November 2, 2020

KDKA Newsradio: An Iconic Brand Blazes into the Future

By Idil Cakim, SVP Research & Insights, Audacy

What do Charlie Parker, tri-color traffic lights and Audacy’s KDKA have in common? Iconic, quintessential and adept at attracting crowds, they are all turning 100 in 2020. Among them, KDKA — the first commercial radio station in the US founded by Dr. Frank Conrad– is the one that continues to embrace change as it looks forward to another 100 years, keeping Pittsburghers abreast of current events and serving the local communities’ needs.
Broadcasting at KDKA means forging deep community connections and staying true to Pittsburgh’s character. In addition to delivering the news every day, morning show host Larry Richert hosts over 150 charity events a year, making a difference for thousands and constantly earning the community’s trust.  Listeners who tune in to Marty Griffin will witness him helping veterans get back on their feet, resolve disputes for small businesses and lean into listeners’ pandemic-related challenges, such as struggles with remote learning and nursing home conditions. Through it all, the station presents a balance between news and opinion, staying true to facts and giving listeners room for discussion. As Audacy’s Pittsburgh market manager Michael Spacciapolli puts it, “We are challenged every day. If we go off track, the community reminds us. Pittsburghers are warm, hardworking, straight-forward and honest – and they demand KDKA meets their expectations.”
KDKA’s initiatives to serve its audience for another 100 years started with the addition of an FM signal, further broadening the station’s reach and giving its loyal client base more opportunities to connect with Pittsburghers. To honor its history, KDKA has been playing its original sounds, including the sound from its very first broadcast

Listen to KDKA’s First Broadcast from November 2, 1920

KDKA is also showcasing its new sound, appealing to both young and seasoned listeners. The station is leaning in to engage with mobile-first Gen Z listeners, with hosts who can have lively conversations with their peers both on-air and on social media.
KDKA’s consistency in delivering quality content and remaining close to the heart of Pittsburgh has also earned its clients’ loyalty. The station boasts a number of local client relations that span several decades, including Hefren Tillotson, Bowser Automotive, Dollar Bank and AAA.
There are few establishments that have remained relevant through the test of time. KDKA is one of them. Whether broadcasting over the air or serving digital audiences through RADIO.COM with news updates and podcasts, KDKA stays connected to its community. This station that embodies the history of radio in the United States is highly dynamic with rapid, creative and quality content with the next 100 years in its sight.

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