Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Angst and Cooking at WPAM-AM

This cookbook is titled, "WPAM's Book on Great Radio Cookery," and was compiled by the staff of  1450 WPAM-AM located in Pottsville, PA right in the coal country of Pennsylvania. It was a family affair then as now. Then it was run by John "Bud" Angst, later by Mickey Angst. This cook book is authored and edited by This one credited to Alice and Helen Angst. Alice was Bud's wife. I see a pattern here. 

In the late 1960s and 1970s WPAM was owned by The Miners Broadcasting. They owned three stations including  WLSH-AM in Lansford and WMBA-AM in Ambridge. WPAM was a hyper local station airing what was then MOR and is now standards, artists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Ray Confif singers.

I also found another related cook book probably from a bit later in the 1970s.  This one also credited to  Alice Angst and Helen Angst. It also names Billie Schuetrumpf, Theresa Homick and Mary Jane Yeager.  But this one bears two sets of call signs: 1410 WPAM-AM and 1410 WLSH-AM. So I assume the other book precedes the acquisition of WLHS and this one precedes the purchase of WMBA. The trio were owned by Miners as early as 1964... so maybe not.

In in 1971 the Station Manager is listed as Roy Angst, undoubtedly yet another family member. In 1974 Bud is listed as the Station manager at WPPA-AM.  The Angst family seems to be building a coal country media empire. But in 1976 WPAM was was sold to Curran Communications.  Then in 1977, Miners Broadcasting Service Inc. sold WLHS to Pocono-Anthracite Communications passing the station to Mickey as GM, but Bud was involved in the station well into the 1980s. 

In about March of 1998, Curan Communications signed an LMA with Pottsville Broadcasting to handle WPAM. Mickey Angst stayed with WLSH and stayed with radio for 33 years... finally retiring in 2011.  Curran mismanaged WPAM and was fined by the FCC for failure to keep proper records in 2012. Then 1450 reportedly went silent for weeks in both 2011 and 2012.

Side note: the Schuylkill Legal Record indicates that Pennsylvania once sued Bud in 1961. It has something to do with a run for public office. I wish I knew the story there.