WWPR-FM

WWPR-FM
WWPR-FM
Power1051newyork.jpg
City of license New York City
Broadcast area New York City area
Branding Power 105.1
Slogan New York’s R&B and Only the Best Hip-Hop
Frequency

105.1 FM (MHz) (also on HD Radio)


105.1-2 FM Reggaeton/Hispanic Rhythmic Power Español (HD Radio)
First air date 1953
Format Urban Contemporary
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 415 meters
Class B
Facility ID 6373
Callsign meaning World Wide Power Radio
Former callsigns WWRL-FM (1953-1957)
WRFM (1957-1986)
WNSR (1986-1992 and 1997-1998)
WMXV (1992-1996)
WDBZ (1996-1997)
WBIX (1998-1999)
WTJM (1999-2002)
Owner Clear Channel
Sister stations WAXQ, WHTZ, WKTU, WLTW
Webcast Listen Live!
Website power1051fm.com

WWPR-FM, also known as "Power 105.1", is an urban contemporary radio station that features hip hop and R&B licensed to New York City that serves the Greater New York area.

The WWPR call letters were also previously used for one year (starting in December 1987) by WPLJ.

Contents

History

The first station to sign on to this frequency was WWRL-FM in 1953. It became WRFM in 1957, breaking away from simulcasting its AM sister station with a diversified and classical music format. Bonneville International, the broadcast arm of the Mormon Church, purchased WRFM in 1963.

In 1968 WRFM, billing itself "Stereo 105", adopted a beautiful music format. The format was mostly instrumental with about one vocal every 15 minutes. Their music featured the works of such artists as Mantovani, Henry Mancini, John Fox, Percy Faith, Hollyridge Strings, Leroy Anderson, Frank Mills and Richard Clayderman. Mixed in were vocals by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, Nat King Cole and Barbra Streisand. Ratings for the station were high, and a couple times they hit number one overall. A pair of rival stations, the simulcast of then-co-owned WPAT-AM-FM, tended to do slightly better in the ratings, but both outlets held their own.

The WNSR logo that was in use from 1986 through mid 1992.

The station's ratings would continue to be strong through the years, but by 1985, the station's management noticed that their demographics skewed old. So in April 1986, the station switched to a gold-based adult contemporary format with the call letters WNSR (for "soft rock"). With this new format, the station would mainly play pop songs from the 1960s and the 1970s, with 1980's and a moderate amount of then current adult contemporary songs included as well. Initially, the station's ratings were low, but once competitor WYNY (the present-day WQHT, the main rival of today's 105.1 frequency) went to a country format, their ratings went up.

By 1990, the station became known as "Mix 105", and shifted to more of a hot adult contemporary format, cutting back (but still playing) on 60's music, focusing on 1970s and 1980s music. In 1992, when the station changed its call letters to WMXV, the 1960s hits were gone and the station played more recent music. By 1995, the station was only playing hits of the 1980s and 1990s and even mixing in some lighter alternative rock songs, as many other hot adult contemporary stations were doing at this time.

In November 1996 the hot adult contemporary format at WMXV abruptly ended, as after a day of playing music from Broadway musicals, the station switched formats to an adult-friendly modern rock format as WDBZ ("The Buzz"). In August of 1997, less than a year later, with ratings on the decline, the call letters would change back to WNSR. The original plan was for the station to drop "the Buzz" format in favor of a gold based AC format playing songs from 1964 through then current product. The station was to have launched on August 18, 1997, with television commercials set to air. Their owners, Bonneville, instead decided to sell the station to Chancellor Media (which owned WHTZ, WLTW, WKTU, and WAXQ. As a result the format change for 105.1 was canceled and the station would remain "The Buzz" for a while longer with the reverted WNSR call letters. Gradually from September through November of 1997, the station would gradually return to playing hot adult contemporary and then adult contemporary music. For the next few months, the station would simply be known on-air as "FM 105.1" and would only use the WNSR calls for station ID's.

In January 1998 the station, under new ownership, relaunched as "Big 105", with the call letters WBIX. Despite this relaunch, the station played basically the same music as they did in the months before, and could not compete with highly-rated WLTW ("Lite FM"). Initially, in January of 1998, Big 105 was musically very close to WLTW but evolved to a Hot AC format by that May. They also added Danny Bonaduce as their morning show host. Ratings continued to fail and by October of 1998, Big 105 was sounding more like a Modern Rock based Hot AC similar to their former Buzz format but not as deep.

The Jammin 105 logo that lasted from 1999 through early 2002.

In December 1998 the station had a more drastic format change, as they converted to the then-popular "Jammin' Oldies" format, with the call letters subsequently changing to WTJM in 1999. The station, which would play popular urban, dance, and rhythmic pop music of the mid 1960s through the 1980s, did better in the ratings than the previous format, and Jammin' Oldies' results initially challenged those of longtime oldies station WCBS-FM. Chancellor merged with Capstar Broadcasting to form AMFM Inc. in 1999. Then, in 2000, Clear Channel Communications merge with AMFM Inc., giving this and the other four stations a new owner. Under Clear Channel, WTJM would evolve into an urban oldies format and then an urban adult contemporary format, simply known as Jammin' 105. Frankie Blue was brought in to program the shift to the urban adult contemporary format. He immediately brought in Jeff Foxx (formerly of WRKS and WBLS) and teamed him with comedian George Wallace to form the "Jammin' New York Wake-up Club". The morning show was a hit and the rest of the station benefitted; however, it did not warrant keeping the format.

