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Date Posted: 08:07:37 10/10/12 Wed
Author: WTK
Subject: Re: WJAS/NBC question
In reply to: Kurt Toy 's message, "WJAS/NBC question" on 07:42:19 10/09/12 Tue

I think it had an MOR format initially, or at least it did in the early 1960s, when it programmed a three-hour Frank Sinatra block every Sunday afternoon. Around 1965-66, NBC hired legendary consultant Mike Joseph to develop strategically viable formats for at least some of its O&O stations. For WJAS he concocted something called 'Town and Country Radio,' which shifted musical emphasis from one daypart to another, but basically was a kind of AC-Country hybrid with country jingles ('Old Cowhand' logo -- Pepper?). During some dayparts it was virtually Top 40, and at night when WEEP signed off, it was all country. There's a low-fi aircheck of this from spring 1966 with Bill Brant in morning drive.

In early 1967, the format became 'Monitor Pittsburgh,' patterned after the NBC weekend programming, with the Monitor Beacon sounder and customized versions of the Monitor jingles. The playlist approximated Monitor's MOR-AC sound, and liberal use was made of short features similar to those offered in the Monitor format. This lasted at least through the end of 1967, but I'm not sure if anything else was tried between that and all-talk.

I'm pretty sure Merle Pollis' evening talk show was part of these incarnations. It definitely predated the all-talk format. Its popularity, as well as WNBC's success with an all-talk format, probably led NBC to institute the same in Pittsburgh.

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