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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.

Trying To Restore A Local Radio Voice For African-Americans

John Kiesewetter

So far there's not been much buzz, but former WCIN-AM DJ Everett Cork is raising funds for an Internet radio station to fill the void from format changes on 1230 AM and 1480 AM.

He's seeking $25,000 through GoFundMe to create the "ClassicVibes1480CIN Internet radio station.

"ClassicVibes is a tribute to the iconic radio station WCIN in Cincinnati that served the African-American community specifically, and the Cincinnati community at large, for well over 50 years," says Cork, who organized a reunion of WCIN staffers earlier this year.

With ClassicVibes1480CIN, he wants "to recreate the connection between the community and its voice. With the impact of the Internet and other social media outlets, the influence can be much more far reaching than in the past," he says.

Credit Everett Cork

  "The community is in dire need of an informational and culturally inspiring radio station.  With the advent of social media, internet radio should be the perfect solution.  The spirit of WCIN is calling out for a rebirth!" he says.

The ClassicVibes lineup sounds like a mix between the format on old WCIN-AM, which lost audience after Lincoln Ware jumped to "The Buzz" WDBZ-AM (1230) when it debuted in 2000.  The 1480 frequency now airs oldies WDJO-AM. Last year, "The Buzz" eliminated all local talk shows except Ware (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and switched to gospel music. It's now branded as "Praise 123, Cincinnati's Inspiration Station."

Cork envisions a station playing "classic R&B music, sports, informative talk shows, programs that give hope to the community, and features for veterans and other groups in need of guidance."

As in the glory days of WCIN-AM, one of the nation's first stations serving African-Americans, "entertainers who come to work in the city will seek further exposure at ClassicVibes1480CIN," he says.

Since he launched the online effort six weeks ago, on March 30, Cork has received only four donations for a total of $375 for his "Bringing Back Community Radio" campaign. Cork isn't concerned.

"I'm not disappointed. I know that this market is not a 'jump on it right away' type of environment," he says.

"I am in it for the long haul, and there are others who are donating outside of the GoFundMe site. I have breakfast with a number of guys who have pledged to contribute on an on-going basis.  The process is underway for non-profit status and with grants and the donations – and along with community oriented programming -- this popular means of communications should be, at the very least, successful."