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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Citirama Homes To Be Built Near WAWK-FM Tower In College Hill

John Kiesewetter

Operators of Christian WAKW-FM are selling 12 acres by its College Hill tower, studios, school and church for 2016 Citirama – but the money won’t go to the station’s $195,000 campaign to upgrade aging broadcasting equipment.

Thirty-six homes will be built on an extension of Collegevue Place, which now dead-ends at three Pillar of Fire Church entities: WAKW-FM (Star 93.3), Eden Grove Academy and City Church. The Cincinnati Planning Commission approved plans for the Gershom Grove subdivision last month.

Proceeds from the property sale will go “in the bank,” and not to fund the church, school or radio station, says John Archer, Pillar of Fire building and grounds superintendent.

“This is huge for us. We’re going to get sidewalks on the west side of Collegevue," Archer says. There are no sidewalks on either side of the street from North Bend Road for students who walk to school.  A "Watch For Pedestrians In Roadway" sign is posted on Collegevue near North Bend. When it snows, students walk in the street to school, he says.

Star 93.3 has been fund-raising to replace the 20-year-old analog transmitter with a digital transmitter; a 40-year-old production room audio board; and 25-year-old audio board and equipment in the main studio.

Credit John Kiesewetter
The 36 Gershom Grove homes will be built on land behind this sign at the end of Collegevue Place.

 “We're at a crucial point, where the need is urgent,” says the Star93.3 website.

“Over the past year, STAR 93.3 has been off the air for up to 5 minutes - several times…. (The transmitter) is now over 20 years old. The transmitter manufacturer has since gone out of business. Thankfully, there is one person left that can repair STAR 93.3's transmitter. However, parts are no longer being produced and the time is coming soon when the parts will not be available. Simply put, we're approaching a time when the transmitter will not be operational,” the site says.

The fund drive would provide a new HD transmitter ($125,000); antenna ($20,000); main studio ($20,000); back-up studios ($20,000); and a processor ($10,000).

The Thomas J. Ackermann Co. is developing Gershom Grove, which “would feature new homes with prices between $250,000 and $300,000,” according to the Enquirer.

College Hill also hosted Citirama 2014 on 24 lots in Witherby Meadows, near North Bend Road and Connecticut Avenue. 

John Kiesewetter joined the WVXU news team as a TV/Media blogger on July 1 2015, after nearly 30 years covering local and national broadcasting for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’ll be posting news about Greater Cincinnati TV, radio and movies; updating your favorite former local TV/radio personalities or stars who grew up here; and breaking news about national TV, radio and media trends. You’ll also learn about Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting history.