New WAMO? Urban radio station comes to city

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As of May 21, WAMO, the radio station and once the heart of the Black community, is now back in Pittsburgh and on the air. The station, which is WPYT-AM and is based in Wilkinsburg, can be found at 100.1-FM and 660-AM.

The station was purchased by Martz Communication Group Inc., of San Francisco, and is a cross-brand transition of the reportedly 1400 watt 660-AM station. The old WAMO was an approximate 50,000 watt station. Martz operates five other stations, which are located in Detroit and New York. Their other stations are dedicated to smooth jazz, country, contemporary and classic hits, and alternative rock. This will be the only urban station they have. The AM station will only broadcast during the daytime, but the FM station will broadcast 24 hours.

Several attempts were made to reach Tim Martz, of Martz Communication, but he could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

Eddie Edwards Sr. was originally supposed to purchase the station, but backed off because of health complications.

It has been since September 2009, that the city has been without a station dedicated solely to hip-hop and R&B.

Ron Davenport Jr., general manager and president of the Radio Division of Sheridan Broadcasting Corp. and the former owners of the original WAMO, said the new station sounds great and that he gives his best to the new station. He also said that he hopes the new station will have as much of a community presence as the old WAMO.

Although the name WAMO was used with the old station, it can now be used with the new one. Davenport explained that a station must submit an application to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the call letters they would like to use and once approved, they are good to go.

According to a press release, Laura Varner Warner will be the general manager/general sales manager and is expected to begin June 1. While it is still unclear if the format for the new WAMO will be similar to that of the old, one can be sure that Pittsburgh will be tuning in to find out.

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