From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- For the station that was once WBZW, please see WFXN-FM in Loudonville, Ohio
- For the station that took the WRKZ call letters, please see WRKZ in Columbus, Ohio
- For the station that was once KDKA-FM, please see WLTJ in Pittsburgh.
|City of license||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Broadcast area||Pittsburgh metropolitan area|
|Slogan||"Pittsburgh's Hottest Hits"|
|Frequency||93.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
93.7 HD-2 for Dance/Party hits
93.7 HD-3 for Newsradio 1020 KDKA (AM) simulcast
|First air date||1953|
|Format||Contemporary Hit Radio|
|Callsign meaning||W B(94)Z W (Homage to previous WBZZ calls)|
|Sister stations||KDKA, WDSY, WZPT|
part of CBS Corp. cluster with TV stations KDKA & WPCW
WBZW-FM (93.7 FM), branded as "B94", is a radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Owned by CBS Radio, the station operates at 93.7 MHz with an ERP of 41 kW. Its transmitter is located in Pittsburgh. The station currently programs a CHR format, which debuted at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2007, a revival of the original "B94" that existed on the frequency from 1981 to 2004. On its HD2 subchannel, the station offers a format that consists of Dance and Party hits.
On January 19, 2010, CBS Radio announced that WBZW will switch to a sports talk format on February 15, at which it will assume the call sign KDKA-FM, the former call sign of WLTJ.
The 93.7 frequency in Pittsburgh began its life as WKJF-FM in the 1950s, an independently-owned FM station. For a brief time, there was a co-owned UHF TV station, WKJF-TV (53), which operated in 1953-54.
During its early incarnations as WKJF, WKOI, and WJOI, the station programmed a beautiful music format.
The first "B94" years
Debuting on Monday April 6, 1981, WBZZ (B94) was the city’s number one Top 40 music station, tailoring their programming to not only a younger audience, but also a Pittsburgh audience. The first song played after the format switch was "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me" by Billy Joel.
B94 featured local morning shows such as “Quinn and Banana" (featuring Jim Quinn and "Banana" Don Jefferson) in the 1980s and “JohnDaveBubbaShelly” (with some minor morning personality changes)in the 1990s through 2004.
In 2000, Clear Channel Communications unveiled a new CHR format, KISS-FM at 96.1 FM. The new station began to take a large chunk out of B94's audience. With more syndicated programming featuring famous national on air talent and focusing more on the younger audience, B94 for the first time, saw itself slipping into second place. Also not helping matters was sister station WZPT switching to a Hot AC format at the same time, which, while it played a mix of 80's and 90's music with current hits, otherwise had a similar format to B94.
Early in 2003, WBZZ tweaked its name by calling itself “93-7 BZZ”. This was done because the station did want any confusion of exactly where they were on the radio dial, especially considering that the only station in Pittsburgh actually on the 94 range (WWSW-FM) had an oldies format. It was also done to re-image their station to compete with its new rival WKST “96-1 KISS FM.” Later, in mid-2004, the station would tweak its name again, calling itself this time, B93-7.
The "K-Rock" Years and "The Zone" Experiment
In 2004, Clear Channel yanked Howard Stern from all of their owned stations that aired his show, including the local WXDX-FM. In response, WBZZ operations manager Keith Clark and other station officials decided to flip the station’s format after 23 years, and not only pick up Howard Stern (which they saw as a golden opportunity to improve their ratings) but unveil a new active rock format to compete with Clear Channel’s other rock stations and changed the call signs to WRKZ.
On June 30, 2004, WBZZ’s on-air talent gathered to say goodbye to Pittsburgh, thanking them for their support throughout the years. Listeners that had liked B94 but didn't like the new rock format were encouraged on-air to listen to sister station WZPT. Ratings for 93.7 K-Rock improved initially after the switch, but began to decline before Howard Stern's departure for Sirius Satellite Radio.
