This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of when Beaver County’s first radio station, WBVP, was heard over the airwaves for the the first time on May 25, 1948. To mark the historical event, each week, another “70th Anniversary Moment” will be showcased on the airwaves and published on the station’s online feeds.
In 1989, a recent California University Of PA graduate named Carl Anderson was brought aboard to host the afternoon show on WWKS, or Kiss 106.7 F.M. WWKS was a sister F.M. radio station to WBVP at that point in time and was operated out of the same building in Beaver Falls. Anderson grew up in North Huntington Township out in Westmoreland County, PA and for a period of time after being hired on, he drove the fifty plus mile commute on the Pennsylvania Turnpike daily to and from his job in Beaver Falls. About a year later, the position of Program Director for WWKS opened up when Mark Razz accepted a position in Boston and moved on from WBVP and WWKS. Anderson was appointed Program Director and also took the reigns of hosting the morning show. By this point in time, Anderson had also put roots down in Beaver County and had moved to Chippewa. Under Anderson’s leadership, the Beaver Falls F.M. radio station enjoyed some of its most successful years as far as popularity and familiarity among area listeners. The station was constantly out and about appearing at events all over the Western Pennsylvania Area including the Three Rivers Regatta in Pittsburgh, Concerts at Star Lake Ampitheater and other prominent regional locations. During his tenure as program director, WWKS morphed from a soft adult contemporary music format to a slightly harder “Adult Rock Hits” format. Later on, another more aggressive change to a hard rock was made with Anderson running the show when the station switched to a cutting edge hard rock presentation and re-branded itself at “The Force” in 1993.
Two things combined in the mid nineties to send Carl Anderson’s career in a different direction. WWKS, or The Force, was gaining ground and becoming quite popular especially among younger demographics. Also going on at that particular time, President Clinton had just signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which deregulated the broadcast industry and allowed the same person, or company to own multiple stations in the same market. Those two things made acquiring WWKS not only possible, but an easy decision for Secret Communications, who also owned and operated WDVE in nearby Pittsburgh. Secret would now have another rock station with a younger audience to compliment its heritage classic rock format on WDVE. The deal was made, Carl Anderson went to the Secret Communications’ Pittsburgh Offices with the other WWKS employees and began his rise in the radio world. Lots of changes would happen fast and soon Anderson found himself in charge of launching a new station format on another station now owned by his new bosses, WJJJ, 104.7 F.M. in Pittsburgh as Program Director of the smooth jazz radio station.
Around 1997, Anderson was lured away from Pittsburgh to accepted a position with a cluster of radio stations in Richmond, VA. This move was yet another step in Anderson’s rise up to the top of the ranks in the radio industry, which eventually saw him serve as a Network Vice President, and Market Manager. The following recap of Anderson’s Career was recently published in the book, Behind The Microphone, The History Of Radio In Beaver County, PA : “His training in Beaver Falls paid off big time as he became Program Director at a new upstart radio station in Pittsburgh called Smooth Jazz 104.7 in 1996. After a stops in Richmond , Chicago and Washington, D.C., Carl’s programming and management skills were noticed by ABC radio network executives and he eventually settled in as Executive Vice President of Programming and Affiliate Relations in Dallas, TX. After that, Carl became the Senior Vice President for Programming in the West Region For ABC. Later on Carl became national News Talk and Brand Manager For Clear Channel before finally landing in Tuscon, AZ as Market President of a six station cluster owned by Clear Channel/iHeart Media in 2016. Carl now serves as Chief Operating Officer of Premiere Auto Group in Tuscon, AZ.”
“70th Anniversary Moments” is presented by Abbey Carpet and Floor, Albert’s Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, Aliquippa Giant Eagle, The Beaver Falls Municipal Authority, Beaver Valley Auto Mall, Beaver Valley Sheet Metal, Castlebrook Development, The Community College Of Beaver County, Farmers Building and Savings Bank, Freedom United Federal Credit Union, Hank’s Frozen Custard and Mexican food, The Health Huts, Kitchen City, Laughlin Insurance Agency, Rochester Manor and Villa and Young’s Jewelry and Coins.