Cucinello began hosting the "Francene Show" on WHAS-AM in Louisville in 2003 and occasionally used her program to challenge the viewpoints of guest politicians and other newsmakers, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear remembered Cucinello, who died Friday after being stricken earlier in the week, as an "open and honest" woman.
"People felt like they knew Francene because she was so open and honest, and her death is a terrible blow to the community. She was savvy, warm, whip-smart and compassionate," Beshear said.
"Francene never minced words and frankly, she made me a better public servant," Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway offered.
The Enquirer said Cucinello, whose survivors were not reported, also took part in TV ventures in Maryland, Ohio and Tennessee.