On April 2, 2007, K-Rock became "93.7 The Zone," changing call signs to WTZN-FM in the process. The station, although not carrying the "Free FM" name in its branding, was considered a Free FM station, the only station to affiliate with the network after the initial launch. Joining the lineup were Opie and Anthony, Pittsburgh native Dennis Miller, and former WDVE personality, Scott Paulsen. The station also carried programming from Sporting News Radio. Miller and Paulsen were displaced to KDKA when the format was abandoned.
The Return of B94
On Monday, October 1, 2007, WTZN began stunting with Christmas music, in anticipation of a format flip scheduled for later that week. The station made some fairly obvious hints as to the future of the station, advertising "Something's missing in 'Pitts-urgh'," prompting visitors to go to a message board at http://www.pitts-urgh.com/ where there is a message board asking "What do you miss the most about Pittsburgh?," among the choices being "B94 Radio."
The return of B94 at 93.7 FM is apparently part of CBS Radio's current initiative of resurrecting radio stations that had been killed off for other formats, such as WCBS-FM in New York and KFRC in San Francisco. However, unlike those stations, which carry classic hits formats, B94 plays current hits.
B94 returned to Pittsburgh the following Friday at 5 pm, with its first song: Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack." This marked it CBS Radio's first top 40 station launch of the late 2000s, and would also be spreading to stations in Houston, Texas (KKHH), San Francisco, California (KMVQ-FM) and in Los Angeles, California (KAMP-FM).
On November 27, 2007, WTZN switched it's call sign to WBZW-FM to reflect its new format. B94's former call letters, WBZZ, are currently in use by an Adult Contemporary radio station in Malta, New York called Buzz 105.7.
In the wake of WAMO-FM's departure from the Urban Contemporary format in September 2009 after it was sold to a Catholic-based organization, WBZW have managed to take advantage of the situation by adding current R&B/Hip-Hop tracks to pick up the displaced WAMO listeners, even at the expense of the more Rhythmic-heavy WKST, but at the same time stay within the Mainstream Top 40/CHR realm due to WKST's Rhythmic direction.
Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan
On January 19, 2010, it was announced that CBS Radio will abandon the B94 format for talk again, this time sports talk, launching February 15, 2010 under the name "Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan". The station will focus on local sports programming while going head-to-head with WEAE and WBGG, which are owned by ESPN Radio and affiliated with Fox Sports Radio, respectively. Much like the previous abandonment of the B94 format, the station's format will be merged into WZPT. Bubba and Melanie from the former B94 morning show have both moved to Star 100.7, with Bubba joining JR and Shelly on the morning show and Melanie Taylor taking the mid-day shift. Former WZPT mid-day jock Scott Alexander slides to afternoons, prompting the exit of former Star afternoon personality Jonny Hartwell. Kobe, B94's afternoon jock and Music Director, and Flick, B94 Night jock, were both released. Mid-day guy "Coop" was transferred to CBS in Detroit. .
The station will also adopt the call sign KDKA-FM, to reflect the recent trend for CBS Radio stations in markets with a CBS O&O to have matching call signs, in this case KDKA-TV and the historic KDKA Radio. The new station will share several resources with both stations, and will move their operations to KDKA-TV/AM studios at Pittsburgh's Gateway Center.
As with both the new format and when it was WTZN-FM, the only other FM talk station in Pittsburgh is WPGB.
- ^ ,
- ^ Radio station 93.7 dumps talk format after six months
- ^ http://www.wpxi.com/news/22273461/detail.html
- ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10020/1029443-67.stm
- ^ http://www.pbrtv.com/blog/entry_1229.php?w=my_weblog
- http://www.pbrtv.com/pbrtvn.html - Retrieved on April 10, 2007
- Official website
- http://www.myspace.com/theonlyb94/ - B94's Official MySpace
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBZW
- Radio Locator information on WBZW
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WBZW
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article
- Paulsen's Departure from WDVE
- Article on B94's return from Edison Media Research (October 10, 2007)