|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2007)|
|City of license||Columbus, Ohio|
|Branding||News Talk 610 WTVN|
|Frequency||610 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||April 29, 1922|
|Callsign meaning||derived from former sister station WTVN-TV (now WSYX)|
|Former callsigns||WBAV (1922–mid-1920s)
WHKC (late 1930s-1954)
|Former frequencies||640 kHz (1922–1945)|
|Affiliations||Fox News Radio
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WBWR, WCOL-FM, WNCI, WODC, WYTS|
WTVN (610 kHz.) is a News/Talk AM radio station located in Columbus, Ohio, USA. WTVN is currently owned by Clear Channel Communications, along with sister stations WBWR, WCOL-FM, WNCI, WODC, and WYTS. Its studios are located in West Columbus and the transmitter site is in South Columbus.
WTVN originally started as WBAV, operating as a daytime station at 640 kHz on April 29, 1922. The call letters were later changed to WAIU, which stood for the station's parent company, American Insurance Union.
WAIU was a charter member of the CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927. The call letters were again changed in the late 1930s, this time to WHKC (to go with those of then commonly owned station WHK in Cleveland).
In the middle-1940's, WHKC (still at 640 kHz) obtained the frequency of WCLE, 610 kHz in Cleveland, which operated daytime only, forming 610 WHKC. A directional antenna system was installed near Columbus. This allowed WHKC to go to a full-time operation which occurred in February 1945 with an effective radiated power of 1,000 watts. The station's power later was upgraded to 5,000 watts day and night in 1949. The 640 frequency was then assigned to new arrival WHKK in Akron (which corresponded with Akron station WJW moving to Cleveland). Operation on 640 kHz was limited to Los Angeles sunset because of the superior propagation at low AM frequencies, and the presence of clear-channel KFI in Los Angeles.
The station adopted its current WTVN call letters in 1954 when it was acquired by Radio Cincinnati Inc., a firm that would later become Taft Broadcasting. The sale to the Taft family made 610 AM a sister station to WTVN-TV (channel 6); in 1960 Taft launched an FM station in Columbus, WTVN-FM (96.3, now WLVQ).
In 1987 Taft was reorganized as Great American Broadcasting after financier Carl Lindner, Jr. succeeded in a hostile takeover of the company. Great American retained WTVN and WLVQ but not WTVN-TV (now WSYX), which was sold to former Taft shareholder Robert Bass and his new company, Anchor Media. Great American Broadcasting was renamed Citicasters in 1993. Jacor Communications purchased Citicasters in 1996. WLVQ was split from WTVN when the FM station was acquired by CBS Radio in 1998, and a year later Jacor was absorbed into Clear Channel Communications.
Although WTVN only uses 5,000 watts of power during the day, the station can be heard as far away as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Detroit, and Cleveland. At night, the signal is directionalized to protect stations operating on the same frequency, such as in KCSP in Kansas City; WIP in Philadelphia; and WIOD in Miami. The extra power is radiated over central Columbus—however outlying suburbs in the direction of the nulls will experience a degraded signal. This is especially prominent in the lower east side at which, WTVN assumes, the high African-American population will not notice.
There were plans to improve WTVN's signal by adding a new antenna array and increasing power to 50 kW, but these plans fell through when zoning problems could not be resolved. Ultimately, WTVN tried to claim the right to build new towers as a "public utility" but lost in court on May 12, 2002.
At one time, when WTVN still aired music programming, the station broadcast using C-QUAM AM Stereo. The stereo equipment was installed in 1988 but it was not until 1992 that the station operated in full stereo. Analog stereo transmissions ended many years ago. WTVN began broadcasting in HD-Radio in June 2005.
American Insurance Union owned the AIU Building (now the LeVeque Tower) in Columbus, which at the time was the tallest building in the city. Various radio facilities were located at the top of the skyscraper. American Insurance Union later became part of Nationwide Insurance, owner of Nationwide Communications - former parent company of WNCI, which is a current sister station to WTVN.
WTVN's programming generally follows the standard format for Clear Channel's news/talk stations, carrying primarily Premiere Networks talk programming, including The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Glenn Beck Program and Coast to Coast AM live and The Sean Hannity Show on tape delay. WTVN utilizes two local talk radio hosts, Joel Riley in morning drive and John Corby in afternoon drive. The format of the local shows usually consists of simple day-to-day "topics" in which listeners are encouraged to call to discuss their viewpoints or experiences. In addition, Sunday morning features public affairs programming and two one-hour local shows, one hosted by Joe Cornely (Town Hall Ohio) and another a sports-themed show hosted by Dave Maetzold.
The station also airs other syndicated programming, including The Mark Levin Show, The Kim Komando Show, In the Garden with Ron Wilson, Handel on the Law, Ben Ferguson and Bill Cunningham. Wilson, Handel and Cunningham also come from Premiere.
The station also replaced Pat Pagano and the meteorologists at Metro Weather Service with weather talent from WBNS (Channel 10)., Metro Weather, based out of Valley Stream, New York, provided weather reports 24 hours, including Pagano during Bob Conners' morning show. Despite his remote location, Pagano interacted with Connors frequently, often sharing experiences from family dinners and opinions on various "reality" TV shows. Pagano and Metro Weather now provide on-air weather forecasts in Columbus for WODB 107.9 FM.
- Radio Digest, September 1927, quoted in: McLeod, Elizabeth (September 20, 2002). CBS—In the Beginning, History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved on 2007-01-01. The other stations were WOR in Newark; WADC in Akron, Ohio; WGHP in Detroit, Michigan; WCAO in Baltimore; WCAU in Philadelphia; WEAN in Providence; WFBL in Syracuse; WJAS in Pittsburgh; WKRC in Cincinnati; WMAK in Buffalo-Lockport; WMAQ in Chicago; WNAC in Boston; WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana; KMOX in St. Louis; and KOIL in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
- "WHKC bought by WTVN (TV), WKRC interests for $158,000." Broadcasting, April 19, 1954, pg. 7. 
- WTVN loses bid to relocate towers - Business First of Columbus:
- Tim Feran, "Station's Format Turns Right," The Columbus Dispatch, Life section, p. 6B, Saturday, December 23, 2006
- Tim Feran, "Channel 10 to do Radio Weather," The Columbus Dispatch, Features section, 7B, Friday, December 22, 2006
- WODB shelters forecaster after storm, Ann Fisher, Columbus Dispatch, Wednesday, January 17, 2007[dead link]
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WTVN
- Radio-Locator Information on WTVN
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WTVN