WLW (700 AM), branded "Newsradio 700 WLW", is a commercial news/talk radio station serving Greater Cincinnati. Owned by iHeartMedia, the station's studios are located in Sycamore Township, and its transmitter is at Mason, Ohio. One of the oldest radio stations in the United States, in the 1930s it was also the only U.S. station ever authorized to broadcast with a power of 500,000 watts.

WLW is Class A clear-channel station operating with 50,000 watts of power, the maximum allowed for AM stations under current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. During daytime hours it can be heard in a four state region, with city-grade strength as far north as Columbus, as far west as the Indianapolis suburbs, and as far south as Richmond, Kentucky. It provides at least secondary coverage to most of Ohio and Indiana, and much of northern and central Kentucky. At night WLW can be heard across much of the eastern half of North America.

WLW's programming is available online via iHeartRadio, and is also carried in the immediate Cincinnati area on HD Radio by sister station WKFS's HD-2 digital sub-channel, and on FM at 94.5 MHz over translator W233BG. WLW is authorized to transmit an HD digital signal on 700 AM, although it is not currently doing so.[1]

WLW is a primary entry point for the Emergency Alert System and is responsible for activations of the Southwest Ohio EAS plan.

CityCincinnati, Ohio
Broadcast areaGreater Cincinnati
BrandingNewsradio 700 WLW
SloganThe Big One
The Nation's Station
Frequency700 kHz
(also on HD Radio)
Translator(s)94.5 W233BG (Cincinnati, relaying WKFS-HD2)
First air dateMarch 23, 1922 (test transmissions as 8CR 1921–1922)
Power50,000 watts
Facility ID29733
Transmitter coordinates39°21′11″N 84°19′30″W / 39.35306°N 84.32500°W
(main antenna)
39°21′11″N 84°19′44″W / 39.35306°N 84.32889°W (auxiliary antenna)
Callsign meaningNone (randomly assigned)
Former frequencies833 kHz (1922–1923)
970 kHz (1923–1924)
710 kHz (1924–1927)
AffiliationsABC News Radio
Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network
Cincinnati Reds Radio Network
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
Sister stationsWCKY, WEBN, WKFS, WKRC, WSAI
WebcastListen Live
Website700 WLW


WLW has a 24-hour local news department and is affiliated with ABC News Radio. The station airs a nearly entirely locally produced talk format. Bill Cunningham hosts a weekday program,[2] and WLW is the flagship station for his Live on Sunday Night, which is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Other notable personalities on the station include morning host Mike McConnell, afternoon hosts Eddie Fingers and Rocky Boiman, and evening host Gary Jeff Walker.

WLW is the flagship radio station for the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network and a co-flagship station for the Cincinnati Bengals football team. The station also broadcasts Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers college games.



WLW was the outgrowth of an interest in radio by Powel Crosley Jr., although information about his earliest activities is limited. Crosley recounted that his introduction to radio occurred on February 22, 1921, when he took his son to the local Precision Equipment Company store to investigate purchasing a receiver. He was shocked to find that a high-end receiver would cost $135, and after assembling his own receiver from parts, he realized that commercial mass production could be done at much lower prices. Starting with individual parts, then moving on to complete receivers, in the 1920s the Crosley Radio Corporation was a leading manufacturer of inexpensive sets, and Powel Crosley became known as "the Henry Ford of radio".[3]

Crosley was also an early experimenter with making radio transmissions. Most accounts say he began in July 1921, using a 20-watt set located in an upstairs billiard table room, repeatedly playing a phonograph record of "Song of India", while asking local amateur radio enthusiasts to call if they heard his signals. In 1921 the Crosley Manufacturing Company was issued two radio station licenses: one for a standard amateur station, 8CR, located at 5723 Davey Avenue,[4] which was Crosley's College Hill home, and the other for an Experimental station, 8XAA, located at the company's Blue Rock Street factory building in Northside.[5]


Milnor Electric advertisement for WLW radio debut (1922)
WLW held its debut broadcast on March 23, 1922. Crosley brand "Harko" receivers were available for purchase to listen to the programs.[6]

Initially there were no formal standards for radio stations making broadcasts for the general public, and a variety of stations, most operating under Experimental or Amateur station licenses, conducted broadcasts on a regular schedule. On December 1, 1921 the U.S. Department of Commerce, which regulated radio at this time, adopted the first regulation formally establishing a broadcasting station category, which set aside the wavelength of 360 meters (833 kHz) for entertainment broadcasts, and 485 meters (619 kHz) for market and weather reports.[7]

The Precision Equipment Company was the first in Cincinnati to receive one of the new broadcasting station licenses, when its experimental station, 8XB, was relicensed as WMH on December 30, 1921. The Crosley Manufacturing Company also applied for one of the new licenses, which was granted on March 2, 1922 for operation on the 360 meter "entertainment" wavelength, and issued the randomly assigned call letters of WLW.[8]

WLW made its debut broadcast on March 23, 1922, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Station studios and transmitter were located at the Blue Rock Street building. Although the transmitter power was a fairly modest 50 watts, station publicity boldly predicted that although previously "only the smaller type of sending apparatus has been employed in Cincinnati", "The equipment of the Crosley Manufacturing Company is of such great power that the concert emanating from Cincinnati will be heard as far as a distant point in Canada; as far east as the Atlantic Ocean; west as far as the Rocky Mountains, and south to the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys, and possibly to ships in the Gulf of Mexico" and that "This inaugural concert will put Cincinnati 'on the map' of the radio world."[9]

The single shared entertainment wavelength of 360 meters meant that stations within a given region had to make timesharing agreements to assign operating timeslots. On August 7, 1922, WLW's programs were scheduled from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., while WMH's ran from 8:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.[10] Crosley was a fanatic about the new broadcasting technology, and continually increased his station's capability. The power increased to 500 watts in September 1922, and to 1,000 watts in May 1924.

