On Saturday, May 21, instead of getting raptured, Pittsburgh got a new radio station using the same letters as WAMO, but on a different frequency. No longer 106.7 FM, the new channel is located at 100.1 FM.
The last time Pittsburgh had a radio station dedicated to playing 24/7 hip-hop and R&B was on September 8, 2009. It was on that day, at 6:07pm, when WAMO went off-air to be replaced by a gospel station. WAMO dominated the radio waves in the Burgh for 50 years! Hard to believe that Wiz Khalifa really blew up exactly at the time when his home town didn’t have a rap station to play his songs. But then again, let’s not forget his DJ hails from 96.1 Kiss FM, so he got plenty of attention there.
You get what you pay for
According to the Post Gazette, Martz Communications bought WPYT-AM 660 for $290,000. Sounds like a great deal compared to the $9 million St. Joseph Missions paid Sheridan Broadcasting for 106.7. But with that bargain price comes bargain signals.
We drove all around the city and only picked up about 90% static. What has your experience with 100.1 FM been so far… Any luck? If so, where?
Is WAMO really back?
Technically 100.1 FM is actually a cross-band translation (rebroadcast) of AM 660.
While you might hear the station use the WAMO call letters, they are just being used for branding. The station ID is actually WPYT-Wilkinsburg. It’s a smart move to reuse the name since most of Pittsburgh already recognizes it as a hip-hop/R&B brand. People will go back to the station and renew their loyalties based on the history they had with WAMO – at least that’s what the new station hopes. It will be difficult to recapture any kind of audience if the signal is so hard to pick up.
Reconstructing 106 Jamz
Before you get your hopes up, keep in mind that WAMO may never be what it was back in the day. While the name sounds the same, this isn’t exactly a resurrection of Pittsburgh’s beloved hip-hop radio station. Besides, things have changed. Now we have Pandora, and iPods, etc. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what happens on the radio this summer. Will personalities like DJ Boogie go back to WAMO? Or is he satisfied with his online radio station? Will they have anything like the Quiet Storm again? Whatever happens, we wish them luck.
What do you expect from this new station, and what would you like to hear?