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.
Ernie Kline was one of the most well known announcers ever to grace to hallways and studios of WBVP and WMBA. In his 1990 publication entitled “Local Radio”, local Beaver County historian, Kenneth Britten, wrote about Ernie Kline as follows:
“Two years after the station became a fixture, a young man was hired who would become somewhat of a local legend. It was early in 1950 when Ernie Kline arrived and quickly proved his ability to handle any assignment professionally. Intelligent, talented and intense, Kline would soon be named News Director and would make the WBVP news department an equal with far higher staffed Pittsburgh stations.
Equally adept in all fields of broadcasting Ernie could handle music shows, interviews, talk shows with equal ease. Teaming with Chuck Wilson on sports broadcasts, they would establish themselves as one of the finest sports announcing teams in Western Pennsylvania.
Always encouraging his announcers to fulfill their potential, when (WBVP President and General Manager) Mr. (Frank) Smith detected an interest in Ernie’s part in politics he backed him all the way and was proud of Ernie’s eventual success.
Kline would go on to be elected as a (Beaver Falls, PA) City Councilman in 1956 and served on the Board of the Beaver Falls Municipal Authority. He later was named Workman’s Compensation Referee, Secretary to Congressman Frank Clark and then became elected as State Senator and finally Lieutenant Governor. He became the first Lieutenant Governor in the state’s history to be elected to successive terms.”
Station engineer Jim Roush worked with Ernie Kline during his tenure at WBVP and offered these words regarding Kline: “He did alot of political stuff . . he was the voice of politics, and people”.
Ernie worked at WBVP for over 20 years, into the early 70’s, leaving after being elected to statewide political office.
“70th Anniversary Moments” is presented by Freedom United Federal Credit Union.