In 1923 Crosley bought the Precision Equipment Company, and in January shut down WMH's operations. Precision held the rights to use the valuable Armstrong regeneration patent, and was technically the surviving company in the merger, and was subsequently renamed the Crosley Radio Company.[11][12]

In May 1923 the Department of Commerce set aside a band of "Class B" frequencies reserved for stations that had quality equipment and programming, and the Cincinnati region was assigned exclusive use of 970 kHz.[13] In the summer WLW began operating on this new frequency, sharing time with another Cincinnati station, WSAI.[14] In May 1924 a third Class B station was established in Cincinnati, WFBW (now WKRC), which the next month revived the WMH call letters. WLW was unhappy with having to split time with two other stations, so in June 1924 government regulators moved WLW to 710 kHz, sharing time with WBAV (now WTVN) in Columbus.[15]

At the Third National Radio Conference, held in October 1924, the Radio Corporation of America's (RCA) vice president and general manager, David Sarnoff, announced that his company planned to embark on the construction of a 50,000 watt station for New York City. At this time 1,000 watts was the maximum permitted, so this brought up fears by smaller stations that a group of powerful stations would monopolize the airwaves.[16] However, Powel Crosley fully endorsed the idea, stating: "Our idea of the solution to the static problem is increase in power. We talk today of 5,000 watts being superpower, when we all know that five years from now certain broadcasting stations will be using from 50 to 200 kilowatts. When that day comes, there will be no more static."[17]

WLW Cincinnati Ohio radio advertisement (1928)
In October 1928 WLW became the fourth station in the United States to operate with 50,000 watts.[18]

In late 1924 Western Electric began selling radio transmitters capable of operating at 5,000 watts,[19] but the Commerce Department, wary of the high-powered sets overwhelming local receivers, did not immediately allow stations to use the full power. Instead stations could start operating with up to 1,500 watts, then, only if approved by the region's Radio Supervisor, increase powers in successive 500 watt steps, while ensuring that it was not causing excessive interference.[20] WLW ordered one of the 5,000 watt capable Western Electric transmitters, originally hoping to have it in operation by the end of December. In addition, a new remote transmitter site was constructed at Harrison, Ohio, located away from the city in order to limit the possibility of the station's signals overwhelming local receivers.[21] On January 27, 1925 WLW began using its 5,000 watt capable transmitter, although not yet at full power.[22]

The Commerce Department's cautious approach toward power increases was based on the assumption that transmitters were located in heavily populated areas. However, in May 1925 it recognized that WLW's Harrison site, and WSAI's Mason, Ohio transmitter location, were both far enough removed from a population center that the two stations could immediately begin operating with the full 5,000 watts.[23] A Cincinnati Post writer investigated the effect of WSAI and WLW's May 11 introduction of the use of 5,000 watts, and found that despite claims that their "superpower broadcasting" would eliminate static within 500 miles, it was only "a start in the right direction". Listeners reported that the stations now sounded about twice as strong, and also noted that KDKA in Pittsburgh's 10,000 watts was even better.[24]

Shortly after WLW began operating with 5,000 watts, the major radio manufacturers began work on producing more powerful transmitters. Development was led by General Electric, and in July 1925 that company's WGY in Schenectady, New York began conducting tests of a 50,000 watt transmitter,[25][26] which began regular usage later that year.[27]

"The Nation's Station"

By the summer of 1928, in addition to WGY, WEAF (now WNBC) in New York City and KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were also broadcasting with 50,000 watts,[28] and WLW was making plans to join them.

In May Crosley purchased WSAI, and began to consolidate the two station's operations. This included WLW moving its transmitter site from Harrison to sharing WSAI's facility at Mason. There is where WLW's 50,000 watt Western Electric transmitter would be installed, with its completion initially hoped to be by September.[29] It was actually October 29, 1928 when WLW became the fourth member of the select group of U.S. stations operating with 50,000 watts. However, at the dedication ceremonies the station proclaimed that, because WLW was more centrally located than the other 50,000 watt stations, it was "America's first really national Broadcasting station",[18] with a signal that "cut through static like a knife".[30] In early 1929 Crosley company advertising began referring to WLW using the slogan "The Nation's Station". The station even branched out into international service, including a weekly program in Spanish which was intended for listeners in Cuba.[31]

In 1926, there had been a temporary suspension of government regulation of radio due to a court ruling that the Commerce Department had overstepped its legal authority. This eventually resulted in the formation of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), which as part of its re-establishment of control moved WLW to 700 kHz in June 1927, the frequency on which it has operated ever since.[32] In November 1928, under the provisions of the FRC's General Order 40, 700 kHz was one of 40 frequencies designated as "clear channels", and WLW was assigned exclusive use of this frequency within the United States and Canada.

One of the five new studios comprising the eighth floor of the new Crosley Radio Company building (1930)
A feature story about WLW's new studios incorporated photographs of Joseph A. Chambers, technical supervisor and designer of the new facilities, and Powel Crosley, Jr., owner of WLW and WSAI (1930)
Crosley Building, Cincinnati
The Crosley Building in Camp Washington, Cincinnati, built in 1930, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At 50 kilowatts, WLW was heard easily over a wide area from New York to Florida, but Crosley still was not satisfied. In early 1933, it was announced that RCA had been awarded a contract to oversee the construction of a 500,000 watt transmitter, "the largest broadcasting transmitter in the world", although initially it would only be operated during the hours of 1 to 6 a.m.[33]

500,000 watt "superpower" operation

Mabley and Carew advertisement congratulating WLW Cincinnati Ohio radio (1934)
WLW debuted its 500,000 watt transmitter on May 2, 1934.[34]

Crosley obtained a construction permit from the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) for the addition of a 500 kilowatt transmitter amplifier at the Mason complex, and spent some $500,000 ($9.68 million in 2019[35]) constructing the equipment and facilities for the new amplifier and installation of an 800 foot- (245 meter) tall antenna.

