|Broadcast area||Greater Cleveland
|Branding||107.3 The Wave|
|Slogan||Cleveland's Smooth FM|
|Frequency||107.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||October 18, 1948|
|Callsign meaning||The WaVe|
|Former callsigns||WEOL-FM (1948–65)
|Owner||Rubber City Radio Group, Inc.
(Rubber City Radio Group, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WAKR, WONE-FM, WQMX|
WNWV (107.3 FM) – branded 107.3 The Wave – is a commercial smooth AC radio station licensed to Elyria, Ohio. Owned by Rubber City Radio Group, Inc., the station serves Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. The WNWV studios are located in the Cleveland suburb Independence, while the station transmitter resides in Grafton. In addition to a standard analog transmission, WNWV broadcasts over a single HD Radio channel, and is available online.
The station began as WEOL-FM, simulcasting the programming on AM station WEOL through the 1950s and most of the 1960s. The FM installations was established as an adjunct to the AM outlet around the same time as WEOL's 1948 sign-on. By 1960, WEOL-FM started separate programming on the weekdays as "Formula 107," playing a mixture of automated classical music and pop standards from 2pm until 10pm weekdays, while both WEOL and WEOL-FM played "Sterophonic Hi-Lites" from 9pm to 11pm on Sundays. WEOL-FM assumed a separate identity on December 8, 1965 as WBEA, with a mostly automated beautiful music and easy listening format aimed toward Elyria, their city of license. Many of the area's top broadcast talents made a stop at WBEA and WEOL early in their careers, including Dick Conrad, Jeff Baxter, David Mark, Ronnie Barrett, Ron Penfound, Jim Mehrling, Rick Martyn, Bob Tayek, and others. The easy listening soon segued to Top 40 as "WBEA B-107" in the early 1980s.
From January 1 until November 15, 1987, the station carried the callsign WCZR and operated as Z Rock with a heavy metal rock format. This format itself originated from the Satellite Music Network (later absorbed into ABC Radio) in Dallas, Texas, and WCZR was only the second station to have picked it up. WCZR gained a cult following in the Cleveland area, as most other rock stations did not devote their playlists to heavy metal. However, lackluster ratings and the spread of the "smooth jazz" format precipitated a format change less than a year later.
The Wave (1987–2009)
The station changed its callsign to WNWV, rebranded itself The Wave, began airing a new-age format via a 24/7 satellite service from Metromedia, and increased its broadcast target area to include the entire Cleveland market. The changes were patterned after KTWV in Los Angeles, then owned by Metromedia. WNWV sister station WEOL continued to focus on Lorain County. Until December 17, 2011, WNWV still shared studios with WEOL in downtown Elyria, while WNWV had a separate sales office and staff located in suburban Rocky River. Its first Operations Director was Chris "Daniels" Eicher, who also hosted the morning news, and also threw the switch that jettisoned the Z-Rock format and brought in "The Wave." The first song played after the switch was "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" by Sting (also the first song played with KTWV's debut nine months earlier).
The station did alter its on-air nickname several times. Around 1990, WNWV dropped the "Wave" satellite format for a lineup of local hosts, and briefly renamed itself "Cleveland's Cool FM: 107-3 WNWV" with the slogan "Smooth Jazz, Fresh Hits" before assuming its longtime nickname and logo in 1994. It's airstaff was remarkably stable throughout the rest of the decade, with broadcasters B.J. Hart, Dan Steinberg, Richard Greer, Tom Murphy, Lisa Danevich, Frank Macek (now at WKYC), Grace Roberts (now again at WNWV), Harvey Zay, Joan Kelly, Starr D'Avril, Mike Kessler (who remained with the AAA format under the name Mike Gallagher), Michelle Chase, Mark Ribbins, Brian Cruise, Sandy Bennett, Larry Adams, Sarah Greer, Cody Brooks, Mark McQuire, Mark Sanders, Al Pawlowski (now at WKYC and STO), Kathy Gudell, Tracey Brich Murphy, Jen Kaminski, Greg Yocum, Tammy Frizzel, Pat Allen, Desiray McCray (now at WDOK), Nathan Pope, Carmen Kennedy, Lisa Jeffries, Andrea Morris and Carolyn Carr gracing the airwaves. Its programmers included Steve Hibbard, Bernie Kimble and Angie Handa, who went by Angie Calli on-air, as well as syndicated personalities Ramsey Lewis and Dave Koz.
