As NEO Airchecks awaits the entrance of 2012, the humble blog looks back to the end of another year. This time it’s 1976, when a small FM in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania took to the airwaves. WFAR/95.9 was the FM counterpart to WFAR/1470, licensed to Farrell, Pa. Both stations were founded by Sanford Schafitz, doing business as Farrell-Sharon Broadcasting.
In this aircheck, an anonymous announcer presents a commercial-free mixture of mostly lite rock hits of the era. WFAR/95.9 began broadcasting on December 28, 1976. The specific date of this recording is unclear, but it appears to be from the station’s first few days on the air. [Editor’s note: It’s merely my opinion, but WFAR’s format sounds like a sleepy, loosely-executed version of Adult Contemporary.]
After Schafitz’s death in 1979, WFAR/95.9 and 1470 were sold to Broadcast Service Communications. When the new owner couldn’t make either station fly, they were sold to National Communications System in 1982. This buy-sell trend would continue well into the 1990’s, along with a slew of format changes and call letters.
95.9, now sporting the call letters WAKZ, is currently owned by Clear Channel. It broadcasts a rhythmic format branded as “Kiss FM”. 1470 was split from its longtime FM sister in 1999. Vilkie Communications recently announced its plans to purchase the station, now known as WLOA, from Educational Media Foundation.
NEO Airchecks realizes that this article spotlights a Pennsylvania station, but being just across the state line from Youngstown, it is considered part of the Youngstown-Warren market.