WOXY (FM)

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WOXY
City of license Mason, Ohio
Broadcast area Cincinnati, Ohio
Branding La Mega 97.7
Frequency 97.7 MHz
First air date December 24, 1959
Format Spanish variety
ERP 2,700 watts
HAAT 151.5 meters
Class A
Facility ID 3653
Callsign meaning WOXY (for Oxford, the former city of license)
Owner First Broadcasting
Website lamega977.com

WOXY (97.7 FM), is a radio station licensed to Mason, Ohio as part of the Cincinnati market. Nicknamed La Mega 97.7, the station broadcasts a Spanish variety music format, playing a mix of Spanish pop and rock, regional Mexican, and tropical Latin music. La Mega is the first and, at present, only FM radio station in the Cincinnati market broadcasting primarily in Spanish.[1][2]

Before WOXY-FM became known as La Mega, it was known as WOXR from 1959 to 1978, and then WOXY from 1978 to 2004. The station continued to broadcast over the Internet at WOXY.com, until it shut down in 2010 due to financial challenges.[1]

1959–83: WOXR[edit]

Based in Oxford, Ohio, WOXR was broadcast at 97.7 FM and largely targeted at Miami University students. WOXR also played listener requests. WOXR featured a blend of top 40 and album cuts during the day, an hour-long oldies show at 5:00 PM, with the evening music again a top-40/album rock mix that became more and more album-oriented as the night got later.

WOXR was known for playing uncensored versions of songs such as Steppenwolf's recording of "The Pusher" and Country Joe and the Fish's recording of the "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag." Late at night the station played uncut versions of long songs such as Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River" and Traffic's "John Barleycorn Must Die."

The station was among few in the U.S. to play the cult classic "Je t'aime... moi non plus" ("I love you... me neither"), performed by Serge Gainsbourg and his partner Jane Birkin, which most stations refused to play (or were forbidden to play) because of its sexual explicitness in the form of the lyrics being sung to a background sound of a female orgasm (which some say was the sound of the couple actually having sex).

WOXR showed an irreverent on-air personality, identifying itself as coming "from the city by the water tower" (a take-off on Chicago's WLS identifying itself as being "from the city by the shore"). WOXR played on the culture shock many Miami students from large cities experienced at the start of the school year when they found themselves confined to a town much smaller than their hometowns by identifying itself as being "Down on the Farm," sung to a twangy beat. The song went as follows:

You are listenin' to the big 97,
Where it does sound like heaven,
Tap your foot 'cause you love it so,
Hearin' that good old rock and roll.
This here station's got a lotta power,
But that's because of the water tower,
If you dig it we do know why,
And with that verse we'll say "bye bye."

Every April Fool's Day, WOXR played the same song repeatedly for an entire hour (then playing a different song during the next hour, etc.). WOXR featured contests with prizes consisting of album rejects (called "The Worst Contest"). One of their newscasters always referred to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as "Hank" Kissinger. Another newscaster who was a Boston native and Red Sox fan would only give the score of the Red Sox game, while failing to mention the scores of any other games.

Bob Nave, keyboardist for the the Lemon Pipers in the late 1960s (whose big hit was the song "Green Tambourine"), was a late-night DJ for WOXR in the early 1970s. Other early to mid–1970s on-air personalities for the station included Rick Sellers, Ray Smith and Ed Pharr. Nave's program featured a brief comedy program known as "The Purple Nurd," produced by four high school students from Fairfield, Ohio who billed themselves as HPW Squared Productions. The Purple Nurd program later grew into "The Electromagnetic Spectrum," which featured spoofs of local commercials and television shows.

The station featured on-air classified ads identified as the "Dog-Gone Bulletin Board." This was a pun based on classified ads placed by dog owners to let everyone know that their dog was missing—or "dog-gone."

WOXR was among the few FM stations at the time to carry live broadcasts of sports events. During the 1970s, WOXR broadcast Miami University football and basketball games as well as Cleveland Browns games, tapping into the southern Ohio fan base that the NFL team cultivated before the Cincinnati Bengals were established.

1983–2005: 97X[edit]

In September 1983, 97.7 FM began broadcasting a modern rock format, which soon became dubbed "97X: The Future of Rock and Roll." The station benefited from a large youthful audience at adjacent Miami University as well as listeners in urban and suburban areas of Cincinnati and Dayton, but the majority of its broadcast area was rural.

The first song played when WOXY-FM made their transition to a modern rock format was "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2. This award-winning station was available terrestrially at 97.7 FM on the dial for the next 21 years, until May 13, 2004. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was also the very last song played by the station to end their terrestrial 97.7 FM transmission.

In 2004, Dallas, Texas-based First Broadcasting purchased the station from owners Doug and Linda Balough.[3] 97X programming became solely available as an Internet radio station as WOXY.com until returning to Cincinnati airwaves via Cincinnati Public Radio Inc. in August 2007.

The station was rebranded as X97-7 for only a year, continuing as a satellite-fed alternative rock format.[4]

2005–10: MAX FM[edit]

In May 2005, First Broadcasting also purchased Ripley, Ohio based WAOL-FM (99.5 FM) and Georgetown, Ohio based WAXZ-FM (99.5 FM), and began "trimulcasting" its three Cincinnati-based stations.[4]

In August, after a period of commercial-free stunting, the three stations officially launched as MAX FM, an adult hits format without disc jockeys, similar in style to the syndicated Jack FM brand.

The three stations continued to trimulcast as MAX FM until WAXZ was sold in 2007. Afterward, WOXY and WAOL continued to simulcast as MAX FM.

2010–present: La Mega 97.7[edit]

On October 11, 2010, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported that First Broadcasting had entered into a Local Marketing Agreement for the WOXY-FM frequency with TSJ News, Incorporated, and that in November 2010, WOXY would become a Hispanic station called "La Mega."[5]

TSJ assumed operation of WOXY, and the station officially flipped to "La Mega" on November 15, 2011.[6]

La Mega broadcasts originate from a studio at TSJ's headquarters in Blue Ash, Ohio. Most daytime dayparts have Spanish-speaking disc jockeys, including morning and afternoon drive times.[1] In addition to Spanish Variety music, La Mega broadcasts community information and announcements targeted toward the Greater Cincinnati Latino community.

Presently, First Broadcasting retains operation of WAOL, which still broadcasts the MAX FM format. Both WAOL and WOXY continued to broadcast Ohio State University football and men's basketball games for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season,[1] in order to fulfill the contract First Broadcasting had signed with the University before TSJ assumed daily operations for WOXY.

New city of license[edit]

On July 1, 2006, WOXY was granted a construction permit, or "CP" by the FCC to improve its signal by moving its city of license to Mason, Ohio from Oxford, Ohio and its antenna to a tower north of Mason. On April 17, 2009, a modification to the CP was granted, allowing WOXY to move its antenna to a tower east of Mason. This location provides a better signal over the northeast portion of the Cincinnati market including more of Hamilton County and the city of Cincinnati than was originally provided in the original CP. On June 5, 2009, WOXY filed a "License to Cover" with the FCC indicating the tower location and city of license had been changed. As of June 8, 2009, the station's new legal ID was worded as, "WOXY Mason, Oxford, Cincinnati."

Since the switch to the "La Mega" Spanish format, the station's legal ID simply says, "WOXY, Mason, Ohio."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Buckeyes Staying After WOXY-FM Goes Latino , John Kiesewetter, Cincinnati Enquirer blogs November 11, 2011. Accessed July 16, 2011.
  2. ^ All Spanish radio takes to the airwaves in the Tri-State , Scott Wegener, WCPO.com November 15, 2010. Accessed July 19, 2011.
  3. ^ The History of WOXY , WOXY.com. Accessed July 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b WOXY/WAOL - 97.7/99.5 MAX FM, VarietyHits.com. Accessed July 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Hispanic radio coming to Cincinnati , Dan Monk, Cincinnati Business Courier October 11, 2010. Accessed October 18, 2010.
  6. ^ WOXY-FM Goes Latino While WOXY.com Ponders Future , John Kiesewetter, Cincinnati Enquirer blogs November 15, 2011. Accessed July 16, 2011.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 39°20′57″N 84°12′08″W / 39.3492°N 84.2022°W / 39.3492; -84.2022