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WHTD
WHTD-FM logo.png
City of license Mount Clemens, Michigan
Broadcast area [1]
Branding HOT 102-7
Slogan "Detroit's Home For The Hip-Hop Community"
Frequency 102.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date November 6, 1960
Format Urban Contemporary
ERP 50,000 watts
HAAT 152 meters
Class B
Facility ID 54915
Transmitter coordinates 42°32′39″N 82°54′9″W / 42.54417°N 82.9025°W / 42.54417; -82.9025
Callsign meaning HoT Detroit
Former callsigns WDMK (3/31/99-6/28/05)
WWBR (11/18/96-3/31/99)
WDZR (3/12/92-11/18/96)
WXCD (4/26/91-3/12/92)
WKSG (11/9/84-4/26/91)
WLBS (?-11/9/84)
WBRB-FM (11/6/60-?)
Owner Radio One
Sister stations WCHB, WDMK
Webcast Listen live
Website hothiphopdetroit.com

WHTD (102.7 FM, "HOT 102-7") is an Urban Contemporary music formatted radio station licensed to Mount Clemens, Michigan, and serving the Detroit metropolitan area. The station broadcasts with 50,000 watts of power from an antenna located near the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and Fourteen Mile Road in Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, and directs its signal mainly toward the north and east to avoid interfering with Country WWWW-FM 102.9 in Ann Arbor. Despite this strongly directional signal which has poor coverage in much of the western and southwestern Detroit metro (though the signal can be head as far north as Owen Sound, Ontario and Tawas City, Michigan) during clear days in the summer), 102.7 FM, has been through a multitude of failed formats since its sign-on in 1960, and is now enjoying its highest arbitron ratings in years.

WHTD is owned by Radio One along with WDMK-FM 105.9 and WCHB-AM 1200, and is also licensed for HD Radio service.

Contents

History

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WBRB-FM

What is now WHTD began life on November 6, 1960, as WBRB-FM, the FM simulcast side of WBRB-AM 1430, also licensed to Mount Clemens and owned by Malrite Communications. For years, WBRB ("Where Better Records Begin") was a full-service radio station targeting Macomb County with local and ABC news, weather and information and middle-of-the-road music. During non-simulcast dayparts, WBRB-FM aired Beautiful Music programming.

Eventually, ownership of the AM and FM portions of WBRB was separated, and Gilda Radner and her brother Michael took control of the AM station. WBRB-AM is no longer on the air, having degenerated into a brokered Motivational Talk station before falling silent in 1990.

WLBS/WKSG

In 1979, was sold to Inner City Broadcasting, owners of New York's legendary WBLS, switched to a disco format, and changed its calls to WLBS (complete with a logo similar to that of WBLS). The station evolved into urban contemporary by 1981, but success was limited due to the plethora of urban competitors in the market. The station changed to a "Rock of the '80s"-style new wave music format in 1983. During the "New wave" format, WLBS air personalities included now legendary San Diego radio man, Mike "Happy" Halloran, Jason Slaughter, Sergio Dean (of WBLS New York), Tim Dugan, Francis Tinsley and Gerald Mc Bride.

In August 1984, WLBS flipped from new wave to CHR/Top 40 using a format co-developed by consultant Lee Abrams. The station was a weak competitor of hit-music format leaders WCZY and WHYT, and so after only three months, the station changed its call letters to WKSG, Kiss 102.7, and adopted a 1950s-1970s oldies format called "Kiss of Gold" developed by veteran Detroit programmer Paul Christy. With broadcasters such as Christy, Johnny Molson, and Detroit radio legend Lee Alan (who hosted a syndicated show called Back in the '60s Again), and despite competition in the format from WHND-AM (560), WMTG-AM (1310), and CKLW-FM (93.9) in the late 1980s, WKSG did well until WOMC-FM 104.3 changed its format from Adult Contemporary to Oldies in 1989.

CD102.7/Z-Rock

In April 1991, WKSG became WXCD, "CD102.7, Detroit's Smooth Sounds," with a new age/smooth jazz format, which returned the format to the Detroit airwaves after 92.3 "The Wave" WVAE had changed to become WMXD in late 1989. The station's already-low ratings got even worse, and less than a year later, in March 1992, WXCD became WDZR, airing ABC Radio's satellite-fed Z-Rock format of hard rock and heavy metal. With a playlist that rocked harder than more established AOR outlets WRIF and WLLZ, WDZR achieved decent ratings for a time, but in 1996, ABC, having acquired the assets of Satellite Music Network, discontinued the Z-Rock format.

102.7 The Bear

In November 1996, WDZR changed its calls to WWBR, "102.7 The Bear, Detroit's Rock Animal," keeping the hard-rock format but transitioning to a local air staff with Ted Nugent as morning personality. "The Bear" eventually evolved into a "Classic Rock That Really Rocks" outlet to compete with softer-edged classic-rock competitor WCSX.

