Can you hear the buzz?

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By now you have heard the buzz. Yes, it is the buzz of a new radio station in Pittsburgh. We’ve heard this buzz before, the promise of a radio station that plays R&B music all day and night. I’ve been told to get over it, stop thinking about the past get a subscription to SiriusXM radio and keep it moving. I didn’t want to do that. XM and Sirius radio sound canned, I want local traffic, news and talk, yeah some Black talk with Black people.

DebbieNorrellBox

I did finally break down and purchase a new cell phone that comes with Pandora Radio. With Pandora I can hear what I want to hear and a few commercials played from time to time, however there is no news or traffic, no personality. That’s it, that is what’s missing, personality, that is what a deejay gives to a station—the personality, the flavor if you will is what has been removed from so many things in our microwave society.

According to a recent article that I was reading, while under the hair dryer, we are going to have a radio station in Pittsburgh, I nearly jumped out of my seat. By the end of June we should have a radio station, the format is going to be urban contemporary.

According to Wikipedia urban contemporary stations focus primarily on marketing to Blacks between the ages of 18 and 34. Their playlists are dominated by singles by top-selling hip-hop and R&B performers. On occasion, an urban contemporary station will play classic soul music songs from the ‘70s and early ‘80s to satisfy the earlier end of the genre and I hope to satisfy the old heads. The urban adult contemporary format is R&B, soul and sometimes gospel without rap. They go on to say that virtually all urban contemporary stations are located in cities with a large African-American population.

This new station will be WPYT-AM (660) maybe we can call it “pretty young thing radio.” Reportedly it was purchased for a little under $300,000. Here is how it is supposed to work, if you know anything about most AM signals they are weak and are typically a sun-up, sundown format. That means when the sun goes down, so does the station. To increase the strength of the signal WPYT will broadcast on an FM translator or booster signal, located at 100.1 FM. It does sound convoluted but that is what we’re going to get, for now. I hope it will be successful and I hope some of the former WAMO deejays will be hired. The rumors are already beginning to fly. One rumor is the station will only broadcast syndicated shows like Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey. I would be good with that if we can have local ads and news. Whenever this “miracle” occurs we should give it a chance, listen and support it. If you want changes put it on paper or e-mail, please don’t just tune out and complain to your friends on Facebook. I’m sure I will still listen to Pandora radio because I can program what I want to hear, but our city deserves to have an urban station just like Youngstown and Cleveland, so WPYT can count me in as a listener.

(E-mail the columnist at deb­bienorrell@aol.com.)

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