Michael Spacciapolli:
Entercom Radio

Understanding Media Through COVID 

Christine McMahon Tumpson

March 9, 2021

In the days of the COVID  pandemic, the quarantine highlights the role of the media in society.  With an influx of information and misinformation, people are increasingly turning in to radio as a source of journalism, and to find comfort in familiar voices.


That trend is particularly on point in Pittsburgh where listeners set their dials to the channels of Entercom radio. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Michael Spacciapolli is noticing the uptick. “At KDKA the listener interactions have been incredible as people continue to engage with the radio station for their Covid news and information as well as debate and learn about the topics that shaped the election. At the Fan, listener interaction has continued to trend upward through the return of sports and now into the heart of the football season. At Y108 and 100.7 Star listeners continue to interact with both of those radio stations to give themselves a sense of normalcy and personal connection with the different personalities throughout these changing times.” 


Spacciapolli knows the role of radio in the bringing  community together.  His interest in the media medium began at a young age. What brought him to the studios in the first place? “Role models in my life as a kid worked in radio so I have been interested in radio since a young age - I started interning at radio stations when I was 14 years old, majored in radio in college and have worked in and around radio my entire professional career - It is an amazing business filled with some incredible people.”


Walking with Spacciapolli through the offices and studios of the wide-reaching radio stations is easy; he exudes confidence and has remarkable comrade with those who work both inside and outside of the booths. Often laughing with the hosts and sharing stories with the producers, Spacciapolli is clearly in the role of his destiny. “Audio is experiencing a true renaissance in our country and with the resiliency and ability to evolve that radio has shown over the last 100 years, radio is in a great position to continue to be the great companion and resource to our listeners that it has always been.”


One of the great differences in radio is the ability for listeners to directly interact with the hosts of the shows. Spacciapolli explains that “at KDKA the listener interactions have been incredible as people continue to engage with the radio station for their Covid news and information as well as debate and learn about the topics that shaped the election. At the Fan, listener interaction has continued to trend upward through the return of sports and now into the heart of the football season. At Y108 and 100.7 Star listeners continue to interact with both of those radio stations to give themselves a sense of normalcy and personal connection with the different personalities throughout these changing times.”


He sees radio as providing a respite for people during these stressful times. “At The Fan, Y108 and 100.7 Star the topics have been built around providing an oasis for listeners away from whatever challenges the pandemic may be causing for them in their individual lives. At KDKA we remain steadfast in providing the news and information that the city expects from us. We know that when there is major event impacting peoples’ lives in Pittsburgh, they turn to KDKA Radio and it is our responsibility to provide the news and information that they need.”


One of the amazing things that is happening at Entercom is the addition of another radio station. While most media outlets are reducing staff and therefore the ability to disseminate information to the public, Spacciapolli made a major announcement in October. “After 100 years on the AM dial KDKA will be adding an FM signal at 100.1! It’s great for listeners who don’t visit the AM band or have never listened to KDKA as they may now listen or be introduced to the radio station with our expanded reach and distribution on FM at 100.1.”


Just when it seems like things are doom and gloom, signs of hopefulness appear. Spacciapolli exemplifies that attitude. “Obviously with the addition of the FM signal for KDKA we are extremely excited to introduce that radio station to a new audience. KDKA has played such a major role in the history of our great city and has impacted so many peoples’ lives, we are excited for a new generation of listeners to experience and utilize KDKA the way so many people over the past 100 years have.”

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