WGPR

WGPR
WGPR
City of license Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast area [1]
Branding Hot 107.5
Slogan "Interactive Hip-Hop & R&B"
Frequency 107.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Repeaters 94.3 W232CA (Detroit, relays WGPR-HD3)
First air date December 6, 1961
Format Mainstream Urban
HD2: Smooth Jazz
HD3: Modern Rock
Power 50,000 watts
HAAT 123.5 meters
Class B
Facility ID 70512
Transmitter coordinates 42°21′28″N 83°03′55″W / 42.35778°N 83.06528°W / 42.35778; -83.06528
Callsign meaning Grosse Pointe Radio
Where God's Presence Radiates
Owner International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, operated under LMA by Radio One
(WGPR, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live
Website hothiphopdetroit.com
1047theoasis.com (HD2)
943thebone.com (HD3)

WGPR is an FM radio station in Detroit, Michigan brodacasting a Mainstream Urban format. Owned by the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons and operated under local marketing agreement by Radio One, the station operates on 107.5 MHz.

WGPR has a broadcasting range from the north to Flint and Lapeer, and as far west as Fowlerville (60 miles).

Contents

History

Early history

107.5FM WGPR was founded on December 6, 1961, by broadcaster Ross Mulholland, who had worked at WJR and several other area stations. The original construction permit for the station bore the call letters WQTI (similar to Mulholland's easy listening-formatted AM station, 560 WQTE (now WRDT), but the station was never on the air with those calls. Initially, WGPR featured programming similar to that of WQTE. The station was purchased in 1964 by its current owner, the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons (d/b/a WGPR, Inc.), led by William V. Banks, who would serve as president and general manager of WGPR and its sister TV station (founded in 1975) until his death in 1985. Under the ownership of the Masons, WGPR would transition to chiefly African-American-oriented programming of urban contemporary, R&B, soul, and gospel music, with some ethnic programs in Spanish, Italian, Greek, and other languages, which would remain a part of the station's broadcast schedule into the 1990s.

It is reported that the station's callsign meant, Where God's Presence Radiates, but the original meaning was Grosse Pointe Radio, as the station was originally based out of a studio on Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods when it went on the air in 1961 (the original building still stands and houses a real estate agent). The current studios are located on East Jefferson in Detroit.

The Electrifyin' Mojo was heard on WGPR-FM during the early 1980s.

Once a top-10-rated station in the Detroit market, WGPR was by the end of its run in October 2011 the lowest-rated of Detroit's three urban AC stations, trailing WMXD and WDMK. Nevertheless, the station had a devoted audience, and its ratings were not largely adversely affected by Detroit's switching from Arbitron's diary system to the Portable People Meter PPM.

The station was co-owned with WGPR-TV channel 62, which the Freemason group established in 1975. On September 29, 1975, Amyre Porter, Doug Morrison and Sharon Crews became the nation's first African-American primetime news team. This station, which would adopt the CBS affiliation in 1994 following WJBK's switch from CBS to Fox, was sold to CBS in 1995 and re-called WWJ-TV.

Jazzy 107.5/The Rhythm/The New WGPR

Until October 2011, WGPR featured a mix of Urban Adult Contemporary hits and Urban Oldies. Before June 2008, the station was known as "The Rhythm 107-5" or "The Jazzy 107-5", and for several years featured Smooth Jazz mixed in with its current format. On June 20, 2008, the station reverted to the straight Urban AC format it had aired prior to the introduction of the R&B/jazz hybrid in the early 2000s.

Former Logo of WGPR as "The Rhythm"

Saturdays were "Old School" Saturdays, featuring a wide variety of R&B, soul and dance-oriented oldies. Genres played on OSS included disco, funk, 1980s electronic music, dance music, Motown Sound, urban oldies, and 1970s R&B. This program was prone to technical errors. These errors included skipping CDs, varying volume levels between tracks, a song ending midway through and sometimes accidental but simultaneous mix-in of multiple song tracks. Sundays were devoted mostly to gospel programming.

According to the September 2011 PPM Ratings release, WGPR ranked #20 (2.1) in the Detroit market.

