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Less than two years after a surprise mid-morning format change, Lebanon AM radio station WLBR 1270 is about to abandon its satellite-fed “classic hits” format and switch to a format dominated by nationally syndicated talk shows.

The station had a similar format before its switch to music.

The change is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, according to station manager Tim Ritchie.

According to its “New Program Guide,” “WLBR News – Talk – Sports” will now feature 21 hours of nationwide talk shows on weekdays, and ’round-the-clock national talk shows on weekends.

Other than high school sports, the only local programming listed in the guide will be the Monday through Friday 6 to 9 a.m. slot, which will feature veteran local newsperson and talk show host Laura LeBeau. LeBeau hosted the area’s only local talk show until shortly after the April 2020 switch to “classic hits” and has continued to cover local news at WLBR throughout the all-music format.

Ritchie told LebTown that LeBeau’s new show will not be a traditional listener call-in show, but instead will emphasize local news and features, plus interviews with local newsmakers.

Read More: The state of local radio, post-WLBR pivot

Ritchie also said that the Philadelphia Phillies, Penn State football, and local high school sports will be broadcast on 1270 AM.

WLBR 1270 will continue to stream on the internet, according to Ritchie, although contractual obligations may not allow the streaming of Phillies games.

The format of the station’s FM side, “Froggy Valley 100.1,” including Hershey Bears hockey, will remain unchanged.

Both stations share studios and transmitters in Ebenezer, and are owned by Altoona-based Forever Media.

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Chris Coyle

Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...