Media in Cincinnati

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The Cincinnati metropolitan area is a large, three-state media market centered on Cincinnati, Ohio, slightly overlapping the Dayton media market to the north. The Cincinnati market is served by one daily newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and a variety of weekly and monthly print publications. The area is home to 12 television stations and numerous radio stations. The E. W. Scripps Company was founded in Cincinnati as a newspaper chain and remains there as a national television and radio broadcaster. The term "soap opera" originally referred to Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, which created some of the first programs in this genre.[1]

Newspapers and magazines[edit]

The Cincinnati Enquirer's headquarters building

The Cincinnati Enquirer, a morning daily published by Gannett Company, is the sole remaining daily newspaper in Cincinnati. Its Northern Kentucky edition is called The Kentucky Enquirer. Cox Media Group's daily Journal-News competes with the Enquirer in Cincinnati's northern suburbs in Butler and Warren counties in Ohio. Until 2008, the Enquirer's main competitor in the market was The Cincinnati Post, the flagship newspaper of the E. W. Scripps Company, known as The Kentucky Post in Northern Kentucky.

Southwest Ohio has a long history of weekly community newspapers, beginning with The Western Star of Lebanon in 1807. Currently, Gannett publishes 16 titles in the Greater Cincinnati area as The Community Press and 10 titles in Northern Kentucky as The Community Recorder, while Cox publishes Today's Pulse in Butler and Warren counties.

Cincinnati's main alternative newspaper is Cincinnati CityBeat, a newsweekly published by SouthComm. Other specialty weekly newspapers include The Cincinnati Herald, published by Sesh Communications for the city's African-American community;[2] The American Israelite, serving the Jewish community; the Cincinnati Business Courier, published by American City Business Journals; the Cincinnati edition of La Jornada Latina (The Spanish Journal), serving the region's Hispanic community; and the Messenger, published weekly or biweekly by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

College student newspapers include The News Record, published thrice-weekly at the University of Cincinnati; the Xavier Newswire, published weekly at Xavier University; The Northerner, published weekly at Northern Kentucky University; and The Miami Student, published biweekly at Miami University.

Cincinnati is a monthly lifestyle magazine published by Emmis Communications. The Catholic Telegraph is a monthly magazine published by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Cincy and NKY are business-oriented magazines for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, respectively.


WSTR-TV "Star 64" and a number of radio stations broadcast from Star Tower, the 47th tallest tower in the world.

The 15-county Cincinnati metropolitan area (including Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana) is the 36th largest local television market in the United States, with an estimated 868,900 television-viewing households and cable penetration at 56.5% as of January 2016.[3][4]

The Cincinnati market is served by five full-power commercial television stations, four of which have full-time local news operations:

Cincinnati-based Block Broadcasting owns one low-power station with numerous digital subchannels:

The non-profit organization Public Media Connect owns PBS member stations WCET channel 48 and WPTO channel 14 (licensed to Oxford). These stations' digital subchannels carry Create, World, and The Ohio Channel programming. WPTO also carries a simulcast of sister station WPTD channel 16 in Dayton. Kentucky Educational Television, a state network, owns WCVN-TV channel 54 in Covington, as well as low-power translators W20CT-D in Augusta and W23DM-D in Falmouth.

WKOI-TV channel 43 is a full-power Christian station owned and operated by the Trinity Broadcasting Network from Milford Township, Butler County, Ohio (with a city of license of Richmond, Indiana). WDYC-LD channel 36 is a low-power Christian station affiliated with Daystar.

Cable television is provided by Time Warner Cable in Ohio and Northern Kentucky and by Comcast Cable in Southeast Indiana. Cincinnati Bell provides IPTV service under the FiOptics brand. Local cable-only channels include Fox Sports Ohio and Spectrum Sports. Waycross Community Media and the Intercommunity Cable Regulatory Commission (ICRC) operate public, educational, and government access channels on cable systems in Cincinnati.

Dayton television stations are also available over the air and on cable systems in Cincinnati's northern suburbs.


The 13-county Cincinnati metropolitan area (including Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana) is the 30th largest radio market in the United States, with an estimated 1.8 million listeners aged 12 and above as of September 2016.[5] Of the market's 22 metered radio stations, iHeartMedia owns seven, Cumulus Media owns five, Hubbard Broadcasting owns four, Radio One owns three, and Cincinnati Public Radio owns two.

WLW and WCKY are clear-channel stations that broadcast at 50,000 watts, covering most of the eastern United States at night.

