Middletown's FM 105.9 – the "Country Rebel" when bought by Northern Kentucky University in 2011 – returns to its country roots today as "Southwest Ohio's Classic Country Giant."

Jeff Ziesmann's Grant County Broadcasters, which operates Classic Country WNKR-FM (106.7) in Northern Kentucky, will duplicate the classic country music on the powerful Middletown station that reaches from north of Dayton International Airport to south of CVG. The station will start broadcasting sometime Monday, Oct. 2.


Before beloved WNKU-FM vanishes into thin air at 6 p.m. Thursday Sept. 28, here's another installment of remembrances from loyal listeners and former staffers.

WNKU-FM will play requests and listener comments all day Thursday on FM 105.9, which has been sold by the university to Grant County Broadcasters. A new station debuts Monday, Oct. 2.

John Kiesewetter

The end is near: WNKU announced Thursday that it will cease broadcasting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, on Middletown's WNKN-FM (105.9), the university's last signal.

A new format will be heard Monday, Oct. 2, on FM 105.9, says Jeff Ziesmann, who agreed to buy Northern Kentucky University's last radio asset July 19.

John Kiesewetter

Update 8/17/17 at 8:40 p.m.:  Northern Kentucky University issued a press release Thursday evening stating WNKU's programming on 89.7 FM will end Friday morning at 8:59 a.m.

Original post: It's the beginning of the end.

WNKU-FM stops broadcasting on its original frequency (FM 89.7) at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 – although the station's beloved adult album alternative (Triple-A) format will continue to be heard throughout most of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati on Middletown's powerful WNKN-FM (105.9) and streamed on line.


WNKU-FM's unique adult album alternative format will be replaced by religious programming later this year after the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents Tuesday voted unanimously to sell two of the school's three FM stations: 


Sean O'Mealy has resigned as WNKU-FM general manager effective Oct. 7, after 19 months on the job.

He leaves four months after Northern Kentucky University hired Kalil & Co., a Tucson-based media broker, to explore the possibility of selling WNKU-FM (89.7), WNKN-FM in Middletown (formerly WPFB-FM) and WNKE-FM in Portsmouth (formerly WPAY-FM).


Northern Kentucky University has given Tucson-based Kalil & Co., one of the nation's biggest media brokers, a one-year contract to explore selling the three WNKU-FM stations.

Sacred Heart Radio

Northern Kentucky University is selling Middletown's WPFB-AM (910) to Sacred Heart Radio, the Catholic station broadcasting on WNOP-AM (740).

The Middletown AM station, which reaches north of Dayton and west of Oxford, will allow Sacred Heart Radio "to cover all the major cities in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. It's a monster signal during the day," says Bill Levitt, general manager. 


Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns says he will "explore the possibility of a sale of WNKU-FM and its assets" in light of "the very real prospect of significant funding cuts from the state."