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WAVL
Broadcast area Apollo, Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh
Branding "Praise 910"
Frequency 910 kHz
First air date April 1947
Format Contemporary Christian, religion
Power 5,000 watts (Daytime)
69 watts (Night)
Class D
Callsign meaning Apollo Vandergrift Leechburg
Owner Evangel Heights Assembly of God Church
Website http://www.praise910.com/

WAVL (Praise 910) is a Christian Top 40 outlet serving the Pittsburgh area. The station, which is owned by the Evangel Heights Assembly of God church, broadcasts on 910 kHz with a power level of 5,000 watts daytime and 69 watts nighttime and is licensed to Apollo, Pennsylvania.

Contents

History

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Early Years

WAVL first signed on the air April 15, 1947. For many years, this station operated as a 1,000 watt, non-directional, daytime-only station. In 1978, then-owner Tri-Borough Broadcasting raised a second tower, adopted a directional antenna pattern, and increased its power to 5,000 watts.

WAVL was granted permission to operate at a limited nighttime power of 69 watts in the late 1990s.

For much of its existence, WAVL was a conservative Christian radio station, broadcasting inspirational music and time-brokered sermons from its studios located with its transmitter site in the Kiskiminetas Township village of Orchard Hills, just on the outskirts of Apollo, its city of license. WAVL was also the very first radio station in Armstrong County, with WACB (now WTYM) coming on the air the following year.

WAVL was founded by Reverend Cecil F. Clifton, a deeply patriotic minister who started the station on the principle of "serving God and Country by guarding America's spiritual heritage". The station remained in Clifton's family for more than 50 years, doing business as Tri-Borough Broadcasting (referring to Apollo, Vandergrift, and Leechburg, which was also the origins of the station call letters).

The station is also speculated to have been among the very first in the nation to begin the practice of brokering its airtime to ministries and other faith-based organizations.

The station also broadcast local news weekday mornings in between the time-brokered programs for many years, anchored by the soft-spoken, deep-baritoned genial Carman Tubby, who was a favorite in the community for many years until his death on September 14, 2000 [1], and became best known for addressing his listeners on the air as "friends". Tubby had worked at WAVL since its inception and retired seven months prior to his death, almost 54 years of service.

After Reverend Clifton's death in 1990, the station passed to his wife Alice. Their son-in-law, Reverend Robert Dain, had served as the station's General Manager years before that. At the beginning of the 21st century, following Mrs. Clifton's death, WAVL was put up for sale.

Clifton Dynasty Ends

WAVL was purchased in 2001 for $400,000 by Evangel Heights Assembly of God, a church in Sarver, located at Routes 356 and 28 in southern Butler County. Wishing to move WAVL towards a younger audience, Evangel Heights decided to change the station's format to contemporary christian, gradually phasing out the ministries.

WAVL Today

The WAVL studio moved from its longtime location on Radio Station Road in Orchard Hills in 2004, co-locating the studios with the church in Sarver. However, the station continues to transmit from Orchard Hills.

WAVL had applied to switch frequencies with WPTT-AM, with the understanding to operate at 1360 AM sometime in the future. According to the FCC website, the station was to broadcast from a five-tower directional antenna array with a power of 6700 watts during the day; and 700 watts, using four out of the five towers, at night. [2] The proposed new antenna array, in Westmoreland County, was to be built along Kistler Drive in Washington Township. The project was scrapped in late 2007.

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