In January 1934, WLW began broadcasting with 500,000 watts after midnight under the experimental call sign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500,000 watts during regular hours using the WLW call letters. On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ceremonially pressed the same golden telegraph key that Wilson had used to open the Panama Canal, officially launching WLW's 500-kilowatt signal.[36]

As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received numerous complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was interfering with other stations, most notably from CFRB, then on 690 kHz, in Toronto, Ontario. In December 1934, WLW was instructed to cut back to 50 kilowatts at night until it had eliminated the interference.[37] The station began construction of two shorter towers 1850 feet (560 m) southwest from the main tower in order to create a directional antenna, which successfully reduced the signal broadcast towards Canada. With these antenna towers in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months; each renewal brought complaints about interference, and undue domination of the market, by such a high-power station.

In September 1934, WLW was one of the founding members of the Mutual Broadcasting System, although it withdrew as a primary participant and became a regular affiliate two years later.[38] The station found that with its tremendous signal it could independently compete with the national radio networks, with a rate card comparable to what the major networks charged. One result was that by 1936 there was increasing pressure on the FCC to start allowing additional clear channel stations to operate with 500,000 watts, and in October there were a reported 14 outstanding applicants to join the "superpower" ranks.[39]

In 1928 the FRC's General Order 40 had established the basic structure of the AM broadcast band in the United States, grouping transmitting frequencies into three major categories: "local", limited to 100 watts, "regional", with up to 1,000 watts, and "clear",[40] with an unspecified limit that was generally capped at 50,000 watts the next month by General Order 42.[41] Over time the maximum daytime powers were increased to 250 watts for local stations, and 5,000 watts for regional ones.

In June 1938 the FCC held a series of hearings on the future of the AM band, including power levels.[42] An important factor in their deliberations was the "Wheeler resolution". On June 13, 1938, the U.S. Senate adopted resolution 294, sponsored by Burton K. Wheeler (D-Montana), which stated that it was the "sense of the Senate... that the Federal Communications Commission should not adopt or promulgate rules to permit or otherwise allow any station operating on a frequency in the standard broadcast band (550 to 1600 kilocycles) to operate on a regular or other basis with power in excess of 50 kilowatts".[43] Wheeler, an avid anti-monopolist who wanted to protect the smaller stations, was also concerned that domination of the airwaves by high-powered stations could lead to a dictator like Mussolini, Hitler or Stalin, who had each used control of radio to support their rise to power.[44]

This resolution, unlike a law, was not binding on the FCC, however it was seen as having an important influence on the outcome of its hearings.[45] In early 1939 the FCC announced its new regulations, which narrowed the differences between low and high-powered stations. Local stations could now use up to 250 watts at night, and regional 5,000 watts. On the other hand, in language that largely echoed the financial arguments of the Wheeler resolution, clear channel stations were still limited to 50,000 watts, and WLW's temporary authorization to use 500,000 watts, except experimentally during early morning hours, was terminated.[46]

Return to 50,000 watts

On March 1, 1939, WLW resumed operations at 50,000 watts.[47] The station had unsuccessfully attempted to reverse the decision in the courts, and now had to shut down the huge amplifiers, except for brief, experimental night periods as W8XO.[48] Because of the impending war, and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942.

WLW Cincinnati Ohio radio advertisement (1939)
Promotional advertisement (1939)[49]

Beginning in 1939, WLW used the overnight hours to transmit READO facsimile newspapers. However, the system was unable to compete with standard newspaper delivery, and was shut down a few years later.[50]

In the 1930s, WLW occupied the entire 48th floor of Carew Tower. In 1942, the station moved its studios into the Crosley Square building, a converted Elks Lodge No. 5 in downtown Cincinnati.[51] WLW's sister television station, WLWT (then branded WLW-T), was founded in the same building. In 1955, WLW and WLWT became the first radio and television station to own a weather radar.[52]

A major promotion of the station in the 1940s was the Boone County Jamboree. A 1942 advertisement in the trade publication Billboard noted: "WLW Boone County Jamboree acts played to 169,406 persons, July 4 to October 4. An all time record of 63 bookings in seven States. New attendance records established at 14 events."[53]

The August 1941 adoption of the Federal Communications Commission's "duopoly" rule restricted licensees from operating more than one radio station in a given market.[54] At this time the Crosley Corporation owned both WLW and WSAI, so to conform with the new regulation in 1944 WSAI was sold to Marshall Field. The next year Crosley sold WLW to the Aviation Corporation of the Americas (Avco), earning a handsome return on his original investment of a quarter-century earlier.[55] The Crosley name was so well respected that Avco retained it as the name of its broadcast division until 1968.

From the 1950s until the 1970s, broadcasts for WLW were moved across Elm street to the COMEX building, where people could watch radio broadcasts from the sidewalk through plate glass windows.[56]

By 1962 there were only 13 unduplicated clear channel frequencies left in the United States, and the FCC was investigating whether to "break up" these remaining frequencies by adding secondary stations. In response the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 714, which gave support to having the frequencies remain assigned exclusively to a single station, and a number of the stations, calling themselves the "Clear Channel Broadcasting Service", applied for higher powers. This included WLW, which submitted an application to operate with 750 kilowatts.[57] However, the FCC denied these applications and went ahead with the additional stations, located mostly in under-served western states.[58] Despite no longer being the sole occupant of 700 kHz, WLW's signal still sometimes spanned impressive distances, and in 1985 overnight host Dale Sommers received a call from a listener in Hawaii.

