The story of one of Cleveland’s most popular and influential radio stations
Before FM radio and the commanding album rock stations of the 1970s, there was WIXY 1260, a tiny Northeast Ohio AM radio station that became an entertainment powerhouse. Three visionaries assembled a legendary staff of on-air personalities and, with savvy programming and groundbreaking promotions, created WIXY 1260—a station that would become synonymous with 1960s pop culture. A Midwest juggernaut, WIXY aired everything from surf and Motown to country and the British Invasion. Crossing cultural and generational lines in one of the hottest radio markets in the country, it regularly took in more than fifty percent of the Greater Cleveland audience.
Bob Weiss, Norman Wain, and Joe Zingale knew the kind of radio Cleveland wanted to hear. They also knew how to market that sound to make it a lifestyle. They bought a small station with a weak signal and renamed it WIXY, and it wasn’t long before their competition fell by the wayside. Mike Olszewski and Richard Berg spin a lively tale of popular culture that will appeal to everyone from baby boomers to media scholars and cultural historians.
“Through extensive interviews with insiders, the authors chronicle WIXY’s relatively brief yet exciting run and how the station came to dominate the airwaves in the ’60s and ’70s with a winning combination of tastemaking playlists, unforgettable on-air personalities, and outlandish promotions. It’s a fun story, recounted with ample humor.” —John Soeder, Music Critic, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
About the Author
Mike Olszewski is a veteran radio and television personality, historian, and educator. He is best known for his work at WMMS-FM and has written several books concerning the history of Northeast Ohio broadcasting. Along with many regional and national broadcasting awards, Mike won a 2009 Emmy for his TV documentary Radio Daze: Cleveland’s FM Air Wars. Along with his broadcasting career, he also teaches media and communication courses at Kent State University, Notre Dame College, and the University of Akron. Mike and his wife, Janice, live in Aurora, Ohio.
Richard Berg is a longtime media historian and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on Northeast Ohio radio. Richard’s firsthand knowledge comes from close relationships he has established with some of the biggest names in the industry. He’s currently working on extensive projects concerning the history of Akron radio and Cleveland’s KYW/WKYC-AM.
Carlo Wolff, a journalist and pop culture historian living in South Euclid, Ohio, is the author of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories: True and Tall Tales of the Glory Days, Told by Musicians, DJs, Promoters, and Fans Who Made the Scene in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.