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|Broadcast area||Pittsburgh metropolitan area|
|Power||5,000 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||W Gospel Broadcasting Network|
|Owner||Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation|
WGBN (AM 1360) is a gospel radio station that serves the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania market. Owned by Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, the station operates at 1360 kHz with a power of 5,000 watts daytime, 1,000 watts nighttime, and is licensed to McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
On December 8, 2015, WGBN and its sister station, WMNY, suddenly went silent without explanation. Two weeks later, ownership said in a published report that electrical and financial issues were the cause of the station's sudden cease of operations, and that it was expected to return to the air soon. Instead, the station did not return, and filed for a Special Temporary Authority application on January 12th to keep the station silent for 180 days. The FCC granted the application on Monday, February 1, 2016.
The station began broadcasting April 30, 1947, with the call letters WMCK, and under the ownership of the Mon-Yough Broadcasting Company. George Raikes served as company president, and Jack Craddock as general manager. Studios were located at 517 Market Street in McKeesport. Its initial programming included Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games. During these early years, the station broadcast at a full-time power of 1,000 watts, day and night, changing to a directional antenna pattern during the nighttime hours.
It was a Top 40 station with the call letters WIXZ ("Wick-zee 1360") beginning in 1969, following its acquisition by WWZ Corporation and the move of its studios and offices to the recently completed Monroeville Mall. Among its disc jockeys during the Top 40 era was Jeff Christie, better known today by his real name, Rush Limbaugh.
On June 19, 1974, the station was sold to Renda Broadcasting Corporation. Anthony F. Renda served as the company president and Melvin Abramovitz was appointed as station manager. By the end of the decade, the station changed its format to country and the studios and offices were moved to 400 Lincoln Highway in East McKeesport.
On July 16, 1985, Renda Broadcasting Corporation sold WIXZ to Serena Communications, a company owned by Renda executive Alan C. Serena. Renda had acquired Pittsburgh stations WJAS and WSHH the year before and was required to sell off WIXZ to comply with more stringent FCC ownership requirements at the time that limited owners to possess no more than one AM and one FM property in any given market. Serena maintained the format until September 1997, when Renda Broadcasting bought back the station after FCC ownership rules were relaxed.
As WPTT and WMNY
Shortly after the re-acquisition, WIXZ switched to a talk format, then took the WPTT call letters (formerly on channel 22 in Pittsburgh). On August 19, 2008, Renda Broadcasting announced that WPTT would be switching formats from talk to financial advice; this was accompanied by a call change to WMNY. In all of its incarnations since WMCK, the radio station has positioned itself as a Pittsburgh outlet, rather than directly addressing the suburb of McKeesport, despite a weak nighttime signal.
On September 19, 2011, Renda Broadcasting announced that WMNY would return to its "AM News Talk 1360" format. This format contains numerous popular talk programs from the Talk Radio Network based radio network.
In July 2013, Renda Broadcasting announced that WMNY would be donated to Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, licensee of WGBN in New Kensington. The transaction was completed on October 9, 2013. 1360 went off the air to allow engineering adjustments that would allow it to simulcast 1150's programming. The stations swapped call signs on March 1, 2014. WGBN returned to the air on February 13, 2015.
On December 8, 2015, the station went silent again, and as of this date, remains silent.
The station broadcasts Dial Global's "Rejoice!" satellite music format.
- "WMCK on Air" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 12, 1947. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Mark Roth, "Format change will take Cullen off WPTT," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (August 19, 2008).
- New Kensington-based radio stations silent for more than a month
- McKeesport, New Kensington radio stations expect to be back on air soon