A few days back, Roger had a nifty little feature on American radio stations, the K— and W— call letters, and various outliers on the “wrong” side of the dividing line. None of us knew at the time that one of those outliers was about to be euthanized:
It’s not that we had any illusions that KQV (1410) in Pittsburgh was especially healthy, as standalone AMs go. Its directional signal struggles to cover even a fraction of the market, and its programming, which mixes expensive hours of all-news radio during the day with talk and classic radio dramas at night, has been all but invisible in the ratings for years now. That didn’t matter as much when the wealthy Richard Scaife was subsidizing the station as part of a media group that also included the Tribune-Review newspaper — but Scaife sold his partial interest in KQV a year before his death in 2014, leaving the station in the hands of the children of longtime GM Robert W. Dickey, Sr., who had himself died in 2011.
In November came news of the death of Dickey’s daughter Cheryl Scott, who’d been KQV’s business manager for decades, leaving her brother Robert W. Dickey, Jr. running the station solo. That appeared to have been the last straw for KQV in its current form. With Scott gone and family members apparently at odds about whether to keep the station going, Dickey, Jr. made the announcement on Friday that KQV will cease operating at midnight on Dec. 31.
KQV perhaps is best remembered for its days as a dominant Top 40 station, its relatively weak signal (5,000 watts, and weirdly directional, especially at night) notwithstanding. From the late 1950s through the early 1970s, the Groovy QV, later 14K, brought you, if you were nearby, the latest hits. One of the voices between the singles in those latter days was one Jeff Christie, who’s still in radio today, though not in Top 40 and not on KQV. What’s more, Christie’s given up his pseudonym in favor of his real name: Rush Limbaugh.
Pittsburgh retains one K call from the old days: KDKA, owned these days by CBS.