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Jim LaBarbara Returns To Radio

Jim LaBarbara

Kids are back in school, and the Music Professor is back on the radio.

Jim LaBarbara, known as the Music Professor for nearly three decades on WLW-AM and WGRR-FM, now can be heard 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Classic Country WNKR-FM (106.7) and streamed  at 1067wnkr.

"I'm telling stories about those great songs and singers," says LaBarbara, who started Monday.

"It's a privilege to put Jim on the air. He has such a well-known voice," says WNKR-FM owner Jeff Ziesmann. "He's the Music Professor, not the Rock 'n' Roll Professor. He's gone out of his way to get to know country music. He has a tremendous amount of knowledge about all types of music."

Credit Provided by WNKR-FM

The Dry Ridge station, about 30 miles south of Cincinnati, reaches all of Northern Kentucky and most of Hamilton County's hilltops (Price Hill, Kenwood), Ziesmann says. It was founded in 1992, and moved to 106.7 from 106.5 about 10 years ago.

This is LaBarbara's second stint at the country station. He was there in 2007-09, after leaving WGRR-FM. The Pittsburgh native came to Cincinnati from Cleveland to do afternoons on WLW-AM (1969-1983), and then he worked 14 years at WGRR-FM (1993-2007), where Ziesmann was a salesman. LaBarbara also did a talk show on WCKY-AM.

Ziesmann met LaBarbara 40 years ago when he was a UC student in an announcing class taught by the DJ in the College-Conservatory of Music in the 1970s.

"I've never let him forget he gave me a B," Ziesmann says.

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.