Share This Page

Group working to bring jazz radio back to Pittsburgh

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 1:56 p.m.

Pittsburgh Public Media plans to file for FCC approval this week for a plan to return jazz radio to the air in the Pittsburgh area.

The group has signed an agreement with Bethany College in West Virginia to buy the 88.1 FM signal of its WVBC. It wants to use the 1,100 watts to broadcast jazz “just like WDUQ used to,” says Chuck Leavens, CEO of Pittsburgh Public Media.

He says the FCC generally takes three to four months to approve such requests and, in that time, he hopes to raise $150,000 to “pay for the station outright.” Leavens says his group has $15,000 already from donors.

Obviously, broadcasting could not begin until then.

The signal would only reach into the South Hills of Pittsburgh, so Leavens says the next step would be to get equipment to extend the range from there.

Pittsburgh Public Media was formed in 2010 when Duquesne University began talks that led to the sale of WDUQ-FM (90.5) to Essential Public Media, which now operates the signal as WESA-FM.

PubMusic, a nonprofit related to Pittsburgh Public Media, operates a streaming jazz service, www.pghjazzchannel.net, created to replace WDUQ's jazz-dominated service.

Leavens says it is important to return to the broadcast market, though, because “many listeners just have not gotten involved with getting their music from a computer.”

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320-7852.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.