Call sign Frequency Format Owner Description
WKRC 550 AM Talk iHeartMedia 55KRC, "The Talk Station"
WLW 700 AM News/Talk iHeartMedia "The Big One," "The Nation's Station," and "Home of the Reds"
Serves as flagship station for the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network
WNOP 740 AM Religious Sacred Heart Radio, Inc "Greater Cincinnati's Catholic Radio Station"
WPFB 910 AM Religious Sacred Heart Radio, Inc "Sacred Heart Radio"
WGRI 1050 AM Gospel Christian Broadcasting "Inspiration 1050"
WCVX 1160 AM Religious Christian Broadcasting "Christian Talk 1160"
WDBZ 1230 AM Gospel Radio One "Cincinnati's Inspiration Station"
WCVG 1320 AM Gospel Great Lakes Radio "Cincinnati's Voice of Gospel"
WSAI 1360 AM Sports iHeartMedia "Fox Sports 1360"
WMOH 1450 AM Talk Vernon R. Baldwin, Inc. "The Ticket"
WDJO 1480 AM Oldies Alchemy Broadcasting "Cincinnati's Rock & Roll Oldies Station"
WCKY 1530 AM Sports iHeartMedia "Cincinnati's ESPN 1530"
WCNW 1560 AM Religious Vernon R. Baldwin, Inc. "Without Christ, Nothing Works"
WAIF 88.3 FM† Variety "What Radio Was Meant To Be"

† Shares frequency with WJVS, operating all other times

WJVS 88.3 FM‡ Campus radio "Joint Vocational School"

‡ Shares frequency with WAIF, operating Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the school year.

WMWX 88.9 FM Album Oriented Rock Spryex Communications, Inc. "The New Breed Of Rock"
WKCX 89.1 FM Album Oriented Rock Spryex Communications, Inc. "The New Breed Of Rock"
WMKV 89.3 FM Nostalgia LifeSphere
WYHH 89.7 FM Christian Bible Broadcasting Network, Inc.
WORI 90.1 FM Christian Contemporary Air 1
WGUC 90.9 FM Classical Cincinnati Public Radio "Cincinnati's Classical Public Radio"
WVXU 91.7 FM NPR; Public Radio Cincinnati Public Radio Mostly news and informational programming, some entertainment and music
WOFX 92.5 FM Classic Rock Cumulus "The FOX"
WAKW 93.3 FM Christian Contemporary Pillar of Fire "Star 93.3"
WNNF 94.1 FM Country Cumulus "Nash FM"
WREW 94.9 FM Hot AC Hubbard Radio "Mix 94.9"
WVQC-LP 95.7 FM Variety, community, non-profit Media Bridges "Radio Free Cincinnati"
WFTK 96.5 FM Active rock Cumulus Media Partners "96 Rock" "Cincinnati's Pure Rock" plays pure rock from the grandfathered classics like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and AC/DC to the newer and harder rock like A Perfect Circle, Seether and Sevendust.
WYGY 97.3 FM Country Hubbard Radio "The Wolf"
WOXY 97.7 FM Regional Mexican TSJ Media "La Mega"
WRRM 98.5 FM Adult Contemporary Cumulus Media Partners "Warm 98"
WHKO 99.1 FM Country Cox Radio "K99.1"
WOSL 100.3 FM Urban AC Radio One "100.3 R&B"
WIZF 101.1 FM Hip-Hop Radio One "The Wiz"
WKRQ 101.9 FM Top-40 Hubbard Radio "Q 102"
WEBN 102.7 FM Rock iHeartMedia "The lunatic fringe of American FM."
WGRR 103.5 FM Classic Hits Cumulus Media Partners "Cincinnati's Greatest Hits"
WNLT 104.3 FM Christian Contemporary Vernon R. Baldwin, Inc. K-Love
WUBE 105.1 FM Country Hubbard Radio "B 105"
WNKN 105.9 FM Classic Country Grant County Broadcasters "Classic Country and Country Legends"
WNKR 106.7 FM Classic Country Grant County Broadcasters "Classic Country 106.7"
WKFS 107.1 FM Top-40 iHeartMedia "KISS 107 FM"

Station reorganization[edit]

Since late 2006, a number of trades and format changes have caused some confusion in the Cincinnati radio market.[6]


  • On July 14, 2006, WIZF ("The Wiz") moved from 100.9 FM to 101.1 FM.
  • On September 2, 2006, the intellectual property of WMOJ ("Mojo 94.9") was sold from Cumulus Media to Radio One, whose focus is on the African American market. Radio One moved the station format and call letters to 100.3 FM and shifted the format from Rhythmic Oldies to Urban AC. 100.3 had been moved into the Cincinnati market from its former home in Connersville, Indiana.
    • However, Cumulus Media retained the frequency of 94.9 FM, and changed the call letters to WPRV (now WREW), and temporarily used the frequency to simulcast their WYGY "96.5 The Star".
  • Entercom Communications purchased the stations operated by CBS Radio (WGRR "Oldies 103.5", WAQZ "97.3 Everything Alternative", WUBE-FM "B-105", and WKRQ "Q-102").
  • Entercom traded WGRR to Cumulus Media, while Cumulus gave the frequency 94.9 FM and "The Star" format to Entercom.
    • This leaves Entercom with two country stations (WUBE-FM and WYGY), and Cumulus with two adult-oriented stations (WGRR and WRRM).
  • Cumulus moved the WPRV-FM call letters to 96.5 FM, and the format was changed to "SuperTalk", Cincinnati's only FM talk station. Call letters were soon changed to WFTK.
  • On November 9, 2006, Entercom killed WAQZ 97.3 and launched an adult alternative format called "The Sound" on 94.9. Call letters were soon changed to WSWD.
  • Entercom placed the WYGY call letters on 97.3 FM and relaunched a country format as "The Wolf". It is aimed at a younger demographic, as to not compete with Entercom's other country station, WUBE-FM.


