AM Radio Serves Ohio

3.4 million Ohioans listen to AM radio monthly.

AM radio stations are vital to the Ohio communities they serve. These stations broadcast regular news and weather coverage, provide emergency information, air hundreds of high school sports contests, and raise millions of dollars for charities and community organizations.

See How Your Local AM Station Makes a Difference

The following are just a few examples of how Ohio’s AM radio stations impact the daily lives of their listeners.

Northwest Ohio | Northeast Ohio | Central Ohio | Southwest Ohio | Southeast Ohio

Northwest Ohio

WBLL-AM, Bellefontaine

“During a recent ice storm, we lost power to 95% of our county. We have a generator, so our radio stations were still on the air. At the same time, our local law enforcement was inundated with calls from worried citizens. Their volume was so high that they called us and asked us if they could give out information throughout the outage. We did announcements on all our stations but on our AM station, we gave much more detailed wall-to-wall updates the entire time. When the power finally came back on, our law enforcement told us their calls had dropped by 75% which allowed them to focus on the real emergencies in our community.”


“When two inmates escaped from the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution, we ran reports 2x per hour throughout the day to inform the public of the threat of dangerous criminals on the loose in our area. We provide this service in any incident that requires awareness for the sake of public safety.”

WFIN-AM, Findlay

“WFIN serves as the backbone of local news information efforts for our stations. In March, WFIN hosted a mayoral forum featuring Findlay’s incumbent mayor and her primary challenger. The hour-long candidate forum was moderated by one of our on-air staff and was simultaneously broadcast live on air and online.”

Northeast Ohio

WAKR-AM, Akron

“A police shooting in Akron last July 4th spawned protests and walkouts over the next few weeks. More protests and civil disturbances were initiated after a grand jury declined to indict the officers. 1590/WAKR-AM broadcast continuing coverage of the events, giving listeners up to the minute information regarding safe routes around the disturbances, safety information for those wishing to attend the events, and coverage of the city and county officials’ activities and responses. Lastly, we covered the memorial, which included local pastors and other officials.”

WJER-AM, Dover

“WJER-AM is part of the Tuscarawas County EMA’s emergency plan for issues at a local chemical plant that has had multiple chemical spills or incidents through the years.. During a recent incident, a fire and vapor
cloud forced the closure of the interstate next to the plant. We sent a reporter as close to the scene as possible and had live reports on the air as well as updating social media. This resulted in a shelter-in-place rather than an evacuation.”

WKBN-AM, Youngstown

“WKBN changed from regular programming to provide full coverage of the train derailment in neighboring East Palestine, including updates on health and safety, evacuation orders, and business and school closings. The WKBN-AM website continues to provide a dedicated page of resources. ”

Central Ohio

WMNI-AM, Columbus

“WMNI airs a weekly local public affairs program called Columbus Concerns. Some topics covered this year include: local economic development and jobs, environmental and waste issues, drug addiction prevention and treatment, mental health programs, local veterans services, gun violence prevention, employment for older workers, and affordable housing.”

WMVO-AM, Mount Vernon

“All our AM stations have special fund-raising projects that they have created. The largest is WMVO’s Food for the Hungry that was created by our own Charlie Kilkenny. It raises $50,000+ annually for the community. This summer, Food For The Hungry opened a special grant process to help organizations throughout Knox County eliminate the food gap for children and teens during summer vacation. Hundreds of Knox County minors’ primary source of food is the free or reduced breakfast and lunch given to them at school. There is a significant need for supplemental food throughout their summer break.”

WRFD-AM, Columbus

“Daily, we host live talk shows that are open to community leaders including politicians, law enforcement, and directors of nonprofits. We use this time to tell listeners what is happening in the community around them. In times of emergency, we provide listeners with information they need to keep them safe, including being able to call in when they feel like they have nowhere else to turn and just need to have someone to talk to. Our station is available to listen and pray with our audience and if needed, direct them to resources.”

Southwest Ohio

WDBZ-AM, Cincinnati

“WDBZ provides daily news talk programming not only for the general Cincinnati market, but specific to the African American population we serve. During the Cincinnati riots in 2001 and again during the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, we pushed out messaging emphasizing peaceful protesting as much as possible and also served as an outlet for the community to voice their frustrations and opinions and really just vent.”

WHIO-AM, Dayton

“When a tornado threatened Dayton during the school day earlier this year, some schools kept students in the building rather than risk sending them home in the storm. WHIO provided wall-to-wall coverage for the thousands of parents in cars trying to pick up kids and deciding how to take emergency action.”

WLW-AM, Cincinnati

“In August 2022, Rick Shiffer tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati field
office. After firing a shot at the security check-in office, he fled in a vehicle up Interstate 71. The suspect held officers at bay for hours, using his car as cover, and exchanging gunfire with police. 700WLW covered this attack and the response to it as it happened that morning and throughout the afternoon during regularly scheduled newscasts and live updates from show hosts. Using our resources, we were able to keep the public informed as this incident played out: not only telling them what happened, but also where to stay away from.“

Southeast Ohio

WILE-AM, Cambridge

“Just before Christmas last year, a major winter storm and Arctic cold front swept through Ohio, bringing dangerously cold temperatures, rapid snowfall and wind gusts of 45-55 mph. WILE-AM in Cambridge stayed on the air throughout the storm — with staff making their way through the snow and cold to keep the station on the air — to provide information to the public about warming centers, business and church closings, water boil orders, cold safety tips, and, of course, weather advisories and warnings as they became available.”

WMOA-AM, Marietta

“In June 2012, a powerful derecho storm left much of Southeast Ohio without power for four or more days. With no electricity and limited cell
service in the area, WMOA served as a vital source of information. We focused our programming on city services and provided on-location
reporting for 6 days following the storm. After that, we allowed
businesses to call in and chat live, and send status updates for hours and inventory, etc. (all at no charge). We had a direct line to the local
grocery stores and all nursing homes for updates.”