WKBN AM logo.png
Broadcast areaYoungstown metropolitan area
Frequency570 kHz
BrandingNewsradio 570 WKBN
FormatTalk radio
AffiliationsPremiere Networks
ABC News Radio
Cleveland Guardians Radio Network
First air date
September 26, 1926; 95 years ago (1926-09-26)
Technical information
Facility ID70519
Power5,000 watts

WKBN (570 AM) is a commercial radio station in Youngstown, Ohio. It has a talk radio format and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. The studios and offices are on South Avenue in Youngstown.[1]

WKBN is powered at 5,000 watts. By day, it has a non-directional signal covering Northeast Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and a section of West Virginia. At night, it uses a six-tower array directional antenna to protect other stations on 570 AM. The transmitter is on East Western Reserve Road at Beard Road in Poland, Ohio.[2]


WKBN has two local talk hosts on weekdays, Dan Rivers in late mornings and Ron Verb during afternoon drive time. The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated conservative talk shows, mostly from co-owned Premiere Networks. They include Sean Hannity, Joe Pags, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal.

On weekends, specialty programs on money, health, home improvement, technology, cars, veterans, real estate and the outdoors are heard, as well as repeats of weekday shows. Weekend syndicated shows include At Home with Gary Sullivan, Leo Laporte The Tech Guy, The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman, Somewhere in Time with Art Bell and Sunday Night Live with Bill Cunningham. Some weekend hours are paid brokered programming. Most hours begin with world and national news from ABC News Radio. The station also carries games for the Cleveland Guardians baseball team and Youngstown State Penguins football and basketball.


Early years

The station was founded in 1926 by Warren P. Williamson, Jr. (1900–1996). It is Youngstown's oldest continuing operating radio station, signing on the air on September 26, 1926. It originally broadcast on 1400 kilocycles at 50 watts.

The studios were in the basement of Williamson's home, but by the following year operations had moved to studios in the YMCA Building in downtown Youngstown. The license was held by the Radio Electric Service Co., and later WKBN Broadcasting Corporation. With the implementation of the FRC's General Order 40 on November 11, 1928, the station moved 570 kHz where it remains today.

CBS programming

Shortly after WKBN's launch, the station became a charter affiliate of the newly formed CBS Radio Network, a partnership that would last until the end of the century. WKBN carried CBS's schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio." For many years, WKBN was one of only two radio stations licensed to Youngstown. (WFMJ, now WNIO, signed on in 1939.) The station also broadcast some shows on Radio Luxembourg to American troops in Europe during World War II.

On February 8, 1943, Alan Freed started his early radio career on WKBN. He later went on to a career as a noted rock and roll disc jockey.

MOR and talk

As network programming moved to TV from radio in the 1950s, WKBN switched from CBS shows to a middle of the road format of popular music, news, sports and talk. As listeners increasingly tuned to FM for music, WKBN added more talk programming. By the 1990s, the music shows had ended as WKBN transitioned to all talk, with frequent news updates and sports coverage.

FM and TV stations

Warren Williamson started 98.9 WKBN-FM in 1948. At first, it simulcast the same programming as the AM station. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it carried an automated beautiful music format. The FM station is now adult contemporary WMXY.

He also started WKBN-TV in 1953, which became a predominantly CBS-TV affiliate in part due to the AM station's long history with the radio network. WKBN-TV to this day has retained the CBS-TV affiliation. In 1997, the TV station was sold to Gocom, while WKBN-AM-FM would later be sold to a different owner.

Changes in ownership

On January 22, 1999, the Williamson family sold WKBN and WKBN-FM to Jacor Communications, ending 73 years of family ownership. Jacor, however, did not own the stations very long.

On April 29, 1999, Clear Channel Communications completed its $6.5 billion purchase of Jacor and its 454 stations, including WKBN and WKBN-FM. In September 2014, Clear Channel Communications became iHeartMedia, Inc.[3]

Former staff members


  1. ^ 570WKBN.com/contact
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WKBN
  3. ^ Celebrating 90 years, WKBN Radio isn't going anywhere - WKBN-TV
  4. ^ "Jack Berch, Young Veteran Of Air, All-Around Artist". Texas, Paris. The Paris News. May 21, 1939. p. 15. Retrieved December 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ Dunning, John (1998). "The Jack Berch Show". On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-09-11. The Jack berch Show, variety.

Coordinates: 40°59′06″N 80°36′00″W / 40.98500°N 80.60000°W / 40.98500; -80.60000