|Broadcast area||Pittsburgh metropolitan area|
|Branding||NewsTalk 1320 WJAS|
|Translator(s)||W256DE (99.1 MHz, Pittsburgh)|
|First air date||August 4, 1922|
|Power||7,000 watts daytime|
3,300 watts nighttime
|Former call signs||WJAS (1922-1973)|
|Owner||Frank Iorio, Jr. |
(Pittsburgh Radio Partners LLC)
WJAS is a talk radio station based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by Frank Iorio, Jr., through licensee Pittsburgh Radio Partners LLC, and broadcasts at 1320 kHz with a power level of 7,000 watts, from a transmitter located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. WJAS' studios are located on Fleet Street in Green Tree.
WJAS, which is one of Pittsburgh's five original AM stations, first signed on the air on August 4, 1922 and became an NBC owned-and-operated station in 1957 (after briefly operating as WAMP in the 1950s).
During the 1930s and 1940s, WJAS was home to the Wilkens Amateur Hour. Sponsored by Wilkens Jewelry Company, a 1942 review in the trade publication Billboard said the show "remains Pittsburgh's most popular local program."
In 1973, the station became extremely popular with a new format as top 40 WKPQ, later WKTQ "13Q", under new owners Heftel Communications. A promotion was run where listeners would win prizes if they were randomly telephoned and answered with "I listen to the new sound of 13Q" (instead of "hello"). Although this was the highest-rated format ever to appear on 1320, ranking second in the ratings to KDKA, it did not last due to the audience's move to FM radio. By 1977, 13Q's fortunes were fading, and Heftel sold the station to Nationwide Communications, who tried adult contemporary, which failed as well. Nationwide later sold the station to Beni Broadcasting, who switched the station to an adult standards format and brought back the WJAS call letters in 1981. Beni eventually sold WJAS to Renda Broadcasting. WJAS was one of the top standards stations in the United States, and would last for the next 3 decades.
WJAS boasts of two personalities with long and storied histories in Pittsburgh media: Jack Bogut and Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille.
In August 2014, Renda Broadcasting sold WJAS to Pittsburgh Radio Partners LLC, a company controlled by Frank Iorio, Jr. The sale, at a price of $1 million, was consummated on August 1, 2014; it is Iorio's first radio station purchase in Pittsburgh, as his other stations were all based in Warren (he put the Warren stations up for sale in 2017, finding a buyer in Lilly Broadcasting in 2019). As expected, at Noon on August 7, 2014, the company then changed the station to a Premiere Networks-affiliated conservative talk format in response to rumors that WPGB would flip formats. The final song under the standards format was "One More for the Road" by Frank Sinatra.
WJAS then began carrying most of the programs previously heard on WPGB (a station that directed its listeners to WJAS as it prepared to change formats); the first program to air on the talk-formatted WJAS was The Rush Limbaugh Show. WJAS did not choose to carry WPGB's signature morning drive program "Quinn and Rose", which returned to the Pittsburgh radio market on WBGG in 2018.