JF in the News: Two Area Stations Switch From Oldies to News/Talk

Effective Thursday, June 1, 2023, Virginia-based broadcaster John Fredericks and his Disruptor Radio have taken over WXJX-910 in Apollo, WCNS-1480 in Latrobe, and their respective FM translators, W254CR-98.7 (for WXJX) and W298DH-107.5 (for WCNS), with a talk format.

Or as he put it, “a very different perspective on the truth.”

Pending final approval expected “in less than a month” by the Federal Communications Commission for the $435,000 purchase of the stations from Maryland Media One LLC, Fredericks said he has a “short-term bridge LMA” or local marketing agreement, with Havre de Grace, Md., based MMO and its manager Steve Clendenin.

According to a filing on the FCC website, Fredericks owns 80 percent of Disruptor Radio LLC, while Anita Fredericks and Dennis A. Black, each also of Chesapeake, each own 10 percent of the company based in Holly Springs, N.C.

“I really loved Westmoreland County,” Fredericks said Thursday. “I covered a (Donald) Trump rally at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport,” that featured state Sen. and then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, and then-GOP senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.

He said he was told, “we need a voice up here to fill the void,” and said he has “a schedule of proprietary hosts,” including his 6-10 a.m. show also aired on other stations he owns and touts online as “the fourth-largest independent conservative news/talk radio network in America covering the Mid-Atlantic region from Philadelphia to Atlanta.”

Among those shows are a pair of two-hour sessions of Stephen K. Bannon’s War Room, one at 10 a.m., the other in afternoon drive; Mark Levin’s national talk show aired on a one-hour delay basis; and RedEye Radio, an all-night trucker-oriented show also aired overnights on KDKA-1020 in Pittsburgh.

A biography on johnfredericksradio.com details Fredericks “as Trump campaign chairman of Virginia in 2016 and 2020 and … Trump Delegation Chairman of Virginia in 2020.” It said “Fredericks has spent more than 40 years in the media, previously working as a journalist, newspaper editor, and television host.”

He has three digital publications including the Pennsylvania Daily Star.

According to Eric O’Brien at pbrtv.com, which monitors Tri-State media developments, “WCNS will see new call letters for the first time since 1979. The requested calls are WJFA. WXJX’s calls will also change and the request there is for WJFG.”

WXJX was known as WAVL (for Apollo, Vandergrift and Leechburg) from 1947 to 2018.

It was a longtime religious station, but for a time under Evangel Heights Assembly of God ownership was known as “Liberty 910” with satellite-fed talk programming. Since 2021 it simulcast WCNS with the “Westmoreland Gold” format and other features oriented south of the Kiskiminetas and Conemaugh rivers.

Fredericks is calling his new stations Pittsburgh outlets, and daytime signal maps indicate that WXJX reaches much of western Pennsylvania and some areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, while the WCNS daytime signal reaches from Pittsburgh’s eastern neighborhoods to Windber and from Uniontown to Indiana.

Both the AM stations have reduced nighttime signals, with WCNS showing a distant signal on the Radio-Locator map between Murrysville and just west of New Florence, and from the FayWest area to southeastern Armstrong County, while WXJX at night claims a distant signal across parts of Armstrong, Butler, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

Meanwhile, on a Maryland Media One website still touting “Westmoreland Gold,” the former WXJX-WCNS operator said “”we brought oldies back to the region, while keeping the tradition of local news, sports, community events and polka! However, we have sold the station.”

Still, the former local radio operator said, “there are still ways to enjoy the good time oldies” online from Maryland Media One’s WHGM network in Havre de Grace, WNAV network in Annapolis, Md., and several stations in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area.

Another part of the former “Westmoreland Gold” lineup, Lil’ John’s Polka Show, remains on the WXJX-WCNS schedule, Fredericks said, Saturdays at 9 a.m.

Maryland Media One said the show also is available on iHeart Radio.

As for sports, Fredericks said his stations will continue to carry St. Vincent College football and basketball and have plans to cover the Westmoreland Air Show June 11-12 at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity Township.

Story courtesy of The Indiana Gazette.

Listen to Pittsburgh News/Talk here.

 

ADVERTISEMENT