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Talk Voice Vanishes As ‘1230 The Buzz’ Switches To Gospel

“The Buzz” is no more. After 15 years as the voice for African-Americans in Cincinnati, WDBZ-AM switched to gospel music late Thursday.

Owner Radio One has rebranded the station as “Praise 1230, Cincinnati’s Inspiration Station.”

Long-time talk host Lincoln Ware remains the only local talk host on the station. 

Gone are morning host Nathan Ivey, program director and afternoon “Sister Speak” host Jeri Toliver, and weekend host Ken Anderson.

Ware will continue to host 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated show follows at 2-4 p.m.

“I survived. Me and Al Sharpton,” Ware said Friday morning. Ware and Toliver had jumped from WCIN-AM 15 years ago for the debut of “The Buzz.” For a while, Cincinnati had the two competing stations talking about local urban issues. Now it has four AM Christian music stations:  WGRI-AM (1050), WCVG-AM (1320), WCNW-AM (1560) and WDBZ-AM.

Ware said he learned Thursday morning about the gospel format. Some listeners have complained on social media about the timing of the switch, going into a year filled with presidential primaries and election campaigning for the White House.

“Yeah, this is crazy,” Ware said. “But they did it before Obama was elected. Before the 2008 election, they switched to gospel too.”

The new lineup includes music hosts Yolanda Adams (6-10 a.m.), Willie Moore (4-6 p.m.) and Darlene McCoy (7-11 p.m.).

Ware said he wants to retire in 2017, after 44 years on the air. He made his debut on WCIN-AM in March 1973, after being discharged from the U.S. Marines.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.