|City of license||Reidsville, North Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point / Burlington, North Carolina, with signal coverage west to Boone, east to South Boston, VA, north to Roanoke, VA and south to Albemarle|
|Slogan||*The* Hip Hop Station|
|Frequency||102.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1947 (as WREV-FM)|
|Format||Rhythmic Contemporary (leans Mainstream Urban)
HD2: Old Skool Hip-Hop
|Callsign meaning||an approximation of JAMZ (also a nod to former sister station WJHM/Orlando)|
|Former callsigns||WREV-FM (1947-1966)
|Sister stations||WPAW, WQMG-FM, WSMW|
WJMH, "102 JAMZ," is a mainstream urban-leaning rhythmic contemporary FM radio station serving the Piedmont Triad region, with a hip hop-intense playlist. It broadcasts at 102.1 MHz with 99,000 watts of power and is licensed to serve Reidsville, North Carolina. Owned by Entercom, the station's studios are located near the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, and a transmitter site is near Stokesdale, North Carolina.
Early history (1947-1988)
The radio station now known as 102 JAMZ was originally located in Reidsville, North Carolina, a simulcast of sister station WREV (1220 AM). In 1947, William Manton Oliver, Sr., at that time owner of the local newspaper (The Reidsville Review), applied to the FCC for a permit to construct an FM radio station under the AM's corporate name, Reidsville Broadcasting Company, Inc. After operating for a time under a Construction Permit, the station's license was granted September 6, 1948. At that time, FM was still new and somewhat experimental. Almost all radio listening was shared among AM radio stations. Mr. Oliver's primary purpose for constructing the station was a desire to provide high school football coverage to Reidsville listeners, as WREV (AM) was not allowed to remain on the air after sunset. For almost twenty years, the same programming was carried on both WREV-AM and WREV-FM. The WREV simulcast ended in 1966, when Oliver's son, William Manton Oliver, Jr. began to handle day to day operations. WREV-FM became a Christian radio station and assumed the new call letters, WWMO. On September 10, 1977, by chance the day of William Manton Oliver Sr.'s funeral, WREV-FM was sold to new owner George Beasley, a former high school principal.
Late in 1986, Beasley began construction of a new tall tower, near the Guilford/Rockingham county line and moved the facility to new studios in Greensboro, NC. Upon completion of construction, with a new, much stronger signal in place, the former Reidsville-only station first actively attempted to reach the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point metropolitan area. The new "BIG 102" took the WBIG call letters, recently abandoned by Greensboro's oldest radio station, (an AM facility that "went dark" [voluntarily turning in its broadcasting license to the FCC and leaving the air permanently]), hired some of WBIG-AM's personalities and debuted as a country music station, late in March, 1987. BIG 102's debut was preceded by a computerized countdown created by Dan Robins, who in 1994 was corporate product manager of Smart Computers and Software in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
WBIG's initial Arbitron ratings were fairly strong, but settled back over time. Through the four ratings "books" in 1988, the station's 12+ "shares" (a measure of the percentage of listeners aged 12 and older) were 4.9, 5.0, 4.4 and 3.8. Through that same year, competitor WTQR achieved shares of 18.6, 17.5, 18.1 and 16.8. Billy Buck, a former WTQR DJ who later moved to WLVK and then WFMX, was nominated for Country Music Association Broadcast Personality of the Year in 1988.
History as 102 JAMZ
On January 1, 1989, Beasley abandoned the country battle, flipping the format to "Churban" and changing the station's call letters and name. WJMH "102 JAMZ" was consulted by Jerry Clifton, who specialized in multi-ethnic programming (in Miami, Detroit, Orlando, Dallas, Philadelphia and other markets). Under original Program Director Chris Bailey, 102 JAMZ showed a 12+ Arbitron share of 7.7 in their first ratings book, as compared to rival Power 97's 4.1.
