|Broadcast area||Columbus metro area|
|Slogan||Ohio's Best Rock|
|First air date||February 14, 1977
April 1, 1959
|Former callsigns||WTVN-FM (1974–1977)
|Owner||Saga Communications, Inc.
(Franklin Communications, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WNND/WNNP, WSNY, WVMX|
|Webcast||Listen Live or
WLVQ (96.3 FM) — branded Q-FM 96 — is a commercial classic rock radio station licensed to Columbus, Ohio. Owned by Saga Communications, Inc., through its Franklin Communications subsidiary, the station serves the Columbus metro area. The WLVQ studios are located on the northeast side of Columbus, the station transmitter is located downtown Columbus on the Twin Rivers Drive tower.
The 96.3 MHz frequency was first occupied by WLWF, a station owned by the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation along with sister station WLWC (now WCMH-TV); WLWF broadcast from 1949–1953. WLVQ itself began on April 1, 1959 as WTVN-FM, owned by Taft Broadcasting Company along with sister stations WTVN (AM) and WTVN-TV (now WSYX). In 1966, WTVN-FM changed its callsign to WBUK and format to adult contemporary. The station again switched formats and started playing "Beautiful Music" (easy listening) in 1969. The station reverted to the WTVN-FM call sign in 1974, but continued to play "Beautiful Music."
The station adopted the WLVQ call sign on February 14, 1977. The first song played was "New Kid in Town" by the Eagles. For many years the station's mascot was The Q Kangaroo, a creature selected by a listener in a contest. Q-FM-96 was an early champion of, and outlet for, Columbus's vibrant rock music community, and was particularly notable for its "Hometown Album Project", a series of compilation LPs featuring local artists, which debuted shortly after the station signed on. Another fondly remembered feature in the 1980s was the Sunday morning show "Psychedelic Sunday," showcasing 1960s-era rock, much of it relatively obscure-and hosted by British DJ Russell Carey. There has been lots of great programming in Q-FM-96's long rich history.
WTVN (AM) still exists, but is owned by Clear Channel Communications, and no longer affiliated with WLVQ. WLVQ was owned and operated by various owners Taft, Great American, Jacor and Citicasters for a number of years until a 1998 sale to Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio). In October 2006 CBS announced an agreement to sell the station to Wilks Broadcast Group, LLC. In November 2006, Wilks Broadcast Group, LLC took over WLVQ via a local marketing agreement, let go OM/PD Dave Cooper and midday host Dave Man in December and Chris Thomas was promoted to program director and midday host. On May 2, 2009, Chris Thomas left and Megan Slater became the program director and midday host. On April 27, 2010, Megan Slater left and Joe "Show" Pasternak was promoted to program director and Sue Leighton was brought in from former Hot AC WBNS-FM/Mix 97.1 for middays. In December 2011 Sue Leighton took over as program director so Joe Show could concentrate on his afternoon drive on-air duties. Todd "Mongo" Bradley was promoted to Program Director in February 2014. Sue Leighton is still middays and now promotion director.
On November 4, 2015, Saga Communications announced it had agreed to purchase WLVQ from Wilks Broadcast Group. Saga owns and operates Columbus stations WSNY, WVMX, WNND and WNNP through its Franklin Communications, Inc. subsidiary. The purchase by Saga was consummated on February 3, 2016 at a price of $13 million.
Currently WLVQ/Q-FM-96 airs the Torg & Elliott morning show; Scott Torgerson and Jerry Elliott. Other on-air personalities include Todd "Mongo" Bradley, Kristie Kemper, Sue Leighton, Joe Show and Andrew Wright. Long time morning host Mark "Daddy Wags" Wagner is retired. Jerry Elliott and Kristie Kemper joined The Morning Show in 1990, Torg and Mongo joined the show in 2013. Jerry was a stand-up comedian, Kristie came from the morning show at WAZU/Dayton, OH, and Torg, former afternoon drive personality on sports WBNS-FM/97.1 The Fan. Current Morning Show Producer, Todd "Mongo" Bradley, is also the Program Director at QFM96, and Operations Manager for Wilks Broadcasting, Columbus cluster.