Infobox Radio station
name = WTBO
Cumberland, Maryland Frostburg, Maryland
branding = "FOX Radio 1450"
December 13, 1928
frequency = 1450 kHz
Adult Standards/Sports Talk
power = 1,000
Watts day and night
class = C
coordinates = coord|39|38|43.0|N|78|45|5.0|W|type:landmark
owner = WTBO-WKGO Corporation, LLC
WFRB (AM), WFRB-FM, WKGO
website = [http://www.foxradio1450.com WTBO Online]
affiliations = FOX News Radio
FOX Sports Radio
WTBO's studios are located above I-68 in Cumberland, right next to neon "W-T-B-O" letters.
Cumberland, Maryland's first broadcast station was authorized to operate and granted call letters WTBO in October 1928 by the Federal Radio Commission. Granted was operation on 1420 kilocycles with a power of 50 watts. The Cumberland Electric Companyplaced WTBO on the air Thursday, December 13, 1928, from 138 Virginia Avenue, site of the station as well as the retail shop of the station owner, William McKinley Dailey, Sr. Two masts were erected on the roof of the structure to support the station's antenna. In March 1929, The Cumberland Broadcasting Companywas formed by the Cumberland Electric Company and became WTBO's licensee. The Associated Broadcasting Corporationacquired the station in November 1929. In early 1930, WTBO was moved from its original site on Virginia Avenue to the Commercial Bank Building, on the southwest corner of Frederick and Liberty streets.
Power was increased to 100 watts in June 1930. In August 1930, WTBO's transmitter was relocated to the area now known as Constitution Park. Daytime power rose to 250 watts (nights 100 watts) in February 1931. In September 1932, WTBO was leased by the Interstate Broadcasting System, Inc. The Associated Broadcasting Corporation, Licensee, again assumed control of the independent station from the former lessee on
January 31, 1933. In 1934, controlling interest in the Associated Broadcasting Corporation was acquired by Herbet Lee Blye, who then became Station Manager of WTBO. In late 1935, Mr. Blye sold WTBO to Roger W. Clipp and Frank V. Becker.
October 26, 1943, the Federal Communications Commissionissued a permit to change frequency from 820 kilocycles to 1450 kilocycles (unlimited hours). On January 1, 1944, WTBO changed frequency and became a full-time 250 watt station; concurrently joining the National Broadcasting Companynetwork.
In 1946, WTBO's ownership was reorganized. Becoming a co-owner and partner was Charles Z. Heskett with Aurelia S. Becker remaining managing partner. The station's licensee name was then changed to the Cumberland Broadcasting Corporation. Mrs. Becker became both President and General Manager of the NBC station in 1947. The Maryland Radio Corporation acquired WTBO from the Becker and Heskett interests in early 1951.
In September 1954, the station was again sold to Tennessee Valley Broadcasting Corporation (aka Cumberland Valley Broadcasting Corporation). On
April 26, 1956, the station was authorized to change studio and transmitting locations to 350 Byrd Avenue (the present site). In early 1961, the FCC authorized WTBO to increase daytime power to 1,000 watts with night power of 250 watts to continue as before. Power was raised in 1962.
In late 1977, WTBO and its
frequency modulation(FM) affiliate WKGO at 106.1, were acquired from David P. Welborne's Welborne Broadcasting Inc., by Wooster Republican Printing Company, owned by Dix Communications. The WTBO-WKGO Corporation was formed by the new owners to be the WTBO licensee. At that time WTBO, Maryland's fifth oldest continuously licensed broadcast stationFact|date=September 2008, operated on 1450 kilohertz with a day power of 1,000 watts (night power of 250 watts) and served the three-state area from 350 Byrd Avenue, Cumberland, Maryland. The format was Adult Contemporary. The staff consisted of 18 full and part-time people. Roy H. Knotts - Assistant Manager, Beda M. Riley -Office Manager .
WTBO installed equipment to broadcast in AM Stereo in the mid 80's. The format on WTBO became Adult Standards. WTBO continued to broadcast Baltimore Orioles Baseball, University of Maryland Football and Basketball and high school football. Shortly after 1987, WTBO was granted permission to broadcast at full power, 1000 watts, 24 hours a day.
The 75th Anniversary for WTBO and the station began a year long celebration of the event marked by many promotional give aways. In Mid July 2008, WTBO picked up
FOX Sports Radioin the evenings and continued to air local programming and Adult Standardsin the mornings. WTBO would also pick up the affiliation of FOX News Radio. During this same time sister WFRB-AM would drop the simulcast of WTBO and begin a talk format.
Chazz Offutt collapsed and died at 8:23am on December 26th, 2006, during his daily "Morning Road Show" on WTBO-AM/WFRB-AM. Offutt was a popular local disc jockey for decades in Cumberland. The death was confirmed by Richard Cornwell, the station's manager during an interview with WCBC. Offutt had apparently suffered a fatal heart attack. He is survived by his wife and five children. He was 66.
"I was listening to Chazz and all of a sudden there was just nothing," said Joanne Van, mother of Jim Van, one of Offutt's co-workers, told the Cumberland Times-News. "The mike was open and I heard somebody say 'Chazz,' then I heard them say 'Call 911,' then Jimmy called and gave me the bad news. People will miss Chazz. He is a wonderful man."
Offutt has worked at Cumberland radio stations since the 1950s and his late-night show, "The Night Owls Club," on
WCUMwas popular with rock-and-roll fans in the 1960s.
December 27, 2006, fellow morning DJ Dave Norman was talking about Chazz and taking calls from listeners on crosstown station, WCBC. One caller told of a time when Offutt went to a funeral in Baltimore where doves were released. Offutt liked that so much, that he did that at funerals of Cumberland-area residents, when requested. Norman, talking to Upchurch Funeral Home where Offutt's arrangements are being made (as part of a normal monthly call-in), asked that if Offutt's family would allow, that WCBC would pay to have doves released at his funeral. Many, many listeners told of stories from the 60's, when Offutt was at WCUM (now WCMD-AM) and when he was at WTBO, of how he was just a "kind and gentle person, with a quick wit".
Offutt was laid to rest on Friday,
December 29th, 2006outside Saints Peter and Paul Church in Cumberland.
* [http://www.foxradio1450.com/ FOX Radio 1450 Online]
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