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CityColumbus, Ohio
Broadcast areaColumbus metro area
Frequency610 kHz (HD Radio)
BrandingNews Radio 610 WTVN
SloganColumbus's News, Weather and Traffic Station
Language(s)American English
FormatTalk radio
AffiliationsPremiere Networks
Westwood One
ABC News Radio
OwneriHeartMedia, Inc.
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
First air date
April 29, 1922 (1922-04-29)
Former call signs
WBAV (1922–mid-1920s)
WAIU (mid-1920s–36)
WHKC (1936–54)
Former frequencies
640 kHz (1922–45)
Call sign meaning
derived from former sister station WTVN-TV, now WSYX
Technical information
Facility ID11269
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
39°52′34″N 82°58′49″W / 39.87611°N 82.98028°W / 39.87611; -82.98028
Repeater(s)93.3 WODC-HD2 (Ashville)
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)

WTVN (610 AM) – branded News Radio 610 WTVN – is a commercial talk radio station licensed to Columbus, Ohio. Owned by iHeartMedia, the station serves the Columbus metro area. The WTVN studios area located in Downtown Columbus, while its transmitter resides near Obetz. Besides a standard analog transmission, the station also simulcasts over the HD digital subchannel of co-owned WODC, and streams online via iHeartRadio. WTVN began broadcasting in HD Radio in June 2005, but the in-band on-channel subcarrier was discontinued by 2015.[1]


WTVN originally started as WBAV, operating as a daytime station at 640 kHz on April 29, 1922. The call sign was later changed to WAIU, which stood for the station's parent company, American Insurance Union.[2]

WAIU was a charter member of the CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927.[3] The call letters were again changed in the late 1930s, this time to WHKC (to go with those of then commonly owned station WHK in Cleveland).

In the middle-1940s, WHKC (still at 640 kHz) obtained the frequency of WCLE, 610 kHz in Cleveland, which operated daytime only, forming 610 WHKC. A directional antenna system was installed near Columbus. This allowed WHKC to go to a full-time operation which occurred in February 1945 with an effective radiated power of 1,000 watts. The station's power later was upgraded to 5,000 watts day and night in 1949. The 640 frequency was then assigned to new arrival WHKK in Akron (which corresponded with Akron station WJW moving to Cleveland). Operation on 640 kHz was limited to Los Angeles sunset because of the superior propagation at low AM frequencies, and the presence of clear-channel KFI in Los Angeles.

The station adopted its current WTVN call letters in 1954 when it was acquired by Radio Cincinnati Inc., a firm that would later become Taft Broadcasting.[4] The sale to the Taft family made 610 AM a sister station to WTVN-TV (channel 6); in 1960 Taft launched an FM station in Columbus, WTVN-FM (96.3, now WLVQ).

In 1987 Taft was reorganized as Great American Broadcasting after financier Carl Lindner, Jr. succeeded in a hostile takeover of the company. Great American retained WTVN and WLVQ but not WTVN-TV (now WSYX), which was sold to former Taft shareholder Robert Bass and his new company, Anchor Media. Great American Broadcasting was renamed Citicasters in 1993. Jacor Communications purchased Citicasters in 1996. WLVQ was split from WTVN when the FM station was acquired by CBS Radio in 1998, and a year later Jacor was absorbed into Clear Channel Communications.


American Insurance Union owned the AIU Building (now the LeVeque Tower) in Columbus, which at the time was the tallest building in the city. Various radio facilities were located at the top of the skyscraper, including the transmitting antennae for WLWC-TV, Channel 4 (now WCMH-TV) and WTVN-TV, Channel 6 (now WSYX-TV). American Insurance Union later became part of Nationwide Insurance, owner of Nationwide Communications - former parent company of WNCI, which is a current sister station to WTVN.


The station replaced Pat Pagano and the meteorologists at Metro Weather Service with weather talent from WBNS (Channel 10), which was itself replaced by weather services from WSYX television.[5],[6] Metro Weather, based out of Valley Stream, New York, provided weather reports 24 hours, including Pagano during Bob Conners' morning show.[7]

Coverage area

Although WTVN only uses 5,000 watts of power during the day, the station can be heard as far away as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Detroit, and Cleveland. At night, the signal uses a directional antenna to protect stations operating on the same frequency, such as in KCSP in Kansas City; WTEL in Philadelphia; and WIOD in Miami. The extra power is radiated over central Columbus. However, outlying suburbs in the direction of the nulls will experience a degraded signal.

There were plans to improve WTVN's signal by adding a new antenna array and increasing power to 50,000 watts, but these plans fell through when zoning problems at the antenna site could not be resolved. Ultimately, WTVN tried to claim the right to build new towers as a "public utility" but lost in court on May 12, 2002.[8]

At one time, when WTVN still aired music programming, the station broadcast using C-QUAM AM Stereo. The stereo equipment was installed in 1988 but it was not until 1992 that the station operated in full stereo. Analog stereo transmissions ended several years later, though the internet feed remains stereophonic. WTVN also broadcast using iBiquity's HD Radio format in the late 2000s, though it was difficult to maintain a lock on the carrier and digital transmissions have since ceased.


WTVN's programming is largely made up of co-owned Premiere Networks' syndicated talk shows, including The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Glenn Beck Program and Coast to Coast AM live and The Sean Hannity Show on tape delay. WTVN utilizes two local talk radio hosts. Joel Riley hosts during morning drive time, while afternoon drive was hosted by John Corby until his death on January 20, 2018. The format of the local shows usually consists of simple day-to-day "topics" in which listeners are encouraged to call to discuss their viewpoints or experiences.

Weekends feature: The Mark Levin Show, The Kim Komando Show, In the Garden with Ron Wilson, Joe Pags and Ric Edelman. World and national news is supplied by ABC News Radio.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2015-09-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Radio Digest, September 1927, quoted in: McLeod, Elizabeth (September 20, 2002). CBS—In the Beginning, History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved on 2007-01-01. The other stations were: WOR/Newark; WADC/Akron, Ohio; WGHP/Detroit; WCAO/Baltimore; WCAU/Philadelphia; WEAN/Providence; WFBL/Syracuse; WJAS/Pittsburgh; WKRC/Cincinnati; WMAK/Buffalo-Lockport; WMAQ/Chicago; WNAC/Boston; WOWO/Fort Wayne, Indiana; KMOX/St. Louis; and KOIL/Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  4. ^ "WHKC bought by WTVN (TV), WKRC interests for $158,000." Broadcasting, April 19, 1954, pg. 7. [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Tim Feran, "Station's Format Turns Right," The Columbus Dispatch, Life section, p. 6B, Saturday, December 23, 2006
  6. ^ Tim Feran, "Channel 10 to do Radio Weather," The Columbus Dispatch, Features section, 7B, Friday, December 22, 2006
  7. ^ WODB shelters forecaster after storm, Ann Fisher, Columbus Dispatch, Wednesday, January 17, 2007[dead link]
  8. ^ WTVN loses bid to relocate towers - Business First of Columbus:

External links

This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 06:08
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