Hot 107-5

On October 21, 2011, Radio One, which locally owns WCHB 1200 AM, WDMK 105.9 FM and WHTD 102.7 FM, announced that they will operate WGPR effective immediately, under a local marketing agreement filed with the Masons group, bringing an end to the Masons group's broadcasting endeavors after 47 years. On Monday, October 24, 2011 at Midnight (after the conclusion of its Sunday Gospel Music programming), Radio One discarded the Urban AC format on WGPR in preparation to move the Urban Contemporary and "Hot" branding from WHTD, which was to adopt the Gospel music and "Praise 102.7" branding.[1] The last regular R&B song played on WGPR (at 5:57 am on Sunday October 23rd) was Jill Scott's "Golden". At midnight on Monday, October 24, 2011, following Alexander Zonjic's Sunday-night smooth jazz show, WGPR began playing "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men continuously interspersed with announcements directing WGPR listeners to WDMK.

On October 26, 2011, at 5pm, WGPR became "Hot 107-5", with Big Greg being the first DJ on air. The WHTD call letters did not move with the frequency shift; those call letters now belong to an AM radio station in Toccoa, Georgia.

HD Radio

The Oasis, The Bone, and La Jefa

On April 20, 2011 WGPR launched its HD2 and HD3 digital subchannels with a smooth jazz format on WGPR-HD2 as The Oasis, and modern rock on WGPR-HD3 as The Bone—these subchannels are programmed by the Martz Communications Group. Martz owns the low-powered translators (through licensee Radio Power, Inc.) that rebroadcast the HD Radio signals for those without an HD Radio receiver—104.7 FM W284BQ rebroadcasts The Oasis, while 94.3 FM W232CA rebroadcasts The Bone.[2][3] The Oasis programming comes from Broadcast Architecture's Smooth Jazz Network, featuring Kenny G as morning show host with Detroit radio veteran Sandy Kovach (formerly of the late smooth jazz V98.7) as cohost. As of May 1, the station had added an HD-4 channel with regional Mexican programming branded as La Jefa, but as of July, the HD-4 is no longer on the air and "La Jefa" is available only as an Internet stream.

Martz's operation of WGPR's HD subchannels is not affected by the LMA agreement with Radio One.[4]

The Oasis vs. WIOT

In March 2011, Martz filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to relocate the frequency of W284BQ, from 104.7 MHz to 93.9 MHz[5]. The application was approved in August 2011. If built, the transmitter will interfere with Windsor, Ontario station CIDR-FM in much of the Greater Detroit area, though the licensee contends that the transmitter will be directional, as to not interfere with CIDR-FM on the Canadian side of the border.[6]

In May 2011, Toledo station WIOT, which also broadcasts on 104.7 MHz, filed a complaint with the FCC,[7] saying that W284BQ interferes with WIOT in the Michigan portion of their broadcast area. WIOT had also solicited comments and reception reports from listeners in the affected area.[8]

Martz would soon after establish a website, http://www.savetheoasis.com/, which explains the station's position on the issue, stating that WIOT should not get special treatment on the grounds that it is an Ohio radio station that serves no part of Detroit (though the statement is not exactly true, as the station is interfering with listeners inside WIOT's protected signal contour) and that Clear Channel's motive was to try to remove competition, as Clear Channel owns two of the heritage adult-oriented radio stations in Detroit, WMXD and WNIC.

The Oasis' web site mentioned that they and Clear Channel planned to undergo mutual testing in order to alleviate the interference problems, but as of June 2011, The Oasis claimed that Clear Channel had broken the commitment to work together for a resolution. With the dispute still unresolved as of July 2011 and with the construction permit to move to 93.9 (where it will clash with CIDR) approved, the future of 104.7 The Oasis remains dubious.

On October 18, 2011, the FCC ordered W284BQ to cease operation immediately.[9] Oasis programming continues for the immediate future over WGPR HD-2 and 1047theoasis.com. The translator has filed to move to 93.5 FM; however, a K-LOVE repeater has also applied to use this frequency.[4]

References

Sources

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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