Back Together Again In The Valley

There’s a change at the Whiplash Radio operation in the Youngstown market, that reunites programming on the cluster’s two stations.

Whiplash’s WYCL/1540 Niles had been LMAed by Philip Cato with a talk format. Well, it had a talk format most of the time, anyway, give or take syndicated smooth jazz and other musical programming.

Whiplash owner and OMW reader Chris Lash has taken over programming WYCL again, and has flipped it to a simulcast of co-owned standards outlet WHTX/1570 Warren “Fabulous 1570”. That outlet is leased by Cleveland radio historian and fellow OMW reader Jim Davison.

The 1570-to-1540 simulcast will be broken up four hours a day, as Louie B. Free has survived a station format change.

The King of Youngstown Brokered Talk Radio (our title for him, of course) will continue to be heard on WYCL/1540 only, but will move, starting Monday, to a new time slot of 10 AM-2 PM weekdays. He has been heard from 9 AM to noon.

The move allows Gary Rhamy’s local morning drive show to be heard on both stations in his existing 7 AM-10 AM time slot, and WHTX will continue in its music format while Free holds forth on WYCL.

Outside of Free’s show, dubbed “Brainfood from the Heartland”, WYCL will simulcast all WHTX programming…at least during its daytime hours of operation.

It’s the second time recently that the stations have simulcast…Beacon Broadcasting aired 1570’s former Fox Sports Radio format on 1540 until the sale to Whiplash Radio. And back in the early 1990s, the stations were paired in an urban format as “Network 15 – The City”.

And as for Mr. Lash himself, he’s quite busy…and he’s going home.

A Tom Lavery item we missed in Pittsburgh’s PBRTV last month has more explanation:

Whiplash Radio, owners of 1570 WHTX and 1540 WYCL in the Warren-Youngstown, OH market announce a new LMA/Purchase with Vilkie Communications, operator of 1370 WHYP in Corry, PA effective December 1st. Its a homecoming for Whiplash’s Chris Lash, as he worked at the former WWCB in high school, and in the Erie, PA market until 1988. Lash is also from Union City, PA located ten miles away from Corry. His Whiplash Radio corporate headquarters will also move to the new station.

Of course, Joe Vilkie’s company recently filed to buy the two former Beacon AM stations on the Pennsylvania border – WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA – from EMF Broadcasting, which only wanted to hang onto Beacon’s former FM station…the former WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, now running EMF’s ubitquous Christian contemporary “K-Love” format as a Youngstown market rimshot under new calls WLVX.

Vilkie’s home base is classic hits WMVL/101.7 Linesville PA “Cool 101.7” in the Meadville PA market, a short hop over the Ohio border (they call it “Linesville” for a reason).

Long-time OMW readers might remember that Vilkie LMA’ed WGRP in the past, from former owner Beacon, in an earlier attempt to buy it…


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