Crosley Square

WLWT-TV

Commercial television in Cincinnati turns 70 on Friday, Feb. 9, when WLWT-TV started commercial operation in 1948 – Cincinnati's first television.

Crosley Broadcasting had been experimenting with television for nearly a year with W8XCT. WLWT-TV was the city's only TV station for 14 months, until Taft Broadcasting's WKRC-TV signed on in April 1949. WCPO-TV followed in July 1949.

Provided / Jim LaBarbara

That vacant red brick building at Ninth & Elm Streets downtown bought by Kroger recently was once the studios for WLW-AM’s Jim LaBarbara, Rich King and James Francis Patrick O’Neill, and WLWT-TV’s Peter Grant, Gene Randall, Phil Samp and meteorologist Tony Sands.

For about 20 years, the COMEX building housed WLW’s radio operations and TV news across the street from WLW headquarters at Crosley Square, now the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy-Armleder campus.

From the mid 1950s until 1976, people could sometimes watch WLW TV newscasts or radio shows through the huge plate glass windows and hear via outdoor speakers. Channel 5 viewers also saw announcer Bill Myers and DJ Jim “The Music Professor” LaBarbara do weather from the building’s roof.