All-Elvis Radio Format Lasted 54 Weeks

Aug 16, 2015

Elvis Presley in 1970.
Credit Wikipedia

On this day in TV Kiese History….

Aug. 16, 1989:  Owners of WCVG-AM (1320) killed Elvis – the nation’s first all Elvis Presley radio format – on the 12th anniversary of Presley’s death.

The tiny Covington country music station had brought Elvis songs to the radio on Aug. 1, 1988, shortly after published reports of Elvis sightings at a Burger King in Kalamazoo, Mich.

For 54 weeks, “The Elvis Station” aired 632 Presley recordings.

“We stretched it out long enough. It made money the first few months, and that was about it. Then it just died,” program director Mike Monhollen told me back then.

Cincinnati’s all-Elvis station made headlines in People, Rolling Stone, USA Today, the New York Times, Variety and Newsweek. But it failed to make it into one crucial publication – the local radio ratings.

Promotional hat from "The Elvis Station"
Credit John Kiesewetter

The King’s radio reign here ended when a WCVG-AM employee swung a fire axe outside the Milford studio and severed the coaxial cable to the antenna in Covington. (Don’t be cruel!) The station immediately switched to the Denver-based Business Radio Network.

The country station started in 1965 as WCLU-AM, or “Big CLU Country.” In 2006, it broadcast an Spanish language format for several years, before switching to an urban gospel format.

Family-owned Great Lakes Radio in 2010 purchased WGVG-AM, now called "Cincinnati’s Voice of Gospel.

Elvis died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis, Tenn. He was 42.