From 833 to 1250
This is a Brief History of WTAE

Over the years the call letter, frequency and ownership. . .
The 20's . . .
WTAE Radio was known by other call letters than just WTAE. On May 3, 1922, WTAE signed on as WCAE and was at 833. Some people think the call letters WCAE stood for We Can Always Entertain. At the time 833 was the only frequency approved for radio. All stations shared that frequency at the time.  WCAE was originally owned by the Kaufmann & Baer Company. WCAE was the 63rd station in the USA to be licensed by the FCC. On July 31, 1923 WCAE would be assigned 650 am.
The 30's . . ..
In 1930, WCAE was at 1220am. In 1931, The Hearst Corporation purchased WCAE Radio.
The 40's . . .
By 1942, WCAE would move to 1250 am, and has remained at that frequency ever since. WCAE was an affiliate of the Blue Network until 1945 when it swapped affiliations with KQV. KQV picked up the Blue Network (ABC) and WCAE became an affiliate of Mutual Broadcasting.
The 60's . . .
On August 8, 1960, WTAE-FM would sign on at 96.1 fm. In the early 60's, WCAE was a CBS Nighttime affiliate. In 1961, WCAE became WRYT-AM and was considered a "good music" station with shows like "Limelight", Concert Hall", "For Lovers Only", Morning Overture", "Carousel", "Midday Masterpieces", "The Quiet Hours" and "Portrait of Pittsburgh". In the late 60's WRYT shifted the call letters back to WTAE. In 1969, WTAE would become Pittsburgh's home for Pittsburgh Steelers football.
Names from the past . . .
Some of the names from WCAE and WRYT's past include...
Tom Bender, Dick Blanchard, John R Boyle, Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins, Rege Cordic, Henry DaBecco, Don French, Bill Hinds, Bill Howell, John B Hughes, Hank Mann, Perry Marshall, Jay Mitchell, Bill Nesbitt, Jimmy O'Neill, Henny Penny, Ed Price, Ray Scott, Tom Shafer, Ed Sherlock, and Pete Shore
The 70's & 80's . . .
In the 70's and 80's WTAE experienced it's most successful era. This era is the era that this website is devoted to. WTAE was an affiliate of ABC's American Entertainment Radio Network. (they did not air the newscasts although they did use the actualities.)
In the late 80's WTAE would switch to a talk format. Many changes were on the way in the late 90's.
The 90's and beyond . . .
In 1997, Hearst Corporation sold WTAE-AM to SFX Broadcasting. In May of 1997, Capstar (WTAE's owner as a result of deregulation) was ordered to sell WTAE because of ownership limitations. Capstar/Chancellor traded WTAE to Jacor. Jacor was asked by Hearst to change WTAE's call letters because of WTAE-TV. For a short time WTAE became WGAE before being changed to WEAE. On March 15, 1999, WEAE was acquired by ABC Radio Networks from Jacor for five million dollars. All programming would become managed by ESPN Radio.

How WTAE was put together . . .
On March 16, 1970, Bernie Armstrong Jr. replaced Don Shafer as program director of WTAE Radio. Armstrong began the process of bringing WTAE from the dark ages of old-time M-O-R to the beginning of a new era.

In October 1972, Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins, Bill Howell, Ed Price, and Ed Sherlock were dismissed. Then on November 6, 1972, Armstrong's new WTAE lineup went on the air. Larry O'Brien from 6 - 10 am, Chuck Brinkman from 10 am - 2 pm, and John Garry from 2 - 6 pm. Tom Bender Sports was on from 6 - 7pm. (later replaced by Myron Cope). And Bill Hillgrove was on from 7 - 10 pm (from the US Steel Building). Lynn Hinds was on from 10 - midnight, and Tom Lyons moved back in to the 12 - 6 am slot.

On November 11,1972, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reports "Big changes at WTAE-AM in Pittsburgh. Joining the station are Larry O'Brien 6- 10 am from WCFL-AM in Chicago, Chuck Brinkman 10 am - 2 pm from KQV-AM in Pittsburgh, and John Garry 2 - 6 pm from WIST-AM in Charlotte, N.C. All three are ex-rock personalities."

