Essential Pittsburgh
5:44 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Looking Back at the Early Days of WYEP

Current General Manager, Abby Goldstein, and one of the founding fathers of WYEP, Jeff Smith are celebrating the station's 40th anniversary this week.
Current General Manager, Abby Goldstein, and one of the founding fathers of WYEP, Jeff Smith are celebrating the station's 40th anniversary this week.
Credit Nick Frost / 90.5 FM WESA

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 was proclaimed “WYEP 40th Anniversary Day” by the Pittsburgh city council. On April 30, 1974, 91.3 WYEP went on the air for the first time.

Jeff Smith one of the founding fathers of WYEP was recruited to participate in some of the 40th anniversary events including a stint as a guest DJ. He said the idea to start WYEP came from a lack of diversity on the Pittsburgh airwaves at that time.

“There was pop commercial music, there was classical music at WQED, and there was Jazz at WDUQ and religious broadcasters. I don't remember how much talk radio there was back in those days. But there just was not much variety, not what we, iconoclasts, the young kids thought."

WYEP's current General Manager, Abby Goldstein said the station has changed a lot since the early days when it was populated by crusading journalists and fund raising involved hosts literally standing on their heads for contributions. 

“The world around us has changed." Goldstein explained "Everything has changed and things continue to change and evolve and move forward. So I think at this point in WYEP's life, especially as we're looking back during the 40th anniversary, we're also leaning in and looking forward and thinking about what will sustain us for the next forty years."

91.3 WYEP is the sister station of 90.5 WESA. The staff and listening community will continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary throughout 2014.