|City of license||Columbus, Ohio|
|Broadcast area||Columbus, Ohio|
|First air date||1951|
|Power||3,200 watts (daytime)
290 watts (nighttime)
|Callsign meaning||Voice of K(C)olumbus Ohio|
|Owner||Bernard Ohio LLC|
WVKO is an American AM radio station licensed to broadcast in Columbus, Ohio.
Previously, WVKO aired gospel music and local talk and information programs aimed at the African-American community prior to becoming a progressive talk format. It was also the broadcast outlet for the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team. Prior to that WVKO was Columbus' R&B/Soul music station in the 1960s and 70s. FM sister station WSPO picked up WVKO programing into the evening hours, since the AM station held a daytime-only license at the time. WSPO later became WSNY "Sunny 95" in the 1980s playing light adult contemporary.
It was during the R&B/Soul years that WVKO employed Ted Williams as an overnight disc jockey. Williams gained fame in 2011 when, while homeless in Columbus, he was discovered by a videographer for the Columbus Dispatch and a video featuring his "golden radio voice" went viral on the Internet.
WVKO went off the air on May 5, 2006 due to the upcoming expiration of its transmitter land lease and major financial issues by its previous owner Stop 26 Riverbend which was based in Youngstown and owned the former WODB through its Associated Radio division. WODB is now WNND owned by Saga Communications. The station moved to another transmitter site in 2007, at which point it returned to the air.
The station license was transferred on January 22, 2007 to Bernard Ohio LLC following a period under the supervision of a bankruptcy trustee, despite some formal objections filed with the FCC.
On March 15, 2007, the FCC granted the station's new owners Special Temporary Authority permission to resume broadcasting from its new location at reduced power, in order to prevent the loss of the station license due to the station being off the air for a period of one year - which automatically results in forfeiture of a station's FCC license.
On December 2007 the format flipped from Latino/Mexican Music to Progressive Talk.
The former WVKO progressive talk website was being maintained by the Ohio Majority Radio group to serve the station's former listenership, with streaming audio of many of the former WVKO national talk programs..Since then the site was taken offline.
St. Gabriel Radio acquisition of WOSU
According to its official website,(September 9, 2011) St. Gabriel Radio with the help of its supporters purchased the former WOSU 820 kHz from The Ohio State University in September 2011. The sale and transfer of license from Ohio State to St. Gabriel Radio was approved in November 7, 2011 by the FCC. 820 AM was assigned a new callsign (WVSG) after WOSU ceased programming on December 9, 2011, went silent on December 14 and returned to the air as WVSG on December 17 (St. Gabriel programming now airs on AM 820), as such St. Gabriel programming likewise ceased on 1580 AM at 6pm on December 20.
Its fundraiser "Leave A Legacy" was intended to purchase WVKO until 2010 when The Ohio State University put WOSU up for sale. The WOSU 5,000 watt daytime signal (790 watts at night) along with its wider coverage area was the reason in St. Gabriel's purchase of AM 820.
On December 29, 2011, WVKO relaunched their website and announced a return of the progressive-talk format to the station on January 2.
It was announced on December 14, 2012, that the format would change, mostly due to a lack of advertiser support. The station changed to Gospel on December 17.
- "Ohio Homeless Man Earns Second Chance With 'Golden Radio Voice'". Radio Television Digital News Association. Jan 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-05. "Williams had previously worked overnight shifts at WVKO (1580 AM), a former Columbus soul music station which now offers Catholic programming, according to Mail Online."
- The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State
- http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/80045/1580-wvko-columbus-drops-liberal-talk/ 1580 WVKO Columbus Drops Liberal Talk
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WVKO
- Radio-Locator Information on WVKO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WVKO