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City of license Highland Heights, Kentucky
Broadcast area Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky
Branding 89.7 WNKU
Slogan Public Radio That Rocks
Frequency 89.7 MHz
Translator(s) WNKN 105.9 MHz Middletown, Ohio; WNKE 104.1 MHz New Boston, Ohio
Format Adult Album Alternative
ERP 12,000 watts horiz
9,900 watts vert
HAAT 97 meters
Class C3
Facility ID 4280
Transmitter coordinates 39°02′21″N 84°27′57″W / 39.03917°N 84.46583°W / 39.03917; -84.46583
Callsign meaning W Northern Kentucky University
Affiliations National Public Radio, PRI, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kentucky Public Radio
Owner Northern Kentucky University
Webcast Listen Live
Website wnku.org

WNKU (89.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Album Alternative format. Licensed in Highland Heights, Kentucky, USA, it serves the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area. The station is currently owned by Northern Kentucky University. Its position on the radio dial is at 89.7 FM.

Additional frequencies[edit]

Aside from its position at 89.7, WNKU also broadcasts on WNKU 1 in HD. In addition, Northern Kentucky University has purchased WPAY-FM in Portsmouth, Ohio along with WPFB-FM and WPFB-AM in Middletown, Ohio. Those stations began simulcasting WNKU on February 1, 2011,[1] more than tripling the station's potential audience and potentially allowing the signal to be heard as far east as Beckley, West Virginia, roughly 250 miles away. WNKU is currently operating WPFB-AM as a repeater.


WNKU features a stream 24 hours a day through its website. The stream is available in both WMA and MP3 format.


WNKU broadcasts mainly Adult Alternative music which features some anchor bands from the progressive era. WNKU's morning and afternoon "drive time" programs feature BBC or NPR newsbreaks plus local headlines. NPR's World Café airs from 6–8 p.m. followed by more locally hosted alternative music programs talk programs into the late night. Late night programming features reruns of World Cafe, and Jazz with Bob Parlocha. Weekend Programming is fairly eclectic with specialty programs that cover everything from progressive rock to bluegrass, Celtic, and more. See wnku.org and click on "broadcast schedule" for more information, then click "listen live" to enjoy.

Live disc jockeys[edit]

WNKU is one of the last stations in greater Cincinnati that features a live disc jockey in the studio for most of its programming day. Even during NPR programming there is almost always someone there running underwriters and promotions, as well as operating the board.

Live music[edit]

WNKU is one of the only stations in Cincinnati that still features live musical guests in the studio on a regular basis. Nationals to Locals are welcomed in the studio and their performances are placed up either in video or audio form for podcasting. Notable artists in the studio have been those like James Mcmurtry, Chuck Garvey of Moe., Marc Olson of the Jayhawks, Ani Difranco, Brett Dennen, & more, as well as a plethera of local artists from the Cincinnati and surrounding areas.

New forms of media[edit]

In addition to broadcasting over the airwaves, WNKU has also employed great forms of new media in the way of utilizing sites like YouTube to show its in studio performances. WNKU began featuring performances from artists that come into their studio on their YouTube site, and have branched out to the local version "Z-street" which is owned and operated by Cincinnati Bell. WNKU gained some national acclaim when their in studio performance video for Brett Dennen's "She's Mine", became a featured selection on YouTube's front page for a week. WNKU has also branched out to its online audience by featuring pages on Myspace and Facebook, inviting people to become part of their online community.

In addition to their online video distribution, they have also began to branch out to local cable outlets with their program "The WNKU Mixtape", which features many of their in studio performances from live bands, backed up by a host VJ, and content applicable to promotion of the station.

Their summer concert series "Studio 89" is taped for television by a special projects class at Northern Kentucky University, and then edited down to air back on Kentucky Educable, as well as local cable outlets in the Cincinnati area throughout the summer.


External links[edit]