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Did You Know? Radio Station Call Letters

December 29, 2012

A map showing how radio station call letters are set in the US

Ever wonder why radio station call letters start with the letters K or W? The reason goes back as early as 1912 and originated with the United States federal government. In 1923 the boundary was set by the Mississippi River and all radio stations to the West were given K and to the East were W. For the most part this holds true, but with AM stations there are exceptions.

Local Radio Stations

Here’s the story behind some well known Cincinnati area stations:

  • WCKY stands for “Covington, Kentucky,” its original studio location
  • WCPO stands for “The Cincinnati Post,” which was owned by Scripps-Howard
  • WKRC stands for the “Kodel Radio Corporation,” a now-forgotten radio manufacturer that bought the license in 1925

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