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WBGG
Wbgg.jpg
City of license Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Pittsburgh metropolitan area
Branding Fox Sports Radio 970
Frequency 970 (kHz)
First air date 1945
Format Sports Talk
Power 5,000 watts (unlimited)
Class B
Facility ID 59960
Callsign meaning PittsBurGh (The second G subsitutes for the H)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations WDVE, WKST-FM, WPGB, WWSW, WXDX
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.fox970.com

WBGG is a sports radio station based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, owned by Clear Channel Communications. The station broadcasts at 970 kHz with 5,000 watts day and night.

History

The station was originally at 1500 (later 1490), and moved to 970 after the end of World War II, requiring an eight-tower directional array to use the frequency. This large array was one of the first of its kind in the United States.

For many years, this station was WWSW with a MOR music format aimed at older adults. In the early 1970s, General Manager Charles Warner instituted a news-heavy morning show to compete with market leader KDKA. In 1980, a disastrous and abrupt format change to country music (as "Double Country") eventually resulted in the abandonment of the historic call letters and a switch to talk as WTKN. Later, the WWSW calls were reclaimed.

In 1988 WWSW-AM and sister WWSW-FM simultaneously switched to separate oldies formats. Ultimately, the AM became a complete simulcast of the FM station, known as 3WS. In October 2000, 970 broke away from the simulcast to become a Fox Sports Radio affiliate, and at first was known as "970 The Burgh." Today, the station calls itself "Fox Sports Radio 970".

The two stations had a common bond as, in addition to being co-owned, they were the flagship stations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The FM outlet for Penguins switched to WXDX in the 2006-07 hockey season while University of Pittsburgh football and basketball switched to WWSW. WBGG is the AM flagship station for University of Pittsburgh athletics.1

In addition, WBGG-AM, along with sister station WDVE, is the flagship station for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While WDVE originates the broadcast, the contract with the Steelers specifies that the games also be aired on an AM radio station in the market.

Local programming was highlighted by former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley in the morning 7-10a, and Stan Savran hosting Savran on Sports afternoons 3-6p. However, in July 2006, Clear Channel (WBGG's parent company) replaced Savran with Tim Benz and former Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Joe Bendel. Benz broadcasts alone from 3-4p, and Bendel is solo from 6-7p. The Ilkin-Wolfley morning show left the air during the summer of '06 when Ilkin decided to devote more time to other projects.

[1]

External links


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