|Broadcast area||Columbus, Ohio|
|Branding||1460 ESPN Columbus|
Ohio State Sports Network
|Owner||Tegna Inc. |
First air date
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Wolfe Bank Newspaper and Shoes|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)|
1,000 watts (night)
WBNS (1460 AM) — branded 1460 ESPN Columbus — is a radio station that broadcasts from Columbus, Ohio. The station currently broadcasts a sports talk format and carries ESPN Radio programming. It is owned by Tegna Inc., along with WBNS-FM (97.1 MHz.) and WBNS-TV (channel 10). The WBNS radio stations' studios and offices are located in Columbus's Brewery District neighborhood; WBNS (AM)'s transmitter tower is located in East Columbus.
The station was founded in 1922 as WCAH, originally owned by the Entrekin Electric Company of Columbus. The Wolfe family, owners of The Columbus Dispatch, bought the station in 1929 and, in January 1934 changed the calls to the present WBNS–the call letters stand for Wolfe Banks, Newpaper and Shoes—the businesses controlled by the Wolfe famil. (The WBNS stations maintained common ownership with the Dispatch until 2015, when the Wolfes sold the newspaper and related assets to New Media Investment Group.) WBNS was the longtime Columbus affiliate of the CBS Radio Network, and in the present-day serves as the AM flagship of the Ohio State Sports Network.
After various formats over the decades, including full service, Top 40, and MOR, in 2009 WBNS began simulcasting with WBNS-FM, which had previously aired an adult contemporary format. This was intended to improve the nighttime coverage for the station's longtime sports talk format, as well as Buckeyes football and basketball. The AM station must reduce its power to 1,000 watts at night, resulting in reduced coverage outside of Columbus itself. However, the FM station was branded as the main station, under the moniker "97.1 The Fan."
In 2011, the simulcast ended. The AM station began offering additional ESPN network programming and announced plans to create original local content such as an MMA show called "Ground & Pound", as well as a coach's show for the local MLS team, the Columbus Crew. On January 5, 2012 it was announced that the station would carry Cleveland Indians broadcasts in Columbus for the 2012 season, marking the return of the Indians after their absence from the Columbus market for the 2011 season.
WBNS is one of five stations remaining in the U.S. to broadcast from a Blaw-Knox tower, a tower with a distinctive diamond-shaped cantilever design.
On June 11, 2019, Dispatch announced it was selling its broadcasting assets, including the WBNS stations, to Tegna Inc. for $535 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, pending Federal Communications Commission approval. The sale was completed on August 8.
- OSU Radio Network - Ohio State Buckeyes.com
- Indians radio affiliates - Indians.com
- Miller, Mark K. (June 11, 2019). "Tegna Buying Dispatch's WTHR, WBNS For $535M". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- "TEGNA Completes Acquisition of Dispatch Broadcast Group’s Leading, Top Ranked Stations in Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OH", Tegna Inc., 8 August 2019, Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- ESPN 1460
- WBNS in the FCC AM station database
- WBNS on Radio-Locator
- WBNS in Nielsen Audio's AM station database