Avco began exiting broadcasting in 1975. WLW was one of the last properties to be sold in 1976. From that point until the 1990s, WLW had different owners, including Queen City Communications, Mariner Communications, Seven Hills Broadcasting and Jacor Communications, before Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia).

From the late 1970s to 1989, WLW's studios were located downtown at 3 East 4th Street, now the site of the National City Bank (now PNC) Tower in downtown Cincinnati. From 1989 to 2005, WLW was located in Mt. Adams, a trendy neighborhood overlooking downtown. The address remained 1111 St. Gregory Street. WLW was originally on the fourth floor, where it shared studios with sister station WEBN. In 1992, as Jacor started to consolidate stations, the fifth floor was taken over by the human resources and traffic departments, along with new studios for 550 WLWA, formerly WKRC. In 1995, Jacor moved all of its stations into the Mt. Adams facility leasing the entire building.

Along with other Clear Channel talk stations, WLW switched from ABC News Radio to Fox News Radio.[59] However, on June 26, 2006, a realignment of network affiliations by Clear Channel's Cincinnati AM stations reunited WLW with ABC News Radio. (WKRC picked up Fox News Radio, while WCKY took CBS Radio.)[60] Not included in the rearrangement was ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey. WLW continued to carry Harvey's commentaries through all the changes, although after extended absences, Harvey was dropped by WLW in April 2008.

WLW eventually stopped calling itself "The Nation's Station" and adopted the slogan "The Big One". For a time in the early 1960s, it also called itself the "World's Highest Fidelity Radio Station".[61]

Although Crosley also owned the Cincinnati Reds along with WLW from 1934 to 1945, WLW didn't become the Reds' flagship station until 1969, a status it has retained ever since. Over the years, WLW has also been the flagship for Cincinnati Bengals football, University of Cincinnati football and basketball, Xavier University basketball, and the games of the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) of the National Basketball Association.

In 2013 WLW purchased an FM translator from the Northern Kentucky University to be used for simulcasting, and moved it to Port Union, Ohio.[62] The station is W233BG on 94.5, operating at 120 watts. This would later be moved to Cincinnati, drop power to 99 watts, and switch to repeating WKFS-HD2.

XM Radio simulcast

From March 1, 2006 to March 6, 2009 WLW was simulcast on XM Satellite Radio channel 173, expanding the station coverage to the entire continental United States. Excluded from the simulcast was Cincinnati Bengals play-by-play coverage, as the station did not own the national rights. However, college sport play-by-play from the Xavier Musketeers and the Cincinnati Bearcats was carried, as were Cincinnati Reds games (XM had purchased the rights to Major League Baseball separately). The station was placed on the satellites by then Clear Channel programming executive Sean Compton (brother of WLW overnight personality Steve Sommers, whose program continues to be broadcast on the platform), who claimed WLW was his favorite radio station. Compton left the company in 2008 for the Tribune Company, and shortly thereafter WLW was dropped from XM.

WLW was also affiliated with Paul Harvey until May 2008. Until 2015, WLW was also associated with Raycom Media's WXIX-TV.[63]

Shortwave operations

In 1925 Crosley received a license for an experimental shortwave station, 8XAL (W8XAL after 1928).[64] In August 1926 the company announced that it was planning to establish a shortwave link to relay programs from Cincinnati for retransmission by a newly acquired station, WARC, located near Boston, Massachusetts,[65] however this link was never implemented.

In 1926 8XAL was on air with 100 watts, which increased to 10,000 watts in 1931. In 1940 the station was relicensed as a commercial station, with the call letters WLWO. In early 1941 it was operating with 75 kilowatts, with a program service particularly aimed at South America, and was known as "The Inter-Nation Station".[66]

The station transmitted on 5.690 MHz from 1924–1929[67] and 6.060 MHz (June 1929 – November 1, 1942).[68][69] In 1941, operations were described as "the only international station in the United States authorized to operate on each of the six short-wave bands with unlimited frequencies and unlimited time. WLWO's assigned frequencies are: 6.08, 9.59, 11.71, 15.25, 17.80 and 21.65 megs", with programs in English, Spanish and Portuguese.[66] In 1943, Crosley engineers built the U.S. government's Bethany shortwave transmitter site,[70] which was later taken over by the Voice of America.

Mason, Ohio transmitter site

WLW-AM RadioTower
WLW's diamond-shaped Blaw-Knox radio tower has been in use since 1934

WLW's distinctive diamond-shaped antenna is featured on the official seal of the City of Mason. Designed and erected by Blaw-Knox Tower company in 1934, it was the second of its type to be built, after WSM's in Nashville, Tennessee, and is one of eight still operational in the United States.

WLW's 500,000 watt "RCA 1" transmitter was in operation between 1934 and 1939, and was the highest power ever used in the United States for public, domestic radio broadcasting. It was designed as an amplifier of the regular 50 kW transmitter. It operated in class C with high-level plate modulation, and required two dedicated 33 kilovolt electrical substation lines and a large cooling pond complete with spray fountains. It operated with a power input of about 750 kW (plus another 400 kW of audio for the modulator) to produce 500 kW. Even after 1939, when regular WLW programming was prohibited from operating with more than 50,000 watts, the station continued post midnight high-powered operation as experimental station W8XO, which helped to greatly improve the RCA 1 transmitter's power and reliability. By the end of World War II, it was capable of producing one million watts, and it "loafed along" at 600 kW.[48]

