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WHHL
CityHazelwood, Missouri
Broadcast areaGreater St. Louis
Frequency104.1 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingHot 104.1
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatUrban contemporary
Ownership
OwnerAudacy, Inc.
(Audacy License, LLC)
History
First air date
1978 (1978)
Former call signs
WJBM-FM (1978–85)
WKKX (1985–94)
WKBQ-FM (1994–97)
WALC (1997–98)
WXTM-FM (1998–2000)
WMLL (2000–04)
WRDA (2004–05)
Call sign meaning
Where Hip-Hop Lives!
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
ClassC2
ERP50,000 watts
HAAT140 meters (460 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
38°39′07″N 90°17′02″W / 38.652°N 90.284°W / 38.652; -90.284
Translator(s)101.5 K268CT (St. Peters)
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
WebcastListen live (via Audacy)
Websitewww.audacy.com/hot1041

WHHL, known as "HOT 104.1", is an urban contemporary radio station serving the St. Louis area. The station is owned by Audacy, Inc.. WHHL broadcasts at 104.1 MHz with an ERP of 50 kW and is licensed to Hazelwood, Missouri. Its transmitter is located in St. Louis, just outside Forest Park, and operates from offices and studios located on Olive Street in Downtown St. Louis.

History

The station signed on in 1978 as WJBM-FM, airing a full service country format targeting the more Northern areas of the St. Louis metropolitan area, as well as the Metro East area, with its city of license being Jerseyville. The station's transmitter at the time was located north of the city (near Jerseyville), which was a partial hindrance to any chance for success in the market for the next 212 decades, despite later moving to a tower on Douglas Road in Florissant. They began targeting St. Louis in September 1985 as country music station WKKX ("Kix 104 FM"), and owned by Shelly Davis' Gateway Radio Partners. Zimmer Broadcasting bought the station out of bankruptcy in July 1991.[1] On January 20, 1994, WKKX would swap frequencies with Top 40/CHR-formatted WKBQ-FM, with WKKX moving to 106.5 FM, and WKBQ-FM moving to 104.1 FM, and rebranding as "Q104". (WKBQ's simulcast on 1380 AM would continue with the swap.)[2][3]

WKBQ-FM was also the FM home for St. Louis morning team “Steve & DC” after one of the most significant stories/controversies in St. Louis radio history in the summer of 1993. The popular duo announced on January 6, 1994 that they would return on January 20 to “Q104” at a downtown press conference carried live on Channels 2, 4, 5 and 30 (the Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates, respectively) with reporters from all major newspapers and magazines present as well.[4][5] Emmis Communications bought the station in November 1996, for $42.5 million.

WHHL transmitting tower
WHHL transmitting tower

On January 24, 1997, the Top 40/CHR format was dropped for Modern AC as WALC, "Alice 104.1".[6][7][8] On June 25, 1998, at 3 p.m., WALC flipped to active rock as "Extreme Radio 104.1" and the WXTM-FM call letters (which were adopted July 15, 1998).[9] WXTM was the original St. Louis affiliate of The Howard Stern Show. On September 24, 2000, at 2 p.m., after playing "Fade to Black" by Metallica, and after Emmis purchased KPNT (and moved Stern to that station), WXTM flipped to All-80s Hits as WMLL ("104.1 The Mall").[10][11][12] The format would later evolve into a 80s/90s hits format, and would be the home of popular morning DJ's Steve & DC. On November 20, 2003, at Midnight, WMLL began stunting with Christmas music; on December 25, the stunting changed to a "wheel of formats" by playing music from any given genre, as well as old airchecks from past formats on the frequency.[13][14]

At noon on January 8, 2004, the stunting stopped and the station flipped to an Adult Standards format as WRDA, "Red @ 104.1". The first songs on "Red" were "My Kind of Town" and "The Lady is a Tramp", both by Frank Sinatra.[15][16][17][18][19] The station specialized in "Music with Class" as they called it, playing classic standards singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bobby Darin, along with more modern 'crooners' such as Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé. In September 2005, after 18 months of subpar ratings and low advertising revenues, Emmis announced they would sell WRDA to Radio One, for $20 million. The station flipped to its current urban contemporary format as "Hot 104.1" on October 1, 2005 at Midnight. The first song on "Hot" was "Play" by David Banner.[20][21] The call letters would change to WHHL on November 24, 2005. Radio One would take full possession of the station in 2006 after running it under a local marketing agreement from Emmis. The station's signal problems were finally solved in 2008, when it changed its city of license to Hazelwood and relocated its transmitter to a site on DeBaliviere Avenue in the city of St. Louis, giving the station full market coverage.

WHHL transmitter building
WHHL transmitter building

On November 5, 2020, Urban One announced that it would swap WHHL, the intellectual property of WFUN-FM, and two other stations in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. to Entercom, in exchange for its Charlotte, North Carolina stations. Entercom took over the station under a local marketing agreement on November 23. The swap was consummated on April 20, 2021.[22]

References

  1. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1991/RR-1991-07-12.pdf
  2. ^ Stark, Phyllis (January 15, 1994). "Vox Jox". Billboard. 106 (3): 64.
  3. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1994/RR-1994-01-07.pdf
  4. ^ Stark, Phyllis (January 15, 1994). "Vox Jox". Billboard. 106 (3): 64.
  5. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1994/RR-1994-01-07.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1997/RR-1997-01-31.pdf
  7. ^ Alice 104.1 TV Commercial
  8. ^ Alice 104.1 St. Louis Fall 1997 Composite
  9. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1998/RR-1998-07-03.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/2000s/2000/RR-2000-09-29.pdf
  11. ^ Death of a Format; Remodeling of St. Louis' radio dial - September 20, 2000
  12. ^ WMLL "104.1 The Mall" Jerseyville IL/St. Louis - Tony Columbo - May 11, 2001
  13. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/st-louis-1041-fm-flips-to-all-christmas-music-all-the-time-long-time-morning-show-steve--dc-to-exit-73103307.html
  14. ^ HighBeam
  15. ^ '80s Hits WMLL Flips to Standards 'Red 104.1' WRDA
  16. ^ Emmis rolls out new WMLL format Thursday
  17. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/2000s/2004/RR-2004-01-16.pdf
  18. ^ First Look: "Modern Standards" Red 104/St. Louis
  19. ^ Red 104.1 Radio Station Commercial [2004, St. Louis, Missouri
  20. ^ Emmis Announces Sale of St. Louis' "Red" to Radio One
  21. ^ WRDA Becomes Hot 104.1
  22. ^ "Entercom To Swap Charlotte Stations To Radio One For WPHI, WTEM and St. Louis Duo". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2020-11-14.