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New general manager, assistant news director named at WAMO

| Monday, April 8, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

It is Gary Gunter's first day as general manager of Martz's Wilkinsburg-based hip-hop/R&B WAMO-660 and FM 100.1.

Gunter, Radio One Baltimore sales manager, replaced Laura Varner-Norman, who also worked with Sheridan and Sinclair stations.

The city-grade signal of FM 100.1, 99-watt W261AX, covers the three Mon-Yough cities.

• At Hearst's WTAE-4, Peabody Award winning investigative reporter Jim Parsons was promoted to assistant news director. Also, Matt Belanger was hired as weekend anchor from Hearst's WGAL-8 in Lancaster.

• It is a time of transition for the Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he hopes replacements for chairman Julius Genachowski and commissioner Robert McDowell will be strong advocates for a free and open Internet.

Doyle wants the FCC to promote “competitive markets, local voices in the media, new technologies, new entrants (and) faster broadband speeds” and continue “policies that drive innovation and competition” in wired and wireless markets.

He calls for wireless spectrum auctions “crafted to create real opportunities for new entrants,” not just to make more spectrum available.

Doyle, who co-sponsored legislation opening the door to this fall's round of low-power FM licensing, hopes community broadcasters get licenses in a “simple and straightforward” application process.

• National Association of Broadcasters CEO Gordon Smith said Genachowski “consistently performed with dedication and focus” since he was named chairman in 2009.

“We may have disagreed on occasion, but America's broadcasters wish him well,” Smith said. He hailed McDowell for “ardent support for fair media ownership rules and full-throated support for a vibrant First Amendment” in seven years on the FCC.

• The FCC is reviewing its policy on broadcast expletives and indecency. The American Family Association urged the FCC to uphold high standards.

• The FCC fined Cornerstone TeleVision $15,000 for not fixing tower lights at its Brookville low-power station for eight months.

• An April 1 hoax backfired on morning co-hosts Val St. John and Scott Fish on Renda's “Gator Country” WWGR-101.9 in Bonita Springs, Fla.

They were suspended for two days for saying “dihydrogen monoxide” was coming out of taps. A local utility felt compelled to reassure customers about water safety.

“They just went too far” with the H2O joke, WWGR manager Tony Renda Jr. told the Fort Myers News-Press.

• In Pittsburgh Renda's WSHH-99.7 promoted TLC “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro's giveaway of 10,000 free cakes.

Some couldn't wait. Police said William Davenport, 52, of Sheraden stole four cakes valued at $26.99 each.

• The third annual WSHH Purse Party for the American Heart Association is May 31 at the Sheraton Station Square. See “Wish 99.7” on Facebook.

• West Mifflin Area Middle School, seven other schools and two after-school programs took part in the fourth annual WQED/Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania “Design Lives Here” event on Friday at Inventionland.

• TNA Entertainment has a Spike TV “Impact Wrestling” show set for April 25 at 8 p.m. at Indiana's Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. For tickets see www.comcastix.com or call 800-298-4200.

• Salem's WORD-101.5 presents Juli Slattery of Authentic Intimacy at a May 9 “Women in Ministry” luncheon at Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe. More at wordfm.com.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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