Under Bailey, and 102 JAMZ' second PD, Brian Douglas, 102 JAMZ continued to outrank Power 97 in the 12+ ratings, but especially with Men and Women aged 18 to 34 and with teenaged listeners (Douglas joined 102 JAMZ in September, 1990 and remains Program Director at the present time). 102 JAMZ and Power 97 continued to compete head-on until September, 1996. At that time, new owner Max Media moved WQMG in a much more adult direction, as Black-targeted Urban Adult Contemporary 97.1 QMG and 102 JAMZ began working with Steve Smith Radio and Ratings Consultants (Smith had guided Hot 97 WQHT New York's transition from dance to a more Hip Hop and R&B mix as Hot 97's Program Director in 1993 and 1994).
From its inception, 102 JAMZ featured a strong percentage of Rap and, by 1992, was perhaps the first radio station to be targeted exclusively toward 18-24 year old African-Americans. "Urban", or Black-targeted stations of the time, typically attempted to reach a broader demographic, concentrating focus on the lucrative 25 to 54 year old market. Therefore, rap music was typically relegated to weekend mix shows, limited to airplay during the evenings only or, in many cases, not played at all.
The station achieved success with younger listeners across the spectrum (White, Hispanic, etc.), building on music for college-aged listeners, foreground "personalities", regular hip hop-oriented Mix Shows, interactive cash contests and activity "on the streets". Breaking lifestyle news and events in hip hop music played a key role on the station from the early days, as well.
102 JAMZ reports weekly playlist information to Mediabase as a Rhythmic CHR and to BDS as an R&B/Hip-Hop reporter. The station's playlist is mostly focused on the Hip-Hop/Rap genre, leaving some current R&B to Urban AC sister WQMG and more pop-leaning Rhythmic product to Clear Channel Communications's 105.7 Now.
102 JAMZ' SuperJam
102 JAMZ' annual summer concert happens each year in late June, featuring primarily hip hop artists. The station's debut summer show, SuperJam I, took place Friday night, June 20, 1997, at Greensboro Coliseum with an audience of 20,000 and featured Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Lil' Kim, OutKast, Lost Boyz, SWV, Freak Nasty and others. Successive annual SuperJams have included artists such as Jay-Z, Ludacris, Diddy, Young Jeezy, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, T.I., Ja Rule, Three 6 Mafia, J. Cole, LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Petey Pablo, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, Nas, Wale, Cam'Ron, Trina, Big Pun, Lloyd, Redman, Omarion, Ying Yang Twins, 112, Trick Daddy, Da Brat, Dem Franchize Boyz, Dru Hill, N.O.R.E., Bow Wow, Ashanti, Elephant Man, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Kool, Chingy and Jagged Edge. SuperJam and the 102 JAMZ Birthday Bash, held each Jam-Uary, are hosted by the 102 JAMZ airstaff, with music provided by the 102 JAMZ Mix Squad.
Former 102 JAMZ personalities
Personalities over the years have included Busta Brown, now with area television station WXII-12, Shilynne Cole, Program Director and mid-day host for 97.1 QMG (WQMG), Madd Hatta, morning host at Houston's 97.9 The Boxx (KBXX), Afrika Perry, afternoon talent at Miami's Power 96 (WPOW), The Bushman, afternoons at FM 98 (WJLB), Detroit, Mary K, longtime Program Director and Mid Day talent at 95.7 JAMZ (WBHJ) in Birmingham and now Program Director for both Hot 98.1 (WHZT) and 107.3 JAMZ (WJMZ-FM), Greenville, SC, Kendall B, morning co-host at Denver's KS 107.5 (KQKS) and Boogie D, Operations Manager of Hot 104.1 (WHHL) and Urban Adult Contemporary Old School 95.5 (WFUN-FM), St. Louis.
Other well-known personalities included Terrence J, co-anchor of E! News and former host of BET's 106 & Park, broadcast "voice-over" talents George "Apollo" Fetherbay, owner of radio commercial production house Apollo Productions and The Jammer, owner of Larry Davis Voiceover, Traci LaTrelle, Music Director and air talent at WHUR, Washington, D.C., Baby J, afternoon host at Columbus, GA's Foxie 105 (WFXE), Sammy Mack, air personality at K-104 (KKDA), Dallas and Big Lip Bandit, morning host at Power 96, Miami.