In 2003, WNWV became the first station in the Cleveland market to broadcast in the new HD digital format - as well as one of a handful in the country to make the initial switch. WCLV, licensed to nearby Lorain, but also aimed at the Cleveland market, was the second.
Throughout its history the station had been owned by Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. On May 15, 1958, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. was purchased by the Lorain County Printing and Publishing Company, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. LCP&P also owns the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram and Medina Gazette; in effect forming a radio/newspaper duopoly. This arrangement lasted until WNWV's sale to the Rubber City Radio Group, long grandfathered by FCC legislation that now prohibit such arrangements.
On December 21, 2009, it was announced that The Wave would change its smooth jazz format after a 22 year run. The station cited the nationwide downturn for the smooth jazz format as the reason for the change, despite The Wave being a perennially strong ratings performer in Cleveland. The format was officially dropped after midnight on December 28, 2009. After a stunt of a clock ticking for 12 hours, WNWV switched to an adult album alternative format featuring a mix of alternative and classic rock at noon that same day, with "Radio Retaliation" by Thievery Corporation. However, the smooth jazz format continued to run on the station's HD2 subchannel, and online. After the format change, Mark Ribbins assumed the title of program director and also served as afternoon host, but was released that October. From that point, WNWV HD-2 played only music without on-air personalities, with Mike Gallagher voicing the top-of-the-hour station identification.
WNWV preferred to brand itself Boom! 107.3 as a tribute to recently departed local radio announcer Len "Boom" Goldberg. This, however, matched too closely with a copyrighted brand of CBS Radio. As a result, WNWV opted for 107.3 Cleveland before settling on V 107.3. While V 107.3, the lineup featured holdover morning host Mike Gallagher (Kessler), midday host Ravenna Miceli, afternoon host/program director Ric "Rocco" Bennett, and evening host/music director Brad Hanson. Weekend programming included Acoustic Café with Rob Reinhart, The House of Blues Radio Hour with Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd in character) and The New Music Show with Brad Hanson and Ric "Rocco" Bennett. Inner Sanctum, a showcase of local music, ran Sunday nights from September–December 2011.
The Wave (2011–present)
On October 13, 2011, WNWV owner Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. announced plans to sell the station to the Akron, Ohio-based Rubber City Radio Group, Inc. for $6.5 million. The deal was completed that December 16 at 5:00 p.m., with Rubber City Radio Group formally announcing a return to the station's prior branding as The Wave, but with an updated smooth AC format on January 4, 2012 (in a music style similar to San Diego outlet KIFM); however, WNWV switched a bit earlier than expected at 8:30 p.m. on January 3.
The current WNWV line-up features veteran Cleveland DJs Dan Deely and Grace Roberts with producer/sidekick Jason "Pottsy" Potter (mornings), WNWV personalities Carmen Kennedy and Mark Ribbins are heard middays and afternoons respectively. Lynn Kelly (midday host at Akron sister station WQMX) is heard evenings via voicetracking. Dave Koz's weekly syndicated show airs on Sunday mornings via the Smooth Jazz Network. Studios are located in Independence, OH.
- WebMasters, Mike Olszewski (2002-03-04). "Cleveland, Ohio Broadcast Radio Archives Project". Cleve-radio.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- "NAB Awards: NAB Marconi Radio Awards | Past Award Winners". Nab.org. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- Steve Fogarty (December 23, 2009). "The Wave 107.3 FM to switch formats". Chronicle Telegram. Elyria, Ohio.
- August 18, 2014 (2011-10-13). "Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. sells WNWV - Chronicle-Telegram". Chronicle.northcoastnow.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- August 18, 2014 (2011-12-18). "Sale of radio station 107.3-FM now complete - Chronicle-Telegram". Chronicle.northcoastnow.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- "Local HD Radio Stations". HD Radio. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- "Grace Roberts Joins Cleveland's 'The Wave'". AllAccess.com. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- "The Wave Morning Show". 1073thewave.net. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- "Personalities". www.wnwv.com. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
- "Personalities". 1073thewave.net. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
-  Archived December 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.