|Jeff, I was
looking up something on Johnny Williams' 440 site the other day when I
noticed that he had an e-mail address for Tom Lee/Lyons. If you haven't
already, you may want to send him a note and see if he might have anything
to add to the sites since he worked at both KQV and WTAE in their prime
years (and ask why he used two different names in the same market).
I met him when he was running WEDO and he seemed like a nice guy.
Quick story on the end of his days at TAE, if you don't already know it: O'Brien and Garry were indirectly responsible for costing him the overnight job. They were negotiating a new contract (in 1977, I think) and had a firm offer from a station in Cleveland that they challenged Hearst to match. I believe they were each going to get $75,000. Ted Atkins signed them but had to drop Tom's salary to get back under budget. I don't recall if TAE automated overnights or hired a board op. Tom wound up at WEDO, was part of the original crew on WPNT and moved to KOGO/San Diego when Chuck Brinkman became PD there. He used to referee high school basketball games in the area.
According to Johnny, Tom is retired now and living in California.
By the way, I understand
that Larry O'Brien moved to Hilton Head within the last year. ... John
Mehno (3/24/2000) (John wrote the great
article devoted to KQV's 80th Anniversary for the Tribune Review, as well
as one on Rege Cordic, long time KDKA great. ... Jeff)
About Some 29 or 30 years ago .. Ron Rininger and I bent many an elbow at Dantes in Brentwood .. along with Myrion Cope and many of the Steelers players .. Those were great times .. I often think back to those days and wonder what Rons doing now .. and Eleanor Shano who left Pittsburgh .. went to Florida .. and returned to KQV I heard .. If Ron reads this .. send me a note Ron .. Or if anyone knows where these folks are today .. please tell me .. I know that Myron is still at WTAE and doing sports .. But havent heard anything about Ron or Eleanor Shano .. another person I'm curious to know about is. Del Taylor who was on WTAE TV and Radio .. he was pretty popular on TV those days with Nick Perry .. and where Nick Perry? .. I heard about his legal problems .. Is that all over? I hear they are talking a Movie about the Pa Lottery? Is this true .. They should ask Nick to star in it
... Mr Mellow (2/14/2000) (sadly Ron Rininger is no longer with us. Ron passed away in the early 1980s. Myron is semi retired. He no longer does his talk show, but is still the Steelers anylist with Bill Hillgrove (now on WDVE). I haven't heard anything on Del Taylor in years. Interestingly enough, when I was a pre-teen, he lived around the corner from me in Penn Hills ... Jeff)
I just wanted to say WOW ! Great Site. TAE was one of the best radio stations ever. Still live in the Burg and miss mornings with O'Brien -&- Gerry and afternoons with Dearborn. Thanks for memories
... Mike Angelo (11/29/99)
How many installments of 'Myron Cope on Sports' did Myron do during its 22-year run from 1973 to 1995? And when in 1973 did 'Myron Cope on Sports' premiere?
... John Huhn (11/15/99) (anyone have any idea ?)
I check into this site every month to see if there's anything new. I've been reading some of the posted messages. Its great to see those names again and know that they too yearn for the old days. I remember listening to WTAE for the Big 300 countdowns, I do believe I have a couple of them somewhere. Didn't Lynn Hinds do a talk show Sunday nights following Mike Farrow in the 70's??? We all listened to radio for not just the music, but the personalities, can anyone name ten personalities of Pittsburgh radio from the 90's other than morning drivers? I too recall when the FM started breaking away from the AM too bad when B-94 went on the air that 96 KX rolled over and died it was a great station. These days I'm not sure what can be done with that frequency. I hate to say this but maybe FM talk?
I've been in the business since 1985 and have been doing middays at WKYE in Johnstown for nine years. Its a typical music intensive, don't say much format. Its AC radio, but not the boring AC radio that Pittsburgh has had to put up with. But I do have some programming freedom with a lunch hour. I love the memories, the airchecks and photos, maybe somewhere a site can be done for WHTX, what did Suitcase Simpson looked like anyway? Good luck,
... Brian Wolfe (10/24/99) (If you are in Johnstown, Check out Key 95, it's a pretty good station ~! Jeff)
For me, Bob was the 'all-nite' host at WTAE... as I was working a midnight shift in 1978-79 I often 'stayed up late' and listened to Bob in the real-life afternoon when I should have been sleeping. :) So great to see those memories preserved on the web!
