Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cincy Radio: Development Planned For WLW Transmitter Site

WLW 700 AM's iconic diamond-shaped radio tower and historic transmitter building on Tylersville Road soon will be casting their shadows on retail stores, restaurants and offices beneath it.

The "Tower Park" planned unit development along Mason's booming Tylersville Road corridor was approved by city council earlier this year, according to  longtime media watcher John Kiesewetter at

Photos Credit: John Kiesewetter
The diamond-shaped Blaw-Knox tower, only one of six still used today by U.S. radio stations, will remain in operation. Apparently remaining will be the red brick building which housed the 1934 one-of-a-kind 500,000-watt transmitter; the brick residence for WLW-AM's chief engineer; a guard tower; and a second antenna west of the transmitter building.

A 26.7-acre concept plan approved by council calls for four restaurants, five office buildings, a small retail building, a mini-warehouse, 700 parking spaces and a loop service road with a roundabout.

Some of the parking spaces and buildings are under the tensioned guy wires, cables supporting the 831-foot WLW-AM tower, which could drop icicles after a winter storm.

WLW-AM founder Powel Crosley moved his transmitter from Harrison to Tylersville Road in 1928. After Crosley was granted experimental "super power" by the federal government, President Franklin D. Roosevelt activated the 500,000-watt transmitter on May 2, 1934 from the White House. With a signal 10 times more powerful than any other U.S. broadcaster, "The Nation's Station" beamed programs coast to coast (and beyond) for five years. After 1939, WLW-AM continued to use "super power" midnight-2 a.m. until 1943.

In recent years, debt-plagued iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) sold the Mason tower property to Vertical Bridge Holdings of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation's largest private owner and manager of communication infrastructure. Vertical Bridge leases towers, rooftops, billboards, utility attachments and other assets to telecommunications carriers or other users of wireless technology.

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History of the WLW Transmitter Site....

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