Episode 77: Aaron Sharpe, Kindred Radio Spirit

Aaron Sharpe never listened to 97X… but he wore many hats at WNKU-FM, a station that picked up the mantle from 97X/woxy.com in being a free-spirited, adventurous, community-oriented radio station that introduced many to music they couldn’t hear elsewhere — including plenty of local artists. Unfortunately, WNKU suffered a similar fate to 97X, signing off for good in September of 2017 after the station was sold.

In this episode, Aaron talks about how he got involved at WNKU-FM, the bittersweet ending, and what he’s up to now.

Many saw WNKU carrying the torch for Oxford’s much-beloved WOXY, which transitioned from the radio to the internet in 2004 and ceased altogether in 2010. 

“Today is a moment of deja vu and reliving the same end that came to WOXY many years before this day,” wrote listener Michelle Voss on WNKU’s Facebook page Thursday.  “It’s such a shame that all WNKU has stood for and stood with, is to be removed from existence.”

From this Sept. 28, 2017 article from Scott Wartman on Cincinnati.com
Photo credit: Scott Beseler, in this Soapbox Cincinnati article.

Similar to Steve Baker’s iconic sign-off at 97X in 2004, Aaron was on the mic when WNKU-FM went off the air. You can watch the very moving final minutes of the station from the Facebook Live broadcast here: https://fb.watch/bp_9zdTJrO/

CincyMusic.com published the playlist of the final day’s broadcast… 97X fans will recognize most, if not all, of the artists on the list. CincyMusic also created this Spotify playlist of the songs:

97X alums Dan Reed, Barb Abney and Matt Sledge all spent time at WNKU-FM.

Why yes, that is Barb Abney at the far left (of the dial)

Several WNKU-FM alums shared their favorite station memories in this WVXU article from 2017.

Aaron is now the co-owner of Lucius Q, a barbecue restaurant in the Pendleton neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Photo credit: Polly Campbell

And he’s also the official DJ for the Cincinnati Reds.

Along with a few other side hustles:

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