  • In early 2007, Entercom is planning on trading all 4 of its Cincinnati stations to Bonneville International, in exchange for Bonneville's 3 stations in San Francisco.[7]
  • On November 30, 2007, Entercom officially became the holder of the licenses for the former CBS Radio-owned stations.
  • On December 14, 2007, Cumulus FM Talker WFTK launched its new format as Active Rock "96 Rock - Cincinnati’s Pure Rock", replacing "SuperTalk". The Two Angry Guys, Richard Skinner and Tom Gamble will remain in mornings.


  • On February 13, 2008, Clear Channel was ordered by the US Department of Justice to sell two of its Cincinnati radio stations before it could proceed with a planned acquisition by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners.[8] Clear Channel chose to trade WOFX and WNNF to Cumulus in exchange for stations in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As part of the swap, Cumulus retained the right to repurchase the Green Bay stations from Clear Channel within a five-year period.
  • On March 14, 2008, Bonneville and Entercom closed on the multi-station trade which had been announced over a year before.
  • On November 7, 2008, Bonneville swapped frequencies with two of their stations, moving WYGY "The Wolf" to 94.9 FM and WSWD "The Sound" to 97.3 FM.


  • On January 2009, Cumulus shifted WFTK from active rock to alternative rock.
  • On May 21, 2009, Bonneville moved WYGY "The Wolf" back to 97.3 FM, and launched a new station "Rewind 94.9" at 94.9 FM. "The Sound" was moved to a digital sideband at 94.9 HD2 and also continues to broadcast online.
  • In June, Radio 94.1 was rebranded Frequency 94.1.


  • At 5:00 p.m. on December 6, 2010, WMOJ-FM returned to their jammin' oldies roots, with an upbeat lineup including Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin and KC and the Sunshine Band, launching with Michael Jackson's "Rock With You".


  • In January 2011, WRRM softened their playlist, playing more 70s songs.
  • On May 20, 2011, WNNF shifted from AAA "Frequency" to an 80s/90s heavy Hot AC format as "Journey 94-1", after stunting with an imaginary "wheel of formats", including an urban AC "Storm" that would have been competition for rhythmic oldie WMOJ-FM.
  • On August 2, 2011, WRRM added songs by artists such as Adele, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, OneRepublic, Pink, and The Script to their playlist, despite sister station Journey also playing these artists.
  • In August 2011, WMKV began simulcasting on 89.9 FM in Butler County.
  • On September 6, WREW began re-introducing 2000s product, all while still playing 70s.


  • On January 1, at noon, without any warning, WNNF flipped from Journey 94.1 to Great Country 94.1.
  • On February 15, WNNF, then known as Great Country 94.1, brought radio veteran Amanda Orlando on for middays.
  • On May 2, WYGY shifted from modern country to country variety with the slogan "Greatest Country from the 90s and more: 97.3 the Wolf".
  • On August 27, WLW and WKFS announced they bought 100.7 and 106.3 as a radio translator.
  • On September 5, WNNF, then known as Great Country 94.1, hired radio veteran Mike Scott for afternoons.
  • On November 10, WNNF, then known as Great Country 94.1, hired radio personality Lisa Manning for middays.
  • On November 14, WMOJ flipped from Mojo 100.3 to WCFN FM 100 The Fan.


  • On July 30, at noon WCFN changed its format to urban oldies, and then flipped into WOSL


  • In 2014, there was a low powered radio station which was located in Richwood, KY and then defunct some time in 2014. In 2015, Class-X launched two radio station simulcasts of its own programming. 92.1 is launched in Covington, KY while the 105.5 station is launched in between Oakley, and Kenwood just near the highway.
  • On December 18, 2014, a radio station named "102.3 The Beat" launched in that date as a radio translator of WEBN.


  • In October 2017 WNKN 105.9 was sold to WNKR 106.7 a classic radio station in northern Kentucky. It reaches both Cincinnati and Dayton markets playing classic country music.

Publishing companies[edit]


  1. ^ Carter, Bill; Stelter, Brian (December 9, 2009). "CBS Cancels As the World Turns, Procter & Gamble's Last Soap Opera". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  2. ^ Williams, Justin (August 3, 2015). "Black Newspapers Matter". Cincinnati. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Local Television Market Universe Estimates" (PDF). Television Bureau of Advertising. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Cincinnati, OH". Television Bureau of Advertising. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "#30 Cincinnati". Radio Online. September 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Kiesewetter, John. "Radio station switches to rock". Cincinnati Enquirer. November 9, 2006.
  7. ^ Entercom trades radio stations. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Friday, January 19, 2007.
  8. ^ Clear Channel ordered to sell stations in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Business Courier. February 14, 2008.

External links[edit]