WLW 500,000 watt authorization included the requirement that the station limit its nighttime skywave signal toward Canada to the equivalence of 50,000 watts, which led to the construction of two shorter towers, electrically a quarter wavelength in height and separated by a half wavelength, that were located 1850 feet (560 m) southwest of the main tower. The two shorter towers were fed using trolley car wire to produce an 85 kW signal at 96 degrees out-of-phase with the principal signal, which produced a null in the opposite direction from the main tower.[71]

Many reports have surfaced over the years, from those who lived near the 500 kilowatt transmitter, of power fluctuations. Residents would see their lights flicker in time to the modulation peaks of the transmitter. It was widely reported that the signal was so overpowering some people picked up WLW radio on the metal coils of mattress and boxed bedsprings.[72] Arcing often occurred near the transmission site.[73]

Even though WLW was now using ten times the power, listeners subjectively said it only sounded two or three times louder than before. One important factor affecting long-distance nighttime coverage was the power upgrade included a switch from a horizontal "flattop" antenna to a vertical tower, which significantly helped the local "groundwave" coverage, at the expense of reducing the increase in distant "skywave" signals. Even so, one listener remembered being able to easily pick up WLW's nighttime signal 1,100 miles (1,765 km) away in Denver, Colorado.[74] Another issue was that some of the earliest towers like WLW's were being built too tall, which at night caused cancellation issues where the groundwave and skywave signals interfered with each other causing excessive fading. Because of this, WLW's tower, originally at 831 feet (253 m), was reduced to 747 feet (227 m).[75]

In October 1940 a suspicious fire broke out in the WLWO tuning house,[76] which led to an increase in security, and in early 1941 it was reported that "Today you would have little chance of getting close enough to the equipment to do any damage, for out at Mason, Ohio, where the transmitters of WLW and WLWO are located, a special guardhouse seventy-five feet (23 meters) high has been built, a high metal fence encloses the grounds which are patrolled by a staff of twelve guards twenty-four hours out of each day, and a battery of floodlights illuminates every foot of the grounds day and night."[66]

The station's original 50 kW 1927 Western Electric 7a transmitter was reactivated on the night of December 31, 1999, when it was powered up and used from 10:45 p.m. until 12:15 a.m. at the start of the next year. Chief Engineer Paul Jellison replaced a bad vacuum tube, and successfully operated the water-cooled equipment, which he noted was quieter than the newer transmitters cooled by air blowers. The transmitter output was fed through a modern Orban 9100 audio processor, and Jellison reported that it "sounded fine and the news department mentioned the fact that we were operating on it in their news casts".[77]

Former on-air staff

The station claims many well-known alumni, including: Jack Berch,[78] Mary Jane Croft,[79] Merle Travis, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Ruth Lyons, Bob Braun, Wally Phillips, Jean Shepherd, NBC sportscasters Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels, "Sportstalk" host Bob Trumpy, Dale Sommers (better known as the "Truckin' Bozo" and whose son Steve Sommers continues to hold the overnight slot to the present day), J. R. Gach, Gary Burbank (comedy talk host, impressionist, and creator of the nationally syndicated Earl Pitts monologues), former program director and personality Darryl Parks and former Clear Channel radio CEO Randy Michaels. Rod Serling, the creator of the classic TV series The Twilight Zone, worked for WLW from 1947 to 1948[80] producing historical documentaries, community profiles and commercials, before leaving to pursue other opportunities in the broadcasting industry. Bill Nimmo, who later served as Johnny Carson's sidekick on the show Who Do You Trust? and its predecessor Do You Trust Your Wife?, also worked at WLW beginning in 1947.


