WHKO (99.1 FM, "K99.1") is a country musicradio station licensed to Dayton, Ohio. The station is owned by Cox Media Group. With its 50,000 watt signal, WHKO is one of the strongest FM stations in the Southwestern Ohio area, and frequently makes mention of this during on-air promos. Its studios are co-located with the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-AM-FM-TV and two more radio stations in the Cox Media Center building near downtown Dayton. WHKO has a transmitter in Dayton's westside.
K99.1FM is known for playing a mix of both "New country and your familiar favorites" and has historically played more music and less commercials than most radio stations in the Dayton / Cincinnati radio market. With the strong signal and commitment to playing more music than the competition, WHKO has a long history of being near the top of the Dayton Arbitron ratings since it began its country format in March, 1989. K99.1 also shows up regularly in the Cincinnati Arbitron ratings, as its signal comes in clear throughout the greater Cincinnati market as well.
Originally founded in 1946 as WHIO-FM with a beautiful music format which since the 1960s was a kindred compliment to the middle of the road format of WHIO (AM). Though many FMs at first floundered and failed during its fledgling in the 1950s in favor of AM, WHIO-FM remained solid. It eventually became the reigning number 1 station in the Dayton market for many years as FM was considered to be an easy alternative to commercial pop music and the rise of Top 40 and country music on the AM dial during that time. In November 2006 the WHIO-FM calls were resurrected at 95.7 FM in Piqua (the former WDPT) as a simulcast of WHIO-AM's news talk format.
In March 1989, the calls switched to WHKO and with it the format switched to country. Prior to the switch, the top-rated country station in Dayton from 1969 to 1990 was WONE (AM) which now employs a sports/talk format. On 10/19/2013 This Station Visits Kings Island
WHKO'S 99.1 HD 3 digital subcarrier is leased to BC Dayton Broadcasting as "The Soul of Dayton," a possible reference and tribute to the former WDAO-FM (now WMMX) which airs an urban oldies format. The service made its debut on Monday September 9, 2013 and is re-transmitted on analog 98.7 FM (translator W254BA)