In March 2002, the station would abruptly change, as it shifted to its current mainstream urban format as WWPR-FM ("Power 105.1"). (Some wags declared the new format to be "Jammin' Homies".) A speculated reason for the format change is that while they could not beat competitor WQHT ("Hot 97"), they could take enough ratings away from them to keep them from being number one, which would leave Power 105.1's sister station Lite FM with a comfortable lead in that race (prior to the change Hot 97 and Lite FM had alternated at the top spot).

By 2004, WWPR-FM became the market's only urban contemporary station because of the transition of WBLS from urban contemporary to urban adult contemporary. WQHT is closer, but they report as rhythmic contemporary per Mediabase & Nielsen BDS, although WQHT was an urban reporter on Nielsen BDS from 2006-2007 despite Mediabase continuting to report WQHT as a rhythmic.

WQHT had been the only New York station featuring current hip hop and R&B since its owner, Emmis Communications purchased WRKS in 1994 and moved that station towards an adult R&B format. In an effort to build an audience, WWPR-FM brought in former Hot 97 personalities and Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed Lover and Doctor Dre to anchor their morning show. The station then entered into the top five of the Arbitron ratings, a position it maintains to this day.

The station terminated Doctor Dre's contract in December 2003 and gave Ed Lover a new co-host in rapper-turned-radio personality Monie Love, which would last for about a year. By the end of 2004, WWPR decided to heat up their rivalry with WQHT by bringing in ex-Hot 97 morning show hosts Star & Buc Wild as their new morning drive team, as well-known disc jockeys were deemed critical to their success.

The "Star and Buc Wild Morning Show" was replaced in 2006 by Live With Big Tigger and Egypt which would be replaced by a returning Ed Lover, who would later be joined by Malikha Mallette. This last show incarnation ended on November 19, 2010 when Ed Lover was released from the radio station and Mallette was re-assigned to the midday shift, replacing De Ja.

DJ Carl Blaze's death

DJ Carl Blaze, who was a popular DJ at Power 105.1 for over three years, was fatally shot outside an apartment building near Manhattan's Inwood section on December 7, 2006 about 4:30 AM and his $20,000 diamond chain was stolen from him. He was taken to Harlem Hospital Center, where he died Saturday, December 23. No arrest have been made and the investigation into the shooting was ongoing.

Star Controversy

Troi Torain, who previously worked at Power 105's rival hip-hop station WQHT until he switched to Power 105, is known as "Star" from the Star & Buc Wild morning show. He had a running on-air feud with Hot 97's DJ Envy, whose real name is Raashaun Casey.

In a May 3, 2006 broadcast, Torain mentioned DJ Envy's wife and child. Torain said he would pay $500 to any listener who told him where the girl attended school. Torain, who is bi-racial, also used racial and sexual epithets about D.J. Envy's wife, Gia Casey, who is part Asian.

New York City Council members called for an investigation by law enforcement and the Federal Communications Commission. After the protests, Clear Channel Communications, the corporate owner of Power 105, suspended Torain. After reviewing transcripts of the broadcast, New York City law enforcement officials called Torain to police headquarters in Lower Manhattan to surrender his target pistol license and 9-millimeter handgun. Detectives from the Hate Crimes Unit charged him with endangering the welfare of a child.

Leaving the precinct house, Torain leaned back and grinned for television cameras, saying "You're looking at the new Lenny Bruce." Torain's lawyer's defended his broadcasts on first amendment grounds.[1]

Star and Buc Wild were replaced with Live With Big Tigger and Egypt on May 4, 2006.

Power in HD2

In early 2006, Clear Channel launched a new HD2 station on the 105.1 frequency which plays Reggaeton & Hispanic Rhythmic music. The format is similar to that heard on WCAA.

Staff

On-air

Mixshow DJs

  • Geespin
  • DJ Suss-One
  • DJ Will
  • DJ Whutevva
  • DJ Norie
  • Ty-Boogie

Former DJs

  • Borasio (now at Pulse 87.7 (WNYZ-FM) in New York, NY)
  • Tony Touch
  • DJ Carl Blaze
  • Star and Buc Wild
  • DJ Yonny (now at 92.3 NOW-FM (WXRK-FM) in New York, NY)
  • DJ Spinbad
  • Egypt (now at WBLS-FM 107.5 in New York, NY)
  • Doctor Dré
  • Colby Colb (Now at WENZ Cleveland)
  • Jay Wright
  • Chuck Dogg
  • Big R.
  • Jayson Fox
  • Anthony Caiazzo (Anthony Cruz)
  • Will2Be
  • Steph Lova
  • Ed Lover (now at 98.7 Kiss FM (WRKS) in New York, NY)
  • Lady O.
  • Lady Chellez
  • Q.
  • Déjà Vu

Former shows

  • Star and Buc Wild In The Morning
  • Ed Lover And Doctor Dré In The Morning
  • Colby Colb Show
  • Tony Touch's Reggeatony Show
  • The Jayson Fox Show
  • The Ed Lover Show
  • The Steph Lova Program
  • Middays with Déjà Vu

References

  1. ^ "D.J. Is Arrested Over His Threat to Rival's Child." The New York Times 13 May 2006.[1]

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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