Radio Notes: WPTT makes changes to format, schedule

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WPTT-AM (1360) will shift its talk format and schedule to more of a progressive/liberal lineup but also will add a conservative voice.

Starting July 4, the station will air the syndicated "Laura Ingraham Show" from 7 to 9 a.m. Ingraham is a conservative, but the show delves beyond politics, addressing topics related to media and popular culture.

Lynn Cullen's daily program moves to a new slot, 9 a.m. to noon. "The Thom Hartmann Show" moves from evenings to noon. Hartmann is one of the country's leading syndicated progressive talk hosts. His show replaced Cullen's during her sabbatical earlier this year, and listener response was so positive that WPTT added the program in March. Hartmann's noon show will air live.

Doug Hoerth moves back to his former 3 to 6 p.m. time slot.

WPTT program director John Poister said the strategy was to carve out a distinctive identity for WPTT in a market with many talk formats and a heavy slate of conservative talkers.

"Lynn and Doug are our big strengths," Poister said. "We wanted to leverage that as best we could." He said putting Cullen between a conservative and a complementary progressive program will make for a good lineup. He also said many listeners had been asking the station to return Hoerth to his former afternoon drive hours.

Jerry Bowyer will be leaving WPTT for a new talk show on WORD-FM (101.5), starting in September.

WPTT also is dropping the syndicated Michael Reagan and Jim Bohannon shows, which now run on weeknights.

The evening lineup is adding two syndicated hosts. Consumer advocate Clark Howard will be on weeknights from 6 to 10, with a best-of edition Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. Howard offers practical advice on how to manage their budgets and how to avoid scams.

From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., it will be the other voice on the "Hannity and Colmes" TV team. Alan Colmes' show presents the liberal perspective and will air live from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. with follow-up on the top stories of the day and newsmaker interviews.

"WPTT's new combination of strong, opinionated local hosts with a lineup of well known and respected nationally syndicated shows separates WPTT from the rest of the talk radio market," said WPTT general manager Tony Renda Jr.

Plans for WPTT's signal upgrade, which will provide better night-time coverage, are on track, with a target of early next year, Renda said.

The station is promoting the schedule change on its web site, with the slogan "On July 4, 1360 WPTT declares its independence."

Sinatra program

Frank Sinatra fans, take note: WJAS-AM (1320) has picked up "Swingin' With Sinatra," a weekly all-Sinatra tunes program hosted by Steve Jaxon, which features music and interviews with the late crooner and people who knew him.

It replaces the long-running "Sounds of Sinatra" hosted by Sid Mark, which previously ran on WJAS.

"Swingin' with Sinatra" airs Sundays at 10 a.m.


Adrian McCoy can be reached at amccoy@post-gazette.com .


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