Radio Cincinnati
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  • 1921, December, WMH (Cincinnati's first commercial radio station) goes on the air in Walnut Hills.
  • 1922, March, Powel Crosley Jr. puts WLW on the air to augment the sale of his Crosley radios.
  • 1923, June, WSAI goes on the air at the U.S. Playing Card Company in Norwood.
  • 1924, December, WFBE goes on the air at the Parkview Hotel downtown.
  • 1925, April, WMH becomes WKRC to reflect the name of its new owners-the Kodel Radio Corporation.
  • 1926, by this point, Crosley has been the world's largest manufacturer of radios for over a year.
  • 1928, Crosley buys WSAI from US Playing Card. WLW is one of first stations granted 50-KW. New factory is started in Camp Washington which will include studios.
  • 1929, September, L.B. Wilson and a group of investors put WCKY on the air in Covington.


1920's WLW Studio, Colerain and Alfred Streets. Note the monks cloth wall coverings.


WZIP studios in former WCKY building in Covington, KY circa 1948.

  • 1930, WKRC is acquired by CBS making it one of the network's O and O's.
  • 1931, Mills Brothers, Peter Grant, Eddie Albert among acts coming to WLW
  • 1932, "Ma Perkins" leaves Cincinnati for Chicago, Fats Waller arrives.
  • 1933, Crosley builds new factory in Camp Washington, WLW locates its studios to the eighth floor.
  • 1934, May, WLW granted permission to broadcast experimentally at 500,000 watts, making it the most powerful station in the world! NBC carries the dedication program nationally.
  • 1935, October, WFBE is purchased by EW Scripps, who change call letters to WCPO for its newspaper, the Cincinati POst.
  • 1937, WCKY is granted a power increase to 10-KW. John Lair brngs his Renfro Valley entertainers to WLW.
  • 1938, WCPO brings Mort Watters to Cincinnati.
  • 1939, WCKY is granted 50-KW, WLW's superpower is revoked and the station returns to 50-KW.

  • 1940, the four Williams brothers come to WLW.
  • 1941, America enters WWII, radio reacts.
  • 1942, Doris Day joins WLW as a staff vocalist.
  • 1943, WLW wins first Peabody Award. FM radio debutes with WLWA.
  • 1945, Powel Crosley sells everything except Reds to try one more time to create a successful Crosley car.
  • 1946, WSAI sold to Marshall Field. WCTR, transit radio, debutes on WKRC's FM frequency.
  • 1947, WZIP begis broadcasting in old WCKY studios in Covington.
  • 1948, February, WLW-T television begins comercial broadcasting on Ch. 4. WNOP begins in Newport.
  • 1949, WCPO and WKRC television also begin broadcasting.


Peter Grant in the WLWT weather studio in the Comex building ca. 1955.


Don Herman in the WCKY studios ca. 1961.

  • 1951, WLW-T's Midwestern Hayride is broadcasting as a national summer replacement.
  • 1951, Stan Matlock begins his ascent as WKRC ratings king
  • 1952, Wally Phillips leaves WLW.
  • 1952, Nelson King becomes one of the most profitable and popular DJ's in the country on WCKY
  • 1953, WCIN debutes on the radio dial with Buggs Scruggs.
  • 1954, L.B. Wilson dies of a heart attack.
  • 1955, WLW's Ruth Lyons is getting national attention for her 50-50 Club show.
  • 1956, WLWT debuts one of first broadcast weather radars
  • 1958, Bob Braun appears as disc jocky and program host.
  • 1959, Paul Dixon wins TV/Radio Guide's personality of the year for a second time.

  • 1961, WSAI changes to Top-40 format, brings in the "Good Guys."
  • 1963, Shad and Mike bring off-beat humor to WCPO.
  • 1964, WSAI brings the Beatles to town for the first time.
  • 1965, WCPO is sold, becomes WUBE owned by a group including Danny Kaye and Lester Smith.
  • 1966, Beatles come to town a second time, this time Crosley Field show is postponed because of rain.
  • 1967, WEBN-FM debutes as classical station.
  • Early 70's, WKRQ FM becomes Q-102 and starts rivalry with WEBN.
  • Deregulation in 1981, leads to creation of Jacor, which buys WEBN and WLW, reinventing venerable old AM into a talk format station.
  • 1990's Clear Channel ends up owning eight Cincinnati stations, locates national radio corporate offices to Covington.
  • 2005, Xavier sells WVXU to WGUC. Golden age of Cincinnati radio comes to an end (okay, that's a personal statement)


WLW's Rich King in studio ca. 1967.