The late Tre Black, known as Tre Bien while with 102 JAMZ, went on to great success in New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit before his untimely death of a heart attack in March, 2010. Other alumni, not active in radio at this time, include Dr. Michael Lynn, Hannah's Baby Boy Stu, Tanya, Mario Devoe, Mic Foxx and former morning show co-host Amos Quick, now a Guilford County school board member, and pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in High Point.
Present personality lineup
Today, 102 JAMZ features the Wild Out Wakeup Show, starring Kyle Santillian and B-Daht in the mornings, 6 to 10 a.m., followed by Delyte from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (featuring the 20 Minute Workout), Big Tap Money from 3 to 7 p.m. (with the 5:00 ReMix), Waleed Coyote from 7 p.m. to midnight (featuring the Five Most Wanted countdown at 8 p.m., plus the 10:00 Banger), and Big Mo, midnight to 6 a.m.
Weekend personalities include Akimi Starr, Showdown, Brian B, Roxie, Chris "Sho Smoove" Lea, Vida J, KB and Slim City.
Horse Raney is the station's Promotions and Marketing Director, responsible for coordinating on-air contesting and promotions, street appearances and the promotional aspects of 102 JAMZ' Social Media outlets.
Over the last fifteen to twenty years, it has become common for radio stations to carry "packaged" programming, syndicated, pre-recorded or voice tracked. All 102 JAMZ programming is live, local, and in "real time", 24 hours daily, seven days a week.
102 JAMZ does regular Mix Squad Weekends (with all music mixed), Throwback Weekends (featuring older hip hop), Twin Spin Weekends (with sets of music from particular artists), etc. The station also does tributes to major artists on their birthdays, presents occasional retrospectives on fallen artists such as Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac, etc.
The 102 JAMZ Mix Squad is regularly out in front. J-Flex is on the turntables for the 5:00 ReMix, weekdays at 5 p.m. and on Hip Hop 102, Friday nights from 10 to 2. DJ DeRon Juan does the 10:00 Banger, Monday through Wednesday evenings at 10 and DJ Deluxe covers a two-hour expanded 10:00 Banger on Thursday nights. DJ Polo handles the 20 Minute Workout, featuring Old School Hip Hop, weekdays at noon, DJ MC covers the Breakfast Mix, weekday mornings at 9 a.m., while DJ Ern is on Smash City, Saturday Nights from 10 to 2. DJ Lil Vegas mixes on the Sunday Night Heat at 10:00, and Ena Pop and DJ Diesel fill in on all mix shows. Sunday nights at 11:00, Reggae Jamz features DJ Statixx. All Mix Squad shows are aired live. The station carries no syndicated (nationally produced and pre-recorded) mix programming.
In addition to the station's music-oriented special programming, Morning personality Kyle Santillian hosts a live, interactive two-hour community affairs show, called Straight Talk, Sunday mornings at 6.
WJMH has been operated by five different owners through the years, originally (1947) by Reidsville Broadcasting Company, Inc., in 1977 as the first station in the company now known as Beasley Broadcasting, in 1996 by Max Media, in 1998 by Sinclair Broadcasting and, from late 1999 to the present, by Entercom Communications Corp.
- Gina Evans, "Radio Countdown," The Fayetteville Observer, June 5, 1994.
- Andy Duncan, "He's a Little Bit Country, and Billy Buck Plans to Stay That Way," Greensboro News & Record, May 18, 1990.
- Personal Interviews: George Beasley, original owner (interviewed 1990-1995)
- Personal Interviews: Dave Compton, present Program Director of WPET (AM), former WREV (AM)/WWMO employee (interviewed 2001-2007)
- Personal Interviews: Brian Douglas, WJMH Program Director, September 1, 1990 to present (interviewed 2007, 2013 and 2014)
- FCC data
- 102 JAMZ' website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WJMH
- Radio-Locator information on WJMH
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WJMH