Local Gospel station WGBN making ‘Power’ moves

A POWERFUL TRIO—Making decisions for radio station WGBN Power 1360, a trio with a combination of over 100 years of radio experience are Director of Programming, Calvin Penny, General Manager, Bishop Loran E. Mann, and Engineering Consultant, Dale King.

WGBN now located inside Pentecostal Temple Church

Feb. 1, 2018 marked a milestone for Pittsburgh’s only gospel radio station, WGBN-AM (1360). It’s now rebranded as Power 1360, and has relocated from New Kensington to 6300 East Liberty Blvd., on the second floor of Pentecostal Temple Church.
Owned and operated by Pentecostal Temple Development Corp. (PTDC), Bishop Loran E. Mann, general manager of WGBN, is excited about the growth and development happening with the station. “We started out at AM 1150 at a power level of 1,000 watts daytime and 70 watts nighttime in December of 1992, and now have the capacity to exist as a 5,000 watts daytime, 1,000 watts nighttime station,” he said. He explained that the station is currently operating on a Special Transmission Authority wattage where the power is lowered for work to be completed on the transmitter and signal. “Our goal is to return to the 5,000 watts which will provide more than ample coverage to the Pittsburgh area soon.”
The station was changed to a full-time gospel format in 1992 and the call letters became WGBN, which stood for the Gospel Broadcast Network. Today, 1150 AM, now known as 1360 AM, remains as the first and only Black gospel station in the region. The 1360 frequency is the former WMCK based out of McKeesport.
Since its inception, WGBN’s format has consisted of a combination of morning show hosts, sermons from Pentecostal Temple and music provided by ABC Radio’s Rejoice format. Currently its local programming includes Bishop Mann’s Daily Bread, Sunday Morning Gospel with Nate Hollis, the Cal Connection on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Hot or Not on Friday afternoons hosted by Danielle Smith.
One of more than 40 affiliates of Musical Soul Food, formerly an ABC Radio Network until acquired by Dallas-based Urban Choice Media in 2005 under the name of Rejoice Musical Soul Food, WGBN also offers 24/7 daily inspirational, family-friendly programming featuring live announcers, music, entertainment news and lifestyle content. Syndicated programs include shows hosted by national gospel music artists Dottie Peoples, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Earl Bynum and the Bobby Jones Countdown. The nationally-syndicated sports show, From the Press Box to Press Row hosted by Donal Ware, is carried weekly. Daily features include The White House Report by April Ryan, the Power Minute with Ed Gray and commentary by Ed Gordon. MSF also creates and delivers digital content across websites, mobile, digital and social platforms.
Considered the premier family-friendly radio network, MSF, of which Bishop Mann is one of the founders, is sponsoring their third annual Musical Soul Food Festival, June 23, in Chesapeake, Virginia. Station officials describe the festival as one of the most exciting, inspirational and entertaining events for the entire family to experience amazing gospel and inspirational music performed by a stellar lineup of performers.
An integral part of the Western Pennsylvania community for 25 years, Bishop Mann says the goal of PTDC, the station’s longtime engineering consultant, Dale King, and Director of Programming, Calvin Penny, is to “continue doing what we have been doing, but better.” In addition to getting back up to 5,000 watts, Bishop Mann says the station will soon have streaming capabilities and an app is being developed. “We are committed to gospel music and ministry.”
To grow and be of service to the community, Bishop Mann emphasized the need of support from local churches, ministries and businesses. “Utilizing the station for outreach and to advertise what’s taking place throughout the community is a win for all,” Bishop Mann said, pointing out that WGBN possesses the resources, equipment, personnel and most importantly, desire to add real value to its advertisers for their advertising dollars. Penny, possessing close to 40 years of radio experience, says WGBN’s advertising packages offers their advertisers maximum exposure while helping to stimulate the economy.
A former broadcast journalist, Bishop Mann had a 21-year career as News Anchor/Reporter for WPXI-TV. He began his local pastoral ministry in 1969 with the founding of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ. The Florida native says he was called to preach the Gospel while a junior in high school and now is well-known for his spiritual, inspirational and visionary leadership.
Realizing that radio is not the same today as it was 20 years ago, Mann says WGBN Power 1360 has a positive future, and the people of Pittsburgh should be ready to be uplifted, encouraged and inspired.
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