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|City of license||Lakeside, Virginia|
|Broadcast area||Richmond, Virginia
|Slogan||"Today's Hottest Hits"|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||December 1968|
|Format||Contemporary Hit Radio|
|HAAT||122 meters (400 ft)|
|Former callsigns||WDYL (1968-2010)|
|Former frequencies||92.1 MHz (1968-1995)
105.7 MHz (1995-1998)
101.1 MHz (1998-2009)
|Sister stations||WKHK, WKLR, WURV|
WHTI (100.9 FM, "Hot 100.9") is an American radio station licensed to serve Lakeside, Virginia. The station's broadcast license is held by SummitMedia, LLC. It broadcasts a contemporary hit radio format to the Richmond/Petersburg, Virginia area.
The station's beginnings go back to the mid-1960s as WHAP-FM, an FM construction permit at 92.1 licensed to Hopewell, Virginia and assigned to the owners of local station WHAP-AM. The owners of WHAP decided they did not need an FM station and WHAP-FM never got on the air and the construction permit was sold to the owners of a small daytime only AM station in nearby Chester, Va, WIKI-AM (now WGGM) and the city of license was moved to Chester.
In December 1968, WDYL signed on first as a country station, then later as a religious station, where it operated on 92.1 until 1995. When WRFK-FM (106.5) was planning to sign off as an NPR station in March 1988, it was clear that a new NPR station must be found. Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, owners of WCVE-TV and WCVW-TV, applied for and received, a license to temporarily broadcast at 101.1 until a suitable permanent frequency could be found. From March 1988 to October 1989, 101.1 was the home of WCVE-FM and NPR. After WCVE-FM moved to a permanent home at 88.9, the 101.1 frequency remained dark until 1996 when it was obtained by Sinclair Telecable, owners of urban stations WCDX and WPLZ who signed on a Jazz station, WSMJ.
Meanwhile, WDYL was still operating on 92.1. Throughout its first stage of operation, WDYL-FM was a Christian music and ministry station, focusing on Contemporary Christian music. Station personalities through the 1980s and 1990s included Paul Scott, Bob Roberts, Rob Kennedy, Denis Reidy, Frank Aikens, Dee Daniels, Mark Neimand, Mike Allen, Rob Witham, Glen Mathews, Tracy Lynn, Grady Phelps, Lisa Lewis, Lena Monroe, Doug Langston, J.J. Pierce, Dale Christopher, and Liz Baker. WDYL also was home to several sports teams, such as VCU basketball, VMI football, Virginia Tech football and basketball, and the Richmond Renegades pro hockey team.
In a complicated series of events, WDYL-FM (which was on 92.1 at the time), moved to 105.7 in late 1995 to allow a station in Mechanicsville, (WCDX 92.7) to move closer to the city with more power on 92.1. The 101.1 frequency was allotted to Chester, VA (the former city of license of 92.1). In 1998, Sinclair Telecable sold the 101.1 frequency to Hoffman, who moved the WDYL callsigns and format to 101.1 and traded the 105.7 frequency to Sinclair. Sinclair then signed off WSMJ, which had been on 101.1 doing a Jazz format, and debuted a country station WJRV on their newly purchased 105.7 frequency (the station is now Adult Urban WKJS) From September 1998 to July 1999, WDYL continued on 101.1 with Christian music. At that time Hoffman signed off the original Christian station, and sold the dark 101.1 frequency to Radio One, who brought it back as alternative rock as Y101 in October 1999, after a year-long departure when WBZU flipped to oldies. (Hoffman later signed on another FM station, WZEZ-FM in nearby Goochland with an Easy Listening format ).
The original alternative "Y-101" played a wide variety of alternative rock, similar to its predecessor, WBZU. Radio One signed on the original Y-101 on Monday October 13, 1999 with Orgy's "Blue Monday". Programmed by JD Kunes, (now OM of Radio One properties in Ohio) The station was commercial free and jock-less while Radio One assembled a sales staff and air staff. After 6 months as a jockless radio station, jocks finally cracked the mics in April 2000. The station used the moniker, "Richmond's New Rock Revolution". The air-staff consisted of Joe Monroe in mornings, Casey in middays (now at crosstown WRXL), JD in afternoons and voice tracked Shawn Wade (from sister Power 92) at nights.
Cox Radio in the meantime, had come into the market owning a group of three FM stations and one AM station and was itching to add a fourth FM to its local portfolio. After some negotiations, the station was sold to Cox Communications in early 2001 and the original "Y-101" air-staff and sales staff was dismissed except for Kunes, who stayed with Radio One and eventually was transferred to the company's Dayton group, now owned by Mainline Broadcasting.
At noon on March 1, 2001, the station fell silent for a few moments, as the studio-transmitter link was changed, and then signed back from the Cox studios as "Richmond's New Rock".
