Infobox Radio station
name = WJZE
city = Oak Harbor /
September 18, 1993
frequency = 97.3 (MHz)
erp = 3800
class = A
owner = Urban Radio Broadcasting
website = Onesource|date=December 2007
WJZE (Hot 97-3) is an
Urban Contemporarystation serving the Toledo area in Ohio USA. The Urban Radio Licenses, LLC outlet broadcasts at 97.3 MHz with an ERP of 3,000 Watts and is licensed to Oak Harbor, Ohio.
97.3 FM signed on September 18, 1993 with a
Smooth Jazzformat known as "Jazzy 97" and the WJZE calls. (The station was assigned the calls WFUA originally but never used those call letters.) The station was owned by Daniel Haslinger.
In the spring of 1996 cross-town station
WXKR94.5 FM, in a shocking move, dropped its popular classic rockformat for an Adult Album Alternativeformat. This left Toledo without a classic rock station, so in turn WJZE dropped smooth jazz for a classic rock format in early 1997. The station billed itself simply as "Classic rock 97.3 WJZE".
The then-owners of WBUZ 106.5 ran the classic rock station but only leased WJZE. Many times listeners could hear the DJ's from 106.5 on classic rock 97.3.
The station was successful at first due to popular on-air personalities such as Rick "The Hippie" Wilder & Jason Thompson, but it was to be short-lived. On February 2, 1998, WXKR changed its format back to classic rock. With WXKR's 30,000-watt signal versus WJZE's 1600 watts, by summer of 1998 the ratings for WJZE had tanked. It was clear WXKR could not be beaten. In addition, co-channel
WMEEin Fort Wayne, Indiana, completely obliterated WJZE's signal on the west side of Toledo when conditions allowed.
For a while rumors swirled about WJZE dumping classic rock for "young country" to take on ratings leader
WKKO, but in late summer of 1998 WJZE fired its staff and became a full time simulcast of WBUZ, then known as active rock"Buzz 106.5." The owners of WBUZ continued to lease WJZE. WBUZ was sold to Cumulus Broadcastingin early 1999 and rebranded itself as "Pure Rock 106"; the simulcast on WJZE continued until the agreement between WJZE and Cumulus ended.
On August 1, 2000, Clear Channel began to lease 97.3, and thus the station became 97.3 The Fox, with a
classic hitsformat. The station ran jockless except for four hours in the morning. After a five-year run as The Fox, the ratings were still poor, and so on March 15, 2005, the format was changed to rap and R&B as "Hot 97.3". Along with the format change, the station was sold to Urban Broadcasting, which owns cross-town WIMX"Mix 95.7".
The station since its last change has found success with its format. The ratings rose to a 3.5 in the last ratings book and is beating its rival WJUC in the ratings.
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