  1. ^ "HD Radio: Cincinnati, Ohio" (hdradio.com)
  2. ^ 700 WLW On-Air Schedule 700wlw.iheart.com. Accessed 11 December 2016.
  3. ^ "History of the manufacturer Crosley Radio Corp.; Cincinnati (OH)" (radiomuseum.org)
  4. ^ "Eighth District", Amateur Radio Stations of the United States (Edition June 30, 1921), page 157. The 8 in 8CR's call sign indicated that the station was located in the eighth Radio Inspection district. The fact that the "C" fell in the range A-W meant that the station was operating under a standard amateur station license.
  5. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, August 1, 1921, page 3. The "X" in 8XAA's call sign indicated that the station was operating under an Experimental license.
  6. ^ "Milnor Electric" (advertisement), Cincinnati Enquirer, March 22, 1922, page 11.
  7. ^ "Amendments to Regulations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 3, 1922, page 10.
  8. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, April 1, 1922, page 2. Limited Commercial license, serial #312, issued on March 2, 1922 for 360 meters for a three month period to the Crosley Manufacturing Company.
  9. ^ "Enquirer News By Radiophone Planned For Thursday Night", Cincinnati Enquirer, March 22, 1922, page 3.
  10. ^ "Radio Programs", Cincinnati Enquirer, August 7, 1923, page 8.
  11. ^ Radio Companies Merged", Cincinnati Enquirer, January 13, 1924, page 21.
  12. ^ Radio Manufacturers of the 1920's: Volume 1 (Crosley section) by Alan Douglas, 1988, page 110.
  13. ^ "Radio Conference Recommendations: New Wave Lengths", Radio Age, May 1923, page 11. Beginning with these assignments radio stations ended the practice of broadcasting their market reports and weather forecasts on the separate 485 meter wavelength.
  14. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, July 2, 1923, page 10.
  15. ^ "WLW Will Use 423 Meters", Cleveland Post, June 10, 1924, page 8.
  16. ^ "New Superpower Broadcasting Now Planned by R.C.A.", Washington Star, October 7, 1924, page 1.
  17. ^ "Cruising Through the Air" by E. M. Boyd, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 3, 1925, Section 6, page 3.
  18. ^ a b "WLW" (advertisement), Cincinnati Enquirer, October 29, 1928, page 13.
  19. ^ "KFI—The Radio Central Superstation", Radio Digest, May 23, 1925, pages 4–6.
  20. ^ "U.S. Radio Power Scale Announced", Washington Star, October 29, 1924, page 18.
  21. ^ "Big Station Plans to Circle Globe", Washington Star, September 7, 1924, Part 1, page 31.
  22. ^ "The Listening Post", Cincinnati Post, January 28, 1925, page 6.
  23. ^ "Two Stations To Use Higher Power", Cincinnati Enquirer, May 12, 1925, page 7.
  24. ^ "Stations Using 5000 Watts Do Not Overcome Static" by E. D. Leonard, Cincinnati Post, May 19, 1925, page 9.
  25. ^ "Superpower Test Arouses Interest", Radio Digest, August 29, 1925, pages 1–2.
  26. ^ "High Power Downs Static, Test Shows", Radio Digest, September 12, 1925, page 7.
  27. ^ "Land Lines to Link WGY and the West", Radio Digest, October 24, 1925, page 7.
  28. ^ "Broadcasting Stations, Alphabetically by Call Signal", Commercial and Government Radio Stations of the United States (June 30, 1928 edition), pages 82–96.
  29. ^ "WLW-WSAI Improve Efficiency" by Natalie Giddings, Radio Digest, October 1928, page 52.
  30. ^ "Nation-wide Response to New National WLW", The Crosley Broadcaster, November 15, 1928, page 3 (crosleyradios.com)
  31. ^ "WLW As 'Nation's Station' Is Heard Around the World" by Natalie Giddings, Radio Digest, October 1929, pages 42–45, 114, 123.
  32. ^ "Broadcasting Stations" (effective June 15, 1927), Radio Service Bulletin, May 31, 1927, page 8.
  33. ^ "RCA-Victor Given WLW 500 Kw. Job", Broadcasting, February 15, 1933, page 9.
  34. ^ "Mabley & Carew" (advertisement), Cincinnati Enquirer, May 2, 1934, page 13.
  35. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  36. ^ "Used Same Key as Wilson", Pittsburgh Press, May 17, 1934, page 6.
  37. ^ "In re application of The Crosley Radio Corporation for Extension of STA Experimental Authorization", Federal Communications Commission reports (Vol. 1, 1934–1935), pages 203–209.
  38. ^ "Five Midwestern Stations Join Mutual; WLW Changes Status", Broadcasting, September 1, 1936, page 9.
  39. ^ "WGY, KSL Apply For 500,000 Watts", Broadcasting, October 15, 1936, page 63.
  40. ^ "General Order No. 40" (August 30, 1928), Radio Service Bulletin, August 31, 1928, pages 9–10.
  41. ^ "General Order No. 42" (September 7, 1928), Radio Service Bulletin, September 29, 1928, page 15.
  42. ^ "FCC Drafts Slate for June 6 Hearings", Broadcasting, May 15, 1938, pages 15, 62.
  43. ^ "Limitation of Power of Radio Broadcast Stations" (Senate Resolution 294), Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (Seventy-Fifth Congress, Third Session), June 9, 1938, page 507.
  44. ^ "Advertising on Radio Must Be Limited, Wheeler Warns", Washington Evening Star, December 11, 1938, page 1.
  45. ^ "Revision of FCC Regulations Is Unlikely Before Next Year", Broadcasting, July 1, 1938, page 16.
  46. ^ "Proposed New FCC Rules Well Received", Broadcasting, February 1, 1939, pages 16–17, 70-73.
  47. ^ "Stay Refused, WLW Returns to 50 Kw.", Broadcasting, March 1, 1939, page 17.
  48. ^ a b "WLW's Big-arse Transmitter" (ominous-valve.com)
  49. ^ "WLW" (advertisement), Broadcasting, February 15, 1939, page 91.
  50. ^ "The Newspaper of the Air" by John Schneider (theradiohistorian.com)
  51. ^ Kiesewetter, John (1999-06-06). "This is Crosley Square … Signing off". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  52. ^ "WLW Radio & Television". Cincinnativiews. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  53. ^ "(WLW advertisement)". Billboard. January 17, 1942. p. 2. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  54. ^ "Ban On Multiple Ownership in Same Area", Broadcasting, August 11, 1941, pages 6–7.
  55. ^ "Sale of Crosley Corporation Approved", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 3, 1945, page 7.
  56. ^ Kiesewetter, John (7 March 2016). "Remembering WLW's Old COMEX Building". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  57. ^ "Closed Circuit: Clear Channel Test?", Broadcasting, July 9, 1962, page 5.
  58. ^ There are currently seven additional U.S. stations operating on 700 kHz. ("Nighttime Operations: 700 kHZ" (nf8m.com))
  59. ^ Bird, Rick (2005-08-05). "WLW Switches to Fox Radio News". The Cincinnati Post. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  60. ^ "WLW Comes Home To ABC News". Radio Monitor. 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
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  66. ^ a b c "On Short Waves: Crosley's International Voice" by Charles A. Morrison, March 28, 1941, page 40.
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  73. ^ Reiman, Dick (1999-12-17). "History of Station WLW's 500kW Transmitter". Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  74. ^ "So You Heard 3XN — Was it in Whippany, New Jersey?" by Gene Martin, DX Monitor, September 23, 1972, pages 23–26. Martin, a news writer, noted that "We regularly monitored the 11 p.m. WLW news show with Paul Sullivan" for "picking up pointers on style and technique".
  75. ^ "Lisnagarvey and the Blaw-Knox mast" by Aubrey McKibben (bbceng.info)
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  78. ^ Grunwald, Edgar A., Ed. (1940). Variety Radio Directory 1940–1941. Variety, Inc. P. 877.
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Further reading

External links

Bill Cunningham (talk show host)

William Daniel "Bill" Cunningham (born December 11, 1947) is an American radio and television talk show host, conservative commentator, attorney, and entrepreneur.

