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WUBE's Duke Hamilton to Retire After 50-year Career


Duke Hamilton
Duke Hamilton

WUBE Midday Host, Duke Hamilton, has announced he will retire after a near-50-year career in radio. Thursday, July 2, will be his last day on the air.

At the age of 18, on August 23, 1970, Duke began his radio journey at a country music station in Bowling Green, Mo.-50 miles across the state from his hometown in Josephville. To put it mildly, he caught the radio bug. After being drafted into the Army in 1971, he went on to work for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services in the Panama Canal Zone. While still serving our country, in 1973, Uncle Sam moved him to St. Louis where he worked for an adult contemporary radio station. From there, Duke got back into country radio for good with a two-year stint in Little Rock, Ark.

The Rock's loss was The Queen City's gain. Duke landed at WUBE in December 1977and has held a myriad of positions since, including on-air shifts in mornings, middays and afternoons. He has also held titles as Program Director and Music Director.

When asked about the changes he's seen in the world of broadcasting, Duke is quick to note the technological advances not only in the medium, but in society as well. His time in radio has spanned vinyl records to digital playlists and telephones with a cord to a mobile device in everyone's pocket. He has also seen the vast changes in the format of country radio. He started when Outlaw Country broke in and went on to experience shifts to the Urban Cowboy phase; the Garth and Shania 90s explosion phase; to today's more contemporary phase. One of his biggest joys is being able to witness and be a part of countless country music artists' rises to fame.

When a career carries through six decades, it's impossible for Duke to list all the highlights he's experienced-except for one that stands out the most. He was honored to be inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 2003.

"Cincinnati is a great radio town," said Duke. "I could've moved on to bigger markets, but I loved it here too much to move. I've been very fortune to work for great management, and the fans have been absolutely the best. It's just the right time to hang up the headphones."

In his retirement, Duke plans to travel as well as catch up on all the chores awaiting him on the Falmouth farm he has owned with his wife, Barbara, since 1981.

"Duke is a true country gentleman," said Mike Fredrick, Vice President / Market Manager of Hubbard Cincinnati. "The longevity of his career is a true reflection of his character. I worked with Duke for almost two decades and never saw Duke have a bad day. The way he always treated his listeners and coworkers reflect the kindness and goodness in his heart. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Duke!"

"There has always been one phrase when I describe Duke to someone: God broke the mold when he made him," said Patti Marshall, Operations Manager of Hubbard Cincinnati. "I have never met anyone like him. His generous heart and spirit are on full display no matter who he is talking to."

"Duke Hamilton is the epitome of what everyone aspires to be getting into radio," added Grover Collins, WUBE Program Director. "First and foremost, a tremendous on-air talent, no ego, a wonderful coworker and, more importantly, a friend to myself and many others at WUBE for years. It cannot be understated the mark he left on this radio station and the many people that have come through our studios and worked with him over the years. The word ‘Legend' is almost not a strong enough word for what Duke means to us and the station after 42+ years of on-air service and dedication."

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