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After 50 years, Lincoln Ware gets first Marconi Award nomination

Lincoln Ware
Lincoln Ware

For most of his career, Lincoln Ware has been the voice of Greater Cincinnati's Black community as a talk show host at a couple of radio stations — WDBZ-AM and WCIN-AM — with signals that don't reach the entire region.

The internet and digital communications has changed that in the past 20 years.

And so the National Association of Broadcasters, based in Washington D.C., has finally heard of Ware and named him a nominee for a prestigious Marconi Award for radio excellence as a "large market personality of the year."

"I never thought it would happen working at a small AM station," says Ware, who celebrated his 50th anniversary on Cincinnati radio in March. "But with apps, the internet and Facebook Live it makes the station and the personality larger."

Two other Cincinnati stations also received nominations for Marconi Awards, to be presented Oct. 25 during the NAB Show in New York. WLW-AM is up for "legendary station of the rear," an award presented to sister iHeartMedia station WEBN-FM in 2000. Hubbard's WKRQ-FM was nominated for large market station of the year for a second straight year.

Ware has been the face and voice of "The Buzz" (WDBZ-AM) since the station started in 2000. He began his career on WCIN-AM in March 1973 after being discharged from the U.S. Marines. He did three stints on WCIN around working overnights on WLW-AM; hosting music on Middletown's WPFB-FM; and working at WIZF-FM.

"I am so excited for Lincoln being nominated for a Marconi Award," says Dan Abercrombie, vice president and general manager of WDBZ-AM and Radio One's other Cincinnati outlets, hip-hop WIZF-FM (WIZ 101.1), R&B WOSL-FM (100.3) and La Grande (101.5). "I'm sure he would have loved it any time in his career, but for it to happen this year while he has been celebrating his 50th year in the radio industry is truly special.

"The impact he has not only had in our industry but the impact he has had for decades in the local community here in Cincinnati is remarkable, and I couldn't be happier for this to happen to him for the first time in his illustrious career," Abercrombie tells me.

Ware's competition for large market personality of the year includes Chris Carr, the former WUBE-FM morning host now working KEEY-FM in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and DJs at stations in San Antonio and Fort Lauderdale.

Up for legendary station of the year with WLW-AM are WABC-AM in New York; KCBS-AM, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; and WDAS-FM and WMMR-FM in Philadelphia.

Large market station of the year nominees are Q102, KMOX-AM, St. Louis; KQMT-FM, Denver; KSTP-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul; and WHYI-FM, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.

See thefull list here.

Last year, WGRR-FM's Chris O'Brien and Janeen Coyle won the Marconi Award for large market personality of the year. WGRR-FM has aired their Married with Microphones morning show for 28 years.

Marconi Award nominees last year included WKRQ-FM for large market station of the year; WLW-AM for news/talk station of the year; WUBE-FM for country station of the year; and Dayton's WHKO-FM for country station of the year and its Nancy Wilson and Woody team nominated for medium market personality of the year.

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.