Friday, October 24, 2014

I Remember Fred Bennignus

Some characters are so obscure I have trouble nailing down even the most basic of details. Different sources spell his surname with either two or three Ns. In 1983 Lawrence J Flynn published a book about 91.7 WVXU-FM titled Evolution Of A Public Radio Station. It includes one key sentence about Bennigus.
"Fred Bennignus, after seven years with WGUC, brought CAMP MEETING to WVXU in mid- September, for the Thursday 7:30 p.m. slot. Uncle Fred still continues to entertain with old recordings and a personalized humor."
Later short references confirmed he was on the station as late as 1982. In the minutes of a 1976 Raymond Walters College Convocation Committee meeting minutes someone suggests Mr. Bennignus interview a faculty member on WGUC. The Oct 1978 issue of Cincinnati Magazine notes his move from WGUC to WVXU. His new slot on Thursdays at 7:30 PM playing "old records."

In a 1982 report the Cincinnati Historical Society wrote "...the Fred Bennignus "I Remember Radio" collection documents early radio locally and nationally."   So even 30 years ago his legacy held enough local recognition for an exhibit to bear his name.

So the sum of what we know about Fred Bennignus is that he was on 90.9 WGUC prior to 1976. If we believe Lawrence Flynn's math then he debuted there around 1971, then moved to WVXU in 1978, staying at least until 1982. Both stations are non-coms. WGUC was then owned by the University of Cincinnati, now by Cincinnati Public Radio. WVXU was owned by Xavier University at the time. Presently they too are property of Cincinnati Public Radio.Why Fred crossed the street we may never know.