WRTK changes format to classic-country hits

Staff report

Radio station WRTK-AM 1540 in Niles changed its format Wednesday to classic-country music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and will be known as The Farm. It had been broadcasting the Fox Sports Network.

The move was made by the new owners, Whiplash Radio LLC of Waynesville, which bought WRTK and WANR-AM 1570 in Warren on Aug. 18 from Beacon Broadcasting for $50,000. Chris and Kathy Lash of Whiplash are operating both stations on a time- brokerage agreement until the FCC approves the sale. WANR will remain as Fox Sports Radio 1570 and will continue to broadcast high-school sports.

Chris Lash, a veteran broadcaster, will be the general manager of both stations. Other staff members will stay in place at the stations, Lash said in a news release.

Lash said the idea for the format for the new 1540 The Farm came from his childhood. “My family are all farmers around Pittsburgh, so the format and name came from my many days working alongside my cousins and uncles while listening to the radio in the barn,” said Lash. There are no stations in the Youngstown-Warren radio market with the format.

Even though The Farm is a daytime-only station, it will feature live round-the-clock web streaming at youngstownscountrylegends.com. Lash will serve as the station’s morning man. He said more local talent will be added shortly.

The Lashes renovated the old WRTK studios in Mineral Ridge and will move both stations to that location in the near future. “These stations have a rich radio history,” said Lash. “And it is my goal to return them to their former glory.”

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