• Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

‘Call-To-Action’ talk host Lincoln Ware marks 50 years on Cincinnati radio

Inside Radio

Used with permission

In the Cincinnati market, there are long-running air personalities, and then there’s Lincoln Ware.

Ware, who turns 73 in April, currently hosts middays at Urban One talk “The Buzz” WDBZ (1230), where he’s been for the past 23 of his 50 years on air in the Queen City. The station will celebrate Ware’s “radioversary” with a free concert at Lawrenceburg, IN’s Hollywood Casino April 15th.

Ware began his radio career in 1973, playing music on WCIN-AM, Cincinnati’s first station targeting a Black audience. Over the next two decades, he moved gradually from music to talk, bringing up local topics between songs and inviting listeners to call in with their opinions.

Ware’s local talk show for the Black community went from just one to four hours daily, booking high-profile guests such as former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters. With broadcasts called “Taking It to the Streets with Lincoln Ware,” the show came out of the studio and into the community.

In 2000, Ware and Reece moved the show to The Buzz, where he’s been ever since, while also hosting the public affairs show “Cincinnati Issues” on WSTR-TV since 2010.

“Lincoln’s significance can’t be measured or overstated in terms of what he means to this community and to his listenership,” says talk host Nathan Ivey, whose show preceded or followed Ware’s on The Buzz for 11 years. “His show allows you to plug into a world where you have a Black man talking from a Black perspective about things Black people care about. That’s big. A lot of hosts talk too much, and they talk over guests and callers, but with Lincoln, people can call in and talk and be heard.”

Ware acknowledges the importance of giving every caller air time. “I do try to let them talk because many who call in feel like nobody is listening to them or cares about what they have to say,” he says, “so on my show, we give them that outlet.”

In addition to The Buzz’s celebration of his 50 years, Ware will also receive a special place of recognition on Cincinnati’s Black Wall of Fame, saluting the city’s music legends, during its grand opening in July. “A lot of these songs from the Black music legends we are celebrating, Lincoln broke first on his show,” Reece says. “He got their records on the air. He got the song before the song became big.”

Asked how much longer he plans to keep going on the airwaves, Ware says, “Maybe a couple more years. As long as I’m feeling ok, and I don’t regret going in to work, and I can still think fast enough to do the show. Right now, I enjoy going to work. When the day comes I don’t enjoy it, then I know it’s time to leave.”