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WGUClogo swirl.png
City Cincinnati, Ohio
Broadcast area Cincinnati, Ohio
Frequency 90.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date September 21, 1960
Format Classical
HD2: Jazz
ERP 18,500 watts
HAAT 209.2 meters
Class B
Facility ID 6126
Owner Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc.
Webcast WGUC Webstream
WGUC-HD2 Webstream
Website wguc.org

WGUC is a public radio station serving Cincinnati, Ohio. It is owned by Cincinnati Public Radio. It broadcasts at 90.9 FM and features classical music. WGUC also has HD Radio capability and broadcasts jazz on WGUC-2. When Cincinnati Public Radio purchased Xavier University's "X-Star Network" (a group of stations headed by WVXU-FM) in 2005, WGUC moved its National Public Radio news and talk programming, including All Things Considered, which had aired on WGUC since the 1970s, to WVXU. The only NPR-produced show still airing on WGUC is the youth classical performance program From the Top, while the news and information programming on WVXU has been expanded from previously. WGUC and WVXU share a building with WCET-TV in central Cincinnati.


The station was originally licensed to the University of Cincinnati, broadcasting mostly classical music and All Things Considered. However, the creation of additional NPR programming in the 1980s created the need for an additional NPR outlet in Cincinnati, at which time WVXU (then licensed to Xavier University) became a member of NPR. While the two stations together provided most of the NPR programs available to a single market, the two NPR daily flagship newsmagazines aired separately; specifically, WVXU carried Morning Edition, while WGUC carried All Things Considered. With both stations now under the same licensee, program duplication, sometimes a problem in markets with more than one public radio station, could be eliminated. This means that WGUC broadcasts almost exclusively classical music, while WVXU carries news and information programming, including both NPR flagship newsmagazines.


In the late 1950s, a group of Cincinnati-area residents launched a campaign for a radio station devoted to cultural and public affairs programming, particularly classical music. At the time, the only outlet for classical music in the Cincinnati area was WKRC, which only aired four hours of classical music per week. A committee of the Queen City Association sought to bring either a repeater of WOSU in Columbus or a standalone fine-arts station to Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati, then a municipally-governed institution, responded to the demand, and WGUC went on the air for the first time on September 21, 1960. WGUC was one of the first stations in the nation to meet the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's qualification standards; a charter member of NPR; and a founder of another network, American Public Radio (now Public Radio International). WGUC also had one of the first NPR satellite uplinks, the first digital west-to-east transatlantic broadcast, and is the only U.S. public radio station with an ongoing program to commission new music. In 2003, WGUC became the first public radio station in Ohio to broadcast a digital HD Radio signal. In June 2005, WGUC became one of the first stations in the nation to receive FCC authorization to experiment with FM multicasting. In 2006, the station added a second digital channel of full-time jazz music (formerly heard over the air on WVXU), along with a classical music service on its primary digital channel.

In 1994, UC outsourced WGUC's operations to Cincinnati Classical Public Radio, a community-based nonprofit organization. UC retained the station's license until 2002, when it sold the license to CCPR.


WGUC's signal covers a 60-mile radius in southwestern Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana. The station claims that almost 140,000 listeners tune to the station each week. WGUC broadcasts many local musical events, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concerts, the Cincinnati May Festival, and the Cincinnati Opera season. The station currently produces and distributes The 90 Second Naturalist and Classics for Kids nationally. Holiday programs, such as Tunes From the Crypt (Halloween), A Feast For the Ears (Thanksgiving), and Love Greetings (Valentine's Day) have also had national carriage. One weekday feature, Cincinnati Spotlight, which airs weekdays during the 9:00 a.m. hour, highlights events in the listening area, local artists and musicians, and national and international performers who visit greater Cincinnati.

Classics for Kids[edit]

Classics for Kids debuted December 5, 1998 and is designed to help adults introduce children to classical music. The program, heard Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, features a composer and his/her music, along with games, quizzes and curriculum materials for primary grade school students and teachers. The show is heard on several other classical-formatted public radio stations in the U.S.

Radio Reading Service[edit]

WGUC's subcarrier signal has served the local blind and visually impaired community since 1985. Through an agreement with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind, WGUC carries the audio broadcasts for the Radio Reading Service (RRS) on its alternate band. RRS serves more than 8,000 listeners, according to the station.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°07′30″N 84°29′56″W / 39.125°N 84.499°W / 39.125; -84.499