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WFTK (96.5 FM, "96 Rock") is an alternative rock formatted radio station in Cincinnati, operated by Cumulus Media.

History

The station began in 1958 as WQMS, Quality Music Station, playing beautiful music. In 1968, the station became a religious station and played contemporary Christian music. The station was originally licensed to Hamilton, Ohio, but the city of license was changed to Lebanon, Ohio in a deal with CBS Radio in 2002.

After the station was sold in 1974, the station switched to an adult contemporary/Top 40 format under the call letters WLWS. In 1979 the fomat changed to Top 40, as "Kiss 96", WSKS. By 1983, WSKS was playing a mix of classic rock and modern rock and changed their slogan to 96 Rock. After 3 years, the format switched again this time to country, WBVE, The Beaver. Four years later in 1990, Z Rock made its debut. Z Rock debuted with the WZRQ call letters, which were protested by crosstown CHR WKRQ. The call letters were then changed to WZRZ. The country format returned in August 1992, as "The River 96.5" and then WYGY "Young Country Y-96". "Y-96" was used as a flanker station to protect sister station WUBE, the heritage country station in Cincinnati. In 2000, the station was sold and the station's name was changed to "The New 96.5." In 2003, the name changed again to "Eagle 96.5", but due to a conflict with another station called "Eagle 99.3" in nearby Aurora, Indiana, the name was changed yet again to "96.5 The Star."

The call letters WPRV were introduced in September 2006, when Cumulus Media sold WMOJ ("Mojo 94.9") to Radio One, who moved the station to 100.3 FM. Cumulus Media launched WPRV at 94.9 FM, and temporarily used the frequency to simulcast its WYGYmarker ("96.5 The Star"). Cumulus later traded the 94.9 FM frequency to Entercom, so in November 2006, the call letters WPRV were moved to 96.5 and "SuperTalk FM" was launched. The call letters were soon changed to WFTK.

As of Thursday, December 13, 2007, the talk format was dropped, and all that was played the entire day was looped construction noise.

96 Rock's logo as an active rock station from 2007-2009


On December 14, 2007 at 12 noon, the construction sounds came to an end, and 96 Rock, Cincinnati's Pure Rock was born with an active rock format, with the format lasting for only a year. According to Mediabase, the station has segued to modern rock because of alternative rock artists such as MGMT, Bad Religion and Franz Ferdinand on the playlist. This occurred in January of 2009 when Cumulus acquired WOFX-FM from Clear Channel, and WOFX is a classic rock-formatted station. The shift to alternative rock caused WSWDmarker to change formats on May 21, 2009, as its old "Sound" format was moved to 94.9 HD2 and the 97.3 frequency flipped formats back to country music, leaving WFTK as the only alternative rock station in Cincinnati. Ratings have since increased since the station shifted to alternative rock.

More information: 2006 Cincinnati radio station reorganization.


Programming

WFTK's initial programming consisted solely of syndicated programs from Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Dave Ramsey, Dennis Miller, in addition to the overnight feed from Sporting News Radio. Until the switch to 96 Rock, the station added more local, live personalities. Andy Furman (Furball) sports talk and starting Monday October 1, 2007 the Two Angry Guys premier with Tom Gamble and Richard Skinner. Previous network syndicates Mancow's Morning Madhouse, Rusty Humphries and Phil Valentine were removed from the programing line up.

As of December 13, 2007 at 10 AM EST, SuperTalk FM went off the air following The Two Angry Guys Show, and was replaced with the broadcast sounds of a construction site - hammers, saws, drills, workers shouting, trucks backing up, etc. The website listed seven new format possibilities, each with an accopanying logo. All seven logos could be seen one at a time when the page was refreshed. The possibilities were Y96 "Today's best country", Rdnx96 "Old-time mountain music", WRAS96 "Rasta and Reggae", WWJD96 "Christian", ES96 "Spanish", D96 "Disco", G96 "Alternative Lifestyle", and WJOC96 "Strictly Sports". On the station's Web site, there was a countdown timer set for noon on December 14, 2007.

When the countdown timer on the station's website hit zero on December 14, the station flipped to active rock and began identifying itself as 96 Rock, Cincinnati's Pure Rock. The first song played was Metallica's Enter Sandman. The Two Angry Guys Show, which was SuperTalk's morning show before the format change, remained as 96 Rock's morning show. It returned in January, following their Christmas vacation. In fact, 96 Rock's tagline of "Angry all morning, pissed all day" is a direct reference to the Two Angry Guys Show. All of the station's other airstaff, including afternoon host Andy Furman were let go before the change, while all of the syndicated programs were discontinued.

WFTK was the 2007-2008 flagship station for Miami Universitymarker Men's Ice Hockey broadcasts. As well as the official radio station of the minor league hockey team the Cincinnati Cyclones during the 2007-2008 season. Neither are part of the station's programming as of August 2008.

Callsign history

  • WFTK from 11/09/2006
  • WPRV from 11/02/2006
  • WYGY from 01/09/1993
  • WZRZ from 01/30/1991
  • WZRQ from 12/27/1990


References

  1. Miami ISP Sports Network Partners With Cincinnati's Supertalk FM 96.5 :: Supertalk FM 96.5 is New Cincinnati Home for Miami ISP Sports Network


External links




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