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Longtime Pittsburgh radio voice Hoerth dead at 66

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By Chris Ramirez
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

Longtime talk-radio personality Doug Hoerth was found dead in his Bellevue home last night.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said a friend grew concerned when the former WPTT talk show host wasn't seen earlier in the day, and called authorities. Police showed up to his home on South Fremont Avenue just before 8 p.m. and discovered him dead inside.

A cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is performed, but the medical examiner's office says it doesn't appear Hoerth, 66, suffered any trauma.

Hoerth began his radio career in the 1970s at WFTL in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a lark. He called the station one night when its talk show host was interviewing the program director.

At the time, he was a partner in a pest-control business. The station hired him to do a gig on the show as a publicity stunt, and six months later Hoerth sold his share of the bug-busting business and became a disc jockey.

Hoerth came to Pittsburgh in 1980. In addition to WPTT and WTAE, he has worked at KQV, KDKA, WWSW and WTKN. His last day on the air was Dec. 7, 2007.

In a statement, Alan Serena, vice president for operations at Renda Broadcasting in Green Tree, said Hoerth knew so much about many different topics.

“His WPTT afternoon shows were entertaining and not what you typically expected to hear on a talk station. From politics to pro wrestling to porn stars, Doug was as well versed as he was diverse in his subject matter,” Serena wrote. “His passion was music, especially the oldies he played Sunday nights on WJAS. He was a unique individual. Off air he was a quiet, reclusive person. News of his sudden passing was sad. I know a lot of Pittsburghers hope they get a chance to say their final farewells to a broadcasting legend.”

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