"X-Star" Goes Dark in Cincy

OMW is mostly a Northeast Ohio production, focusing on markets like Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown. It’s where we live, and the area of the state we know best. We mostly don’t intend on covering Columbus and Cincinnati, but this is a unique one.

The “X-Star Radio Network”, a far-flung regional network of public radio FM stations based at Xavier University’s WVXU/91.7 in Cincinnati, is going off the air tonight. In its place will be a new NPR-based news/talk service operated by incumbent Cincinnati public radio station WGUC/90.9, which will move many NPR talk programs to the new outlet…and focus more on its classical music output. (Does this sound familiar, OMW regulars? It’s happening in other markets around the country, and may well be duplicated here in Northeast Ohio if WKSU/89.7 gets its hands on one of Akron’s two non-commercial outlets.)

Though it appears WVXU did air some NPR programming, like “Morning Edition” and “Fresh Air”, it also carried some very unique locally-produced talk and music programming. “X-Star” was by far not your typical local NPR station, and starting Monday, it’ll be chock full (mostly) of NPR’s news/talk programming. In one nod to “X-Star”, the new WVXU will carry old-time radio shows…though not the locally-hosted productions once heard on the station. It’ll run the syndicated “When Radio Was” weeknights.

The closest “X-Star” outlet to Northern Ohio is down in Chillicothe – OMW has heard it while on the road. In addition to that station, the Cincinnati base and a station in West Union, WVXU also has repeaters in northern Michigan…stations we’ve also heard. In fact, OMW’s first encounter with “X-Star” was while driving through that state.

It seems somewhat likely that the Michigan stations will be spun off to another operator, as it appears UNLIKELY that WGUC has any interest in serving that far-off area.

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