Once Cox took over Y-101, legendary programmer Bill Weston was put in charge of the hiring and the direction of the station. His first move was to take his former WWRX production director Mike Murphy and put him in the programming position. Murphy was, at the time, the assistant program director of Boston alternative station WFNX.
Murphy quickly filled the air staff hiring Richmond B103 night jock Charlie and putting him into mornings. Keith Dakin, assistant music director at WFNX, was put in place as music director and afternoon drive host. Dakin's former co-worker from WHOB in Nashua NH, Chris Centore was put in nights.
From May 2001 to October 2003, the station maintained this airstaff. During that time period, the station held 2 birthday bash concerts both drawing over ten thousand people. Afternoon drive host Dakin caused city-wide controversy with his "In the Buff for Free Stuff" game. Various street team members, such as Boy Band Todd, Special Ed and the duo of Twitch and Pigpen become regular characters on all the shows for stunts.
In Sept of 2002, WRXL switched from mainstream rock to alternative to go head to head with Y101 which was starting to dominate in the ratings. To distance itself from the harder sounding WRXL, Y-101 slid back to a more alternative format similar to its Radio One days. However, the WRXL switch had no immediate effect on Y101 which posted its highest ratings (12 plus) in its history that following summer with a 3.9.
Dakin left to return to WFNX in the fall of 2003. Chris Centore departed soon after. Dustin "Fletcher" Matthews was brought in from Knoxville to fill the music director/afternoon drive hole and Y101 DJ contest winner Dave Greek took over at night. The station managed to hold on in the ratings throughout 2003 while WRXL and its morning show grew in popularity.
In May 2005, the station held its fourth and final birthday bash concert due to mounting security concerns and costs.
By September 2005, the station was clearly struggling in the ratings. Program Director Mike Murphy was dismissed and went to program WHFS in Baltimore ( Murphy is now operations manager at Main Line Broadcasting in Richmond ). Charlie and Fletcher soon followed heading to Montpelier, VT and Savannah, Georgia respectively. After being apart for several years, Charlie, Fletcher and Special Ed reunited on July 23, 2007 on WFNX as the hosts of a new morning show called, The Sandbox.
After Murphy left, Eric Robert Kaye was brought in from Boise, Idaho to take the station in a different direction. The first major change was the mornings to compete with Elliot in the Morning on WRXL. After years of devoting little attention to mornings, Cox Radio hired Sludge (from Chicago's now defunct WZZN) and promoted Special Ed as his sidekick. Radio journeyman Jessica Lee was brought in for afternoons–music director and Y101's first street teamer ever, Twitch, was put in nights.
On September 10, 2007, after just 16 months at Cox Radio, Jessica Lee was relieved of her afternoon duties at Y101 due to budget cuts. Program Director Eric Robert Kaye switched from middays to afternoons and also assumed the position of Music Director. Twitch moved from nights to middays and Angie took over weeknights. The morning show also gained a new sidekick, Sludge's friend Abe.
On November 7, 2007, just three months shy of serving two years as Program Director at Y101, Eric Robert Kaye left the station for Chicago to join his family business.
The station had difficulties increasing its ratings, making less than a 2.0 share for people 12 and over in several ratings quarters.
In early September 2008, Joe "MoJo" Rupp took the reins as Program Director. MoJo was the previous program director for WHHZ in Gainesville, Florida. In 2009, Mojo was replaced by Fisher, who is also the program director for sister station, WMXB.
In late November 2008, the nationally syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge show replaced "The Morning Sludge" as part of a deal involving several Cox alternative rock stations. Sludge moved to afternoons with his new show, "The Sludge Nation."
On September 1, 2009 at 2pm, WDYL switched from 101.1 FM at 4,000 watts to 100.9. The new tower, located in Mechanicsville, VA, enabled WDYL to broadcast in HD radio and to boost its signal power to 17,500 watts.
On April 22, 2010, the station removed "Bubba the Love Sponge" and all on-air staff from the airwaves in favor of wall-to-wall music. They urged listeners to turn to sister station WMXB, the newly flipped "103-7 The River".
Hot 100.9 Era
On April 29, 2010 at 2:00 PM, the station changed formats from alternative rock to rhythmic contemporary hit radio (Top 40), branding itself as "Hot 100.9". For its debut, the station played "10,000 songs in a row commercial free" and without air talent. The station changed call letters from WDYL to WHTI on May 6, 2010. Because of its Rhythmic direction, Hot 100.9 faced competition from Mainstream Top 40/CHR WRVQ and Urban Contemporary rivals WBTJ and WCDX. The first song played on Hot 100.9 was "Rude Boy" by Rihanna.
In May 2013, SummitMedia, LLC purchased Cox Radio's Richmond properties as part of Cox's divestiture of "non-core" assets.
- WHTI official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WHTI
- Radio-Locator information on WHTI
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WHTI