John London

Courtesy WUBE-FM

Fifty years ago today, WUBE made the risky decision to drop Top 40 rock 'n' roll hits and play what was called "country western music."

The gamble sure paid off, despite low ratings in the 1970s before the country music boom of the 1980s fueled by Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and other stars. For most of the past 25 years, the station has been in the top five here.

Courtesy WKRC-TV

UPDATE AT 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28:  Jeff Hirsh's coworkers praise him for being able to do it all. And he did.

In 40 years of Cincinnati television – 21 years at WKRC-TV after 19 years at WLWT-TV – he did breaking news; features; live shots; taped packages; stories about long, tedious court trials and complicated government issues; and wrote and produced several one-hour documentaries.