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WTYM: Wikis


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Broadcast area Kittanning, Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh
Branding "Good Time Radio!"
Frequency 1380 kHz
First air date 1948 (as WACB)
Format Oldies, Sports
ERP 1000 Watts (day)
28 Watts (night)
Class D
Callsign meaning Good TYM(time) Radio
Owner Vernal Enterprises, Inc.

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 Vernal Enterprises, Inc., and its city of license is Kittanning, the seat of government for Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.




Beginnings as WACB

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 of 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 four 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 second 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

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 remains today.

WTYM tower and studio building on Bunker Hill Road in North Buffalo Township, its home since the early 1980's.

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 80's 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.

In 1992, Nicholas Enterprises decided to leave the radio business and sold WTYM to Vernal Enterprises, Inc. of Indiana, Pennsylvania. The company, headed by Larry L. Schrecongost, was in the business of renting tower space to cellular telephone and pager companies, and the tower location was of particular interest to Vernal Enterprises.

Larry Schrecongost had also worked at the station in a part-time capacity as an announcer starting in 1967. Upon taking over, the music portion of the format reverted back 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 McCune, a local attorney who worked at the station during its beginnings in the 1940's, 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.

WTYM Today

WTYM continues its heritage as a locally-programmed, oldies-formatted radio station. The station began to expand its local sports coverage following the Vernal Enterprises takeover in 1992, airing some high school games live and others tape-delayed. Announcers include Mike Rizzo of RizzoSports and Ray Goss who also does play-by-play for Duquesne University Men's Basketball.



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