Story, photos and Video by Mark Peterson. Published 4:00 P.M. January 8, 2022
Featured photo- The new 2 bay F.M. Antenna mounted atop the WMBA broadcast tower in Bell Acres, PA.
(Ambridge, PA) January was already the birthday of a very famous entity in the entertainment industry, that being Elvis Presley. Today, one can only wonder how pleased “The King” would have been looking down from Rock ‘N Roll Heaven on his 87th birthday and witnessing the birth of what will most likely become another entertainment legend, in Beaver County, PA. That’s because on a 19 degree Saturday morning, Beaver County Radio and St. Barnabas Broadcasting engineers, Jim Roush and Greg Resh braved the elements and officially turned on a new F.M. radio station, 95.7 F.M.
The new station is an additional license grant to bolster the coverage of existing Ambridge A.M. radio station, 1460 WMBA. The construction of the new station, W239CR-95.7 F.M. was completed in December, and final approval to turn on the bright, new F.M. signal was just received on Friday. Shortly after firing up the transmitter, e mails and texts began coming in from other station staffers in Brighton Township and New Brighton reporting that 95.7 was coming in great. One company official even chimed in that the “Signal was strong in Gibsonia!”
Video of the historic moment when 95.7 F.M. went on the air:
95.7 F.M. will be the fourth radio station in the Beaver County Radio cluster of stations operated by St. Barnabas Broadcasting Inc. The new station joins 1230 WBVP and 99.3 F.M. in Beaver Falls and 1460 WMBA in Ambridge. 95.7 F.M. will be another simulcast outlet for the popular mix of local news, talk and sports programming already being aired on the other radio stations . Listeners will most likely notice a larger coverage area that will add a significant geographic footprint farther south and east to the current robust Beaver County Radio market area. St. Barnabas Broadcasting, Inc. also owns and operates conservative talk juggernaut, 1320 WJAS and it’s F.M. counterpart, 99.1 F.M. in Pittsburgh.
WMBA originally went on the air via the same tower and transmitter site still in use in Bell Acres, PA on September 19, 1957. The addition of an F.M. radio station to the broadcast site marks a very significant improvement and upgrade to the class B A.M. station that was founded by a group of businessmen from Pottsville, PA sixty-five years ago.
While it’s only conjecture, it’s pretty safe to assume that in 1957, the station was entertaining the masses by playing an Elvis tune or two, just as it is today in honor of his birthday.