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WKRC’s Quiz Bowl

March 26, 2013

A photo from the set of WKRC's Quiz Bowl, a sports trivia radio program that ran in the 1940s

Cincinnati radio listeners of the 1980s, '90s and '00s fondly remember the daily sports segment “Sports or Consequences” on Gary Burbank's WLW program. But did you know Cincinnati was a pioneer in sports quizzing on radio?

Back in 1940, a year after the Taft family purchased WKRC, several sports' minded staff members created a weekly quiz program called the “Quiz Bowl.” Staff announcer Dave Ward was the host and longtime broadcaster Syd Cornell was the Quizmaster, who would throw out a variety of interesting, often tough, questions to the panel of sports “experts.” Among the regulars were former Chicago Bear kicker Dick Nesbitt, Cincinnati Times-Star sports reporter Charlie O'Conner and legendary referee/umpire Dan Tehan. The program was so popular, WKRC had to broadcast from the ballroom of the Hotel Alms in order to accommodate the audience. In fact, it received national acclaim when “Quiz Bowl” won the prestigious J. Taylor Spink award from Sporting News for Outstanding National Studio Sports Program of 1941. Eventually, the clock ran out on the program but Nesbitt continued on air as Waite Hoyt's sidekick during Reds games through the mid-1940s and Tehan was the Hamilton County Sheriff from 1949 until 1969.

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