... Chauncey Ross (7/27/99)
For More on Bob Dearborn, Check out our "Night Time America Website ! You can even Ask Bob about NTA or any of his stops including WTAE, WDAE, NTA or WCFL. ... Jeff
Bob Dearborn.... any surprise he went on to start one of the first satellite music shows (Night Time America)... such excellence! Trivia question: Name the last song he played on WTAE.......
And, O'Brien -&- Garry! Jeez! I remember them taking shots at Quinn when 13Q was heading into the dumper and then interviewing him on the phone when he was fired (a month before Quinn took Brinkman's vacancy). ("Can we have the duck?")
So does anyone remember how Larry & John handled the Saturday morning show they were forced to handle in early 1979 when Mark Roberts was out of town at a convention???? Think about that one...
Hey, I still love you Pittsburgh!
... Chauncey Ross 7/27/99
Every once in a while I get an email from someone who has hit this website and they talk about how much they like and how much they remember about WTAE weather they worked there or were a listener. First let me say that Jeff Roteman has created not only this site but the finest tribute radio sites on the internet. Great Job Jeff! You keep the memories alive! I've again taken a management job in Indiana, PA at two very good radio stations. And as always I try to cut through the cookie cutter radio that is all over the airwaves and bring back some of the radio that was so special in the 70's and early 80's..with real personalities and fun promotions. I miss 1250 WTAE and more stations like it. It really has made it tough to stay in the business. Everyone owns everyone...4 maybe 5 or 6 stations in a market...all sounding the same. In Pittsburgh Chancellor media owns 6 properties and just changed the format of one of their stations from Jazz to the *new hot format ... Jammin Oldies which in reality is 70's phase two. While I enjoy the music ... again most of the personalities leave a lot to be desired. Why wouldn't they seek out some of the great radio personalities in Pittsburgh to highlight this station. Pittsburgh people don't forget...look at how successful oldies shows are in that town..imagine bringing back some of the personalities...Dearborn, Berns, Roberts etc.
While spending a year at 620 WHJB outside of Pittsburgh, management gave us about 6 months to try to do something. The whole time holding me back when I tryed to impliment or even duplicate what WTAE did in that market for years. Now the station is nothing but blocked docter and health paid programming. Idiots!
I pray for low power FM to happen...oh the big boys don't want to hear this, but it is the only way that quality or even local radio will return from the greedy situation that we currently have in this business.
Sorry for the ranting...enjoy the WTAE tribute site...tell a friend and spread the word.
... Chris Lash 7/13/99
Thanks for a nice job on your WTAE page. I only heard the glory days WTAE a little bit, while working years ago at another station on 1250 am. WTMA, in my home town of Charleston, SC had to switch patterns at night and pre-sunrise to protect 'TAE as well as WDAE in Tampa Bay. Always thought it very strange that two stations with the same sounding calls would be set-up in this way. Keep up the good work!
... Kirk Varner
Kudos on a well designed site that is a lot of fun! When I was in my early teens, and TAE was in it's glory days, I used to contribute a lot of off-the-wall material under the nom-de-plume of Fred Egan. Fred was sort of the ultimate crank fan mail artist, and I'm sure no one in radio would want to make his acquaintance today. Susie Barbour used to read a lot of these letters, and I got to know her quite well. I also got occasional air time from Bob Dearborn and Don Berns. I wish we would have had the internet back then, so his outbursts could have been more timely and relevant. Looking through your site brought back a lot of great memories of those days. Thanks for letting us all take a quick trip back in time. The personalities on TAE in those days certainly had a unique gift for knowing how to interract with the people
of Pittsburgh. Today's corporate radio has no clue.
I just stopped by the site today, and every time I drop in I'm impressed by how much stuff you guys have added. Jay Stone (former 96KX) emailed me and asked for the address. I know Don Berns has been there, too. Now all I have to do is get Capt. Showbiz to a computer. Keep up the good work!
Mark Roberts 5/14/98
Just visited your WTAE page...The "Magic Music...Solid...Gold...T-A-E" jingle is also a cut from the TM "You" package. Somewhere around here I think I have a dub of their "You" package made at WTAE. I was at WCHV in Charlottesville, VA and were getting ready to buy "You". During a visit to Pittsburgh, our operations manager Ed Owens had heard the WTAE customization on-air. Ed wrote to get a dub so we could hear a few more ideas for our customization. The original demo lyric line was "Comin' at ya...twenty...four...hours...a...day...." which we also used.
