94.1 W231BM and 92.3 W222CB.

WKHB and its sister stations 770 WKFB and 103.1 WKVE are owned by Broadcast Communications Inc., which also owns and operates WANB, Waynesburg, PA, which simulcast 1210 AM and 105.1 FM.

History[edit]

Beginnings as WHJB[edit]

620 began as WHJB, formerly licensed Greensburg. The station began as a daytime-only operation, operating at a power of 250 watts, non-directional.

The station was founded by H.J. Brennen, whose initials the station call letters stood for. WHJB, doing business as Pittsburgh Radio Supply House, first operated beginning October 28, 1934 from a studio at 128 North Penn Avenue in Greensburg.

WHJB, as the first radio station on the air in suburban Pittsburgh, experienced steady growth and prospered over its formative years, getting nighttime power authorization by 1955, as well as a daytime power increase, with power settings at 1,000 watts during the day, and 500 watts at night, adopting a directional antenna pattern with changing patterns for night and day operation. By 1960, the name of the licensee had changed its name to WHJB, Inc., though the station still was owned by the Brennen family. That changed in 1962 when control was transferred to others after the Brennen family's interests were sold to Robert Burstein, and then to general manager Melvin Goldberg by 1967.

WHJB-FM signs on[edit]

On November 1, 1964, WHJB welcomed WHJB-FM, its like-named FM sister station to the air. Though the stations shared identical call letters, they were initially programmed separately, until 1967, when several changes took place.

That year, WHJB and its FM sister, by this time named WOKU-FM, now simulcasting for half the broadcast day, moved to new studios and offices at 227 West Otterman Street in Greensburg. The stations moved to another location at 245 Brown Street near the Greensburg city limits in 1974, where they remained for the rest of the 20th century.

As "Disco 107" in 1979, WOKU won an award from Billboard magazine as "Large-Market Disco Station of the Year."

In 1980, WHJB upgraded its transmitting facilities again, increasing its power to 2,500 watts daytime and 500 watts at night, which it kept until shortly after its sale in 1996. WHJB's antenna array along U.S. Route 30 (four towers for the AM directional pattern, plus a fifth tower for the FM, later used as an auxiliary site) could be seen overlooking Greensburg for many years, but came down after the sale was completed.

1996 sale[edit]

The station was sold in 1996 to Broadcast Communications, Inc.

Broadcast Communications, Inc. moved WHJB's transmitter site closer to Pittsburgh, raised its daytime power twice, and changed its community of license to Irwin, Pennsylvania, a nearby suburb of Pittsburgh. WHJB had always been primarily a Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania radio station while WKHB with its higher power and closer tower, aspires to serve the tri-state greater Pittsburgh area.

Although the station continued to operate as a music-formatted, stand-alone AM outlet for several more years, the call letter change to WKHB in 1999 was more or less concurrent with a format switch to all paid programming. Music continues to air in the station's off-peak hours, 7:15 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., consisting of classic hits from the mid 60's to the mid 80's.

On-air staff and programs[edit]

Morning host and station manager Barry Banker celebrated 40 years with the station in 2006. Banker retired and was replaced in morning drive by Bill Korch from nearby WEDO.

Veteran Pittsburgh on-air personality and programmer Clarke Ingram was associated with the station (and sister station WKFB) as Program Director and Operations Manager for several years in the mid-2000s. His voice is still heard on many of the station's recorded elements, as well as on WKFB.

Caleb Michaels and Michael J. Daniels appear at various times, often at night, doing the classic hits/oldies format.

Regular non-music programs include "Health Breakthroughs" with Dr. James Winer, "Alternatives to Medicine" with Dr. Martin Gallagher, and the daily Scriptural Rosary, which has now aired on Pittsburgh radio for over 45 years. There is an extended lineup of polka shows on Saturday and Sunday and a variety of local ministry programs broadcast on WKHB.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°18′14″N 79°35′50″W / 40.30389°N 79.59722°W / 40.30389; -79.59722