Radio too often ignores its rich and fascinating history. We have lamented this tendency.
(click thumbnail)Photo by Gary Liebisch
So allow us to express our pleasure at the news that local officials in Mason, Ohio, near Cincinnati, recently unveiled a historical marker, a plaque commemorating WLW’s Blaw-Knox AM antenna.
Former and current employees, local engineers and personalities joined Mason Historical Society members and town residents for the event, hosted by Mayor John McCurley. Also in attendance were representatives of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and Ohio Historical Society.
The plaque is at the entrance to the transmitter site along Tylersville Road and gives a brief history of the station, including its one-time experimental license to operate at 500,000 watts. A park bench and landscaping complement the marker. (The accompanying photo was taken by Gary Liebisch.)
Michael O’Bryant, Mason Historical Society member and resident, gets kudos for his efforts on behalf of the plaque. Jack Blosser of the Ohio Historical Society said that while all states have similar programs, Ohio’s is the only one in which placement and content of the historical markers are suggested by residents.
It’s wonderful to see an important part of radio history honored in this simple, long-lasting way. Many radio managers would do well to ask themselves if they are not guilty of keeping their own history at arms’ length rather than embracing it.
We’ve reported on the history of WLW in these pages. Numerous sites on the Web describe the station and the structure, including that of Radio World contributor Jim Hawkins at http://hawkins.pair.com/wlw.shtml. For more, type “WLW” and “history” into an Internet search engine.