WKHX-FM (101.5 MHz "New Country 101.FIVE") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Marietta, Georgia, and serving Greater Atlanta. It is owned by Cumulus Media and airs a country music radio format. The studios and offices are in Sandy Springs near the Georgia Highway 400 and Interstate 285 interchange. The station features local personalities during daylight hours, but it also uses the national "Nash Nights" show in the evening from Nash-FM, syndicated by Westwood One, also owned by Cumulus Media.
|Broadcast area||Atlanta metropolitan area|
|Branding||New Country 101.5|
Spelled as "New Country 101.FIVE"
|Slogan||Made in Georgia, Loved Around the World|
|Frequency||101.5 MHz (HD Radio)|
|First air date||November 11, 1959 (as WBIE-FM)|
HD2: Urban Contemporary
|HAAT||329 meters (1,079 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||KHX = "Kicks" former branding|
|Former callsigns||WBIE-FM (1959–1981)|
|Affiliations||Cumulus Media Networks|
Premiere Radio Networks
|Owner||Cumulus Media |
(Radio License Holdings LLC)
|Sister stations||WNNX, WWWQ, W255CJ, W250BC|
Listen Live via iHeart
WKHX-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts, the maximum permitted for non-grandfathered FM station in the U.S. The transmitter is off Shepherds Lane NE just west of Emory University, in unincorporated DeKalb County. WKHX-FM broadcasts in the HD Radio hybrid format. The HD2 subchannel carries an urban contemporary format.
101.5 has always been a country music station, previously as WBIE-FM. It signed on the air on November 11, 1959. WBIE-FM was co-owned with AM 1080 WBIE. The station manager at the time, James M. Wilder, has a technology laboratory building named after him at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta.
WBIE-AM-FM were owned by the Marietta Broadcasting Company and simulcasted their country music and local news programming. At the beginning, WBIE-FM was powered at 1,350 watts, only heard in and around Marietta. In the 1970s, WBIE-FM got a big boost in power, going to the current 100,000 watts, and became audible in Metro Atlanta. It's AM companion at 1080 switched its format to Adult Standards and its call sign to WCOB. The power boost made WBIE-FM a candidate to be bought by a large broadcasting company anxious for a strong FM signal in the growing Atlanta radio market.
"Kicks 101.5" debuted in 1981 after Capital Cities Communications purchased WCOB and WBIE-FM. Capital Cities switched WBIE-FM's call letters to WKHX and made the station a contender in the Atlanta ratings. In 1987, WKHX programming began to be simulcast on AM 590. The AM station became WKHX, while 101.5 added an FM suffix, becoming WKHX-FM. Today, AM 590 is Christian radio WDWD, owned by Salem Media.
Capital Cities took over ABC, including its television and radio stations, in 1985. In 1995, ABC bought WKHX-FM's rival country station, WYAY. Eventually, WYAY switched to news programming, and today is Christian Contemporary-formatted WAKL after it was sold to the Educational Media Foundation in 2019. In December 2006, WKHX-FM got a new country music competitor in WUBL, owned by Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia).
WKHX-FM and other ABC Radio stations were acquired by Citadel Broadcasting in 2007, which became Cumulus Media in September 2011. In October 2011, WKHX-FM modified its playlist from playing only "new country" music to mixing in some older hits from the 1990s to the present.
On November 13, 2019, WKHX began running liners promoting a "big announcement" to come at 3 p.m. the following day. Several liners had a wolf-howling sound effect, a nod to rumors on radio news websites (based on web domains registered by Cumulus as far back as September) that the station was to rebrand as "The Wolf". At that time, the station rebranded, but instead as "New Country 101.FIVE", and also introducing a new morning show host, JJ Kincaid, to team with existing co-host Dallas McCade, with the show being branded as "Kincaid and Dallas".
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1960 page A-141
- Popular Music and Culture Collections, Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal (subscription required). September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- WKHX Relaunches As New Country 101.5; JJ Kincaid Joins Dallas In Mornings
- WKHX Becomes New Country 101.5
- Kicks 101.5 website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKHX
- Radio-Locator information on WKHX
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKHX