|City of license||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Broadcast area||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Branding||Fox Sports 1360|
|First air date||1923|
|Callsign meaning||W Sports And Information (as an early sister station to WLW under Powel Crosley's ownership)|
|Former callsigns||WSAI (?-1985)
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio|
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
WSAI is an AM radio station broadcasting out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Its studios (along with all other Clear Channel Cincinnati stations) 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.
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.
One of the oldest radio stations in the city, this was WSAI's original frequency. It would be bought by WLW's owners, Crosley Broadcasting Corporation, because WSAI's original transmitter site in Mason, Ohio was seen as an ideal site for WLW's new 50,000 transmitter (and later 500,000 watts in the mid '30s). WLW kept WSAI as a locally-oriented sister station, while WLW — with programs from NBC Radio and the Mutual Broadcasting System — aimed for the whole region. This would continue well into the late 1940s, when Crosley was forced by FCC regulations into selling off WSAI. Like many AM stations of their era, WSAI was soon directed into playing popular music, which soon segued into a Top 40 format.
WSAI featured Cincinnati's largest radio news staff headed by National Broadcasters Hall Of Fame inductee Rod Williams who won numerous awards including a commendation from the Ohio General Assembly for his combat reporting in Vietnam. Broadcasters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1527972980220648955#
The station ended up becoming Cincinnati's AM Top 40 powerhouse during the 1960s and 1970s, headed by personalities like Larry Gordon (America's Youngest Disk Jockey), Jim Scott, Ted McAllister, Jack Stahl, Dusty Rhodes, Casey Piotrowski, Larry Clark, Gary Allyn, Steve Kirk (later of WING, Dayton), Bob Harper, Mark Edwards, Dick Wagner, Bob Wayne, Steve Young, Bob White, Paul Purtan, PURTAN AIR CHECK 1966 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl5RRCOXXVo1966 Ron "King B" Britain (later of WCFL Chicago) and the station's youngest DJ Michael Owens. WSAI's long run with this format lasted until 1978 when they switched to country music. That format was dropped for a simulcast of soft rock FM station WWNK (formerly WSAI-FM) in 1985. The WSAI calls did land on 100.9 FM in October 1985, but were soon dropped after just one year for the WIZF calls.
In 1987, WWNK-AM dropped the simulcast of WWNK-FM and became oldies "K-Rock." By 1988, the WSAI calls were brought back to 1360 AM, which enhanced the oldies format. That format was scuttled in 1992 with sports/talk (the first such station in the market), but it didn't last long.
Charles Reynolds became the new owner of WSAI, but the station was leased out to Jacor Communications and the format was changed to adult standards. Jacor Communications then acquired the intellectual property of WCKY 1530 AM, and merged it with WLWA 550 AM (the former — and current — WKRC). On April 14, 1994, the WCKY calls were moved to 550 AM, and the WSAI calls and standards format were moved to 1530 AM. The former WSAI at AM 1360 became WAOZ, with a children's music format. Then, on August 30, 1996, WAOZ flipped to WAZU, with a news/talk format. That format, in turn, changed back to sports talk as "1360 Homer" on December 12, 1997. The WAZU calls were scuttled in favor of WCKY, following the Clear Channel-Jacor merger that allowed for the WKRC calls to be restored on 550 AM.
"Homer" was initially seen by many as an also-ran in the market when compared to Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW, and against crosstown sports talk rival — and Bengals flagship — WBOB. However, WBOB — which simulcast the games with sister WUBE-FM — did not renew the Bengals' rights after the 1999 season, as its parent company AMFM merged with Clear Channel and both stations were split up.
WCKY slowly gained respect by gaining the radio rights to the Cincinnati Bengals via a three-way arrangement with WLW-AM and WOFX. "1360 Homer" served as the AM flagship when the Bengals and the Cincinnati Reds baseball team share the season schedule. After the Reds' season ends, the games moved to WLW.
For several years the station operated as Original Hits 1530, WSAI and featured a nostalgia format featuring former TV personalities Bob Braun, Nick Clooney and Wirt Cain. In January 2003, WSAI's Top 40 roots were revived as "Real Oldies 1530 WSAI" which featured some of the original WSAI "good guys" from that era such as Dusty Rhodes, Jack Stahl, Ted McAllister and Casey Piotrowski as well as longtime Cincinnati Oldies personalities "Dangerous" Dan Allen, Marty (with the party) Thompson and Tom "Cat" Michaels. Some of the original 1960s jingles from the station's Top 40 days were used in addition to a sampling of some Drake-styled production values and the voice of CKLW veteran announcer Charlie Van Dyke voicing station IDs and promotional "liners" in-between songs.
On January 17, 2005, WCKY and WSAI swapped their call signs back to the original dial positions. 1360 AM retained its sports format with the traditional WSAI calls (albeit only mentioned at the top of the hour), while 1530 as WCKY switched formats from oldies to liberal talk as radio stations were pressured to include left-leaning stations to balance the right leaning stations they also programmed. On July 7, 2006, WCKY and WSAI switched formats once again.
The "Homer" sports/talk format moved to WCKY at 1530 AM, while WSAI picked up the liberal/progressive talk as "1360 WSAI: The Revolution of Talk Radio." Again, it didn't last long, as the ratings for liberal radio in Cincinnati were far below the previous music formats. Jerry Springer's show came to an end on December 11, 2006, so did WSAI's progressive talk format. It relaunched that day as "1360thesource.com," still carrying a talk format but heavily programmed with advice and consumer awareness-driven shows such as Clark Howard and Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
That format lasted just six months, as WSAI went back to a sports format in July 2007. On Monday, July 2, 2007, WSAI switched to sports as "Cincinnati's ESPN 1360." As an all-network companion to sister station WCKY, which airs local talk during the day and carries various play-by-play, WSAI aired the entire ESPN Radio programming lineup. Both stations switched network affiliations on February 15, 2010, with WCKY picking up ESPN Radio as "ESPN 1530," while WSAI became "Fox Sports 1360," carrying the entire Fox Sports Radio lineup on a 24/7 basis as an all-network sister station to WCKY.
Cincinnati affiliate for:
- University of Louisville Cardinals football and basketball. (if Kentucky is on ESPN 1530)
- NFL on Westwood One
- NCAA college basketball on Westwood One
- NCAA college football on Westwood One
- WSAI Official Web site
- Video of former WSAI news director Rod Williams being inducted into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame
- WSAI technical information from Radio-Locator website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WSAI
- Radio-Locator Information on WSAI
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WSAI