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What's 'The Buzz?' WDBZ talk simulcast replaced on FM 101.5 with Hispanic music

WDBZ-AM (1230) premiered in August 2000 with Lincoln Ware's talk show.
Courtesy WDBZ-AM
WDBZ-AM (1230) premiered in August 2000 with Lincoln Ware's talk show.

"La Grande" becomes second Greater Cincinnati Hispanic music format 10 years after "La Mega" premiered in 2011.

Radio One removed "The Buzz" talk format simulcast from FM 101.5 Monday and replaced it with "La Grande," a Hispanic station with "a mix of regional Mexican and tropical music."

Longtime talk host Lincoln Ware continued to be heard on the WDBZ-AM's "1230 The Buzz," where he started the format 21 years ago by jumping from WCIN-AM.

"Let me give you the run down. 101.5 is now a Hispanic station," Ware told listeners shortly after starting his 10 a.m. show on 1230 AM and Facebook Live. "And so "The Buzz" will be back to where we started on 1230 AM."

Radio One – a division of Urban One, Inc., the nation's largest Black-owned distributor of urban content - announced Monday that with the launch here, La Grande "will join Radio One's Columbus and Indianapolis markets in providing advertising solutions for businesses to reach the African American and Hispanic and LatinX communities, all under one roof."

"Building on the success of our La Grande stations in Columbus and Indianapolis, we are thrilled to bring that same energy to the Queen City. We look forward to serving the Spanish-speaking communities of the Greater Cincinnati area with compelling content and focus on the diverse business needs," said Eddie Harrell, Jr., regional vice president of Radio One, in the release.

La Grande becomes the second Hispanic station in Greater Cincinnati. Oxford's old WOXY (97.7) debuted a La Mega format 10 years ago, on Nov. 15, 2011.

Dan Abercrombie, Radio One's vice president and general manager for hip-hop WIZF-FM (WIZ 101.1), R&B WOSL-FM (100.3) talk WDBZ-AM and La Grande (101.5), said in the release that his company now becomes "a centralized provider of content to African Americans and Spanish-speaking residents in our region and we will become a 'one-stop' provider of solutions for businesses looking to actively market their brands to these audiences."

The transition wasn't totally complete Monday. WDBZ-AM aired commercials mentioning "101.5 The Buzz" and both Ware and midday host Emanuel Livingston at least once identified their AM station by the FM frequency.

"This is the first day we're not on 101.5 with The Buzz after so many years," Livingston explained to listeners shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Ware assured listeners Monday that "The Buzz is not going anywhere. We will be here at 1230 AM." He also noted that some listeners had complained that 101.5 FM had poor reception north of the I-275 loop, and encouraged everyone to download the WDBZ app.

It's not been easy for Ware. In 2015, Radio One shut down all talk on 1230 AM – except Ware's show – and rebranded it as the "Praise 1230" gospel music format. It eventually reverted to talk.

Ware has been a Cincinnati area radio personality for nearly 50 years. He made his debut on WCIN-AM in March 1973, after being discharged from the U.S. Marines. He's also broadcast on WLW-AM and Middletown's old WPFB-FM.

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.