WDBZ is an Urban Talk and Urban Gospel hybrid formatted radio station serving Cincinnati broadcasting on 1230 AM. It is owned by Radio One, and is the syndicated home of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and through Syndicated One, it also carries the Al Sharpton Show and other talk programs. All other hours of the day, it plays gospel music. Of note: Tom Joyner is simulcasted with sister station WMOJ.


WDBZ broadcasts on one of the oldest radio frequencies in Cincinnati. The 1230 AM license was originally granted in 1922 and broadcast as WCPO-AM. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting owned the station along with WCPO-TV, Channel 9. From 1967-1981, the call letters were WUBE-AM and after a brief run as a Top-40 format, became Cincinnati's first country music formatted station. After simulcasting with its FM sister station, WUBE-FM (105.1) for years, the station changed from its long-running country format to a Big Band/Nostalgia format (Al Hamm's syndicated "Music of Your Life") and changed the call letters to WMLX. After a quick run-up in ratings and subsequent sharp decline, on January 1, 1985, the call letters changed again to WDJO and the station adopted a "oldies rock 'n' roll" format.

Scripps-Howard sold the station Kaye-Smith Broadcasting whose principals were Danny Kaye (the entertainer) and business associate Lester Smith. They operated the stations until the late 70s when they sold all their radio properties to Plough Broadcasting, then a part of the pharmaceutical company, Schering-Plough. In 1984, Schering-Plough divested its radio division and sold the 1230 AM and 105.1 FM signals (along with its other 7 stations around the country) to DKM Broadcasting headed by former Cox Radio executive, James Wesley, and formed with the backing of investment firm Dyson, Kisner and Moran, for the initial purpose of acquiring the Plough Broadcasting radio properties.

Until December 15, 1984, the 1230 AM frequency broadcast at 1000 watts during the day and 250 watts at night, which made its nighttime audience reach extremely limited. On this date the FCC granted DKM the ability to broadcast the 1230 frequency at 1000 watts 24 hours a day. Incidentally, for many years the 1230 frequency broadcast from a tower located on top of a 5-story building on the eastern edge of downtown Cincinnati and was partially inhibited by the hillside of Mount Adams, Ohio which rose right behind and to the east of the building.

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