WTYM

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WTYM
Broadcast area Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Branding "Hometown Radio"
Frequency 1380 kHz
First air date 1948 (as WACB)
Format Talk, news, Christian
ERP 1000 Watts (day)
28 Watts (night)
Class D
Callsign meaning Good TYM(time) Radio
Owner Family-Life Media-Com, Inc.
Website wtymradio.com

WTYM is a 24-hour commercially licensed AM radio station broadcasting at 1380 kHz with a maximum power output of 1,000 watts, non-directional. The station is wholly owned by Family-Life Media-Com Inc., and its city of license is Kittanning, the seat of government for Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.

History[edit]

Beginnings as WACB[edit]

WTYM began broadcasting in 1948 as WACB, with the call letters standing for Armstrong County Broadcasting, the name of the original licensee, headed by its president, Lawrence Henry; and vice president Joseph B. Moore. WACB was the second radio station to come on the air in Armstrong County. The first was WAVL in nearby Apollo the year before; and the third was WKIN, which came on the air in 1949 at 1600 kHz, but that station would later fail and its license returned to the FCC.

Armstrong County Broadcasting sold WACB in December 1964 to WACB, Inc., a company parented by Rosenblum Stations, which also owned WISR in nearby Butler, Pennsylvania. Ray Rosenblum served as president of WACB, Inc.

The station signed on the air at first with a power of 500 watts, but that would be doubled many years later. WACB broadcast from its debut until about 1980 from a building at the corner of North Water and Market streets in downtown Kittanning, across the street from what is known today as the Kittanning Citizens Bridge, featured at the end of the movie "The Mothman Prophecies". Like many small-town stations in the golden age of radio, the station broadcast news, music, local ball games, and the programs of the day. However, unlike its counterparts, WACB was an independently programmed station, never having any kind of a network audio affiliation until almost the end of the 20th century. It also never had a co-located FM station in its portfolio.

Shortly before its 1982 sale, the station moved from its longtime location to 221 Butler Road in West Kittanning.

Despite its six decades, the station has only had five owners in its long history. WACB, Inc. ended its 18-year ownership tenure in 1982, when the company agreed to sell the station to its third owner, Nicholas Enterprises of Butler County. The station was sold to the newly formed Nicholas Broadcasting Company for $300,000 by the end of the year. It was during this ownership period that WACB experienced its largest growth until its subsequent sale in 1992.

Sale to Nicholas Broadcasting Company[edit]

Upon purchasing the station, Nicholas Broadcasting Company recognized a need for more space for the station than what the building at 221 Butler Road offered. The following year, a new studio and office building was completed at the station's transmitter site on Bunker Hill Road in North Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania, about three miles southwest of Kittanning, where it remained until July 2010.

WTYM tower and studio building on Bunker Hill Road in North Buffalo Township, its home from 1982 to 2010.

The spacious new location allowed the construction of a commercial production studio, sales offices in the basement, and a newsroom and programming office. The station was also outfitted with newer and more state-of-the-art equipment that what had been available up to that point in time.

The late 1980s were a turning point at the time for WACB. In 1987, Nicholas Broadcasting Company announced the creation of a weekly satire publication, called "Adults Exclusively Yours". The free publication, distributed in retail establishments throughout the Armstrong County area, featured weekly columns written by station personnel, a comic strip based on internal station antics called "WARP Radio", advertisements, and the weekly drawing of a $100 cash prize to a reader who could spot an intentional mistake put in the paper. Adults Exclusively Yours ceased publication in the fall of 1989.

Towards the end of 1987, after years of petitioning, WACB was finally granted limited nighttime power. Since 1985, the station operated with a PSRA power of 400 watts from sign-on until sunrise, then 55 watts PSSA that allowed the station to remain on the air no more than two hours past local sundown. The new nighttime power of 28 watts allowed WACB to stay on the air 24 hours if they liked, but ownership chose to continue signing off, though at midnight. WACB began broadcasting under their new nighttime power authority in January 1988.

Up until July 4, 1990, WACB's format had been relatively consistent for many years; a full-service news and sports formatted station playing adult contemporary and oldies music. On that day, the format switched to country. The station's moniker then changed from "The Ace of Entertainment" to "The All-American".

Acquisition by Vernal Enterprises, Inc.[edit]

In 1992, Nicholas Enterprises decided to leave the radio business and sold WTYM to Vernal Enterprises, Inc. of Indiana, Pennsylvania. Upon taking over, the music portion of the format reverted to oldies (but without the adult contemporary flavor), and the station adopted the new call letters WTYM, for the new chosen moniker "Good Time Radio!".

Under Vernal's direction, the station for the first time in its history joined a network affiliation with AP Network News (later discontinued). The station had never embraced satellite technology prior to the format change on July 22, 1992.

On that day, the station celebrated its changing of the guard that afternoon while broadcasting live from the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival, an annual event held in downtown Kittanning's Riverfront Park. John McCue, a local attorney who worked at the station during its beginnings in the 1940s, signed off the station as WACB for the very last time and new owner Larry Schrecongost then signed the station on as WTYM and under its then-new all oldies format.

Acquisition by Family Life Media Com, Inc.[edit]

Vernal owner Larry Schrecengost died unexpectedly on June 8, 2010, with the station temporarily ceasing operations a week later. On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, Vernal Enterprises announced the planned sale of WTYM to Family Life Media Com, Inc., which is the parent company of Family Life TV and The Kittanning Paper. Family-Life began programming WTYM on July 26, 2010 under a Time Brokerage Agreement. The sale received final FCC approval on Friday, November 19, 2010. The sale was concluded on December 16, 2010.

WTYM Today[edit]

Upon the proposed acquisition of WTYM by Family Life Media Com, and its subsequent return to the air on July 26, 2010, the station dropped its oldies format in favor of a daily local talk and news-based format, local sports, and Sunday Christian programming. WTYM studios have been relocated to the front window at 114 South Jefferson Street in downtown Kittanning, where announcers frequently interact with persons on the street. Through programming and active community involvement, WTYM has brought back "hometown radio" to Armstrong County.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°47′19″N 79°32′05″W / 40.78861°N 79.53472°W / 40.78861; -79.53472