I was fortunate enough in later years to visit TM to oversee our WCHV session for "Sounds Like" (pilot station was WBAL/Baltimore).
... Tom Twine WTAJ-TV Altoona, PA 5/6/98
Hi, Jeff! Yes, I did check out the 'TAE Website, a real enjoyable trip down one of my favorite radio "memory lanes." Thanks for caring enough to put it together. The old station took quite a dip in the latest ratings. Format and personnel changes, combined with uncertainty about the identity of thestation's next owner, no doubt contributed. It'll be real interesting to see whereand what WTAE is a year from now.
Because of your efforts, we'll all be able to remember its first (and maybe only) glory days. Take care, stay in touch, annat. Best regards
Bob Dearborn 5/3/98
Blake is right about the FM: they never could figure out what to do with it. Anybody remember Disco 96, circa 1975-76 before theycompletely spun off the FM as 96 KX? Even when they knew that music on AM was just about dead, they couldn't figure out how to make it work on FM. I always thought they should have tried a full service format (basically put the AM on FM) and make the AM satellite talk. I guess they didn't want to blow off the AM completely sinceit was still making $$$. Don Berns? The same Don Berns of Ninny Foonman fame? Don: the only bad thing you ever did at TAE was include Bob Kopler in your bits goingfrom news back to music. He got the (wrong) idea that he was funny andhe's still trying, even today at KDKA. Those guys sit around and laugh at their own lines -- it's like a middle aged morning zoo!Tony: You're right, TAE is a sad station today. It used to be the sports talkfranchise in town and even that is totally lame. I'll be interested to see ratings in the new format. I can't believe they'll be much more than 1.0 outside of AM drive (which is not sports). I understand the station is going to be sold againand change formats (either religion or kids programming). Quinn has his own site www.warroom.com where you can buy merchandise and buy into his conspiracy theory du jour.
If any radio station could be credited with giving me a bug to try radio,it has to be WTAE. I started listening in the 70s, and stayed with them until I left Pittsburgh for a few years in the mid 80s. In my college days, my day started with O'Brien & Garry. I remember tuning in to Chuck Brinkman later in the day. Radio in Pittsburgh surely reached its peak when you could listen toO'Brien & Garry in morning drive and Bob Dearborn in afternoon drive.
When I went to college I ended up pulling shifts on WTRA (later WCNS) and WQTW in Latrobe PA. I was so in hooked on WTAE as my audio mentor, that I recall doing a legal ID before ABC news as 'Its 3 o'clock and this is 1250 WTAE Pittsburgh!' one day at WTRA.
When I returned to Pittsburgh in 1988 I was saddened to hear that the old WTAE was gone and news/talk was in. Later in the 90's even listening to O'Brien & Garry on this new mutant of 'talk' became grating. Now that the station is all sports, and I stay as far away from the frequency of 1250 as possible. *sigh* at least I have my memories
Tony Pavick 3/16/98
Well this is a nice surprise. I've posted some comments on the message board... Anyway, thanks for letting me know about the site; I'll be visiting again.
Don Berns 3/5/98
I just stumbled across your pages tonight! They're awesome! I used to work weekends on the air at WTAE (1985-1986) while I wasProgram Manager (during the week) at WGR in Buffalo (nice commute!). Itwas mostly fill-in as I already had my hands full as a PD and Airbornetraffic pilot and reporter at WGR. In college, at Grove City, I alwaysloved WTAE and dreamed of being on the air there someday. In 1985, DaveMason the former PD (my old boss) at WGR hired me to do some work on airat WTAE. It was a dream come true! Dave also gave Bill White, a friendof mine and current PD at KDKA, the same thrill. Bill did weekendsthere too when I was there. I also got to know and fly with Neal Spencesince we both flew traffic. I'm currently PD at KMOX St. Louis, where I've been for the past 5 years.I still listen to my airchecks from when I was on WTAE. It was a thrill and I was very lucky to get on the air when they were "More Than Just A Radio Station." Even though WTAE has a different format, it still IS agood radio station! Jeff--Thanks for a great surprise!
Tom Langmyer Program Director KMOX/CBS Radio
I came across your page with a tribute to WTAE. I did afternoon drive20/20 news on WTAE and the halftime and postgame shows on WTAE and theSteeler Network from 1973 through 1975. I left the station in early 1976 to work for NBC in Washington.
... Jerry Shane 5/7/97 (Jerry is now at AM540 KWMT in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Jerry has been news director there for 20 years.)