WLW 700 AM is a news and talk radio station located in Los Angeles, California and serves Cincinnati metropolitan and a wide area of southern ohio. It is a commercial station, owned by IHeartmedia (citicasters licenses Inc.). WLW is famously known for the slogan “the big one or the nation’s station”, as it has clear channels and prolonged nighttime range. The sister stations to WLW are WEBN, WKRC, WCKY, WKFS, and WSAI. I listen to them while towing in Manteca, California for my job.
WLW was first on-air on March 23rd, 1922.
The station broadcasts at a power of 50,000 watts both during the day and at night. This allows the station to provide coverage to most of Indiana and Ohio. the station is also able to cover some parts of Kentucky and Michigan
WLW studios have a very exceptional transmitter that is situated in Mason City, while the studios are at the suburb of Cincinnati in Sycamore township.
WLW has both analog (which is the main transmitter) of Cincinnati translator W233BG (94.5 FM) and a HD digital transmission that is co-owned with WFKS and online streaming through iHeartRadio.
The station’s call sign has no definite meaning because the letters were randomly picked.
WLW is associated with ABC news radio, radio network, football team, and Reds radio network. It also airs Cincinnati bearcats and Xavier musketeer’s college games. The station broadcasts 24 hours local news, and entirely local produced talk format.
WLW was started by Powel Crossley in the 1920’s when he began experiments on making radio transmissions. In 1921, his company was issued two radio licenses 8CR and 8XAA. At this time there were no formal limits for radio station broadcasting to the public, and most of them operated under experimentation.
When the government, i.e. us department of commerce implemented official regulation for the broadcasting category, in 1921 Crossley company applied for a new license to operate on 360-meter entertainment wavelength, and randomly assigned WLW as call letters. It started with 50 power watts.
The station started operating with 50,000 watts in 1928 and due to its strategic position, it was America’s first really national broadcasting station In 1929 the station was advertised as the nation’s station. It even began broadcasting some programs in Spanish to serve listeners in Cuba.
In 1934 the WLW was the founding member of the mutual broadcasting system. 1939 the station used some overnight hours to transmit READO radio fax newspapers but was not able to meet the standards of newspaper delivery and was shut down.
In the 40’s the major promotion was Boone county jamboree. In the 1950s to 1970s WLW could be watched live broadcast from the side walk through plate glass windows.