On the radio, he hosts The Big Show with Bill Cunningham, heard weekdays on AM 700 WLW in Cincinnati, and Live on Sunday Night, it's Bill Cunningham, a program syndicated nationally by Premiere Radio Networks. (Both WLW and Premiere Networks are subsidiaries of iHeartMedia, Inc.)

On television he hosted The Bill Cunningham Show that aired for an hour on weekdays on The CW. He is also a commentator/contributor for Fox News Channel.

Cunningham has won the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Large-Market Personality of the Year twice, in 2001 and in 2009. He has also provoked controversy that led to Cunningham being named "one of the most prolific purveyors of hate speech" by Media Matters, a left-wing media watchdog group.

Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network

The Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network is an American radio network consisting of 37 radio stations which carry coverage of the Cincinnati Bengals, a professional football team in the NFL. WCKY/Cincinnati (1530 AM), WEBN/Cincinnati (102.7 FM), and WLW/Cincinnati (700 AM) serve as the network's 3 flagship stations; WLW also simulcasts over a low-power FM translator. The network also includes 39 affiliates in the U.S. states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia: 27 AM stations, 18 of which extend their signals with one or more low-power FM translators; and 12 full-power FM stations. Dan Hoard is the current play-by-play announcer, while Dave Lapham serves as color commentator. In addition to traditional over-the-air AM and FM broadcasts, the Bengals are available on SiriusXM satellite radio, and online with NFL Audio Pass.

Cincinnati Reds Radio Network

The Cincinnati Reds Radio Network is an American radio network composed of 69 radio stations which carry English-language coverage of the Cincinnati Reds, a professional baseball team in Major League Baseball (MLB). Cincinnati station WLW (700 AM) serves as the network's flagship; WLW also simulcasts over a low-power FM translator. The network also includes 68 affiliates in the U.S. states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia: fifty-three AM stations, thirty-nine of which supplement their signals with one or more low-power FM translators, and fifteen full-power FM stations. Marty Brennaman (through the 2019 season) and Jeff Brantley currently serve as the network's play-by-play announcers; Thom Brennaman, Marty's son, also does occasional radio play-by-play in addition to calling television broadcasts for the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio. The elder Brenneman announced in January 2019 that he would retire at the end of the 2019 season, his 46th calling Reds games.In addition to traditional over-the-air AM and FM broadcasts, network programming airs on SiriusXM satellite radio; and streams online via SiriusXM Internet Radio, TuneIn Premium, and MLB.com Gameday Audio. Cincinnati Bell has naming rights of the network.

Dale Sommers

Bruce Dale Sommers (November 26, 1943 – August 24, 2012), known by his nickname "The Truckin' Bozo", was an American radio personality, best known for his long-running country music show geared toward truck drivers. Sommers hosted the overnight show from Cincinnati, Ohio-based clear-channel station WLW from 1984 to 2004, and it was carried by a small network of similarly high-powered stations across the United States. Sommers discontinued playing music on his nightly show, focusing on general and truck news, and talk from his listeners. Sommers announced his retirement from radio in 2004, but XM Satellite Radio was successful in getting him to do an afternoon truck show, which aired on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM from 4 PM to 7 PM Eastern time. Sommers retired from XM/Sirius on June 21, 2012, only to return for the last time on July 16, 2012.

Harley Race's Wrestling Academy

Harley Race's Wrestling Academy is a professional wrestling school located in Troy, Missouri. It was established in 1999 by former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Harley Race. Students of the school are incorporated into the professional wrestling promotion World League Wrestling.


KBYR (700 AM) is an American commercial radio station programming talk in Anchorage, Alaska. 700 AM is a North American clear-channel frequency. WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio is also a Class A station on this frequency.

Keith Walker

Keith Walker (born May 15, 1978) is an American professional wrestler who competes in North American and international promotions including Ring of Honor, Harley Race's World League Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah.

In November 2006, he signed a World Wrestling Entertainment developmental contract and assigned to Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling before being released from his contract the next year. Since then, he and Rasche Brown have been competing as the SkullKrushers, and currently hold the record for the longest reign as NWA World Tag Team Champions.

List of Cincinnati Bengals broadcasters

As of 2016, the Bengals flagship radio stations are WCKY, "ESPN 1530" and WQCR-FM, with WLW AM 700 joining in following the end of the Reds' season. Dan Hoard and former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham, who started in 1985, form the announcing team. Most preseason and regular season games, are telecast on WKRC-TV, channel 12, the CBS affiliate. Mike Watts and Anthony Muñoz are the TV announcers for the preseason games, with Mike Valpredo as the sideline reporter. Games that feature an NFC opponent playing at Paul Brown Stadium will be televised on WXIX, channel 19, the local FOX affiliate. WLWT-TV airs games when the Bengals are featured on Sunday Night Football.

Michigan Regional Network

The Michigan Regional Network was an American regional radio network, in operation from 1933 to 1946. It is sometimes referred to as the "Michigan State Network" or the "Michigan Regional Network".

The "Michigan Radio Network" also refers to a modern radio network, unrelated to the original "Michigan Radio Network".

The network consisted of WXYZ: Detroit, WIBM: Jackson, WKZO: Kalamazoo, WJIM: Lansing, WBCM: Bay City, WFDF: Flint, WELL: Battle Creek and WASH-FM-WOOD: Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Regional Network was started by George W. Trendle on January 31, 1933. It was originally intended to become part of the Amalgamated Broadcasting System radio network which was established on September 25, 1933. However, the ABS network launch immediately proved to be a public relations disaster, and Amalgamated went out of business on October 28, 1933.

