Dennis Elliot, 94.5 WPEZ Pittsburgh | 1976

94.5 FM Pittsburgh WPEZ WWSW 3WS Dennis Elliot Tom Lacko 970 AM

Some say that a radio station’s storied past helps to guide the station’s present. Whether or not that’s true depends upon the station and market. Today’s Classic Hits format at WWSW might pull from its history as one of Pittsburgh’s legendary Top 40 stations, WPEZ.

This aircheck moves along at light speed, using a shotgun technique that many of the legendary AM top 40s of the 70s used. WPEZ was apparently an AM/FM combo, the AM being on 970 (Pittsburgh listeners who remember please comment on this), although it seems as though the AM was pretty much ignored.

I think you’ll really like Dennis Elliot here on PEZ. We really like Contributor Tom Lacko for sending in a skillfully mastered copy from the source tape way back in 2003.

Sometimes, you really have to wait for the good stuff!

94.5 FM Pittsburgh WPEZ WWSW 3WS Dennis Elliot Tom Lacko 970 AM


  1. Rob Sisco

    Hey Steve…

    This caught my eye (and ears). The logo you used was actually introduced when I re-launched the station in 1980. I’m not sure who the PD was in 1976 but I know that Big Jim Davis took over somewhere around that time. When I went to ‘Pez in late 79, Mark Fritzges (who stayed on as my MD) and GM Diane Sutter had been holding down the fort for almost a year. The AM (WWSW or “Double Double”) was a music/talk format with as much sports as they could muster (Penguins Hockey). It was programmed by Jim Durham and featured a great guy named Scott Cassidy (now running Global Alliance Marketing at Disney) doing middays.

    Diane hired me from 99x in New York and we re-launched as ‘PEZ FM 94 at the beginning of 1980. I have a composite somewhere and I will dig it out for you. It was a really fun station with John De Bella doing mornings, Herb Crowe doing production and 10a-noon, Chip Knight was noon to 4:00, Kelly Randall did 4:00 to 8:00. Jim Merkel (who went on to do mornings for years after the station switched he to oldies in 1981) did 8:00pm – 1:00am and Bill Jeffries did overnights. Dennis Elliott (heard in this ’76 aircheck) came back to do weekends and fill in.

    The initial imaging was voiced by Bobby Rich and, there was an infamous top of the hour ID sweeper voiced by the late, great Bumper Morgan.

  2. I worked at PEZ just before the format changed, with John Debella (spelling ?). Where is he now…let me know on FaceBook….Thanks, Ford Shankle.

  3. Tom Acklin

    AM 970 was never WPEZ, only 94.5, though briefly WWSW 970 also went to a slower top 40 with WPEZ being the faster paced top 40. Then AM 970 became all talk as WTKN AM. Eventually 970 became sports talk and WPEZ became AC reclaiming the old call letters which have a great history in Pittsburgh, WWSW shortened to 3WS. Rather quickly 3WS 94.5 very successfully became an Oldies station. Tom Acklin

  4. LZ

    Exciting. Thanks for posting. Some great tunes during that year. Sweet’s Fox on the Run. Never played on the radio anymore..

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