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The meaning of «word-fm»

WORD-FM is a Christian talk radio station based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Owned by the Salem Media Group, the station broadcasts on 101.5 MHz, with an ERP of 48 kW. Its transmitter is located in Reserve Township, Pennsylvania.

In Pittsburgh, WORD-FM was originally on the 104.7 frequency (now WPGB-FM). Salem Communications, which had formed in the early 1980s by Christian broadcasters Ed Atsinger and Stuart W. Epperson, had first made overtures to purchase WPIT AM/FM from Associated Communications back in the mid-80's, but the station had been sold to Boston-based Pyramid Broadcasting, which operated WPIT AM/FM under the name Kiss Limited Partnership, for a much higher price than what Salem was willing to pay.

Still recognizing the profit potential for Christian-formatted radio in Pittsburgh despite a competitor, Salem entered into an agreement with Pittsburgh-based Gateway Broadcasting Enterprises, which owned WYDD-FM (now WPGB) and WKPA-AM (now WMNY), both operating out of New Kensington, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The deal was signed in 1987, but due to legal complexities between the two companies, it would not be until January 1990 that the deal between Salem and Gateway was consummated.

Salem still had yet to obtain the contracts for the ministries that would provide the programming for the station. By the time of their takeover, WYDD had become Top 40 rocker WNRJ, which stayed around for about a year. Upon Salem's acquisition, WNRJ's format was immediately changed to beautiful music provided by Salt Lake City-based Bonneville Broadcasting and its airstaff laid off. The call letters were changed to WEZE-FM (the same calls as Salem's co-owned AM in Boston) and the station adopted the moniker "Easy 104.7".

WKPA, which operated independently of its FM sister since 1940, had its weekday programming substituted with a simulcast of WEZE-FM, but kept existing separate specialty programming on the weekends.

In August 1991, Salem announced that WEZE-FM would change to the heritage Christian-formatted radio formula that had become the staple of its other high-powered FM stations. Salem purchased the WORD call letters, which belonged to an AM station in Spartansburg, South Carolina, for $20,000. The format change took place in October, and 104.7 became WORD-FM.

In 1992, after a lengthy series of negotiations, the opportunity presented itself again for Salem to acquire WPIT AM/FM. New FCC rules governing ownership allowed Salem to hold more than two licenses simultaneously, and a deal was made for Salem to buy out its former rival and spin their existing stations off to new owners.

WKPA was spun off to Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation in November 1992 as a gift. PTDC was the business arm of Pentecostal Temple Church of God, pastored by former WPXI-TV reporter Dr. D. Loran Mann. WORD-FM 104.7 was also sold off to Entercom, Inc., which operated country music competitor WDSY-FM, and had been looking for an FM station for a duopoly property.

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