PFT President Condemns PPS Partnerships with Local Radio Stations Over Anti-Transgender Ads; WAMO Stops Playing Them

Photo Credit: Julia Zenkevich / 90.5 WESA

Photo Credit: Julia Zenkevich / 90.5 WESA

On October 20, 2022, Nina Esposito-Visgitis, President of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT), issued a public statement condemning Pittsburgh local radio stations including WAMO 107.3, WISH 99.7, KDKA 1020, and several others for broadcasting political ads promoting anti-transgender beliefs. 

Esposito-Visgitis said in her statement, “A mean-spirited, anti-transgender radio advertisement packed with mistruths is playing on local radio stations in Pittsburgh. Our union condemns using children for political propaganda and for the attack on the lives of transgender youth and their families” according to the tweet.

WAMO 107.3 radio announced coverage of the October 20th football game against Pittsburgh Allderdice and USO (U-Prep, SciTech, Obama) on their Twitter while actively broadcasting anti-transgender ads that suggest President Joe Biden and the Democrats are pushing the narrative of unnecessarily transitioning young children. 

Esposito-Visgitis also in her statement called on the school district to cut ties with the radio stations including WAWO 107.3. She said, “the district should not partner with these stations while they continue to profit by making our city less safe for trans youth, and should suspend the partnership with WAMO for athletic events.”

Saul Straussman, PFT Building Rep and Trustee provided The Foreword with a comment. He says, “Ms. Esposito-Visgitis’ comments come to the heart of values that the District espouses.”

“Its willingness to partner with media conglomerates that are attempting to maximize their own profits regardless of where those profits come from,” Mr. Straussman added while speaking on his thoughts on the District’s intentions.

He adds, “she [Esposito] is correct in saying to the District that they should end those relationships with those corporate entities–full stop.”

Ms. Esposito-Visgitis ends her statement with “broadcasters, with their immense ability to influence viewpoints and the cultural climate in our region, should not accept advertisements that will undermine the work towards a more fair, safe, and just Pittsburgh community — especially for our children.”

The school district, in conjunction with the PFT, has since called for WAMO to consider removal of the ads. According to a local news site, WAMO has since had them removed.