A quixotic CBS management decision in 1990 did in one of America's greatest and oldest stations, 50,000-watt WCAU (1210 AM), which abruptly switched from news-talk to "oldies" music under the call letters WOGL. WCAU's entire eleven-member news team was fired en masse. Founded in 1922, WCAU boasted an illustrious broadcast history. But no more.

It exists today as WPHT-AM, which programs reactionary babble and cheesy high-decibel commercials hawking products no one needs or wants, and which listeners should avoid. When the right-wingers aren't spewing, WPHT carries dreary, canned-sounding Frank Sinatra songs, as though taped in someone's basement, and blocks of time bought by hucksters pitching real estate, vitamin supplements, gold, more gold, even more gold, credit-card consolidation, etc. A sad death for a historic station that deserved better. Under the FCC's lax regulation rules, CBS currently owns five radio stations in Philadelphia, and WPHT is just one of them.

UPDATE: On 4/10/12 WPHT announced it was dropping Rush Limbaugh, AM radio's number one right-wing hard-liner. Previously, it canned Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. WPHT almost redeemed itself by banishing the most extreme syndicated talkers, going mostly local, and advancing Michael Smerconish, a moderate who was reasonable compared to the zealots who predominated at this once great station. However, in April 2013, Smerconish left WPHT for SiriusXM. To replace him WPHT hired prostitute-patronizing, reactionary pundit Dick Morris, whose batty, outrageous nonsense led him to be fired even by the likes of Fox News. What could CBS, or whoever runs it today, be thinking? And once it was the Tiffany network.

Below is a detailed article about the station's demise by W. Speers in the Philadelphia Inquirer of Aug. 16, 1990.

click images to enlarge

This shot of WCAU morning Man Ed Harvey, taken in the 1960s, is on an interesting web site that contains some
WCAU "flags," the call letters mounted on microphones [as pictured above]. Go to Reverse Time Page


  • Online history of WCAU from Philadelphia Radio Archives
  • Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Radio History

  • return to main WCBS Appreciation Site page