Prior to its flip to Rhythmic Top 40 in 2003, the station was a Classic Rock outlet. HOT 104.5 has enjoyed success. In less than two years on the air HOT 104.5 forced its competitor WILD 98.7/WYIL to change formats. Currently HOT 104.5's only competitor is sister station Top 40 MainstreamSTAR 102.1-WWST.
The playlist of WKHT primarily consists of R&B/hip-hop plus some Rhythmic Pop hits, thus it is considered to be a rhythmic Top 40 station by Billboard as opposed to mainstream R&B due to Knoxville not having a large African-American population. Its target audience is females 18-34.
Journal Communications and The E.W. Scripps Company announced on July 30, 2014 that the two companies would merge to create a new broadcast company under the E.W. Scripps Company name that will own the two companies' broadcast properties, including WKHT. The transaction is slated to be completed in 2015, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.