It was 40 years ago that “Bo” Wood taught the band to play. Or more to the point, it’s when Wood first turned his dad’s classical music station, WEBN, into a rock ‘n’ roll dynasty.
Call it what you will: 102.7 FM. The Frog. The Lunatic Fringe of American FM radio. Or just those crazy folks who throw the ‘EBN fireworks bash every Labor Day.
WEBN has been a part of the Cincinnati radio culture for so long now that its on-air talent is legendary. From the Dawn Patrol’s Robin Wood (who now shepherds a new business, Robin Wood Flowers) to Eddie Fingers, Jay Gilbert, Jerry Galvin, Rick Bird, and, oh yes, Wild Man Walker and Bob the Producer, the creative juices that have flowed through the FM airwaves have given Cincinnati some of its most outrageous mythology. Who can forget Plummet Mall. Or Negative Calorie Cookies. Or Brute Force Cybernetics and the April Fool’s Day Parade. If these phrases aren’t part of your nomenclature, then you probably didn’t grow up in Cincy during the 1960s and ‘70s.
From its humble Price Hill origins (otherwise known as “Frog Mountain,” which would later be traded for Hyde Park Square, then Mount Adams and, finally, suburban Kenwood), WEBN might best be legendary in the minds of longtime locals for Frank “Bo” Woods’ own broadcast, The Jelly Pudding Show. The three-hour late night program on Saturdays devoted itself to airing “out there” rock tunes that weren’t getting airplay on the standard Top 40 stations. Wood oversaw the show as primary disc jockey (remember when they were really record discs?), playing obscure cuts from outlandish albums under the air name of “Michael Xanadu.”
“There wasn’t a whole lot of music at the time on Top 40,” Wood says now. “You couldn’t hear Bob Dylan or the Blues Project or Pink Floyd. The Doors had maybe one hit (on Top 40).”
A lot of time has gone under the bridge for Wood, who was just named to the board of the Tribune Company by owner Sam Zell (who also hired another local radio guy, Randy Michaels, to help run the Chicago media conglomerate). A University of Chicago Law School graduate, Wood also found time along the way to publish the national Tracks music magazine after selling WEBN to Jacor Communications (later Clear Channel Communications) in 1986.
Add to this sonic resume that Wood is the chief executive officer of Secret Communications, a Cincinnati-based venture capital company, and he’s chairman of 8e6 Technologies, an internet filtering firm. All told, he brings a multi-disciplined background to the Tribune Company, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other dailies: “It’s an opportunity because the newspaper industry is so broken. But I can’t believe it can’t be fixed, if morning newspapers can just remember they are the biggest brand name in town. I don’t think publishers always think that way, about being a brand.”
Like the newspaper industry, the music business has changed, evolved as it were, along the decades, bopping from 8-tracks to CDs. Now there are i-Pods, internet live streams, and MP3s. These days, even The Jelly Pudding Show has switched identities, airing Sunday evenings on WOFX 92.5 FM with host Mary Peale. (She still spins vinyl tunes by “Lothar and the Hand People,” “The Joy of Cooking” and other classic bands, from 6 to 9 p.m.)
“Keep in mind that cars didn’t have FM radios until the mid-’70s,” reflects Wood of his pioneering radio days. “Before that, it was a very expensive option. But we gave drivers the reason to want it, the music, and a need always drives the technology.”

In a word: Ribbit!