Elaine Diehl Leaves WNKU-FM Friday Morning For WGUC-FM
It turns out that radio was lots of fun, after all.
Elaine Diehl grew up in Price Hill not far from the old house on Considine Avenue where WEBN-FM was born. At age 13 or 14, she knocked on the door and asked if they needed help. She met Mary Peale, and volunteered there all summer. WEBN-FM's Mary Peale and Robin Wood were her role models.
So when it came time for college, Elaine Diehl enrolled at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to study broadcasting and learn how to be a DJ. Her dream was quickly dashed.
"CCM was all about television, so I left. I just wanted to be a DJ and spin cool music," says Diehl, who earned a theater degree from Xavier University's Edgecliff College.
She pursued a music career, rocking with her husband Jan in a popular local band called Elaine and the Biscaynes. She also sings with the Bromwell-Diehl Band, Lee’s Junction Big Band, and the Boutique jazz trio.
Her inner "radio geek" remained untapped until WNKU-FM's Pam Temple asked her to do some fill-in air shifts in 2008. She loved it. When morning man Craig Kopp took a job in Tampa in 2011, she took overmiddays. In March 2015, she moved to the 6-10 a.m. show, rising before dawn to drive from Green Township to the Northern Kentucky University campus in Highland Heights. Radio was so much fun that in recent years she also started filling in at Cincinnati Public Radio on WGUC-FM (90.9) and WVXU-FM (91.7).
Her radio career takes another twist Friday, when she leaves WNKU-FM's morning show to play classical music as WGUC-FM afternoon drive host. She takes the spot of Mark Perzel, who left in September to be closer to his North Carolina family. (He's still recording his 6-9 p.m. show.) She will do 4-6 p.m. the week of Nov. 28, then expand to 4-9 p.m. starting Dec. 5.
First she has to figure out how to say thanks and farewell to her WNKU-FM listeners.
"I don't do goodbye well. I say, 'We'll meet again.' I can get kind of weepy," she says.
She's decided that her signature wake-up feature – her "Soul Shake" song at 7:30 a.m. inspired by the station's King Records tribute a year ago – will actually be the song "Soul Shake," a 1970 recording by Delaney & Bonnie.
"I really haven't thought yet about signing off. I'm really thankful to everyone here," she says.
"I'm really very lucky to have had all these changes in my life. I did the rock 'n' roll thing, and had all these others jobs. I'm really very happy."
So is her husband Jan, a music teacher at Guardian Angels School on Beechmont Avenue.
"My husband is delighted that we can have coffee together again. By the time he gets up, I'm gone," she says.