On November 18,1972, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reports "Bill Hillgrove is going to do a 7 - 10 pm show from the Stuffer's Restaurant, atop US Steel's skyscraper in Pittsburgh. On WTAE-AM, of course. Lynn Hinds is now doing a weeknight talk show
10 - midnight with in-depth interviews with local and national figures. Good chance
for record acts to get some exposure, I would say."

Captain Showbiz, Ted Atkins joined WTAE as General Manager in 1973 and refined WTAE into a Pittsburgh Legend !

On June 16,1973, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reported about Ted Atkins, "Ted is leaving KIIS-AM in Los Angeles, where he was operations manager, to become vice president and general manager of WTAE-AM-FM in Pittsburgh starting in about a week. WTAE-AM-FM is an MOR station that rose to prominence under a program director named Don Schafer.

On June 16,1973, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reports "Bernie Armstron Jr., program manager at WTAE-Am in Pittsburgh, the place where Ted Atkins is going, writes that he has appointed Chuck Brinkman as music director and "it's been a long time since WTAE-AM has officially had someone dealing exclusively with music and will certainly work to better our overall operation."

On September 29, 1973, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reports,"Ted Atkins, station manager of WTAE-AM, Pittsburgh, says that the station is now running about 70 percent oldies, 24 hours a day "and are in the process of building a fantastic oldie library." The new WTAE-AM line-up goes: Larry O'Brien 5:30 - 9 am, Chuck Brinkman 9 - noon, Mark Roberts from WIXZ-AM in town noon - 3 pm, John Garry 3 - 7 pm, Mike McGann from WIKZ-AM 8 - midnight, and Tom Lyons midnight - 5:30 am. Myron Copes does a sports talk show nightly 7 - 8 pm and Bill Hillgrove does weekend and swing work."

On March 3, 1975, WTAE formed the new radio morning team of O'Brien and Garry. John Garry moved from the afternon slot into the morning with Larry O'Brien.

On March, 25, 1975, the Pittsburgh Press reported that on Monday March 31, California radio man Johnny Williams takes over the afternoon slot on WTAE. Williams replaces Mark Roberts, who has been appointed AM-FM program administrator. Hank Bauhgman moves from programming to news admistrator.

August 29, 1975, the Pittsburgh Press reported that WTAE program administrator Mark Roberts had returned to the air afternoons from 1 to 4 pm. Chuck Brinkman moved into the 10 to 1 pm slot.

September 2, 1975, WTAE begins a series of Bicentennial minutes called An American Idea

October 21, 1975, WTAE-FM has a new nighttime sound called Disco 96. It starts at 7, following daytime simulcasts with WTAE-AM.

On May 14, 1977, Billboard Magazine Claude Hall reports "Two escapees from an Electric Weenie french fry outing are now doing a morning-duo show at WTAE in Pittsburgh - Larry O'Brien, who used to work in Chicago and before that Tidewater, Va,. stations and John Garry who programmed WGH in Norfolk, Va., from 1967 - 70 and then moved to program WIST in Charlotte, NC. O'Brien and Garry also are simulcast on 96KX, their sister station. They comment: "KDKA is not up for sale yet, but we anticipate it will throw in the towel momentarily."

On October 31, 1977, Chicago Tribune reports, "Bob Dearborn, one of many deejays fired when. WCFL dumped rock music last year, now is on the air at WTAE in Pittsburgh"

On November 8, 1980, Pittsburgher John Mehno reported in Billboard Magazine about
"Stumbling WTAE-AM Soars To Deuce Spot Major Turnaround in Pittsburgh"

In July 1983, O'Brien and Garry moved to FM and WHTX. And Jack Bogut from KDKA took over mornings on WTAE. Jim Quinn moved to 9 - 12 noon, Johnny Williams 12 - 3 pm, Don Berns 3 - 7 pm, Myron Cope 7 - 8 and Stan Savran from 8 - 9 pm.

The WTAE Web Site was updated October 17, 2009