KDKA sacked


KDKA, the oldest radio station in the country -- so old, in fact, that its call letters are grandfathered into the system to always start with "K" rather than the now-traditional "W" -- has been broadcasting Pittsburgh Pirates games since 1951. Before 1951, the station broadcasted Pirates games from 1921, when they were the first radio station to broadcast a baseball game live, to the '40s. But after 2006, the flagship station for Pirates baseball will be an FM channel. (Read the story here.)

While this is sad from a historical and comfort point of view -- KDKA was, is and always will be synonymous with Buccos baseball, in my mind -- there are other downers involved here. The biggest one is that the station getting the Pirates, which also have the rights to numerous other Pittsburgh sports broadcasts, in not only owned by Clear Channel (ugh) but is also Pittsburgh's resident neo-con mouthpiece (double ugh). Rush, Hannity, and local blowhard Jim Quinn all have homes on 104.7. (Adding to the awfulness of this channel is that 104.7 used to be The Beat, an awesome Urban channel that played all sorts of great music. Then it was dropped, rather unceremoniously, for neo-con trash.) (And a bit about Jim Quinn. This guy is a staunch conservative. I mean, disgustingly so. And the funny thing is that people take him super-seriously. Thing is, though, this guy made his name in Pittsburgh as a co-host of the Jim Quinn and Banana Don show on what used to be B-94, which is now Pittsburgh's K-Rock station at 93.7 FM. B-94 was the furthest thing from neo-con babble. It was pop, and back in the '80s and early '90s the pop they played was hit-or-miss. There was as much NKOTB and awful one-hit wonders as there was Bobby Brown, Prince and the like.)

Another sorry fact of this move from KDKA's AM band to the FM one is that KDKA, on a clear night, is so strong a signal it can be heard across the East Coast and up into Canada. That's unbelievable. And it allowed people relatively far from Pittsburgh who happened to Pirates fans the ability to listen to the team. But, I guess given how much the team stinks nowadays, the number of Pirates fans are small and it doesn't matter that they can't hear games outside of Pittsburgh.