In August 1968, WXIX-TV, Channel 19 became Cincinnati's first independent television station. Although it first broadcast from a small studio in Queensgate, the station spent 25 years in Woodlawn before coming home to downtown and the renovated Harriett Beecher Stowe School, now known as 19 Broadcast Plaza.
Early programming included off-network shows like "Gomer Pyle," "Bewitched," and "The Flintstones." Throughout the 1970's, "Larry Smith's Puppets" and "The Cool Ghoul" kept area youngsters entertained, and the 80's brought original, award-winning specials like "It's a Jungle Out There," "Kingdom of Sweets," and "A Christmas Carol: The Radio Drama."
Before MTV and ESPN, the station broke new ground as an innovator in music video and sports productions too, including "Disco Sensations," pyrotechnics set-to-music on "The WEBN Riverfest Fireworks" and Emmy-winning Bearcat Basketball coverage, an association it has enjoyed with the University of Cincinnati since 1980.
The first local station to broadcast in stereo, 19XIX celebrated another first when it changed to Fox19 and became a charter affiliate of the "fourth network" in October 1986. Seven years later, Cincinnati's first and only Ten O'Clock News premiered and was so successful, it expanded to an hour in January 1996.
"19 in the Morning," Cincinnati's only all-local weekday program from 7-9 a.m., was launched nine months later. In June of 1997, "19News Midday" followed at 11:30 a.m. and a year later, the morning show expanded to include 6-7 a.m. with "19News First Look."
Fox19 ownership has only changed hands three times in its Overview, including the September 1998 sale to Raycom Media, Inc.