Apollo radio station WAVL-910 to return to religious roots
Apollo's WAVL-910 is returning to religious roots under new ownership.
Pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission, Evangel Heights Assembly of God in Sarver will sell the 5,000-watt daytime, 69-watt nighttime station to Family-Life Media-Com Inc., operator of Kittanning radio station WTYM-1380.
In recent weeks, in advance of FCC action, WAVL has flipped formats from conservative talk to a mix of Christian music and ministries as well as some public affairs programming. Hosts range from John Tesh to Jim Bakker, and from John MacArthur to Joel Osteen.
It is not a simulcast with WTYM, which runs a mix of local and national talk, music and ministries.
“We are awaiting signatures between their board and ours for the ‘official' acquisition,” Family-Life president the Rev. David J. Croyle said in a recent email. He said there was an agreement not to publicly discuss the transaction within a letter of intent to purchase WAVL, but acknowledged “we are operating in good faith on a handshake between two ministries.”
Croyle, who is the publisher and editor of The Kittanning Paper, won the Republican nomination in the May primary election for both the four-year and two-year terms for Kittanning Council's 1st Ward.
While a staffer at the Evangel Heights office confirmed that a sale had occurred, the pastoral staff had been at Assemblies of God denominational meetings in Florida and was not expected back until later this week.
The sale would further Family-Life's existing outreach into the Alle-Kiski Valley. Family-Life's TV ministry utilizes Channel 44.2, a subchannel of Bruno-Goodworth's WKHU low-power TV station which can be received as far south as the Pittsburgh Mills complex near Tarentum.
Under Evangel Heights ownership, WAVL started out in 2001 with local programs and Christian music, then it shifted in 2004 to the WAY-FM syndicated Christian music format.
In 2006, Dave Ramsey's syndicated financial talk show was added to the WAVL schedule, then in 2009 AM 910 went to a 24-hour “Liberty 910” schedule of conservative talk shows and ABC News, with NASCAR races from Motor Racing Network on weekends.
The Sarver church aimed AM 910 during daylight hours toward metropolitan Pittsburgh. WAVL is aimed at night toward the Kiski Valley boroughs of Apollo, Vandergrift and Leechburg for which the station was named by its first owners, the Clifton family, in 1947.
In 2001 Alice Clifton, Carolyn Dain, and Robert Dain, doing business as Tri-Borough Broadcasting Co., sold WAVL to Evangel Heights for $400,000.
In 2006, Evangel Heights and Renda Broadcasting reached agreement on a swap of frequencies that would have moved AM 910 to Mt. Lebanon and AM 1360, then WPTT, from McKeesport to Apollo.
However, the construction permit granted by the FCC for that swap was allowed to expire in 2010.
Renda recently agreed to donate AM 1360, now WMNY, to Pentecostal Temple Development Corp., the church-linked operator of gospel-format WGBN-1150 in New Kensington. That donation still awaits FCC approval.
In an unrelated development, Ramsey, who no longer is on WAVL since the format flip, also is moving off WMNY. His last AM 1360 show is Friday, after which he will be heard nightly from 8-11 on WPGB-104.7.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Feds to Ford City: 60 days to repay $581,000 grant default
- High school vandalism captured on video in Ford City
- Life skills students enjoy prom festivities in Manor
- Ford City officials mum about litigation related to grant default
- Armstrong candidates tackle issues during forum
- Burglary suspect arrested in Kittanning
- Kittanning councilman’s property removed from sheriff sale list
- West Shamokin students get lesson about driving under the influence
- Fire sparks movement to stop vandalism in Ford City
- Question Armstrong County candidates at forum in Manor
- Batteries ordered for Armstrong 911 backup system