The end of "The Bear" came on January 16, 1999, following the station's sale from Allur Detroit to Radio One. At 6:33 p.m., after playing The Doors' "When The Music's Over" (the same song that ended the legendary 99.5 WABX rock format in 1984), the station went silent for nearly 20 minutes and then emerged as an Adult Contemporary station.

Kiss 102.7

The first song played was "Just Another Day" by Jon Secada, They also revived the "Kiss-FM" brand name as "the new 102.7 Kiss FM, with the best variety of light rock from the 80's, 90's and today". The station also picked up Delilah Rene's syndicated nightly request program. The station requested the new calls WKSK but went with WDMK ("Detroit Michigan's Kiss") after failing to secure its first choice. Then, in August 1999, WDMK shifted to an Urban Adult Contemporary format to compete with powerhouse WMXD-FM "Mix" 92.3, retaining the "Kiss" name. The fact that the mainstream AC format lasted only eight months led some to believe that Radio One had always planned to shift the station's format in an R&B direction and used the AC format as a smokescreen to catch WMXD off guard.

As "Kiss 102.7 Detroit's Adult R&B Station," WDMK remained low in the ratings until October 2002, when the station once again shifted format to Rhythmic Oldies and hired away longtime WJLB personality and Detroit Pistons announcer John Mason to do the morning show. The change brought 102.7 its highest ratings in years, and listeners also welcomed the musical shift to more "old school" R&B as opposed to current hits by neo-soul artists which could already be heard on other stations in the market.

Hot 102-7

On June 25, 2005, Radio One swapped the formats of WDMK and its hip-hop-formatted sister station WDTJ "105.9 Jamz." The WDMK calls and "old school" format were moved to 105.9, with the "old school" format evolving into a very gold-based Urban AC. Also making the switch was John Mason, who was switched to afternoon drive at the new "105.9 Kiss-FM" as the popular syndicated Tom Joyner morning show also moved to 105.9 from WMXD. 102.7 took on the urban mainstream format and the new calls WHTD.

In April 2009, WHTD dropped the "Detroit.com" from there moinker, and reverted back to just "Hot 102-7"

Hot102-7Detroit.com

On April 19, 2007, HOT 102-7 re-branded itself on the air as HOT1027Detroit.com while re-launching its website to focus merging newer interactive technologies with traditional radio. They, along with KBXX, were Radio One's first stations to re-brand themselves with a new corporate initiative. The station was among the first in Detroit to use text messaging for radio contests (text-to-win instead of call-in-to-win). They also added podcasting features, instant messaging to the on-air personality, live chats and other features to the website. Ratings remained roughly the same, but website traffic grew close to those of its competitors.

For a brief period in 2007, the station carried the syndicated afternoon show: The Wendy Williams Experience, and Wendy hosted her first Dons & Diva's party outside of metro-New York.

Hot 102-7 currently ranks at #17 (3.1) in the Detroit market according to the Holiday 2009 PPM Ratings release.

Summer Jamz

Since 1997, the station hosts Detroit's signature annual hip hop/R&B summer concert called Summer Jamz. At its peak as a free event during the first eight years, Summer Jamz attracted crowds of 20-30,000 people while located at Detroit's Hart Plaza. As a ticketed event in 2006, the event attracted over 15,000 at the Michigan State Fair. The 10th anniversary show in 2007, the station hosted hosted Summer Jamz in Pontiac, MI's, much smaller amphitheatre and played to a seated capacity crowd of nearly 4,000. The event is expected to return to Michigan State Fair's larger capacity venue for future shows.

Airstaff

The current lineup (as of January 11, 2010) Starting out the day on the morning drive is The Rickey Smiley Morning Show with Rickey Smiley, Ebony Steele, Headkrack, Gary “The T” Hayes, Sista Sondra, Rock T, Karl “Special K” Douglas and Juicy. Next from 10am-2pm its Paigion. On the ride home from 2pm-7pm its Buckie Naked Radio with Big Greg. Wrapping up the day on nights from 7pm-12am is Jordan "Shorty" Johnston.

Other notable on mondays overnights from 12am-6am is Ike Love. Weekend's/Fill-ins include A.P, Fantasee Blu, Ms. Cryss, Ike Love and Kontact. The Hot 102-7 Mixx Mob includes DJ Gary Chandler. WHTD Program Director is John Candelaria.

Sources

  • Michiguide.com - WHTD History
  • WLBS Kissed by Gold: Detroit's WKSG Focuses on Local Color by Moira McCormick, Billboard magazine, November 17, 1984

External links


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