The Michigan Regional Network was the first to broadcast the Lone Ranger radio series produced by WXYZ, either beginning with, or shortly after its first episode on January 30, 1933. (Sources differ as to when the other stations in the Network began broadcasting WXYZ's Lone Ranger program, some indicate that it was with the first episode while many others indicate an unspecified later date).

The network used telephone lines to connect each station.

Beginning in November 1933, Silvercup Bread (Gordon Baking Company), which sponsored the Lone Ranger program, arranged for WGN, Chicago to broadcast the program. Early in 1934, WOR: New York and WLW: Cincinnati were added.

In September 1934, WOR, WGN, WLW, and WXYZ formalized their relationship with a contract, and the following month, the Mutual Broadcasting System was established.

In 1946, the newly formed American Broadcasting Company purchased the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company and its radio stations for $3.65 million. This sale was for the broadcast facilities (including WOOD, WXYZ and the Michigan Regional Network).

Midwestern Hayride

Midwestern Hayride, sometimes known as Midwest Hayride, was an American country music show originating in the 1930s from radio station WLW and later from television station WLW-T in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the 1950s it was carried nationally by NBC and then ABC television. The program featured live country music (performed mainly by local musicians but on lesser occasions by national stars) and what was then called "hayseed" comedy, much of which was the inspiration for the later TV series Hee Haw. It is credited as the first country music program regularly broadcast by a national network.

Mike McConnell (radio personality)

Mike McConnell is an American talk radio host most recently on WLW in Cincinnati from 2014 through present, on WGN in Chicago from 2010 to 2013 and for the prior 25 years on WLW.

Trevor Murdoch

William Theodore Mueller (born September 10, 1980) is an American former professional wrestler best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Trevor Murdoch. He also wrestled as Stan Dupp, one of the kayfabe cousin stable The Dupps in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). He's also appeared in WCW, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).


WCMH-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 14), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Columbus, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WCMH-TV's studios are located on Olentangy River Road near the Ohio State University campus, and its transmitter is located on Twin Rivers Drive, west of downtown Columbus.


WDTN, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 50), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Dayton, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also operates Springfield-licensed CW affiliate WBDT (channel 26) through a local marketing agreement (LMA) with owner Vaughan Media, LLC. The two stations share studios on South Dixie Drive in Moraine (with a Dayton mailing address). However, master control and some internal operations for WDTN and WBDT are based within centralcasting facilities at Nexstar-owned CW affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana.

WDTN's transmitter facility is on Frytown Road in southwest Dayton; it shares its digital channel with WBDT, along with unrelated Richmond, Indiana-licensed Ion Television owned-and-operated station WKOI-TV (channel 43).

On cable, WDTN is available on Charter Spectrum channel 2.


WKRC (550 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station owned by iHeartMedia and licensed to Cincinnati, Ohio. Broadcasting under the branding of 55KRC, the station airs a talk radio format. The studios are on Montgomery Road in Cincinnati, and the transmitter is in Cold Spring, Kentucky. WKRC operates at 5,000 watts by day and 1,000 watts at night.

WKRC is co-owned with another Cincinnati iHeartMedia talk station, 700 WLW. While WLW airs mostly local talk and sports programming, WKRC largely carries nationally syndicated talk shows. WKRC is the former sister station to Channel 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, both having been owned by Taft Broadcasting and later Clear Channel Communications (now known as iHeartMedia), until the television station was sold to Newport Television, LLC.

Despite the similarities in their call letters, WKRC was not the inspiration behind the television show WKRP in Cincinnati. The show's creator, Hugh Wilson, wrote the premise based on his experiences at WQXI in Atlanta. The similarity of the two sets of call letters was used as a joke on the program.


WLWT, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 35), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications. WLWT's studios are located on Young Street in the Mount Auburn neighborhood of Cincinnati. Its transmitter is located on Chickasaw Street, also in Mount Auburn.

On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 5 in Ohio and channel 7 in Kentucky, and on Cincinnati Bell channel 5.


WSAI is an AM radio station broadcasting out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Owned and operated by iHeartMedia, its studios, as well as those of iHeartMedia's other stations in Cincinnati, are in the Towers of Kenwood building next to I-71 in the Kenwood section of Sycamore Township and its transmitter is located in Mount Healthy.

WSAI is licensed to broadcast in the HD Radio (hybrid digital) format.WSAI is known as "Fox Sports 1360," and airs their entire schedule including The Dan Patrick Show, Rich Eisen, and Colin Cowherd.

Previously, WSAI carried a talk radio format heavily focused on advice shows and consumer programs dubbed "1360TheSource.com," had a progressive talk format, being the flagship station of Springer on the Radio, hosted by former Cincinnati mayor, WLWT newscaster, and talk show host Jerry Springer, and was the original home to the "Homer" sports/talk format now heard on WCKY.


WXIA-TV, virtual channel 11 (VHF digital channel 10), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc., as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL (channel 36). The two stations share studios at One Monroe Place on the north end of midtown Atlanta; WXIA's transmitter is located in the city's east section, near Kirkwood.

On cable, the station is available on channel 6 on both Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum. WXIA-TV is popularly known within the Atlanta metropolitan area by its longtime on-air brand, 11 Alive, which the station has used since 1976.

Walak language

Walak is a Papuan language of the Indonesian New Guinea Highlands.

Radio stations in the Cincinnati, Ohio market
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News/talk radio stations in the state of Ohio
United States
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Corporate officers
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Culture and lore
Division championships (9)
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Retired numbers
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Seasons (51)
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World Series Championships (5)
National League pennants (9)
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Division titles (10)
Minor league affiliates


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