Update on Pgh Radio Stations Airing Anti-Trans Ad Targeting Children

It is exhausting to have to fight this battle station by station. I am incredibly disappointed that allies with power and influence are not responding to advocate for trans kids. These stations represent the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers. They have contracts with Pittsburgh Public Schools to air football games. I’m sure there are other stations that we don’t even know are running the ad. Why are the powers that be silent on this?

(Here’s the link to the backstory and the audio of the ad along with a transcript.)

So here’s an update. Exactly TWO stations have pulled the ad. That’s despicable. I’m glad they pulled it and hope both will take a leading role in offsetting the harm and trauma they’ve inflicted on Pittsburgh by running it in the first place.

And let me be clear – there is no FCC requirement. The FCC rules around “fairness” applied to candidates for federal office. This ad is not about a candidate – it is paid for by a Political Action Committee (PAC) and is about an issue, not a candidate. It is about children in our communities and their families. There’s no FCC rule that requires advertising to be factually correct and accurate. Sadly.

Marty Griffin of KDKA AM radio, a father of three children, told the parent of a trans teenager that the FCC was a factor. Marty has been in this business for over 20 years. Is he actually admitting he doesn’t know the FCC rules for radio or did he mislead this parent? Which of those people does he want to be? Do everyone a favor and don’t agree to be on his show. He is never going to change his stripes.

The goal is to get the ad off the air as soon as possible. Not broker deals about when it will air. It is terrorizing trans and nonbinary children. Our moral obligation as adults is to get it off the air. Do not accept any compromise with people who terrorize any children.

Running the Ad

  • WDVE
  • WAMO
  • Y108
  • 105.9 the X
  • 99.7 WISH
  • KDKA AM (unknown if their FM stations 93.7 and 100.1 are running it)

Ran the Ad, but pulled it.

  • Q92.9
  • 96.1 KISS (this is the station where the on-air staff took a stand and it was the first to pull it)

Unknown 

  • 94.5 FM 3WS
  • Other Country Stations
  • Faith based stations
  • Other AM stations

Did not run ad

  • 96.9 Bob FM
  • WQED
  • WYEP
  • WESA

What’s particularly heinous is that Pittsburgh Public Schools have an agreement (I assume a contract?) with WAMO to broadcast the high school football games. This ad means PPS is violating their own nondiscrimination policies.

PPS claims they negotiated with WAMO not to air the ad during the games. That’s not a morally sound compromise. It isn’t even a compromise – who in their right mind would want to work with a radio station around student activities that would even consider running this ad during those broadcasts? WHAT?

So call PPS and ask that they end their work with WAMO until the ads are pulled: 412-529-HELP

Here’s the station contact information.

  • WDVE 102.5 Studio Line: 412-333-9383 Business Line: 412-937-1441 *Also they are the home of the Steelers so call the Steelers.
  • WAMO Studio/Contest Phone 412-941-1073 Business Office Phone 412-920-9400
  • Y108 Studio/Contest Phone 412-922-1079 Business Office Phone 412-920-9400
  • WISH 99.7 412-875-9500 | Station Front Desk Reception 412-333-WISH (9474) | Studio
  • KDKA AM & FM Studio/Contest Phone 866-391-1020 Business Phone 412-920-9400 *Also they are home of the Pirates so call the Pirates
  • 105.9 the X Studio Line: 412-333-WXDX Business Line: 412-937-1441 *Also they are home of the Penguins so call the Penguins

Another important point – what media outlets will cover this story? So far the Pittsburgh City Paper has followed the story, QBurgh has covered it and I did a segment on Q92.9. I’m not aware of anyone else paying attention. And the City Paper editor-in-chief resigned yesterday after the parent company, the Butler Eagle, pressured her around coverage of a news story. The staff are great on these issues, but clearly their parent company could weigh in at any time and force their hands. That’s absolutely terrifying.

Where are WTAE, KDKA TV, WPXI, TribLive, and PublicSource? The Post-Gazette staff is on strike. So who is going to cover this?

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